Over a year after it was chosen as the master developer of the long-blighted Shipyards property downtown, Iguana Investments has submitted its official plans for the first phase of developing the 70-acre riverfront property to the city’s Downtown Investment Authority.
The company, headed by Jaguars owner Shad Khan, collaborated with DeBartolo Development Company and Rimrock Devlin Development to put together a proposal that brings the Shipyards to life – and integrates seamlessly with the Jaguars’ plans for redeveloping their Lot J stadium parking lot.
The proposal includes a state-of-the-art, 490,000-square-foot riverfront convention center, complete with boat docks and a parking garage across Bay Street – connected by a pedestrian bridge. Next to the convention center, a 350-room hotel will also feature at least 240,000 square feet of additional event space as well as ground-floor retail and restaurant space along Bay Street. A large marina allows for additional boat docking at the site, next to a riverfront event lawn.
“Today’s proposal represents the first step in delivering the vision we first shared three years ago for the rebirth of downtown Jacksonville,” Khan said via press release.
“The Shipyards is the optimal and obvious site for a new Jacksonville convention center. First, you have the prime riverfront access and the sense of being a true destination that only the Shipyards can offer. Then, you have the synergies with the existing sports venues plus the anticipated mixed-use development planned for Lot J. We’re doing big things in Jacksonville and this plan with DeBartolo and Rimrock is our boldest plan to date.”
The submission of the Shipyards proposal comes a day after DIA announced they had received three proposals for a new convention center at the site of the former courthouse and city hall annex buildings.
The planned project, once realized will tie into the future Lot J development as well as Daily’s Place, bringing life to the sports district on non-game days and showing the advanced financial commitment that the Jags – and Khan – have made to the city.