It’s springtime in Jacksonville, and you know what that means: it’s time for the Jaguars’ annual downtown development proposal.
Jaguars president Mark Lamping presented 1stDownTown, a $441 million multi-phase project that combines the team’s latest vision for the Shipyards property with a new state-of-the-art Football Performance Center.
In the new plan, the Shipyards property – which the team has long sought to redevelop – would become home to a 176-room Four Seasons hotel with 25 residential units, a five-star spa, two restaurants and bars, and a riverfront pool and lounge. Next door to the hotel would be a six-story, 116,000-square-foot office building with ground-floor retail, café, and amenity space. A marina infrastructure building, complete with a boat shop, retail and dining space, and an events lawn, would round out the first phase of the Shipyards plan. This first phase is estimated to cost $321 million; Lamping indicated that private investment would cover a “significant percentage” of the cost.
For phase two, the team envisions redeveloping the western end of the property into a 42,000-square-foot orthopedic sports medicine complex, in partnership with Baptist Health and Jacksonville Orthopedic Institute.
Notably, the latest plans for the Shipyards do not involve any of Metropolitan Park’s land. Many of the Jags’ previous proposals had involved redeveloping the park, which has federal protection but has fallen out of favor with city officials. Instead, the team is now proposing to adopt the park and invest $4 million into keeping it clean, safe, and well-maintained.
The focus then shifted toward the stadium. Lamping stressed that upgrades are needed at TIAA Bank Field to make it habitable for the team long-term, but also emphasized that the team wants to be able to stay in downtown Jacksonville while any stadium renovations are happening.
Therefore, before the team starts working on stadium renovations, it plans to build a new home for its football operations: a 130,000-square-foot Football Performance Center. The $120 million facility would be built at the site of the team’s current practice field and would include two full-size grass fields, an indoor practice field, team offices, training and medical facilities, public seating, and a team shop, among other features.
The cost for the facility would be split between the team and the city, and the city would retain ownership of it. It would also free up the existing flex field at the south end of TIAA Bank Field for more community events.
Following the performance center’s completion, the team would shift its focus to renovating and upgrading TIAA Bank Field. Priorities that the team has identified include adding shading for all seating, wider concourses, increased space for football operations, better vertical transportation, and upgrades to the HVAC, plumbing, and electrical systems.
The Shipyards and performance center combine for a $441 million price tag. It’s unclear what the cost would be for the second phase, which would include the orthopedic center and stadium upgrades, nor is it clear how much money the team is seeking from the city.
As Lamping noted, the team is currently working with Downtown Investment Authority on its proposal. There is no solid timeline on when the project would begin or how long it would take.
Here’s to hoping this year’s presentation is the one that finally makes it to construction.