Jacksonville, FL — Jacksonville’s Mayor wants to demolish the buildings, landscape, and hardscape that make up the Jacksonville Landing, but it leaves the question of what comes next.
WOKV reported Wednesday that the City and Jacksonville Landing Investments have reached a $15 million agreement to settle a long-running lease dispute. If that settlement is approved by the City Council, Mayor Lenny Curry is asking for an additional $1.5 million to use to demolish the site.
We asked listeners what they would want to see at that property, and you’ve responded, by using the “Open Mic” feature on the free News 104.5 app:
You can continue to join the conversation, as we air your responses throughout the day on 104.5 FM. Among the ideas you’ve raised so far are an Aquarium, a marina, a “City Walk” kind of development, and other attractions and mixed-use concepts.
Last year, the Administration floated the idea of a mainly park development for the parcel, if the Landing were ever demolished. WOKV reached out to Curry's office to see if that is still his preference, and we were told they are not providing any further comment at this time.
Currently, the City of Jacksonville owns the land, but is in a long-term lease with JLI, who owns the buildings. The two entities have been in a dispute over the lease, with JLI claiming the City has fallen short on exterior maintenance and security, while the City says JLI hasn't fulfilled its promise to run a world-class venue.
Some tenants who are still operating businesses are telling us they’re waiting to see what happens next just like everyone else.
“We’ve been here when there’s been foot traffic, and we’ve weathered the storm and we’re still her,” says Sylvia Walker, the owner of NAIWBE Boutique & Spa.
Walker says she’s wondering if the City is planning to provide some sort of assistance for the people still operating out of the Landing so they have an easier time moving forward.
The proposed settlement would have the City pay $15 million to JLI in order to terminate the lease. Month-to-month subtenants would be closed out, and the City would move toward providing the needed notice to end other subleases as well- something that would also be budgeted $1.5 million to do.
The City Council must still approve the $18 million package, which includes the $15 million settlement, $1.5 million for subtenant settlements, and $1.5 million for site demolition.
If the site is demolished, it's far from the only one taking place in Downtown. The old City Hall Annex was recently imploded and the old County Courthouse is being taken down. Plans are also in motion to remove the Hart Bridge ramp that runs through the Sports Complex.