A city council committee voted 7-0 on Oct. 4 to back a $ 114 million taxpayer incentive deal for Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan to build a development anchored in a hotel and residences Four Seasons on the Downtown Riverfront near TIAA Bank Field.
This is the first of three Council committee votes on the deal.
The Neighborhoods, Community Services, Public Health and Safety Committee voted in favor of public funding of developer Iguana Investments Florida LLC’s estimated $ 321 million plan to develop the former city-owned Kids Kampus Park .
The committee added 16 amendments to Ordinance 2021-0673, including a change that allows the city a financial recovery for the land value of the Four Seasons plot if Khan’s company sells or transfers the hotel’s controlling stake. within five years of its completion.
The legislation heads to the Council’s finance and rules committee on October 5 for two more votes.
If approved, the full board could make a final decision on the incentive program at its October 12 meeting. After the neighborhood committee vote, Jaguars chairman Mark Lamping said the size of the tax dollar investment will be a political decision for council members, but he said the committee’s unanimous vote makes Iguana optimistic.
“There is still time on the clock. The game is not over yet, ”Lamping said.
“I am optimistic that the process we have followed is very thorough. We had great feedback from the community at the start of this trip.
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.
The bulk of the city’s incentive program would include a 75% 20-year enhanced value recovery grant, up to $ 47,683,955 for the hotel, and a $ 25,834,887 grant for the completion of the project.
The deal also gives Iguana the ability to construct a support building and with 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.
The DIA estimated in its conditions sheet that it will 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 from the projected land impairment 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.
The DIA board of directors voted in July to recommend that the board approve the deal with the Jaguars branch.
“It’s a very large and very complex project, but I think it’s going to really change this part of downtown Jacksonville for generations to come,” Lamping said.
Council member Ron Salem worked with the council auditor’s office to add financial protections to the 4.77 acres of Kids Kampus property that the town would sell to Iguana for $ 100.
The land is valued at $ 12.45 million.
Jaguars lawyer Paul Harden told the committee that Khan accepted the amendment because there was no intention to sell the Four Seasons during that five-year payback period, which Harden said is part of the NFL team’s remaining stadium lease that expires in 2030.
Salem said that without mention in the agreement regarding future stadium lease extensions, the amendment “increases the rigidity between Iguana, the Jaguars and the city of Jacksonville.”
The council’s auditor’s office and the DIA were divided over the overall financial benefits of the deal to the city.
In his report, the Council’s auditor estimates that the taxpayer’s money invested will result in a small loss to the city – a return of 99 cents for every dollar spent.
This differs from the DIA analysis which calculated a return of $ 1.01 for every $ 1 invested.
According to the auditor’s report, the difference is that the DIA used the 176 hotel rooms that Iguana intends to build to calculate how much money the city will collect on the room supplement while the auditor uses the minimum of 170 rooms required by the agreement.
DIA CEO Lori Boyer says city and Florida Department of Environmental Protection “are working very well together” to resolve restriction on Kids Kampus land with $ 1.5 million grant dollars at age 36.
The city must come to an agreement with the state on a replacement plan for the park before Iguana can innovate and build in Kid Kampus.
The grant was intended to preserve the property and surrounding submerged lands for access to the Saint John River.
“They asked us to prepare the release form and the dedication form for the new park,” Boyer said.
“Of course, they won’t take a position until the legislation is passed, because they want to be sure the legislation is passed.”
Boyer said the state could make a decision on replacing the city park within two months of the bill being passed by council.
“I wouldn’t expect this to go on forever,” Boyer said.
DIA documents show Iguana plans to close on Kids Kampus land between January and April. The agreement can be terminated if the subsidy issue is not resolved.
Iguana could choose to pay off the grant debt, which state officials told DIA over time has amounted to $ 21 million.
The Jessie Ball duPont Fund creates a master plan for downtown waterfront parks that includes the use of 10.3 acres on adjacent shipyards west of Hogans Creek as a replacement for the Kids Kampus.
According to Bill’s fate next week, Lamping said Iguana would 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 she expects a faster turnaround and the hotel could be up and running within 2 to 2.5 years.
“Unless some unknown soil condition or whatever, I know the developer wants to act as quickly as possible,” she said.