Jax Chamber Headed to Kansas City - A few PointersSeptember 28, 2009 47 comments Print Article
Next week, the Chamber of Commerce and city leaders will make their annual pilgrimage to a peer city to seek out innovative ideas and successes that Jacksonville could implement. In years past, without bringing back and implementing tangible results, this trip has come under fire by Jacksonville taxpayers. To help make this trip worthwhile, Metro Jacksonville highlights five Kansas City projects that Jacksonville representatives should take a close look at.
1. Kansas City MAX Bus Rapid Transit (BRT)
JTA continues to push the concept of BRT to a city where residents continue to state they prefer rail. Especially for its ability to attract sustainable infill economic development in areas where taxpayers have already invested in adequate infrastructure. In Kansas City, Jacksonville's delegation will have the opportunity to see and use a system similar to JTA's planned system: the Kansas City MAX Bus Rapid Transit line.
Recently constructed rail systems in Tampa, Little Rock, Charlotte, Phoenix, Houston and Dallas have all spurred billions in transit oriented development. In Austin and Norfolk, two cities whose rail projects are still under construction, TOD has also already started to pop up along the proposed transit corridors. BRT has been billed by proponents to be rail on rubber wheels. Completed in 2005, the six-mile Kansas City MAX BRT line has had more than enough time to evaluate its impact on stimulating transit oriented development.
Metro Jacksonville urges the Jacksonville delegation to break away from a few business sessions and take a ride on the MAX. After your ride, ask yourselves if BRT feels like rail, is it stimulating transit oriented development, will it enhance the city's image in the eyes of the Creative Class and will it position our community to the front of the New Economy?
To learn more about the Max: http://www.kcata.org/maps_schedules/max/
2. Bartle Hall Convention Center
Everyone is well aware that the Prime Osborn is a substandard convention facility. However, most only think in terms of the size of the exhibition hall instead of the importance of being located adjacent to complementing uses (ex. hotels, restaurants, retail, etc.).
Kansas City's Bartle Hall is one of those facilities the Prime Osborn has to compete against. While in Kansas City, take a walk around Bartle Hall, which does offer 388,800 square feet of column-free exhibition space on one floor. Take notes on whether there are hotels, restaurants, bars and entertainment venues within a block or two of this complex. Then ask yourself, if you were booking a convention, would you prefer this type of environment or an expanded Prime Osborn surrounded by a bus depot.
3. Historic Preservation
Over the last few decades, Jacksonville's leaders have had little respect, if any, for historic preservation. This lack of respect has resulted in acres of surface parking and an urban core that has lost nearly 50% of its population since 1950. While traveling to various destinations in urban Kansas City, pay attention to whether there has been an effort to preserve and integrate historic structures with modern uses. Try to take a walk through districts like the West Bottoms, Westport, Crossroads, and River Market. Where significant preservation has taken place, compare how the atmosphere feels to Jacksonville's Main Street, Brooklyn and LaVilla.
4. Country Club Plaza
A few of Jacksonville's leaders have been quoted in the local media as believing that the St. Johns Town Center is an example of New Urbanism, when in reality, it is nothing but the latest version of a suburban regional mall.
In Kansas City, if you ride the MAX (hint), you'll have the opportunity to see the United State's first "lifestyle center" because it is a stop on the BRT line. Completed in 1923, Country Club Plaza is the true example of a suburban shopping center built to accommodate both the pedestrian and the automobile. Unlike the SJTC, the Plaza's parking is discreetly concealed in multilevel parking garages beneath and behind the shops, or hidden on the rooftops of buildings. Take a walk around Country Club Plaza and imagine what it will take to transform Jacksonville's zoning regulations to allow for citywide walkable development.
5. Marketing Local History and Culture
Although Jacksonville has a rich urban and cultural history, our community has done a poor job in marketing our past to the rest of the world. On the other hand, Kansas City is well known for its contributions to the musical styles of jazz and blues, as well as to cuisine (Kansas City-style barbecue and steak). Try to find the strategy Kansas City has successfully implemented and attempt to integrate the marketing strategy locally with Jacksonville's unique history and culture as the centerpiece.
Other Areas Worth Exploring
Crown Center & the Power & Light District
Both of these modern developments have become popular destinations in downtown Kansas City. While out touring and enjoying them, attempt to take in how they have handled their parking requirements and integration with surrounding land uses. Are they isolated developments? Do they have large parking lots between the building's front doors and the public sidewalks? Have they been designed in a manner that stimulates pedestrian activity outside of their site boundaries?
39th Street - Restaurant Row
This strip features one of Kansas City's largest selections of independently owned restaurants and boutique shops. It is also the city's main center of literary and visual arts and bohemian culture. Visit and take note of whether the businesses are located in completely new infill development or if they reuse small, older pedestrian friendly structures. What will it take for Jacksonville's Bay Street and Main Street to support a similar atmosphere?
Previous Chamber of Commerce Trips
What the Jacksonville delegation learned from these trips and how this information was applied locally is not clear to the general public.
2008 - Seattle, WA
2007 - Shanghai, Beijing and Hong Kong, China
2006 - New Orleans, LA
2005 - Boston
About The 29th Annual Leadership Trip to Kansas City, MO
The Jacksonville Regional Chamber of Commerce is heading to Kansas City, Mo., for the 29th annual leadership trip October 6-8. This trip is taking a different approach than past leadership trip experiences going back to its roots where
the focus was on leadership. This year, Jacksonvilles top business and civic leaders will see first-hand how Kansas City leaders executed their vision through leadership that forced great change bringing innovative and fresh ideas that
transformed their city into a thriving civic and business community. Through high-level workshops facilitated by Kansas City and Jacksonville leaders featuring both industry and downtown revitalization successes, participants will have the opportunity to discuss new ways to leverage our numerous and valuable resources that will sustain our vibrant and growing community for years to come.
Like Kansas City, Jacksonville has a strong public/private partnership that can be utilized to realize the changes that leaders want to see in our region. Kansas City leaders had the vision and political force to drive real change in their city. These are long-range leaders who think in decades and have been able to bring about long-term success, including the establishment of a strong life sciences sector with the Stowers Institute for Medical Research and Kansas City Area Life Sciences Institute at the center; and a revitalized and growing Power and Light District, a nine-block entertainment district featuring restaurants, bars and retail shops in the citys downtown area.
"This trip is not about just showing you attractive buildings and a great entertainment district. It's about helping you see what can happen when leaders take charge and get involved to make change happen," said Kelly Madden, Wholesale Market President, North Florida, Wachovia Bank and Chamber Chair-elect.
This Year's Itinerary
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
7:30 a.m. Airport Check-in
8:30 10:00 a.m. Group Charter Flight
10:00 11:00 a.m. Travel from Airport
11:00 a.m. 12:30 p.m. Welcome Lunch
Topic: Welcome to Kansas City
Kelly Madden, Chair-elect, Jacksonville Regional Chamber of Commerce
Anne St. Peter, Chair, Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce
12:30 1:00 p.m. Travel
1:00 3:30 p.m. Leadership Topic 1: Long Range Leadership
Location: Stowers Institute
Focus: James E. Stowers, Jr., The Stowers Institute and Kansas City Life Sciences
Dr. William Neaves , President and Chief Executive Officer of the Stowers Institute for Medical Research
Dr. Daniel P. Getman, President of Kansas City Area Life Sciences Institute
Joerg Ohle, President & General Manager, Bayer Corporation, Animal Health Division, North America
Bob Marcusse, President & CEO, Kansas City Area Development Council
3:30 4:00 p.m. Travel
4:00 5:30 p.m. Hotel Check In/Personal Time
5:30 6:00 p.m. Travel
6:00 7:30 p.m. Past Chair Reception
Location: AMC Theater
Join 2010 Chamber Chair Kelly Madden as we honor the accomplishments and leadership of past Jacksonville Regional Chamber of Commerce Chairs.
Peter Brown, Former CEO, AMC Entertainment
7:30 11:30 p.m. Dinner
Power and Light District
Explore the newly developed Power and Light District in downtown Kansas City. Choose from a variety of restaurants in the area and enjoy networking time with your fellow trip participants. The trip fee includes a shuttle that will run every 30 minutes between the trip hotel and the Power and Light District. (Price of dinner is not included).
9:30 p.m. 12:00 a.m.
Personal Time/Hospitality Suite Open
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
6:30 8:00 a.m. Breakfast Buffet Intercontinental Hotel
8:00 8:30 a.m. Travel
8:30 a.m. 12:30 p.m. Leadership Topic 2: Government Leadership
Location: Lathrop & Gage Conference Room
Focus: Downtown Revitalization
Kay Waldo Barnes, former Mayor of Kansas City
Wayne Cauthen, City Manager, Kansas City, Mo.
Brenda Tinnen, General Manager and Senior Vice President of Sprint Center/AEG Kansas City
Kevin Battle, Chief Operating Officer, Kansas City Power & Light District
Bob Langenkamp, Planning Services
Herb Kohn, Partner, Bryan Cave LLP
Jack Holland, Managing Director, Oppenheimer & Co. Inc.
12:30 1:00 p.m. Tour of Crown Center
1:00 2:30 p.m. Lunch
Location: American Restaurant
Don Hall, Jr, President and CEO, Hallmark
2:30 3:00 p.m. Travel
3:00 5:00 p.m. Personal Time/Hospitality Suite Open
5:00 5:30 p.m. Travel
5:30 6:15 p.m. Leadership Topic 3: Inspiring Leaders
Location: Nelson Atkins Museum
Focus: Jacksonville Leadership
Mayor John Peyton, Mayor, City of Jacksonville
Mayor Mark Funkhouser, City of Kansas City, Mo.
6:15 7:30 p.m. Reception
Nelson Atkins Museum Kirkwood Hall
7:30 9:00 p.m. Mayors Dinner
Nelson Atkins Museum Rozzelle Court
9:00 9:30 p.m. Travel
9:00 p.m. 12:30 a.m. Personal Time/Hospitality Suite Open
Thursday, October 8, 2009
6:30 8:00 a.m. Breakfast Buffet Intercontinental Hotel
8:00 8:30 a.m. Hotel Check out Travel
8:30 11:30 a.m. Leadership Topic 4: Community Leadership
Location: Kauffman Foundation
Focus: Inspiring Change
Laura McKnight, President and CEO, Greater Kansas City Community Foundation
Thomas Bloch, Board Chair, Greater Kansas City Community Foundation; President and Founder, University Academy
Jewel Scott, Civic Council of Greater Kansas City
Karen Pletz, Chair Civic Council; President of Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences
William Berkley, Chair Heartland Effort; President/CEO of Tension Envelope
11:30 a.m. 12:30 p.m. Trip Wrap Up Kelly Madden
12:30 1:30 p.m. Travel
1:30 2:30 p.m. Airport Check in
2:30 6:00 p.m. Group Charter Flight to Jacksonville
6:00 p.m. Arrive in Jacksonville
Contact: Kelly Gerlach
Phone: (904) 366-6646
In conclusion, use this trip to gather ideas that will make Jacksonville better through quick and sensible implementation. Also, take photos and be willing to share what you have learned to all of Jacksonville's residents.
Article by Ennis Davis
Images from Wikipedia