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Downtown Jacksonville Could See Hotel Boom

lobby interior
Marriott Hotels via Instagram
AC Hotels is proposing to open at The District on Jacksonville's Southbank. The lobby of AC Hotel Santa Fe is seen in this Instagram post from Marriott.

When Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan this month unveiled his latest plans for developing the Shipyards and Metropolitan Park, the renderings included a waterfront hotel.

As Mike Field with The Jaxson tells WJCT News Director Jessica Palombo, Khan’s is just one of several hotels being planned for downtown Jacksonville.

The new proposals end a 16-year hotel construction drought, he said, after the Hyatt Riverfront opened to great fanfare in 2001.

“We now have five proposals for hotels downtown, which would really, essentially triple the hotel occupancy downtown within three to four years,” he said.  

The others are: 

  • A Courtyard by Marriott at the Laura Street Trio. Plans here include a rooftop bar, a bodega grocery store on the ground floor and a new parking garage across the street. 
  • Hotel Indigo on Laura Street.
  • A hotel proposed for Sister Cities Plaza near the Jacksonville Landing
  • An AC Hotel by Marriott at The District on San Marco's Southbank. AC Hotels are targeted at millennial travelers, a segment that’s never been catered to in downtown Jacksonville before, Field said. “I travel a lot, and you go to places like Denver and Atlanta, and without even thinking about it, you’re just kind of drawn to these hotels, and you get there, and you’re like, ‘This is a pretty cool place,’” he said.

Field said hotels have been a big growth market for developers as real estate heats up in general.
And with more and more events drawing travelers to Jacksonville, “The nice thing about having these hotels, kind of, in a really close cluster is they’re going to bring foot traffic for existing businesses and also bring in restaurants and retail spaces that will help make a three- to four-block area on the Northbank more of a walkable destination,” he said.