The Shipyards site has been cited as an eyesore by the Jacksonville public, with zero-tax revenue, which would welcome a face-lift to make it of benefit to the city, in line with the plans for revival of the downtown area. So far, the Downtown Investment Authority has extended the decision time on what is to be done with it, due to on-site contamination following an environmental assessment, and it now appears that a practical and viable use could be found if it is sold to one of the aforementioned bidders.
Headed by CEO, Patrick Mullen, Shitaki Marine Enterprises’ proposal has raised some scepticism on public forums and in local media. Mullen’s proposal is purported to be a $1.4 billion boatyard, marine and refit facility for megayachts, but no other official information has become publicly available yet.
Iguana Investments Florida delivered Khan’s proposal in late February, with the development described as a joint project between Iguana and the City. The mixed-use development is set to be a ‘modern, urban, walkable destination that connects the sports and entertainment complex and downtown Jacksonville, that activates Bay Street, that engages with the Hogan’s Creek greenway and that has activities year-round’, according to the Term Sheet.
In Khan’s proposal, the City would retain ownership of the river walk, associated bulkheads, and public spaces and the City ‘would retain liability for any current or future issues arising out of, or relating to existing environmental matters on the shipyards’. The City will be required to pay all costs associated with the environmental clean-up, which the proposal claims should not exceed $35million. On the other hand, Shitaki Enterprises has reportedly offered to pay for the environmental remediation of the site, a condition that comes with the City offering the land at a reduced price.
Although it appears Shitaki Marine & Yacht Refinishing LLC was established in 2010 it has been inactive since 2011, with little or no records available. SuperyachtNews.com could not find any information online to suggest there has been any historical evidence to support previous works. According to local news reports however, Mullen is currently working in the yacht business, out of shipyards in South Florida.
Public forum discussions indicate that there is some opposition to the development itself, as an ‘exclusive’ yacht club, which some claim is not in the interest of the local population. However, distaste for any expenditure on the part of the City has also been at the forefront of discussions, criticising Khan’s proposal and praising Mullen’s. However, the credibility of Shitaki Enterprises has also raised concerns.
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