“If you build it, they will come.”
That’s the concept behind at least two investor groups looking to develop the City of Jacksonville’s Shipyards property, a vacant 40-acre riverfront site near Downtown’s Sports Complex Area.
One idea, proposed last summer by Shad Khan of the Jaguars, is to create a “gateway, front door” to the Sports Complex Area, featuring sports-related activities as well as commercial and residential projects, according to the Jacksonville Business Journal. The latest idea, the Seaglass Tower proposed last month, was introduced Friday to members of the JAX Chamber’s Downtown Council. Both ideas are intended to increase visits to Downtown.
At the Downtown Council meeting, Mark Farrell, owner of Killashee Investments, LLC, discussed his company’s proposal to build this “iconic structure” on the Shipyards property. The Seaglass Tower would be the tallest building in Florida at 1,000 feet, and Farrell believes the project could boost Downtown visits from locals and increase tourism.
Plans for the Tower include a two-story restaurant, observation deck and possibly a bungee, which would make it the fifth-highest bungee in the world. On the surrounding property, Killashee Investments envisions other neighboring destinations, including a 100,000-square-foot aquarium, a convention center, hotels and the U.S.S. Adams museum.
“Just think how this city would change,” said Farrell. While he knows making this project a reality is not without its challenges, he is optimistic that, if not the Seaglass Tower, something catalytic will come to the Shipyards in the near future.
“If nothing else,” he said, “[the Seaglass Tower] has stirred the imagination of others to think bigger.”