Plans are in the works to give the Jacksonville Landing a major new look. Channel 4 got the first look at what the new and improved Landing could look like, and what the city hopes to accomplish with the project.
The plans laid out Wednesday night stem from a workshop that was held on Dec. 9 to get the ball rolling on changing the face of the Landing. Since that meeting, developers and the city have been working on improvements.
The developer presented the plan for change Wednesday night. The new plan would have Laura Street continue to the riverfront and buildings on the riverfront would be pulled back and eliminated in an effort to give the riverfront back to the community.
One of the presenters told meeting goers Wednesday that the original design for the landing “turns its back on the city.” The new design makes the landing a more open layout.
The proposed plans also add a hotel and a residential building to the Landing area. Getting more people to live downtown is an effort that city officials said Wednesday is critical to the future of downtown.
Mayor Alvin Brown also attended Wednesday’s meeting and said he feels it’s time to go back to square one.
“The Landing was a big deal in 1987 when it was built, but it’s not a big deal now,” said Brown. “Our goal should be to make it iconic, to make sure it becomes a destination, to make sure it's user-friendly. I want people to be using the Landing not just from nine to five, but seven days a week.”
Brown said he is making changes at the Landing one of his top priorities. The Downtown Investment Authority is moving forward with a feasibility study on the area. There is still no timetable on when any construction or changes will begin at the Landing.