$ 114 million in government funding to help support Jacksonville Jaguar owner Shad Khan’s proposal to build a development anchored in a Four Seasons hotel and residences on the Downtown Riverfront near TIAA Bank Field se heads to a final city council vote.
The board’s finance and rules committees both voted unanimously on Oct. 5 to back the deal that supports developer Iguana Investments Florida LLC’s estimated plan to develop the former Kids Kampus park. in the city.
This follows a unanimous vote on Oct. 4 by the Neighborhood, Community Services, Public Health and Safety Committee.
If approved at the October 12 plenary council meeting, the bill would give Khan’s company a cash grant of $ 25,834,887 after construction is complete, in addition to a salvage grant. of the improved value of 75% over 20 years, or a tax refund, of up to $ 47,683,955 for the Hotel.
The city’s remaining investment comes from the land value, infrastructure and public amenities integrated into the project that the city would agree to finance.
The deal also gives Iguana the ability to construct a support building as well as a ship store and restaurant for the Metropolitan Park Marina, the lawn for events, and the Northbank Riverwalk upgrades.
Construction costs estimated at $ 17.273 million would be funded by the city, with Iguana responsible for the cost overruns.
In its conditions sheet, the DIA estimated it would cost the city $ 8.72 million to relocate the marine fire station, wharf, and historic fire museum to the property.
The remaining $ 2 million comes from easements granted to the developer and the expected loss in land value resulting from the lease of the office building parcel.
The city will retain ownership of the 1.05 acre office plot and lease it to Iguana for $ 36,000 per year for 40 years.
In July, the DIA’s board of directors voted to recommend that the board approve the deal with the Jaguars branch.
The legislation commits Khan to a minimum development of $ 301,057,548. Iguana says the project will include a 176-room Four Seasons with 25 luxury condominiums for sale, a full-service spa and restaurant, and a 157,027-square-foot, six-story Class A office building.
“It’s a very large and very complex project, but I think it will really change this part of downtown Jacksonville for generations to come,” Jaguars president Mark Lamping said on Oct. 4.
The finance committee voted 7-0 to support the legislation and the rules committee voted 6-0.
Ahead of the rules committee’s decision, council member Rory Diamond said the city’s investment in Khan would increase the value of surrounding properties.
He said incentive offers, including the total price of $ 114 million for the Four Seasons, are often “misunderstood” by taxpayers.
“When people see the big business coming out of the city, it’s literally a targeted tax cut for money that wouldn’t exist without the development. If you have empty land, it costs us money to maintain it and it has no taxable value. Especially if the city owns this land, ”he said.
“We let somebody have it and then they build a nice hotel on it, all of a sudden its assessed value skyrockets.”
Diamond said, “Every city needs a great sports and entertainment district. And at the moment, we don’t have one. And without this hotel and these upcoming developments, we never will.
Finance committee chair Ron Salem worked with the board’s auditor’s office to add financial protections to the 4.77 acres of Kids Kampus property that the city would sell to Iguana for $ 100.
The land is valued at $ 12.45 million.
Jaguars attorney Paul Harden told the Neighborhoods Committee on October 4 that Khan accepted the amendment because there was no intention to sell the Four Seasons during that five-year payback period. which, according to Harden, is part of the NFL team’s remaining stadium lease that expires in 2030.
Salem said Oct. 4 without mentioning in the agreement regarding future stadium lease extensions, the amendment “increases the rigidity between Iguana, the Jaguars and the city of Jacksonville.”
Lamping said Iguana will start the project in the first quarter of 2022.
The agreement with the city states that construction by the developer of the hotel and office building is to begin no later than June 1, and the project is to be completed by December 31, 2025.
The project also requires design approval from the Downtown Development Review Board and will require approval of city permits.
Boyer said on Oct. 4 that she expects a faster turnaround and the hotel could be up and running within 2 to 2.5 years.