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Re-Imagining the Jacksonville Landing

The Landing was built in 1987 by The Rouse Company as a festival marketplace. The 125,000 square foot center was purchased by Sleiman Enterprises in 2003, and they have positioned The Landing as a dining and entertainment destination for the area. While the center is a hub of activity during special events, it has limited foot traffic on a day-to-day basis. Attracting and retaining retailers has been difficult as there is limited on-site parking.

Published December 10, 2009 in Urban Issues      59 Comments    Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article


feature

In September, APA Florida 2009 Conference participants took a behind-the-scenes tour, learned about recent changes, and developed programmatic design concepts that would allow The Landing to once again flourish.












































































About APA Florida

Quote
The American Planning Association and its professional institute, the American Institute of Certified Planners, are organized to advance the art and science of planning and to foster the activity of planning -- physical, economic, and social -- at the local, regional, state, and national levels. The objective of the Association is to encourage planning that will contribute to public well-being by developing communities and environments that meet the needs of people and of society more effectively.

The Florida Chapter of the American Planning Association serves APA members in the state. APA Florida is the state-level resource for networking and professional development. When you join APA and reside in Florida, you automatically become a member of APA Florida.

The Florida Chapter provides members the opportunity to share experiences with colleagues and to broaden perspectives. The chapter holds an annual conference, educational workshops, AICP exam preparation courses, and produces a newsletter. APA Florida also conducts legislative programs, sponsors training workshops, conducts an awards program, and provides public information to and about the planning profession.

http://www.floridaplanning.org/about_fapa.asp


Metro Jacksonville's Spin

Metro Jacksonville believes that the Landing can flourish with even less change to the layout of the existing complex. Success could really be as simple as solving the parking situation, cleaning the existing structure, updating landscaping, and reconfiguring interior spaces to interact with Water Street.  

While several great ideas are illustrated in the final plan, the results represent something that would be pretty difficult, if not impossible to achieve anytime soon.

Update by Ennis Davis








59 Comments

vicupstate

December 10, 2009, 08:03:02 AM
I agree that the roof should stay, and that it is iconic to a degree, but some serious thought needs to be given to changing the color motif.  That orange is looking awfully '80's and tired.

I am hesitant to change traffic patterns otherwise, but the Main St. ramp needs to go.

I was glad to see the Chamber building included. It is bland and the site is underutilized IMO.  Put the Chamber in the office space that these plans call for.

Overstreet

December 10, 2009, 08:04:46 AM


The marina looks nice, but presents some operational problems. It was probably not drawn by a boater.

Marinas are usually in a quiet water area.  Quiet water provides safety for the boats and occupants when docking and boarding operations. The Landing is on the outside of a turn.  The water is not quiet at the Landing. The current rips through there at 5mph. The directions changes every six hours with the tide.  Current and tide often collide and the water gets confused. The sunburst finger pier pattern does not line up with the current.  Boaters would have to fight the current to get into those oblique slips. Once in the slip you tie up for current coming from quarter and go eat. When you come out the tide has changed and the current is coming from the opposite bow creating docking challenges.  
It also gets into the deepest part of the river. The channel comes close to that side of the river and you wouldn’t want to encroach on the channel causing a hazard to the commercial traffic navigating the river.    Then too there would be engineering challenges in the 50 to 75 foot deep water.
This would also limit the dockage space for the tall ships festival.

Hurricane

December 10, 2009, 08:34:48 AM
I like most of the ideas from the charette.  I would love to see this happen. 

buckethead

December 10, 2009, 09:00:05 AM
I agree that the roof should stay, and that it is iconic to a degree, but some serious thought needs to be given to changing the color motif.  That orange is looking awfully '80's and tired.

I am hesitant to change traffic patterns otherwise, but the Main St. ramp needs to go.

I was glad to see the Chamber building included. It is bland and the site is underutilized IMO.  Put the Chamber in the office space that these plans call for.
I think the motif should remain. While it's true, there was much trajic architecture put into play in the eighties, it is what we did. The landing, IMO is actually tastefully designed. Let it be what it is, while opening to the city and inviting her in.

In the eighties-early nineties, architecture from the seventies was reviled. Just a few short years later, many would come to reminisce seventies stylings.

TheProfessor

December 10, 2009, 09:30:28 AM
I would not go crazy knocking buildings down along the river, but definitely opening up the interior courtyard to Laura Street would be a great start.

hiddentrack

December 10, 2009, 09:35:28 AM
I like most of the ideas, though I agree they don't needs to be as extreme to improve the current layout. Smaller changes are more affordable and more likely. Tearing a lot (most?) of the Landing down would take too much time and money.

The model they had at the session was very nice as well, though I think that's a few years old at this point. If they were to ever add on to the existing structure, they'd need to tie in the roof style of the current Landing to match the new buildings. The difference isn't extreme, but it stands out when I look at those pictures.

Speaking of the roof, it would actually be nice to see the orange/coral-colored roof change. It reminds me too much of the Miami Dolphins. I say go with a plain silver color, or if you want to get all team-spirity, go with teal!

thelakelander

December 10, 2009, 09:40:53 AM
Quote
It reminds me too much of the Miami Dolphins.

What's wrong with that! ;)

btw, teal would be a nice feature and at least tie in with something locally.

Captain Zissou

December 10, 2009, 09:50:38 AM
I like the ideas, but they aren't practical.  Their plan calls for tearing out the portion of the Landing that houses most of their best tenants (Chicago Pizza, Cinco de Mayo, Golds Gym, Hooters (how redneck of a lineup is that?)).  I like the idea of creating a super-block on the West side.  The aquarium to the east would be a great idea, especially if they moved the convention center to the courthouse site.  I think they should keep as much of the original structure intact as possible, but enhance how it interacts with the street around it.

Questions:  What is with doing first floor parking and second floor retail??? Shouldn't they reverse that? 
Also, I was interested in the group that was against the roundabout out front.  Any thoughts???

finehoe

December 10, 2009, 10:25:46 AM
concepts that would allow The Landing to once again flourish.

"Once again"?  Did it ever actually flourish once the initial novelty wore off?

Jth

December 10, 2009, 10:42:18 AM
I was apart of the charrette and was in group 1. Most of the people at the session were from out of town and thus did not have a full understanding of the Landing and how it relates to downtown. As Steve Zissou noted many of the ideas are not practical or feasible. Also the people that run the Landing simply wanted to see what a group of urban planners would ideally do with the space, so they didn't really ask us to think practically.

There were a lot of good ideas and suggestions thrown out in the session, especially when you consider that it was only about an hour or so of brainstorming and visioning.

My ideas were:

-To cut the building in the middle so that the river is visible from Laura Street -the cut would be parallel to Laura

-move the food court to the new gap in the building that parallels Laura-you could move all the existing food court tenants to the ground floor fronting the cut between the Landing and also have street vendors along the walkway. This would make The Landing much more accessible to people downtown that don't have time to sit and eat.  Being able to get quick street food and eat outdoors (as opposed to a food court) would bring many more people into the Landing and make it much more vibrant.

-Put the stage on a floating dock/barge in the river. This would free up space in the courtyard and allow the Landing to host larger events/concerts. When we presented this, The Landing people told us that Sleiman has been wanting to do this.

-Adding a bigger marina was obvious. I think every group proposed that.

-My group as a whole felt the space between the Landing and TU Center was wasted and should be turned into green space

-I tossed out the idea of a permanent floating maritime museum, which I'm pretty sure is MetroJacksonville's original idea. I know I heard it somewhere.

-We felt as a group that the parking lot east of the Main Street Bridge was wasted space and should be turned into a mid rise hotel/apartment building over a parking garage. I really liked the idea of having a strip of restaurants fronting green space along the riverwalk.


Also, a lot of the things you see on the slides are not as cut and dry as they are presented. I for one think the orange roof is tacky and suggested a new roof as did a few others in my group. Yet it shows on our slide that we don't want to change the roof. So there were a lot of dissenting opinions within the groups.

The session was just to get the people at The Landing to think big, hopefully some of that was accomplished.

Captain Zissou

December 10, 2009, 10:46:56 AM
Quote
-move the food court to the new gap in the building that parallels Laura-you could move all the existing food court tenants to the ground floor fronting the cut between the Landing and also have street vendors along the walkway. This would make The Landing much more accessible to people downtown that don't have time to sit and eat.  Being able to get quick street food and eat outdoors (as opposed to a food court) would bring many more people into the Landing and make it much more vibrant.

-Put the stage on a floating dock/barge in the river. This would free up space in the courtyard and allow the Landing to host larger events/concerts. When we presented this, The Landing people told us that Sleiman has been wanting to do this.

Great ideas.  This would make it much more of an urban space, rather than a shopping mall downtown.

stephendare

December 10, 2009, 10:53:08 AM
Slightly off topic, but the Landing (and all the downtown venues) would be twice as viable if the pernicious practice of giving 20 minute lunches were reverted back to the traditional hour that the lunch business was built around.

I differ from the rest of the MetroJacksonvillers in my thinking that the cut through on Laura is a bad idea.  But maybe the addition of a floor or two on the structure would be a great idea.

There is no doubt that the Landing has got to become more interactive with the downtown and open up to street level activity there.

What is the reasoning behind additional green space?

Im not a supporter of even more at this site, but Im not opposed to it either.

What are the arguments for adding green space in addition to the riverwalk and the massive St Johns River itself?

I think I could see true 'plaza' style greenspacing, to provide built in seating, and active use, but I don't seem to be able to appreciate the idea of more passive land use.

Jth

December 10, 2009, 11:11:21 AM
The additional green space was proposed mostly for aesthetics, but also to get patrons from the TU Center to meander over towards the Landing. There was talk of relocating the dumpsters that are located between the Landing and TU Center and turning that whole slab of concrete into a nice green space. It would be a good place to eat on a lunch break, hang out on a nice day, or relax at intermission of a show. Correct me if I'm wrong, but there aren't many nice green spaces along the river in the CBD are there? The space between the Landing and TU would be the perfect place for a "pocket park". Certainly better than the one Peyton just built.

The green space along the building east of the Main Street bridge isn't necessary, but my thought was that it would provide a small buffer between the outdoor seating at restaurants and the riverwalk. People that are eating romantic dinners aren't going to want to be right next to people jogging on the riverwalk like you get at Hooters or the other places at the Landing. So it would be aesthetically pleasing and practical.

vicupstate

December 10, 2009, 11:33:56 AM


Quote
I think the motif should remain. While it's true, there was much trajic architecture put into play in the eighties, it is what we did. The landing, IMO is actually tastefully designed. Let it be what it is, while opening to the city and inviting her in.

In the eighties-early nineties, architecture from the seventies was reviled. Just a few short years later, many would come to reminisce seventies stylings.

I don't know too many people that fondly reminise about '70's architecture or the clothing either.

The building is going to change significantly regardless (Laura St. opening, new buildings,etc.)  I do support seriously considering keeping the 'horseshoe' roof, but the general color/motiff needs to change.  It looks terribly dated and out of style.  Someone I spoke with who had just moved to Jax stated the same sentiment, and I couldn't argue with them.

The Landing needs to not just be tweeked, it needs a new birth.  A new color/motif will help create that perception.  Teal sounds good to me. Silver paint is too run of the mill.     

Jth

December 10, 2009, 12:32:19 PM
I forget to mention something that was in our presentation, but not visible on the slides. We recommended the Landing attempt to break out of the mold of being a retail shopping center and converting the former retail spaces to hotel, residential, or entertainment. The way the building flows as it is currently designed and even more so in the future design, pushes people through the front doors and into the courtyard. Thus the retail spaces on the ground floor are often ignored and do poorly. When we took the tour a significant amount of those spaces weren't even occupied.

We recommended that the Landing focus solely on being an entertainment/restaurant venue and convert the retail spaces into residential, hotel, or entertainment spaces.

Another thing I forgot to mention. Pretty much every planner there wanted to tear the whole structure down and start from scratch.

hiddentrack

December 10, 2009, 12:43:55 PM
What's wrong with that! ;)

btw, teal would be a nice feature and at least tie in with something locally.
:) Yeah, that's what I was going for. A friend (not here in Jax) who was watching one of the night games a few years ago mentioned that the "building on the river" he saw looked like it would be rooting for the Dolphins.

A new color/motif will help create that perception.  Teal sounds good to me. Silver paint is too run of the mill.
I agree. Teal is my preference, but I'm a Jaguars fan. I figured silver would work better for the folks who would use the new color as an excuse to blame the Jaguars for the changes they didn't like. ;)

vicupstate

December 10, 2009, 12:47:24 PM
How many restaurants/bars can one site support?  I think there is a need and a demand for the appropriate types of retail, particularly unique local retail.  If not inthe Landing itself then in the Laura Street corridor.

One other thing, I think it is VERY important to not do the planning for the Landing in a vacuum.  It needs to be done in CONJUNCTION with the redevelopment of the courthouse/city hall annex site, and the area immediately surrounding the Landing, and also the Laura Street plans.  

Bike Jax

December 10, 2009, 12:52:07 PM
I like some of the ideas presented here. I however do not like the idea of changing street patterns. If  a planned development does not fit does not fit within the current grid. Then that developer need to rethink the project and look up. I also think the Riverwalk should be given some extra space as over time it has become a major transportation corridor for both bicycles and pedestrians.

fsu813

December 10, 2009, 12:55:02 PM
as Jth mentioned, they weren't asked to be practical. I'd like to see the couple cut outs in the Landing too.....

but a couple roundabouts, more parking, updated landscaping, and a turn from retail focused to entertainment/hotel focus would do wonders. And be far less expensive it would seem.

Ocklawaha

December 10, 2009, 01:12:23 PM
I would agree with Overstreet, having misspent my youth living at a marina a block North of Daytona Beach Cris-Craft, this marina is fantasy. Marina expansion could go on the south bank from the Acosta to the JEA site, but that north sweep, makes this location very poor. Even something as wild as creating a basin where the courtyard is today would probably fail due to scour from the current.

Changing Water Street with the roundabouts makes for a crappy streetcar route, changing the curves into corners and rerouting the whole street, makes it downright unattractive for Light Rail.

A zip line? Really? What kind of liability would that be? Why not a Schweeb Monorail system? A true one of a kind attraction in downtown and perhaps up the riverfront. We COULD do that as Lake said without doing anything else to the current buildings. I know, it's Jacksonville, so 30 years from now, after 80 cities copy the idea, will we do it then?

Lastly, everyone missed the number one engine of development available to us today... STREETCARS!


OCKLAWAHA

Jth

December 10, 2009, 01:20:16 PM
How many restaurants/bars can one site support?  I think there is a need and a demand for the appropriate types of retail, particularly unique local retail.  If not inthe Landing itself then in the Laura Street corridor.

One other thing, I think it is VERY important to not do the planning for the Landing in a vacuum.  It needs to be done in CONJUNCTION with the redevelopment of the courthouse/city hall annex site, and the area immediately surrounding the Landing, and also the Laura Street plans.  

The way the group was asked to think about the visioning was from the standpoint of fixing the Landing and also incorporating it into the fabric of downtown. Most people there didn't know what was going on in Downtown Jax, so the charrette was very Landing-centric. You are absolutely right though and I imagine anything that is ever done to change the Landing will be done so with the rest of Downtown in mind.

I don't think the Landing can support much more, and I think it would be in downtown's best interest to push all the bars/restaurants towards Bay Street and retail in a corridor (Laura Street). That is why I lobbied within my group to try to convert the Landing to as much residential/hotel/office space as possible. This way the other uses could go to locations that make downtown as a whole much more vibrant.

I think most of the group was against the idea of a suburban style shopping center in the midst of an urban area. Yet it was difficult to do anything sound from a planning standpoint without tearing the whole darn thing down.

Ocklawaha

December 10, 2009, 01:28:29 PM
How many restaurants/bars can one site support? 

Guess that depends on where I'm drinking... Ohhhh! SOCO! Awayyyyyyyy!

Here is the Schweeb Monorail I mentioned:

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/lhxVtUFZVzk&amp;hl=en_US&amp;fs=1&amp;color1=0x402061&amp;color2=0x9461ca&amp;border=1" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/lhxVtUFZVzk&amp;hl=en_US&amp;fs=1&amp;color1=0x402061&amp;color2=0x9461ca&amp;border=1</a>


OCKLAWAHA

Special K

December 10, 2009, 02:56:13 PM
Just watched that video Bob. The Schweeb monorail is awesome. I'm entirely fascinated by it. Did he say Tokyo? Man my ancestors are sweet. Haha.

Anyway, as much as I dislike putting my opinion out there, I'm trying to break from my tiny shell and stop living under that mossy rock where I clearly spend too much time.
I really like the idea of the landing turning into just entertainment, bars, and restaurants. I believe it could do really well that way. And it most certainly could use a new color scheme, and a landscape make over. I'm not sure teal would be the best answer for the color, but I see where you're coming from. Something a little more trendy perhaps. Something that really draws the eyes from a distance in a pleasant way. Teal is just fine for a football team. But a building? Too much for me.

Captain Zissou

December 10, 2009, 03:01:29 PM
I'd only support the Schweeb if they had passing lanes.  I can already see myself getting stuck behind some slow poke.

Correction: Just saw the part about connecting and working with the person in front of you. AMAZING

north miami

December 10, 2009, 03:03:31 PM

Vision:

Unencumbered vision

Remove most of the buildings from the current Landing site,allowing for 'vista' and open spaces.

This concept is not new.

JaxLanding

December 10, 2009, 03:55:57 PM
We were so impressed with all the vision, time and detail that the APA attendees put into the charrette.  Most of the participants were not from the Jacksonville area, so it was interesting to see the input from a variety of individuals.  Prior to us taking them on the "Behind the Scenes" tour, we gave them a little background information (told them that when we were first opened we were retail heavy, that the Rouse Company had offered two-year leases to many of the big name tenants to get them in the door, and we were honest with how things have changed over the years and expressed specific struggles we have had and currently have).  Again, the presentation was very brief and we tried not to give them too much so as not to take away from any creative thinking that could come in to play.  Before they put their pencils to the paper, they were also asked to not bring funding into the equation (pretend you have all the money in the world and the only goal is make best use of the space).
Given all of that information, what the planners presented was amazing.  All groups tried to cover everything including parking, logisitcs and greenspace.  Without even knowing the full story, many of them could identify with issues that we currently have that specifically speak to the future success of not only The Landing, but downtown Jacksonville as a whole.
Again, we thank each and every member that took the time to come and participate in this charrette!! 

Steve

December 10, 2009, 04:08:40 PM
I think one thing to remember is that we are all familiar with what is going on along Bay Street (and obviously there are a lot of people aware, based on Saturday night on Bay St, there are still hundreds of thousands of people that if you asked them about downtown, they know only the sports complex, the Landing, and the Convention Center.  Honestly, I truly believe that the Landing MUST succeeed for Downtown to Succeed.  Like it or not, it, the Main Street Bridge, and Friendship Fountain is our postcard shot.

I'm totally for the mixed use, but the idea that you can't do something with the existing structure is frankly laughable.  If 13 Gypsies in Riverside can make a full service restaraunt in a 25x10 retail space work, than the landing can work as is.

There is plenty that can be done with the existing structure, and if you want to expand, consider expanding it into where the Andrew Jackson statue is now (since it will be moved in January). This is assuming that the City will sell him the land, which they should have done long ago (if you want to guarantee the structure, consider not selling him the courtyard land, or the land under the structure that you want to remove to open it up).

I just think that for these things to work, that we need to stay within some realistic boundaries, which is obviously not what happened here.  

Overstreet

December 10, 2009, 04:58:00 PM
OCKLAWAHA,

Before you dig out the court yard for a boat basin, stop. There are major utilities that prevent that long before scour becomes a problem.

For all,
The roof and steel structure was meant to give reference to the past industrial nature of the river.   
The roof is prefinished. You can paint it, but those usually don't come out well in the long run.

When I was doing the TUPAC next door I don't remember a crowded courtyard at lunch time. The air-conditioned food court was full. I suspect moving the food court outside in the Laura St gap for summer dining was from one of the northern planners.

For the Landing,
Make sure to have your contractor provide preconstruction services to any new design that you become serious with or the budget will mushroom out of control.  If you need assistance above your in-house contractor's capability I can connect you with a qualified company.

Overstreet

December 10, 2009, 05:01:47 PM

Vision:
Unencumbered vision

Remove most of the buildings from the current Landing site,allowing for 'vista' and open spaces.

This concept is not new.




Well yes, that is not a new concept. It used to be a parking lot with lots of vistas of the river from Water Street.

Ocklawaha

December 10, 2009, 05:13:51 PM
Just watched that video Bob. The Schweeb monorail is awesome. I'm entirely fascinated by it. Did he say Tokyo? Man my ancestors are sweet. Haha.

Anyway, as much as I dislike putting my opinion out there, I'm trying to break from my tiny shell and stop living under that mossy rock where I clearly spend too much time.
I really like the idea of the landing turning into just entertainment, bars, and restaurants. I believe it could do really well that way. And it most certainly could use a new color scheme, and a landscape make over. I'm not sure teal would be the best answer for the color, but I see where you're coming from. Something a little more trendy perhaps. Something that really draws the eyes from a distance in a pleasant way. Teal is just fine for a football team. But a building? Too much for me.

Hey SpecialK, Yup he said Tokyo, at least that was his inspiration for the green monorail. I think along the river walk, and set higher then the one in the clip so people could pass underneath it, would be nice, dipping down and swinging out a bit over the river would be awesome!

I wouldn't worry about coming out from under the mossy rock, I kind of like it under there!

Okay so no teal? How about PURPLE!

OVERSTREET, I wasn't going to dig anything, just making a point that ANYTHING in the river at that location, including the sea wall and bulkheads are all under constant attack from the river. If we come back in 10,000 years that bend will have moved to 8Th and Main and the Hart bridge will be over an oxbow.



REALLY, we should all remember, it's not nice to mess with mother nature.

OCKLAWAHA

lightninglandon

December 10, 2009, 07:06:23 PM
I was also a part of the charrette and do not currently live in Jacksonville, but grew up there and spent a good amount of time at the Landing and downtown.

The biggest thing that I proposed was to make absolutely sure that whatever changes were made to the Landing itself were in tune with giving downtown Jacksonville more of a sense of community. Providing that sense of place. Making the downtown district a regular place for people to visit. A place where people want to live.

It is essential to incorporate the design into the Laura street pedestrian mall plans and for the Landing to be a catalyst for the already growing desire for the urban lifestyle that is catching on in downtown Jax. Also making sure that this is incorporated into whatever transportation plans that the city will hopefully, eventually come to. The need for additional parking will be little, if any, if the plan focuses on being a part of the urban lifestyle rather than another mall downtown or a place where people only go for special events or to grab some food before the show at the TU.

This was by far the most interesting thing I participated in at the FAPA conference and I am thankful to those who sponsored the charrette and the Landing staff that gave an excellent tour for those who were not entirely familiar with the history of the site.

Fallen Buckeye

December 10, 2009, 07:41:42 PM
I would love it if they left the existing roof as is, but open up the middle part of the building below it so it's almost like a courtyard with a canopy. I have this mental picture of sitting in the existing courtyard looking out at the downtown streets framed by this arch bridging the two sides of the Landing. You could put some outdoor dining and maybe some boutiques in this little courtyard you create and still be shielded from the elements.

I like the idea of putting in some residential and office space there too. And maybe I missed it, but did they address transit somewhere in there?

stjr

December 10, 2009, 09:54:57 PM
If I were to stretch my thinking as indicated in this exercise, I would have gone on and included the Hyatt's garage/party room (former State Office) Building in the concepts.  This building is a real block-killer/obstacle to the activity, flow and connectivity along the riverfront from the Stadium/Metropolitan Park/Shipyards/Berkman/Hyatt areas to the Landing/TU Center/Downtown High-rise district.  If this block was in play, I would go on and at least remove the bridge ramp that comes into Newman.  If Main were ever made two-way again, we could take out the Ocean Street ramp as well.

By freeing up this entire block for redevelopment, we could more seamlessly connect activity on the east and west sides of the bridge.  Main Street currently serves as the "great divide" in Downtown, effectively eliminating significant pedestrian connectivity throughout the full Downtown area.  What would be a better connector than one oriented under the bridge and along the riverfront?

Our riverfront is too precious and has too much potential to have land like this so underutilized.

See aerial photo:  http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=jacksonville+florida&sll=30.332184,-81.655651&sspn=0.845108,1.234589&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=Jacksonville,+Duval,+Florida&ll=30.324605,-81.656308&spn=0.003302,0.004823&t=h&z=18&iwloc=A

Ocklawaha

December 10, 2009, 11:11:45 PM
True to Jacksonville, not a single person seemed to mention streetcars, though someone did mention "Trolley" which as we have seen, translates into diesel bus... Only in Jacksonville.

OCKLAWAHA

stjr

December 10, 2009, 11:23:38 PM
True to Jacksonville, not a single person seemed to mention streetcars, though someone did mention "Trolley" which as we have seen, translates into diesel bus... Only in Jacksonville.

OCKLAWAHA

Ock, how about a "scenic" streetcar line running along the downtown stretch of the riverwalk (maybe with some retail fronting the line on the non-riverside of the line), from the end of Pearl Street at CSX to the end of Liberty Street behind the existing courthouse?  Kind of like the rail running down the Savannah riverfront walk, except ours would connect to the greater streetcar grid permeating Downtown and surrounding areas!  Now that would be unique, I am sure.

JeffreyS

December 10, 2009, 11:47:44 PM
I think we should  have a streetcar running thru the area.

Ocklawaha

December 11, 2009, 12:08:27 AM
True to Jacksonville, not a single person seemed to mention streetcars, though someone did mention "Trolley" which as we have seen, translates into diesel bus... Only in Jacksonville.

OCKLAWAHA

Ock, how about a "scenic" streetcar line running along the downtown stretch of the riverwalk (maybe with some retail fronting the line on the non-riverside of the line), from the end of Pearl Street at CSX to the end of Liberty Street behind the existing courthouse?  Kind of like the rail running down the Savannah riverfront walk, except ours would connect to the greater streetcar grid permeating Downtown and surrounding areas!  Now that would be unique, I am sure.

Trouble is from a traffic standpoint you only get 50% exposure to people spaces thus you reduce connectivity. Scenic to be certain, but not unique, SEATTLE, MEMPHIS and best of all KENOSHA all have streetcar right on the waterfront. It sure can be pretty:

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/5g0Qxg9nfMY&amp;hl=en_US&amp;fs=1&amp;color1=0x402061&amp;color2=0x9461ca&amp;<br />border=1" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/5g0Qxg9nfMY&amp;hl=en_US&amp;fs=1&amp;color1=0x402061&amp;color2=0x9461ca&amp;<br />border=1</a>

BTW, not a single one of the new buildings and the entire condo blocks was built before the streetcar, in fact it was said to be a "dead town," by many. Streetcars really are magic development machines.


OCKLAWAHA

stjr

December 11, 2009, 01:47:19 AM
Trouble is from a traffic standpoint you only get 50% exposure to people spaces thus you reduce connectivity.

Ock, not sure what you mean by 50% exposure.  You mean only one side of the route has buildings?  If  so, this should be more than offset by the higher volume of traffic likely along the river and the connectivity created by bringing people direct to the river and river walk, riverwalk taxi landings and boat docks, the T-U center, the CSX building, the Landing courtyard, the front door of the Hyatt, and other future riverfront venues.

Keith-N-Jax

December 11, 2009, 06:48:59 AM
All this is really pointless to be honest. Another master plan, another study, another trip for the chamber. I am so tired of this place. The city will find a way to block any major development downtown. Its what they do best. The Landing will be no more than what it is. You guys do realize the Landing could have been redeveloped before the Super Bowl and what happen. I'm sorry to rant, but I have lost hope in this city.

Ocklawaha

December 11, 2009, 08:40:36 AM
30 years I have battled for a streetcar in this city, I believe I'm about to see victory in that struggle...

Keith, you CAN FIGHT CITY HALL, NEVER GIVE UP... NEVER SURRENDER...


OCKLAWAHA

north miami

December 11, 2009, 08:55:44 AM
All this is really pointless to be honest. Another master plan, another study, another trip for the chamber. I am so tired of this place. The city will find a way to block any major development downtown. Its what they do best. The Landing will be no more than what it is. You guys do realize the Landing could have been redeveloped before the Super Bowl and what happen. I'm sorry to rant, but I have lost hope in this city.

There of course is a Downtown element within the Chamber of Commerce however the Chamber "Beltway" interests and related gets the juice.

As a full time employee in the area pleasure boat business I have become aware of the fact that with increasing frequency boaters steer clear of the Landing outside of major events.It is a subtle trend,sure to be rationalized away for a time.
Downtown advocates exhibit zeal and possibly an irrational idealism.

As a student of such issues since the late 70's,including Growth Management 'activism' that resulted in 'winning' the City of Jacksonville Mimi & Lee Adams award,I and many others have engaged in enthusiastic manner with confidence and anticipation.Now in my early 50's,individuals such as myself must consider just how long one is willing to engage, wait and anticipate.I too have come to the same conclusion that 'moved' me decades ago while residing in my native Miami.
And I am not alone.

JeffreyS

December 11, 2009, 08:57:43 AM
The city really only needs to sell the land to the Landing to get big changes done. The Laura street improvements are happening now.

BridgeTroll

December 11, 2009, 09:04:59 AM
Quote
As a full time employee in the area pleasure boat business I have become aware of the fact that with increasing frequency boaters steer clear of the Landing outside of major events.It is a subtle trend,sure to be rationalized away for a time.

You have mentioned this more than once.  The question is why?  Why is it an area to be avoided?

tpkfla

December 11, 2009, 12:22:31 PM
Your all wrong!  Close the Landing and sell the property to a tower developer. Take the proceeds and build another venue in metro park. Sell all government property on or near the water and resell property to high tax paying properties. Don't waste money by trying to improve the Landing. Put it on the forclosure list for it sound like "Crash Landing" and has a negative reputation. All the strengths listed above in one thru four are really negatives. The recent graffiti the city had painted on the sidewalks was another blunder and waste of money. Condemn old buildings, redesign codes and zoning, and get the city out of the downtown (including the jail). How many more times will you have to try to improve the blighted downtown and jacksonville landing?

Captain Zissou

December 11, 2009, 12:30:15 PM
Nice try tpkfla...

There are height restrictions for that area.  A tower developer couldn't go more than 6 or seven stories.  We need the city offices downtown.  They put thousands of workers in the urban core.  While they shouldn't be using riverfront property, to move them out of downtown would be a disaster. Ideas like yours are the reason downtown is "blighted" in the first place.

Welcome to the forum.

buckethead

December 11, 2009, 12:31:42 PM
Didn't see that coming.

Although there are a few problems with that, one being the low demand for downtown housing relative to the supply, it removes a good portion of what attracts outsiders/suburbanites.

Nice, and decisive first post though! :o

Jth

December 11, 2009, 12:40:11 PM
All this is really pointless to be honest. Another master plan, another study, another trip for the chamber. I am so tired of this place. The city will find a way to block any major development downtown. Its what they do best. The Landing will be no more than what it is. You guys do realize the Landing could have been redeveloped before the Super Bowl and what happen. I'm sorry to rant, but I have lost hope in this city.

The city and the Landing didn't pay a dime for this. It was done as a 2 hour session at the statewide urban planning conference a few months ago. It was just a bunch of urban planners throwing out ideas for how to improve The Landing.

north miami

December 11, 2009, 01:08:54 PM
Quote
As a full time employee in the area pleasure boat business I have become aware of the fact that with increasing frequency boaters steer clear of the Landing outside of major events.It is a subtle trend,sure to be rationalized away for a time.

You have mentioned this more than once.  The question is why?  Why is it an area to be avoided?

For reasons real and/or perceived.Unsafe.Rough element.Concerns with tresspass on docked vessels,vandalism.
I recently listened to an active boater give an account of an episode.

stephendare

December 11, 2009, 01:11:33 PM
Still not convinced with this "when in doubt, mention green space" mantra.

The river is a helluva green space, the area is awash with it.

It needs more active use planning.

I wouldnt be at all hurt by the idea of vertical expansion and a spat of hyper building and addition at the Landing.

Also an agressive activity planning at the TUPAC (the original name for the Performing Arts Center) would be very desirable....it acts as yet another isolating passive green space during the day, creating another dead zone between the Landing and any real connectivity, and therefore lowering the possibility of vibrancy.

north miami

December 11, 2009, 01:31:32 PM
Still not convinced with this "when in doubt, mention green space" mantra.

The river is a helluva green space, the area is awash with it.

It needs more active use planning.

I wouldnt be at all hurt by the idea of vertical expansion and a spat of hyper building and addition at the Landing.

Also an agressive activity planning at the TUPAC (the original name for the Performing Arts Center) would be very desirable....it acts as yet another isolating passive green space during the day, creating another dead zone between the Landing and any real connectivity, and therefore lowering the possibility of vibrancy.

The waterfront property is too valuable to dedicate to retail selling sunglasses,clothing and most foods.Open it up.
What would Sanfrancisco do??

JeffreyS

December 11, 2009, 01:50:25 PM
The city has invested heavily in the river walk and continues to expand public access to the river.  Let the Laura street improvements happen and try to encourage The Landing, Wachovia, Suntrust and Modis buildings to open up a few retail and restaurants toward the street.  If these places were more connected to the person visiting the area the experience would be greatly upgraded. Inside Wachovia it seems like you aren't in Jacksonville anymore.

mtraininjax

December 11, 2009, 02:12:35 PM
tpkfla - we already have a tower and its blighted, it is called Berkman 2, and its currently in a posh rehab state. We probably don't need another in the Landing's place.

Please don't make me go to a different Chicago pizza, I really enjoy hanging with Ross and Rodman, my bartenders.

tpkfla

December 12, 2009, 08:32:33 AM
Design, zoning and crime have hurt downtown's future. I have buildings in other more desirable locations...

RMidd

December 12, 2009, 02:47:39 PM
So many comments! I noticed a repeating complaint: anti-orange.

As an artist I think about color quite a bit. And I pay attention to art and design going on all over. Simply put, ORANGE is cool. TEAL never has been or ever will be.

As I am constantly reminding my 5-year-old neighbor, there's more to colors than what teams they connote!

Teal is fine as a team color for the Jaguars. One reason it is a good team color is that few people actually like teal outside of wearing it to support the Jags. When you see someone in teal, it's a good guess that they are supporting our home team. That's great. Orange is entirely different. Orange is a bright, sunshiney, Florida color.

JeffreyS

December 12, 2009, 05:34:03 PM
I like the orange. Welcome RMidd.

stephendare

December 13, 2009, 10:26:56 AM
I like Orange as well, although a yellow saffron would probably be better.  The current color seems to have been chosen as the Hooter's response to the Great Wall of China:  A Hooters Logo that can be seen from Space!

Reaper man

December 13, 2009, 01:50:48 PM
I think a vivid, dark blue would be better, personally.

braeburn

December 13, 2009, 11:15:22 PM
But would they be as easy to see or stand out if they were that colour?

Ocklawaha

December 13, 2009, 11:46:13 PM


PURPLE, PURPLE, PURPLE

and let's trim it with

Silver,

highlighted by 24K gold leaf pin stripes

OCKLAWAHA
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