Shipyards plan asks for big City cleanup, but lays out big private investment

The total price tag is still not clear, but we are now getting a better picture of the cost breakdown of Shad Khan’s proposal to redevelop the Shipyards on Jacksonville’s Northbank.

A term sheet submitted by Iguana Investments Florida, LLC- which is the group created by Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan for dealing with the Shipyards proposal- still doesn't give a total cost estimate for their redevelopment idea, which was unveiled by Khan last week. It does, however, say what they expect the City to cover if the plan moves forward.

City portion

In terms of land, the City would transfer the title for much of the land to Iguana or a designated purchaser free of encumbrances or liens. The City would retain ownership of the riverwalk, associated bulkheads, and public spaces. The land would have to be environmentally cleaned by the City, and if the cost for that exceeded $35 million then the deal could be terminated.

DOCUMENT: Read the entire term sheet submitted to the City

The City would also bear the cost associated with improving the Bay Street streetscape, including landscape, lighting, and signage; transportation improvements on Bay Street, including turn lanes and bus pull offs; improvements to Hogan’s Creek greenway, including signage, lighting and landscape; completing a contiguous riverwalk which connects Met Park to Downtown; public spaces; and restoring, constricting, and maintaining the bulkhead. While the City would cover the cost of this, it would be under the management and design of Iguana.

The City would oversee design, permitting, construction and cover the cost of a few additional projects, like construction mooring for the USS Adams, improving some Bay Street infrastructure- like fire protection and sewer collection, and filling in a chunk of the land to meet DEP guidelines.

Currently, the City has a little over $13 million set aside in a contingency account already earmarked for use on the Shipyards.  It’s unclear where the remaining funds- assuming it tops this allocated amount which came from a settlement dealing with the Shipyards- would come from.

Private investment

In exchange for the City’s share, the term sheet says Iguana would take on “all costs associated with development of the onsite, private horizontal infrastructure”, or in other words, the main development. Iguana would oversee the sale of some of the parcels, as they see fit, and after getting certain startup costs recouped the terms say Iguana would split proceeds from land sales 80/20 with the City.

GALLERY: See Shad Khan's proposal for redeveloping the Jacksonville Shipyards

All Tax Increment Financing generated from the development would be reinvested in the site, under the terms- that’s any increase in property taxes collected as a result of the development. The City would also be obligated to seek state, federal and other supplemental funding opportunities.

Remaining questions

There are other issues covered here, including City bonds, any lingering title issues that may relate to the submerged portion of the property, and due diligence that still needs to be done on the property. We could see more information come during a Tuesday meeting of the Downtown Investment Authority- I will be there, live tweeting beginning at 3 PM, you can follow along @NewsAndNom.

This term sheet is non-binding.  Even if the proposal is well received at first blush, the DIA is required to open a 30 day period for other bids to be submitted by any other party who may be interested in redeveloping the property. At the conclusion of those 30 days, the proposals would then be weighed and, if the DIA decides to move forward with Khan’s plan, the negotiating would then begin.

The DIA CEO previously told WOKV Khan's group used prior studies commissioned by the Agency to influence their overall design, and he is intrigued by much of what it offers. He further says it appears the proposal fits in to the DIA's vision for Downtown Jacksonville.

Until more details come out, many City leaders have been unwilling to speculate what kind of contribution they could see the City providing toward this project. Following the release of the term sheet, Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown’s office released a statement that says the Mayor has made the Shipyards a priority and he looks forward to working with the DIA to review proposals to reactivate the site.

Big picture

Right now, the project envisioned is “a modern, urban, walkable destination that connects the sports and entertainment complex and downtown Jacksonville, that activates Bay Street, that engages with the Hogan’s Creek greenway and that has activities year-round,” according to the term sheet. The terms say 662 residential units, 350 hotel rooms, 525 marina slips, and office and commercial space would be included. In addition, Khan plans a multi-layer field for Jags practice and community use as well as an amphitheater and an increase in public art.

The layout is four interconnected sections that generally fall in line with “Live”, “Work”, “Stay”, and “Play” in order from furthest to closest to Met Park.

We want to know whether you think the proposal outlined in these new documents is a good deal for the City. Send an Open Mic using the News 104.5 app, which is a free download for your iPhone or Android.

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