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First proposed in 2017, the Four Seasons Hotel Jacksonville is getting closer to becoming a reality.
The luxury hotel and residences are part of the Shipyards Mixed-Use Development project from the Jacksonville Jaguars and team owner Shad Khan's Iguana Investments planned for the western part of Metropolitan Park across from TIAA Bank Field, home of the Jaguars. Also part of the development is a six-story office building.
A Four Seasons hotel would give Jacksonville a brand that few cities have nationally or globally.
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“I think we need to be aspirational,” Khan said at a Jaguars State of the Franchise event in March 2017. “There’s nothing like that in Jacksonville. You are defined by the highest-end experience you have, so to me, that would be the logical brand for us.”
Khan should know. He bought the Four Seasons Hotel Toronto in 2016.
(An important note: Four Seasons Hotel and Resorts has yet to enter into an operating agreement for the downtown hotel.)
And here's what you should know about Khan's planned Four Seasons Hotel Jacksonville.
Worth taxpayer money? Jacksonville gets full return on taxpayer backing of Khan's Four Seasons hotel, report says
What taxpayers will contribute: Four Seasons development in downtown Jacksonville wins $114 million in city support
Where will the Four Seasons be built?
The planned mixed-use development is at 1406 Gator Bowl Blvd., located across the street from the Lot J parking area at TIAA Bank Field.
The 24.7-acre project site is bounded to the north by Gator Bowl Blvd.; to the east by Metropolitan Park; to the south by the St. Johns River; and to the west by vacant land/shipyards. It includes the area of Metropolitan Park formerly known as Kids Kampus and the site where the Jacksonville Fire Museum once stood before the 120-year-old Catherine Street Fire Station building was moved in March to the western part of the Shipyards.
What does the Four Seasons project include?
The mixed-use project includes the Four Seasons Hotel Jacksonville and an office tower featuring:
176 hotel rooms
25 luxury condominiums
Six-story, Class A office building
The biggest condominium would be a 19,000-square-foot penthouse whose sales value would equate to $16.5 million, according to a Downtown Investment Authority staff review of a CBRE market analysis.
The other residences would have an average size of about 3,600 square feet and a cost of around $3.1 million apiece.
For the Four Seasons hotel rooms, the CBRE report determined average daily room rates could start at about $411 in 2025 and rise to $462 by 2029.
Who is building the Four Seasons Hotel Jacksonville?
Orlando-based luxury hotel builder PCL Construction will manage the construction of the Shipyards project. Its portfolio includes the construction of the Four Seasons Resort Ko Olina, Four Seasons Resort Whistler, Four Seasons Hotel Toronto and Four Seasons Resort Lanai. In Florida, the company has constructed and renovated luxury hotels and resorts such as The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island and The Ritz-Carlton, Naples as well as JW Marriott Bonnet Creek, The Don CeSar, Streamsong Resort and JW Marriott Marco Island.
When is construction expected to begin?
PCL is expected to break ground on the project in the second half of 2022.
What is the expected cost of the mixed-use project?
The cost of building a planned Four Seasons hotel development on the Jacksonville riverfront has jumped to $370 million from the 2021 estimate of $301 million, Jaguars President Mark Lamping said.
How much will the City of Jacksonville pay?
In October 2021, Jacksonville's City Council unanimously approved $114 million in taxpayer support for the deal, including:
$12.45 million: Value of 4.8 acres of city-owned riverfront land conveyed to Iguana Investments for $100
$25.8 million: Completion grant paid to Iguana when the hotel and residences buildings and office building are finished
$47.7 million: Maximum rebate of city property taxes generated by the value of the development over a 20-year period
$17.2 million: Improvements to the public Metropolitan Park Marina, including a marina support building and improved riverwalk at the site
$8 million: Relocation of the fire museum, fire station and fire dock
According to the terms of the agreement, Khan and his Iguana Investments must spend at least $301 million in private financing on the project.
When will the hotel open?
The city's agreement with Khan's real estate development firm Iguana Investments sets a deadline of the end of 2025 to complete construction of the hotel and accompanying luxury residences. Lamping said while it's still possible to make that target, Iguana will ask the city to add another six months, pushing it to June 2026.
You should also know
In 2016, Khan bought the Four Seasons Hotel Toronto for $225 million Canadian dollars. That’s $171.6 million in U.S. dollars. The 55-story hotel has 211 guest rooms and 42 suites in Toronto’s downtown Yorkville neighborhood and is the first Canadian hotel to receive five diamonds from AAA and five stars from Forbes.
This article originally appeared on Florida Times-Union: Four Seasons Hotel Jacksonville: A look at Shipyards project