Economist wants ‘independent’ review of negotiations claiming up to $ 40 million return on investment for shipyards – Action News Jax



JACKSONVILLE, Fla .– Action News Jax is investigating new financial projections for shipyards following negotiations between the Jaguars and the Downtown Investment Authority.

It shows the city could see a return on investment of up to tens of millions of dollars, but Action News Jax Ben Becker is urging city leaders on the numbers.

Becker dug into a new supplemental financial summary that claims the team will make an initial outlay of $ 314 million to just $ 6 million on the city, with the city eventually breaking even or even realizing a return on investment of $ 40 million.

“Others are invited to do a thorough analysis and draw their own conclusions,” says Lori Boyer, CEO of the Downtown Investment Authority.

Becker asked Boyer about an economic impact study carried out by a consulting firm hired by the Jaguars.

He says the two phases of the Shipyards project will create a $ 6 billion increase in direct spending over the next 30 years.

“We don’t really consider much,” says Boyer. “So you don’t think that’s correct?” Becker urged. “I don’t know if that’s correct, it’s not part of our process.” said Boyer.

The DIA reviewed the hotel, office building and marina portion of the shipyards’ proposal.

The proposed $ 120 million practice center – with the city taking half the note – is being negotiated by the mayor’s office as it is seen as part of the lease.

“The question is, what does the city do with this money?” Said Donald Wiggins, professor emeritus of accounting and finance at the University of North Florida.

He believes the city will likely lose money on the deal with the first phase that is expected to cost taxpayers at least $ 153 million, while the costs of the second phase have not been publicly disclosed.

“I would like someone independent without a dog in the fight to look under the hood and do the analysis,” says Wiggins.

Boyer says his staff have done their due diligence.

“As a staff, we think he ticks all the boxes in our plan,” Boyer said.

A DIA committee will be meeting this Friday with the vote of the full board on July 7th.

If approved and no other developer submits a proposal for the Shipyards property within 30 days, it goes to city council.



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