JEA looking at developing Lot J for new headquarters

JEA has revealed its plan to move from its longtime headquarters and Lot J is one of five downtown options on the table.

JEA confirms to Action News Jax that the Jaguars reached out to the utility months ago about being an anchor tenant at its proposed $2 billion Lot J development at TIAA Bank Field.

Lot J is being pitched as an entertainment district with a possible convention center, hotel and homes.

At JEA’s monthly board meeting, the other sites that were revealed include the Bank of America Tower, One Enterprise Center, Block 48 near the courthouse and a four-block development near Main Street.

JEA as an anchor tenant could help make Lot J more financially viable with more than 700 JEA employees on the grounds

“They wanted to know if we are interested in that development and being an anchor tenant there,” said JEA project manager Nancy Veasey.

The utility says its current building needs approximately $35 million in upgrades because of age and damage from recent hurricanes that included water intrusion.

The damage also creates questions about its long-term ability to respond during and after future storms

Action News Jax Ben Becker reached out to the Jaguars by email who responded “We’d prefer not to comment at this time.”

Becker also sent an email to the city, which they sent back this statement from Mayor Lenny Curry’s chief of srtaff Brian Hughes:

"Senior leadership and the board at JEA are in place to determine the needs and strategic planning for the organization. Mayor Curry always encourages them to ensure their planning demonstrates a commitment to the best interests of their employees and customers. We will continue to monitor their progress on this decision."

Veasey says a new building could cost in the neighborhood of $60 million.

When asked if she anticipates rates rising for customers, she told Becker “No sir.”

JEA did say it considered a suburban location but decided against it.

JEA says the board will vote on a site in March.

Related Links:

JEA is one step closer to selecting a new headquarters 
Inside the proposals for JEA's new headquarters 
JEA announces short list of developers for its headquarters' move