Jacksonville, FL — One of the development groups behind a plan to build a Convention Center at the Jacksonville Shipyards site, is now putting forward a proposal for “Riverwalk Place”, less than a mile down the street.
Jacksonville's Downtown Investment Authority solicited bids to build a Convention Center, hotel, and parking garage at the site of the old Courthouse and City Hall Annex. Three proposals were returned, including one from Rimrock Devlin DeBartolo Jacksonville, LLC. That group is, in turn, a partnership between Rimrock Devlin Development and DeBartolo Development, LLC.
Despite offering that plan, RDD then partnered with Iguana Investments Florida- which is a development group backed by Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan- to propose a Convention Center and hotel for the Shipyards site instead. The DIA previously selected Iguana as the master developer for that site, and Iguana is pitching this Convention Center project as the first phase of the overall redevelopment.
“We believe the Shipyards is the optimal location for the Convention Center and hotel because of its riverfront location, ability to expand if needed, and synergies gained from its proximity to the existing sports venues and other development activities planned in the immediate aftermath, says DeBartolo Development President and Chief Operating Officer Edward Kobel.
Now, RDD is offering alternate plans for the old Courthouse/Annex site, where the DIA initially imagined the Convention Center potentially being constructed.
“Our alternative development proposal for the Old Courthouse property will serve as a perfect complement and will provide downtown with much needed uses and facilities that will help strengthen the connectivity between the downtown core and sports complex area,” Kobel says.
“Riverwalk Place” is a “mixed-use 24 x 7 lifestyle community”, according to RDD. It includes a 10,000 square foot multi-restaurant venue along the St. Johns River. Along Bay Street, there would be a five-story, 347-unit luxury multi-family apartment complex; nine-story, 150-room limited service hotel; and six-and-a-half story, 468-space parking garage.
“We believe our interwoven plans for the Old Courthouse and Shipyards will help accomplish this goal and we are thrilled to take this next step in pursuing this vision,” says Rimrock Devlin Development’s Wallace Devlin.
RDD believes these proposals together will be an impetus for riverfront development in Downtown, and could also serve to transform the Downtown core overall.
RDD delivered this proposal to the DIA today. WOKV asked the DIA CEO whether they will consider this plan and the Convention Center Shipyards proposal, alongside the three bids they had solicited for a Convention Center at the old Courthouse site. CEO Aundra Wallace says the Evaluation Committee remains focused on reviewing the three solicited bids, and will present their rankings to the DIA on September 19th.
These project proposals come as several projects are underway to try to revitalize the area.
WOKV has brought you an in-depth look at the City's proposal to take down the Hart Bridge ramps, to further accommodate riverfront development. Khan's group continues to negotiate the Shipyards redevelopment, and has a greater $2.5 billion redevelopment vision for the Shipyards and Sports Complex combined. The Laura Street Trio is also undergoing redevelopment, Berkman Plaza II was recently sold, and The District is underway on the Southbank.