IRMA AFTERMATH:

See how to begin the registration process with FEMA here

ON AIR NOW

LISTEN NOW

Weather

cloudy-day
77°
Partly Cloudy
H 87° L 76°
  • cloudy-day
    77°
    Current Conditions
    Partly Cloudy. H 87° L 76°
  • cloudy-day
    82°
    Evening
    Partly Cloudy. H 87° L 76°
  • partly-cloudy-tstorms-day
    77°
    Morning
    Sct Thunderstorms. H 85° L 76°
LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The latest top stories

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The latest traffic report

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The latest forecast

00:00 | 00:00

Nearly one year after proposal, Jacksonville Shipyards negotiations still ongoing

It’s been nearly a year since Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan came out with his plan for redeveloping the Jacksonville Shipyards.

That year has seen the City’s Downtown Investment Authority solicit bids and, ultimately, decide to move forward with Khan’s plan.  We’ve had the completion of an environmental assessment which found widespread contamination at the Northbank site. Khan has also agreed to split a $90 million tab with the City to renovate the Club Levels at EverBank Field and build an amphitheater and flex field- two components which had been in the proposal- next to the Stadium instead.

Publicly, there hasn’t been much other visible progress with the redevelopment plan, but Paul Harden- who works with the Jaguars on this and many other projects- tells WOKV talks have been ongoing and productive.

“It’s a marathon, not a sprint. And we’re running every day,” Harden says.

He says the environmental issues took a little longer than expected, and they have been dealing with obstacles beyond that, including storm water issues, easements on the property, and more.

“Things that are not unusual in nature, but just because of the scope and size of the project, it will take some time to get where we have to be to move forward,” he says.

They’ve also been tackling the site plan itself.

When Khan came forward with his proposal, it encompassed the concept “Live. Work. Stay. Play.”- including residential and office space, retail and restaurants, and entertainment assets like an amphitheater, multi-layer practice field, the USS Adams, and more. Khan asked the City to clean up the land and give it to his development group, and in exchange they would get a share of the profits after certain costs are recouped.

GALLERY: Shad Khan’s plan to redevelop the Jacksonville Shipyards

The City already has several million dollars set aside for the environmental clean-up, but the clean-up itself won’t begin until there’s an exact site plan, because there are different environmental standards needed depending on the intended use of parcels on the site. When the DIA initially approved Khan’s plan, they had concerns about some of what had been proposed, like if Downtown needed more office space. Harden says they hope to bring in what will work best for the location.

“Whether or not a five star hotel were to go up at that location would depend on whether or not you can fill it up at the price to support a hotel,” Harden says.

DIA CEO Aundra Wallace told WOKV last month that the City is still interested in the project and has had several meetings with the team and Khan’s group. Harden says there was a brief pause when the new Administration came in- in order to allow them to get settled in- but reps with Jacksonville’s new Mayor Lenny Curry have since been helpful trying to work through some of the issues they’re facing.

The slower timeline for the Northbank site is part of the reason Harden says they decided to move forward with the amphitheater and flex field across Bay Street first.

“It’s our hope that the amphitheater and practice facility will be a catalyst for 365-day-a-year activity on that site,” he says.

If the draw and entertainment value of the area rises, he believes the need for residential, retail, and restaurants will follow. Harden says they were always intending to link the Shipyards site up to the Stadium in some way, now they’re just starting there and working down instead.

GALLERY: New amphitheater, flex field coming near EverBank Field

As for what replaces the amphitheater and flex field in the initial proposal for the Northbank, now that they’ve been moved to the Stadium, Harden says that’s still to be determined.

“Response to what the market will demand or allow us to put at that location,” Harden says.

For Khan’s group, opening the new venues and renovating the Club Levels at EverBank Field are the next big benchmarks.

GALLERY: Proposed renovations to Club Levels at EverBank Field

The Stadium renovations are supposed to happen by the next NFL season, and the venues are tentatively scheduled for the Fall. In terms of the Northbank site, Harden says the next benchmark is getting the development agreement, but there’s no timeline yet available.

Read More
VIEW COMMENTS

There are no comments yet. Be the first to post your thoughts. or Register.

The Latest News Headlines

  • London stripped Uber on Friday of its license to operate beginning at the end of September, a move that will affect more than 40,000 drivers in one of the world’s biggest cities, Reuters reported. >> Read more trending news  Regulator Transport for London (TfL) said Uber’s conduct posed risks to public safety and it would not renew its license when it expires on Sept. 30. Uber has 21 days to appeal and can continue to operate until the appeal process has finished, Reuters reported.“Uber’s approach and conduct demonstrate a lack of corporate responsibility in relation to a number of issues which have potential public safety and security implications,” TfL said.Uber said in a statement that it would 'immediately challenge this [decision] in the courts,' CNN reported. It can continue to operate while it appeals. London mayor Sadiq Khan said he 'fully supports' the decision, CNN reported. 'All companies in London must play by the rules and adhere to the high standards we expect -- particularly when it comes to the safety of customers,' he said in a statement. 'Providing an innovative service must not be at the expense of customer safety and security.'  
  • It's not the ending anyone in the community was hoping for.  A sophomore at Fleming Island High School passed away Thursday, after collapsing earlier this week in the school's weight room, during school hours.  Wolfson Children's Hospital released the following statement from Ben Johnson's family, as they're asking for time to grieve privately:  “Ben went to be with his Lord and Savior today. While we mourn, we find peace knowing he is with Jesus. We also find hope in Ben’s selfless decision to donate his organs. Please pray for healing for our family. Our hearts are broken.” – The Johnson Family  Clay County Superintendent Addison Davis also released a statement, regarding Ben's death.  'In the last two weeks, Clay County has suffered a number of scenarios that have impacted our community. We are devastated to hear about the incident involving our student, Ben Johnson. He was known as a kind, caring friend and son, who was a leader inside and outside the classroom. Our thoughts and prayers are with Ben's family,' says Davis. The FHSAA offered their thoughts on the passing of Johsnson.    According to Wolfson, Ben suffered cardiac arrest and irreversible brain damage. An autopsy will be performed to determine the cause. You can help Ben Johnson’s family by donating to a Go Fund Me page set up for them here. 
  • RELATED:  Mistake on driver's license labeled man as sex offender RELATED: Some sex offenders escape due to lack of manpower A registered sex predator was jailed in Clay County after he tried to alter his driver's license to hide the words 'sexual predator' on his driver's license, a police report said.  The Clay County Sheriff's Office said Walter Rounds, 63, placed a sticker over the Sexual Predator decal on his license.  Rounds is charged with possession of an altered identification card by a sex predator, a felony.  Police were conducting an address check on Rounds on Sept. 21. When a deputy asked Rounds for his license, he complied, police said.  The deputy saw a sticker on the bottom right of the license and peeled it off, revealing the words 'sexual predator', the report said.  Sexual predators in Florida are warned not to alter their driver's licenses. Police said Rounds knew he couldn't alter his license because he's signed sex offender papers dozens of times since 1995, when he was listed as a sex predator. 
  • Year five of the Jaguars in London, and Jacksonville’s reputation has been the biggest winner. Jerry Mallot with the JAX Chamber and JAXUSA USA Partnership called WOKV from London this morning and estimated that as many as 1,000 jobs have been created in Jacksonville as a result of meetings in Europe.  “The name recognition of Jacksonville has gone through the roof since we started”, Mallot said as he ticked off the companies that have developed a presence since the first game in 2013.  “City Refrigeration is one, they put their headquarters in North America here, Resource Solutions is up to about 85 people now in Jacksonville, our relationships with Deutsche Bank were advanced significantly through meetings here”, Mallot said.  MORE:  Allen Hurns has an overseas highlight reel They have identified more companies in technology and manufacturing for meetings this week, but Mallot did not name specific companies.  “We’ve got some very good interests that we’ve had this week, it takes time for companies to reach a point of making final decisions.  In some cases a number of our meetings this week are with companies just starting their process of looking at the U.S.”.  Mallot says they don’t want to over promise, but he says they are building relationships that will bear fruit over time. 
  •  The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office has arrested 32-year-old Brian Richards after he tried to rape a woman in the Arlington area Thursday morning.  According to the arrest report, the victim told police she was approached by Richards, who solicited her for sex. Richards then said vulgar things to the woman and then became violent, threatening to hurt her “real bad.”  Richards chased the woman into a gated area around Century Street and Atlantic Boulevard. He then punched the woman in the face, tried to pull down her pants, and kicked her in the face. When she tried to leave, he stood in her and would not let her go.  The police report also says that Richards had consumed alcohol.  Richards is facing charges for false imprisonment of an adult, simple assault, and sexual battery. He is not eligible for bond at this time.

The Latest News Videos