JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Long-awaited development at downtown Jacksonville's prime riverfront location is just a day away from beginning, according a City of Jacksonville spokesperson.
The spokesperson says construction at Riverfront Plaza will start June 5 with redesigning Independent Drive, the street in front of the green space. Ideas and plans for what form the space will take has been deliberated since the Landing was torn down by the city in 2020.
A zumba event is the last event scheduled at Riverfront Plaza before construction. The site has been home to many festivals and events. The city spokesperson says they're looking for alternate locations for those while construction is taking place.
"It's gonna be everything for the city," said Kristen Dureaux, board member with the new nonprofit Riverfront Parks Conservancy, which partners with the city's parks department and Downtown Investment Authority to work on riverfront parks.
Dureaux and another board member, Nancy Powell, say Independent Drive will be redesigned in order to have more park space. The park redesign is set to take place in two phases.
Phase one will be on the side of the park closest to the Acosta Bridge and will have more green space and a cafe with a playground on top of it. Phase two is proposed to have a 44-story residential high-rise with restaurants, a beer garden, a fountain and large steps.
Powell and Dureaux say there has not been a final decision about the art the park could have. No final decision has been made about including a large sculpture spelling "Jax," which many joke looks like it spells "Lerp," in renderings.
What Dureaux says will be guaranteed is making you want to come downtown to the park.
"It will just bring people closer together and give the community back to its citizens," she said.
Learn more about the progress of the many park development projects here.
Find the email and phone number to put in your input on one of the projects here.