Mayor Curry Reaches Deal With Jaguars And Shad Khan’s Company To Develop Lot J

Jul 31, 2019

The push to develop Lot J next to TIAA Bank Field has taken another step forward.

Wednesday afternoon Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry announced the city of Jacksonville, the Jacksonville Jaguars, Iguana Investments Florida, LLC and national partners have reached a deal.

“This partnership – a group led by the Jaguars leadership, Iguana development and
nationally-renowned development partners – will result in more than $450
million of capital investment for the project,” the mayor said in a statement emailed to WJCT News. He posted the following video announcement on YouTube: 

The mayor didn’t specify how much the city is expected to contribute in terms of incentives but did say the terms would be sent next to the Downtown Investment Authority and City Council for their consideration.

“I am confident they will see the great potential of this agreement,” said Curry. WJCT News has requested a copy of the proposed agreement terms.

The Lot J plan includes building a new entertainment venue with dining and live entertainment, a hotel, a residential building and the potential for a new office building.

This map rendering shows the planned components for Lot J, which is next to TIAA Bank Field and Daily's Place.
Credit JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS

The Jaguars submitted a bid to build JEA’s new headquarters at Lot J but a site near the Duval County Courthouse was selected by the public utility.

Jaguars President Mark Lamping said in April he expected work on Lot J would begin as soon as the Hart Bridge ramps into downtown are removed, which he expected to be completed in the next year-and-a-half.

Related: Jacksonville Residents Raise Concerns About Tearing Down Hart Bridge Ramps

Lamping in April called Lot J the first step toward unlocking the redevelopment potential of the area around the stadium that also includes the Shipyards and Metropolitan Park.

The city of Jacksonville plans to tear down a three-quarter-mile section of the elevated ramps near the sports complex and replace it with a single, wider ground-level road off and onto the Hart Bridge.

The city is expected to cover about third of the estimated $37.5 million demolition and road construction cost, on top of $1.5 million for design. FDOT is covering $12.5 million, and a federal grant will take care of the rest.

Planning for the ramp demolition and road construction is well underway with construction expected to start early next year.

Lot J is part of a larger overall master plan that Khan’s companies have proposed that could reach $2.5 billion and extend to the Shipyards, eventually encompassing 4.25 million square feet.  Khan’s Iguana Investments Florida LLC hired the Cordish Companies of Baltimore as a development partner.

This rendering illustrates a proposed $2.5 billion master plan to redevelop the area surrounding the sports complex.
Credit The Cordish Companies / Via Jacksonville Jaguars

The Cordish Companies has developed similar projects in other cities. Cordish’s Jacksonville presentation can be seen on the company’s website.

Editor’s NoteFollowing this story’s publication, the terms of the agreement were released the next day. The actual terms show the agreement is between the city and Jacksonville I-C Parcel One Holding Company, LLC, a joint venture between Gecko Investments, LLC (an affiliate of the Jacksonville Jaguars) and The Cordish Companies.

Nikki Kimbleton, a spokeswoman for Mayor Curry, told WJCT News Thursday, “Gecko is a joint investment between Cordish and Iguana.”

As of Thursday morning, WJCT News was unable to independently verify Gecko Investments, LLC’s active filing with the state.  However, Kimbleton explained that, writing, “[It’s] very possible it has not been picked up by the state yet, but it has been filed.”

Bill Bortzfield can be reached at bbortzfield@wjct.org, 904-358-6349 or on Twitter at @BortzInJax.