DIA hears from community, development proposals for Shipyards and Metropolitan Park property

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The Downtown Investment Authority held a workshop Tuesday to hear from the community about the future plans of the Shipyards and Metropolitan Park.

“The purpose of our being here today in this joint workshop with DDRB, DIA, the city council members, is for us as as a group to understand where we are on our vision for Riverfront development, one of the main purposes that we want to begin discussion. We may not have a conclusion today, but we need to understand what the perspective of council members, the DDRB, as well as the public, whether we should consider any portion of the shipyards and kids campus for private development or civic development, or should no part of it be considered for private or civic development, as some have has a lot of discussion has gone on with that from that perspective,” said the chair of the workshop.

The land currently in talks of development are 8 acres of the Shipyards for MOSH’s relocation, and 8 acres of the Kids Kampus park for a Four Seasons Hotel from the Jaguars.

Both the MOSH and the Jaguars gave presentations to the workshop about they they want the land.

The MOSH, who has submitted a formal application, wants to relocate in order to host larger events and have bigger space for travel exhibits. The Jaguars, who have not submitted a formal application yet, wants to build a 180-room Four Seasons Hotel, a 26-unit Four Seasons Branded Residences, and an Orthopedic Center of Excellence.

“This will clearly be a mega project under DIA standards, meaning that there will be a minimum of two hundred million dollars in private capital investment,” Mark Lamping, President of the Jaguars, said. “In fact, it will be far more significant than 200 million and the creation of over 500 new jobs. In fact, the job creation will be significantly more than that. And with this project, what we’re really talking about is the introduction of of new products to Jacksonville for the very first time.”

The Jesse Ball DuPont Fund has funded research and stakeholder insight to cover waterfront public spaces from Memorial Park to Metropolitan Park, including the Baptist district area. This research will take six months to complete.

“So we are currently engaged in a process of letting stakeholders desires and needs and concerns, we have already engaged with many of the council members on those conversations. We’ve begun talking to MOSH, for instance, and other people who are directly engaged, and we will be talking to many more people. If you all think that there are stakeholders that we absolutely must engage as an early priority, please do let us know.” Mari Kuraishi, President of the Jesse Ball DuPont Center, said at the workshop.

Hannah Lee

Hannah Lee is a General Assignment Reporter for 104.5 WOKV.

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