Author Topic: The Jacksonville Landing: What Should It Be?  (Read 48764 times)

Metro Jacksonville

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The Jacksonville Landing: What Should It Be?
« on: October 03, 2014, 03:00:02 AM »
The Jacksonville Landing: What Should It Be?



Sleiman Enterprises wants to redevelop the Jacksonville Landing. Most agree that something should be done. However, there's debate on what the final product should be, who should pay for it and how much public money should be invested in it. Here's a brief look at the rise and fall of the Landing and the variety of opinions facing its future.

Read More: http://www.metrojacksonville.com/article/2014-oct-the-jacksonville-landing-what-should-it-be

KenFSU

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Re: The Jacksonville Landing: What Should It Be?
« Reply #1 on: October 03, 2014, 11:48:36 AM »
I'm in favor of leaving the Landing alone, at least for now. On its best days, it's crowded, vibrant, beautiful, and a tremendous asset to downtown Jacksonville. On slows day, at least it's still functional. We don't need to go knocking down one of downtown's major destinations just for the sake of knocking it down. In the short-term, any public funding would be much better off put toward the Laura Street Trio, a redesign/restoration of Hemming Park, an extension of the Skyway into Brooklyn, small business incentives on the northbank, etc. Anything to increase vibrancy and pedestrian-scale density and use in the surrounding area. The existing Landing would enjoy positive externalaties from any of these projects and could buy itself a ten-year reprieve while other surrounding areas are improved. I'd rather focus on the underlying issues first, rather than attempting to build another one-trick pony to save downtown. Didn't work the first time with the Landing, and it likely wouldn't work a second time either.

BoldCityRealist

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Re: The Jacksonville Landing: What Should It Be?
« Reply #2 on: October 03, 2014, 12:18:11 PM »
I'm in favor of leaving the Landing alone, at least for now. On its best days, it's crowded, vibrant, beautiful, and a tremendous asset to downtown Jacksonville. On slows day, at least it's still functional. We don't need to go knocking down one of downtown's major destinations just for the sake of knocking it down. In the short-term, any public funding would be much better off put toward the Laura Street Trio, a redesign/restoration of Hemming Park, an extension of the Skyway into Brooklyn, small business incentives on the northbank, etc. Anything to increase vibrancy and pedestrian-scale density and use in the surrounding area. The existing Landing would enjoy positive externalaties from any of these projects and could buy itself a ten-year reprieve while other surrounding areas are improved. I'd rather focus on the underlying issues first, rather than attempting to build another one-trick pony to save downtown. Didn't work the first time with the Landing, and it likely wouldn't work a second time either.

YES.

Exactly. In my opinion, the Landing is the lowest priority. Focus on the Trio first, then the Shipyards and JEA property.  I actually love the idea of turning the Landing into a craft market of sorts. Push out some of the chains and put in some unique dining venues - that could be it! And then just modify the back of the building so it is open to DT. A nice stop-gap solution for the next 20 years as DT hopefully flourishes. The Landing is definitely NOT the thing holding DT back - honestly, it's still the main reason most people go downtown to begin with.

Keith-N-Jax

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Re: The Jacksonville Landing: What Should It Be?
« Reply #3 on: October 03, 2014, 12:50:47 PM »
Ken I agree with you. There are other areas that need more attention. The Landing is pack for events and holidays. If anything making the courtyard larger would be a plus. I hope we never get rid of the sign. I love seeing that on TV during football games.

Tacachale

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Re: The Jacksonville Landing: What Should It Be?
« Reply #4 on: October 03, 2014, 01:26:58 PM »
I also agree with Ken. I'd like to see the Landing remodeled, and there's plenty to like in Sleiman's proposal (opening up to Laura Street, removing the Main Street Bridge onramp, more open riverfront space, new residential, etc) but that's a lot of public money for a plan with such serious questions. Considering that we've seen several recent projects that are strong from the design, I'd rather wait on the Landing until we see something that really knocks it out of the park.
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downtownbrown

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Re: The Jacksonville Landing: What Should It Be?
« Reply #5 on: October 03, 2014, 03:07:15 PM »
A rare conversation.  Everyone agrees, and everyone is right.

thelakelander

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Re: The Jacksonville Landing: What Should It Be?
« Reply #6 on: October 03, 2014, 03:27:59 PM »
I agree that the major obstacle the Landing must overcome could be the health of the core surrounding it, moreso than the site itself.  There are some challenges regarding dedicated parking, structural layout, width of the riverwalk, etc. but I believe they can be overcome. It's already been said, but whatever it ends up being, it makes some sense to save and include the features that already work and make the site a special place.
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JeffreyS

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Re: The Jacksonville Landing: What Should It Be?
« Reply #7 on: October 03, 2014, 04:18:43 PM »
I would like to see the on ramp to the main Street bridge go away in front of the landing. The the landing could expand into the surface parking lot on the Eastern side.
Lenny Smash

UNFurbanist

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Re: The Jacksonville Landing: What Should It Be?
« Reply #8 on: October 03, 2014, 04:23:12 PM »
They should take inspiration from the UNF student union but scaled up for the grander downtown skyline. Bake in retail, dining and bar space with apartments to the side and you have a winner. The pedestrian focused opening down the center would connect laura street to the river while still giving an iconic modern image to the riverfront. If you haven't seen the UNF SU check it out here. http://www.dasherhurst.com/portfolio/university-of-north-florida-student-union/

I-10east

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Re: The Jacksonville Landing: What Should It Be?
« Reply #9 on: October 03, 2014, 04:34:11 PM »
Well said Ken.

IrvAdams

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Re: The Jacksonville Landing: What Should It Be?
« Reply #10 on: October 03, 2014, 05:00:12 PM »
They should take inspiration from the UNF student union but scaled up for the grander downtown skyline. Bake in retail, dining and bar space with apartments to the side and you have a winner. The pedestrian focused opening down the center would connect laura street to the river while still giving an iconic modern image to the riverfront. If you haven't seen the UNF SU check it out here. http://www.dasherhurst.com/portfolio/university-of-north-florida-student-union/

Didn't they win an architectural award for this design? It looks pretty cool indeed...
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exnewsman

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Re: The Jacksonville Landing: What Should It Be?
« Reply #11 on: October 03, 2014, 05:07:36 PM »
I prefer keeping the icon design we've become know for as a city. Doesn't mean, however, that some improvements are warranted. I think eventually MORE retail is needed, no LESS.

The Laura Street trio could be a spark, as could the Peter Rummell/Mike Balanky proposal for the JEA property. That plan could bring 3-4K more residents to Downtown plus what the Trio brings in both residential, hotel guests and workers.

Then building some waterfront apartments and office space with bottom floor retail on either side of the Landing (not replacing the Landing) give the Landing a new vitality without compromising the visual equity we've built over the past 3 decades with the current structure.

We could have the best of both worlds - keep the icon and still have some new interests for the area. The building though need to be something other than the boxes that Sleiman showed. Was too lackluster to be a "game changer" as he put it. Take the icon to a whole new level. Be inspiring. Step away from the boring "strip mall building" mentality and actually create something people can be proud of.

strider

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Re: The Jacksonville Landing: What Should It Be?
« Reply #12 on: October 03, 2014, 06:50:45 PM »
How can anyone not see that the issue with the success of the Landing is not the Landing itself, but the surrounding area?  I think everyone essentially agrees with that.  The landing from Mr Sleiman's perspective, if filled with people all the time, would have to be a great revenue producer since the initial outlay was so small (Is he even paying that rent yet?).  So then the only reason to take that small outlay and turn it into a very large one in this very risky way (after all, everything that was in the past touted as the next great thing to revitalize Downtown has failed...) is to make money on the process.  If that were not true, then he would worry more about what goes on around him rather than changing the Landing.

Which I think can be opened up rather inexpensively and that in itself could be used to at least test some of the theories expressed on these forums. And that would also preserve the skyline because I suspect that 90% of the pictures of Jacksonville's skyline published include the Landing.
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jcjohnpaint

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Re: The Jacksonville Landing: What Should It Be?
« Reply #13 on: October 03, 2014, 07:28:36 PM »
I think the Trio is much more important than the Landing.  Open the Landing up the the river and make it and open farmer's market.  If you took the landing and put it in Seattle, we wouldn't be having this conversation.  Same with Hemming Plaza. 

exnewsman

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Re: The Jacksonville Landing: What Should It Be?
« Reply #14 on: October 03, 2014, 07:57:42 PM »
If they keep the Landing intact, the y could still open it up to Laura Street. Just open underneath and still leave the roof as is. So those traveling down Laura could see the river and vice versa, but we wouldn't lose that overhead view over the orange half circle roof and sign that we've all come to know.