In front of a packed house saturated with media members, politicians, and business leaders, Jaguars' owner Shad Khan and President Mark Lamping delivered their latest proposal for the revitalization of downtown. Inside the East Club of TIAA Bank Field, the Jaguars shared their new initiative, "1st DownTown Jacksonville," which Khan described as a brand, movement, community, and call to action.
Here's everything you need to know.
The Jaguars were better prepared, more reasonable, and are in a better position to see these plans come to life
A number of factors lead Mark Lamping to believe that the team is in a much better position to transform these plans and renderings into reality. The Jaguars were unsuccessful in their negotiations to develop a mixed-use venue on the current site of Parking Lot J. But phase 1 of their new plan, which includes the development of the Shipyards into a Marina, a Four Seasons Hotel, and a six-story office building, along with a sports performance complex, benefits from the failure of their past proposal. Why? There is now only one primary investor, Shad Khan himself. The partnership between Khan and the Cordish Companies didn't produce the desired results, so Khan and the city will be negotiating without a third player. Their new plans are also more city and tax-payer-friendly because they'll cost significantly less and will not require a bizarre loan structure. The city would own the new sports complex while the Jaguars would manage it. With a new sports performance complex, the Jaguars would turn over the current flex field for the city, creating the potential for all manner of large events. The total cost of Phase 1 is projected to be $441 million.
The long term goal is to renovate the current stadium
Phase 1 of the Jaguars' plan to revitalize downtown includes the aforementioned projects, which will lead to the ability for stadium renovations instead of an entirely new stadium in the eyes of Khan and Lamping. Lamping shared that the goals for a massive stadium renovation would include shade for all seats, wider concourses, increased space for football operations, and replacing HVAC, plumbing, mechanical and electrical systems. According to Mark Lamping, instead of building an entirely new facility, Renovating the current one would save $500-600 million.
There is no clear timeline, but we know the order in which the Jags wish to proceed
The Jaguars have submitted a term sheet to the Jacksonville Downtown Investment Authority, and how quickly these new projects could come to fruition is in the hands of the DIA. But the Jaguars want the Shipyards and the Sports Performance Complex to come to fruition before they work on significant stadium renovations. Having an external sports performance complex and office tower would give the Jaguars the ability to operate at full capacity during offseason stadium renovations. Khan said that he is committed to keeping games in Jacksonville during the stadium renovations.
Long Term Commitment
These plans clearly show Khan's long-term commitment to Jacksonville. But even if this project suffers the same fate as Lot J (highly unlikely), there's plenty of evidence that Khan desires to keep the team in Jax. In the last year, Khan has donated $250,000 to Lift Ev'ry Voice and Sing, $1 million to LIFT Jax in support of the Eastside community, $5 million to MOSH, and today revealed a $4 million, 20-year commitment to adopt Met Park.
The improved plan presented today, along with the donations and long-term commitments from Khan, signal that he has no desire to leave Jacksonville.
For more info on the presser and the Jaguars' plans for the future, follow Jordan on Twitter.