A city committee has recommended a $760,210 increase to J.B Coxwell Contracting Inc’s contract to continue designs for the future Jacksonville Fairgrounds in West Jacksonville.
The Competitive Sealed Proposal Evaluation Committee voted 3-0 on March 30 to recommend increasing the cap on J.B. Coxwell’s design-build contract on the fairgrounds project from $5.087 million to $5.847 million.
The increase will need approval by Mayor Lenny Curry’s administration.
The Greater Jacksonville Agricultural Fair Association has been working with the city since 2021 to relocate the fairgrounds from 510 Fairground Place Downtown to a site next to the Jacksonville Equestrian Center along Normandy Boulevard.
Bob Scott, city Department of Public Works project manager, told the committee the contract amendment would pay to complete 60% of the design and include tree clearing and land grading.
City Council has approved $27.7 million in the city Capital Improvement Plan over the last two years to help finance the project.
Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan’s Iguana Investments Florida LLC announced it had reached an agreement with the fair association on an option to buy the existing 14.1-acre fairgrounds site near TIAA Bank Field after the move.
J.B. Coxwell was chosen in mid-2022 from among three contractors that responded to a city request for qualifications for the fairground design/build services.
Jacksonville Fair President and CEO Bill Olson said in April 2022 the move will allow the fair to grow and alleviate traffic congestion at the Downtown fairgrounds for people showing cattle, vendors and attendees.
The fair is working with Scherer Construction of North Florida LLC and kasper architects + associates Inc. to design and determine the cost of the facilities it wants in a new fairgrounds, Olson said.
Plans include a 40,000- to 60,000-square-foot event and expo center; administrative offices; a warehouse-style storage facility; and an event stage able to accommodate multiday music and entertainment festivals.
There also would be a multipurpose barn used for the livestock and agricultural activities and be built on the adjacent city-owned Equestrian Center property.
Olson said in April he hopes the new location will be complete by spring 2024.