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Is Downtown Going Down the Tubes?

Have we been sold a bill of goods by the city? Is the renaissance of downtown over before it even began? Apparently some downtown business owners think so.

Published January 31, 2008 in Opinion      56 Comments    Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article


feature

 This letter is representative of what a lot of downtown business owners and residents have been thinking lately.


"After attending the recent DVI meeting, attending my 1st Shadco
meeting this week and recently speaking to business owners and
respected public servants I have the following comments.

The City has a lot of mad business owners regarding the transient
issue. Some are boiling mad and fed up with the City and may be close
to going out of business. They blame the transients. It certainly has
hurt my business. I suspect employers feel the pinch as I have had
managers to decline to work for me after they walked to the Landing
and back. I know this problem can be fixed as I saw the fix when I
lived in Atlanta, Miami and Orlando. I hear the Star Bucks is
struggling and the fact that Firehouse has closed should be a wake up
call to the City. I realize it will not be fixed unless City Council
and the Mayor are behind it. I am perplexed though why they are not or
at least that is the appearance. The Mayor/City keeps waving the
banner of creating a vibrant downtown but lets this problem exist. It
is exasperated by Jacksonville's high crime rate which also does not
seem a priority to resolve. Either this is not a priority or we do not
have capable people. I suspect it a political issue and no one at City
Council or in the Mayor's office will disclose the real reason why
they promote downtown yet appear to turn their eye to the problem that
will not allow downtown to be successful.

Many owners, including myself, feel lured here by broken promises.
Once they are forced out of business it will make only matters worse.
I am not expecting a response. I am sure your are a fine person with
the City's best interest at heart and I recognize your serve at the
pleasure of the Mayor. I only want to go on record with your office."
 
 - Concerned Downtown Business Owner

 

 

 


What is DVI's plan to handle this issue?  Do they even have a plan?  With the passing of Amendment 1 and the city already struggling with a budget crisis, what is the best way to overcome the issues downtown faces?








56 Comments

copperfiend

January 31, 2008, 08:35:46 AM
Does anybody in City Hall even care? It's frustrating going to other cities across the country and seeing the progress they have made. I have real doubts anything will ever happen here.

NJ to JAX WHAT DID I DO?

January 31, 2008, 08:47:47 AM
That lady has a lot of stuff....seems so unorganized though.....how does she know where things are? 

Again the homeless are not the problem.  Every city has homeless.  The problem is the lack of things going on, lack of businesses open, cost of rent for businesses, no markets to buy food (therefore making it unliveable), extremely unnecessary sprawl of the rest of the city, empty streets, etc, etc. 

It was funny how Nicky G's was only open for about a month.  That was laughable. 

stephenc

January 31, 2008, 09:09:24 AM
What has been the solution for the homeless problem in other cities?

thelakelander

January 31, 2008, 09:16:19 AM
I hear ya NJ to JAX.  There's several issues that need to be dealt with, but most of it still revolves around a lack of connectivity and critical mass.  Everything is too isolated which causes pedestrian traffic to spreadout, giving a stronger impression of abandonment.  Without connectivity, its going to be difficult to pull in a market or for a start up business to justify paying premium dollars to lease substandard space in a substandard atmosphere.  Market wise, we have to get back to rates that allow moms & pops to easily come in, as opposed to artificially inflating rates and believing we can pull in a Macy's, movie theater or something like that.

As far as Nicky G's, I think poor service is killing it more than anything else.

thelakelander

January 31, 2008, 09:22:29 AM
What has been the solution for the homeless problem in other cities?

There's several ways cities have dealt with these issues, but most still have vagrants wondering the streets.  The difference is they don't stand out as much because the cities have been successful at being able to pull residents and businesses in those areas.  Ramped up law enforcement, properly lighting the streets and buildings and not making downtown the epicenter of the homeless shelter industry are other ways these things have been dealt with. 

Lake Eola Park - Downtown Orlando

when you make rules to enhance the image, enforce them.

For example, in Orlando, most of downtown's shelters are located west of I-4 on the edge of the core.  Unfortunately, its done a lot of damage on Parramore, but vagrants don't litter the parks in the heart of the core's vibrant activities.

tufsu1

January 31, 2008, 10:02:14 AM
good point Lake....the reality is every city has a homeless problem (Jax may have a bigger problem than most)....and its just going to get worse with a national recession and passage of Amendment 1

Really people...if local governments cut back on staff and/or support for other causes, what will happen?  Remember most of that $ was being spent in OUR community!

downtowngirl

January 31, 2008, 10:37:06 AM
What are the retail rents downtown? I've heard conflicting stories.

second_pancake

January 31, 2008, 10:37:54 AM
The city really does not have any rules around what the homeless can/can not do.  I have a lot behind my house that is owned by a private resident in Riverside.  I rented the house last year and got a call from the tenant that they had to call the fire department because the fence was on fire.  When they went in the back to put it out, they found a homeless man that had set-up camp right behind the fence in my backyard, on the vacant lot.  He was trying to make a fire to keep warm and almost burned my fence down.  He was out there for a long time (don't get me started on why the renters didn't bring it to my attention earlier), had a set of blinds hanging from a tree limb for privacy and everything.  Anyway, I called the police to have the man removed and they didn't even know the property was privately owned.  They kept insisting it was owned by the city and because of that, "the man has every right to remain on city property" and there wasn't "anything they could do about it."  They said they could ask him to leave, but he'd just come right back.  I bitched enough to get them to do their research and find the true owner of the property.  When it was brought to his attention, he had the homeless man and his belongings removed immediately and the man never came back.  So, the moral of the story here is, you can do whatever the hell you want to on city property and nothing will happen to you, but if it's on private property, you'll get your butt handed to you.  With that, what incentive is there for any homeless person in our city to take advantage of the many shelters we have?  If you could sleep in the middle of a park on a nice bench without a million other people around you, wouldn't you do it?  If you could crawl into a neglected, city-owned building and camp out without anyone bothering you, wouldn't you rather do that than be at a shelter?  It's like having a free house compliments of the city of Jacksonville.

The city needs to be proactive instead of re-active.  Don't sit around and wait for something to happen to do something.  Go out there, get off your butts, and DO something BEFORE anything happens.

walter

January 31, 2008, 11:08:30 AM
"going down the tubes"

ha, thats funny.  Hey folks, this is Jacksontucky, lower your expectations and you won't be disappointed all the time. 

Heck I don't mind the wait at Nicky G's, I get that its very complicated to make a pizza in Jacksontucky, so the wait is understandable.  Firehouse subs, crap anyway good riddence, eat at Blue Boys its way better. 

The homeless problem, nah has to be a myth... according to the TU recently  "Jacksonville's homeless population has increased by 75.3 percent since 2000 - when the annual count was first conducted."  How about we propose to turn downtown Jacksontucky into one big homeless shelter like "Escape from New York", that would solve the problem of these suburban types not really wanting anything to do with downtown Jax.  Heck now that the beaches are busing in their homeless thanks to the BOA grant and the new "homeless shuttle", downtown Jax really isn't much more than a homeless shelter anyway isn't it? 

I get that Jacksontuckians hate their downtown.  They see it as a blight on their otherwise beautiful city.  If you look at it from their grey tinted lenses you'll be able to see what they've seen for a long time, a lump of coal that wouldn't turn into a diamond even if you did shove it up Cameron Fry's ass!

stephenc

January 31, 2008, 01:40:57 PM
What would setting up more laws against the homeless do? More fines? Guess what.. there homeless. Throw them in jail? The jail is already busting at the seems and then they would be a tax burden on the citizens more than they are now. Obvisously the shelters arent working. They're in one day and out the next. The only solution is each homeless person making a decision to make a change in there life and making an effort to better themselves. We can throw money and ideas at this issue but until the homeless society decides for themselves they want to change, nothing will happen.

second_pancake

January 31, 2008, 03:29:57 PM
What would setting up more laws against the homeless do? More fines? Guess what.. there homeless. Throw them in jail? The jail is already busting at the seems and then they would be a tax burden on the citizens more than they are now. Obvisously the shelters arent working. They're in one day and out the next. The only solution is each homeless person making a decision to make a change in there life and making an effort to better themselves. We can throw money and ideas at this issue but until the homeless society decides for themselves they want to change, nothing will happen.

I agree to an extent.  No, you can't set fines or put them in jail, but you can trot them back down to the shelter.  If it happens enough, they'll realize there's no point in trying to squat in someone's yard or city property...that is if they're of a mental capacity to understand what's happening.  Point is, while there isn't much recourse to really 'punish' them, we can't just concede our public places, businesses and homes to them either.

downtownparks

January 31, 2008, 04:04:27 PM
Pancake, your post actually points to one of the big problems this city has.

First, why in the hell would a city hold on to a residential lot, and second, how is that considered "public property"?

We have almost two dozen lots in Springfield owned by the city. The city NEVER mows or upkeeps these lots unless someone goes to the media. The truly funny thing is, they get cited all the time by code enforcement... Figure that one out.

This city owns, and mis-manages property all over the city, but the biggest problems are here downtown. The Pocket Park is a great example. Rather than put it back on the tax rolls AND increase your workforce housing numbers, you leave it under ownership by the city, and let it further blight Main St. A 700K homeless park.

This city needs to have an enema so the leadership can pull its collective head from its arse and realize that 20 lots in Springfield would be better for both the city and the neighbors of those lots if they were turned over to private developers with the caveat that it be developed within three years.

Anyway, I know I am all over the place with this post, its just so frustrating to watch.

Midway

January 31, 2008, 04:50:28 PM

 How about we propose to turn downtown Jacksontucky into one big homeless shelter like "Escape from New York", that would solve the problem of these suburban types not really wanting anything to do with downtown Jax.  Heck now that the beaches are busing in their homeless thanks to the BOA grant and the new "homeless shuttle", downtown Jax really isn't much more than a homeless shelter anyway isn't it? 


How much could it cost to install a "Gitmo" style Camp Delta fence around the downtown? Certainly less than $400 Million dollars!

Problem solved.

Thanks for the innovative idea.

I'm sure that Mayor Peyton's office is actively soliciting ideas, and this one is probably better than anything they have come up with so far (not for lack of trying, I'm certain).

Midway

January 31, 2008, 04:58:17 PM
Prime directives of the Peyton administration;

1. Do no thing which shall not enrich either me, or members of my family, or which does not promote the interests of other power brokers and captains of business within our fishbowl so similarly situated..

2. See #1.

jeh1980

February 01, 2008, 02:02:23 AM
I don't think that downtown is going down the tubes. I like downtown, but I would like to see more variety. There are a few shops and restaurants that are just opening in downtown even as I speak. But sometimes, I feel that the Mayor and the staff were not doing enough to make downtown Jacksonville a 24hr. downtown that it should be. Some restaurants were open from 7am till 2pm or 4. Even the "L.A. Cafe" at the AT&T Building open from 7am till 2pm and I like some of their stuff. That place would be real good if they would extended their hours. But I heard that would not be the case. I find that the city want to attract vistors with a picture-perfect shot of our downtown's northbank with the St. John's River telling everyone like you and me that downtown is a great place to visit. That might be true on some counts...with the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra, the Times Union Center, the Florida Theater, our Library, JMOCA, Friendship Fountain, the sport complex (mostly the live concerts @ the arena and our beloved Jaguars) and the annual Art Walk. They are all good, don't get me wrong, but visitor from out of town need more variety that all of that. That need more than just our downtown northbank backdrop with the St. John's River on the foreground. They need even more fun and excitement. I don't mean to complain about downtown because I like to visit there because of the heights and the sights, but in my honest opinion, we need to have more variety than what we can offer for the visitors and they expect more. Mayor Peyton and the city council got to have an explaination about what we all just read. And they all got to think of something to REALLY attract people and business to come here. I know that they all want to be in Jacksonville for the long haul. The Mayor and the council need to give them a chance. We are not Mayberry...or "Jacksontucky"(what kind of a name is that to nickname our town). Ain't we the 12th largest city in America? We are, but we must prove that to the entire world. Don Redman needs to think of something to help us stop all the murmuring and complaining we all been writing on this crazy MetroJacksonville.com site, we all due respect. Just call him up @ 630-7372 and let's put an end to this foolishness! Jesus Loves You and may you always love one another. ;D

dknighton

February 01, 2008, 12:37:58 PM
Having lived in Jacksonville the majority of my life, I can tell you that nothing will ever change in this town until we as a collective unit shed ourselves of this massive inferiority complex that has been ingrained in us over countless years.  It permeates everything we do....the people we elect....the decisions we make, as a city.  We have got to stop saying to ourselves, "Atlanta does this" or "Orlando has that".  We are not any other city.  Of course we can use other cities as examples, but in the end we must decide what is best for our downtown.

The first step the people of this city need to take is to stop electing people from the "good ol boy" network to office.  We need innovative thinkers who aren't afraid to stir the pot or step on the conservative religious right's considerably large toes.  I can tell you first hand from conversations I've had...there are those among the church-going population who would be perfectly happy to see downtown remain as it is:  A place to work by day, and a homeless shelter at night.  There are those walking among us who take it upon themselves to be the "moral conscience" of this city, who think we should all be in Church on Sundays, and spending Saturdays at Chuck E. Cheese or a suburban mall.  Anything representative of culture or art or style has no redeeming value to these people.

But they will only be successful if we allow them to be.  There are more positive and good things in store for the future of this city, if only we will speak up!

stephenc

February 01, 2008, 12:47:27 PM
Here we go again trying to blame people who go to church for the problems with downtown.  The problems with downtown have nothing to do with the "religious right".

dknighton

February 01, 2008, 01:04:16 PM
Well, the fact is, I don't see any atheists, agnostics or humanists being elected to office, or forcing BRT down our throats, or asking ridiculous amounts of rent for buildings barely up to code, or building pointless parks without so much as an RFP.  No, they're all "good, decent, Christians".

stephenc

February 01, 2008, 01:41:33 PM
Maybe you oughta move to San Fransico. 

fsujax

February 01, 2008, 01:45:04 PM
Well, the fact is, I don't see any atheists, agnostics or humanists being elected to office, or forcing BRT down our throats, or asking ridiculous amounts of rent for buildings barely up to code, or building pointless parks without so much as an RFP.  No, they're all "good, decent, Christians".
and how do you know all of this? please share the details of where these people who are asking high rent rates attend church.

RiversideGator

February 01, 2008, 10:48:09 PM
Well, the fact is, I don't see any atheists, agnostics or humanists being elected to office, or forcing BRT down our throats, or asking ridiculous amounts of rent for buildings barely up to code, or building pointless parks without so much as an RFP.  No, they're all "good, decent, Christians".

How is it then that us Christian conservatives not have yet managed to kill off Five Points and San Marco?   ::)

downtownparks

February 02, 2008, 03:31:46 AM
In fairness RG, it wasn't for lack of trying. I seem to remember a little episode in the late 90s where the Fire Marshall went though and basically shut every club in Jax down, or at least cut their capacity to a quarter of what it was. Guess which church he had ties to?

Lunican

February 02, 2008, 11:11:45 AM
What about Don Redman, the city councilman for downtown. Doesn't he have some kind of opinion on bars and drinking in general?

thelakelander

February 02, 2008, 11:26:10 AM
Is he even concerned about downtown?  There hasn't been much about him and his opinions on downtown since he got elected.

RiversideGator

February 02, 2008, 04:18:37 PM
In fairness RG, it wasn't for lack of trying. I seem to remember a little episode in the late 90s where the Fire Marshall went though and basically shut every club in Jax down, or at least cut their capacity to a quarter of what it was. Guess which church he had ties to?

I dont remember this at all (although I may have been out of town at the time).  Do you have a source to support this?

Tony Bowlasoupa

February 03, 2008, 05:14:19 AM
In fairness RG, it wasn't for lack of trying. I seem to remember a little episode in the late 90s where the Fire Marshall went though and basically shut every club in Jax down, or at least cut their capacity to a quarter of what it was. Guess which church he had ties to?

I dont remember this at all (although I may have been out of town at the time).  Do you have a source to support this?

I remember this pretty well, as this  was during my prime "clubbing" years.

From what I can recall, the reason they were shutting down alot of the clubs because of the extacy epidemic that was sweeping all the late night joints like evolutions, an afterhours place that served no booze and didn't open until 3 am. Club 5 was getting raided a good bit too along with a few other scattered ones around the city. It seems like that scene died off awhile back....or it could be i'm 9 years older and am outta touch. Either way though. I think it was more to do with the rampant drug use inspired by the rave scene of the late 90's.

stephenc

February 03, 2008, 10:32:37 AM
OK. We live a very religious city. Who here doesnt have ties to some church. Come on guys!!

downtownparks

February 03, 2008, 04:19:35 PM
Tony, you might be right on one level. There was a lot of little no-name clubs that played nothing but raver music, and had no beer and wine and stayed open till 4am. But a lot of long standing institutions went by the wayside too. Club 5 was forced to install a very expensive fire system, and even then was only allowed half of its previous capacity, Milk Bar was forced to consolidate with the Paradome, which became 618. Motolounge, which was a swing bar, was shut down, there was another one over on Hendrix that was a ska/swing bar that was shut down because a christian book store moved in next door. Dash Riprocks at the beach and on university were shut down, I dont remember why The Edge shut down but it did around that same time.

I remember hearing a good number of them were fire marshal crack downs, and the cost to get legal was far beyond what the vast majority of them could afford.

Yes, Stephenc, many people have ties to churches, but few churches in town are as prolific in having their hand in everything as the FBC.

I wish them no ill-will, I just wish they would let things happen downtown organically, rather than forcing everything to be in line with their values.

Imagine if we had the Milkbar, Motolounge, and 618 all still on Adams St along with BG, London Bridge, and Bay St TC.

hank

February 04, 2008, 09:11:42 AM
Crap... now I have to add stall wort churches to the list of things working against downtown!  Anyway, DK you are right about the Jacksonvillian inferiority complex: being new to the area, the self-loathing around here hit me like a ton of bricks!  Sure there's a lot to loathe I guess - but how will that ever change if that is what we continue expect of our leaders... ourselves?

jerry cornwell

February 05, 2008, 11:13:35 AM
actually whats been described are some good points for dtown. there are 3 clubs downtown, clubs come, clubs go, thats how it is. at least we have 3 downtown- more will follow. boomtowns 8 blocks away. look at nyc manhattan, all those clibs are closing, that populations shifting (me!) the citys doin what it does, i think it could be sooo much worse (rudy guiliani (sic)) lets drop the defeatist attitude and develop some action.
the default of kuhn(laura trio) should be looked upon as positive.  im still trying to buy a 2 story in lavilla; i cant do that anywhere but jax--- and only jax will let me live/work.
we are gonna have to do this ourselves
the urbismus movement is great, we need to do subtle things like this, which the city actually agrees with. the recession can be a sign for downtown to come to the artists like nyc 1977 when they almost filed bankruptcy.
when we get to that stage dtown will appeal to the population, and theres a good chance for downtown prosperity.we cant be adversarial with 1st baptist, i think they agree with our long term goal.

downtownparks

February 05, 2008, 02:35:37 PM
Well said Jerry. Thanks for bringing some positivity to the discussion. I think we sometimes get a little sullen since we watch progress (or lack there of) so closely.

thelakelander

February 05, 2008, 02:54:34 PM
NYC in 1977?   If we go by the same timeline, Downtown Jax should be the place to be when I turn 60.  My kids will be 36 & 32.  So my grandkids will be able to enjoy the environment we're pushing for right now.  Hopefully, at some point in the future, we can revitalize warp speed.

jerry cornwell

February 05, 2008, 06:52:16 PM
no, nyc was best right after 77 when ed koch took over.the urban art movement, warhol, street art. the eighties was the best times for nyc, affordable, exciting. after koch was defeaated by dinkins then guiliani in early 90s the decline began for nyc (relatively speaking from my pov) there became an artistic exodus from nyc, to la, seattle ect. places affordable for artists and us of metrojax. when i see this vacant downtown, i just believe it just like then, but maybe better. i do recgnize
your anger, resentment. its just that we have to take a certain action ourselves to make it happen, the kuhn default, the death of the courthouse, the oppertunities are there, getting distressed props at great value--- i just see the mallable jacksonville falling in our hands. but we have to do it!

jerry cornwell

February 05, 2008, 06:54:04 PM
the music scene in jax is already underway, it aint southern rock.

thelakelander

February 05, 2008, 07:02:53 PM
I hear ya.  I'll try to do my part.

Coolyfett

February 05, 2008, 07:34:23 PM
Certain parts of DT Jax are looking ok to me. From Adams going toward the Landing has a few things going on. Also Jefferson going toward Liberty covers the same area. Thats the important perimeter IMO. That could be our party/event district. Still many unpaved lots in this perimeter though. There are MANY abandoned buildings in this section to, buildings that could actually become something but they are not. Just my thoughts.

I-10east

February 05, 2008, 11:38:59 PM
the eighties was the best times for nyc

I dunno Jerry. Some will argue that the eighties (particularly late 80's) in NY were the worst with the crack epidemic, low paying Mc jobs, high crime, poverty and all. I left NYC in 86' and it gotten worst through the rest of the eighties.

jerry cornwell

February 06, 2008, 05:54:52 AM
thats right, my arguments relative, by the late 80s it went bad in that respect, but artistically the peak was late 70s to mid 80s, when you left. the size of nyc,its internationalism defined those problems--- cities of the late 20th cent being of the very, very rich--- and prisons of the poor.
i feel these elements exclude jax, lump her along seattle(pre) just making it ripe for artistic development, a firm separation of urban suburban. theres an art movement underway visual musical, but its underground, its centered around downtown. ypu have to be in touch (easier with technology in 2008) just like punk (talking heads, blondie, voidiods ok ramones) nyc77ish seattle grunge, lower east village street art basquiat, haring, kostabi, ect. its fermenting, but steps have to be taken, and I-10s right many probably a majority arnt gonna support it, thats where rudy, bloomberg were elected ant took nyc away from historical paris rome, berlin, and towards like hong kong, a certain character of la,(place to make movies) tokyo.

hank

February 06, 2008, 08:15:52 AM
For my part, what makes JAX so exciting is this exact question of the incomplete revitalization of downtown and its undecided status - that it has the raw materials of a great city that has not yet re-emerged from a major downturn.  I could have moved to Seattle or San Diego or...  crap, Nocatee for that matter and move into a turnkey neighborhood - but I'd have wagered nothing, invested nothing in helping to make those communities something good.  Now there are only pockets of activity separated by tracts of disuse and I know that its been a long time coming, but those vacant buildings look to me like untapped potential that could, with a few proactive strokes and forward-thinking champions, turn into something like an art district.  How much does an art district really take other than cheap buildings and a not discouraging civic environment?  (OK not getting shot while developing your masterwork would be a plus but you get the idea).  The point is, downtown is relatively uncharted territory that, with a few great old buildings and space for some great new ones, could become anything we'd want it to  - perhaps that is why this site is getting so much attention.  Do you think people in Boston spend this much time griping about every stray plastic bag that blows through downtown!

Jerry brings up how completely relative this idea of "progress" can be - NY 1977 is hell to some people, but was in fact an amazingly fertile ground for art and culture.  JAX has plenty of space for a variety of districts and to have ONLY an art scene or ONLY a yuppie shopping district would be equally ill-conceived.  A healthy urban core should support every spectrum of culture.

I'd also point out that, while were thinking of NY's revitalization/gentrification, there are still a ton of homeless people everywhere you go in that city.  Maybe it is something that will always be with us.  15% of homeless people are mentally ill and a majority of the remainder are substance abusers.  Those are national problems that aren't necessarily unique to JAX.  OK, so Giuliani was basically a big broom that swept these people under the rug - it never went away.  Its unfortunate to see homeless people as a cue to throw in the towel on downtown development.

thelakelander

February 06, 2008, 08:30:48 AM
Jerry/Hank, Great points.

jerry cornwell

February 06, 2008, 09:02:07 AM
artwalks tonight

collard

February 25, 2008, 09:41:59 PM
Maybe someone should consult the Rudy Guiliani years in Manhattan.........the homeless situation is very well contained. NYC is much safer and cleaner than Jax......it's so sad as there is so much history here, yet revival never seems to happen.

gatorback

February 25, 2008, 10:15:02 PM
A lot of
Maybe someone should consult the Rudy Guiliani years in Manhattan.........the homeless situation is very well contained. NYC is much safer and cleaner than Jax......it's so sad as there is so much history here, yet revival never seems to happen.

The attitude toward the homeless is completely different in NYC then in Jacksonville.  Rudy had nothing to do with that; however, he did clean up the city I'll give him credit for.  He started by having the police issue tickets for people who discarded cigarette butts....the word got out he's cleaning up the city.  If you got a ticket for throwing out a cigarette imagine what would happen to you if you commit a crime.  It worked.

second_pancake

February 26, 2008, 09:16:09 AM
Maybe someone should consult the Rudy Guiliani years in Manhattan.........the homeless situation is very well contained. NYC is much safer and cleaner than Jax......it's so sad as there is so much history here, yet revival never seems to happen.

It's really difficult to "revive" downtown when everyone is "moving to Nocatee".

Steve

February 26, 2008, 09:38:56 AM
It's really difficult to "revive" downtown when everyone is "moving to Nocatee".

True, but every city has these mega master planned communities.  There is enough places to live to go around (maybe too many, given the real estate market).  If downtown is desirable to the average person, they will come.  There are a lot of things to do with this, but remember - the suburbs are cyclical (Arlington was once the sought after neighborhood).

JeffreyS

February 26, 2008, 12:07:46 PM
The real estate market will keep any fast change from happening downtown people just can't sell their houses and move right now.  We can attract renters now and use that as a base for businesses and activity to attract actual home owners in the future.

What will it take to have some lights installed downtown?  Downtown just will never seem safe in the dark.

Steve

February 26, 2008, 01:37:51 PM
The real estate market will keep any fast change from happening downtown people just can't sell their houses and move right now.  We can attract renters now and use that as a base for businesses and activity to attract actual home owners in the future.

I completely agree - remember, the goal of an Apartment tower is to get people in the units, while a condo developer could sell all of their units to out of town investors, and nobody would care.

What will it take to have some lights installed downtown?  Downtown just will never seem safe in the dark.

I also agree - while I don't feel unsafe, dimly lit streets give that impression to casual visitors.  Unfortunately, we've standarized the light fixtures downtown on those expensive historic fixtures that just shoot light out, not down.  In the core of downtown, it's not a problem because the buildings bounce the light all around, and make it work (walk down Monroe next to the library; it's pretty bright)  Here's an easy fix:

- Take all of those fixtures that are located in parking lots (i.e. the lot on Forsyth owned by the city), and on the riverwalks, and replace them with simple fixtures that shine light down.  They do no good if there is no building there to bounce light off of).

 - Take the replacement fixtures and install them on the highly traffic'ed corridors downtown.  We've done some of the North-South Streets, but there are a couple of really dark east-west streets (Forsyth & Adams immediately come to mind).

second_pancake

February 26, 2008, 01:44:17 PM
It's really difficult to "revive" downtown when everyone is "moving to Nocatee".

True, but every city has these mega master planned communities.  There is enough places to live to go around (maybe too many, given the real estate market).  If downtown is desirable to the average person, they will come.  There are a lot of things to do with this, but remember - the suburbs are cyclical (Arlington was once the sought after neighborhood).

That was meant as a joke to Collard who mentioned in another thread that "everyone is selling their homes to move to Nocatee."  Tounge-in-cheek.

Tony Bowlasoupa

March 05, 2008, 12:32:57 PM
Tony, you might be right on one level. There was a lot of little no-name clubs that played nothing but raver music, and had no beer and wine and stayed open till 4am. But a lot of long standing institutions went by the wayside too. Club 5 was forced to install a very expensive fire system, and even then was only allowed half of its previous capacity, Milk Bar was forced to consolidate with the Paradome, which became 618. Motolounge, which was a swing bar, was shut down, there was another one over on Hendrix that was a ska/swing bar that was shut down because a christian book store moved in next door. Dash Riprocks at the beach and on university were shut down, I dont remember why The Edge shut down but it did around that same time.

I remember hearing a good number of them were fire marshal crack downs, and the cost to get legal was far beyond what the vast majority of them could afford.

Yes, Stephenc, many people have ties to churches, but few churches in town are as prolific in having their hand in everything as the FBC.

I wish them no ill-will, I just wish they would let things happen downtown organically, rather than forcing everything to be in line with their values.

Imagine if we had the Milkbar, Motolounge, and 618 all still on Adams St along with BG, London Bridge, and Bay St TC.

Ah yes! I remember all of those, unfortunately I was about 19 or 20 when most of them closed down. I really miss old wave night at the milkbar and chilling at the motolounge. Is 618 still kartuche*sp*? That place dropped off my radar long ago..

gatorback

March 05, 2008, 04:25:49 PM
homeless is derogative can we call it permanent shelter challenged?  Been there once thank god for a friend.

JeffreyS

March 05, 2008, 10:09:07 PM
I don't think there is a well lit portion of downtown.  I have gone out in cities mostly St. Louis and it is bright.  lighting sets the mood.

raheem942

April 24, 2008, 04:00:12 PM
well in miam they dont have this problem they have people that patrole the streets and make any one sleeping in public get up in go to a shelter or move on....we need a program like that to keep the homeless out of downttown and make it a westside problem.......they gotta go some were right?

gatorback

April 24, 2008, 04:36:57 PM
northside near the power plant.  give them an all day access to that beach what is it little talobot island?

stephendare

April 24, 2008, 05:41:44 PM
well in miam they dont have this problem they have people that patrole the streets and make any one sleeping in public get up in go to a shelter or move on....we need a program like that to keep the homeless out of downttown and make it a westside problem.......they gotta go some were right?

of course allowing people to get into the shelter after 6pm would probably make that more possible.

sheclown

April 24, 2008, 08:13:49 PM
well in miam they dont have this problem they have people that patrole the streets and make any one sleeping in public get up in go to a shelter or move on....we need a program like that to keep the homeless out of downttown and make it a westside problem.......they gotta go some were right?

of course allowing people to get into the shelter after 6pm would probably make that more possible.

If you run across a situation and you think the person maybe homeless and needs help, you can call the Hope Team Outreach of Sulzbacher.  This organization will do all they can to care for the person.  #394-8092. 

gatorback

April 24, 2008, 09:12:51 PM
no Stephen the 6 pm rule put you in either the I need a place to crash camp, or the I want to party till the bar closes then crash for free camp.
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