Shitaki Enterprises in Jacksonville, Florida has announced plans to develop new superyacht refit and repair facilities in the southeast US and Asia over the next three to five years.

The company is one of a number of possible bidders for the Northbanks site in Jacksonville, the former location of Jacksonville Shipyards.

The 46-acre site, which is owned by the city, has been put out to tender for development proposals on an initial 30-day period. That deadline, however, might be extended because an environmental assessment study of the contaminated site is anticipated to take longer than 30 days to complete.

The city is reportedly responsible for paying to clean up the site before developers can move in. One estimate suggests that the clean-up cost will be in the order of US$35m.

The city authorities will also hand over 1,000,000sq ft of office space to the chosen developer, along with 350 hotel rooms and 525 marina berths.

To date one firm proposal has come from Shad Khan, the owner of the local Jaguars football team.

Shitaki Enterpirses is owned by Patrick Mullen, an executive with some 20 years’ experience in the yacht market, mainly acting as an independent consultant on refit and repair projects.

SB“s sister title IBI, reported that Shitaki Enterprises has a group of investors that have agreed to provide $1.4bn for developing the superyacht facilities. in addition to the Jacksonville Northbanks site, the company is also looking for sites in Georgia, South Carolina and Florida.

“Our facility will take about one-third of the site and it would be able to handle the largest superyachts,” Mullen’s financial consultant, Brian Smith, and his attorney, Eric Smith, explained. “The rest of the site would be used for a superyacht marina with around 20 berths for the largest yachts, other berths for smaller yachts and an international market place. We are talking with one investor who has plans for a 400-slip or larger marina. The international market place would include a number of restaurants and hotel facilities reflecting different nationalities.”

Shitaki plans to submit its proposals in due course. It is anticipated that some 250 jobs would be created just in the marina and superyacht yard. This could increase to 750 or 1,000 jobs over five years. If the proposal is accepted by Jacksonville City Council, it is anticipated that the build time once the site has been cleaned up would be at least 18 months.

In addition, Shitaki has also revealed plans to develop a facility in Asia.