Jaguars back away from shipyard renderings

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Jacksonville Jaguars franchise is distancing itself from new renderings of a blighted property less than a mile from its downtown stadium.

On Tuesday, the Jacksonville Business Journal published a story online about an Orlando architect, Don Evans, who went public with make-ups of the city's old shipyards at a builder's conference.

The story initially included several photos of the renderings, which showed a Ferris wheel and Jaguars outdoor practice facility, but they've since been removed.

An editor at the publication told First Coast News the architect threatened to sue because the renderings are protected by law. It is the same reason FCN cannot show them to you.

Still, renewed speculation is now building around a proposed project that's been talked about for months.

"I'm really looking forward to whatever comes of this," said Jaguars fan Ricky Anderson.

The team announced earlier this year during its annual franchise address that it was having discussions about possibly helping redevelop Jacksonville's aging shipyard property, which runs from the Plaza at Berkman high rise to Metro Park.

Owner Shad Khan said at the time, "You got to be able to focus on a few (goals) that can become reality."

A team spokesman confirms the organization has had several conversations with architects about possible designs, but that none have been officially selected.

The team also stressed that the architect in question revealed renderings on his own and not at the direction of the Jaguars or Khan.

But, all indications are the team remains committed to improving the fan experience in the downtown area.

"Having something on the river down there would be such a draw for the people of Jacksonville," said fan Lindsey Strubhar.

Alicia Gant added, "I think it has great potential because it's right there on the river. So I'm super excited about things happening."

Any development would be a major change considering the shipyards have remained vacant for years and often have tall, overgrown grass.

"Right now it's just vacant. Looks bad. Needs to be developed," Anderson said.

The City of Jacksonville owns the property currently, but told First Coast News it remains ready and willing to review any plans.

Spokesman David DeCamp released the following statement by e-mail"

"Mayor (Alvin) Brown has made redeveloping the Shipyards a top priority. The mayor's proposed budget includes an initial amount of investment for the strategic Downtown location to help it maximize its potential. The Jaguars and owner Shad Khan are great partners with the City, and we look forward to receiving and reviewing any formal proposal to activate the Shipyards."


To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment