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Iguana Investments submits Shipyards development plans for Riverfront Convention Center and Hotel

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Iguana Investments today delivered to the Jacksonville Downtown Investment Authority (DIA) its vision for the first phase development of the Shipyards. The proposal includes the construction of a riverfront convention center and accompanying hotel and was created in partnership with the joint venture of the DeBartolo Development Company and Rimrock Devlin Development. To access conceptual renderings included in the proposal, please click here.   

A development entity created by Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan, Iguana Investments was selected by the DIA in April 2017 as the master developer of Jacksonville’s Shipyards, a 70-acre stretch of riverfront property south of TIAA Bank Field in downtown Jacksonville.  

“Today’s proposal represents the first step in delivering the vision we first shared three years ago for the rebirth of downtown Jacksonville,” said Khan. “The Shipyards is the optimal and obvious site for a new Jacksonville convention center. First, you have the prime riverfront access and the sense of being a true destination that only the Shipyards can offer. Then, you have the synergies with the existing sports venues plus the anticipated mixed-use development planned for Lot J. We’re doing big things in Jacksonville and this plan with DeBartolo and Rimrock is our boldest plan to date.” 

Highlights of the Rimrock Devlin DeBartolo proposal include a 490,000-square-foot state-of-the-art public convention center and convention hotel with views of and access to the St. Johns River and public riverwalk. The convention center hotel also includes a 200,000-square-foot multi-purpose exhibit hall, a 40,000-square-foot ballroom with elevated views of the river and 45 breakout rooms. A 350-key full-service hotel would connect to the convention space and offer additional ballroom and meeting space, a rooftop pool and ground floor retail and restaurant opportunities along Bay Street.  

“Our goal at DeBartolo Development is to focus on extraordinary development opportunities that will create a catalytic impact on the cities in which they are located,” said Edward Kobel, president and COO of DeBartolo Development Group. “We were naturally drawn to this opportunity because of the impact it will have on downtown Jacksonville, and it’s one of the most exciting projects I’ve been involved with in my career. With the development team we have assembled, we have the leadership and resources to make this vision a reality.” 

“Jacksonville is our home, and our goal has always been to be involved with, and contribute to, the transformation of downtown Jacksonville into a vibrant city core,” said Micah Linton and Wallace Devlin of Rimrock Devlin Development. “We are ecstatic to take the first step in making this vision a reality, and believe that our vision for the Convention Center and Hotel will serve as the impetus to spur future development downtown.”

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