A new vision for Jacksonville’s iconic Riverfront Plaza has been selected.
Last week marked the culmination of a seven-month process to choose a new design for this iconic property on the banks of the St. John River in Downtown Jacksonville, formerly known as The Landing.
The Perkins&Will design team — part of a global design firm founded over 80 years ago in Illinois — was named winner of the Riverfront Plaza Design Competition by the City of Jacksonville (COJ) Professional Services Evaluation Committee (PSEC), beating out two other finalists, Agency Landscape + Planning of Massachusetts, and Olin Partnership of Philadelphia.
“I am extremely happy with the turnout of this process and the quality designs it produced,” expressed Lori Boyer, DIA CEO. “Prioritizing the public park space on the site and engaging the public in the design process was of utmost importance from the onset of this effort. I commend all who took the time to provide their valuable insights and congratulate the three design teams for their exceptional work. I look forward to seeing the Perkins&Will vision come to life in what will be a first-class asset for all to enjoy.”
The winning design – dubbed One Park Jax – boasts a central lawn, a destination play space, a beer garden, a river terrace, a park pavilion building, a hotel and sky garden, which includes outdoor dining options, a bike and pedestrian connection to the Main Street bridge, and a 150-foot “Jax” sculpture situated atop civic stairs that is described “undeniably unique and authentic to Jacksonville.”
Contract negotiations for the final design begin immediately, with the park slated to begin construction in about one year. The completed design is expected to cost $23 million with the sculpture to cost between $11-$18 million.
“This is an exciting project that will change the Downtown experience for years to come, said Daryl Joseph Director of Parks, Recreation, and Community Services. “Parks connect people to each other, and Riverfront Plaza will connect the community to the St. John’s River in a meaningful, heartfelt way.”
“We are absolutely thrilled and humbled to be selected for this amazing project,” said Christopher Counts, Perkins&Will Landscape Architect Design Principal. “The transformative potential of this project cannot be overstated. This new world-class park will be reflective of the culture, diversity, and vitality of the City of Jacksonville. It will become part of the public consciousness of the City and a source of civic pride for the citizens of Jacksonville. We look forward to having the opportunity to fulfill our promise to work with the city and community members to create a park for all of Jacksonville.”