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Jacksonville Landing lowdown: Can it really happen?

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Updated: 1/16 9:30 pm
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Haskell CEO and Civic Council President, Steve Halverson, believes Downtown Jacksonville is on the edge of greatness.

"Downtown really is on fire right now," he said.

And he said making drastic renovations to the Jacksonville Landing is exactly what the city needs.

"It does everything we need to with Downtown," said Halverson. "It pulls people together, unifies important elements, creates density, creates a better place to live, work and play.  Makes us a better city."

Developer Toney Sleiman and his team presented these plans to the Downtown Investment Authority Wednesday night.  They include condos, a mix of retail and residential, even a hotel.

Resident Mary Davis said, "Oh, I think it's wonderful.  I think it's a wonderful opportunity for residents to come, and guests to come, and enjoy the riverfront."

Resident Tom Larson said, "It's quite a bit slimmer than it was in 1987 when it opened.  So a refresh would be in order."

But with this "refresh" comes a healthy dose of skepticism.  There's no timetable, and more importantly, no price tag.

Halverson said, "I think it's within the range of what the market can afford.  That's why I'm optimistic it will happen."

He called renovations "fiscally feasible," saying the cost will change with the scope of the project.

He said, "I think people are tired of living in a town that people criticize.  We can be better."

Sleiman said the plans are just conceptual right now. They were drawn up after a town hall meeting where neighbors and stakeholders put in their two cents.

The project will be a public-private partnership. The city owns the land. Sleiman Enterprises owns the buildings.

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