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Downtown Revitalization: A Broken Record

Metro Jacksonville shares a series of quotes over the last 39 years that highlight an inability to stabilize the decline of downtown. Will any of our mayoral candidates have success where predecessors have failed?

Published January 26, 2011 in Urban Issues      45 Comments    Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

feature

Kloeppel Jr. still owns the Mayflower and he and his son, Robert Kloeppel III, are hoping a resurgence of activity in the downtown area will bring in enough business to enable them to reopen it.
 In the meantime, the Kloeppels say they are flushing the toilets at the Mayflower once a week to keep the plumbing working, periodically turning on the air conditioning to keep them operational and biding their time.
FTU Car Park To Replace George Washington Hotel 12/17/72


The day of the big downtown department stores is gone until we get more people living downtown.
Bernard Datz, Downtown Sears manager - FTU Cadillac heads towards Regency - 5/17/81


We can't work forever and we can't stay in business here without watering down the quality of our service.
Herman Rosenblum on the closing of their downtown location - 6/7/81


In 1970s, Jacksonville did not have a practical downtown development plan that the community was willing to support.  Today- twelve years, seven consultants and a million dollars later, it still doesn't.
FTU Starting Over Again 3/7/82


The hotel's fate is "a clear sign that they've (city officials) got to stop horsing around and do something about downtown development.  It is either that or there's no future for the city.
Robert B. Cockayne of May-Cohens - FTU City Center Hotel Checks Out 7/8/82


The convention center is expected to spawn a hotel, perhaps a couple of hotels, restaurants and related development near the now-deserted banks of McCoys Creek.
FTU Downtown: Development plans will expand the city core to several new areas 3/26/83


The renovation of Hemming Plaza has hurt but we're hoping that things will turn around when all that construction is completed.
Jan Ladnier, May-Cohens Spokeswoman - 8/21/85


Downtown is headed for a "complete turnaround."  Projects like the convention center and the Jacksonville Landing would bring more people to the area and that would bring back the big-name merchants.  In the next two to five years you're going to see downtown just absolutely explode.
Larry Hazouri - Downtown Merchant's Associates President 10/2/86


The time has come for Jacksonville to stand tall
David Walters, Omni Hotel general manager 10/14/87


We may see things happening five to ten years down the road, but how many businesses will be here then?  The city's mentality appears largely reactionary, tending to change only when it has to. Jacksonville has a 'cowford' mentality, we don't have any visionaries.
Sam Bucholtz, Luggage Shop, Inc manager 9/22/92


Three decades ago, about 100,000 people worked downtown.
Mike Weinstein - FTU Is Downtown Losing? 10/26/98


It's only productive if it's implemented.  I've seen so many plans in the last 40 years that have talked about the development of downtown that have been put on paper and shelved.
Robert Wilson, Northside resident 11/13/98


Downtown needs a swath of parkland that would attract development along its borders in the same way that the St. Johns River does.
Ted Pappas, Architect - FTU Talk of Downtown 11/13/98


Downtown is going to be dramatically different in 18 months to three years in terms of customers and traffic.
Paul Krutko - FTU Lost Luggage 11/19/00



2011 Mayoral Candidate's Thoughts on Downtown

After 39 years of acknowledging and studying the decline of downtown, along with hundreds of millions in redevelopment gimmicks, things are significantly worse than they were in 1972.  If harnessed correctly, downtown can be an economic gift that keeps on giving in the form of ad valorem taxes. With the opportunity to elect a new mayor this Spring, be sure to review what our candidates have to say about downtown.


Article by Ennis Davis







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45 Comments

peestandingup

January 26, 2011, 07:06:59 AM
Quote
It's only productive if it's implemented.  I've seen so many plans in the last 40 years that have talked about the development of downtown that have been put on paper and shelved.

Robert Wilson, Northside resident 11/13/98

Pretty much Jacksonville's mentality in a nutshell when it comes to core development. Either put it on the back burner, trash it completely, or implement it in a very half-assed sorta way without being part of a grand scheme.

vicupstate

January 26, 2011, 10:03:31 AM
To be fair, most cities floundered in trying to revive or even mitigate the decline in Downtown/urban cores during the 70's and '80's.  But more recently, cities have started getting it right in a big way, particularly our larger cities. 

Jax isn't learning from those examples though.  THAT, I do fault them for.   

dougskiles

January 26, 2011, 10:48:05 AM
Sometimes I wonder if we wouldn't be better off getting rid of all policies and plans, restrictive ordinances, and all of the organizations tasked with 'revitalizing' downtown and just see what happens.  It's a lot like the Everglades.  After decades of spending billions of dollars trying to control it and now spending billions more to fix it, some are realizing that the best thing to do would have just been to leave it alone and it would have fixed itself.

That is probably a little extreme, but seriously, I think we have really been overthinking it.  We could set a few basic parameters and try to provide some good basic infrastructure and then get out of the way.  Let businesses grow 'organically' as we like to say these days.  I'm guessing that is how it ever came to existance and was once thriving in the first place.

Too much of any one thing is bad and planning is no exception.

Captain Zissou

January 26, 2011, 11:04:03 AM
Too much of any one thing is bad and planning is no exception.

Well put.  I think the recent growth along Stockton, King Street, and the Avondale strip is a testament to this.  With far less regulation and government involvement these areas have thrived in the past year.  

stephendare

January 26, 2011, 11:09:06 AM
Sometimes I wonder if we wouldn't be better off getting rid of all policies and plans, restrictive ordinances, and all of the organizations tasked with 'revitalizing' downtown and just see what happens.  It's a lot like the Everglades.  After decades of spending billions of dollars trying to control it and now spending billions more to fix it, some are realizing that the best thing to do would have just been to leave it alone and it would have fixed itself.

That is probably a little extreme, but seriously, I think we have really been overthinking it.  We could set a few basic parameters and try to provide some good basic infrastructure and then get out of the way.  Let businesses grow 'organically' as we like to say these days.  I'm guessing that is how it ever came to existance and was once thriving in the first place.

Too much of any one thing is bad and planning is no exception.

+1,000,000

stephendare

January 26, 2011, 11:15:40 AM

Sometimes I wonder if we wouldn't be better off getting rid of all policies and plans, restrictive ordinances, and all of the organizations tasked with 'revitalizing' downtown and just see what happens.  It's a lot like the Everglades.  After decades of spending billions of dollars trying to control it and now spending billions more to fix it, some are realizing that the best thing to do would have just been to leave it alone and it would have fixed itself.

That is probably a little extreme, but seriously, I think we have really been overthinking it.  We could set a few basic parameters and try to provide some good basic infrastructure and then get out of the way.  Let businesses grow 'organically' as we like to say these days.  I'm guessing that is how it ever came to existance and was once thriving in the first place.

Too much of any one thing is bad and planning is no exception.

Its a bit like making a baby.  A geneticist could spend another hundred years tinkering with DNA strands, and in the process create a few splice monsters, and leave a bunch of stillborn creatures along the way without ever getting a human being that works and lives happily.

There would be lots of gripping committee meetings along the way, intense debates about why the latest project has a third arm in the middle its forehead, not to mention the funding mechanism which would cost billions of dollars in funding just to finance the equipment necessary for true genetic tinkering.

But in reality, if the outcome you are looking for is just a healthy baby,

It really just takes two people, a little consent and a lack of contraception.

dougskiles

January 26, 2011, 11:19:25 AM
Its a bit like making a baby.  A geneticist could spend another hundred years tinkering with DNA strands, and in the process create a few splice monsters, and leave a bunch of stillborn creatures along the way without ever getting a human being that works and lives happily.

There would be lots of gripping committee meetings along the way, intense debates about why the latest project has a third arm in the middle its forehead, not to mention the funding mechanism which would cost billions of dollars in funding just to finance the equipment necessary for true genetic tinkering.

But in reality, if the outcome you are looking for is just a healthy baby,

It really just takes two people, a little consent and a lack of contraception.

Nobody says it quite like you do.

thelakelander

January 26, 2011, 11:20:27 AM
But in reality, if the outcome you are looking for is just a healthy baby,

It really just takes two people, a little consent and a lack of contraception.

ahh....connectivity. Cluster complementing parts together in a compact setting and watch things multiply.  Separate them a mile a way from each other and everything else and watch the cob webs form.

Bativac

January 26, 2011, 11:22:55 AM
Sometimes I wonder if we wouldn't be better off getting rid of all policies and plans, restrictive ordinances, and all of the organizations tasked with 'revitalizing' downtown and just see what happens.  It's a lot like the Everglades.  After decades of spending billions of dollars trying to control it and now spending billions more to fix it, some are realizing that the best thing to do would have just been to leave it alone and it would have fixed itself.

That is probably a little extreme, but seriously, I think we have really been overthinking it.  We could set a few basic parameters and try to provide some good basic infrastructure and then get out of the way.  Let businesses grow 'organically' as we like to say these days.  I'm guessing that is how it ever came to existance and was once thriving in the first place.

Too much of any one thing is bad and planning is no exception.

Probably a good idea at this point. I mean, nothing else has worked.

I know you can succeed downtown, in spite of the city itself. My dad's cousin Larry Hazouri is quoted in the above article. He has successfully operated restaurants (or diners or cafes, whatever you wanna call 'em) downtown for many years and continues to do so. But he's the first to tell me that it's a strange environment to try to become successful in. You've got to be able to take advantage of the situation down there and perservere regardless of what the city says it's gonna do, and what committee members and developers claim is going to happen, because despite good intentions, nothing ever seems to work.

Maybe Jacksonville just needs to leave it alone for awhile and see what happens. Enforce no parking or sign regulations for three or four years. Allow no building demolitions. Just let it breathe and see how it goes.

stephendare

January 26, 2011, 11:29:10 AM
Its a bit like making a baby.  A geneticist could spend another hundred years tinkering with DNA strands, and in the process create a few splice monsters, and leave a bunch of stillborn creatures along the way without ever getting a human being that works and lives happily.

There would be lots of gripping committee meetings along the way, intense debates about why the latest project has a third arm in the middle its forehead, not to mention the funding mechanism which would cost billions of dollars in funding just to finance the equipment necessary for true genetic tinkering.

But in reality, if the outcome you are looking for is just a healthy baby,

It really just takes two people, a little consent and a lack of contraception.

Nobody says it quite like you do.

small bow, tips hat.

peestandingup

January 26, 2011, 11:33:50 AM
Sometimes I wonder if we wouldn't be better off getting rid of all policies and plans, restrictive ordinances, and all of the organizations tasked with 'revitalizing' downtown and just see what happens.  It's a lot like the Everglades.  After decades of spending billions of dollars trying to control it and now spending billions more to fix it, some are realizing that the best thing to do would have just been to leave it alone and it would have fixed itself.

That is probably a little extreme, but seriously, I think we have really been overthinking it.  We could set a few basic parameters and try to provide some good basic infrastructure and then get out of the way.  Let businesses grow 'organically' as we like to say these days.  I'm guessing that is how it ever came to existance and was once thriving in the first place.

Too much of any one thing is bad and planning is no exception.

But then all of those bulldozing companies & building contractors with their government connections wouldn't have gotten work. You're trying to take away jobs from decent citizens. Someone boo this man!!  ;)

stephendare

January 26, 2011, 11:35:20 AM
I really think that the basic problem is the basic disconnect between the planning and redevelopment world and the study of economic microsystems.

The conversation has been driven for decades by architects and aestheticians who may or may not have the first clue about the economic impact of their designs or theories.  Like the already mentioned effect that single use buildings have on the economic environment in which they are placed.  In listening to the various arguments it sounds (to my ear at least) alot like the argument for using brawndo on crops instead of water. (its got what plants crave)

Ive also found over the past couple of years that there is a huge institutional ignorance of the actual theories and history of planning and zoning within the actual planning profession.

Not knowing why the zoning regulations are in place or what problems they were supposed to solve, or why they were implemented in the first place is a huge handicap in my opinion.

Perhaps its time to pursue a cross disciplinary conversation in regards to urban planning.

dougskiles

January 26, 2011, 12:09:37 PM
Perhaps its time to pursue a cross disciplinary conversation in regards to urban planning.

Long overdue.  I confess, I am a civil engineer and have no training whatsoever in urban planning and yet often find myself advising developers about the best use for their property.  All too often it is from a perspective of what will the current zoning code allow and not what is actually best for the area and will have the greatest chance for success.

People in my profession (civil engineering) are probably as responsible - if not more so - than anyone else for some of the craziness that has happened in Jacksonville.

mfc

January 26, 2011, 07:49:31 PM
I think a lot that is being said is true. However, The key to moving any part of our city forward especially downtown takes leadership that can build relationships and partnerships. That understands the roi in downtown is high. We have a rare opportunity to elect that person in Audrey Moran.

Jaxson

January 26, 2011, 10:32:03 PM
I remember back in the 1980s when the Jacksonville Landing was expected to bring downtown back to life.  Back when it had retailers like The Sharper Image, Laura Ashley and Banana Republic, the Landing was the place to be for sure.  I remember my parents taking out-of-town guests to the Landing.  I remember going there for lunch with my ninth grade art class when we went on a field trip to the Cummer.  Oh, yet another broken dream for downtown Jacksonville.

thelakelander

January 27, 2011, 04:48:23 AM
Because it was designed to be self inclusive, like most of Jax's skyscrapers developed during that era, the opportunity for pedestrian scale connectivity with the rest of DT never took place.  So breeding life onto DT's streets never really had a chance of happening.

dougskiles

January 27, 2011, 06:04:18 AM
I'm sure it's been discussed before in this forum, but I'll ask again anyway.

What do you think of Sleiman's plan to cut the Landing in half and open the view from Laura Street to the river?  I can't remember the details of the plan, but that seems like it would be a good thing.

thelakelander

January 27, 2011, 06:37:55 AM
It was a great plan because it opened the Landing's courtyard (downtown's most vibrant public space) to Laura Street and the rest of downtown.  Converting the interior mall's retail spaces to an outdoor food court, facing Independent Drive would also help make the city side of the Landing into a decent outdoor space of it's own.  Perhaps it's something that can be revived with the next administration.

dougskiles

January 27, 2011, 06:54:17 AM
What kept it from going forward?

thelakelander

January 27, 2011, 07:29:38 AM
In short....politics.

tufsu1

January 27, 2011, 08:23:15 AM
What kept it from going forward?

politics, yes....but I'm not so sure Sleiman could have pulled off that plan anyway....face it, the guy builds strip shopping centers!

He finally won the parking argument with the City last summer...and yet there have been no positive changes to the Landing (not even a paint job)....instead, Sleiman let a decent entertainment spot (Twisted Martini) close because he wouldn't come off his rent increase.

and now he's chosen to throw his support behind folks like Rick Scott and Mike Hogan....I'm sure those guys have a real keen interest in seeing the Landing thrive  ;)

thelakelander

January 27, 2011, 08:33:47 AM
A low rise strip mall really isn't that much different from an urban one.  Riverside Square is essentially the same thing thats littered across Jacksonville.  The major difference is the site layout (specifically parking).

Fieldfm, where does the parking deal stand?

thelakelander

January 27, 2011, 08:58:21 AM
Doug, this link will take you back to the old MetJax discussion board thread regarding the Landing expansion.

http://www.metjax.com/forums/showthread.php?t=904&highlight=jacksonville+landing

Captain Zissou

January 27, 2011, 09:18:32 AM
Doug, this link will take you back to the old MetJax discussion board thread regarding the Landing expansion.

http://www.metjax.com/forums/showthread.php?t=904&highlight=jacksonville+landing

Thanks for posting that.  It's hilarious to see that the same old characters (except Bos and RiversideGator) are still posting 5 years later.  I was surprised to see that even I was on the thread way back when. 

Ocklawaha

January 27, 2011, 12:31:15 PM
I'm sure it's been discussed before in this forum, but I'll ask again anyway.

What do you think of Sleiman's plan to cut the Landing in half and open the view from Laura Street to the river?  I can't remember the details of the plan, but that seems like it would be a good thing.

It was a great idea then and its a great idea now, if a certain young star over at JTA would contact Sleiman, we might see a matching streetcar station at the base of Laura.

As it is today, it's in poor repair, the SE access to the Riverwalk is a horrible-squeeze, and the whole place smells like piss... Come to think of it so do the Skyway's elevators, but the ones at the landing are stronger then a double shot of JD. 


OCKLAWAHA

heights unknown

January 27, 2011, 07:21:52 PM
We might as well face it (and no we're not addicted to love). Jax has always been either behind the 8 ball, or not even on the pool table for that matter when it comes to developing or redeveloping downtown. All other major Florida cities are head of the game, and even some of the smaller Florida cities have more vibrant downtowns. By the time downtown does start exploding as they have said in the past, we'll all be speaking Chinese, and most in this forum will either be old farts or dead. I hope I'm wrong, but it seems that even the new candidates are giving up on downtown and putting it on the shelf; there is very little mention of downtown development or even redevelopment.

HU

Garden guy

January 29, 2011, 07:46:53 AM
Our downtown probably would grow if we stop our leaders from screwing with it. They all want their dollar and a parking space...i'd also like to see a city fee for any large corporation that locates in jacksonville but does'nt us downtown...think of it as a non use fee...our downtown needs and income and if these huge corporations around town want to just build a new building on an empty lot somewhere in the southside..then they should put up some money to support our business center..which should be downtown...I'm sick of the Skinner family sucking the money out of our downtown...think of all of that development on JTB being in the downtown area...we would having this conversation.

Jaxson

January 29, 2011, 01:41:59 PM
The biggest complaint that I hear from the suburbanites is that they "don't feel safe" when they are downtown.  It does not seem to matter that their perception of downtown belies the fact that crime at the Beaches or in Baymeadows does not force them to avoid those areas.  It doesn't seem to matter to them that beggars near Argyle or around Arlington are just as annoying as the ones on Adams Street.  Our fear is what is allowing us to cede our much of our central business district to the vagrants and the rats.  It is frustrating, and I agree with Heights Unknown that we seem to be destined to be forever kicking this can down the road for future generations to deal with... 

Bativac

January 29, 2011, 03:27:43 PM
The biggest complaint that I hear from the suburbanites is that they "don't feel safe" when they are downtown.  It does not seem to matter that their perception of downtown belies the fact that crime at the Beaches or in Baymeadows does not force them to avoid those areas.  It doesn't seem to matter to them that beggars near Argyle or around Arlington are just as annoying as the ones on Adams Street.  Our fear is what is allowing us to cede our much of our central business district to the vagrants and the rats.  It is frustrating, and I agree with Heights Unknown that we seem to be destined to be forever kicking this can down the road for future generations to deal with... 

Actually - I hear from many people who avoid Arlington because they don't feel safe. In fact, I don't think any of my extended family sets foot in the Regency Square mall out of fear for their safety. And I'd say that Baymeadows has seen better days. There are times when it looks practically abandoned, except for the newer area around Baymeadows and 9A.

I think a big part of the problem with Downtown is the local mindset. A majority of people in Jacksonville have always just kind of cast things aside as they've gotten older, and continually moved (or "sprawled") outward. Jacksonville government is big on studying things, making a big show out of building things, doing a halfassed job of it, and then leaving it to rot (figuratively, the Skyway; literally, the southbank Riverwalk). The people here by and large don't care about anything they perceive as "old" be it buildings, shopping centers, homes, etc...

peestandingup

January 29, 2011, 07:05:41 PM
We might as well face it (and no we're not addicted to love). Jax has always been either behind the 8 ball, or not even on the pool table for that matter when it comes to developing or redeveloping downtown. All other major Florida cities are head of the game, and even some of the smaller Florida cities have more vibrant downtowns. By the time downtown does start exploding as they have said in the past, we'll all be speaking Chinese, and most in this forum will either be old farts or dead. I hope I'm wrong, but it seems that even the new candidates are giving up on downtown and putting it on the shelf; there is very little mention of downtown development or even redevelopment.

HU

I don't think you're wrong. I have had the same gut feeling since we moved here a few years ago, but especially now that I know much more about the history of Jax & the politics involved (all thanks mostly to this site. you guys do excellent work).

I think the planners & politicians give the vast majority of the people what they want. And those people couldn't care less about putting any money into downtown, transportation, etc whatsoever. To them, it isn't & will never be worth their time or money. So therefor (sadly) this place isn't worth me & my family's time & money if that's the way it's going to be. I think I've fed as much as I'm going to feed this place without getting the things I want back in return.

Like you said, I don't want to be an old fart (or dead) when this place finally pulls its head from its ass. And as far behind as we are & with our current outlook coming down the pike, that's probably as soon as it could even happen.

jcjohnpaint

January 29, 2011, 10:17:44 PM
I think they are still trying to find the pool hall.

ronchamblin

February 27, 2011, 03:45:46 PM
This was submitted as feedback to the below link by Shagpoke on 02/25/11 - 05:03 am.  Interesting perspective.   

I am surprised the JSO did not arrest the heroes King and Talley for assault, battery, and false imprisonment on the poor homeless man they apparently attacked and detained.  JSO has done it before.  We call it selective enforcement.  This time, the incident served the Sheriff's political agenda. The Sheriff should be ashamed, and doubly ashamed for what he has permitted to happen in Downtown Jacksonville.
And, transient my a**!.   Renard Douglas, the perp, has an arrest history in Jacksonville going back to 1993!  The City permits so-called homeless shelters and wacko outreach groups operating under the pretense of first amendment religious freedom to keep these SOBs well fed, and in natty attire. This enables the bums to have the time to break into cars, steal books from the library, destroy air conditioning units for a few dollars of copper, terrorize decent citizens with hyper aggressive panhandling, and yes, attack women in parking garages, etc. etc. etc. The bums use their ill-gotten gains to buy alcohol and drugs, and consume them while loitering all day in Hemming Park and the Main Library. This goes on seven days a week, and all within sight of Mayor Peyton's office window.

Read more at Jacksonville.com: http://jacksonville.com/news/crime/2011-02-24/story/crime-stopping-marine-honored-saving-woman-jacksonville-hotel#ixzz1Ez95duye

JaxNative23

March 18, 2011, 12:23:22 PM
If you want to revitalize Jacksonville Downtown, then the very first step that you have to make is GET RID OF THE CHURCH IN IT. Any city that let a Church nearly runs and controls who can and can't open a business downtown, gets what it deserves. Remember when the Super Bowl was here, it was fun to go downtown. Now, that the superbowl is gone and the church has ran off some of the businesses that it did not like, you see it become what it will always be until get rid of one of the root causes.

stephendare

March 18, 2011, 12:34:25 PM
If you want to revitalize Jacksonville Downtown, then the very first step that you have to make is GET RID OF THE CHURCH IN IT. Any city that let a Church nearly runs and controls who can and can't open a business downtown, gets what it deserves. Remember when the Super Bowl was here, it was fun to go downtown. Now, that the superbowl is gone and the church has ran off some of the businesses that it did not like, you see it become what it will always be until get rid of one of the root causes.

You will never create a larger or greater community by looking for heretics to expel.

SPAR felt the same way about all those troublesome 'minorities' and 'lower middle class people'.

Actively working to expel them didnt result in Springfield becoming Beverly Hills.

The reputation of that church is way out of bounds with its actual deeds.  The bad guy (in my opinion) was Dr. Jerry Vines, a vain, power grasping intolerant little man who felt it was his mission to make a Pharisee of the Church of Rectitude.

Hes been gone for a number of years, and is characteristically working subtly against the interests of the church that he nearly destroyed during his stewardship.

First Baptist has gone from 23k members down to around 6-8k in attendance.

It is not the problem downtown.

duvaldude08

March 18, 2011, 12:37:19 PM
If you want to revitalize Jacksonville Downtown, then the very first step that you have to make is GET RID OF THE CHURCH IN IT. Any city that let a Church nearly runs and controls who can and can't open a business downtown, gets what it deserves. Remember when the Super Bowl was here, it was fun to go downtown. Now, that the superbowl is gone and the church has ran off some of the businesses that it did not like, you see it become what it will always be until get rid of one of the root causes.

You will never create a larger or greater community by looking for heretics to expel.

SPAR felt the same way about all those troublesome 'minorities' and 'lower middle class people'.

Actively working to expel them didnt result in Springfield becoming Beverly Hills.

The reputation of that church is way out of bounds with its actual deeds.  The bad guy (in my opinion) was Dr. Jerry Vines, a vain, power grasping intolerant little man who felt it was his mission to make a Pharisee of the Church of Rectitude.

Hes been gone for a number of years, and is characteristically working subtly against the interests of the church that he nearly destroyed during his stewardship.

First Baptist has gone from 23k members down to around 6-8k in attendance.

It is not the problem downtown.

I agree stephen. Im not a huge fan of FBC, however I do not feel there the problem. I think their influence may show through council members who attend the church, but that is about it. They are FAR from the problem. We just need real leeadship and vision. Thats the problem.

JaxNative23

March 18, 2011, 12:52:09 PM
You may be correct, but from my experience in the downtown area. I have seen FBC goers going down to city council meeting demanding everything downtown to be closed by a certain hour. I would understand their thinking if they lived downtown, but they don't, they just go to church downtown. Botton line, I just want that fun downtown back that they had when the superbowl was here.

duvaldude08

March 18, 2011, 12:55:56 PM
You may be correct, but from my experience in the downtown area. I have seen FBC goers going down to city council meeting demanding everything downtown to be closed by a certain hour. I would understand their thinking if they lived downtown, but they don't, they just go to church downtown. Botton line, I just want that fun downtown back that they had when the superbowl was here.

And if there are FBC member on the city council, there you have it. But that is very sad.

Debbie Thompson

March 18, 2011, 01:28:20 PM
If you want to revitalize Jacksonville Downtown, then the very first step that you have to make is GET RID OF THE CHURCH IN IT. Any city that let a Church nearly runs and controls who can and can't open a business downtown, gets what it deserves. Remember when the Super Bowl was here, it was fun to go downtown. Now, that the superbowl is gone and the church has ran off some of the businesses that it did not like, you see it become what it will always be until get rid of one of the root causes.

FBC has been downtown for a really long time...back when we HAD a vibrant downtown.  You may not be a fan, but I don't think you can blame the decline of downtown on FBC.

CS Foltz

March 18, 2011, 01:45:31 PM
I concur Ms Debbie! FBC has nothing to do with the downtown area's lack of anything........biggest culprit is City Council and their lack of vision..........along with the Mayor! This to me is something that needs to be addressed or it will continue to rot away! Most of the Mayoral candidates have something to say about it in a generalized way and looking forward to just what blossoms! Needs much help badly!

cline

March 18, 2011, 01:47:06 PM
Quote
biggest culprit is City Council and their lack of vision

The root of the problem is those who voted these people into office and continue to keep them there.

buckethead

March 20, 2011, 07:17:31 AM
So: Free market principles applied to urban fabric=a downtown that is organic and vibrant.

disclaimer: The term "free market" should not be confused with absolutist dogma.

Jaxson

March 20, 2011, 08:21:20 AM
You may be correct, but from my experience in the downtown area. I have seen FBC goers going down to city council meeting demanding everything downtown to be closed by a certain hour. I would understand their thinking if they lived downtown, but they don't, they just go to church downtown. Botton line, I just want that fun downtown back that they had when the superbowl was here.

The problem may be that FBC people are active.  I also believe it is because other Jacksonville residents are too passive.  Politicians pay attention to numbers.  If FBC can send their troops in, fine.  Others need to brush up on their political activism, too.  Until then, we know who will win every city council battle. 

tufsu1

March 20, 2011, 06:52:19 PM
There is nothing wrong with being active...Even though I don't agree with many of their philosophies, I applaud FBC members for their activism...it is the folks who don't speak up, get involved, and vote that have kept this city from moving forward

Ocklawaha

March 20, 2011, 10:18:19 PM

Any city that let a Church nearly runs and controls

you see it become what it will always be until get rid of one of the root causes.
WTF WERE YOU DRINKING?

I'd suggest that right after we get rid of the FBC downtown, and the 2-3,000 new faces they introduce to downtown each month, we should start on Bethel Baptist, There is also an Episcopal, Church, and a Catholic Church. After that we need to focus on the "special interest groups," did you know we have MASONS downtown? And Moose's, and Elke's, and Gnu's. Hell's bells we got Homeless, Criminal's, Hooker's, Businessmen and shoe clerks and preachers all fighting for that same parking space. So let's ship this cattle car full of unfortunates out of here, we wouldn't want to offend your sensibilities.

BTW, the church I attended this morning has some connection with the Baptists...or at least buys some of their printed material.  You'll never guess where we hold "church?" Ever hear of the "OUTBACK CRAB SHACK" Its the perfect church for me, you see we meet in a bar! Ssssh don't tell FBC, because they might send out their Jesus Gestapo and force us all to drink Iced tea!  Sorry newbie, get a life!



OCKLAWAHA

tayana42

November 22, 2011, 12:06:12 AM
I want to see a streetcar line built from Jaguar Stadium/Coliseum to the Skyway Express station behind the Omni.  Then I want to see a new convention center built next to the Hyatt and the current convention center converted to the JTA transportation center.
Then I want to see a new owner of the landing.  Lastly, resolve the homeless/vagrant problem and then let private enterprise go to work. 
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