Inside the Playbook

The coming years will be critical for Jacksonville – a time when plans of a developed downtown can flourish or fumble, a time when we huddle together for a common goal and ensure Jacksonville becomes the destination city it was meant to be. We invite you to learn more about our vision for a vibrant, buzzing downtown by viewing the video of our 1st DownTown announcement event or reading through some of our frequently asked questions.

Calling An Audible

Frequently asked questions

Why establish 1st DownTown Jacksonville?

We’ve heard from so many friends and community members who share our vision for a revitalized downtown, but were unsure how they could help support the initiative. We launched 1st DownTown Jacksonville as a platform to inform the community about our development plans, specifically the Jacksonville Shipyards, the Stadium of the Future and our ongoing community investments. We believe in a vibrant downtown – and we must drive forward progress in our city as a team to help reach that full potential!

Why does Iguana Investments want to develop the Jacksonville Shipyards?

Our goal is a vibrant Downtown. In our ongoing efforts to help Downtown and Jacksonville reach their full potential, we have been working with the Downtown Investment Authority and the City to develop the area around TIAA Bank Field. Economic growth and opportunity, along with a thriving community, will spur even more possibilities for the future.

When is the Shipyards project expected to be completed?

The Shipyards development is a multi-phased project, starting with the construction of the Four Seasons Hotel and Residences Jacksonville, a six-story office building and a modernized marina with support building and park. Updates will be provided on the groundbreaking date and anticipated completion date. 

Why purchase the office parcel vs. lease it?

Purchasing the office parcel allows Iguana Investments greater flexibility in both present and future programming of the space. By owning the parcel, we create an opportunity for interested parties to take ownership of retail and office spaces within the building. This improves the economics for the city of Jacksonville as it allows for a below market value lease to become a fair market value transaction. 

How much will the Jacksonville Shipyards project cost?

The total investment cost for Iguana Investments to develop multiple riverfront parcels in Phase 1 is $387.6 million.

The City’s cash contribution would grow from the initially proposed $90.78 million to $127.37 million.

We fully anticipate the requested public investment will result in a positive impact for the City and its taxpayers, generating vital job opportunities, boosting tourism revenue and creating a thriving, bustling Riverfront.

What will happen to Metropolitan Park?

Project plans do not include any development on the current site of Metropolitan Park, and Iguana Investments is supportive of the Jessie Ball duPont Fund and the City of Jacksonville in efforts to activate the park and riverfront area. A reimagination of Met Park will restore this treasure to its former position as a public attraction and a popular event site. Iguana Investments plans to adopt Met Park through the City’s Private Park Adoption Program, committing $4 million over 20 years to help keep the park clean, safe and well-maintained. The Dream Finders Homes Flex Field, which sits directly across Bay Street from Met Park, will serve as an extension of Met Park with increased public access and programming for 300+ days a year.

What will happen to the marina?

The city-owned marina will be renovated and modernized, including construction of a new 6,500-square-foot marina support building to include a dockmaster’s office, ship store, restrooms with showers, a food and beverage venue and marina park with an events lawn. The marina facilities will continue to be owned by the City of Jacksonville for the benefit of residents and visitors alike.

What about the surrounding neighborhoods?

Shad Khan, Iguana Investments and the Jacksonville Jaguars have pledged to incorporate community investments to the neighborhoods surrounding the Sports & Entertainment District as a critical part of their plan. Their vision for the Jacksonville Shipyards would support change that positively impacts the Jacksonville community and benefits of all residents.

What will happen to Kids Kampus?

It is planned that 10 acres of park from Kids Kampus will be relocated west to area near Hogans Creek and Catherine Street, while more than 14 acres of Metropolitan Park will stay on the east side of the Shipyards. This solution creates an equal or larger park in size with more than three times the amount of linear feet along the riverfront. The relocation will complement the future USS Orleck Museum, integrate into the planned open space along Hogans Creek and further link the central core of downtown to Metropolitan Park, increasing the park’s accessibility to downtown residents, workers and visitors in that area. The relocation of Kids Kampus addresses resiliency and environmental remediation as the DIA has funds allocated for the elevation of the site in response to sea level rise. Finally, the new site capitalizes on city-owned submerged land and existing piers for on-river activation, adding an additional 9 acres over water and 2 acres of pier space for public use. The public marina currently in front of Kids Kampus will be completely renovated and continue to operate as a public facility, giving the community more water acreage access.

How will this benefit the community?

Developing the Shipyards will provide economic growth, increased job opportunities, boosted tourism revenue and an overall more vibrant downtown. This project, along with the Stadium of the Future and our planned community investments, will serve as a catalyst for future growth throughout downtown and our city. With added businesses, residential units and entertainment options, downtown will become a destination district where people can live, work and play in a dynamic setting.

Will the Shipyards be a part of the Riverwalk Specialty Zone?

Yes, the Riverwalk in front of the Shipyards project is an extension of the zone that permits alcoholic beverages to be carried and consumed along the St. Johns River.

Why is the stadium lease not being extended at this time?

The Jaguars’ current stadium lease with the city runs through the 2029 NFL season. Crucial to a long-term lease extension is first determining the future of the city-owned stadium.

The good news is we have begun that process with the city and other local stakeholders to identify a Stadium of the Future solution that will support NFL football in Northeast Florida for generations to come. In fact, this process has already allowed us to conclude that a renovation of EverBank Stadium, rather than construction of a new stadium, is possible and the preferred path to the Stadium of the Future. This planning process will take several years to complete and involve many people along the way, including our many friends and neighbors who attended the community huddles we held throughout Jacksonville back in June 2021 and will continue to offer in the future. We’re optimistic that a stadium solution can be reached that will benefit all stakeholders, above all Jaguars fans and all guests who attend sports and entertainment events.

While we continue to work toward a long-term stadium solution, Shad Khan continues to illustrate his long-term commitment to Jacksonville and building a winning tradition with the Jaguars by agreeing to a long-term lease for Miller Electric Center in Downtown Jacksonville through at least the 2053 season. In addition, Shad is making a personal financial contribution of $60 million toward construction and taking responsibility for all operating and maintenance expenses for the performance facility, which is a critical first step in the planning process toward the Stadium of the Future. Combined with his minimum investment in the proposed Shipyards project that exceeds $300 million, Shad’s commitment to the community and its residents, and the team and our fans, is clear.

How can I help?

We encourage you to opt in to our newsletter, follow us on social media and reach out to your City Council representatives. Check out our “Show Your Support” page for more information on how you can join our team.