DIA Receives Unique Offer for One-Acre Private Development at Riverfront Plaza | Jax Daily Record | Jacksonville Daily Record


Downtown Investment Authority CEO Lori Boyer said the city had received an offer in its search for a private developer to build a mid- or high-rise tower next to a planned 7-acre park on the former Jacksonville Landing site.

Boyer told the DIA board on April 20 that the offer came from the American Lions, but had no additional information.

The request for proposals to redevelop the 1-acre parcel was launched by the city in March and closed at 2 p.m. on April 20.

The RFP says the DIA is seeking a mixed-use building of at least seven stories to complement the Perkins & Will Inc.-designed park adjacent to what the city has renamed Riverfront Plaza.

Boyer said after the meeting he was told the American Lions were based in New York.

A November 23, 2021 press release distributed by Cision PR Newswire describes American Lions LLC as a joint venture between Fetner Properties and the Lions Group who individually own and manage residential properties throughout New York City.

The partnership is focused on “large-scale” development projects in Long Island City, New York, according to the press release.

Boyer said the DIA had scheduled a public presentation of the bid for April 26 on the eighth floor of the Ed Ball Building at 214 N. Hogan St. Downtown.

The DIA will issue and post a public notice with further details of the public meeting.

DIA Board Members Jim Citrano and Todd Froats, Boyer and Deputy City Administrator Charles Moreland will note the proposal.

The full DIA Board of Directors will review the Rating Committee’s recommendation and may award the bid to American Lions or reject it and reissue the RFP.

The DIA’s term sheet for the private Riverfront Plaza parcel indicates that it would prefer a tower of at least 15 stories parallel to the Main Street Bridge and perpendicular to the St. Johns River.

The DIA will require that 30% of the length of the building facing Independent Drive have retail on the ground floor.

The building will also have to have a destination restaurant and bar area.

The termsheet calls retail a crucial element for the site. The adjoining park will feature a sculpture designed by Orlando-based international artist Jefrë Manuel.

The DIA terms promote hotel and office uses but do not eliminate the possibility of multi-family residential condominiums and for sale.

The DIA says any hotel launched for Riverfront Plaza should be at least a four-star flag as determined by Forbes magazine or AAA travel group.

The office space must be Class A and “ideal for a corporate office”, according to the draft terms.

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