“Downtown has been frozen, we need to thaw it out,” said developer Toney Sleiman, owner of The Jacksonville Landing.
And Sleiman is looking to do just that. Last month, the Downtown Investment Authority held a public workshop in conjunction with DVI, the Haskell Company, AIA and Sleiman Enterprises to explore ideas about revitalizing The Landing. Approximately 200 people came out to voice ideas ranging from the importance of market-rate housing to incorporating art and local flavor to pedestrian and vehicular access.
Sleiman Enterprises and Haskell Company incorporated that feedback into a proposed design presented at the January 15 DIA Board meeting. The plans incorporate two towers–one to house a boutique hotel, the other to house residential units–with space for small business and retail below and throughout the site along with ample parking built into the proposed structure. A substantial setback from the river will allow for a wider Riverwalk and art promenade for pedestrians to enjoy and last block of Hogan Street will become a public plaza. Finally, the plans call for elimination of the ramp leading from Water Street to the Main Street Bridge on the western boundary of The Landing site.
The DIA will now begin its due diligence on the market demand for residential and hotel space Downtown, and will make sure that these plans are included as part of the redevelopment strategy its currently drafting.
Here is a look at the presentation shared with DVI this month, republished with permission.