Editorial by Ennis Davis, AICP

14 months ago The Jaxson advocated for the adaptive reuse of a publicly owned commercial property as opposed to wholesale demolition. The reasons for favoring adaptive reuse included saving 30 existing small downtown businesses, hundreds of jobs, existing foot traffic and having an opportunity to add life within a short term time frame. Since time is money in the real estate development world, the hope is that we’d take advantage of a good economic climate that was not guaranteed to last forever. Despite the discussion of dreams about what the site could become, history had proven that the greater chance of what would materialize from demolition would be a lawn that would be void of activity for several years. While no one could predict that COVID-19 would reek havoc on our economic climate, our worst fear has predictably come true. To date, more than 12 months of very little activity and we face a foreseeable future of the existing desolate scene remaining the same for years to come. Sometimes pictures speak better than a 1,000 words. Here is a visual look at where things stood last year compared to where they stand today.

The Jacksonville Landing - 2010s