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Khan's commitment to Jax extends far beyond EverBank Field

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Updated: 6/20/2013 8:24 pm
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Shad Khan's commitment to the city of Jacksonville continues to reach far beyond the walls of EverBank Field.

Khan and a number of city leaders announced a $63 million plan to renovate the stadium Wednesday. Khan is fronting $20 million of that from his own pocketbook. It's a move many city council members say is generous considering EverBank Field is a city-owned facility.

The Laura Street Trio was once considered the eye of architecture in downtown Jacksonville.

Andy and June Batty walk by the cluster of classic buildings everyday. "Why that building was sitting empty like that, it's such a beautiful building," said June Batty.

It's beauty that the Battys believe can be restored with the help of one man, Jaguars owner Shad Khan.

Khan recently provided a mortgage to a Jacksonville-based development group to acquire the Laura Street Trio, a reported $3 million deal.

So far, Khan's dollars spent on the field have yet to translate into wins.

But off the field, Khan is showing interest in improving Jacksonville outside of EverBank.

He's talking with the city about developing the Shipyards. It's prime riverfront property that sits unused and a site Khan calls a gateway for downtown Jacksonville.

"You leave downtown, before you get to the sports complex and it should be a venue that really draws people," said Khan. "It should be a destination that you want to go to."

This year, the popular owner pledged millions for local startups.

One Spark got a jolt from the Jags owner. He offered $1 million in capital investment for tech innovators and artists.

A similar entrepreneur path followed by the billionaire businessman. His company, Flex-N-Gate, grew into a global automobile parts manufacturer after he developed a single-piece truck bumper.

Batty says he's confident Khan's investments will elevate the city beyond the walls of EverBank.

"He seems he wants to put a lot of money into Jacksonville. Not only to help the Jaguars but also to help Jacksonville as a city."
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