Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Point of View; Landing Must Be More Than Another Apartment Complex

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Point of View; Landing Must Be More Than Another Apartment Complex

Article excerpt

Byline: Peter Rummell

The recent public conversation about The Jacksonville Landing brings to the forefront an issue that has challenged many communities:

How do you properly deal with a community asset whose time has come to be completely overhauled?

Throughout my 43-year career in development and place making, I have faced many similar situations.

In every project and situation, I always started with core programming:

- Goals.

- Uses.

- Outcomes.

- Impact.

As we examine The Jacksonville Landing, we must recognize that its impact is far greater than its nine acres.

Its redevelopment will be the catalyst for all of downtown.

It must be programmed, planned and executed properly.

In meetings I have had with Sleiman Enterprises about the Landing, I have never seen or heard one reference to programming.

In their media statements, I've seen a variety of renderings and heard various commentaries.

But none seemed focused on programming.

Programming must be our community's requirement before any public money is invested in the Landing.

The Landing sits in the heart of Jacksonville.

It is where people have shared monumental community experiences.

We have gathered to cheer our favorite teams to victory, celebrate the announcement that Jacksonville was a Super Bowl city and welcome U.S. presidents.

It is where thousands rallied in support of our military. And where local bands got their shot at stardom.

As our city's town square for fireworks, holiday tree lightings and boat parades. the Landing is also the central hub of our downtown wheel.

The spokes of the Landing should reach out and connect all of downtown - from the Northbank to the Southbank - all along our great asset, the St. Johns River.

Now is the time to break free from the past mistakes of the Landing's design. …

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