Shad Khan, owner of the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars, has revealed plans for a two-story practice facility as part of a large scale redevelopment to transform the surrounding riverfront Shipyards property into a new entertainment and leisure district.
Khan presented his vision for the approximately 48-acre city-owned property on the north bank of St Johns River at the Jaguars’ annual state of the franchise event. If the proposal becomes a reality, the year-round destination will bridge EverBank Field and the sports complex to downtown Jacksonville.
Following the announcement, Khan said: “The Shipyards would give downtown Jacksonville the kind of iconic identity that many downtown districts in the USA enjoy and we currently lack. The opportunity to make the most of our natural resources and potential as a city is here and it’s long overdue.”
Populous, the original designer of EverBank Field, has provided the initial conceptual design support to Iguana Investments for the project.
The Shipyards served Jacksonville as a manufacturing and repair centre for small ships, barges, ferry boats and freight-liners, but began to decline in the 1980s and, other than a brief period in the 1990s when the site was home to the River City Music Sheds, the property has largely remained vacant and unused. Since the demolition of the Music Sheds in 2001, the Shipyards has been at the center of numerous failed development plans, bankruptcies and legal disputes.