For many years, The Jacksonville Landing has been a topic of debate and despair, with the distinctive riverfront marketplace becoming increasingly dilapidated and struggling to attract – or hold onto – tenants. It currently finds itself at the center of an ongoing legal battle, and is almost certainly headed toward major redevelopment.
The Landing’s recent history is so negative that it tends to overshadow how cool of a place it was when it first opened.
The now-barren mall boasted some of the nation’s top retailers when its doors opened in 1987. In addition to these great shops, it had a fully-packed food court with offerings like Great Wraps and Ben and Jerry’s, plus sit-down restaurants like Morrisons and St. Augustine favorite Harry’s Seafood Bar and Grille.
But back then, foot traffic in downtown was at a minimum – and would decrease even further in the ’90s when crime became a bigger issue in the area. The city didn’t really do much to help generate foot traffic, and the lack of parking made it a nearly-impossible destination.
None of these retail shops are there anymore. Only Coastal Cookies and Hooters remain from opening day in ’87.
If the Landing could start over with retailers like these, today’s event-focused atmosphere aimed at bringing in foot traffic, and the promising future that downtown Jax is (hopefully) heading toward, it’s hard to imagine it not being a success. The now-dated mall was ironically far ahead of its time.
Here’s a look at some of the retailers that originally called Jacksonville Landing home when it opened.
THE LANDING’S ORIGINAL RETAIL TENANTS
- Accessory Lady
- B. Dalton Books
- Banana Republic
- The Body Shop
- Casey & Osh
- Foot Locker
- The Gap
- The Limited
- The Sharper Image
- Stadium Stuff
- Sunglass Hut
- Tie Rack
- The Toy Factory (originally Fun and Games)
- Victoria’s Secret
- Wolf Camera
- Zales Diamond Store