For the third time in as many years, the city and the Jaguars have released new plans – and renderings – for the proposed redevelopment of Lot J into the mixed-use Live! District.
The latest iteration of the project, planned as a 50-50 partnership between the Jaguars and The Cordish Companies, includes the following features:
- Two residential buildings totaling 400 units
- A 150-to-250 room hotel
- 75,000 sq. ft. of retail space
- 40,000 sq. ft. of office space
- 1,400 total parking spaces (700 on a surface lot, plus two 350-space garages within the residential buildings)
- Live! Arena, a 100,000 sq. ft. entertainment center featuring bars and restaurants
The new proposal includes several modifications to the development group’s previous plans for the property. A proposed parking deck has been replaced by a surface lot. Around 100 additional residential units were added, with the residential component now being split between two buildings. An office tower that was proposed has been scrapped.
Through the new agreement, the city will directly contribute no more than $152.7 million to the project. That total includes up to $50 million toward the construction of the Live! complex, up to $25 million in grants and tax rebates to support the residential and hotel components, and $77.7 million in city-owned infrastructure.
This represents a reduction from the previous $233 million city funding agreement reached by Khan and Mayor Lenny Curry last year. Among the reductions are $15.1 million less to be spent on infrastructure – a result of the standalone parking garage being removed. However, the agreement indicates that $15.1 million will still be allocated by the city toward the project in case of unanticipated infrastructure costs.
The city will also provide a $65.5 million loan to the development group, secured by a $13.1 million deposit and to be repaid in full by the company. Terms of the loan, including interest and repayment rate, are not included in the agreement term sheet.
Altogether, including the loan, the city’s investment in the project would max out at just over $220 million – still a slight reduction from the previously-cited $233 million figure, but undoubtedly a major financial undertaking that’s being finalized while a pandemic continues to wreak havoc on both the economy and downtown foot traffic.
The city will own the project’s infrastructure, the Live! complex, and its parking spaces. It will receive parking revenue for daily paid parking as well as stadium events; the development group will receive revenue from residential, hotel guest, and valet parking. The city will be responsible for operating and maintenance costs for the parking facilities. The Live! complex will be leased and operated by the development group.
The project is expected to create over 2,000 construction jobs, as well as at least 800 permanent jobs.
“I am very proud to invest in this project and reinforce my commitment to Jacksonville, our downtown and all of Duval,” said Jags owner Shad Khan in a press release. “A vibrant downtown drives economic upside and opportunity for the entirety of a community. This is our moment to make that happen in Jacksonville while creating jobs and bringing people together in the process.”
The redevelopment project at Lot J was first proposed by Khan and the Jaguars in 2018 as a first phase to its larger plans for the area surrounding TIAA Bank Field. The first site plan for the project showed two office towers, a hotel, and the Live! complex.
Its origins, however, date all the way back to 2015, when Shad Khan was first selected as the master developer for the city-owned Shipyards property. Two years later, those plans had expanded to include Metropolitan Park, as well as The Cordish Companies’ involvement; the next year, Lot J was tacked onto the plans too.
Khan’s agreement with the city regarding the Shipyards and Met Park has since expired, with city officials now eyeing the Shipyards property for a park to open up the Met Park property for redevelopment.
The project’s final details must now be approved by a vote from city council. According to the city, the project is expected to be completed within three years of the start of vertical construction.