City, Jags Announce Lot J Details; Council To Consider $152.7M In Public Money For Project

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Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry, the Jacksonville Jaguars, and the Cordish Companies said Monday they are planning to move forward with a project to develop Lot J next to TIAA Bank Field.

The mixed-use development, which is being called the “Live! District,” is expected to  include two residential buildings with 400 units, a 150 to 250 room hotel, 75,000 square feet of street-level retail, 40,000 square feet of office space, a 750-space surface parking lot, two 350-space parking garages and a 100,000 square-foot entertainment center that includes bars and restaurants as well as indoor and outdoor facilities.

During a news conference Monday, Curry said the project will help revitalize Jacksonville’s urban core and reduce the city’s unemployment rate.

“This project will provide an immediate boost to our economy with the creation of 2,3000 construction jobs. After that there will be over 1,000 permanent jobs with an estimated annual economic output of $100 million per year,” he said.

The city also estimates that the project will provide more than $2 billion in direct and indirect salaries during the first 40 years.

The project, which still needs to be approved by the City Council, is expected to be finished three years after construction begins. 

The venture is a 50/50 partnership between the Jaguars and The Cordish Companies with up to $157.2 million in direct contributions from the city, including up to $50 million for the Live! District, $12.5 million in REV grant funds over 20 years for the residential component, another $12.5 million over 20 years to support the hotel and $77.7 million in infrastructure. The city will also provide a $65.5 million loan to the developer.

The city will own the Live! entertainment venues, the new district’s infrastructure, the land and all parking associated with the project. The developer will operate the Live! entertainment district on behalf of the city.

Jacksonville Jaguars President Mark Lamping said the ultimate goal of the project is to make the city a better place for all residents.

“If this project does not positively impact all of Jacksonville and each of its neighborhoods, then it will fall short of its intended impact,” he said.

Mayor Curry said the project will focus on hiring local companies and workers, with a goal of awarding at least 25% of all contracts to women and minority-owned businesses as well as companies that participate in the city’s Small and Emerging Business program.

“Economic development is a major priority of our City Council, and the revitalization of downtown is a key priority for the economic growth of Northeast Florida,” said Jacksonville City Council President Tommy Hazouri. “While working with my colleagues on the City Council, we look forward to further reviewing this legislation in securing its passage with due diligence and transparency thereby fulfilling our fiduciary responsibilities.” 

For more information on the project, click here.

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