JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The Jacksonville Shipyards redevelopment project has been talked about for years. There have been countless different renderings released.
Each new rendering stirs up excitement, only for it to fade. The newest renderings were unveiled Thursday at the Downtown Investment Authority by Jaguars President Mark Lamping.
Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan plans to build and own a Four Seasons Hotel with 177 rooms on what’s now Metropolitan Park. He already owns a Four Seasons in Toronto.
“Shad is doing it because he believes that it’s going to be transformational for downtown Jacksonville,” Lamping said.
Phase 1of the project would also include a renovated marina with 78 boat slips, a low-profile parking garage and a medical center.
During his pitch to the DIA, Lamping said the medical center, which would be focused on orthopedics, could lead to more medical tourism in Jacksonville.
“There are people already who come into Jacksonville from all over the world for care,” Lamping said. He said the hotel would have a number of rooms designed to support people staying in town for medical treatments.
Lamping said the Shipyards project also includes riverfront restaurants and retail space, an office complex, a riverfront park, an additional parking garage and 400 residential spaces.
Across the street from the Shipyards is the Lot J development project, which includes an entertainment district, apartments, a hotel, restaurants and retail space. It’s still awaiting the Jacksonville City Council’s approval.
Lamping said Lot J sets the stage for Shipyards' development.
“Lot J primes the pump,” Lamping said. “These additional developments come along, and the necessity to have a public investment, along with that, reduces significantly.”
However, before any development on Met Park, Lamping said they need the National Park Service’s approval to swap the park for the Shipyards property.