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Proposed Landing changes concern tenants

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Updated: 12/23/2013 11:48 pm
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A big facelift could soon be on the way for the Jacksonville Landing. One of its owners is proposing big renovations to help drum up more business.

The Landing is owned in part by Toney Sleiman, but the city owns the property it sits on. Together, both entities have started drumming up new designs. But the tenants have been left in the dark.

The Jacksonville Landing is positioned smack-dab in the middle of downtown. It's full of restaurants and shops. The owners are ready to take it to the next level.

"We actually feel like we're over the hump now and actually feel like we've made it. And of course, we still would like to grow more," said Sherry Lyford, owner of River City Gourmet.

Lyford has been in business at the Landing for two years. Like many Landing tenants, she's excited to hear about the new plans.

Sleiman wants to build condos over the shops, and he's recruiting national restaurant chains. He'd also like to add more parking. What Lyford doesn't know is exactly how her little shop will fit into the owner's new plans.

"The redevelopment was a surprise. I really think what they're trying to do is the right thing for Jacksonville. I honestly feel that way. The Landing is old; it needs to be renovated," she said.

Action News contacted the Landing. Michael Chambliss said the plans aren't finished yet, but there will be less space for tenants. He said no one will be booted out -- they will work to relocate tenants to other spots downtown if there ends up not being room for them in the final plans.

Lyford said she's staying optimistic her spot won't be sacrificed.

"I truly feel that downtown is where I want my shop to be located, so downtown is important to us, and we are going to try to continue to keep the shop downtown," she said.

The renovations will be paid for through a public-private partnership between Sleiman and the city.

The Landing does plan to ask the city for incentives to bring new businesses in.
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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of Action News Jacksonville

whosaysnocan - 12/26/2013 4:50 PM
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Obviously with the improvements there will be a hick in rent. Since commercial property is taxed, these will be more taxes due from the owners of the landing.
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