Tens of thousands of people are expected to line the banks of the St. Johns River for the upcoming Fourth of July fireworks celebration. From the tops of the towers to “downstream” at Riverside Arts Market, there’s not a bad seat in the house if you’re on the river. It’s an asset that so many downtowns would kill for. With more than 115 acres of vacant, publically-owned riverfront, we have a once in a lifetime opportunity to see it developed in a way that will make it a year-round destination for generations to come.
This is why DVI teamed up with the American Institute of Architects (AIA), Urban Land Institute (ULI), Florida Redevelopment Association, JCCI and the St. Johns Riverkeeper to lobby for a cohesive vision and unified framework for the development of Downtown’s riverfront.
We often hear Downtown residents say they would like a place along the river to set out a picnic blanket or play Frisbee. With an additional 600 residential units in development and an aggressive residential strategy in the works by the Downtown Investment Authority, we need to cultivate great public spaces on the river. Existing parks like Metropolitan Park and Memorial Park are simply not walkable from the core.
The best riverfront land needs to be cultivated for community use, easily accessible and surrounded by smart, targeted development. The next time you’re on the river, think about what you want to see – and what you don’t want to see – and let us know by sharing your thoughts with us on Facebook or Twitter (@DTJax).