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City agency looking for design firm to turn former Jacksonville Landing site into ‘Riverfront Plaza’

DIA photo of former Jacksonville Landing site
DIA photo of former Jacksonville Landing site (Photo provided to WJXT)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The city’s Downtown Investment Authority has put out a request for proposal to find qualified design firms and their consultants who could produce a “vibrant and iconic public space” on the Northbank site where the Jacksonville Landing stood for decades.

The re-imagined site will be known as Riverfront Plaza.

The candidates to win the project will make presentations at a public workshop before the DIA selects one team to complete the design. The agency understands the magnitude and importance of this site and the need for an aesthetic, functional and programmatic design that will integrate public art to create a recognizable symbol of Downtown Jacksonville.

“We are so thrilled to release this much-anticipated RFP,” said Lori Boyer, CEO of DIA. “We dedicated a lot of time and effort to prepare a scope and assign evaluation points that both reflect the significance of the site and effectively capture the critical requirements and input needed to activate this premiere space on our beautiful Riverwalk. We look forward to reviewing the submissions come March and wish all interested parties the best of luck.”

The RFP selection process will happen on two parts. Part one includes submission of qualifications, which the city will evaluate, score and select three shortlisted design teams to participate in a design competition. This selection is scheduled to occur prior to the end of March 2021. In the second half of the process, the three shortlisted design teams will receive a stipend to complete 50% designs where they will showcase their vision for the plaza, including how their design would interface with the future private development. Those 50% designs will be shown to the public and allow for comment. The city will also solicit input from subject matter experts and Downtown stakeholders, all of which will be shared with the evaluation committee.

The selected winner of the design competition for the best-qualified design will be invited to negotiate a full professional services design contract with the city, bringing design of the public space to 100%.

The city is working to ensure the timeline of the park design and construction is coordinated with nearby public infrastructure improvements, such as the Hogan Street Cycle Track, the Times Union Center for the Performing Arts bulkhead restoration and music commons and bulkhead improvements at the Riverfront Plaza. As such, the city is taking reservations for use of the park between now and December 2021 and hopes to be under construction on the new public space by January 2022.

Any questions regarding this RFP should be submitted via email to Dustin Freeman at dfreeman@coj.net.