JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan has big plans for the Shipyards along the St. Johns River. His vision of a Four Seasons hotel with dining, retail, and office space is one step closer to becoming a reality.
On Wednesday, the Downtown Investment Authority gave the $400 million dollar project the green light; Khan promises to contribute $301 million dollars to it.
Several locals spoke up during the DIA meeting.
Tracy Irpin wants the land along the river to be for public use.
”Any city-owned land with river access…should be preserved for park use by the public, and it should be an extremely high burden for it to be used by private development,” he said.
Former Jaguars player Tony Boselli took to the podium as well. He’s been in Jacksonville since 1995. He remembers looking across at the St. Johns River and thinking of how much potential downtown Jacksonville has.
”What excites me about this project, I think it can be the first step of bringing development and really building the downtown that we deserve and that we want,” he said.
In the DIA meeting, developers shared renderings of the project. It would involve moving a part of Metropolitan Park west, and adding a new park along the riverfront. The project would cost the city $25 million dollars.
It all hinges on City Council’s vote at some point in the coming months.
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