Jacksonville’s Shipyards, a stretch along the St. Johns River in the Florida city, has been vacant for years. That’s poised to change, due to a handful of redevelopment bids that are under review by officials. Two potential development teams have ties to megayachts.
The Shipyards occupies nearly 50 acres, in downtown Jacksonville. Years ago, it housed construction and repair sheds for ships, ferries, and other craft. The city has wished to clean it up since learning in the late 1990s that the soil was found to be contaminated.
One bidder for the Shipyards is Shad Khan, the owner of the Jacksonville Jaguars. He’s known in yachting circles for having commissioned two megayachts bearing the name Kismet. (Both were built by Lürssen.) Khan submitted his proposal via Iguana Investment Florida. The proposal for the Shipyards calls for a private-public partnership. That extends to the environmental cleanup. Overall, Khan’s vision is for a blend of residential, recreational, and commercial use. It will include a marina and a boardwalk. Specifics on slips and whether megayachts will be accommodated are not yet publicly known. (Under Florida law, bid documents do not have to be provided to the public for review until 30 days after the deadline for receipt.) However, in the video below, created to outline the proposal, you can see both yachts and megayachts.
The other bidder for the Shipyards with ties to megayachts is Shitaki Enterprises. It intends to create and operate what it calls the Jacksonville Mega Yacht Center. About two-thirds of the Shipyards property would be devoted to megayacht refit and repair services. The remaining areas would feature a marina, a hospitality center, an international market for shopping and dining, and a pedestrian walkway along the river. According to local media reports, Shitaki Enterprises’ president, Patrick Mullen, told city officials he has enough funding to not just fully acquire the property, but also to take care of the environmental cleanup. Mullen also says that Jacksonville is ideal for refit and repair, due to high demand overall in Florida. He also believes a marina fits well because insurance companies will still provide coverage to yachts in slips during hurricane season.
The committee tasked with selecting the winning bid is expected to make its decision next week.
Source : http://megayachtnews.com/2015/04/jacksonvilles-shipyards-could-become-yacht-magnet/