Earlier this year, marked the 10-year anniversary of Sleiman Enterprises' 2003 acquistion of the Jacksonville Landing. Still a hub of activity for downtown Jacksonville, the festival market place has never lived up to the hype it generated when the Rouse Company built it in 1987. Now Toney Sleiman and the Downtown Investment Authority's (DIA) new CEO Aundre Wallace are determined to change that and want your input.
Festival Marketplaces were viewed by American cities during the 1970s and 1980s as the leading one-trick pony concepts to turn around decaying downtowns.
If you've spent time in a couple of major cities across the country, you've probable been inside one. Underground Atlanta, Baltimore's Harbor Place, Boston's Faneuil Hall, Chicago's Navy Pier, New Orleans Riverwalk, Miami's Bayside, and NYC's South Street Seaport are all examples of festival marketplaces. Characteristics of a successful marketplace were said to include having a right mix of shops and entertainment, adjacent to water and a large number of people nearby.
On June 25, 1987, the Rouse Company brought the frenzy to North Florida with the opening of the Jacksonville Landing. The two-level, 126,000 square foot festival marketplace featured a food court with 18 restaurants, waterfront restaurants and several national specialty retailers. However, despite the fanfare, the center never lived up to its original expectations and failed to stimulate the revitalization of the Northbank.
on Monday, December 9th from 6-8pm, the Downtown Investment Authority will host a Community Planning Workshop aimed at identifying improvements to enhance the Jacksonville Landing with the goal of making this area the centerpiece of Jacksonville’s waterfront experience. This workshop will be held in partnership with the American Institute of Architects, Downtown Vision, Sleiman Enterprises and the Haskell Company. Tom Hurst, President of AIA Jacksonville will facilitate the session at the Main Public Library (303 North Laura Street).
Link to a 2009 Jacksonville Landing Re-imaging effort