Possible changes for the former Jacksonville airfield

Many wonder what’s next for the former Jacksonville Landing site, but are excited about the series of concerts the city has since brought.

JACKSONVILLE, Florida – The Jax River Jams concert series has entered its third week.

Many wonder what’s next for the former Jacksonville Landing site, but are excited about the series of concerts the city has since brought.

Some people like the idea of ​​an aquarium, others would like local art on the old landing site to be incorporated into the design.

Sidnie Anthony works for a local nonprofit Hope at Hand that offers art and poetry sessions for vulnerable populations for children K-12.

Anthony likes what has changed downtown so far.

“I like how all the parks are being renovated … I want to see more stuff like live music to bring more people together,” said Anthony.

She attended the Jax River Jams series on April 15 and says she would like to see other events like this one in the future.

Several groups have submitted bids for construction on Riverfront Plaza, according to Timothy Gibbons, editor-in-chief of the Jacksonville Business Journal.

“14 companies have applied. Three companies were selected to produce preliminary designs. The city works differently than it has done on major projects in the past, ”said Gibbons.

Gibbons says the designs will be evaluated by the public and the Downtown Investment Authority. He says the goal is to allow stakeholders to choose a design rather than a company so they have a better idea of ​​what the future landing site might look like.

“There is talk of some kind of public art on the site, something that people think is necessary for a vibrant downtown,” Gibbons said.

Another ingredient for a successful inner city is that the employees of large companies are back in the office.

Gibbons says VyStar is in the process of completing its campus, which could mean some employees are returning to the office.

Jennifer Morrissey, who runs the mustard and onion hot dog stand on Laura Street and Forsyth Street, says she noticed a lot more people downtown.

“I would say there could be almost 80 percent more people in the last month than in November and December,” said Morrissey.

Projects such as the new FIS headquarters in the Brooklyn area and the construction of a boutique hotel in the Laura Street Trio are being planned.

Morrissey hopes the construction of the hotel and mall will benefit her business.

“It’ll help my business because I’m right across the street. And with the city the concerts down the street [at the Landing site]They keep people downtown, ”said Morrissey.

According to Anthony, art and eye-catching architecture are part of the downtown recipe for success.

“I want everyone to work together to make Jacksonville a better, happier place,” said Anthony.

Gibbons says these companies must submit drafts to the DIA by June 23 for review.

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