It is also great evidence of what a redesigned and re-energized Landing can do to boost Downtown as a destination for visitors, Downtown workers and residents.
Saturday night, thousands turned out at the Landing for the annual Hispanic Art Walk, held there for the first time since the event split off from the monthly Downtown Art Walk.
From all accounts, it was a joyous celebration of Hispanic culture.
Later this week, just as has happened since the Landing first opened in 1987, the riverfront courtyard will be jam-packed with partying Florida-Georgia fans in town for the annual football game.
Perhaps more than any other place in Jacksonville, the Landing is the gathering place for the masses that come together to have a good time, and often to promote a good cause in the community.
In the weeks coming up, the Landing will host the annual Lighted Boat Parade, lighting of the Christmas tree and a host of seasonal events leading up to the New Year.
Landing owner Toney Sleiman, who purchased the declining property in 2003, has fought for the past decade to keep the Landing relevant and maintain its importance as a Downtown center piece.
Recently, Sleiman has been promoting a redesign of the property.
It's badly needed and long overdue.
Sleiman first pitched opening up the building to Laura Street and through to the river just after he purchased it — an idea that he has brought up again recently. I liked it when he pitched it before and I still like it.
His plan, which would have required city investment, was rejected by then-Mayor John Peyton.
It's time to make a decision while we have the opportunity, engage the most visible bookend of Downtown and start on the next project.
Sleiman is a shopping center developer and massive Jacksonville property owner. When he salvaged the Landing from the original developer, the Rouse Co., his vision was to restore its luster and transform it into the foundation for a vibrant Downtown.
Over the ensuing years, Sleiman has not lost any of his passion for the property or Downtown. He maintains a constant presence there and his dream for their future is uninterrupted.
That enthusiasm and commitment along with leadership is what Downtown desperately needs to be successful.
London trip worth the investment
It could be easy to be cynical about the trip made by city officials and business leaders to London around Sunday's game there against the San Francisco 49ers, especially with the Jaguars 0-8 record.
But, that would be wrong.
There are two important things that make the world go around.
One is building and maintaining relationships.
The second is making sure people are aware of who you are, what you do and how you can make them better.
The football team's performance yesterday was not nearly as important as the performance of owner Shad Khan, Mayor Alvin Brown and the others who trekked to London to bring jobs to Jacksonville.
Hopefully, this economic team opened some doors and started building important relationships.
The fact that Khan recently purchased the Fulham Football Club in the English Premier League, just 12 miles southwest of London, gives him a high profile there.
He owns an entry card with England's top business leaders and can be a constant ambassador for Jacksonville.
Khan's influence, plus taking the Jaguars back to London the next three years, could give the city a huge advantage in maintaining relationships and luring new business here,.
It certainly gives us additional opportunities to make sure folks know who we are and understand what makes Jacksonville a special place to do business, as well as the chance to reinforce how putting their company here will make them better.
We all had high hopes that the Jacksonville Super Bowl would lead to significant economic development.
But, we were disappointed, in large part I think, because when the Super Bowl was over, people were still unaware of Jacksonville.
Now, we have a chance to correct.
This past weekend — and what we can anticipate will happen on Thursday, Friday and Saturday — is just a small sampling of the proof that the Jacksonville Landing, despite its difficulties, is still an incredibly important piece of Downtown.