Reinvigorating Festival Marketplaces
The Landing isn't the first festival marketplace to fail in achieving its original goal. Since the 1990s, several festival marketplaces in second tier downtowns across the country have had makeovers. As we ponder the future of the Jacksonville Landing, here is a brief look at the redevelopment strategies of similar centers in other communities.
Waterside - Norfolk, VA
The Rouse Company opened The Waterside, on the Elizabeth River in downtown Norfolk on June 1, 1983. The $13 million center was intended to be a catalyst for the redevelopment of a declining downtown. Throughout the 1980s, Waterside was a success. However, the opening of nearby MacArthur Center, a 140 store mall anchored by Nordstrom and Dillard's, in 1999 resulted in Waterside's decline. That same year, the Norfolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority purchased the property.
In the early 2000s, the festival marketplace was revamped as an entertainment, nightlife and dining center. Tenants include Joe's Crab Shack, Freemason Abby Restaurant, Jack Quinn's Irish Pub, Bier Garden Restaurant, Granby Street Pizza, Baxter's Sports Lounge, Big Easy Oyster Bar, Snappers and Hell's Kitchen.
The City wanted the project done, and we agreed to do it if they created a park, put the bulkhead along the waterfront, provided a garage and put up all the money for the marketplace. We then received a fee, and eventually when the project could pay debt service on the financing, we would then split the cash flow. So it was a no-investment, no-risk deal, and the opportunity to make money over time.
- James Rouse offering his opinion of coming to Norfolk