City Council member-elect Matt Carlucci is making a pitch for the city to use a charrette-style workshop for residents to brainstorm ideas about the future use of the Jacksonville Landing, saying interest is high in what comes next and there should be upfront buy-in from the public.
WJCT News partner The Florida Times-Union reports Carlucci even found a new way to describe the importance of the Landing’s location on the downtown riverfront.
“It’s a beloved piece of property,” Carlucci told the Downtown Investment Authority board at its monthly meeting on Wednesday. “Even if it’s not a currently viable piece of property, so many people want to have a say in its future. The Landing, to so many people, is like the centerpiece at the Thanksgiving table.”
Carlucci won’t take office until July 1, but the future of the land occupied by the Landing is likely to be one of the biggest decisions for the next City Council.
Others have called the location on the downtown riverfront the home plate, front porch and front lawn of the city.
Mayor Lenny Curry has said there will be a “community discussion” about the site, which the city is in the process of obtaining from the Sleiman family in legal settlement over control of the riverfront land.
Curry favors demolishing the mall, which fell on hard times since its opening in 1987. He put forward a concept last year that showed the bulk of the property would be green space and two new buildings for a mix of uses would be built on the side of the property farthest from the St. Johns River.
Jacksonville Landing Investments still controls the Landing, but after the city gains possession of the site and before demolition occurs, the city will provide an opportunity for public discussion about comes next on the land, said city spokeswoman Nikki Kimbleton.
An expanded version of this story is available at Jacksonville.com.