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Five Reasons to Address The Landing Parking Situation

Here are five reasons to consider addressing the Jacksonville Landing parking situation once and for all.

Published April 14, 2010 in Opinion      135 Comments    Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article


1. 23 Years


Toney Sleiman believes that the purchase of this existing parking lot will enable to Landing to finally attract first rate anchor tenants to the struggling riverfront complex.

This issue has lingered on for 23 years to the detriment of downtown.  If the city really wants a vibrant downtown, it's going to have to find a way to get better utilization out of its most visited destination.

Quote
It is, in fact, Sleiman’s effort to collect on a 23-year-old obligation that calls for the City of Jacksonville to provide parking for the Landing.

The obligation stems from a promise of 800 parking slots made to entice the Rouse Co. to build the Landing in the mid-'80s. The failure to keep that pledge has cost the city tens of millions of dollars in lease revenue over the years because of a clause that allowed the Landing to avoid paying the city rent on the land, which is owned by the city, as long as the parking issue was not resolved.

That magical number of 800 has been whittled down over the years, modified most recently in 2006 to pledge $3.5 million for a built parking garage that designated 300 daytime spaces and 375 nighttime spaces for the Landing.

The failures of the scores of tenants who have occupied the Landing over the years are not uniform, but one struggle they have all given voice to is the lack of parking.

http://jacksonville.com/opinion/blog/401574/abel-harding/2010-04-09/23-years-later-its-time-solve-landing-parking-problem




2. Compact Downtown Revitalization


Looking from the Landing into the heart of the downtown core.

Pedestrian friendly revitalization revolves around connectivity and density to create synergy.  With that said, the Landing's centralized location makes it a critical element in bringing downtown back to life.  In the sake of walkability, synergy and vibrancy, the Landing plays a more critical role than many projects (ex. Metropolitan Park, Shipyards, Brooklyn Park, etc.) currently on the board or dreamed about in the past.

Quote
Downtown Vision says $1.1 billion of public and private investment in downtown over the past decade has been spread too broadly across a 2.72 square-mile area.

The report says the city will get the most bang for its buck by concentrating redevelopment in a 25-block area centered by Laura Street on the Northbank, and Friendship Fountain and the Southbank Riverwalk on the other side of the river.

"We simply do not have the resources to undertake the rehabilitation of our entire downtown," the report says.

Downtown Vision Executive Director Terry Lorince said other cities have succeeded with a block by block approach.

"We absolutely believe that it starts in the core and works out," she said in an interview. "Let's make what we have work better."

http://jacksonville.com/news/metro/2010-03-29/story/downtown-groups-say-jacksonvilles-core-crisis-needs-new-strategy




3. Laura Street Streetscape


An opportunity exists to better integrate the Laura Street project with the Landing.

A. Philip Randolph Boulevard should show that it takes more than a nice streetscape to attract pedestrians.  More important than the sidewalks themselves is the ability for that streetscape to connect and integrate with pedestrian friendly anchors.  The Landing currently turns its back to Laura Street and Independent Drive.  With the removal of the Jackson statue and resolution of the parking situation, Jacksonville has the unique opportunity to fully integrate downtown's major waterfront anchor with a publicly funded infrastructure project to create desperately needed pedestrian friendly synergy in the heart of the Northbank.

Quote
This $2.7 million project will establish the Laura Street corridor as the cornerstone of future revitalization for Downtown Jacksonville by creating a more walkable environment for pedestrians and improving vehicular flow.  

Pedestrian improvements will include new sidewalks, lighting, street landscaping, directional kiosks, historical plaques and cobblestone accents.

Traffic improvements include re-establishing Laura Street as a two-way corridor, and installing a roundabout in front of the Jacksonville Landing.  New street markers will also be installed to help both motorists and pedestrians navigate downtown.

Construction will begin the week of Feb. 8.  On Feb. 10, Mayor John Peyton and District 4 Council Member Don Redman will celebrate the start of the project with a groundbreaking ceremony.

http://www.coj.net/Departments/Public+Works/Construction+Projects/Streetscape+Projects.htm


4. A Facelift for the Landing


This area has the potential to become an urban space filled with outdoor cafes, restaurants and seating facing Independent Drive and downtown.

By finally taking care of the parking situation, we have the opportunity to create a stronger pedestrian oriented streetscape at ground level between the Landing and downtown.  Isn't that the whole point of downtown revitalization?  

Quote
Sleiman also wants to redo the grassy area of the Landing now occupied by a large statue of Andrew Jackson. The city will relocate the statue to a roundabout being built in front of the mall as part of a Laura Street makeover.

Sleiman said the move will open up space for outdoor cafes. He said he would renovate the Landing so it has storefront entrances, rather than the solid wall that now faces the area with the statue.

He doesn't have an estimate for what that work would cost and said it's all contingent on getting more parking.

"For this to be successful, I've got to get the parking," he said. "If we go like we're going now, it's not going to be good."

http://jacksonville.com/news/metro/2010-04-08/story/mayor’s-office-balks-landing-owner’s-plea-parking-subsidy


The dead Landing space above could look similar to this lively courtyard in New Orleans' City Park with the resolution of the parking issue.


5. Income producer


The Jacksonville Landing currently does not pay rent to the city for prime riverfront property.

Not only will resolving the parking situation improve walkability, vibrancy and the Landing's tenant mix, it will also be an income producer for the city.

Quote
For now, Sleiman will not pay rent, but that will change if the city fulfills a parking obligation.

The city has been in default of an agreement with the Landing's owner to provide 800 parking spaces to Landing patrons. As a result, Sleiman will forgo paying rent of about $100,000 a year. Sleiman will receive a $275 rent credit for each day between Sept. 1 to Feb. 28, 2004, that the parking issue is not resolved, according to terms of the city's agreement.

"When the city delivers on the parking, then Sleiman will have to pay the rent, so that has to be factored into the value," said Jack Garnett, owner of Garnett Commerical Real Estate. "But for now, Mr. Sleiman took on a $100,000 liability, and that is factor to take into consideration when you look at the price. It's a good deal, but he does not own the land."

http://www.jacksonville.com/tu-online/stories/082803/bus_13385355.shtml







135 Comments

Actionville

April 14, 2010, 09:04:29 AM
If the city owned/operated the parking garages downtown, and charged a reasonable rate, this probably wouldn't even be an issue.

reednavy

April 14, 2010, 09:17:09 AM
I didn't realize this issue has been going on for so long, the city is at fault and needs to hold up it's end of the agreement.

JeffreyS

April 14, 2010, 09:18:18 AM
That is what the Landing wants 300 spaces in a nearby city location and they will pay 1.5 mil a year to the city.

Captain Zissou

April 14, 2010, 09:21:47 AM
That picture looking into 'the heart of the downtown core' shows three vacant and unfinished buildings.  Nice.  The city needs to man up and fulfill their end of the deal.

tufsu1

April 14, 2010, 09:23:04 AM
If the city owned/operated the parking garages downtown, and charged a reasonable rate, this probably wouldn't even be an issue.

charged reasonable rates...most garages downtown are no more than $5 per day...you want it cheaper?

mtraininjax

April 14, 2010, 09:23:26 AM
I can park on the street and at worst, walk 2 blocks. Or as was the case this weekend, for the Styx concert, the parking lot at the landing was 1/2 full. I really can't wait for when I need to go 10 blocks to park, because by then, I am sure JTA will create a shuttle from Riverside/Avondale for downtown events. Of course, I might be wrong.

JC

April 14, 2010, 09:24:51 AM
I think there is a far better solution than attracting more cars to the downtown area. It seems so, 1990's to clamor for parking lots and spaces.  Its not that hard to take the Skyway from any number of stops to Central station and walk the rest of the way.  I realize that public transportation in Jacksonville is not a solution for everything, yet, but if people support it, and use it when it makes sense, then revenues will be increased, the demand will be realized, and Voilà, more track, more stops and other modes of transportation.  It just doesn't make any sense whatsoever to make accommodations for cars instead of increasing public transportation.  

At some point, there will be too many cars, and driving will be a serious issue.  Without an established, dependable, user friendly, accessible public transportation alternative, the traffic will further prevent visitors.  

Lunican

April 14, 2010, 09:28:21 AM
Mtrain, it's not that there isn't enough parking, it's that there is not enough parking designated to the Landing. This technicality is what prevents Sleiman from signing national restaurant chains and retailers.

reednavy

April 14, 2010, 09:31:10 AM
Mtrain, it's not that there isn't enough parking, it's that there is not enough parking designated to the Landing. This technicality is what prevents Sleiman from signing national restaurant chains and retailers.
Exactly, he says he contacted The Cheesecake Factory and P.F. Chang's, and they had only one question. "Can you dedicate 150 parking spaces to our needs?" He sure as hell can't, so those talks went nowhere.

duvaldude08

April 14, 2010, 09:43:06 AM
I am just so upset with the city. The owner is willing to renovate the Landing, all he is asking for is the parking that the landing was promised. There would make no sense for him to renovate and still lack teanets. Yeah it may cost 3.5 million or less, but once done the city will get all that back and then some in lease payments. COMMON SENSE.  We have a very incompetent administration in this city. Can not wait until Peyton is gone.

finehoe

April 14, 2010, 10:13:16 AM
I think the whole parking issue is a red herring.  As others have noted, there is plenty of parking downtown.  However, if the City committed to providing X number of dedicated spaces, then it should fullfill that commitment.

Just don't be surprised if after those spaces are provided, some other "shortcoming" is trotted out on why the Landing isn't a fully-leased success.

avonjax

April 14, 2010, 11:40:15 AM
And everyone should remember that although there are a lot of parking spaces near the Landing, people in Jacksonville perceive downtown as filled with crime, especially murder. If you read the comments on Jax.com you would probably laugh or be appalled how many people think that the murder rate DT is the worst in Florida.
finehoe, the fact is this issue is not about excuses, it's about what the city agreed with the Landing ownership, past and present. If we all have the attitude of "Just don't be surprised if after those spaces are provided, some other "shortcoming" is trotted out on why the Landing isn't a fully-leased success." then nothing will ever be accomplished in DT. Your view is exactly what many in this city share. It's kinda typical.  There is no way we can see if the Landing is successful or a failure in the future but if no effort is ever made then it's a total loss. Doing next to nothing is what's wrong with DT now, in my opinion.
I am sure that all the original tenants when the Landing opened in 87 invested in the project because of the promise of close, dedicated parking. They included for those new to Jax or don't remember:
Banana Republic
J. Riggins
Musicland (Or a similar large record store chain)
Victoria's Secret
The Limited
Sharper Image
Brookestone
Laura Ashley
The Gap
Lerner's New York
And several local chains.
and several others that are not immediately coming to mind.
This was our first Banana Republic, Sharper Image, Laura Ashley and Brookestone.

thelakelander

April 14, 2010, 11:46:44 AM
I find it funny how we play hard with the private sector for downtown development when the product we're offering them to risk their money in is basically a slug compared to what most peer cities are bringing to the table.  From my years of layout out shopping centers and sites for retail developers and chains, I have no doubt that the lack of dedicated parking issue is a real one.  

We can talk about red herrings and the need to teach people and retailers they need to learn urbanism, but at the end of the day, the urban environment we want them to invest is a dying shell of its once vibrant self.  While we talk, those national retailers and restaurants just flip the us the middle finger and take their business elsewhere.  DT Jax is not the only place to invest a buck in. After all, there are seven continents and thousands of cities you can take your money to.

Quote
Just don't be surprised if after those spaces are provided, some other "shortcoming" is trotted out on why the Landing isn't a fully-leased success.

Even in this case, the city would still be generating annual revenue by finally fulfilling their end of the parking obligation.  Playing hard ball and helping to keep your prime destination struggling with vacancies just makes your DT product a larger slug to market the outside world.

finehoe

April 14, 2010, 12:10:43 PM
Your view is exactly what many in this city share. It's kinda typical. 

It's also realistic and the result of years of seeing the same old same old.

thelakelander

April 14, 2010, 12:41:11 PM
Regarding same ole, same ole, the center has had two dominent common characteristics: Vacancies and a lack of dedicated parking.  What's there now tells us what doesn't work and hasn't for two decades.  Its time to try another path.

tufsu1

April 14, 2010, 12:50:39 PM
I am sure that all the original tenants when the Landing opened in 87 invested in the project because of the promise of close, dedicated parking. They included for those new to Jax or don't remember:
Banana Republic
J. Riggins
Musicland (Or a similar large record store chain)
Victoria's Secret
The Limited
Sharper Image
Brookestone
Laura Ashley
The Gap
Lerner's New York
And several local chains.
and several others that are not immediately coming to mind.
This was our first Banana Republic, Sharper Image, Laura Ashley and Brookestone.

somewhat true...but it also had to do with the clout Rouse had in the national retail (shopping mall) market....they seeded most of their festival marketplaces this way and justabout all have changed since.

thelakelander

April 14, 2010, 12:57:26 PM
Rouse most likely would have never built the project without the city agreeing to provide dedicated parking.  Not saying this is what DT Jax needs, but even in Norfolk the festival market model has changed but Waterside still features restaurants like Outback Steakhouse, Jillians and Joe's Crab Shack.  However, it also has a huge parking garage directly attached to it.  No matter how hard Jax tries to deny it, there is a correlation between providing dedicated parking and securing national tenants.

tufsu1

April 14, 2010, 01:04:31 PM
agreed

finehoe

April 14, 2010, 01:56:37 PM
Regarding same ole, same ole, the center has had two dominent common characteristics: Vacancies and a lack of dedicated parking.  What's there now tells us what doesn't work and hasn't for two decades.  Its time to try another path.

If you read my previous post, I agree that the city should honor its commitment.  I'm just not going to hold my breath waiting for the "new" parking to result in any significant changes.

thelakelander

April 14, 2010, 02:16:56 PM
I understood you, but generating revenue from the Landing site would be a significant change.  As for a total remake of the Landing, I agree it will take more. Namely, selling the land underneath the Landing to Sleiman.

avonjax

April 14, 2010, 02:18:24 PM
Just don't be surprised if after those spaces are provided, some other "shortcoming" is trotted out on why the Landing isn't a fully-leased success. But finehoe that's the point. It's that negative view that poisons Jacksonville. One of my favorite arguments, frequently found at Jax.com message boards is, "I don't want any more of my tax money dumped on a losing venture. (Downtown - That is not a direct quote just paraphrasing)." The problem is, and the most shocking, is, and correct me Lake if I'm wrong on this figure, 28 or so million on lost rent. If the city openly blew 28 million on a downtown project or even attempted to throw that much money on any single venture, the people of Jax would need strait jackets.

finehoe

April 14, 2010, 02:42:25 PM
I understand, Avon.  You'd be hard pressed to find a bigger fan of downtown's potential than me.  But I also understand why those posters you refer to have their attitude.  Thirty-plus years of grand plans and public investment overseen by incompetent leadership resulting in a downtown that (as lakelander so wonderfully put it) resembles a scene from 28 Days Later is enough to make anyone skeptical of whatever the latest plan de jour is.

I say give Sleiman his parking, and let's hope it does the trick.  But let's be realistic as well and not look at this as another in a long line of silver bullets that will somehow turn things around.

thelakelander

April 14, 2010, 02:59:54 PM
Speaking of 28 Days Later, the only thing missing from my walk on Forsyth Street Monday night, was a couple of zombies from the BB&T tower to chase me to the Landing.

Quote
I say give Sleiman his parking, and let's hope it does the trick.  But let's be realistic as well and not look at this as another in a long line of silver bullets that will somehow turn things around.

I agree.  There is no one trick pony that will turn around our slug overnight.  We'll need more than the Landing filled with a couple of new storefronts.  However, upgrading and integrating this complex would be a step in the right direction for a change.

Steve

April 14, 2010, 03:03:01 PM
^The thing to me is that the expense to the city is 3.5 million, but at that point, the landing would then start paying the $1 million/yr in rent on the land that they aren't paying now.  It doesn't add parking spaces to downtown (Because MORE is not needed), and in 3.5 years, the city starts making money on this.  Why is this a bad thing in any way?

avonjax

April 14, 2010, 03:27:00 PM
I understand, Avon.  You'd be hard pressed to find a bigger fan of downtown's potential than me.  But I also understand why those posters you refer to have their attitude.  Thirty-plus years of grand plans and public investment overseen by incompetent leadership resulting in a downtown that (as lakelander so wonderfully put it) resembles a scene from 28 Days Later is enough to make anyone skeptical of whatever the latest plan de jour is.

I say give Sleiman his parking, and let's hope it does the trick.  But let's be realistic as well and not look at this as another in a long line of silver bullets that will somehow turn things around.

I am not trying to convince you....
What are your ideas?
Just let downtown stay like it is?
Or better yet get worse?
Just tell me what you think and your ideas?

JC

April 14, 2010, 03:43:37 PM
People drive to NYC why?  The traffic is horrendous, in spite of how safe it actually is, it still feels unsafe and you really have to be on guard.  Parking is a nightmare, if you can find a curbside spot its outrageous and the time is limited during normal business hours.  The parking signs are extremely ambiguous.  On a personal note, I parked under conflicting "no parking" "no standing" signs and my car was towed, 3 hours $200.00 and a long trip from the West Village to the impound somewhere in the 70s at the West Side Highway, I got my car back.  NYPD had even broken into my car, in order to "secure some valuables" that they saw.  Oh and the parking ticket was 95.00 American Dollars, so, with postage, I paid just under three hundred dollars for some bs signage.  Then there is the issue of parking garages, which, admittedly I have found a website to get parking for 12 to 18 dollars for 12 hours.  

Then there is Metro North, really a great idea, but VERY expensive and not really all that comfortable.  To ride 70 miles from Poughkeepsie NY to Grand Central costs 37.06 peak and 27.56 off peak for a round trip ticket.  For a monthly unlimited pass you are talking 367.00 dollars.  Then a monthly unlimited bus and subway pass costs 90.00 a month.  Also, parking at the Poughkeepsie train station was 3.00 a day.  All totaled for a monthly expense of around 520.00.  

So, driving sucks and is expensive and public transportation is also expensive, yet people are still drawn to NY, for work and entertainment.  People are willing to endure some serious inconveniences, homeless on the subway, noise, expensive food, and so on.  They endure because NY is amazing, its a great place to work, find entertainment, you can find great food of any variety, an extreme variety of culture is everywhere.  

Contrast with Jacksonville, the parking is cheap, its not hard to find no matter what anyone says.  The public transportation is not expensive, although not abundant, with a little planning it can be integrated into a personal trip downtown.  

I honestly think that anyone who says parking is their reason for not visiting downtown is making excuses!

JC

April 14, 2010, 03:45:44 PM
I understand, Avon.  You'd be hard pressed to find a bigger fan of downtown's potential than me.  But I also understand why those posters you refer to have their attitude.  Thirty-plus years of grand plans and public investment overseen by incompetent leadership resulting in a downtown that (as lakelander so wonderfully put it) resembles a scene from 28 Days Later is enough to make anyone skeptical of whatever the latest plan de jour is.

I say give Sleiman his parking, and let's hope it does the trick.  But let's be realistic as well and not look at this as another in a long line of silver bullets that will somehow turn things around.

I am not trying to convince you....
What are your ideas?
Just let downtown stay like it is?
Or better yet get worse?
Just tell me what you think and your ideas?

Well, just to throw in a few cents.  I think residents are severely misguided if they are expecting private investors and the government to build a community that does not exist. 

avonjax

April 14, 2010, 03:46:28 PM
I say give Sleiman his parking, and let's hope it does the trick.  But let's be realistic as well and not look at this as another in a long line of silver bullets that will somehow turn things around.

It seems that you have already conceded that this will not work. This seems to be the prevailing attitude with so many people in Jacksonville. That's why I defend my view.
If there was a better perception of downtown in general including crime, things to do, nightlife so on maybe more people would give it a try.
Do you go to Art Walk? Or other things to do downtown?
MOCAJ? The Downtown Library?
Just curious is all
I have lived in Jax for the better part of 58 years and I've seen a vibrant downtown and watched it decline. There is absolutely no reason why it can't be brought back to a great community.
But it will never happen if we just sit back and whine about how it will never work.
And freak out every time a dime is spent by the city.
Downtown is as important a part of Jacksonville as every other neighborhood, and like it or not, it's what casual visitors judge the entire area by when they pass through. If it looks like 28 Days Later, that's what they will view us as. That's not good enough for me.

thelakelander

April 14, 2010, 03:52:14 PM
Quote
I honestly think that anyone who says parking is their reason for not visiting downtown is making excuses!

This isn't the issue.  Dedicated parking required to attract first rate tenants is.

Quote
Sleiman said the future of the Landing lies with restaurants and entertainment venues. When he contacts national chains, such as Cheesecake Factory and P.F. Chang's, he said, a conversation-ending question is whether he can dedicate 150 spaces for the restaurant's use.

He said he can't make that commitment now because the mall's existing lot has 240 spaces, so the Landing's other restaurants and stores would get squeezed on parking needs for their customers.

Councilman Clark gets it....

Quote
City Council President Richard Clark, who favors Sleiman's request, said the type of parking facility doesn't matter, so long as it meets the Landing's needs.

"They're talking semantics," Clark said of the mayor's office. "The goal isn't a parking garage. The goal isn't a floating barge with cars on it. The goal is dedicated parking for the Landing."
http://jacksonville.com/news/metro/2010-04-08/story/mayor’s-office-balks-landing-owner’s-plea-parking-subsidy

thelakelander

April 14, 2010, 03:55:31 PM
Well, just to throw in a few cents.  I think residents are severely misguided if they are expecting private investors and the government to build a community that does not exist. 

Interesting. I don't think there is one city in this country that was not established by private investors, government or a mix of both.

avonjax

April 14, 2010, 03:56:35 PM
People drive to NYC why?  The traffic is horrendous, in spite of how safe it actually is, it still feels unsafe and you really have to be on guard.  Parking is a nightmare, if you can find a curbside spot its outrageous and the time is limited during normal business hours.  The parking signs are extremely ambiguous.  On a personal note, I parked under conflicting "no parking" "no standing" signs and my car was towed, 3 hours $200.00 and a long trip from the West Village to the impound somewhere in the 70s at the West Side Highway, I got my car back.  NYPD had even broken into my car, in order to "secure some valuables" that they saw.  Oh and the parking ticket was 95.00 American Dollars, so, with postage, I paid just under three hundred dollars for some bs signage.  Then there is the issue of parking garages, which, admittedly I have found a website to get parking for 12 to 18 dollars for 12 hours.  

Then there is Metro North, really a great idea, but VERY expensive and not really all that comfortable.  To ride 70 miles from Poughkeepsie NY to Grand Central costs 37.06 peak and 27.56 off peak for a round trip ticket.  For a monthly unlimited pass you are talking 367.00 dollars.  Then a monthly unlimited bus and subway pass costs 90.00 a month.  Also, parking at the Poughkeepsie train station was 3.00 a day.  All totaled for a monthly expense of around 520.00.  

So, driving sucks and is expensive and public transportation is also expensive, yet people are still drawn to NY, for work and entertainment.  People are willing to endure some serious inconveniences, homeless on the subway, noise, expensive food, and so on.  They endure because NY is amazing, its a great place to work, find entertainment, you can find great food of any variety, an extreme variety of culture is everywhere.  

Contrast with Jacksonville, the parking is cheap, its not hard to find no matter what anyone says.  The public transportation is not expensive, although not abundant, with a little planning it can be integrated into a personal trip downtown.  

I honestly think that anyone who says parking is their reason for not visiting downtown is making excuses!

JC, you are correct. I hope I understood what you meant, but the parking is as much about drawing a large national chain who require a guranteed number of parking spaces that at this time the Landing cannot.
There is no guarantee that a Cheesecake Factory, PF Chang's or Barnes and Noble, just to name 3,  would bring people to the Landing, but based on the success they are having in other parts of town, it's likely. There are a lot of people living closer to the Landing than the other major shopping centers in Jacksonville. I'm pretty sure they would rather drive 4 or 5 miles miles instead of 20 to go to these places. And you get a river view to boot.

avonjax

April 14, 2010, 03:58:49 PM
Another argument against developing downtown was a member of MADD who said having clubs and such downtown would require drunk people having to drive much further to get home, thus endangering more people. It would have been funny had it not be so pathetic..

JC

April 14, 2010, 04:10:40 PM
Well, just to throw in a few cents.  I think residents are severely misguided if they are expecting private investors and the government to build a community that does not exist. 

Interesting. I don't think there is one city in this country that was not established by private investors, government or a mix of both.

Please reread my post, I said "community" not "establish" a "city."  Community is far different, than buildings and parking spaces, its these pub crawls, art walks, farmers markets and what not.  If these activities are happening in great enough number, than people will spend more time downtown and the face of downtown will change drastically.  But it is the intangibles that need to be established, love, pride, and so forth.  I know that when I step out onto 42nd street from GCT and smell the kabobs, car exhaust, expensive perfume, piss, and body odor, I am in the city I love and regardless of any parking issue, or cheese cake factory.  Its the place I love to be because I have a community there, both in the Carpenters Union and in the Indymedia circles.  I know that I can go to PJ Clarke's at Lincoln Square on a Friday at noon and I will probably know someone, and if I dont, I will see a fellow union brother or sister I can strike up a conversation with.  I can go to 169 Bar on East Broadway on a Friday night and I will have friends there.  I dont need to make plans to get together with people, or to have something in common with them.  And it is that commonality that makes NY great, for ME.  It is this COMMUNITY established by people who live in and love that city.  

All these things are possible in Jacksonville, and I plan to be more involved.  I have only been back two weeks and have met a great poetry community and did a volunteer photo shoot at the library.  Its not hard to be involved and to build that community.  

The whole reason I am on this forum is to build that community and it is that community and communities like it that will make the city better.  Not some bullshit parking lot or development project so someone can make a bunch of money!  

JC

April 14, 2010, 04:15:55 PM
People drive to NYC why?  The traffic is horrendous, in spite of how safe it actually is, it still feels unsafe and you really have to be on guard.  Parking is a nightmare, if you can find a curbside spot its outrageous and the time is limited during normal business hours.  The parking signs are extremely ambiguous.  On a personal note, I parked under conflicting "no parking" "no standing" signs and my car was towed, 3 hours $200.00 and a long trip from the West Village to the impound somewhere in the 70s at the West Side Highway, I got my car back.  NYPD had even broken into my car, in order to "secure some valuables" that they saw.  Oh and the parking ticket was 95.00 American Dollars, so, with postage, I paid just under three hundred dollars for some bs signage.  Then there is the issue of parking garages, which, admittedly I have found a website to get parking for 12 to 18 dollars for 12 hours.  

Then there is Metro North, really a great idea, but VERY expensive and not really all that comfortable.  To ride 70 miles from Poughkeepsie NY to Grand Central costs 37.06 peak and 27.56 off peak for a round trip ticket.  For a monthly unlimited pass you are talking 367.00 dollars.  Then a monthly unlimited bus and subway pass costs 90.00 a month.  Also, parking at the Poughkeepsie train station was 3.00 a day.  All totaled for a monthly expense of around 520.00.  

So, driving sucks and is expensive and public transportation is also expensive, yet people are still drawn to NY, for work and entertainment.  People are willing to endure some serious inconveniences, homeless on the subway, noise, expensive food, and so on.  They endure because NY is amazing, its a great place to work, find entertainment, you can find great food of any variety, an extreme variety of culture is everywhere.  

Contrast with Jacksonville, the parking is cheap, its not hard to find no matter what anyone says.  The public transportation is not expensive, although not abundant, with a little planning it can be integrated into a personal trip downtown.  

I honestly think that anyone who says parking is their reason for not visiting downtown is making excuses!

JC, you are correct. I hope I understood what you meant, but the parking is as much about drawing a large national chain who require a guranteed number of parking spaces that at this time the Landing cannot.
There is no guarantee that a Cheesecake Factory, PF Chang's or Barnes and Noble, just to name 3,  would bring people to the Landing, but based on the success they are having in other parts of town, it's likely. There are a lot of people living closer to the Landing than the other major shopping centers in Jacksonville. I'm pretty sure they would rather drive 4 or 5 miles miles instead of 20 to go to these places. And you get a river view to boot.

I just dont place a huge value on these chains, city government should (and maybe does) help create entrepreneurial opportunities for Jacksonville locals, it should not be pissing away money on chains that are going to provide two or three good paying jobs and 30 minimum wage jobs.  City government should also make development agreements that force contractors to use local labor, and union labor when available to build these projects. 

fsujax

April 14, 2010, 04:17:37 PM
I really believe a Cheesecake Fatory, or whatever.....could do much better DT at the Landing than say at SJTC, doesn't being on the river overlooking DT beat sitting in a restaurant surrounded by suburban parking lots?

duvaldude08

April 14, 2010, 04:20:25 PM
I have to chime in and say parking is an issue with the Landing. I always dred going down there. I either have to drive forever to find a place to park, where I wont be towed or ticketed, then have to walk blocks to get there. I use their gargage, but its so expensive! I needed to run in there for something one day and they said it was 5.00 to park. I refuse to pay 5.00 to park for 10 minutes. And dont think about going down there Florida Georgia weekend. You have to get there super early to find parking. I rode down there one year and just drove around for like 30 minutes and got aggravated so I went home. Parking is an issue downtown... At night. Its not as bad during the day. ( i dont think)

stephendare

April 14, 2010, 04:20:37 PM
If downtown doesnt stop treating its parking system like a large scale type of crack rock, then nothing will continue to happen.

In talking with the Mayor's office, apparently they have offered to help out if anyone can produce any proof that there is actually a deal in the works that is contingent on these parking spaces.

finehoe

April 14, 2010, 04:21:14 PM
Just tell me what you think and your ideas?

Go to my profile and click on "Show the last posts of this person" and read what I have written over the last six months or so and that should tell you what I think and what my ideas are.

fsujax

April 14, 2010, 04:24:08 PM
well, then it sounds like it's time for Sleiman to prove it to the City, that he actually has a deal to work with.

On a side note, went DT at lunch today. Parked on Pearl St between Adams and Forsyth. I counted 8 empty metered spots on two short blocks! Like it has been stated earlier, parking is pretty easy, it's just made diificult by poor signage or old as hell meters!

JC

April 14, 2010, 04:26:13 PM
Oh, and as for Barnes and Noble, I dont want them anywhere within competing distance of Chamblin. I understand its a somewhat different market but Chamblin has a nice little cafe where you can read your new purchases which is something similar to what the big box book stores offer.  

stephendare

April 14, 2010, 04:38:49 PM
I also went to lunch today in five points, trying to use the riverside trolley.

The women at the Rosa Parks Station informed us that the trolley could be caught at the Landing.

We walked to the Landing, found the trolley stop at the corner of Hogan and Water and there was no trolley coming our way.

We called the main office, and they confirmed the Trolleys went to the Landing.  No trolley came.

I called and talked to the schedule information.  The guy confirmed that there was a trolley coming to the stop, described a detour of the trolley that made it turn around on Hogan Street then head back up Water Street.

This never happened.

Eventually went down to Water and Pearl and flagged down an actual five points trolley.

The bus stop has been moved.

Entire wait time?
1.5 hours.  Literally could have walked to riverside faster.

What the hell is up with JTA and the trolleys?

thelakelander

April 14, 2010, 05:00:07 PM
Well, just to throw in a few cents.  I think residents are severely misguided if they are expecting private investors and the government to build a community that does not exist.  

Interesting. I don't think there is one city in this country that was not established by private investors, government or a mix of both.

Please reread my post, I said "community" not "establish" a "city."  Community is far different, than buildings and parking spaces, its these pub crawls, art walks, farmers markets and what not.  If these activities are happening in great enough number, than people will spend more time downtown and the face of downtown will change drastically.  But it is the intangibles that need to be established, love, pride, and so forth.  I know that when I step out onto 42nd street from GCT and smell the kabobs, car exhaust, expensive perfume, piss, and body odor, I am in the city I love and regardless of any parking issue, or cheese cake factory.  Its the place I love to be because I have a community there, both in the Carpenters Union and in the Indymedia circles.  I know that I can go to PJ Clarke's at Lincoln Square on a Friday at noon and I will probably know someone, and if I dont, I will see a fellow union brother or sister I can strike up a conversation with.  I can go to 169 Bar on East Broadway on a Friday night and I will have friends there.  I dont need to make plans to get together with people, or to have something in common with them.  And it is that commonality that makes NY great, for ME.  It is this COMMUNITY established by people who live in and love that city.

Gotcha.  We're using different terminology but we basically mean the same thing. In my eyes, "Community" is just another form of "private investment".  Nevertheless, we need a mix of all.  Community, what you describe as private investment and even the government on board to make this baby work.  All play an important role in the creation of vibrancy, should be coordinated with one another and none completely ignored.

thelakelander

April 14, 2010, 05:06:46 PM
If downtown doesnt stop treating its parking system like a large scale type of crack rock, then nothing will continue to happen.

In talking with the Mayor's office, apparently they have offered to help out if anyone can produce any proof that there is actually a deal in the works that is contingent on these parking spaces.

I'm sorry but this is part of the problem.  Why does meeting your decades old obligation have to come with proof of an actual deal in the works?  This requirement was meet by Rouse and the city still never lived up to its end of the bargin.  Do these guys understand how major retail development works?  Can someone give Ben Carter a call and ask him if any of his major retailers required a certain number of parking spaces before signing a deal to come to SJTC?  If he can't be reached, try Regency Centers and ask them the same question.  You're not going to revitalize much in DT with an outlook like that.  If we can't change our thinking, we'll be looking at a slug of a downtown for years to come, regardless of how much money is poured into projects like Laura Street.

CS Foltz

April 14, 2010, 05:11:42 PM
Anyone care to make a bet about "Parking" for the Landing? Nothing will come from the mayors office other than rhetoric and fancy new three letter acronyms! There will be nothing done about the Landing's parking issue....................any takers? (Hope to hell I am wrong but I just gotta feeling!)

stephendare

April 14, 2010, 05:14:17 PM
Lake, you know that I agree, and have stated on many occasions that the City needs to make good on its deal.

I just don't understand what would be so difficult in taking one of the many empty city parking garages and establishing a short trolley line from the parking garage to the landing.

Wouldnt that be cheaper than anything else?  If trolleys are 5 million a mile, is that proportional?  Could we connect a garage that is six blocks away by short trolley line?

thelakelander

April 14, 2010, 05:14:31 PM
I just dont place a huge value on these chains, city government should (and maybe does) help create entrepreneurial opportunities for Jacksonville locals, it should not be pissing away money on chains that are going to provide two or three good paying jobs and 30 minimum wage jobs.  City government should also make development agreements that force contractors to use local labor, and union labor when available to build these projects.

Personally, I'm not crazy about them either but putting biases aside, the game is all about foot traffic and creating synergy.  A better utilized and integrated Landing puts more people on downtown's streets.  More people on downtown's streets creates opportunities for redevelopment and local spots on those streets.  More people creates more synergy and the next thing you know, you have a vibrant 24/7 atmosphere.  On the other hand, a dying major anchor as the centerpiece of downtown doesn't help anyone interested in seeing downtown go from an ugly duckling into a swan.

thelakelander

April 14, 2010, 05:18:53 PM
Lake, you know that I agree, and have stated on many occasions that the City needs to make good on its deal.

I just don't understand what would be so difficult in taking one of the many empty city parking garages and establishing a short trolley line from the parking garage to the landing.

Wouldnt that be cheaper than anything else?  If trolleys are 5 million a mile, is that proportional?  Could we connect a garage that is six blocks away by short trolley line?

In this city, nearly everything is more difficult than it has to be.  Judging from how things operate, your idea will end in flames when JTA decides to not run that trolley on nights and weekends.....hmmm sound familiar?  ;)

Seriously, the easiest and most simple thing to do with to work with the guy and have him purchase that existing lot, call it a day and start collecting rent money.

CS Foltz

April 14, 2010, 05:23:27 PM
lake.............too smart, too easy and too simple! What ever vendetta the Boy Blunder has against Tony, he should grow up and get over it! Like you say........sell him the land and start collecting the rent! Not hard to figure out!

avonjax

April 14, 2010, 05:27:38 PM
JC I think what I'm trying to say is anything that will draw people downtown will help. I think the big chains have a very important place in any city. I would go to 3 Layers any day before Starbucks, but I still like Starbucks. I have been going to Chamblin's since they were on Herschel Street. LOVE the place. But there is a place for B&N and I often go there to buy magazines because they have a great selection.
The sad truth is if you polled people on the North Side, for example and asked them if they would go to the Landing, Chamblin's, or 3 Layers in Springfield, 99% would say no. I have talked to people who have said they have not been downtown in 30 years because there is nothing there.
But I bet if there wasn't an Olive Garden at the River City Market Place and there was one at the Landing a percentage of these people would go IF they could park and walk right into the Landing.
I'm using the Northside as an example because a lot of my family live there and I'm familiar with a lot of the local businesses. The chain restaurants at RCMP seem to be packed all the time, but the local restaurants come and go frequently.
Bottom line is I do get where you're coming from but Jacksonville is just a different world. 

stephendare

April 14, 2010, 05:28:54 PM
I don't think the JTA should go anywhere near the idea.  I think the city should donate the already existing spaces, which would immediately give Toney his dedicated parking spots.   Then connect the landing to the parking, via shuttle or ultra light rail.

What is the closest city parking garage to the landing?

thelakelander

April 14, 2010, 05:30:48 PM
The Water Street garage is the closest.  Its also on the proposed streetcar route that would connect DT to Five Points and Riverside.

CS Foltz

April 14, 2010, 05:32:28 PM
Not sure about City garage..........there is one right at the end of the Main Street bridge, you have to stage right two lanes to follow the road! Is that the one your talking about lake?

thelakelander

April 14, 2010, 05:34:01 PM
The Water Street garage is the large one where the Acosta Bridge ramps meet Bay Street.  Its four blocks west of the Landing.

stephendare

April 14, 2010, 05:34:35 PM
Anyone have any clue how many spaces are in the water street garage?  And isnt that closer parking than many of the spots at one end of the town center if you are walking to the other end?

fieldafm

April 14, 2010, 05:39:08 PM
541 Water Street has 1500 parking spaces, 317 Water Street has 121 spaces

JC

April 14, 2010, 05:39:12 PM
JC I think what I'm trying to say is anything that will draw people downtown will help. I think the big chains have a very important place in any city. I would go to 3 Layers any day before Starbucks, but I still like Starbucks. I have been going to Chamblin's since they were on Herschel Street. LOVE the place. But there is a place for B&N and I often go there to buy magazines because they have a great selection.
The sad truth is if you polled people on the North Side, for example and asked them if they would go to the Landing, Chamblin's, or 3 Layers in Springfield, 99% would say no. I have talked to people who have said they have not been downtown in 30 years because there is nothing there.
But I bet if there wasn't an Olive Garden at the River City Market Place and there was one at the Landing a percentage of these people would go IF they could park and walk right into the Landing.
I'm using the Northside as an example because a lot of my family live there and I'm familiar with a lot of the local businesses. The chain restaurants at RCMP seem to be packed all the time, but the local restaurants come and go frequently.
Bottom line is I do get where you're coming from but Jacksonville is just a different world. 


avonjax, you are right, unfortunately.  But I wonder how feasible it is to have rural car drivers flocking downtown to park in front of an Olive Garden and walk in for food.  Describing it makes it sound so absurd.    

stephendare

April 14, 2010, 05:43:22 PM
541 Water Street has 1500 parking spaces, 317 Water Street has 121 spaces


And Sleiman only needs 300 spaces?

Well that seems like a nobrainer, doesnt it?

thelakelander

April 14, 2010, 05:47:51 PM
On the surface it does.  The devil is in the details (ex. transit connection, the four block suburban dead zone between and their impact on attracting retailers in the immediate future).

urbanlibertarian

April 14, 2010, 06:01:24 PM
If COJ won't play ball with Mr. Sleiman could he go ahead and buy the lot, solve his parking issue and continue to operate the Landing rent-free because COJ didn't fulfill their obligation?

strider

April 14, 2010, 06:25:46 PM
Am I reading this right?  The Landing had an agreement that required the city to provide a number of dedicated parking spots and until such time no rent or reduced rent was paid?  And I saw a figure of 28 mil thrown out as lost rent in 25 years?  Was that in real dollars of the times or adjusted for 2010 dollars?  In any case, provide the spots! Cut the loses and hopefully get some rent in. What ever in the world has this city been waiting for?

If nothing else, it helps the yearly cash flow and it should help with promoting DT.  We got to spend some time at Norfolk a couple of years ago.  Arrived by boat, stayed at the marina right at their version of the Landing and actually stayed a couple of days extra because Norfolk was sort of cool.  Lots of restraunts, lots of activity and a new DT grocery that was very nice yet still very affordable.  But the initial draw was the “landing” as it had the marina and guaranteed shopping.  We have similar here in Jacksonville, the landing is across from RCBC.  We should have a reduced or somehow compted water taxi if funds are spent in the Landing/ DT however.  There are actually a lot of boats crossing the St Johns at the intercoastal just a couple of hours away that would stop and visit DT if something more was here to do and see.  And they knew about it.

thelakelander

April 14, 2010, 06:50:50 PM
If COJ won't play ball with Mr. Sleiman could he go ahead and buy the lot, solve his parking issue and continue to operate the Landing rent-free because COJ didn't fulfill their obligation?

Good question!

avonjax

April 14, 2010, 07:26:37 PM
anyway believe it or not JC the NS is not really rural anymore.

avonjax

April 14, 2010, 07:30:49 PM
Even more surprising is there is a little strip of shops at the corner of New Berlin and Yellow Bluff Rd that has parking in the back. The funny thing is most of the business owners said customers had no idea where to park when it first opened.

vicupstate

April 14, 2010, 08:09:41 PM
Place A PUD zoning on the Landing, if it isn't already (the design is already under the city's perview, but that adds another level).  Sell the land underneath the center to Sleiman at fair market value minus $3.5mm.  Then let Sleiman solve his own parking problems however he sees fit. 

The city can pocket the 3.5mm it got from Humana, plus the additional funds from the land sale.  The city will start to collect taxes on the land, which it is not currently doing. This would resolve the city's obligation and Sleiman would be out of reasons why he can't bring in new tenants or renovate the place.  He would own the land and would have equity in the center (at least 3.5mm) that he could borrow against for a parking lot/garage. 

The city would be out of the picture and Sleiman would have the ball completely in his court. 

Ask the mayoral candidates if they accept this or if not, what is their solution.   

brainstormer

April 14, 2010, 08:20:28 PM
The whole parking situation downtown is really poorly managed.  It just proves how inept city government is in Jacksonville.  I hope I have most of my facts right, otherwise please correct me.

1. The city contracts with a private company to run the parking lots.  Isn't there a clause that guarantees this company a certain amount of revenue or the city has to make up the difference?

2. This said company charges flat rates, not per hour rates.  I agree with the previous poster.  I refuse to pay $5-10 just to park so I can spend 30 minutes in the library, or run into Starbucks to grab coffee.  Here's an analogy.  Parking at JIA is cheap for 30-45 minutes.  Tons of people park and walk in to meet loved ones, and many buy a cup of coffee or a snack.  If it was a flat rate of $10 to park, I bet most would just resort to waiting in the cell phone lot.  That results in lost revenue for the businesses inside.  Downtown Jacksonville is the same way.  People just drive though.

3.  Signage is still terrible and confusing!

4.  The city lots don't seem to be where people want to go.  For example, why would I park in the Water Street Garage?  There isn't much near it to go to.  Why would I park in the Courthouse Garage?  Two huge garages no where near points of interest for someone who doesn't work downtown.  They sit empty while people complain about not enough parking and while the city fails to live up to its promise.

5.  Can the city not work out public/private partnerships with the privately owned garages downtown?  Wouldn't it be nice if the city ran the garages so that workers could park during the day, and diners could park at night?  It is sad that all of these garages are dark and locked at night when people want a convenient place to park.  

brainstormer

April 14, 2010, 08:21:51 PM
^ Good idea vic!  Anyone know if this is a realistic solution?

CS Foltz

April 14, 2010, 09:33:23 PM
If they are sitting still, empty and dark at night, not to mention ......not being used then I have to ask....WTF? I don't see any reason why they could not be used and would help the revenue problem the City has with something coming in! Stupid city administration is not making the best use of what they have available! Might have something to do with the incompetent people running things from the mayor down!

cityimrov

April 14, 2010, 09:41:14 PM
I'm reading this situation and I'm getting confused by the various comments around here and in Jacksonville.com. 

For example, one argument is: "There's 5 extra spaces next to me when I parked at the Landing thus no extra parking is needed."  I'm trying to figure out this argument.  Let's say a fancy restaurant like Cheesecake Factory opened up with 30 tables (I'm being extremely conservative).  Each one of those tables is occupied by at least 1 family which needs 1 car.  That's at least 30 cars.  I'm guessing there's also 30 more families outside waiting for a spot so that's 30 more cars.  How can 5 extra spaces support 60 cars?  That argument doesn't make sense to me and that's just ONE fancy restaurant.  Imagine if the landing had 10 of those plus fancy shops.  Can someone explain this reasoning to me? 


"4.  The city lots don't seem to be where people want to go.  For example, why would I park in the Water Street Garage?  There isn't much near it to go to.  Why would I park in the Courthouse Garage?  Two huge garages no where near points of interest for someone who doesn't work downtown.  They sit empty while people complain about not enough parking and while the city fails to live up to its promise."

I'll take a wild guess shot at this  Compromise!!!  The taxpayers hate spending money.  Thus the government finds the cheapest land it can find.  Usually it finds land that it owns.  Thus a win-win situation!  An area needs a parking garage and the taxpayer saves money building it at land it already owns since people go nuts when they find out a city owned land is a few blocks to an expensive lot.  I mean, the taxpayer is willing to walk the extra blocks needed to the venue since it saved them a ton of money compared to buying an empty lot next to an expensive tower, right?  Win-Win, right??

JC

April 14, 2010, 09:41:28 PM
anyway believe it or not JC the NS is not really rural anymore.

Yeah, its changed a lot in the 14 years I have been around.  It started getting strange when they dropped the Advanced Auto Parts in front of Oceanway Auto Parts.  But a Red Lobster, who'd a thunk it even 3 years ago?  But really though, aside from the little shopping enclaves, the area hasn't changed too much.  Although, 10.00 for two one topping slices and a pop strikes me more as a Mid-Town Manhattan price than a Renna's of Oceanway price.  

Debbie Thompson

April 15, 2010, 12:13:46 PM
When the Landing first opened, and the City had not fulfilled its parking obligation, the City instead compromised by providing parking at the Water Street Garage and a free shuttle to the Landing if people didn't want to walk the 4 or 5 blocks.  I didn't work.  It was inconvenient waiting at both ends for the shuttle, and much easier to go to a suburban mall where you can park outside your destination with no hassles.  Unless the City provides the 23-years-ago promised convenient parking, the Landing will continue to struggle.

stephendare

April 15, 2010, 12:16:43 PM
The necessity for getting it done now rests on Toney being able to show to contractors that he has dedicated parking.  There were reasons it didnt work years ago, and those have all gone away.

thelakelander

April 15, 2010, 12:28:41 PM
That's a problem.  Its not the easiest thing to sign a contract with someone in hope that the city will live up to their end of the bargin.  This was done with Rouse 23 years ago and the city has still not delivered.  The city has an obligation and they should live up to it, regardless of if Sleiman has someone signed or not.  What happened to keeping your word without strings attached?

Steve

April 15, 2010, 12:29:57 PM
If COJ won't play ball with Mr. Sleiman could he go ahead and buy the lot, solve his parking issue and continue to operate the Landing rent-free because COJ didn't fulfill their obligation?

Good question!

Agreed - not sure what happens there.  My guess is Sleiman doesn't want to stroke a 5 million dollar check, when the City has an obligation to do so.

designermillion

April 15, 2010, 03:02:46 PM
I can tell you why I never go to the Landing...There is nothing to attract me to downtown!  I used to work in the area and the streets are not easy to navigate (too many one-ways) and the parking was always a nightmare.  Not to mention the homeless situation.  I never felt safe.  I've lived in Jacksonville for close to 10 years, and I have been to the Landing twice.  Both times for lunch.  Both restaurants are now closed.  I couldn't even tell you what stores/restaurants are located there now.  I just avoid downtown unless I absolutely have to go there.  Why would I drive all the way down there and get involved in that mess when I can go to St Johns Town Center?  It's much more convenient.  Although it is sometimes hard to find a parking place, at least I don't have to pay for parking, walk 5 blocks, ride a trolley or have to worry about being accosted by a homeless person.  I want to park near where I'm shopping or dining and I don't want to have to worry about my safety.  I always thought the Landing was a good idea IF we had a vibrant downtown, but we just don't.  Both Miami (Bayside) and Tampa (Channelside) have something similar, but if it weren't for the tourist, I don't think they'd survive either.  I used to live in Miami, and the locals just don't go to Bayside.  It's supported by tourist from the cruise terminal and Miami Beach.  I've also been to Channelside, and same scenario.  Cruise terminal and Florida Aquarium tourist.  We don't even have that draw at the Landing (our cruise terminal is a joke).  I've also lived in Phoenix and we had something similar there too called the Arizona Center.  It's been failing as well.  Downtown just isn't the place to be, no matter where you live.   It's just unfortunate because the Landing has a beautiful location, it's just surrounded by a bad set of circumstances.

Steve

April 15, 2010, 03:44:46 PM
^I don't think this is a national problem.  You've named three cities (and I'd disagree about Downtown Miami - there are plenty of folks down there, and I can't speak for Phoenix, sa I've never been there).  However, take a look through the site, as we've compared literally over 100 cities and their urban cores. Personally, I'd highly recommend San Diego, Portland, Greenville, Charlotte, and Nashville to name a few.

I'd also say that in those cities, if they saw an opportunity to invest 3.5 million, solve a 23 year obligation, and make money on it in three years, they'd be all over that

tufsu1

April 15, 2010, 03:54:08 PM
Why would I drive all the way down there and get involved in that mess when I can go to St Johns Town Center?

it is all a matter of perception....personally, I dread going to the Town Center on weekends because traffic in and out of the center has become quite cumbersome...just try getting off JTB, go north on Gate, and then turn right onto Town Center Pkwy.

one other thing....the Town Center can't offer the river view, live music, or people watching experience of the Landing...all free entertainment!

finehoe

April 15, 2010, 03:57:50 PM
...we had something similar there...It's been failing as well.  Downtown just isn't the place to be, no matter where you live.
I think that statement is only half true.  Yes, most of these "festival marketplaces" aren't doing so well.  Even Harborplace in Baltimore, the granddaddy of them all, is a shadow of its former glory.  They were an eighties phenomenon and whatever novelty value they had is long gone.  The model of plopping a suburban-style shopping mall (complete with parking :D) in the middle of downtown as a means of "revitalization" has run its course (if it was ever viable to begin with).

But I don't agree that downtowns aren't the place to be.  Plenty of downtowns in the US have experienced revivals in the last decade (some of them documented in MetroJax's excellent Elements series).  Jacksonville has the potential.  It just needs the will.

CS Foltz

April 15, 2010, 04:08:15 PM
finehoe...........I agree! Any downtown has potential and Jacksonville's more than some! It will take a plan that actually makes sense and can be funded! DVI is a waste since they are just parroting basically the same points that were done by the Austin group back in 78(if I remember the year right!) How many study groups and consultants have gone down the same path since then and what do we have? About $1 Billion Dollars later, same mantra and same issue's! A new Administration with a plan, a vision and the cajones would go far to doing something in a positive way! Mobility Plan 2030 may be the beginning......time will tell!

Keith-N-Jax

April 15, 2010, 10:31:07 PM
Why would I drive all the way down there and get involved in that mess when I can go to St Johns Town Center?

I dred going to the town center. I've been there only twice, and I feel perfectly safe downtown.

JC

April 15, 2010, 10:43:02 PM
So there was a lot of people at the landing, the entire outdoor space was packed and so were all the restaurants, food court was about 20% but seriously there were a ton of people. 

Where did they park
????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

Keith-N-Jax

April 15, 2010, 10:45:03 PM
Where did the people from the SB park?

Starbuck

April 15, 2010, 10:49:41 PM
There are plenty of empty parking garages within three or four blocks from the landing..never more than 1/3 to 1/2 full.
You just have to know where they are and pay a couple of bucks. Could use some good "parking here" signs though.

Keith-N-Jax

April 15, 2010, 10:52:04 PM
I thought the city had or is addressing that situation.

tufsu1

April 15, 2010, 10:56:18 PM
I thought the city had or is addressing that situation.

some big signs have been installed on 3 garages in the core

thelakelander

April 16, 2010, 07:06:47 AM
Quote
The Landing: Find a solution

Lots of people are rooting for the Jacksonville Landing to become a stronger downtown attraction.

But the good intentions tend to stall regarding how to make it happen.

It has been that way much of the time since the Landing opened in 1987 with a breakthrough always seemingly beyond reach - especially when it comes to partnerships between the city and Landing owners.

This is no time to call it quits on trying, however. The players should keep the discussions going and stay focused on the bigger goal of success.

The latest sticking point is a familiar one: parking.

Jacksonville Landing owner Toney Sleiman says a lack of it is keeping the riverfront landmark from attracting nationally known restaurants and more nightlife.

City officials say they, too, are frustrated by unrealized potential, but have to make sure that taxpayers are protected in any Landing arrangement that involves city help.

Negotiations involving the Landing have been complex with plenty of moving pieces. The city owns the land, Sleiman owns the structure.

So many hurdles

It looked like the Landing had leaped a big hurdle in 2007 after the city, Sleiman and another downtown developer, Cameron Kuhn of Orlando, reached an arrangement.

Kuhn agreed to build a parking deck that would serve the Landing as part of a nearby proposed condominium project.

The city worked out a deal to free itself from a long-standing parking obligation for the Landing, agreeing to pay $3.5 million toward the garage once it was under way.

But the garage never got going. The economy fell flat, and Kuhn's plans and properties fell into foreclosure.

New developments

However, owners of the nearby Suntrust building have approached the city about building a parking garage and using some of the $3.5 million the city had pitched earlier to help cover the costs.

That garage, however, would not provide all the parking Sleiman wants, and he instead wanted the city to help him buy a surface lot across the street to secure the exclusive parking for Landing patrons that he says he needs.

City officials have balked, saying that lot is already used for other parking, and the city would not be gaining any spaces in exchange for big money.

Officials say they want verbal assurances from at least one of the Sleiman's potential new tenants that more parking would indeed inspire them to come to the Landing. It hasn't happened yet, they say.

Meanwhile, Sleiman insists that he has a number of nationally known restaurant chains that would locate at the Landing if they know that there will be convenient parking.

But maybe there's room for something constructive to happen among Suntrust, Sleiman and the city, provided they work on it.

There must be a way to protects the city's interests and advance those of the Landing for the benefit of downtown.

Let's break the parking deadlock.

http://jacksonville.com/opinion/editorials/2010-04-15/story/landing-find-solution

north miami

April 16, 2010, 07:56:27 AM

It's Jacksonville International Boat Show time downtown.As many of us in the marine industry converge on Downtown from points all over the place,we run boats through downtownin,wondering out load why the 'potential' is not 'developed'.

The downtown riverfront will be a focal point this weekend in spite of dashed potential-positive testimony to the real life power and reality of Downtown,with activities at the City Marina/Boat Show Festival,Landing and Riverside Arts Market.

Onward!

tufsu1

April 16, 2010, 08:00:36 AM
this is a very fair editorial...while I don't believe downtown needs more parking, the City makes a good point that the proposed lot is already used (pretty heavily) by others....I also find it interesting that Sleiman always uses the national retailer argument, but when asked to provide verbal agreements, even in private meetings, he won't do it.

That said, the City has reneged on an agreement for 23 years....and now they need to just get something done!

thelakelander

April 16, 2010, 08:31:56 AM
DT needs another parking garage like it needs more pocket parks on Main Street or homeless in Hemming Plaza.  That lot may be used heavily but there are a number of nearby garages that aren't.  We should strive for better utilization of our existing lots and on-street spaces before increasing the overall number of parking spaces in DT.

Quote
That said, the City has reneged on an agreement for 23 years....and now they need to just get something done!

At the end of the day, this is what it boils down really too.  Everything else is a side issue.  Its time to live up to the agreement and move on.  

Mondo

April 19, 2010, 06:28:57 AM
The problem is the city wants new parking to be developed. They don't want to give 3.5 mil to buy parking that is already there. We need a new 5 story garage, for the times union center and the landing. I personally don't want to see chain stores at the landing. We have enough of our communities money being dived out by vacuums like town center. I think the landing should be all about Jacksonville and it's local businesses and our culture here. I'm excited to see we are getting a Jacksonville city museum there. I think that is a great step in the right direction.

thelakelander

April 19, 2010, 06:50:23 AM
The city may want new parking (even though there are more parking spaces than people in DT right now) but that has nothing to do with the purpose of their 23-year old obligation to the Landing.  Thus the two should not be linked.  However, I'm sure that Sleiman would not object to the city paying 100% for a new parking garage that would include the promised dedicated space for the Landing and whatever extra spaces the city thinks it needs.

As for local verses chain, the Landing is privately owned.  We all have our biases about the type of businesses that should or should not be operating there but that's not really for us to decide.  Our real focus should be on keeping our word. 

Btw, speaking of museums, I noticed the Riverwalk in New Orleans (their version of the Landing) has a museum as an anchor.

The Southern Food & Beverage Museum: http://www.southernfood.org/

finehoe

April 19, 2010, 09:30:52 AM
We all have our biases about the type of businesses that should or should not be operating there but that's not really for us to decide. 

Sure it is.  We decide by choosing to spend our money there or not.

thelakelander

April 19, 2010, 09:49:34 AM
^Then that's probably why the guy is shooting for a national entertainment/restaurant anchor or two.  We've already decided that filling the place with local retail shops isn't all peaches and cream.

finehoe

April 19, 2010, 11:19:17 AM
^^Well, it's not like all the national chains that have went in have been a success, either.

Mondo

April 19, 2010, 12:04:19 PM
Sorry to correct but the landing is owned by the city. (not a privately owned entity)... Technically everyone in Jacksonville who pays taxes owns the landing.) it's being managed by a private company.

Thanks for link to New Orleans Museum! I am hoping the JMACC as it's being called on facebook will be a boost to bring locals and create a bigger sense of community here. :)

thelakelander

April 19, 2010, 12:26:13 PM
^That's incorrect.  The Landing is owned by Sleiman.  The land underneath is owned by the city.

Quote
Jacksonville Landing owner Toney Sleiman is convinced that many of the challenges facing the venue could be eliminated with improved parking, and its an obstacle he’s determined to overcome.

When Sleiman’s company, Sleiman Enterprises Inc., bought the Rouse Co.-developed property for $5.1 million in 2003, he had plans to transform it. HIs $250 million plan included expanding the existing retail and entertainment space to 1 million square feet, adding a parking garage, a boutique hotel, an office building and condominiums on the west side of the Main Street bridge and another commercial building and a parking garage on the east side of the bridge that is now the site of The Landing’s 260-space parking lot.

Retailers were not a large part of Sleiman’s vision for the property, which is now 26 percent vacant. It’s been a challenge finding new life for those spaces as they’ve emptied out. Most are refilled with restaurants, but sometimes even those deals don’t work out.

There was reason for excitement when hamburger restaurant Fuddruckers planned to move into a 7,000-square-foot space on the bottom floor of the Landing. But after three years of negotiating and planning, the would-be franchisee backed out of the deal, leaving behind a gutted shell.

Sleiman now sees the Landing as more of a restaurant and entertainment destination than a shopping center, and is targeting tenants such as bars and family-style restuarants. Chicago Pizza and The Village Bread Co. are the Landing’s newest tenants, both of which opened in late October in time for one of the Landing’s biggest events of the year: Florida-Georgia weekend.

Sleiman’s original plans for the Landing hinged on the city selling the land beneath the building to Sleiman Enterprises and providing an incentive package that included low-interest loans, tax breaks and parking. That deal eventually fell through.

Read more: Sleiman: A man with a plan for The Jacksonville Landing - Jacksonville Business Journal:
http://jacksonville.bizjournals.com/jacksonville/stories/2009/11/16/focus4.html

Mondo

April 19, 2010, 01:05:23 PM
So let me ask... If you own a business and you have a lease... Who owns the building? If you needed to file a lein who would the lein affect?

The management company is a tenant.

I know this is tricky but... It's public property.

stephendare

April 19, 2010, 01:07:13 PM
actually mondo its a bit more complex than that.  If my car is on your land, I still own the car, right?

Mondo

April 19, 2010, 01:11:48 PM
... That's why the land has to be purchased before it could be developed. No tenant in their right mind would build out someone elses property.

Food for thought. :)

Mondo

April 19, 2010, 01:19:05 PM
That's why the original developer received major incentives to construct the landing in the first place... They were basically a paid developer. The car analogy makes no sense. Car on wheels. And if your car gets broken into on my property I could be responsible.

Now we have a situation where basically a tenant is managing the landing for the city. Not that complicated to me. Which if you think about it explains the lower standards for maintenance. You never love a rented house like you love one that you own.

stephendare

April 19, 2010, 01:22:13 PM
... That's why the land has to be purchased before it could be developed. No tenant in their right mind would build out someone elses property.

Food for thought. :)

The original tenant already did.

Basically the City owns the land.  Rouse Company came in and leased the land for 99 years, which for all practical purposes works the same as ownership, except that the deed never switches hands.

The Lessor agreed to provide a parking garage as part of the deal, and failed to do so.

As a result, the Tenant of the land sued and at present doesnt have to pay any rent as a result of the failure to provide the parking lots.

A more agressive attorney might have gone after the City for the cost of construction plus lost sales, but for whatever reason, the Rouse Company decided not to pursue those things.

Rouse sold their lease (and the buildings on the property) to Sleiman.

Since the lease is still in effect, the City is still obligated to honor the terms of the lease no matter who owns the buildings.

Sleiman has offered to buy the land, which the city has refused to do.

Sleiman has offered to build a garage, if the city will sell him the land to build it on, which it wont.

At present, its just sitting there dependent on a business plan which requires a new garage be designated or built, not making any money.,

Likewise, the City is just hanging out depending on a business plan which doesnt require then to build and garages, not making any money.

Seems like both of the boys have forgotten their Doctor Suess.

Quote
The Zax: A North-going Zax and a South-going Zax meet face to face in the Prairie of Prax. They refuse to move out of the way for one another and end up staying there until a highway is built.

stephendare

April 19, 2010, 01:23:47 PM
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/sfI9e4BX0lU" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/sfI9e4BX0lU</a>

stephendare

April 19, 2010, 01:27:15 PM
The Zaxonville Landing in downtown Praxonville.

hanjin1

April 19, 2010, 01:41:20 PM
nice

Mondo

April 19, 2010, 01:48:56 PM
I'm the first to agree that a convenient parking garage would make the landing and the times union center easier to frequent... But you miss the point in my posts. There is a fundamental problem with the original agreement. Even if you build a house that sits on someone elses land that you have limited control over it creates a negative effect on the way you care for that house.

It's a bad arrangement. It should be either all in or all out in my opinion.

thelakelander

April 19, 2010, 01:53:15 PM
Anyway its spinned, the city still needs to honor its obligation.

JeffreyS

April 19, 2010, 01:57:41 PM
Bad arrangement or not 23 years is enough time.  IMO the onus is on the city to get the parking done they can chose how as long as it's now.

tufsu1

April 19, 2010, 02:34:13 PM
I'm the first to agree that a convenient parking garage would make the landing and the times union center easier to frequent... But you miss the point in my posts. There is a fundamental problem with the original agreement. Even if you build a house that sits on someone elses land that you have limited control over it creates a negative effect on the way you care for that house.

It's a bad arrangement. It should be either all in or all out in my opinion.


99-year land leases are quite common....in fact, it is how much of Europe gets developed...I haven't seen many issues with upkeep there.

Captain Zissou

April 19, 2010, 04:31:05 PM
Quote
Basically the City owns the land.  Rouse Company came in and leased the land for 99 years, which for all practical purposes works the same as ownership, except that the deed never switches hands.

River City Brewing Company has this deal too.  I imagine this was so the city would maintain some control over the riverfront, while still allowing private developers to develop the area. 

vicupstate

April 19, 2010, 04:48:47 PM
Sleiman DOES own the parking lot that is separated from the Landing by the Main St. bridge.  Couldn't the city give Sleiman $3.5mm for a garage there?

Of course, he should make it MORE than just a garage.  It could be an expansion of the retail too, or at least allow that possibility in hte future. 

thelakelander

April 19, 2010, 05:35:39 PM
At one point, the city didn't want a garage on the riverfront.  Seeing how they deal with Sleiman, they probably still feel that way.  To be honest, this may be an issue that won't be addressed until 2011.

Mondo

April 19, 2010, 09:34:15 PM
Ok final post on subject... River City Brewing is a great example of another waterfront location in need of serious tlc... Hmmm who knew! And the comment about Europe... This isnt Europe. I stand by my position... All in or all out... Either way the landing is a hugely important part of the image we present for Jacksonville. I say let's figure out parking ... Stop the panhandling which means We all need to stop giving those people cash!!! Buy them a cheeseburger and a bottle of water! Cash gives them money to buy drugs... And it's cruel to enable them to be stuck in the horrible cycle of addiction that put them there...Did u know a lot of those people hustling aren't even homeless? They are just hustling! Because it works, or they wouldn't do it.  Let's start a city wide motion to stop panhandling! We need to develop the food market in the old library and make downtown the hub of creative local energy that it should be! I love this city let's make it better.
 

JC

April 20, 2010, 01:38:50 PM
One reason not to fix the parking situation at the landing...



strider

April 20, 2010, 02:19:38 PM
For what it's worth...I keep a boat at River City.  I have for about 6 years now.  I have seen a lot of repairs and maintenance done to the building and grounds.  Including a new roof.  Do not make it seem like no one cares because it is only a 99 year lease.  They do.  Are things perfect?  No, but it isn't for want of trying or even simply wanting to make it better, if anything, it is simple economics.  As much as can be done is done and frankly, it isn't bad at all, it is pretty good for what and where it is.  In fact, business has actually improved the last couple of years.  Not due to appearances, but better service, food and marketing.  The docks are due for replacement and will probably  happen in the next few years as well.

Long term leases are very common and when I looked at out parcel mall locations years ago, you got to build your building on a short term lease.  If you walked away, you walked away from the building.  I didn't like that and so did something else, but lots of companies did it.  The building often became a five to ten year property.

Regardless, the city needs to full fill it's obligations.  By doing so, the city seems to win in the end.  We all will.

aaapolito

April 20, 2010, 06:43:16 PM
JEDC chief proposes solution for the Landing's parking needs

http://jacksonville.com/business/2010-04-20/story/jedc-chief-proposes-solution-jacksonville-landings-parking-needs

CS Foltz

April 20, 2010, 07:41:20 PM
Mr Barton is trying, I will give him that but...............not near enough parking available nor is it close enough for Landing patrons to utilize at night! First robbery that takes place walking to the next closest garage, won't  have anyone go there after dark! I don't see Mr Barton saying anything about a shuttle service  either.....but that would be too expensive for sure, but it was a thought!

tufsu1

April 20, 2010, 08:24:50 PM
I hate the argument that the parking "isn't close enough"...Barton is correct that many folks at Town Center often walk the equivalent of 2+ blocks from their car to the store/restaurant.

Keith-N-Jax

April 20, 2010, 08:47:13 PM
Not just Town Center, but the other malls as well.When DT though they have to exit their car and enter their seat for some reason.

Sportmotor

April 20, 2010, 08:58:09 PM
at the town center I have no problem walking Best Buy to Publix if need be. Its typically a pretty walk  :)

thelakelander

April 20, 2010, 09:01:38 PM
The ball is in Sleiman's court but I do wonder how effective the Water Street garage will serve as a solution to attract first tier tenants.  While the outer edges of mall parking lots may be a three or four block walk away, in reality most people aren't parking four blocks away in those lots except during Christmas season.  Before anyone claims this will or won't work, does anyone know of a true example in a similar situation to DT Jax's environment where the closet space in the parking garage is a three to four block walk from the retail property it serves?

brainstormer

April 20, 2010, 09:21:49 PM
I assume they are taking about the old county courthouse site.  That walk isn't bad at all because of the Riverwalk.  I usually park there for free when I'm downtown in the evenings.  It is kind of a little known secret because not many people park there.

With regards to the parking garage plan for the lot next to the SunTrust Tower.  It seems shortsighted to just build a couple story parking garage in that prime location.  Perhaps something a bit more creative would help make the area more vibrant.  I realize a skyscraper is probably not feasible right now, but what about a smaller building with street level retail and parking above?  Or better yet, since no one likes parking on the top floor anyway, perhaps a unique rooftop restaurant with rose gardens and plenty of outdoor seating.  Make it high enough to see over the Landing.  That would be a great view for outdoor seating.

thelakelander

April 20, 2010, 09:51:59 PM
In terms of dedicated parking the courthouse site does not address this situation.  Dedicated parking needs to be 24/7, not after 6pm.  Until a garage is built across the street (which seems like a waste of that property btw), the only thing "dedicated" would be the spaces in the Water Street garage.  So the question then becomes if the garage and its "connectivity" to the Landing is sufficient for first tier retailers.  That said, I don't know if it is or not.  However, I do know that no other retail center in Jax faces this situation.

thelakelander

April 21, 2010, 06:33:36 AM
I figured this would be the response.



Quote
Jacksonville Landing: City’s solution to parking shortage unsuitable for goals
 
The city’s solutions aren’t convenient for patrons, venue’s spokesman says.

 By David Bauerlein
Let Our People Park.

That's the message being beamed from the huge electronic sign at The Jacksonville Landing, whose owner wants $3.5 million from the city to help him buy a nearby parking lot for use by the Landing.

On Tuesday, the head of the Jacksonville Economic Development Commission outlined a markedly different plan for how to boost the availability of parking for The Landing, which is struggling to fill space.

His proposal to the City Council would offer hundreds of parking spaces for free use by Landing patrons at a city-owned parking garage, the county courthouse lot, and a new garage to be built by the Parador Group, which bought a majority stake in the SunTrust Tower last year.

"Clearly with the implementation of this plan, parking can no longer be identified as a contributing factor in the performance of The Landing," JEDC Executive Director Ron Barton wrote in the letter to council members.

But Landing spokesman Bruce Barcelo said the solution fails to meet the test of offering convenient parking.

"The reality of it is that Mr. Barton proposes some fringe parking solutions," Barcelo said. "They are inconvenient to Landing patrons."

He said Barton's plan would still leave the Landing unable to show nationally known restaurants that parking is sufficient for them to become tenants.

Barton said in his letter the parking options would be within the range that's acceptable for suburban malls such as St. Johns Town Center and "very much the norm" for a downtown. He said it also would be a way to help the Landing by using city-owned parking facilities and "still being mindful of the current budget constraints."

He gave the City Council a three-pronged recommendation:

Immediately designate the county courthouse lot as free parking for patrons of The Jacksonville Landing and Bay Street area clubs after 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, and all-day on weekends until 3 a.m. That lot has 379 spaces.

Starting May 1, the Landing's customers and employees can park for free anytime at 300 spaces in the city-owned Water Street Garage, located three blocks from the Landing. A validation program would let Landing customers park free for up to three hours at the garage.

The JEDC will propose an agreement with the Parador Group, the main owner of the SunTrust Tower, to build a parking garage with at least 250 spaces across Independent Drive from the Landing. The city would pay $2.2 million to Parador Group after the garage is built.

A validation program would provide free parking in the garage to Landing customers after 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, and all-day on weekends until 3 a.m. At least 200 spaces would be accessible to the Landing during those hours.


Barton's letter said those three parking options would be on top of the 243-space lot that Sleiman previously purchased from the city east of the Landing.

The current agreement between the city and the Landing says the city will provide $3.5 million if a parking garage is built that provides 300 daytime spaces for the Landing and 375 nighttime spaces. Barton's letter said that after Orlando developer Cameron Kuhn defaulted on that agreement, the city's financial obligation shifted to pay the $3.5 million to The Landing only after The Landing built its own parking garage.


Sleiman wants to purchase an existing parking lot a block from the Landing and designate it with signs as a 300-space lot for Landing patrons. Sleiman is seeking $3.5 million from the city to help him pay for the purchase of the lot, which he said would cost about $5 million. Sleiman has said it shouldn't matter whether it's a parking lot or parking garage, so long as the parking is close enough to the Landing.

Barcelo said the city's agreement with The Landing defined that parking area being bounded by Julia Street, Forsyth Street, Ocean Street and the St. Johns River. He said the Water Street Garage and the county courthouse lot are both outside that area.

"At best, they would qualify as overflow parking," he said.

He said it's not realistic to expect Landing patrons will walk three blocks through downtown at night. He said a new parking garage across the street from the Landing would fit the bill, but only if it has 300 daytime spaces and 375 nighttime spaces for the Landing.


Under Barton's proposal, the Landing would get rights to 200 spaces but only after 6 p.m. on weeknights, plus both day and night on weekends.


full article: http://jacksonville.com/business/2010-04-20/story/jedc-chief-proposes-solution-jacksonville-landings-parking-needs

hanjin1

April 21, 2010, 08:56:24 AM

The JEDC will propose an agreement with the Parador Group, the main owner of the SunTrust Tower, to build a parking garage with at least 250 spaces across Independent Drive from the Landing. The city would pay $2.2 million to Parador Group after the garage is built.


I sure hope this new parking garage has some retail on the first floor. this would be a complete waste of space yet again to have a parking garage with nothing else.

thelakelander

April 21, 2010, 09:01:41 AM
The article does not mention when this garage would be built.  For all we know, construction may not be complete on this thing until five or ten years from now.  Does anyone know if construction would begin immediately or at least this year?

Captain Zissou

April 21, 2010, 10:32:03 AM
If the garage is a stand alone structure, that would be a huge waste of an important parcel donwtown.  The garage should be at the base of a tower or at least something mid rise mixed use.  Kuhn had the right idea, he just bit off more than he could chew.

thelakelander

April 21, 2010, 10:35:52 AM
Judging from his Orlando projects, if he could have gotten through the local approval process (and the chilled water issue with JEA) faster there would probably be a completed building and garage already on that site.  The bank would have still ended up taking it but there would be something instead of a dirt lot.  Hopefully, we'll learn to open the door on things when opportunity knocks.

finehoe

April 21, 2010, 11:15:27 AM
Hopefully, we'll learn to open the door on things when opportunity knocks.

I thought we were discussing Jacksonville.  ???

Steve

April 21, 2010, 04:47:28 PM
The article does not mention when this garage would be built.  For all we know, construction may not be complete on this thing until five or ten years from now.  Does anyone know if construction would begin immediately or at least this year?

It doesn't even say they have to build a garage.  It just says that the JEDC will ask nicely.  The bum on the downtown streets sometimes ask nicely for money.  That doesn't mean I have to give them some.  The idea about the courthouse lot and water street is a bit ridicuous.  I think the courthouse lot is open anyway, and the water street garage is always empty, since it is build in a poor location.  That garage should show why we don't need more garages downtown.

This just shows how little the JEDC and city get about downtown.  Downtown doesn't need more parking - it has plenty.  We have just policy'ed ourselves out of available parking.  Give Sleiman the 3.5 and be done with the issue forever. 

strider

April 21, 2010, 07:51:10 PM
In a letter to Council President Clark dated April 20th, 2010, Mr. Barton (ED of JEDC) says:
Quote
The city has no present obligation to provide any parking or funding for parking for the landing.
  If fact, the first page of the letter has this quote in bold twice.  It would seem as if The Landing must pony up and build and open their own parking garage with at least 300 daily and 375 night and weekend spaces first before any funding obligation arises. Either the lawyers will get involved or what has been offered by the city and described above in other posts may be the best the Landing will get right now.

thelakelander

April 21, 2010, 08:30:25 PM
Seems like that area and the Northbank will remain a slug at least until the next mayor takes office.  If anything, this situation serves as a reason for having a DDA.  The JEDC's priorities are too spread thin to really focus on and work to solving the needs of downtown.

Mondo

April 21, 2010, 09:43:05 PM
The parking for downtown businesses needs to be close because of the perception for potential for crime. It's dark, with nooks for a person to hide. The malls although statistically more targeted for crime because of the dense population dont have the same feeling of vulnerabilty at night. Especially with all of the vacant dark buildings... We need lights, security cameras just like the mall and parking that feels safe and insulated from panhandlers. We also need metered parking upto 3 hours for daytime. My friend got a ticket today while in a meeting near hemming plaza. Really makes me want to go downtown and conduct business. This isn't NYC ... Our downtown is competing with beautiful pristine Disney like malls with piped music lush furniture and fantastic security. I say open downtown to the young creative entrepenuers and let them give it an identity. What do we have to lose? 

fieldafm

April 22, 2010, 12:01:45 PM
This isn't NYC ... Our downtown is competing with beautiful pristine Disney like malls with piped music lush furniture and fantastic security.  

Every survey the city conducts on dowtown revitalization echoes the same words from every respondent interviewed.  What's the definition of insanity.... something about do everything the same way over and over when it doesnt work and things magically turn around?

JeffreyS

April 22, 2010, 01:35:55 PM
The let our people park sign at the landing is very good. It flashes slogans,explanations and predictions of success in this issue. My prediction after 23 years of doing the wrong thing the city will be forced to do the right thing.

finehoe

April 22, 2010, 02:30:19 PM
My prediction is that the Landing will open their new parking facility right around the time gasoline spikes to $5.00 a gallon and nobody wants to drive anywhere.

urbanlibertarian

April 22, 2010, 05:05:30 PM
^^That sounds like something government would do.  I think Sleiman is smarter than that.
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