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Lot J Timeline Gets Pushed Back Following Councilman Wilson’s COVID-19 Diagnosis

Jacksonville City Council President Scott Wilson
News4Jax
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Jacksonville City Council President Scott Wilson

Jacksonville City Council committee meetings have been canceled through next week due to Councilman Scott Wilson’s COVID-19 diagnosis, and that means the timeline considering Jaguars owner Shad Khan’s proposed Lot J project has been pushed back.

Legislation on the table would see the city borrow more than $200 million to invest in the development.

In a memo sent out Thursday, Council President Tommy Hazouri wrote that the Committee of the Whole will meet on Nov. 19 to discuss the bill and the amendment process will begin. The public hearing will be during the next regular City Council meeting on Nov. 24.

Related: Councilman Carlucci Calls For Independent External Review Of Proposed Lot J Project

The Committee of the Whole will meet again on Dec. 3 to discuss the legislation and, according to Hazouri’s memo, if members are prepared to vote they will make a recommendation in the form of a committee report to the full Council for the Dec. 8 meeting.

On social media and during a public forum in October, many residents voiced strong opposition to the proposed $450 million development next to TIAA Bank Field.

A local watchdog group called “Our Jax” has also called for a timeout on the Lot J development while more due diligence is done.

The group, which first formed over the failed attempt to sell JEA, is urging the City Council to more closely study the proposal.

Related: Jaguars Owner Wants To Build Four Seasons Hotel At Metropolitan Park

Businessman David Miller, who is Vice Chair of OurJax, said there are many unanswered questions about the project - like its effect on the environment and return on investment.  He weighed in on Thursday’s First Coast Connect with Melissa Ross.

“We’re just trying to stand up here and make sure that the culture is one here that supports the best idea of winning rather than the most popular person or that sort of thing.”

A recent Barcelo & Company poll showed 70% opposition to taxpayer funding for the Lot J deal.

To the entire interview with David Miller and Audrey Moran, listen to Thursday’s First Coast Connect with Melissa Ross.

Brendan Rivers can be reached at brivers@wjct.org, 904-358-6396 or on Twitter at @BrendanRivers.

Michelle Corum can be reached at mcorum@wjct.org, 904-358-6308 or on Twitter at @MCorumonME.