INVESTIGATES: Market study recommends reducing Four Seasons construction costs at Shipyards to be more profitable

Jaguars commissioned study reveals taxpayer-subsidized 19,000 sq. ft. penthouse amid residential amenities

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Action News Jax investigates a market study of a Four Seasons hotel and residential units at the proposed Shipyards development.

It concludes the projected budget needs to be slashed to make it more profitable, raising questions about its sustainability.

The term sheet between the city and the Jaguars states the Shipyards will have 176 rooms and 25 residential units.

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The market study reveals for the first time a recommendation that the construction costs of $243 million be reduced to $186 million in order to make a 20% rate of return.

“It would be a risky bet at this point,” says Fred Pozin who is the owner of the Mandarin Ramada and former President of the Jacksonville hotel and lodging association. The study says the Four Seasons hotel would charge $344 a night, raising questions in his mind about the study.

“We know to stay at the Four Seasons in Orlando or Atlanta is between $700–$1000 a night.”

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The market survey also reveals that the hotel will have a 3,000 square-foot presidential suite and the residential units will have a penthouse with more than 19,000 square feet – to put that in perspective that’s about the size of a drug store – with the other units more than 4,200 square feet, larger than most people’s homes.

Pozin says a Four Seasons may be too much too soon for Jacksonville.

“I think going to a four-star type of hotel would make more sense right now,” says Pozin. “We need more of those downtown, not sure we are ready for a five-star at this point in our downtown core.”

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Phase 1 of The Shipyards also includes a practice facility, office building, and new marina. Phase 2 includes an orthopedic facility.

The Jaguars sent to city council members a list of 14 town hall meetings they intend to use as an opportunity to pitch their plan to the public.

Below is a list of every meeting including date, location, and community.

All meetings start at 5:30 p.m. and end at 7 p.m.

Tuesday, June 15:

  • Regency Square Branch Library | Arlington

Wednesday, June 16:

  • Fernandina Beach Branch Library | Nassau County
  • Lakewood United Methodist Church | San Marco

Thursday, June 17:

  • Southeast Regional Library | Town Center
  • Pablo Creek Regional Library | Southside
  • The Lake Asbury Community Association Building/Community Center | Clay County

Monday, June 21:

  • Beaches Branch Library | Jax Beaches
  • West Branch Library | Whitehouse
  • Willow Branch Public Library | Riverside

Tuesday, June 22:

  • South Mandarin Library | Mandarin
  • Bartram Trail Branch Library | St. Johns
  • Bradham and Brooks Branch Library | Northside

Wednesday, June 23:

  • Charles Webb Wesconnett Library | Westside

Thursday, June 24:

  • TIAA Bank Field - Upper East Club | Downtown

Staff members from the Jaguars will be available during the meetings to answer questions.