The Jacksonville Shipyards improvement plan removes the DIA hurdle

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A plan by Jaguar owner Shad Khan to develop Jacksonville Shipyards is one step closer to realization, but still far from reality.

As part of the proposal, Khan hopes to build a Four Seasons hotel and mixed-use facility on the shipyard site and part of Metropolitan Park. The original plan to build the hotel on the park site was rejected by the National Park Service in 2020. He has control of part of the original park area.

On Wednesday, the Downtown Investment Authority approved a plan that would allow Khan’s development team to conduct six months of environmental testing on the ground in a portion of the park that is not under the control of the National Park Service. The vote was unanimous.

The measure approved on Wednesday is not an approval of a plan that will allow the site to be used for the construction of the hotel. Only environmental surveys of the country that could help determine project costs will be approved.

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As written by WJCT News, the decision met opposition from a coalition of groups that have formed Riverfront Parks Now. The DIA received emails or voice messages from 51 people asking them to decline the resolution.

The DIA plans to hold a workshop next Tuesday to discuss plans to develop the riverfront in downtown Jacksonville.

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