Jags' Khan Plans Convention Center, Hotel For Jacksonville Waterfront
Jaguars Owner Shad Khan unveiled plans to "construct a 490,000-square-foot convention center and hotel on land sandwiched between the long-vacant Shipyards property" on Jacksonville's downtown waterfront and Metropolitan Park, according to a front-page piece by Nate Monroe of the FLORIDA TIMES-UNION. It is an "ambitious project that would transform formerly industrial land and almost certainly require major buy-in from city taxpayers." The specifics of Khan’s proposal -- a campus with 200,000 square feet for an exhibit hall, a 40,000-square-foot ballroom and 350-room hotel -- "matches exactly what the city said it was looking for from bidders." Khan’s proposal would "put the convention center adjacent to the Sports Entertainment Complex, where Khan has other ambitions for major developments, including on Lot J, a plot of land next to TIAA Bank Field that Khan wants to turn into an entertainment zone." The announcement also "creates a stark choice for city leaders: Let Khan handle the convention center, or possibly do it without him." Earlier this year, Khan announced he was partnering with Cordish Cos on a $2.5B development "extending from the Sports Entertainment Complex to the downtown waterfront" (FLORIDA TIMES-UNION, 8/3). Monroe in a separate front-page piece noted city-owned utility JEA is "considering two private developments as a new home for a headquarters," including Lot J outside TIAA Bank Field, which is "planned to be" part of Khan's proposed development (FLORIDA TIMES-UNION, 7/31).