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Jax Daily Record Monday, Aug. 25, 201412:00 PM EST

Latest plan for the Landing: Start from the ground up

by: Max Marbut Associate Editor

A new Downtown festival space, 300 apartments and a boutique hotel are included in the latest redevelopment proposal for the Jacksonville Landing.

According to a news release distributed by Sleiman Enterprises, owner of the riverfront retail and entertainment center, the intention is to “create an enduring and iconic project that will remain as a symbol of the beauty of downtown Jacksonville for decades to come.”

Under the proposal, the multi-use development would replace the existing structure and increase public access along the St. Johns River from 20,000 square feet to 89,000 square feet with open space to accommodate festivals and events.

The apartments are designed to attract as many as 500 new urban core residents. Renderings of the design show rooftop swimming pools and other amenities.

Also included in the design are 60,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space in two buildings on a site that would extend Laura Street to the river.

The project is estimated to cost as much as $75 million to complete.

“This is a game changer for Downtown,” Toney Sleiman said in the news release.

Sleiman also said there is a lot of work to be done to bring the plan to fruition.

The plan calls for an $11.8 million initial investment from the city for the road improvements and public space elements as well as an economic development agreement that likely will include financial incentives from the city.

The expenditure is being considered by City Council as part of its evaluation of Mayor Alvin Brown’s proposed 2014-15 Capital Improvement Plan budget.

The council Finance Committee takes that plan up this week.

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