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3 Different Visions Unveiled For Former Jacksonville Landing Site

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Perkins and Will
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Perkins and Will's presentation included a render of the new park with the proposed "JAX" sculpture.

Three teams presented their proposals for the former site of the Jacksonville Landing on Thursday.

The firms, Agency Landscape and Planning, based in Massachusetts; Olin Partnership, based in Philadelphia; and Perkins and Will, based in Chicago; presented their designs to Jacksonville's Professional Services Evaluation Committee, known as PSEC.

Each team received an hour to present to the committee, an hour to take questions from the committee and 20 minutes to receive questions and comments from the public.

Agency Landscape based its presentation around the motif of a "love story," and presented several concept designs.

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Credit Agency Landscape and Planning / Via News4Jax
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Via News4Jax
Agency Landscape and Planning's presentation revolved around romance, with visitors falling in love with each other, the river and the city.

The agency estimated its design would cost $3.2 million per acre of developed land, and that the park that would replace the former Landing would cost around $1 million annually for upkeep.

Olin Partnership's presentation revolved heavily around themes of preserving the city's nature, community and history.

Concept designs included the creation of floating wetlands along the St. Johns River's edge and a central kinetic sculpture acting as a canopy for park visitors, surrounded by native grassland.

Olin provided two budget estimates, both totaling $27.4 million.

In option one, the city would pay $18.4 million for the park design and construction. The remaining $9 million for artwork would be fundraised through donations.

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Credit Olin Partnership
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Olin Partnership's first budget plan for financing their park proposal.

Under option two, the city would pay $17.2 million for the most expensive art piece and most of the park and fundraise through donors $1.2 million for the remaining proposed artwork and $9 million for proposed park elements like a skatepark and playground.

Olin estimated maintenance would range from $500,000 to $700,000 annually, not including staff to program events and operations at the park. 

The presentation given by Chicago firm Perkins and Will would leave more of the space wide open, with the idea of keeping the site more versatile for events and concerts.

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Credit Perkins and Will
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Perkins and Will diagram of the park space includes massive art installation as a draw for private investment.

Perkins and Will also stressed the idea of the park as an opportunity to create a new iconic representation of Jacksonville by constructing a large "JAX" sculpture reminiscent of both an anchor and a river, as a source of tourism and investment by private interests.

Perkins and Will's estimates its design for the park would cost around $12 million, while the art installation would cost between $11 million and $18 million, depending on whether the city wanted brush finish or mirror finish.

The presentation cited the Cloud Gate in Chicago, affectionately referred to as "The Bean," which draws 12 million visitors annually and millions in revenue from private investors purchasing the park and nearby spaces, as a model for bringing similar investment to Jacksonville.

Tristan is WJCT’s 2021 Summer Reporting Intern. He has previously worked as the City and County Commission reporter for the Independent Florida Alligator, Gainesville’s student-run newspaper, and Fresh Take Florida, a news service working in partnership with the Associated Press to cover the Florida Legislature and select political news stories across the state.
Reporter Raymon Troncoso joined WJCT News in June of 2021 after concluding his fellowship with Report For America, where he was embedded with Capitol News Illinois covering Illinois state government with a focus on policy and equity. You can reach him at (904) 358-6319 or Rtroncoso@wjct.org and follow him on Twitter @RayTroncoso.