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Public Access Improvements for Northbank Riverwalk

As a result of a land swap between the City and Fidelity that threatens the future of Riverside Avenue's historic fire station, Jacksonville residents have gained more access to the river in the form of a 1.3 acre park with 28 public parking spaces.

Published May 21, 2008 in Development      48 Comments    Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article


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The property under the Fuller Warren is in the process of being converted into an outdoor artist mall with vending space, public restrooms, an outdoor auditorium and public parking.

The Artists' Mall is scheduled to be completed this summer. The city eventually plans to extend the Northbank Riverwalk a few blocks south to Memorial Park in Five Points.













While the improvementsshould be viewed asan asset, there are some issues that remain to be addressed.


A. While a great visual focaland access point to the riverwalk, the public park becomes one of many passive recreational spaces within the downtown urban core. At some point, we'll need to invest in public parks that urban core residents can use for a multitude of activities.

This means that features such as tot lots, playing fields, courts, fountains, monuments, pavilions for picnics and gatherings and even retail/dining spaces in nearby buildings will need to play a more prominent role in our urban design planning.

B. The long term success of an artist mall under a bridge, displaced from general public view is highly questionable.

For example, the concept of an artist mall in conjunction with a public space would have made more sense in the park proposed between The Landing and the Times Union Center. A location such as this would be visible and lead to pedestrian interaction between the Landing shops and restaurants, Omni hotel guest and Performing Arts patrons. Now that thisuse will beplaced under the Fuller Warren, we'll have to divert extra attentionto treatthe artist mall as an anchor destination, as opposed to a complementing destination that can feed off existing heavy foot and automobile traffic.


In general, the park and artist mall should boost the quality of the Northbank Riverwalk. However, they also show that we, as a city,may have a way to go in embracing the need for compact horizontal connectivity as a way to quickly stimulate urban synergy.

Article by Ennis Davis








48 Comments

vicupstate

May 21, 2008, 05:51:38 AM
The area under the Fuller Warren should host an all-day Farmer's Market on Saturdays.  Weren't there plans for that earlier? 

Charles Hunter

May 21, 2008, 06:08:39 AM
Good article (as usual) Ennis.
Not sure there still couldn't be a farmer's market - why not?

My question - how do you keep Fidelity Plaza employees from parking in these new public parking spaces, and the ones coming online under the Fuller Warren?  Will they be posted/closed until 9 or 10am?

thelakelander

May 21, 2008, 08:18:56 AM
The area under the Fuller Warren should host an all-day Farmer's Market on Saturdays.  Weren't there plans for that earlier? 

Given the site layout, it would be a pretty small farmer's market that would be difficult to get trucks in and out.  Also, how would that hold up against the real farmer's market on Beaver Street?  Limiting duplicity was another reason we pushed for the location of the real farmer's market over a year ago when they asked the JEDC for money to relocate.

vicupstate

May 21, 2008, 08:40:39 AM
The area under the Fuller Warren should host an all-day Farmer's Market on Saturdays.  Weren't there plans for that earlier? 

Given the site layout, it would be a pretty small farmer's market that would be difficult to get trucks in and out.  Also, how would that hold up against the real farmer's market on Beaver Street?  Limiting duplicity was another reason we pushed for the location of the real farmer's market over a year ago when they asked the JEDC for money to relocate.

Ideally, the Beaver Street market would have gone to DT or LaVilla or this location.  However, there is a Greenville Farmer's Market similiar to Beaver Street, and also a Saturday market DT. The one DT is much smaller and more of a niche market.

Both have local produce, but the atmosphere and the offerings are more upscale at the DT location.  Kind of how Publix differs from Winn Dixie.  Also, the DT market has fresh baked items, and home decor stuff too to help differentiate it.

Each market attracts  a different crowd, so they don't seem to compete against each other.   The DT market has no permanant infrastructure. The police close off two blocks  before daybreak and the vendors set up before 7:00 or so.  The whole thing finishes  around noon, and the street is reopened.   Unlike the Fuller Warren site, there is no direct protection from the elements (other than the tree canopy).
 

Plus many people in Jax don't even know the Beaver St market exists, and even if they did, would not go there anyway because of the area's perception.   

jmccharen

May 21, 2008, 08:55:38 AM
A group headed by Kitty Crenshaw is currently looking for space for a farmer's market in the Riverside area. The bridge arcade could be a good location. This will be a market for actual producers, not wholesalers like the market on Beaver Street. These will be small farms and CSAs and other small, organic growers, bakers, and artisans in the region, so truck space won't be an issue. At the last meeting we discussed getting the market ready for the first fall harvests in this area, which would be before Thanksgiving.

thelakelander

May 21, 2008, 08:57:18 AM
Wasn't the paved area under the Main Street Bridge, between MOSH and Treaty Oak Park, supposed to be an outdoor farmers/flea market?  Today, outside of skateboarders, it sits empty most of the week.

Quote
Ideally, the Beaver Street market would have gone to DT or LaVilla or this location.  However, there is a Greenville Farmer's Market similiar to Beaver Street, and also a Saturday market DT. The one DT is much smaller and more of a niche market.

Both have local produce, but the atmosphere and the offerings are more upscale at the DT location.  Kind of how Publix differs from Winn Dixie.  Also, the DT market has fresh baked items, and home decor stuff too to help differentiate it.

Where is the "downtown" Greenville market located, in relation with the rest of that city's downtown destinations?  Is it visible from the street for people visiting or driving through the downtown core?  Is it within walking distance of existing retail shops, restaurants, etc. or is it as isolated as a site under the Fuller Warren?  Although I'd personally prefer one powerhouse market that's centrally located and offers everything, if a second smaller make-shift market is desired, it would be better off between the TU center and the Landing, Hemming Plaza or Hogan Street under the Skyway.  At least then, people visiting are exposed to existing retail shops and restaurants in the area, which is what creating and benefitting from urban synergy is all about.

Quote
Plus many people in Jax don't even know the Beaver St market exists, and even if they did, would not go there anyway because of the area's perception.

I would say this has more to do with limited to no marketing of the Beaver Street market.  Its pretty much a "find-by-word-of-mouth" atmosphere.  Nevertheless, compared to the location of Detroit's Eastern Market, which does pull in local residents and tourists because its heavily marketed, that section of town is Ponte Vedra.

thelakelander

May 21, 2008, 09:00:24 AM
A group headed by Kitty Crenshaw is currently looking for space for a farmer's market in the Riverside area. The bridge arcade could be a good location. This will be a market for actual producers, not wholesalers like the market on Beaver Street. These will be small farms and CSAs and other small, organic growers, bakers, and artisans in the region, so truck space won't be an issue. At the last meeting we discussed getting the market ready for the first fall harvests in this area, which would be before Thanksgiving.

Hopefully, they'll use the Fuller Warren since we've invested money in putting it there.  Just make sure, they have ample signage from the streets because visibility from Riverside Avenue will be pretty poor.

thelakelander

May 21, 2008, 09:08:28 AM
A group headed by Kitty Crenshaw is currently looking for space for a farmer's market in the Riverside area.

Although privately owned, another spot that would be centrally located, is the triangle shaped lot where the Oak Street Lofts were once planned.  Its the corner of Oak and Margaret Streets, right next to Mossfire Grill.  The site's owner recently demolished the house so its as flat as a pancake now and is dead smack in the middle of the Publix shopping center and the Park Street strip. 

heights unknown

May 21, 2008, 10:00:14 AM
Not to get off topic here, but as a forumer who was born, bred, and who lived in Jax for many years but is now an outsider living in Sarasota-Bradenton Florida, that picture of the Southbank is awesome from that viewpoint and angle.  The Peninsula seems to almost, almost I say, dwarf Riverplace Tower; but the Southbank, with fewer skyscrapers but with a definitive skyline, seems to be on the way to becoming dense.  If the St. John's is built next to Aetna, image what that skyline on Southbank will look like!

I applaud what Jax is doing with the Riverwalk project and the the Artist's Gallery/Possible Fleamarket underneath Fuller Warren; great idea and will be a big draw and a development catalyst for Riverside and the south end of downtown.  My Jax looks good!

Heights Unknown

xXBoldCityXx

May 21, 2008, 10:03:01 AM
The park should be a nice spot to watch fireworks with the family.

avonjax

May 21, 2008, 10:47:37 AM
Although this is Jacksonville and it will never happen because we have a goofy sign ordinance,  great looking unique signage, possibly some kind of interesting archway type entrance on Riverside Avenue would be great. And it would be nice to give that little area a unique name, but I know that RAP and the city of Jax would die first....
And that's no disrespect to RAP.

Jason

May 21, 2008, 11:02:04 AM
That area has a distinct name, Brooklyn.


The work done on the riverwalk looks fantastic and the ideas proposed for the area under the bridge should serve it well, IMO.  Also the new "trolly" route down Riverside Avenue should help to connect the park to both Downtown and Riverside residents.  This park is the beginning of something great for the area.

thelakelander

May 21, 2008, 11:05:58 AM
The trolley only runs during weekday lunch hours.  Does JTA have plans to extend the trolley's service?

The bridge is also a skip and a hop away from the Cummer.  It would probably be a good idea to go ahead and extend the riverwalk south to connect with the Cummer.  From the image below, it looks like there was a walkway here at some point a while back.

Jason

May 21, 2008, 11:08:51 AM
The JTA would be crazy not to extend the hours of the trolly.  Isn't it their most popular line, already?

thelakelander

May 21, 2008, 11:14:23 AM
From what I was told, they don't and won't have the money to extend it anytime soon.  I also wonder how ridership is coming along, since it now costs 50 cents each way.

avonjax

May 21, 2008, 11:19:17 AM
Let me clarify my statement....
I didnt mean an archway type sign over Riverside Avenue, I meant over that section of the Riverwalk under the Fuller Warren so when you are driving by you are aware that it's a unique section of the Riverwalk. I mentioned RAP because, correct me if I'm wrong, isn't that the border of Brooklyn and Riverside?
I just think the idea is a very good one but needs to be signed as such.

thelakelander

May 21, 2008, 11:28:17 AM
It definately needs something visual catching along Riverside Avenue, or else you'll miss it.  There's a pretty large parking lot between the actual artist mall area and the street.

jeh1980

May 21, 2008, 01:16:28 PM
I just want to ask. Is the Riverside a part of downtown?  8)

thelakelander

May 21, 2008, 01:27:06 PM
No.  Riverside is a part of the Riverside/Avondale Historic District.

vicupstate

May 21, 2008, 02:16:47 PM
Wasn't the paved area under the Main Street Bridge, between MOSH and Treaty Oak Park, supposed to be an outdoor farmers/flea market?  Today, outside of skateboarders, it sits empty most of the week.

Quote
Where is the "downtown" Greenville market located, in relation with the rest of that city's downtown destinations?  Is it visible from the street for people visiting or driving through the downtown core?  Is it within walking distance of existing retail shops, restaurants, etc. or is it as isolated as a site under the Fuller Warren?  Although I'd personally prefer one powerhouse market that's centrally located and offers everything, if a second smaller make-shift market is desired, it would be better off between the TU center and the Landing, Hemming Plaza or Hogan Street under the Skyway.  At least then, people visiting are exposed to existing retail shops and restaurants in the area, which is what creating and benefitting from urban synergy is all about.



I absolutely agree that there are better locations for somehting like this, but I had read years ago that that was the plan for the under the Fuller Warren Bridge area.  The best locatoin for a Jax DT Farmer's Market would be Laura Street between Hemming and the Landing. DVI use to do a Friday market under the Skyway, do they still?

Greenville's market is in the heart of Main Street corridor DT, so it is very visible.     

thelakelander

May 21, 2008, 02:22:03 PM
DVI's Friday market is held in Hemming Plaza.

Ocklawaha

May 21, 2008, 02:32:47 PM
Quote
Ideally, the Beaver Street market would have gone to DT or LaVilla or this location.  However, there is a Greenville Farmer's Market similiar to Beaver Street, and also a Saturday market DT. The one DT is much smaller and more of a niche market.

Both have local produce, but the atmosphere and the offerings are more upscale at the DT location.  Kind of how Publix differs from Winn Dixie.  Also, the DT market has fresh baked items, and home decor stuff too to help differentiate it.

Something missed in this is the REASON the food wholesalers and market is on Beaver Street at the union of all rail carriers. It's called freight rates. True, few if any still have rail service via sidings but they use the newer piggyback and container modes quite heavily. If they move away from the rails the freight rates can and will double or worse. One small Oklahoma City lost its rail service after a long fight and some dirty deals from the railroad itself. The Mayor told me the day the rail link was broken the rates for wheat and drill pipe went up 200%... Don't believe it? Call the manager, First National Bank, Fairview, Oklahoma.

There is still no reason a sattelite market couldn't be set up in any of these locations. Just not the main market and packing houses.

Love those new Parking Spaces! Trolley Fodder? Skyway Park-n-Ride? or .50 PCT replacement?


  
Here's a couple of Trolley Gateways that might make for something cool over Riverside Avenue, just add streetcar and a BILLION DOLLARS of new development. BTW we had such a "gateway" at the foot of Broadway(?) at the waterfront. But of course, we tore it down.



Ocklawaha

thelakelander

May 21, 2008, 02:56:54 PM
Doubt it.  Like larger markets in Detroit, Cleveland and St. Louis, the rail sidings for the market were removed decades ago.  When relocation was discussed, the issue of rail proximity never came up.  Besides, the potential relocation sites mentioned on this site were pretty close to existing rail, as well, if track proximity would have been a major issue.

Coolyfett

May 21, 2008, 10:16:40 PM
Impressive!! Very Creative. Will the new out door auditorium be like the sea walk pavilion?

Bike Jax

May 22, 2008, 04:31:08 AM
I do love the way this part of the Riverwalk is taking shape. As an artist and as far the artist walk is concerned. With what little art that is purchased by the residents of Jacksonville. Not many artists can afford or are willing purchase the one million dollars liability insurance the city is going to require for artists to display their work there.

Jason

May 22, 2008, 09:32:07 AM
You need liability insurance to display art?!?!

thelakelander

October 27, 2008, 02:04:03 PM
Quote
• Looks like Riverside Arts Market is gearing up for business. It’s tentatively set to open March 14, 2009. Riverside Avondale Preservation, Inc. (RAP) has contributed to the hype by helping put on a contest for artists to design a logo for the market that will be stationed underneath the Fuller Warren Bridge structure. The winner will receive a free booth at the market for a month. The deadline is Nov. 12 and submissions should be sent to Doug Coleman at doug.coleman @ yahoo.com.

http://www.jaxdailyrecord.com/citynotes.php

thelakelander

October 28, 2008, 12:14:59 PM
Coming soon: Northbank Riverwalk Square’s Artists’ Market

Quote
The Riverside Artists’ Market (RAM) that will be held underneath the Fuller Warren Bridge as part of the Northbank Riverside Walk has a tentative opening date: March 14, 2009.

“Things are going good,” said Council member Michael Corrigan of the renovations taking place on the artists’ market. “We’re in the permitting process.”

Though it’s still a tentative date, things are looking great as far as Corrigan is concerned.

Quote
RAM was modeled after the highly successful Portland Saturday Artists Market in Portland, Ore. and will feature only hand-made artwork by local artists in a covered area larger than the length of a football field. Its predecessor brings around 700,000 people to Portland per year.

full article: http://www.jaxdailyrecord.com/showstory.php?Story_id=51116

jacksonvilleconfidential

October 28, 2008, 12:20:38 PM
RAM will be in full swing sometime next year (expected in March of 09 as stated above). In the interim they are currently conducting a LOGO CONTEST.

Click the link below for all the details.

http://www.jacksonvilleconfidential.com/2008/10/riverside-arts-market-logo-contest.html

Shwaz

October 28, 2008, 01:04:39 PM
Quote
But there are bigger things in store for the Square than simply playing host to a weekly market of hand-made crafts.

“The Artists’ Market would be an active user group of the land,” said Rinaman of the weekly event. “There is also room for musicians and performing artists.”


awesome

grimss

January 29, 2009, 10:07:20 PM
The space has a lot going for it, and the Riverside Arts Market has an indefatigable chairman whose committee has put in several thousand hours working to create a unique Saturday market featuring not just paintings, sculpture, pottery, etc., but also organic produce, fresh bread, artisan cheeses, food vendors and live entertainment.  Pending resolution of a few details with the city, the Riverside Arts Market will officially open April 4th.  Check out the brand-new website at http://www.riversideartsmarket.com

This is something that we all should be eager to support . . .

thelakelander

January 29, 2009, 10:13:59 PM
I'm looking forward to it.  Its much larger than I originally thought.

grimss

January 29, 2009, 10:51:13 PM
Projected number of booths is 150, although the market is viable at 2/3 capacity.  Nine slots are for produce and other farm products--they'll be in a row along one side of the market, and will literally be able to sell off the back of their trucks because of the extended parking spaces.

I've reviewed a lot of the plans and am amazed at the level of detail.  The biggest obstacle is just getting all the entities with an ownership stake in the land--and it's not just the city, but also DOT, Fidelity, JEA, and I think even Homeland Security!!--to finally sign off.  There will be a press conference in mid-February to officially launch things. 

BridgeTroll

January 30, 2009, 09:05:46 AM
It is huge!  I underestimated the size.  What a great stop on the Riverwalk.  Keep us up to date grimss... :)

thelakelander

January 30, 2009, 11:51:14 AM
I like it...

Quote
After over 15 years of planning, the Riverside Arts Market is a dream come true. Our inaugural market season is just the beginning. Although initially our market will be open only on Saturdays, we ultimately plan to have an expanded and perhaps somewhat varied market on Sundays in the future.

The Market site is such a unique public venue, we hope that other public events, including concerts and evening movies-by-the river, will someday bring audiences here during the week.

Currently underway are plans to expand the site across Riverside Avenue as a scenic promenade beside a man-made lagoon under the bridge, with sculptures and water features, connecting the arts market to Riverside Park.

Stay tuned!

http://www.riversideartsmarket.com/future.html

By the way, here is a layout of the market.

BridgeTroll

January 30, 2009, 11:57:01 AM
Yes folks... that entire layout is protected from the rain and shaded from the sun by the Fuller Warren Bridge.  As this gains in popularity parking may become an issue.

grimss

January 30, 2009, 12:15:18 PM
I know the market has commitments for well over 1000 parking spaces from Fidelity, the Cummer, and the recently relocated Wood, Lanier, Bowman eye clinic.  Because of the riverwalk extension, people might also enjoy walking over from the YMCA, and the RAMROD team is negotiating river taxi access as well. Me, I plan on arriving by bike!

hanjin1

January 30, 2009, 12:19:33 PM
That's what I was wondering, where would we park to go there? Because it looks like the actual shops will be on the parking lot itself.

Nevermind I found the answer to this.

Ocklawaha

January 30, 2009, 12:35:56 PM

That's what I was wondering, where would we park to go there? Because it looks like the actual shops will be on the parking lot itself.


The Skyway and the Streetcar Line should offer some attractive options.


OCKLAWAHA

grimss

January 30, 2009, 06:43:08 PM
RAP's ED just sent me the job description for the Market Manager to post on the RAP website.  I know they've already been interviewing candidates, but I believe applications are being accepted for another couple of days.  If you guys know anyone who fits the bill, please encourage them to apply!  Here are some particulars, followed by a link to access the details (scroll to the bottom of the page):

The Market Manager is the Senior Manager of the Riverside Arts Market (RAM). The Market
Manager is responsible for all aspects of the Riverside Arts Market (RAM) weekly event and RAP
annual Arts Festival (September), serving as logistics staff and main point of contact with the city,
vendors, marketing outlets, RAP staff, and volunteers. The Market Manager will utilize the expertise
and experience of the Riverside Arts Market Research Operations and Development (RAMROD)
Committee and is responsible to the RAMROD Chair and the RAP Executive Director.
RAM is a subsidiary organization to Riverside Avondale Preservation (RAP) and helps to fulfill RAP’s
mission to enhance the quality of life of the historic neighborhood of Riverside Avondale. Both RAP
and RAM are volunteer-driven organizations and have small staffs and large missions. Job
descriptions are a general description of assignments but employees need to be flexible and may be
called on to help in a variety of ways that cannot always be anticipated in a job description. Further,
the Market Manager may delegate a number of the duties listed below to the Assistant Manager and
various volunteers.

Conditions of Employment
Average workweek is expected to be 30-40 hours, including every Saturday and availability for
occasional evening and/or weekend board meetings. There may be more extended hours during the
Market months and less when the Market is closed.
Minimal travel required
Paid vacation and sick leave

Qualifications
Desirable candidates must have three (3) years work experience, with a preference in sales, retail or
marketing, and a background that includes supervising paid or volunteer staff.
Two-year degree required, Bachelor’s preferred
Successful experience managing events is highly desirable

Full (3 page) description here: http://www.riversideavondale.org/index.php?id=58



vicupstate

January 31, 2009, 09:31:02 AM
Ok, the Jazz Festival is moving to the heart of DT, and now an ARTS market is finally going to open on the Riverwalk. 

Could it be that this city is ACTUALLY getting it's head out of it's ASS??? !!!

I can only hope this trend continues....
 

Ocklawaha

January 31, 2009, 11:01:48 AM
Ok, the Jazz Festival is moving to the heart of DT, and now an ARTS market is finally going to open on the Riverwalk. 

Could it be that this city is ACTUALLY getting it's head out of it's ASS??? !!!

I can only hope this trend continues....
 

Where's JAKE GODBOLD'S "Paint the streets and celebrate everything," guy. Not that Jake and I were on real close terms but I did support him based on this alone. The administration KNEW how to make a big, big splash. Those of you too young to remember:

PGA pros in Friendship Park teaching 10,000 kids how to knock a golf ball into the river - then giving away a child size iron, often with autographs.

Iron Gators Florida Guard Battallion cruising up St. Johns and onto the downtown boat ramps, invading the city with landing craft, amtracks and ducks. Much to the thrill of everyone who got to go inside one.

Neighborhood Festival, Ethnic Festival (featuring foods), downtown boat races, Tall Ships Fest, more fireworks then China, and painted streets for every event - Fouth of July with Lazer Show + Fireworks + Military Jet flyovers, helicopter flyovers, transport flyovers all afternoon.

Things certainly were no dull. I really do hope this is a sign of things to come. But I promise if this administration screws this up like I fear they will... I'm going to laugh my ass off. (It's the only cure I know for crying over my city._)



OCKLAWAHA


 

BridgeTroll

January 31, 2009, 11:12:53 AM
I would love to see the weekly or monthly boat races between Main St and Hart... Lawn chairs, sunglasses, vendors selling beer and snowcones up and down both sides of the river... 8)

Charles Hunter

January 31, 2009, 11:01:34 PM
Ock!  You've got it!! (but penicillin might clear it up)
DUCKs - this city needs Duck Tours!
http://www.buyaduck.com/dukws.html
Lots of cities on the water have them.  There's already a boat ramp near Friendship Park, maybe another could be built at the Shipyards?
http://www.baltimoreducks.com/experience-fun/equipment.asp
http://stonemountainpark.com/attractions-shows/attraction-detail.aspx?AttractionID=88
http://www.ducktoursmiami.com/pages/the_ducks.htm

and many more ....

And that looks like a great place under the Fuller Warren!

GatorShane

February 01, 2009, 01:01:45 AM
Duck Tours are a great idea.As I have stated before there are many venues on the river that could be serviced such as The Landing. The Cummer, MOSH, The new Artist Market, Metro Park, not to mention the proposed Naval Ship Museum.

grimss

February 01, 2009, 08:13:01 AM
I know that a second-phase plan for the market involves building a dock right at the site.

There's a nice article in the T-U this morning about the market: http://jacksonville.com/community/my_westside_sun/2009-01-31/story/riverside_group_marketing_an_idea_for_saturdays

Spence

December 07, 2012, 01:37:00 AM
In some circles, where I keep a tight lip when unsure, I hear with varying degrees of certainty that the ultimate plan for any future extensions added to the River walk on the North bank, are to include connecting the destinations of the Cummer through the Olmsted Gardens, and Metropolitan park.

This leaves me wondering about the status of the old Kahn/Ford building.
Is its only hope closely related as a streetcar barn, maintenance facility and link to Exchange Club island?

Very curious here!

Noone

December 17, 2012, 10:12:44 AM
very exciting times for our St. Johns River our American Heritage River a Federal Initiative in our newly created Downtown Authority Zone.
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