Buzz: Laura Street Trio, La Florida Stamps, Tigers and More
Khan Finances Laura Street Trio Purchase
A Jacksonville development company, with financing from Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan, is buying the old Barnett Bank building and three buildings known as the Laura Street Trio, city records indicate. Property records show two affiliated companies purchased the four buildings for $3 million, according to the Financial News & Daily Record. Included in the deal are Barnett Tower, Florida Life building, Marble Bank building and the Bisbee building. The $3 million mortgage for the sale was provided by Stache Investments Corporation, of which Khan is the president, according to records on file with Florida Secretary of State.
Lick a Little La Florida
Everyone is all atwitter in the nation’s oldest city as it celebrates the 500th anniversary of the landing of Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon, with visits from Gov. Rick Scott and U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, cannon fire and musket shots. The U.S. Postal Service issued a new stamp with flowers Ponce might have been seen when he called the area “La Florida.” Art director Ethel Kessler and artist Steve Buchanan created a bouquet of multiple Florida flowers across a sheet of stamps, unveiled April 3 in a ceremony at Flagler College.
Blimps May Be Watching
It’s not a bird or a plane — it’s a blimp. The U.S. Navy has been testing the possibility of using blimps to spot and catch drug smugglers operating in the Caribbean and Eastern Pacific, The Florida Times-Union reported. Rear Adm. Sinclair Harris, Commander of the U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command, U.S. Fourth Fleet, and others (Sen. Bill Nelson, again) took the airship for a hop on April 1 for a demonstration of some of its bells and whistles. The airship, running on 5-10 gallons of fuel a day, can stay up more than 24 hours. Officially called MZ-3A, the blimp is 178 feet long.
Jags CFO Resigns
Bill Prescott, who's served 17 seasons as Jacksonville Jaguars' chief financial officer, has resigned to explore other opportunities, the team announced. Kelly Flanagan, slated to succeed him, will be the team’s vice president of finance and planning. Prescott, who stays on as consultant in the transition period, said he and wife Kim planned to remain in Jacksonville. Episcopal School alum Flanagan, Jaguars’ business manager in 2012, was on Mark Lamping’s executive team at Meadowlands Stadium.
Ever-changing EverBank Field
The Jacksonville Jaguars organization plans a $2.9 renovation of player and coaching areas at EverBank Field. The new construction follows a $3 million renovation last year, the Daily Record reported. The redo, by contractor Turner Construction Company, includes work on the training room, coaches' offices, X-ray room and pools. The space comprises more than 10,000 square feet. The team also wants about $50 million from the city for new video boards.
Return of the Tigers
Tigers will return to the Jacksonville Zoo & Gardens — the $9.5 million Land of the Tiger exhibit broke ground last week. The exhibit, opening March 2014, is the second phase of the zoo’s Asia Precinct expansion, begun in 2009 with Asian Bamboo Gardens and Komodo Dragon exhibit, The Florida Times-Union reported. Zoo Executive Director Tony Vecchio said the exhibit will likely have a pair of breeding Sumatran tigers and four rescue tigers, which won't be bred. So far, the zoo has raised about $7.5 million, including a $3 million donation from Wayne and Delores Weaver.