Author Topic: What are YOUR favorite memories of The Landing?  (Read 4733 times)

jaxlongtimer

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Re: What are YOUR favorite memories of The Landing?
« Reply #45 on: November 11, 2019, 07:03:46 PM »
I would suggest much of what plagued the Landing mirrors that which has plagued Downtown and, to some extent, still does.  And, its not one thing but the combination of many.

(1) No master plan/vision to integrate all that Downtown has or could offer into an unified experience.

(2) Lack of clustering and/or synergy with surrounding retail, attractions and events (e.g. eat/shop at the Landing and go to a concert, game, or museum downtown with a low cost or free shuttle service), etc.  Aggravated by the "walled off" effect of the building.

(3) Lack of quality mass transit connectivity and/or convenient parking (Question: was valet parking ever offered at the Landing?).  Running a free shuttle up and down Laura Street from the Landing would have been helpful.  I recall working downtown when the Landing opened and on a nice day, it was a good walk.  If not, good luck getting many office workers to make the trek.  Such a shuttle would have also opened up many more parking options.  Add failure to optimize the water taxi service to bring customers from other urban core areas to it (e.g. eat/shop at Landing and get a discounted/free water taxi ride with a validated voucher).

(4) Decline of surrounding employment base and other retail for much of its life.

(5) Lack of surrounding residential for most of its life.

(6) Opened with too high of a retail to eating/entertainment ratio. By the time it shifted it was too little too late.

(7) Failure of Downtown to consistently and significantly generate tourism traffic (Not reliably marketing Downtown to tourists:  e.g. witness no Downtown "attraction signs" on I-95 or I-10).  Question: Did they ever offer incentives to area hotel guests to visit with coupons or other incentives?

(8.) To the comment about the NFL, I believe many suburbanites have a subliminal "quota" for visits to Downtown and the home Jags games pretty much take that up.

(9) With the opening of Town Center, the concept of the Landing was effectively replaced with a more accessible and much upgraded variation on it's festival them.  [Will be interesting to see the competition between Lot J and Town Center.  Jax seems to still be a one-horse town for now so I wonder if there is room for both - plus Durbin Park in Northern St. Johns.  As to the Downtown core competing, we better address much of what's on this list or watch out!]

(10) Not placing blame here, but the failure of the City and the Landing management to partner together for the good of Downtown sure didn't help the Landing's public image.  It came across as a dying mall on life support which became a self-fulfilling prophecy.  Not very attractive to visitors.

(11) The final nail in the coffin was the more recent reputation many declining malls have acquired and which can be hard to shake once afflicted, that crime and patron safety is a major concern.  The Madden game shooting reinforced the perception that this was not a family venue anymore.

Adam White

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Re: What are YOUR favorite memories of The Landing?
« Reply #46 on: November 12, 2019, 05:10:34 AM »

I still hold that the only thing wrong with the Landing is that it never got updated over 32 years to get ready for changes in retail and what the downtown market could realistically support. The architecture, parking issues, etc. may have been pieces of the puzzle, but the real clincher is it didn't adapt with the times.

That sounds pretty reasonable.

I think that, combined with the fact that it was essentially an isolated development with nothing around it, meant people wouldn't drive in from the suburbs to shop there when the novelty wore off.
It's more than this. Rouse was sold a bill of goods. Based off the archived material in the JPL special collections department,  they came because they got a ton of incentives and was sold that DT Jax would be the next Baltimore Inner Harbor. Without these things, it never would have been built because the market at the time wasn't large enough to support the concept. The other stuff never materialized and many of the initital retailers were already out by 1995.

Obviously, I don't know the ins and outs of what was or wasn't promised to Rouse. But you are basically confirming what I posted. The Landing was in a barren no-man's land due to lack of any other development (and the death of existing development) and wasn't enough to draw people downtown once the novelty wore off.
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thelakelander

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Re: What are YOUR favorite memories of The Landing?
« Reply #47 on: November 12, 2019, 07:22:40 AM »
(9) With the opening of Town Center, the concept of the Landing was effectively replaced with a more accessible and much upgraded variation on it's festival them.  [Will be interesting to see the competition between Lot J and Town Center.  Jax seems to still be a one-horse town for now so I wonder if there is room for both - plus Durbin Park in Northern St. Johns.  As to the Downtown core competing, we better address much of what's on this list or watch out!]

I don't believe DT/The Landing/Lot J, etc. are true competitors with SJTC. SJTC is a regional mall. Its true competition is more Avenues, Orange Park Mall, River City Marketplace, Oakleaf Town Center, etc. moreso than any thing downtown. DT as a real regional retail competitor ended back in the 1980s. DT is/should be its own authentic animal in that it is a place for government, arts, entertainment, history, access to the river, etc. However, to take advantage of its authenticity we'll have to focus on the things it has that suburban shopping centers of the world will never offer.
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vicupstate

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Re: What are YOUR favorite memories of The Landing?
« Reply #48 on: November 12, 2019, 08:06:13 AM »
Quote
However, to take advantage of its authenticity we'll have to focus on the things it has that suburban shopping centers of the world will never offer.

Having multiple large vacant lots on the river is unique.  Oh, you meant unique in a good way.
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thelakelander

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Re: What are YOUR favorite memories of The Landing?
« Reply #49 on: November 12, 2019, 09:00:17 AM »
Hahahaha....Let me explain that comment in a bit more detail. I just spent a few days in Charlotte and came away very unimpressed from a historic building stock, culinary and local culture perspective. I could just be getting older, so the experiences I seek could be changing but this is the first time the place came off like an urban Disney (excluding the old mill buildings/areas outside of Uptown) to me. While there's a lot to learn, not much came across as authentic or something I couldn't find in Orlando, Tampa, Austin, Raleigh, Houston or just about any city with a MSA of more than 1 million that's rapidly grown since 1970.

So little things like having your own historic architectural style still in existence, dishes historically tied to the local community still around, places like the Eastside and or even the handful of historically significant buildings still standing in LaVilla (good gawd what Charlotte did to the 2nd Ward/Brooklyn was outright horrible) all offer potential for something special that can't be replicated if Jax can get its head out of the sand.  These are the types of things that can't be replicated at SJTC. They aren't building a Laura Trio. They don't have an old Richmond or Armory to retrofit into something special. They aren't walkable, bike friendly and mass transit is virtually non-existent there and will be for the foreseeable future.

I think worry about SJTC and its impact on DT Jax is something not worth worrying much about, unless the dream is for DT to have a Dillards, Target, Ross Dress for Less and Cheesecake Factory. Nationally, what excites people with vibrant central business districts is more centered on authentic experiences and sense of place than what's being offered at malls and lifestyle centers. Thus, more focus should be on building up what makes DT Jax special and authentic to this particular region.
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vicupstate

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Re: What are YOUR favorite memories of The Landing?
« Reply #50 on: November 12, 2019, 10:01:37 AM »
Charlotte was for years the poster child of what NOT to do in urban revitalization. Tear everything down and build urban surburban office parks. Starting about 1999, they finally hit on the right path and have been rebuilding the urban fabric they previously destroyed. With only a few exceptions (Latta Arcade, Ratcliffe Florist), the historic architecture is 90-95% gone, never to return. It is a shame but its water under the bridge now.

JAX does indeed have a lot of local and authentic culture and architecture. And while there is more appreciation for it now, still too many treasures still get taken down.     
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thelakelander

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Re: What are YOUR favorite memories of The Landing?
« Reply #51 on: November 12, 2019, 11:24:36 AM »
^Yes, IMO that needs to change asap. It's about all Jax has in decent supply that can't be replicated elsewhere.
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sandyshoes

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Re: What are YOUR favorite memories of The Landing?
« Reply #52 on: November 12, 2019, 02:21:46 PM »
ooo, ooo, ooo!!  [raising my hand in class, excitedly] - Lake, Vic, you two just gave me an idea.  On the former Landing site, I'm picturing a new building which is a central "museum/trolley/ticket office" that was divided into sections; each section detailing a particular area of town, our history, our architecture of which we are proud.  Each section would feature a little 'teaser' exhibit to generate some interest in purchasing a trolley ticket to go see the area in person.  Ticket and trolley could be accessed from this building also.  One trolley would be dedicated for each particular tour, for about a half hour, 45 minutes or so, complete with a tour guide and a microphone.  People could get off and walk around a little bit or not, and this would detail stuff like where the Great Fire began, traveled, ended and buildings that survived.  Then the Reconstruction with Klutho, showing some of his buildings in the area.  The Cathedral District...Springfield...Historic Cemeteries...others?  If there are enough others, it could be a destination visit for school field trips or visitors just wanting something more relaxing than fighting traffic on their first day in Jacksonville.  Just a thought.  A nice, open and airy building (like the food court was) where people could also sit outside and just enjoy seeing the river for a little while.  It would not be a huge building, so would provide ample parking for the museum/restrooms/trolley tickets.  Maybe have a few food trucks show up at peak times...?  I know it's pie in the sky thinking right now, but we don't have anything like that currently - do we?  There could be a trolley to run to the Ritz Theatre Museum exhibit, which is something else that could be featured in a little exhibit at the 'hall'.   

sandyshoes

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Re: What are YOUR favorite memories of The Landing?
« Reply #53 on: November 12, 2019, 02:32:00 PM »
Here you go - this was sort of the same thing in Jacksonville, Oregon.  But sans the building on the river serving as a museum/et al.
https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g51920-d3226686-Reviews-Historic_Jacksonville_Trolley_Tour-Jacksonville_Oregon.html

Florida Power And Light

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Re: What are YOUR favorite memories of The Landing?
« Reply #54 on: November 13, 2019, 09:28:50 PM »
I recall, fondly, when the Landing opened.So thrilled. Took photos of construction phase.
Many restaurant and clothing retail adventures, including boat access, dock.
Most recently my fondest thoughts are of a certain, riveting Vision;the entire place bulldozed, public Open Space, open views down Mainstreet and from the River,land far too valuable to “ develop”, open space, a promenade, Jacksonville’s Gracious Front Porch,an anchor for surrounding “ world class” development, or at least something that might compete with a Lake at Nocatee.
« Last Edit: November 13, 2019, 09:43:48 PM by Florida Power And Light »

Florida Power And Light

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Re: What are YOUR favorite memories of The Landing?
« Reply #55 on: November 16, 2019, 06:59:42 PM »
I recall, fondly, when the Landing opened.So thrilled. Took photos of construction phase.
Many restaurant and clothing retail adventures, including boat access, dock.
Most recently my fondest thoughts are of a certain, riveting Vision;the entire place bulldozed, public Open Space, open views down Mainstreet and from the River,land far too valuable to “ develop”, open space, a promenade, Jacksonville’s Gracious Front Porch,an anchor for surrounding “ world class” development, or at least something that might compete with a Lake at Nocatee.
One week later, same Vision.