JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Not much is left of The Jacksonville Landing, and starting Monday, the final pieces will start coming down.
Demolition on the last structure at the riverfront mall -- the building closest to the Main Street Bridge -- will begin after public access to the Riverwalk that has remained open over the holidays is closed.
News4Jax was at the site Friday and spoke to people who were watching the demolition. One group of people from out of town said they were expecting to see The Landing intact. They said tourist information posted online still showed The Landing as a hot spot in Jacksonville.
“That is why we came here because we looked online and it said this is where we should come,” one man said.
Another man, Briggs Brickley, told News4Jax he has many memories from the riverfront mall.
“I think it’s disgusting. I think it is really sad that this is going away," Brickley said. "I don’t know why they could not make it work.”
The Landing with it’s iconic Orange roof opened in June 1987 and housed restaurants, shops and event space.
Over the years, more and more businesses packed up and moved out, and in August 2018 a gunman opened fire during a video game tournament inside a restaurant, killing two before turning the gun on himself.
After a legal back-and-forth between the city, which owns the property, and Tony Sleiman’s company, which had leased the property for 15 years, the city took over the buildings last February as part of a $15 million settlement that broke Sleiman Enterprise’s lease with the city.
The City Council approved the deal, which also included $1.5 million to demolish the riverfront mall and another $1.5 million to buy out long-term leases from stores and restaurants.
Demolition of The Landing began in October.
Mayor Lenny Curry’s office said after the demolition is complete, the site will be cleaned up into greenspace for now. Later this month, the city plans to ask for proposals from developers to determine how the site should be developed.