Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

City Won't Dock at Shipyard Price

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

City Won't Dock at Shipyard Price

Article excerpt

The former Jacksonville Shipyards site sports a new $16.3

million independent appraisal price, new real estate brokers and

new marketing plans, but city leaders aren't showing any new

interest in buying the riverfront property.

"The city is interested, and has been interested, but not

nearly at the cost of what the owners would like," said

Jacksonville Economic Development Commission executive director

Mike Weinstein.

This spring, Weinstein said city leaders informally had

discussed the idea of turning the shipyards property into a park

and possibly a convention center, but no deal was pursued. The

city had offered an estimated $7.5 million for the property,

according to reports at the time.

Both Weinstein and Jacksonville Riverfront officials now say

the site would be suited for development of housing, retail and

commercial space rather than a city purchase.

"We would only use it as a passive park and so we could never

recoup any of the dollars that it would [cost]," Weinstein said.

Jacksonville Riverfront Development has been trying for years

to sell the 45 acres of dry and submerged lands along the St.

Johns River between the sports complex and the government center

downtown.

In the wake of unsuccessful negotiations and a bankruptcy

reorganization plan approved April 7, the group is repositioning

the property and focusing on its proximity to the proposed

950-room Adam's Mark hotel project, recently approved by City

Council.

Jacksonville Riverfront Development has hired CB Richard Ellis

to market the property internationally and reported that a new,

independent appraisal values the site at up to $16.3 million,

compared to $15.4 million a year ago.

The 45-acre property comprises about 28 acres that are dry and

17 that are submerged but could be reclaimed, said Jacksonville

Riverfront partners Jay Hanan and Seth Weinstein. They said the

property appraisal value was based on the dry land.

Jacksonville Riverfront Development said that the eastern

22-acre parcel -- 18 dry acres and 4 submerged -- could be sold

separately for $11.3 million.

In that case, Jacksonville Riverfront partners might

investigate developing the western 23 acres -- 10 dry and 13

submerged -- on its own, said partner Weinstein, based in

Connecticut and unrelated to Mike Weinstein.

In light of the city's incentives offer of $21.75 million to

Adam's Mark, Seth Weinstein said the Jacksonville Riverfront

price tag is reasonable. Those incentives included a conveyance

of about 5.4 acres, comprising the Daniel Building and the City

Hall Annex parking lot, valued together at $8 million.

The 2.64-acre parking lot was valued at $3 million, or more

than $1. …

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