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Working Waterfronts: Jacksonville's Marina Mile

The Ortega River is the recreational boating center of Northeast Florida. Along Lake Shore Boulevard and Lakeside Drive are several marinas, boat repair shops, yacht sales and similar marine oriented businesses forming a unique waterfront environment in urban Jacksonville which is known as "Marina Mile."

Published July 30, 2010 in Neighborhoods      33 Comments    Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article


feature


The Ortega River Bridge is only 7 feet above the Ortega River and as a result it is the most frequently opened bridge in Florida with 15,000 lifts a year. Pleasure boats from more than a dozen marinas pass underneath to reach the St. Johns River.






Ortega Landing

Ortega Landing anchors the east end of Marina Mile. This marina and condominium development replaced the Ortega River Boat Yard



Quote
Anchored in Jacksonville, Florida on the beautiful Ortega River, Ortega Landing is a community where boaters, members and residents enjoy the yachting lifestyle. With 38 river home units overlooking a 192-slip marina, boaters do not have to choose between a river home and a marina slip – they can have one, the other or both.
http://www.ortegacondos.com/Ortega_Landing


















Lakeside Marina

Lakeside Marina on the Ortega River is a small private, wet-slip marina featuring 24 Deep Water Slips, 3 Lift Slips and 6 Finger Pier Slips.











Ortega Yacht Club Marina

When the real estate market improves the marina will be joined by the 12-story Ortega River Club Condominiums tower.



Quote
Welcome to the Ortega Yacht Club Marina located on the well protected Ortega River just off the St. Johns in Jacksonville, Florida.

5 miles south of downtown Jacksonville, year round boat owners appreciate the protection from strong Nor' Easters during the winter, and inland location during hurricane season. Many cruisers have tied up at our marina for the hurricane season due to the historically low incidence of Atlantic storms in the Georgia Bight area of Northeast Florida.

Floating docks, easy access to fueling and just about everything you need blocks away are just a few of the amenities here at the Ortega Yacht Club Marina.
http://www.oycm.com
http://www.ortegariverclub.com/TheCondo/FloorPlans.asp












Pier 17 Marine is the South's largest nautical store.


Sadler Point Marina



Quote
Sadler Point Marina is proud to be “Jacksonville’s Only Full Service & Do-it-Yourself Boatyard.” We are able to provide many services and support to our customers. We pride ourselves on being helpful and attentive to our customers needs as well as maintaining a high level of environmental stewardship.

We are located about one mile southwest of the mouth of the Ortega River, very near the heart of downtown Jacksonville. Our customers enjoy one of the most exciting boating locals in the southeast. The St. Johns River provides innumerable activities from sailing, skiing, and other water-sports, to downtown waterside entertainment and restaurants such as The Jacksonville Landing, Metro Park and of course sports events including Jaguars and Suns games.
http://www.sadlerpoint.com/about


















Roosevelt Blvd Pier


CSX A Line draw bridge


Did You Know?

Before the marinas, the site of the Sadler Point and Ortega River Yacht Club Marinas was the home of the Gress Lumber Mill.  The Gress mill closed after it burned down in 1955.



Quote
The first Ortega River Bridge, a wooden span on the site of the present "old" also carried the city trolley line across the river on its way to what is now Venetia and the Florida Country Club, just north of the present Timuquanna CC.

"You could ride the trolley line anywhere in the city for a $4 weekly pass," Rogers said. "We used to take it to go to swim practice at the Florida Yacht Club [built in 1926]."

The present old Ortega Bridge was opened in 1927, but the old span stayed there for several years to carry the trolley tracks across the river.

The bridges were lift spans for one reason: The Gress Lumber Mill on the present sites of the Sadler point Marina and the Ortega River Yacht Club Marina .

"That mill was built in 1912," Rogers said. "They milled cypress and magnolia logs, most of which were logged up Black Creek and loaded on barges to come up to the mill. The mill-hands all lived in houses on what is now Roosevelt Mall."
Source: Ortega has rich history - Florida Times-Union - 11/21/99





Huckins Yacht Corporation



Quote
Prewar
In 1928 Frank Pembroke Huckins sold his first yacht, a revolutionary Huckins Fairform Flyer, to David M. Goodrich for $15,000. Work on Hull #2 began immediately. In those days, the custom cruisers designed and built by FPH at his Jacksonville, Florida plant became the envy of the yachting world virtually overnight. Long before speed was all the rage on the water, Huckins yachts — ranging from 45-56 feet — were forging a reputation in performance.

Fortunately, the stock market crash of 1929 had little initial effect on Huckins, which possessed a number of orders already in hand. David M. Goodrich, the original owner of Hull #1, Minim, now put Huckins to work on Maxim, a 54-footer powered with Sterling Dolphin Specials. The mid-30’s proved more challenging, but FPH never lost confidence in his dream and by the end of the decade sales were coming from across the country.

PT Boat Era
Prior to America’s entry into WWII, Huckins' participation in the PT Boat development program came after vessels constructed by various builders failed to satisfy Navy requirements. FPH, having learned that the twenty PT’s already in service were experiencing severe problems, secured a meeting with the Navy Bureau of Ships.

His pitch: Building the "fastest seagoing boats in the world" in the 20's and 30's gave Huckins the experience necessary to design a PT boat capable of providing a fast platform for the Navy’s armament requirements.

In December 1940, with scant assistance from the Navy, FPH began the project from the ground up. Delivered to the Navy in July of 1941, Huckins’ prototype was run through trials and accepted with enthusiasm as PT 69. In the end, FPH’s $100,000 gamble paid off, albeit with a net profit of $28.60.

Postwar
After the war, Huckins delighted a new generation of yachtsmen with a line of performance cruisers, many of which are still cherished for their speed and efficiency. Loyal customer David Goodrich launched his third Fairform Flyer, the first boat out of Huckins’ new yard on the Ortega River.

While Frank Pembroke Huckins died in 1951, key players from this era would form the company’s management team for years to come: Ray Teller, hired by FPH to lead Huckins’ postwar design; George Pillsbury, destined to become vice president; Henry Baldwin, the company’s president and salesman; and Kenneth Archibald, stepson of FPH, who later became CEO and is still active in the company today.

Present Day
Today, under the leadership of Cindy and Buddy Purcell, Huckins Yacht Corporation continues to incorporate ever-advancing marine technologies without sacrificing 80 years of tradition.

As always, the Huckins family prides itself on maintaining FPH’s insistence on patent-grabbing innovation, timeless style and custom craftsmanship that makes every yacht as unique as its owners. This philosophy has provided a heritage of success spanning eight decades, through countless financial upswings and downturns.

Looking forward, we find ourselves in the enviable position of being able to recreate our past (Huckins’ library of original drawings includes every yacht we’ve ever built), along with the design skills necessary to introduce new models that more than live up to our remarkable history.
http://www.huckinsyacht.com/company.php







A Little history about the founder of Huckins Yacht Corporation

Quote
Women and trouble were Frank Huckins ' constant companions.

And the latter usually followed the former.

Huckins moved to Jacksonville to get away from personal problems but found professional problems here.

His family had owned a lumber company in Boston and he became familiar with Jacksonville starting in 1908 through visits to a Panama Park sawmill owned by the prominent Cummer family. In the 1920s, Huckins sold the family business in Boston and moved to Jacksonville to escape the notoriety that followed two failed marriages, due mostly to his philandering.

"If anyone had then told me I would become a resident of Jacksonville 20 years later, I would have thought them crazy," Huckins wrote in his memoir tellingly called Boats and Women. "Two divorces in Boston in seven years was too much. It was time to leave."

A millwork business in which he had a stake went bust in 1927, and he considered yacht building because he had built boats years before as a youth. Huckins operated his boat building business on East Fourth Street, but moved to its current spot on the Ortega River in 1945.

He called the boats Fairform Flyers, known for their special "quadroconic" hulls, designed to get the boat to plane, or rise out of the water, at speeds lower than normal, making for more efficient cruising.

The first boat, a 42-footer, was sold to tire manufacturer David Goodrich for $15,000. When the Great Depression hit full force during the early 1930s, Huckins produced smaller boats at prices as low as $2,000 to keep the business going.

In the 1940s, the company was one of three contracted with the Navy to design and build nearly 600 PT (patrol torpedo) boats made famous by President John F. Kennedy's experience during World War II. Huckins designed and built 18 PT boats, but none of them saw combat, according to the non-profit historical organization PT Boats Inc.

But Purcell has letters from former servicemen who operated off Midway Island on Huckins PT boats during World War II.

Most of the boats were built by the Electric Boat Co. of Bayonne, N.J., but the company used Huckins ' hull design, Purcell said.

Kennedy made a local connection by delivering boats from a Navy training base in Melville, R.I., to Jacksonville and from Jacksonville to Miami. Huckins Yacht made only a $28 profit from the PT boats.

Frank Huckins died in 1951, and his business partner, Henry Baldwin, continued as the company's chief executive officer.
Source: Dream cruise Huckins Yacht Corporation is celebrating 75 years in business - Florida Times-Union - 8/18/03








The 21-slip Cedar Point Marina replaced Sea-Jay's Marina in the late 1990's.  Sea-Jay's was a mom and pop operation of they type that's rapidly disappearing from Jacksonville.


Lamb's Yacht Center


Lamb's Yacht Center was founded in 1936 and originally located downtown before moving to its current location on the Ortega River in 1960.  The yacht center was owned by three generations of the Lamb Family until Downing Nightingale purchased the business in 2002.
http://www.lambsyachtcenter.com












Lakeshore Dry Storage


[/quote]Lakeshore Dry Storage and Lakeside Marina are both located on the Ortega River in Jacksonville, Florida. LDS has been in operation since 1988, as Jacksonville's premier dry storage facility.  Lakeside Marina was added in 2006 to provide our customers with a wet-slip option for large sailboats, sport fishing boats and various other types of watercraft.  Our marinas are conveniently located just minutes from downtown and provide quick access to the St. Johns River.[/quote]
http://www.lakeshoredrystorage.com/









For more information about Marina Mile and a complete list of businesses in the area: http://www.jacksonvillemarinamile.com







33 Comments

simms3

July 30, 2010, 09:10:33 AM
Ha my first job was working 2 summers at Sadler Point when I was 16 and 17.  My parents wanted to make sure I would go to college :) but I really didn't have any doubts about going.  It was fun, but 9 hours of pretty dang hard work in the hot sun left me too exhausted to party very hard after work.  Many of my friends worked at Lambs and it always seemed like they barely broke a sweat hehe.

Nice pics though.  If you live in Ortega or Newport RI (and have money to spare) you must have a Huckins ;), built right here and considered one of the East Coast's best boats.  History here:

http://www.huckinsyacht.com/company.php

billy

July 30, 2010, 09:39:59 AM
Spent a lot of my childhood at the old Grahams and Lambs.
Isn't the Seminole Canoe Club up the river?

fonz

July 30, 2010, 09:50:49 AM
Can you point me in the direction of your research concerning the location of Sadler Point being the former Gress Lumber Mill?  My grandmother was a Gress and my father and a few of his relatives owned the land where Roosevelt mall is located, selling it in the late 80's, early 90's.  I believe they leased the land to whomever ran the original mall.  I'm guessing there is a connection here.  Unfortunately my father and grandmother are no longer with us.

Coincidentally, my first job was as a dockhand at Lamb's Dry Storage, now Lakeshore Dry Storage.

thelakelander

July 30, 2010, 10:05:43 AM
Through the Jacksonville Public Library website (http://jpl.coj.net/res/db/news.html), you can search the Times-Union archives using Sadler Point Marina, Ortega River Bridge or Gress Lumber Mill as the keywords.  You'll need a library card to access the TU archives.

stjr

July 30, 2010, 10:54:14 AM
Lake Shore, across from much of Marina Mile, is a quaint, affordable, established close in working-class neighborhood with lots more potential in the future, especially if it gets "gentrified".  A waterfront park on Lake Shore east of Blanding and west of Roosevelt would do wonders for this area.

simms3

July 30, 2010, 11:38:14 AM
^^^ The area under the Roosevelt Bridge should be cleaned up in the same fashion as where the RAM is located.  We used to drink under that bridge in high school on dead nights (after being forced from FYC, TCC, Stockton Park, Seminole Park, list goes on damn we were heavy drinkers and this was the ultimate last resort spot) and the area was filled with shady people and bums, but many people fish off of the "pier" there already.  It would not be terribly difficult to clean up, but I bet there would have to be a good bit of environmental remediation.

thelakelander

July 30, 2010, 11:50:37 AM
^That's a pretty good idea simms3.  With the "pier" already there, its centralized location along Marina Mile and the amount of land underneath that bridge, that would be a pretty great public waterfront spot.

BetsyC

August 22, 2010, 08:29:32 AM
Lake Shore Area Preservation Society has adopted the old half bridge stretch of "highway." We had a great cleanup day there earlier this month and we hope to be able to raise the funds to start making it more user-friendly for the community. Check us out at www.lapsjax.org.

stjr

August 22, 2010, 02:43:01 PM
Lake Shore Area Preservation Society has adopted the old half bridge stretch of "highway." We had a great cleanup day there earlier this month and we hope to be able to raise the funds to start making it more user-friendly for the community. Check us out at www.lapsjax.org.

Betsy, read your site and it looks great.  We need more people like you in Jax communities everywhere.  Active neighborhood orgs are the grassroots to making our public officials more accountable.  Especially regarding parks, schools, zonings, transportation, etc.  If we had more of them, maybe many of the items we discuss here would have a different tone and outlook.  Keep up the good work!

P.S. I wonder if our downtown residents have ever considered a Downtown RESIDENTS Association or Downtown PRESERVATION Society?!

Lunican

September 06, 2010, 04:58:11 PM
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/ey1uYGyB7dI" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/ey1uYGyB7dI</a>

CS Foltz

September 06, 2010, 05:20:23 PM
stjr...........I concur! If government can not or will not do the job, then it is up to the community to band together and do what is required! We need to get back to our self help roots! Springfield has formed an organization, other than SPAR Council, and for good reasons!

ricker

January 07, 2011, 09:08:38 AM
As a volunteer in the area of the Marina Mile, we are excited to see what happens with city council and the seat for the mayor's office.
We humbly work so hard to keep our area clean while steadily improving the view.

As a native to Jax, growing up on "BIG" Fishweir Creek, my family is aware of the relatively few public access points along our precious American Heritage River.
Thanks MJ!
We must all band together and unite our voices toward a real paddlers and kayaker dream!

We have this unique inland calm location provided by the lay of the land and the talent on the shoreline to assist us in our endeavors!

I need any and all to PM me or email me if you wish to see the underside of the Ortega Bridge improved.

From what I can tell, Mr.Brooks Busey of Sadler and Ms.Cynthia Segraves of Pier17 would like to see the activity.

We don't need a floating dock like the beauty of RAM, when we don't currently have the hindrance of a seawall/bulkhead.
a "beach" slope similar to Seminole Park on McGirts in Ortega is what currently exists below the US17 bridge.
largely perfect.
Just need storage lockers, lighting, benches?

LAPS (lapsjax.org / lapsjax.blogspot.com) has adopted both the pier and Cassat Ave from Birkenhead to Astral.
Truly a dedicated group.
We've doubled business membership and just ask for advice on the best way to proceed in order to bring the basic enhancements we seek.

With the redevlopment of the Loop, Espeto, Sylvan, Commander site largely shelved (permanently?)
I would think the underside of the bridge would be a very low-cost updo?

please advise.

Noone

January 07, 2011, 01:03:58 PM
Ricker,
It sounds great. Not familiar with the area but if your looking to proceed there is a Jacksonville Waterways meeting Jan. 12 council chambers. There is an opportunity for Public comment and then to share your concerns on how this could move forward.

Is this District 14?  If it is, new council race for that district. Ask the candidates. Do you want to see it open for transient kayak, or canoe  vendors?

There is pending legislation 2010-856  a transient vendor ban of 1 mile of a similar business or service. If we are to maintain the American Heritage River Designation then the Waterways of the St. Johns River needs to be exempt from this legislation as is Downtown. Actually I don't support the legislation at all. The legislation is out there though and needs to addressed for the entire city of Jacksonville. Especially as it relates to the Waterway.

Noone

February 27, 2011, 10:21:03 AM
Whats the latest with Jacksonville's Marina Mile?

ricker

June 03, 2011, 12:16:01 AM
Saturday!
8am
June 4, 2011

A coordinated volunteer effort with JEA Forestry, Greenscapes of Jax, Lake Shore middle school, JSO SchoolResource Officer, parks and recreation and LAPS initiative (www.lapsjax.org / www.lapsjax.blogspot.com);

we will be planting THIRTY-Two (30ga) trees in the park area surrounding the bleachers, basketball court, track, softball and baseball dugouts, benches and playground equipment.

This is a massive beautification and the beginning of a longterm reforestation effort at the south end of Hamilton Street at Lake Shore Boulevard, across from Lamb's Yacht Center.

We will be  happily excited to accept the help of any interested volunteers looking to give back to the community and lend a hand for even just a few minutes if at all possible.

We thank you in advance for any and all who are willing and able to participate.



Noone

June 03, 2011, 01:25:59 AM
As a volunteer in the area of the Marina Mile, we are excited to see what happens with city council and the seat for the mayor's office.
We humbly work so hard to keep our area clean while steadily improving the view.

As a native to Jax, growing up on "BIG" Fishweir Creek, my family is aware of the relatively few public access points along our precious American Heritage River.
Thanks MJ!
We must all band together and unite our voices toward a real paddlers and kayaker dream!

We have this unique inland calm location provided by the lay of the land and the talent on the shoreline to assist us in our endeavors!

I need any and all to PM me or email me if you wish to see the underside of the Ortega Bridge improved.

From what I can tell, Mr.Brooks Busey of Sadler and Ms.Cynthia Segraves of Pier17 would like to see the activity.

We don't need a floating dock like the beauty of RAM, when we don't currently have the hindrance of a seawall/bulkhead.
a "beach" slope similar to Seminole Park on McGirts in Ortega is what currently exists below the US17 bridge.
largely perfect.
Just need storage lockers, lighting, benches?

LAPS (lapsjax.org / lapsjax.blogspot.com) has adopted both the pier and Cassat Ave from Birkenhead to Astral.
Truly a dedicated group.
We've doubled business membership and just ask for advice on the best way to proceed in order to bring the basic enhancements we seek.

With the redevlopment of the Loop, Espeto, Sylvan, Commander site largely shelved (permanently?)
I would think the underside of the bridge would be a very low-cost updo?

please advise.


Ricker, Have you been to a Jacksonville Waterways Commission meeting yet? Huge one in council chambers in 12 days. A cherry picked ord. should be the highlight of that meeting.

Were you able to secure the auger to pre drill the holes? Looking forward to meeting you Sat. The same thing that you are doing in Dist.14 can be done with Hogans Creek in Dist. 7.

It can happen now. I hope that what you are doing will be immediately shared with the commisioners of FIND and we will be telling the world to Visit Jacksonville.

Your Making it happen and I want to be a part of it.

ricker

June 03, 2011, 02:30:27 AM
WOWOWOWOWOW
THanks for sharing in and boosting my enthusiasm!
You have truly put some wind in my sails!
I need you to take me out on HogansCreek!

(I now have a bit more free time than before)

Definitely looking forward to strengthening our collective voice to show off our river!

Many many thanks!
See you soon!

north miami

June 03, 2011, 08:18:24 AM
Hi Ricker!

I am a Jacksonville Marina Mile founder........was my " Brainchild" for years.Nothing would have happened had it not been for others who took it from there, came together to finally
Make It Happen!

See www.jacksonvillemarinamile.com.  See Lambs Yacht Center;Marine Max.My place of business is the Houseboat at Lambs.
I live on Big Fishweir,Geraldine Drive.

one of the best days of my life was touring The Mile with Noone.
Ortega Bridge,perhaps Marina Mile an ideal western anchor for the Downtown Blueway.Even a LAPS connection?!

Wonderful to see the Transformation across the street from Lambs-this is what "cherished" looks like....

So looking forward to being a student,the guided,a Noone Hogans Creek masterful tour.I done ain't never been on Hogans.

I extend invite to any and all MJ-let's meet,tour Lambs,the Mile.

Cheers!
Mike cell 904 923 0033

Noone

June 04, 2011, 02:11:38 PM
Making it Happen today was a group of volunteers that transformed a baseball area with future shade trees and landscaping that will be enjoyed and shared by thousands for years to come. It was a pleasure to be a part of it.

Finally met Ricker and can't wait to paddle Hogans Creek with him too. The coordinated effort of so many groups added to the flow of success. The auger holes and props for whoever made that happen.

ricker

June 08, 2011, 12:40:01 PM
Greetings!
 
You give me too much credit!
some call me the village idiot because I never shut up about sprucing up the place!

Noone, thanks again! your presence and help made the day a breeze!

Mr. northmiami Mike, thanks for the invite!
I have Mr.Marchman and his assistant considering the installation of a high efficiency dusk-to-dawn light fixture on the face of the building he shares with Able Marine Insurance with other irons in the fire as these dreams and visions dancing in my head require baby steps in reality.

I would like to install and maintain some annuals at the bases of your Keep Jax Beautiful signs if you would allow me to provide free and on going volunteer labor.

LAPS placed a variety at the pier which are due for replacement and/or de-weeding - but it would be just as easy for me to maintain 2 more ;]

thanks again for introducing yourself here and I will report back after paddling Hogan's this week with Noone!
Cannot hardy wait!

BTW
Wednesday, June 15.
9a.m.
St.James Building.
council chamber?

north miami

June 08, 2011, 12:45:56 PM
Ricker,

It is wonderful to see the care,concern and efforts.

Looking forward to visit,we'll get with the owners of Lambs.

Also note: this Saturday,June 11 is Lambs Marina Day open house.

ricker

June 08, 2011, 03:47:05 PM
Thanks again for your spontaneous, last minute availability!

also giving credit where it is due;
JEA Urban Forester Mike Robinson, Greenscapes Director Anna Dooley, LAPS volunteers, Lake Shore middle JSO school resource officer with parks and rec, Cynthia Segraves of Pier 17, Lake Shore Produce, Lake Shore cycles and fitness, local resident artist Kathy Stark and McStephenson's equipment rental on Cassat
[even though Mr.Robinson had the holes augered for us!]

YOU all made this happen!
Thank you for providing for us the opportunity to enhance our greenspace!

north miami

June 08, 2011, 08:11:00 PM

People from all over the nation-and world are drawn to the Marina Mile whether cruising,buying or outfitting and most become quite fond of the neighborhood.

Noone

September 19, 2011, 08:04:28 AM
As a volunteer in the area of the Marina Mile, we are excited to see what happens with city council and the seat for the mayor's office.
We humbly work so hard to keep our area clean while steadily improving the view.

As a native to Jax, growing up on "BIG" Fishweir Creek, my family is aware of the relatively few public access points along our precious American Heritage River.
Thanks MJ!
We must all band together and unite our voices toward a real paddlers and kayaker dream!

We have this unique inland calm location provided by the lay of the land and the talent on the shoreline to assist us in our endeavors!

I need any and all to PM me or email me if you wish to see the underside of the Ortega Bridge improved.

From what I can tell, Mr.Brooks Busey of Sadler and Ms.Cynthia Segraves of Pier17 would like to see the activity.

We don't need a floating dock like the beauty of RAM, when we don't currently have the hindrance of a seawall/bulkhead.
a "beach" slope similar to Seminole Park on McGirts in Ortega is what currently exists below the US17 bridge.
largely perfect.
Just need storage lockers, lighting, benches?

LAPS (lapsjax.org / lapsjax.blogspot.com) has adopted both the pier and Cassat Ave from Birkenhead to Astral.
Truly a dedicated group.
We've doubled business membership and just ask for advice on the best way to proceed in order to bring the basic enhancements we seek.

With the redevlopment of the Loop, Espeto, Sylvan, Commander site largely shelved (permanently?)
I would think the underside of the bridge would be a very low-cost updo?

please advise.


Ricker, Have you been to a Jacksonville Waterways Commission meeting yet? Huge one in council chambers in 12 days. A cherry picked ord. should be the highlight of that meeting.

Were you able to secure the auger to pre drill the holes? Looking forward to meeting you Sat. The same thing that you are doing in Dist.14 can be done with Hogans Creek in Dist. 7.

It can happen now. I hope that what you are doing will be immediately shared with the commisioners of FIND and we will be telling the world to Visit Jacksonville.

Your Making it happen and I want to be a part of it.

North Miami and I had the opportunity to share with Jim Love Dist. 14 city council member that 2011-560 can seek an amendment to the legislation for a matching amount with FIND that could Make It Happen for a kayak launch under the bridge. Rules meeting in council chambers in 2 hours.

 

Noone

September 24, 2011, 11:22:41 AM
2011-560 Shipyards/Landmar legislation. Does anyone know the terms of the settlement agreement? I couldn't tell you. The unsecured debt amount. The Public Trust continues to be absolutely destroyed in this community.

Gaffney has totally abandoned his constituents in his District

Redman continues to lead the conspiracy to deny Public Access and Economic opportunity to our St. Johns River our American Heritage River a federal initiative.

If I lived in Dist.14 I would hope that Jim Love would attach an amendment that would seek a $100,000 of the $23,000,000, Twenty Three million dollars of the UNSECURED settlement amount that would go into a separate fund that could seek a FIND matching grant for a canoe and kayak launch  in Dist.14. Council vote in two days.

It can happen. What councilman will have the guts to Make It Happen with a floor amendment? Anyone care?

north miami

September 24, 2011, 01:24:48 PM
 I recall our brief meeting with Councilman Love was general reference to FIND,not 2011-560.

I personally do not know if 2011-560 is a potential vehicle for District 14 River Access.

I do agree decades long euphoric call to "River Access" is ringing hollow.
Enhanced and expanded Public River Access will require concerted focus and direction.

fieldafm

September 24, 2011, 02:29:15 PM
2011-560 is definately not the bill to be attaching any amendments to.

For readers who don't really understand the bill... here it is in a nutshell:

John Delaney wanted to use the land for a large riverfront urban park as part of the Better Jacksonville Plan.  Several concessions were made to the plan in order to get the legislation to pass, which did not include Delaney's plan to roll this potential park into the sweeping(and brilliant) land trust deals of BJP.

The property was originally going to be used for cold storage wharehousing until the property's owners were convinced by the mayor to become real estate developers.

TriLegacy originally had the property until Landmar steps in.   Landmar and JEDC agree to a development deal for the property.  The city raises bonds to pay for the redevelopment deal, and by doing so... Landmar receives a mortgage by the city, that is secured by the 40 acre parcel.

As part of this redevelopment deal, Landmar is to spend about 35million on public infrastcture to the site(among things that include a Riverwalk extension, a public pier, sewage lines, drainage, environmental remediation of the land, etc) and pay against the debt the city holds(bonds) based on a formula that would subtract out property tax revenue gained by the city.

Landmar spends about 19 million (mainly the bulkhead work you see today, which is at the very least will make a Riverwalk extension more cost-effective) and pays the city about 13 million against the bond debt.

The company has trouble serving debt obligations, so the city modifies the mortgage.

The company goes bankrupt. 

The city agrees to a deed in lieu(remember the city holds a mortgage on the property)... which is a vehicle to take back the property without going through foreclosure proceedings(which are both expensive and lengthy, so this saved the city money).  At the time of the deed in lieu the property was appraised at 20mm.

At this point Landmar owes the city somewhere around 57million.  Now as part of a bankruptcy, parties file unsecured debt claims.  In this case, the company offers a claim of $893k against the amount it owes the city.  There was initially(in 2009 I believe) a date set for 2012 to dispute this claim in bankruptcy court.  Before that 2012 hearing, there would be an enormous amount of discovery that would take place.

This process would again be expensive and cumbersome for the city.  So, they work out a settlement for an unsecured claim of 23mm.  Landmar actually owes the city around 37million(57 million of actual debt minus the value of the land).

The value of the land will drive this unsecured debt claim... which is what this entire legislation(2011-560) is about.  This is what Councilman Crescimbeni is asking about.  The land value should be around 20mm and the value the assesor is saying the city should accept is 23mm.

Nowhere in this bill is the city spending or gaining any money... its simply a claim against monies already spent.  The city may or may not ever get any of that claim once the bankruptcy proceedings are over.  Meanwhile the city still owes debt tied to this transaction(the bonds). 

I think there needs to be an agreement that would make the promised public pier and the bulkhead area which the Riverwalk extension would be built on a seperate parcel from this 40 acre site, therefore ensuring public access to the pier in the future.  There is nothing stopping a developer buying this property from the city and never allow public use to these two crucial assets(the pier and a potential Riverwalk extension). 

The only hope we have now is for this to happen in the future, and public discussion and a plan needs to be put in place for this property.  One great idea would be to follow the lead of the Columbus Commons http://www.metrojacksonville.com/article/2010-aug-what-to-do-with-the-shipyards.

This would allow the city to shape what type of private development they would like to see occur once the market rebounds.  The city has tried twice now to stick their own vision on this property.  Why not give it a mechanism that works this time(aka the Colombus Commons model)?  By doing so, the Riverwalk could connect to Metro Park and the Bay Street Pier Park can be a centerpiece activity to activate public use of the river.... while private development occurs on the remaining 36 acres of the property.

In the meantime, the city has done site clearing work to prepare the property for parking during football season, planted trees on the property to hide Berkman II and have repaired the sidewalk along Bay Street.

urbanlibertarian

September 24, 2011, 03:50:12 PM
I think it would be great for the city to complete the Riverwalk to Metro park and include a public pier that would allow the mooring of those smaller cruise ships that now tie up at the Hyatt.  However, I have very little confidence in COJ to choose a land use for the rest of the property that is economically viable and will generate property tax revenue.

Noone

September 24, 2011, 09:18:08 PM
2011-560 is definitely not the bill to be attaching any amendments to.

But it can be done. Councilman Bill Bishop said that to me at the Finance agenda meeting prior to its start and it is true that any council member can introduce an amendment.

At the Monday Rules meeting councilman Gaffney did not say one word. And this is primarily his district. He has totally abandoned his constituents.

Redman has done the same thing with the pier in Dist.4. Only worse. This will be highlighted in the Aug31 Waterways special FIND subcommittee meeting.

Millions and Millions of dollars and here was my simple amendment which is part of the permanent record. I oppose this legislation unless an amendment is attached that would provide $100,000 that would go into a separate fund that could seek a FIND matching grant for a canoe and kayak launch in Dist.7 for Klutho Park or Confederate Park. Ask all creditors if they would accept this as a friendly amendment. The creditors would allow this to go to the front of the line.

Any council member can try for this. I'll be sharing this with the commissioners of FIND our Regional Partners and other counties to show how the Public Trust just continues to be destroyed in this community as it relates to Public Access and economic opportunity to our St. Johns River our American Heritage River a federal initiative. 

fieldafm

September 25, 2011, 09:42:57 PM
I agree such an idea should be legislation in council, just not on this bill.

Noone

September 26, 2011, 03:30:53 AM
That was also said with 2010-604. Shipyards/Landmar and after the agenda meeting standing right there with Don Redman, Cindy Laquidara, Steve Rohan and Scott Wilson being advised that an amendment could be attached to 604 that would keep the Promised 680' Public Pier separate. Or do it with a separate bill. Just not this bill. The legislation hasn't happened. And this is prior to any elections.

2011-560 according to OGC would have been $60-70 thousand to litigate. Again wait until a new city council and administration is in place and a weakening of the valued institutional knowledge that is lost in another great deal for the taxpayers. There was no handout that I'm aware of that was available at the Rules or Finance agenda meeting for the Public explaining the terms of the settlement agreement.

As to the value of the land. At Rules the 2009 value was $20,000,000 but 2 years later the value is $29,000,000. Is every vacant lot or improved lot downtown showing an almost %50 increase in value? From what I understand there was no discussion at the Finance meeting the next day. And the Hyatt is being auctioned off? 

The Public Trust continues to be totally destroyed in this community. Any councilmember, please offer an amendment for a $100 grand just out of principle that if a dime of our taxpayer dollars is ever collected that because of your legislative action a $100 grand came back to your district for a FIND dredging project or a canoe or kayak launch. That would be a true feather in ones cap as being an elected legislative representative of the people. (Parking garages) We are talking about MILLIONS and MILLIONS of dollars.

Reginald Brown..Where are you? Former chair of Waterways. Love, Boyer, Lee, Carter, Yarborough, Be concerned.

Just two days out. Is this an emergency? No. Just slip it in with the budget meeting vote because that is what will be getting the headlines.

JAX commerce, Regional Partners, Commissioners of FIND, Does anybody care?

 





 

ricker

November 30, 2012, 04:33:16 AM
The ADA non compliance of the resurfacing and 'safety improvements' along US1 have my wheels turning...
Any one out here have any helpful thoughts toward how I can plead and to whom regarding the two sidewalks which do not meet over the CSX "A-line" at Lakeside Dr/LakeShore Blvd below US17 just south of Chamblin bookmine?

The pictures of the bus benches just pathetically sitting on slabs with no trash can or shelter from the weather irks me to no end.  No sidewalks connecting these stops to the businesses they sit in front of, too close to the motorized traffic, too close to the ditches with no hand rail, no real connectivity at all for pedestrians and cyclists along US1.

I WISH I were made of money, the walkability of this city would be light years ahead of where it is now.

The area I mention at the top is a specific irritation to me because I bike this stretch often and see how many motorists display awful behavior toward the disadvantaged traveler, deplorably honking, raising the middle finger, and often nearly intentionally sideswiping when there is no oncoming vehicle.. tossing trash AT cyclists and kids, parents with strollers, seniors >
ALL using this CSX crossing on foot or bike MUST walk or ride through TWO ditches AND high step it OVER the actual train track rails
OR risk your own safety in the narrow road where drivers notoriously LOVE to go airborne.

I was recently told by our council rep that he was told the cost to correct these issues would be in excess of $500,000.00!

Some folks at the meeting immediately began rather uncontrollably chattering about how a load of quick-crete and a bundle of lumber to form up a proper 6' wide by 6" thick walk, and skreet it off correctly could be accomplished for a miniscule few hundred dollars - to which we were firmly made aware we would be arrested for such activity!

Unbelievable

Noone

November 30, 2012, 06:05:28 AM
I agree such an idea should be legislation in council, just not on this bill.

Mike, You are the marketers of marketers. You've got the Cash Mob thing going, Food trucks, and tonight is the Pub Crawl.

Such an idea should be legislation in council, well a piece of legislation that is on the books is 2009-442 The Artificial Reef Trust Fund and it's gaining momentum.

 6 Artificial Reefs in the River just outside the Marina Mile. Mike, would you write a check for a buck? Ricker would you write a check for a dollar? This is your hood. Obviously it could be more. Ricker you write a check for a buck and I'll write a check for the bicycle path over the railroad tracks.

next Jacksonville Waterways Commission meeting is 12 days out.  I'll personally deliver any checks to the Waterways Commission at city Hall at the end of the meeting. That's a Promise.

Make the check out to City of Jacksonville
Write 2009-442 on the check
Write Artificial Reef Trust Fund on the check

Ricker, I drove up that Philips Hwy corridor yesterday. What you are wanting to do along with everyone else can happen. You can request legislation.

Or you can continue to create a tactical epoch spark of citizen involvement and reach out to CSX and one day in the future we can ride together over a safe railroad crossing because of the legislation that was created.

Ricker we have done things in the past. And I'll be more than happy to join you in the future again on other projects. In fact in today's Times Union a new column will be debuting "River Life" to educate readers about our Waterways. Dr Quinton White  who is the Director of the Marine Science Research Institute at Jacksonville University is fully aware of the Artificial Reef Trust Fund as well as other exciting projects that are happening.

Ricker, Write a check for a dollar and watch how it works through our legislative process. I'm serious.
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