On January 12, the City Council failed to reach 2/3 approval on LOT J, thereby defeating the Jaguars proposed development deal. Following the vote, Jaguars President Mark Lamping said they would immediately set their sights on the “Shipyards” riverfront development proposal, previously announced as a Four Seasons Hotel, an orthopedic medical center, residential and office buildings. (To be clear, when they say Shipyards, they mean Metropolitan Park and a part of the Shipyards).
At the same time, the National Park Service (NPS) rejected the city’s recent proposal to swap Metropolitan Park for a portion of the shipyards. We learned from the Jax Daily record article that Downtown Investment Authority (DIA) plans to now become involved with the swap negotiations. The DIA is also engaging with negotiations with the Jaguars.
We believe that that it’s time to change our approach: to step up and look holistically at our entire riverfront, and in particular the publicly owned riverfront land. We need to consider the many social, recreational, and resiliency benefits of a transformational public asset – a signature park, series of parks, and expanded Riverwalk to complement and spur economic development in the many areas that exist today downtown.
We are committed to a robust public engagement process that is proactive, strategic, visionary and can take ideas into action. Stay tuned for more on this topic.