The Jacksonville Port Authority Board has agreed to sell about 38 acres of waterfront property to the man who defended his nearby land from the authority taking it through eminent domain a little more than a year ago. Keystone Coal Co. owner Tom Scholl will pay $6.6 million for the property and pay his own attorney’s legal fees of $6.6 million, which the authority was ordered to pay. Under the arrangement, Scholl won’t pursue legal action against the authority for alleged business lost when the 70 acres at the northern terminal of Talleyrand Avenue were under threat of eminent domain.
Jacksonville Port Authority Executive Director Rick Ferrin said a bulk materials terminal could have been built on the 38 acres, but the authority decided to sell due to its need for capital and desire to focus on building Hanjin Shipping Co. Ltd’s terminal at Dames Point. He added that the economic impact of the 38 acres would be greater if it was combined with the other 68 acres.
Keystone Coal plans to build a $20 million coal terminal on part of its 78-acre parcel. The authority bought the 38 acres for about $5.7 million from Jax Martime Partners LLC.
Following the $61 million verdict for the 70 acres of land and the authority’s balking on the price, Judge Richard Watson ordered the authority to pay $10.5 million to lawyers who defended Keystone. Keystone’s lead counsel Andrew Brigham said he reduced the attorney fees by 40 percent from $10.5 million to better help Keystone and the authority reach a deal