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Peter Rummell On Healthy Town Concept, Khan Backing Out Of KYN

Patrick Donges

Jacksonville business leader and One Spark backer Peter Rummell has made a bid to reboot a former JEA generating station into a new mixed-use community. At the same time, he is responding to Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan cutting ties with the One Spark related group KYN.

Khan announced Tuesday that his financial firm Stache Investments was pulling backing from KYN, the business accelerator group that aimed to help some startups and entrepreneurs participating in the One Spark crowdfunding festival. Khan said his $1.1 million investment in KYN was not being allocated to the start-up businesses he intended to help. 

KYN ceased its operations several hours after the announcement.

Meanwhile, Rummell is working with developer Mike Balanky to create a health-focused residential community on the site of JEA’s former Southside Generating Station on the Southbank. The concept has been called both "Healthy Town" and "Elements."

Peter Rummell joined Melissa Ross to discuss the plan, as well as the conflict between Shad Khan and KYN.

“It is important that everyone understands two things: one, that KYN is separate from One Spark, and Shad was not an investor in One Spark; and One Spark is thriving and we are looking forward to next year," Rummell said.

"Shad designated a guy named Jim Zsebok to set up his relationship with KYN. We never saw Shad, we dealt with Jim Zsebok all the time," he said. "Everything we did was in coordination with Jim; we even had a joint checking account so that everything was completely coordinated. In retrospect there were some differences between Shad and Jim apparently and Jim left several weeks ago so we are now in the middle of this thing. This has nothing to do with KYN, this is a personnel issue within Shad's organization and they need to sort it out."

Rummell plans to move past the Khan conflict and continue the momentum with One Spark’s success into the month of April.

He said he hopes his "Healthy Town" idea will attract more people to downtown.

“The interesting thing about Healthy Town is it’s a big idea, and it’s a new idea and it will get people to move downtown because they like the idea not because they are thrilled with downtown,” said Rummell.

The ideal timetable for “Healthy Town” is to get started by the end of next year, he said. Rummell feels this is a perfect opportunity to utilize Jacksonville’s riverfront with residential, retail and restaurants on the waterfront.

“If you look at the percentage of the riverfront going through downtown that’s really activated, it’s pathetic. This is an opportunity to really do something that’s fun. People love being near the water, they love being active near the water and this is an opportunity to in addition to all the Healthy Town things, also just create a really cool place to be,” he said.

You can follow Melissa Ross on Twitter @MelissainJax.

Melissa Ross joined WJCT in 2009 with 20 years of experience in broadcasting, including stints in Cincinnati, Chicago, Orlando and Jacksonville. During her career as a television and radio news anchor and reporter, Melissa has won four regional Emmys for news and feature reporting.