The Lot J legislation failed to pass through the Jacksonville City Council on Tuesday night, with the vote ending in a 12-7 result.
The hotly debated downtown developmental project, which would have had a cost in the range of $450 million, would have required a "yes" vote from a two-thirds majority of the council's 19 members, so it fell just one vote short of passing.
If passed, the vote would have approved the development of thousands of square feet of office space, an entertainment district, retail space, residential buildings, and more near TIAA Bank Field.
The proposal had drawn criticism from many both on the council and in the Jacksonville community due to a lack of transparency in its negotiations and the high price at play for Jacksonville taxpayers, which would have been north of $230 million from the offset and with room to grow much larger.
The deal did have some support. It got the majority of votes, though not the majority needed to pass. Former Jaguars offensive lineman Tony Boselli spoke in support of the resolution during Tuesday's city council meeting's public speaking forum.
"We certainly stand by the decision, certainly respect the decision. I know that it was a very complex process to go through. 63% of the city council supported it; you need 68%. That is what the rules are and we are not going to question the rules," Jaguars president Mark Lamping said after the vote.
"We believe there is three things we have to do to keep football here in Northeast Florida for generations to come. And that is put a better football team on the field, and there is a lot of work going on in that front; To come up with a long-term stadium solution, which we continue to work on; And help downtown realize its full potential. Our belief in Downtown Jacksonville isn't changing. Our commitment to be a part of that process isn't changing."
Council members Tommy Hazouri, Matt Carlucci, Joyce Morgan, Randy DeFoor, Danny Becton, Garrett Dennis, and Al Ferraro voted against the deal.
It had been presumed by some that the passing or denial of the Lot J legislation could play a role in the Jaguars' long-term future in Jacksonville, though no clear statements of the such were ever made by the Jaguars or anyone associated with them. The point was suggested by Mayor Lenny Curry on social media in late November, however.
"Over 2 decades ago, we decided we wanted to be an @nfl City. It wasn’t easy. But we did it. Phase 1 of the decision to remain 1 has arrived. The Lot J development will send a big message to the team & NFL. I’m a yes as demonstrated by me introducing Lot J bill to city council," Curry wrote on November 30.