‘Ground zero’ for downtown development, city considers future of The Landing

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Riverfront Plaza, the former site of The Landing, has grabbed the attention of more than 100 firms interested in developing the area.

The Downtown Investment Authority has narrowed it down to three firms.

A representative for the City of Jacksonville said we won’t know who will win the project for a couple more months.

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City Councilman Reggie Gaffney of District 7 said a majority of his constituents would like to see an aquarium take over the site, which is more than four acres large.

“If I had my magic wand and just listened to people in the City of Jacksonville — an aquarium is getting more talk,” Gaffney said.

DIA is considering a mix of public and private development, including a park surrounded by shops, restaurants and attractions.

In a statement to Action News Jax, a city representative said, “The DIA understands the magnitude and importance of this site and as such, the aesthetic, functional and programmatic design of the public space and the integration of public art to create a recognizable symbol of Downtown Jacksonville are paramount. The intention is to create a vibrant and iconic public space on the premier waterfront for all to enjoy.”

Demolition on The Landing started in October of 2019.

Councilman Gaffney said the site is ‘ground zero’ for downtown development.

He added that the city’s goal is to have 10,000 residents in downtown Jacksonville. Currently there are about 6,000.

Changes could also be coming soon to the Berkman Plaza II.

The empty building has been sitting in the downtown area for about 13 years.

Councilman Gaffney told Action News Jax that a contract for a new construction company could be sealed in the next couple days.

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He expected a formal announcement on Thursday.

He added demolition could begin in a matter of months if everything goes as planned and a mix of townhomes and retail buildings would be constructed.