On behalf of Iguana Investments, I am extremely grateful to the staff of the Downtown Investment Authority for its diligence and collaboration throughout our negotiations, resulting in a proposed term sheet presented Friday afternoon to the DIA Real Estate Disposition Committee. We are proud of the hard work by both sides to arrive at this recommendation, which we feel will deliver exceptional value to the City of Jacksonville throughout the term of the project.
Private investment will exceed $300 million for the Four Seasons Hotel and condominiums and the nearby office building, with Iguana Investments responsible for nearly all upfront cash expenditures and any cost overruns. The City’s only upfront cash costs will be limited to the relocation of the fire museum, marine fire station and dock to facilitate this new development. The balance of City contributions to the project would occur once the project has been completed in the form of payment for improvements to City-owned assets (the Marina, Marina Service Building and Event Lawn), a Completion Grant, and a REV Grant that would be paid from taxes that would not be generated if not for the project.
In short, the project will produce benefits that will exceed any expenditures made by the City. That’s good news for all of us, today and deep into the future.
In addition to our proposal yielding a return on investment to taxpayers, it will also make possible much needed improvements to existing community assets, such as the City-owned marina and Metropolitan Park, all complemented by the relocation of 10 acres of park space from Kids Kampus to an area near Hogan’s Creek and Catherine Street. Downtown Jacksonville will, as a result, enjoy an unprecedented amount of urban park space highlighted by three times the amount of linear feet along our spectacular and picturesque riverfront.
We are heartened by and appreciative of the support we’ve received since announcing our plans last month. While we know there is more work to do, it is encouraging to see that we are far from alone in believing in the promise of our downtown and the positive and immediate impact this project can have on our friends and neighbors throughout our region. Downtown Jacksonville must be a destination for business, living, entertainment and leisure for visitors from throughout the world, as well as for those who understandably consider it an honor to call Jacksonville their home.
To that end, our hope is this term sheet, which was inspired by input from citizens and City officials alike, will earn the endorsement of the committee and advance to the DIA Board for final approval next month. In the meantime, we will continue to listen, learn and communicate. And, above all, I personally pledge that we will do everything we can to serve our community, be responsive, and make you proud.
– Shad Khan