Author Topic: Khan, Jaguars expect Lot J development to begin early 2020  (Read 79445 times)

Ken_FSU

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Re: Khan, Jaguars expect Lot J development to begin early 2020
« Reply #450 on: November 24, 2020, 03:01:39 PM »
Oh my God.

I think Paul Harden just said that there's no financial obligation to exit the lease, as it stands.

Even Rory Diamond looked shocked to hear that.

Lamping came back to say that of course Khan is totally committed, he's invested in the past, the Weavers sold based on that, but… yikes.

I think COJ should check that. I don't think that's true.

What I do know is true: if they want to exit early, there are some financial metrics they have to prove. This would require them to open the books. They aren't doing that unless the team is in dire straits.

We've got that same lease provision that was discussed on these boards a lot during the recession.

It's triggered if the Jags lose money on a single season.

From there, if they don't hit league median/operate at loss in one of the following two seasons, they are free to leave penalty-free.

Per Harden, this happened in 2001, and possible again in 2012.

And the city is apparently aware and has signed off on it.

Shame that this lease thing is going to overshadow everything going forward when the reality is, when you've got $8 billion, you can afford to break the lease at any time whether the clause has been triggered or not.
« Last Edit: November 24, 2020, 03:03:56 PM by Ken_FSU »

Ken_FSU

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Re: Khan, Jaguars expect Lot J development to begin early 2020
« Reply #451 on: November 24, 2020, 03:15:14 PM »
P.S. Looking at everything holistically, including both meetings today and who was and wasn’t in attendance for each:

I think this thing passes on December 4th.

Wouldn’t even be surprised if neither DIA amendment passes.

JBTripper

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Re: Khan, Jaguars expect Lot J development to begin early 2020
« Reply #452 on: November 24, 2020, 03:29:02 PM »
Really great points above, but I think the biggest point that people are missing with this new stadium story is this:

Whether we're 15-1 or 1-15, the Jags are not sustainable long-term in Jacksonville if the only investment we make as a city is in stadium upgrades. Locals take this fact really, really personally, but it's rooted in economic reality. Whether we do the stadium now or later, the other asks are not only going to come, but will need to be publicly subsidized if we wish to remain an NFL franchise.

Viability and sustainability are not terms reflective of how passionate our fanbase is.

Instead, they're reflective of our market size (30th in the NFL), our per capita income (30th in the NFL), and our local economy (29th in local GDP). We're growing as a city, but so are all of the other NFL markets as well (we're 28th in income growth, for example).

When you've got a smaller population base, you can overcome that with a larger local economy, or a larger per capita income.

When you've got a smaller per capital income, you can overcome that with a larger population base.

But when you've got one of the smallest markets, with one of the lowest per capita incomes, and one of the lowest GDPs (and subsequently, smallest corporate presence), there's only so much you can squeeze out of those 8 home games a season. You have to get creative with local revenue beyond those 8 game days to make Jacksonville work as an NFL market.

The Jags need things like the London game (up to 1.8x the ticket revenue of a Jacksonville), Daily's Place, and developments like those proposed at Lot J and the Shipyards to compensate for all of these previously noted market disadvantages, to be able to field a competitive team, and to be able to held accountable by the rest of the NFL franchises that make up the league's revenue share pool (which is why NFL owners need to approve lease extensions).

The salary cap keeps rising and rising, and Jags ticket prices haven't even kept up with inflation over the last 20 years because our market can't bear it. Yes, we've had some really shitty years, but sustainable professional sports markets need to be able to bear good stretches and bad.

It's not greed, it's not personal against the Jacksonville market, it's pure numbers on a balance sheet.

And another reason why all of this should be negotiated as a package.

A new stadium is no good to Jags without the additional revenue sources like Lot J and the Shipyards. And Lot J and the Shipyards are far less useful to the public without the new stadium.

It just genuinely bothers me though how heated and antagonistic this has all become on every level. The Jags need to be more humble, but if people out there were paying attention and really educating themselves about NFL economics, or even watching the Jags State of the Franchise events since Shad Khan bought the team where Lamping has been incredibly transparent about all of this, the conversation would be framed much better.

Do we want to throw all our eggs in one basket to make the necessary investments to help the Jags overcome our market disadvantages, or has the price tag just gotten too high?

Versus:

Greedy billionaire wants to extort passionate fanbase.

Ain't that simple.

I think what Jags fans take issue with is the term "viable." The NFL is a television show, and it's "viable" whether you play it in a billion dollar stadium in the heart of football-crazed Texas, or a cow pasture on the banks of the St. Johns. If it wasn't a money making enterprise without fans in the stands then they wouldn't be playing it without fans in the stands right now.

Khan purchased the Jaguars understanding very well the "challenges" presented by a market like Jacksonville. And even as he has amassed 100 losses faster than all but one owner in NFL history, his $770 million investment is now valued at $2.45 billion. So it's pretty gotdang "viable" around here despite all these "challenges."

What isn't viable for Jacksonville is to continue to subsidize this loser franchise. So far, we have paid for half of Khan's scoreboards, half of Khan's club/pool deck renovation (a major renovation, despite what NFL owners may say), half of Khan's amphitheater, and 100% of the cost of demolishing any competition to Khan's proposed entertainment district. And now Khan wants us to pay for half of his proposed entertainment district, too. All this, but the idea of a stadium lease extension beyond 2030 is a non-starter without further public investment in a "major" stadium renovation. What a joke.

And Khan has the gall to ask us to trust him, because it's not like he can take all of this with him should he ever get the opportunity to move the team to London. Well, that's true, but since we paid for half of all this crap, Khan's financial loss in leaving it all behind accounts for a rounding error in his net worth... which would be greatly augmented by the aforementioned move. Jacksonville, meanwhile, would be left with an empty stadium that's not even properly configured for the one successful event held there each year, and an entertainment district effectively cut off from the CBD by a jail, a coffee factory, acres of contaminated shipyards, a 20-year-old, abandoned, high-rise construction site, and grass lots where our courthouse and festival marketplace once stood. In other words, Khan doesn't lose much by leaving all of his investments behind, but we lose all the value of those investments if the NFL is removed from the equation.

So that's the nut of my issue with Khan and the Jaguars, and I've come a full 180 degrees on this in the past year or two. The NFL is plenty "viable" in Jacksonville, but they're asking us to make as wildly profitable as it is in larger, richer markets without any assurance at all that they plan to stay here beyond 2030.

heights unknown

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Re: Khan, Jaguars expect Lot J development to begin early 2020
« Reply #453 on: November 24, 2020, 03:54:26 PM »
Quote
Jaguars president: TIAA Bank Field upgrades needed before lease extension

In an exclusive interview Monday, Lamping responded to numerous inquiries about why the Jaguars have not agreed to extend the lease during discussions with City Council on the Lot J development proposal. Any lease extension would require three-quarters majority approval of NFL owners, and Lamping said there’d be no chance of acceptance without a major stadium renovation. He added that a more vibrant downtown through the Lot J development next to TIAA Bank Field — currently being discussed and soon up for a vote by City Council — also makes that approval more appealing.

Full article: https://www.jacksonville.com/story/news/local/2020/11/24/jacksonville-jaguars-stadium-upgrades-needed-lease-extension-tiaa-bank-field/6400288002/
Here we go again, and again, and again.......
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marcuscnelson

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Re: Khan, Jaguars expect Lot J development to begin early 2020
« Reply #454 on: November 24, 2020, 05:18:24 PM »
Glad you brought that up heights, I wanted to point something out.

I see why Lamping kept insisting that he didn't want to bring up the stadium or the lease. Because it introduces everyone to the threat that if we don't give them enough money, it might not actually matter what Khan wants. The rest of the NFL could decide to pull out of Jacksonville. It reminds us that it's not this city against one billionaire, it's this city against thirty-two billionaires.
 
Made a meme for it:



Going back to JBTripper and Ken's points, the challenge at hand here is that it's unclear if we can in fact afford the cost of keeping up with the NFL. We haven't stopped to really think about whether it is worth it to drop this kind of cash in light of our other problems, and given our questionable leadership. At the end of the day, I'm not opposed to the idea of spending this money if it is worth it, but it has to be worth it. For this to be the mouth we open everyone's wallets to feed, we can't afford for it to bite us in the ass later.
So, to the young people fighting in this movement for change, here is my charge: march in the streets, protest, run for school committee or city council or the state legislature. And win. - Ed Markey

Ken_FSU

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Re: Khan, Jaguars expect Lot J development to begin early 2020
« Reply #455 on: November 24, 2020, 05:20:35 PM »
Quote
Jaguars president: TIAA Bank Field upgrades needed before lease extension

In an exclusive interview Monday, Lamping responded to numerous inquiries about why the Jaguars have not agreed to extend the lease during discussions with City Council on the Lot J development proposal. Any lease extension would require three-quarters majority approval of NFL owners, and Lamping said there’d be no chance of acceptance without a major stadium renovation. He added that a more vibrant downtown through the Lot J development next to TIAA Bank Field — currently being discussed and soon up for a vote by City Council — also makes that approval more appealing.

Full article: https://www.jacksonville.com/story/news/local/2020/11/24/jacksonville-jaguars-stadium-upgrades-needed-lease-extension-tiaa-bank-field/6400288002/
Here we go again, and again, and again.......

Good article this morning by the T-U, but just not a fan of all the commentary and hot-takes that have come out it.

If you watched the City Council meeting, it was very respectful and informative. City Council asked some great, tough questions. Zed Smith from Cordish was extremely professional and provided great information about Cordish's portfolio, relationships with other cities, and methods for ensuring minority and small business participation. Mark Lamping and Paul Harden went into exhaustive details about the negotiation process and concessions that have been made. We also got questions answered about environmental remediation, the guy wire relocation, discussions with the Universities of Florida and Georgia about the project, construction phasing to minimize parking disruption, etc.

Just lots of good, objective, unemotional answers coming out this meeting that should help City Council members and the general public decide whether the development agreement, as proposed, should conclude with a vote of No or Yes.

Conversely though, you go on social media, and it's just this toxic shitshow rooted in finger-pointing and name calling.

I commend the fact that the Jaxson hasn't gotten involved.

Using this Lamping article as an example, because you quoted it.

The city council and the public has very rightfully been asking whether a lease extension will be included with the Lot J proposal.

Mark Lamping first responded to this question in the original town hall, but City Council members wanted more information. He responded to it again during the last City Council meeting, but the public wanted more info about why the Jags weren't willing to extend the lease based on Lot J.

So he expanded on it further in the Times-Union, and people genuinely seem to be shocked and outraged by some of his statements.

A lease extension will necessitate stadium upgrades?

The lease extension being tied to stadium upgrades has been something the Jags have been talking about publicly for years, as recently as last year's State of the Franchise that most of the local media was probably even in attendance for.

Here's a quote (source: https://www.jaguars.com/news/sotf-2019-the-stadium-has-to-be-upgraded):

Quote
Lamping addressed the issue while speaking to reporters following his on-stage remarks, during which he noted that heat and seating in direct sunlight is a major issue for many fans during early-season games. He added that the issue could be a topic when the city and team begin discussing a new stadium lease, which could happen in the next five years.

Lamping noted during Thursday's presentation that only two NFL teams –Buffalo and Jacksonville – currently play in stadiums that have not been built or undergone in excess of $300 million in major renovations since TIAA Bank Field opened in 1995.

"We have looked at a number of concepts," Lamping said. "I think some of the concepts have been there. I think we have about 10 or 11 years left on our lease here, and I think as part of the lease extension we are going to determine what the stadium solution would be.

A long-term lease extension will require a majority vote from other NFL owners?

This isn't a market-specific bombshell, but rather standard NFL operating procedure that we just saw play out in Las Vegas for their new stadium lease:

https://www.cbssports.com/nfl/news/nfl-owners-approve-30-year-lease-for-raiders-las-vegas-stadium/

I don't think it's an automatic rubber stamp either. If it was, I don't think you'd see Roger Goodell turning the screws on Buffalo right now on their lease extension (https://footballstadiumdigest.com/2019/06/roger-goodell-offers-support-for-new-buffalo-bills-stadium/). The reason owners care is because 40% of the revenue that TIAA Bank Field generates goes into a pool that is split up between all 31 other owners. And, for context, the Jags-Patriots game two years ago was the highest grossing game in franchise history, but only ranked 161st on the season across the rest of the league.

This isn't hard information to find, it's the type of stuff that the Jags have been surprisingly transparent about post-Weaver, and Lamping was asked, but everyone wants to spin it as the Jags suddenly making veiled threats by dropping new info to try to get Lot J pushed through.

Watching the City Council meeting as well, it seems like the Jags have been less busy playing games, and more busy heavily engaged in one-on-one and group meetings with City Council members in an honest attempt to get their questions answered.

But while Twitter is exploding with unsubstantiated allegations and emotional worst-case takes from hundreds of people, there are a grand total of 47 people on the stream watching this innocuous, civil, constructive City Council meeting where everyone is being courteous and trying their best to figure out if this thing is a good investment for Jacksonville.

Again, I just don't think we're going down the right path attacking the players personally and publicly sowing distrust in their intentions when they're at the table putting up a ton of private investment (as is the city) in efforts to make Jacksonville a long-term home.

Vote the entire thing down if it's not the right investment, but I think the amount of hatred and distrust that the local community is showing toward the Jags right now pushes them away from the city far, far more than the size of our market.

Too much nastiness in the world already in 2020.
« Last Edit: November 24, 2020, 05:30:00 PM by Ken_FSU »

Ken_FSU

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Re: Khan, Jaguars expect Lot J development to begin early 2020
« Reply #456 on: November 24, 2020, 05:21:26 PM »
Going back to JBTripper and Ken's points, the challenge at hand here is that it's unclear if we can in fact afford the cost of keeping up with the NFL. We haven't stopped to really think about whether it is worth it to drop this kind of cash in light of our other problems, and given our questionable leadership. At the end of the day, I'm not opposed to the idea of spending this money if it is worth it, but it has to be worth it. For this to be the mouth we open everyone's wallets to feed, we can't afford for it to bite us in the ass later.

Well said, Marcus.

marcuscnelson

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Re: Khan, Jaguars expect Lot J development to begin early 2020
« Reply #457 on: November 24, 2020, 06:22:25 PM »
I just spoke at today's council meeting about a referendum. Here's what I said:

Quote
Let me start by highlighting the issue with trust, trust that has been violated by many parties here. The Jaguars haven’t been completely honest about what they want. We learned today that all of the NFL’s owners have to approve a stadium lease extension, and that remediation and state approvals could take several years. Mr. Lamping proved today that there is a better deal that could be reached. Mayor Curry and his administration have violated our trust with their attempts to sell our public utility out from under us, and the immense suspicion generated by their behavior on these negotiations. Council President Hazouri said himself, he can’t trust that Jordan Elsbury is truly working in the interest of taxpayers. When we are talking about the largest public subsidy in this city’s history, I think it’s time we talk about letting the people decide. Because at the end of the day, your job on City Council is to represent the people, not Shad Khan and the Jaguars or the NFL.

So let me make a proposal. Start with a deal as soon as you can to remediate and prepare the land for all these projects. Get the surface parking lot done. Whatever that takes, get it started right now, so we can finish by late 2023.

In the meantime, the Jaguars should learn to play football. But more importantly, they need to tell us everything they actually want from us. Stadium renovation blueprints after Project Lifetime finishes, actual blueprints for Lot J and the Shipyards, a real go-ahead from Four Seasons for a hotel here. The COO of Cordish, Mr. Smith, said he doesn’t have refined renders of this development, let’s get those. We, the city, have to get approval from the National Park Service to move Metro Park, find the money for a signature urban park, because those can be expensive. And support the creation of this new museum district, anchored by MOSH with its new aquarium-style additions and the USS Orleck, I think we have to move the Fire Museum too.

When all of that is planned and public and ready, let’s put a referendum on the ballot, in 2022 or 2023, for everything the Jaguars want, the hundreds of millions they want, and a minimum 30-year lease extension that satisfies the team and the NFL. Tell the truth, that this unprecedented expenditure of taxpayer dollars is about whether we can afford an NFL team or not. If the people say yes, go right ahead, get it started, get it done. If we say no, then we’ve made our bed and we’ll have to lay in it. But the people will have decided. And that is what this city needs. Let me be clear that as a young person, I do want to see development like this, I want to see it succeed. But I don’t want my generation to be left with the burden of paying for bad deals and bad decisions. So let the people decide. Thank you.
So, to the young people fighting in this movement for change, here is my charge: march in the streets, protest, run for school committee or city council or the state legislature. And win. - Ed Markey

jaxlongtimer

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Re: Khan, Jaguars expect Lot J development to begin early 2020
« Reply #458 on: November 24, 2020, 06:28:50 PM »
I just spoke at today's council meeting about a referendum. Here's what I said:

Quote
Let me start by highlighting the issue with trust, trust that has been violated by many parties here. The Jaguars haven’t been completely honest about what they want. We learned today that all of the NFL’s owners have to approve a stadium lease extension, and that remediation and state approvals could take several years. Mr. Lamping proved today that there is a better deal that could be reached. Mayor Curry and his administration have violated our trust with their attempts to sell our public utility out from under us, and the immense suspicion generated by their behavior on these negotiations. Council President Hazouri said himself, he can’t trust that Jordan Elsbury is truly working in the interest of taxpayers. When we are talking about the largest public subsidy in this city’s history, I think it’s time we talk about letting the people decide. Because at the end of the day, your job on City Council is to represent the people, not Shad Khan and the Jaguars or the NFL.

So let me make a proposal. Start with a deal as soon as you can to remediate and prepare the land for all these projects. Get the surface parking lot done. Whatever that takes, get it started right now, so we can finish by late 2023.

In the meantime, the Jaguars should learn to play football. But more importantly, they need to tell us everything they actually want from us. Stadium renovation blueprints after Project Lifetime finishes, actual blueprints for Lot J and the Shipyards, a real go-ahead from Four Seasons for a hotel here. The COO of Cordish, Mr. Smith, said he doesn’t have refined renders of this development, let’s get those. We, the city, have to get approval from the National Park Service to move Metro Park, find the money for a signature urban park, because those can be expensive. And support the creation of this new museum district, anchored by MOSH with its new aquarium-style additions and the USS Orleck, I think we have to move the Fire Museum too.

When all of that is planned and public and ready, let’s put a referendum on the ballot, in 2022 or 2023, for everything the Jaguars want, the hundreds of millions they want, and a minimum 30-year lease extension that satisfies the team and the NFL. Tell the truth, that this unprecedented expenditure of taxpayer dollars is about whether we can afford an NFL team or not. If the people say yes, go right ahead, get it started, get it done. If we say no, then we’ve made our bed and we’ll have to lay in it. But the people will have decided. And that is what this city needs. Let me be clear that as a young person, I do want to see development like this, I want to see it succeed. But I don’t want my generation to be left with the burden of paying for bad deals and bad decisions. So let the people decide. Thank you.

Marcus, well said!  I hope everyone was listening closely and takes you up on your suggestions as they make much sense.  Unfortunately, our City leaders have a record of being adverse to things that make sense.  They want to contort issues to confuse voters and diffuse their own responsibilities.

Hope you plan to run for public office soon.  We need more leaders like you.

Ken_FSU

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Re: Khan, Jaguars expect Lot J development to begin early 2020
« Reply #459 on: November 24, 2020, 06:30:56 PM »
Last thing I’ll say before disconnecting for the holiday, just because I feel like I’ve already beaten my opinion into the ground  ;D

If I’m on City Council, I’m rolling the dice and voting a nervous yes.

Coming from a guy who’s attended every public meeting, read the development agreement cover to cover, studied other Cordish partnerships, and closely watched everything that’s happened with our city’s riverfront (reverse) development over the last 15 years. Also coming from a guy with a degree in Economics, soon to be Masters in Advanced Business Analytics, and who wrote an exhaustive book on our city’s relationship with professional sports over the last century (necessary disclosure that Shad Khan contributed). I also work closely with the city of driving tourism and forecasting ROI on marketing investment.

Here’s why:

A city that has been struggling with riverfront development and attracting investors for over 30 years has somehow found itself in a situation where a Forbes billionaire and a successful international developer want to partner together with the city on a multi-phased Lot J and Shipyards development that will potentially bind the principals here for decades to come. Full project completion is guaranteed in the contract the second that horizontal construction begins. The Jags and Cordish cannot sell the property for at least five years after full construction is complete (which could be several years after the lease expires). Cordish has a long track record of success with similar projects. And it sets the stage for a civil stadium upgrade negotiation and long term extension.

To me, opportunities like this come around maybe once every thirty years for Jacksonville, if that. Especially with how futile our own local efforts have been, I don’t want to be the City Councilor who looks back and wonders what if. The risk is large from a taxpayer incentive, but it’s also a big gamble from Cordish and the Jags as well. Everyone’s got skin in the game, and I personally don’t believe there’s a universe where a guy who took Edgewood Bakery to court over a few hundred thousand dollars is going to fund Lot J only to abandon the market.

Tough call, but the status quo hasn’t worked for a long time in this city, and to me, the potential upsides of this project and this three way relationship works out far outweighs the inherent risk of trying Phase I and seeing what happens.
« Last Edit: November 24, 2020, 06:34:05 PM by Ken_FSU »

jaxlongtimer

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Re: Khan, Jaguars expect Lot J development to begin early 2020
« Reply #460 on: November 24, 2020, 10:09:56 PM »
Quote
While Lamping emphasized a stadium renovation is the most critical component to earning NFL owner approval on a lease extension, the Lot J project can’t be overlooked in the equation because the league wants a vibrant downtown setting for its franchises.

“NFL owners and league staff, they’ve been in every city and they know what the [downtown] experience is like,” said Lamping. “Nashville is an awesome place. A city like Indianapolis is a great place to visit. Charlotte came into the league at the same time as Jacksonville.

“I think if you did an honest assessment of, what’s the state of downtown Charlotte today versus the state of downtown Jacksonville? Which of those two communities have made significant progress over the last 25 years? I think the scales would tilt a little bit toward Charlotte, without question.”

Interesting quote by Lamping in the Times-Union (https://www.jacksonville.com/story/news/local/2020/11/24/jacksonville-jaguars-stadium-upgrades-needed-lease-extension-tiaa-bank-field/6400288002/) .  He acknowledges clearly the short comings of Downtown.  He tried to be diplomatic but he should have echoed Khan's more blunt comments a few years ago that Downtown is basically a dead zone.  The Mayor needs to know from even his closest friends that he is has not done anything to make Downtown better (he's actually made it worse) on his watch.  I wish Lamping would talk about how Khan, Cordish and the Mayor see Lot J benefiting the CBD rather than competing or detracting from it because I don't see it.

If this thing goes through, Cordish deserves the credit as they seem to be the most credible party here given their track record elsewhere.  Of course, the same could have been said of Rouse... until they met Jacksonville.

marcuscnelson

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Re: Khan, Jaguars expect Lot J development to begin early 2020
« Reply #461 on: November 24, 2020, 10:14:07 PM »
Cumber’s resolution passed, 15-4. Reportedly the DIA analysis will be done in time for the Committee of the Whole on December 3rd.
So, to the young people fighting in this movement for change, here is my charge: march in the streets, protest, run for school committee or city council or the state legislature. And win. - Ed Markey

Fallen Buckeye

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Re: Khan, Jaguars expect Lot J development to begin early 2020
« Reply #462 on: November 24, 2020, 10:47:09 PM »
I just spoke at today's council meeting about a referendum. Here's what I said:

Quote
Let me start by highlighting the issue with trust, trust that has been violated by many parties here. The Jaguars haven’t been completely honest about what they want. We learned today that all of the NFL’s owners have to approve a stadium lease extension, and that remediation and state approvals could take several years. Mr. Lamping proved today that there is a better deal that could be reached. Mayor Curry and his administration have violated our trust with their attempts to sell our public utility out from under us, and the immense suspicion generated by their behavior on these negotiations. Council President Hazouri said himself, he can’t trust that Jordan Elsbury is truly working in the interest of taxpayers. When we are talking about the largest public subsidy in this city’s history, I think it’s time we talk about letting the people decide. Because at the end of the day, your job on City Council is to represent the people, not Shad Khan and the Jaguars or the NFL.

So let me make a proposal. Start with a deal as soon as you can to remediate and prepare the land for all these projects. Get the surface parking lot done. Whatever that takes, get it started right now, so we can finish by late 2023.

In the meantime, the Jaguars should learn to play football. But more importantly, they need to tell us everything they actually want from us. Stadium renovation blueprints after Project Lifetime finishes, actual blueprints for Lot J and the Shipyards, a real go-ahead from Four Seasons for a hotel here. The COO of Cordish, Mr. Smith, said he doesn’t have refined renders of this development, let’s get those. We, the city, have to get approval from the National Park Service to move Metro Park, find the money for a signature urban park, because those can be expensive. And support the creation of this new museum district, anchored by MOSH with its new aquarium-style additions and the USS Orleck, I think we have to move the Fire Museum too.

When all of that is planned and public and ready, let’s put a referendum on the ballot, in 2022 or 2023, for everything the Jaguars want, the hundreds of millions they want, and a minimum 30-year lease extension that satisfies the team and the NFL. Tell the truth, that this unprecedented expenditure of taxpayer dollars is about whether we can afford an NFL team or not. If the people say yes, go right ahead, get it started, get it done. If we say no, then we’ve made our bed and we’ll have to lay in it. But the people will have decided. And that is what this city needs. Let me be clear that as a young person, I do want to see development like this, I want to see it succeed. But I don’t want my generation to be left with the burden of paying for bad deals and bad decisions. So let the people decide. Thank you.

What I really like about the idea of a referendum is that it gives the city to demonstrate how much they value or don't value having the Jaguars in town. In the scenario that Shad Khan or the owners decide that to divest from the Jax market, that would be a PR blow to the city. At least if the public votes against the deal and the Jags leave, we are the ones really driving the decision which would be less of a PR hit, especially if we choose to make sizable investments into our city's quality of life.

Charles Hunter

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Re: Khan, Jaguars expect Lot J development to begin early 2020
« Reply #463 on: November 24, 2020, 10:58:37 PM »
I just spoke at today's council meeting about a referendum. Here's what I said:

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Let me start by highlighting the issue with trust, trust that has been violated by many parties here. The Jaguars haven’t been completely honest about what they want. We learned today that all of the NFL’s owners have to approve a stadium lease extension, and that remediation and state approvals could take several years. Mr. Lamping proved today that there is a better deal that could be reached. Mayor Curry and his administration have violated our trust with their attempts to sell our public utility out from under us, and the immense suspicion generated by their behavior on these negotiations. Council President Hazouri said himself, he can’t trust that Jordan Elsbury is truly working in the interest of taxpayers. When we are talking about the largest public subsidy in this city’s history, I think it’s time we talk about letting the people decide. Because at the end of the day, your job on City Council is to represent the people, not Shad Khan and the Jaguars or the NFL.

So let me make a proposal. Start with a deal as soon as you can to remediate and prepare the land for all these projects. Get the surface parking lot done. Whatever that takes, get it started right now, so we can finish by late 2023.

In the meantime, the Jaguars should learn to play football. But more importantly, they need to tell us everything they actually want from us. Stadium renovation blueprints after Project Lifetime finishes, actual blueprints for Lot J and the Shipyards, a real go-ahead from Four Seasons for a hotel here. The COO of Cordish, Mr. Smith, said he doesn’t have refined renders of this development, let’s get those. We, the city, have to get approval from the National Park Service to move Metro Park, find the money for a signature urban park, because those can be expensive. And support the creation of this new museum district, anchored by MOSH with its new aquarium-style additions and the USS Orleck, I think we have to move the Fire Museum too.

When all of that is planned and public and ready, let’s put a referendum on the ballot, in 2022 or 2023, for everything the Jaguars want, the hundreds of millions they want, and a minimum 30-year lease extension that satisfies the team and the NFL. Tell the truth, that this unprecedented expenditure of taxpayer dollars is about whether we can afford an NFL team or not. If the people say yes, go right ahead, get it started, get it done. If we say no, then we’ve made our bed and we’ll have to lay in it. But the people will have decided. And that is what this city needs. Let me be clear that as a young person, I do want to see development like this, I want to see it succeed. But I don’t want my generation to be left with the burden of paying for bad deals and bad decisions. So let the people decide. Thank you.

What I really like about the idea of a referendum is that it gives the city to demonstrate how much they value or don't value having the Jaguars in town. In the scenario that Shad Khan or the owners decide that to divest from the Jax market, that would be a PR blow to the city. At least if the public votes against the deal and the Jags leave, we are the ones really driving the decision which would be less of a PR hit, especially if we choose to make sizable investments into our city's quality of life.

Do you really think the voters of Duval County, after voting to evict the Jaguars would vote to spend Jaguar-level dollars on infrastructure, especially in the neglected parts of town?

thelakelander

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Re: Khan, Jaguars expect Lot J development to begin early 2020
« Reply #464 on: November 24, 2020, 11:23:51 PM »
Last thing I’ll say before disconnecting for the holiday, just because I feel like I’ve already beaten my opinion into the ground  ;D

If I’m on City Council, I’m rolling the dice and voting a nervous yes.

Coming from a guy who’s attended every public meeting, read the development agreement cover to cover, studied other Cordish partnerships, and closely watched everything that’s happened with our city’s riverfront (reverse) development over the last 15 years. Also coming from a guy with a degree in Economics, soon to be Masters in Advanced Business Analytics, and who wrote an exhaustive book on our city’s relationship with professional sports over the last century (necessary disclosure that Shad Khan contributed). I also work closely with the city of driving tourism and forecasting ROI on marketing investment.

I haven't followed this over the last 24 hours as close as the rest of you. Is there a difference between a "yes" let's find a way to make it work vs. a nervous "yes" for accepting a deal at face value developed by the administration? I think the council would be fools to not dive into the dynamics of what's been proposed. Perhaps there's a better way of getting this stuff off the ground that also provides better protection for the taxpayer and ROI for COJ.

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Here’s why:

A city that has been struggling with riverfront development and attracting investors for over 30 years has somehow found itself in a situation where a Forbes billionaire and a successful international developer want to partner together with the city on a multi-phased Lot J and Shipyards development that will potentially bind the principals here for decades to come. Full project completion is guaranteed in the contract the second that horizontal construction begins.

I've never seen what amounts to a phased conceptual master plan being guaranteed, no matter what's in the banking account of who's behind it. Despite what the proposed agreement may or may not say, there will be no hotel if the market isn't viable enough to support it. The other side of this is for Khan's vision to be a success and the Jags to be viable long term, they'll both need a vibrant downtown (ex. the real one that's west of Hogans Creek).

I think we have to forget about Khan's worth and just evaluate the deal for what it is and for what it will take to keep the Jags in town long term (which obviously includes getting Lot J developed). However, nothing proposed to date is a downtown game changer, so we shouldn't view or sell these projects in that light. That will come back to bite the city and the Jags in the ass later down the line.


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The Jags and Cordish cannot sell the property for at least five years after full construction is complete (which could be several years after the lease expires). Cordish has a long track record of success with similar projects. And it sets the stage for a civil stadium upgrade negotiation and long term extension.

Rouse had a long track record of success as well with their retail centers when the Landing was proposed in the 1980s. As retailing and entertainment trends change with time, we don't know how the Cordish projects will shape up. Ultimately for Rouse, their centers in vibrant downtowns survived and those in smaller markets with dead downtowns did not. However, if Jax wants to be a NFL city, hundreds of millions will be coming from the public's pockets for the foreseeable future....to get a long term extension and even after that. Unless you're a market like NYC or LA, that's part of the cost of having a franchise. Jaxsons need to understand this and decide if they want to be in or out of the game.


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To me, opportunities like this come around maybe once every thirty years for Jacksonville, if that. Especially with how futile our own local efforts have been, I don’t want to be the City Councilor who looks back and wonders what if. The risk is large from a taxpayer incentive, but it’s also a big gamble from Cordish and the Jags as well. Everyone’s got skin in the game, and I personally don’t believe there’s a universe where a guy who took Edgewood Bakery to court over a few hundred thousand dollars is going to fund Lot J only to abandon the market.

I'd argue we've seen this opportunity twice within the last five years. Recently in Brooklyn and it's materializing again now just west of City Hall. The difference is the two involve clustering complementing development with more developers (new construction in Brooklyn vs adaptive reuse in the Northbank) and one involves well known Khan and a loved local NFL team.

Lot J

- 100,000-square-foot entertainment center with bars and restaurants
- 400 apartments,
- (1) 150- to 250-room hotel
- 75,000 square feet of street-level retail
- 40,000 square feet of Class A office space


Brooklyn (completed over the last five years, under construction and proposed)

- 40,000-square-foot food hall with bars and restaurants (Brooklyn Food Hall*)
- 1,048 apartments (220 Riverside, Brooklyn Riverside, Vista Brooklyn, Lofts at Brooklyn)
- (1) 136-room hotel (Residence Inn by Marriott)
- 106,870 square feet of street-level retail (Brooklyn Station, Brooklyn Place, FIS, Vista Brooklyn, 220 Riverside, The Hub*)
- 376,414 square feet of Class A office space (FIS)

I didn't add up the Brooklyn incentives requests or project construction costs, but I'd be highly surprised if they aren't a fraction of the Lot J incentives request.

I point this out just to keep people grounded in their expectations of what Lot J is and what it will mean for downtown Jax. It's a significantly smaller infill development than what we've seen pop up in Brooklyn during the same five years we've seen changing renderings of the Shipyards and Lot J proposals. There's no telling what else will have been proposed in Brooklyn and built by the time the first person orders chicken wings in PBR Jacksonville or chocolate from the second coming of The Fudgery (pretty sure this typical Live! tenant was one of the Landing's original tenants).

Writing this, it sounds crazy that I've actually come around to the point where I'm okay with Lot J happening. It's definitely not a game changer or bringing anymore suburbanites or visitors to town than Brooklyn does today. However, minus the gimmicky gamechanger deja vu talk happening by big supporters again or claims that no one else is doing anything similar in DT (see Brooklyn example), I see true value in maximizing surface parking lots with infill development (regardless of the location in town), a potential economic anchor/job creator for the Eastside's revitalization and it being a major piece for making the Jags stay in Jax more viable in the long term. The main issue is simply making sure the deal is the best for taxpayers.

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Tough call, but the status quo hasn’t worked for a long time in this city, and to me, the potential upsides of this project and this three way relationship works out far outweighs the inherent risk of trying Phase I and seeing what happens.

Much of the smoke coming from both pro and con positions for this project are exactly the status quo. I'm just finding it hard to believe that we haven't learned anything after the 70s, 80s, 90s, and 00s debacles with the Prime Osborn, Skyway, Landing and County Courthouse.

I don't see any more risk in putting up 400 apartments than what the 308 units going up in Vista Brooklyn for $60 million face. However, I don't think Vista Brooklyn has requested a dime in public money. I also don't believe Baywood is getting incentives for the 136-unit, $10.2 million Residence Inn project under construction.  Live! is definitely risky because if we're calling the more centralized and readily accessible Landing a failure with no future other than demolition, Landing 2.0 a mile east will have more question marks of long term viability. Same goes for 40,000 square feet of Class A office space if it is speculative. Without a tenant already in hand, adding a significant amount of multi-level Class A office space in the urban core could be pretty risky in the post Covid landscape.

So hopefully, they can iron out a deal that is acceptable for all parties.

« Last Edit: November 24, 2020, 11:32:13 PM by thelakelander »
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