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Five Revitalization Myths Jacksonville Must Overcome

Here are five revitalization myths that have plagued downtown Jacksonville and the surrounding urban core neighborhoods for the last 30 years.

Published June 30, 2011 in News      41 Comments    Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article


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1. Over-reliance on high-profile, “sexy” projects


Instead of facilitating small-scale redevelopment concepts, higher focus has historically been given to large-scale projects like Brooklyn Park - as the keys to downtown vibrancy.

There is a commonly-held belief that cities can build megaprojects that will catapult their downtowns into the international spotlight, and trigger a wave of prosperity in their wake.  In reality, even when such projects are independently successful, they're never the one-trick-pony that was originally imagined.

Jacksonville should know this better than ever.  The conversion of Hemming Plaza, Skyway Express, Duval County Courthouse, LaVilla's redevelopment, Landmar's Shipyards, Mile Development's Brooklyn Park and the Prime Osborn are all examples of major "one-trick-ponies" that would instantly breathe live into a morbid downtown.  Despite hundreds of millions invested, Jacksonville's downtown core has continued to decline.  With this in mind, we should proceed cautiously with the idea that a new Northbank convention center alone is the key to downtown's revitalization.  While a well-designed, mixed-use center that's seamlessly integrated with its surroundings can be a positive impact, in reality, it's an expensive solution to one of several ailments that currently afflict our downtown.


Five years after the demolition of several historically significant structures to make way for Brooklyn Park, this area of the urban core is worse off, as the Brooklyn Park project never made it off the ground.



2. Unhealthy fascination with unique, charismatic civic leaders


LaVilla was the first urban African-American city in the state, the site of the first recorded blues song, and eventually became known as the 'Harlem of the South'.  Somewhere along the line, Jacksonville's citizens were convinced ripping this neighborhood to shreads was the most successful way of restoring it.

Everyone loves a superstar, charismatic, influential civic leader.  However, despite success in their personal and professional lives, it's important to realize that they are human like the rest of us and may not actually have all the right answers when it comes to understanding urban neighborhood history, and social, economic and development patterns.  Ignoring this critical fact can lead to disastrous results, such as the complete destruction of LaVilla, Sugar Hill, Brooklyn and the separation of Springfield from downtown.


Nearly 20 years later, this once proud community seems like a perfect set for "I Am Legend 2", instead of the promised, culturally rich district where people would like to live, work and play.



3. Misapplication of other cities’ approaches


The Jacksonville Landing was supposed to return downtown Jacksonville to economic stability after the success of a similar festival marketplace in Baltimore.

It is often assumed that because Idea X worked in City Y, it will be equally successful in City Z.  This isn't always the case.  For example, the Jacksonville Landing was developed as a downtown revitalization project based on the success of a similar center in Baltimore's Inner Harbor.  However, the surrounding context of complementing uses had more to do with the success of Baltimore's Harborplace than the concept of placing a shopping center on a downtown waterfront did. Twenty-four years later, while Baltimore has continued to cluster their Inner Harbour with a dense connection of complementing uses, the Jacksonville Landing still struggles, partially because of a layout that doesn't fit well with the surrounding environment and the lack of a city plan to continue clustering the immediate area with complementing uses.  The lesson to be learned here is that whatever we observe and decide to implement from other cities must be applied in a manner that fits with the needs and layout of our local setting.


By not realizing the importance of pedestrian-scale urban design with the surrounding context, Jacksonville overlooked the fact that Harborplace's (Baltimore) courtyard visually opens up directly to the surrounding urban environment.



4. Descent into a cycle of self-recrimination


Older urban core industrial areas are ideal for market-rate, small-scale, innovative, adaptive reuse projects due to the availability of large spaces at an affordable cost.

Jacksonville is the definition of a red-headed stepchild.  Many innovative and creative ideas that can take the city to the next level are shot down quickly because of a dominant thought that things won't work in Jacksonville because it's different from everywhere else.  In addition, many things never have the opportunity to take place because of over-regulation of city policies.  In the meantime, communities with less desirable natural and logistical assets such as Charlotte, become economic powerhouses overnight because of a "can-do" attitude and a willingness to embrace change.


Unfortunately, many of urban Jacksonville's obsolete, historic, industrial areas remain abandoned, underutilized and stagnant, due to industrial-preservation-based city policies that are intended to keep the things that created Portland's Pearl District, Denver's SoHo, Tampa's Channel District and Atlanta's Castleberry Hill from never taking place around downtown and throughout the Northside.



5. Resignation to superficial changes


There is a local belief that spending millions to install brick pavers, expensive palm trees and replica historic lighting to urban core streets stimulate economic prosperity.

Cities have a long and storied history of believing in the power of cosmetic changes only to be let down by the results.  Jacksonville is no exception.  After spending millions on "town center" streetscape beautification projects over the last decade, the only commercial districts that can be considered a success are the ones that were already vibrant before streetscape money was used to enhance them.  Those that struggled beforehand, still struggle today with the exception being that they now have unmaintained streetscapes to go along with their original revitalization challenges. Making streetscapes attractive has its merits, but we should not get tricked into thinking cosmetic changes have a direct correlation with economic prosperity.


Struggling neighborhoods like the Eastside (Philip Randolph Blvd. above) and Lackawanna illustrate that cosmetic changes, such as streetscapes, don't guarantee economic vitality.


Conclusion

By no means does this indicate that all is lost for the future of downtown Jacksonville and the surrounding communities.  However, these examples do suggest that if we are serious about bringing our core back to life, it will require doing the exact opposite of what city and civic leaders have believed and promoted over the last few decades.

This article is a Jacksonville-specific variation of Brendan Crain's "Five Innovation Myths Applied To Urbanism."

http://www.urbanophile.com/2011/06/21/five-innovation-myths-applied-to-urbanism-by-brendan-crain/

Article by Ennis Davis.







41 Comments

Bativac

June 30, 2011, 07:39:32 AM
This article is 100% spot on.

Dapperdan

June 30, 2011, 08:06:28 AM
I would have to argue that the Laura street scape was needed and actually pushed by metrojacksonville. It added more than the normal brick pavers though. It added wayfaring signs, architectural lighting, a one way street was made two way, but still it was a street scape project.

vicupstate

June 30, 2011, 08:11:55 AM
What are the policies that are keeping the industrial corridor stagnant?  Also, what are the projects that were proposed but never made due to the city?

I think maybe we are blaming the city when really the economy, inability to get financing, and just a general lack of entepreneuring vision is really the culprit. 

Whatever happened to the 5th & Liberty project?  How did that go?

I also agree there is an over reliance on big 'sexy' projects, but the big, sexy PRIVATE projects never got built for the most part (ie Shipyards, Brooklyn Park).  So in reality, we never found out what impact those projects would have had, had they been built.   

thelakelander

June 30, 2011, 08:25:41 AM
I would have to argue that the Laura street scape was needed and actually pushed by metrojacksonville. It added more than the normal brick pavers though. It added wayfaring signs, architectural lighting, a one way street was made two way, but still it was a street scape project.

However, idea behind the Laura Street Streetscape was not viewed as an economic development catalyst that would transform the Northbank.  The basic premises was to better light the street and integrate the surrounding buildings (and the proposed projects along the corridor at the time) with the sidewalks.  By no means would such a project lead to the filling up of the corridor with retail on its own.

fsujax

June 30, 2011, 08:35:46 AM
I agree Lake. Streetscape projects are no catalyst for economic development. You have given some good examples to prove that.

thelakelander

June 30, 2011, 08:56:16 AM
What are the policies that are keeping the industrial corridor stagnant?  Also, what are the projects that were proposed but never made due to the city?

I think maybe we are blaming the city when really the economy, inability to get financing, and just a general lack of entepreneuring vision is really the culprit.

Significant strips of obsolete early 20th century warehousing along strips like Beaver, Myrtle Avenue, Dennis Street, etc.    have been placed in industrial overlay zones, which limit what types of adaptive reuse projects can spring up within these facilities.  I'll see if Stephen can fill us on his experience with trying to move Boomtown to a vacant warehouse on Myrtle and Forsyth a few years back.

Quote
Sec. 656.399.40. - Definitions.

As used in this Subpart:

(a)
Industrial Sanctuary means a distinct geographical area predominately consisting of industrial uses and zoning districts and strategically located for future expansion and economic development.

(b)
Industrial Sanctuary Overlay Zone means an overlay zoning district designated by the City Council for a distinct geographical area predominately consisting of industrial uses and zoning districts and strategically located for future expansion and economic development for the purpose of protecting and preserving the area from premature fragmentation by intrusive residential and commercial uses and promoting the expansion of industrial uses within the area.

(c)
Area of Situational Compatibility means a distinct area that may be suitable for industrial uses under certain circumstances.

(d)
Area of Situational Compatibility Overlay Zone means an overlay zoning district designated by the City Council for a distinct geographical area that may be suitable for industrial uses under certain circumstances.
http://library.municode.com/index.aspx?clientID=12174&stateID=9&statename=Florida

Here is a link to a discussion about what resulted in the overlays a few years back:   http://www.bizjournals.com/jacksonville/stories/2007/01/15/focus3.html

Free flowing creativity and innovation is a critical ingredient any time we're talking about urban revitalization.  At some point, you can get in a situation where over regulation can impact market rate creativity from taking place.  The Industrial preservation thing was just one example.  Others include signage/mural, mixed-land use, mobile food, sidewalk cafe regulations, etc.

Quote
I also agree there is an over reliance on big 'sexy' projects, but the big, sexy PRIVATE projects never got built for the most part (ie Shipyards, Brooklyn Park).  So in reality, we never found out what impact those projects would have had, had they been built.

But we do know what happened when they didn't.  Significant historical building fabric was lost.  Buildings that if they were left in place, would have been suitable for the type of small scale reinvestment that brought places like Five Points and Park & King back.  For example, every building remaining in Brooklyn Park's six blocks were demolished including a commercial block on Park and the Mount Moriah Church, which was one of the few 19th century buildings still standing in the area at the time.  In fact, most of the abandoned blighted sites in the Northbank are the result of big sexy private sector proposals that never got off the ground.  However, what they did do is hook the community in enough to allow for the immediate demolition of things that were previously located on those sites.

duvaldude08

June 30, 2011, 09:26:13 AM
I agree with this article. No more sexy projects. Even if Wayne Mooney had cash money to begin his project, I would not want it to happen. Im tired of these silly mega projects. Something like the Laura Street trio, IMO is a perfect start. We have been thinking to big. And when all know, its the little things that count.

Bativac

June 30, 2011, 09:35:38 AM
But we do know what happened when they didn't.  Significant historical building fabric was lost.  Buildings that if they were left in place, would have been suitable for the type of small scale reinvestment that brought places like Five Points and Park & King back.  For example, every building remaining in Brooklyn Park's six blocks were demolished including a commercial block on Park and the Mount Moriah Church, which was one of the few 19th century buildings still standing in the area at the time.  In fact, most of the abandoned blighted sites in the Northbank are the result of big sexy private sector proposals that never got off the ground.  However, what they did do is hook the community in enough to allow for the immediate demolition of things that were previously located on those sites.

That's the saddest part.

I think it's time to completely halt all building demolitions until financing is 100% lined up. Too often these projects get started and what we end up with is a vacant lot. Or, the shell of a seafood restaurant. What's going on with that, anyway?

If only more small businesses could somehow be lured into opening up downtown.

jcjohnpaint

June 30, 2011, 09:45:54 AM
and Laura St was already somewhat vibrant before the streetscape/ making it and enhancement to a more or less populated niched area.  I also notice a lot of people here do nothing while they wait for the private sector to come into town and save the day.  As the saying goes.. you will be sitting at that phone forever waiting for it to ring. 
 

jcjohnpaint

June 30, 2011, 09:49:43 AM
Also I think some of the best vibrant urban areas I have visited were just grassroots creative uses of the urban fabric.  People love the uniqueness and like to gather in these places// A great example would be SOHO and Williamsburg in Brooklyn.  Later big development comes in and pretty much destroys the magic of the area and make it too expensive to live or play in.  You see this in NY all the time. 

jcjohnpaint

June 30, 2011, 09:58:51 AM
Another point...prob too much coffee
Is the megaproject guarantees no hard work- having to sustain a neighborhood or a downtown- is hard work.  To keep something great, one must work everyday and every moment to keep it great.  Are our city politicians up to this task or are they hoping the private sector will take this task off their hands so they can just run business as usual.  It is not easy to be creative and open-minded.  It is easy to just do things the way they have always been done.  I think a lot of people think Bank of American just rolled into Charlotte and made it a world class city overnight.  "Maybe this could be us".  Consider how the public had to work with the private to make Charlotte the city it is today.  In terms of the local political scene around here, MJ is the only platform with good creative problem solving and solutions.  If a politician gets a good idea, their great idea seems to come from this forum.  But again people on this site talk things out.  I have had many ideas that were not so good once considering what other people on here mentioned.  Either local politicians all think they are correct about everything, absolutely stupid and should travel more, or do some good ol fashioned work. 

JeffreyS

June 30, 2011, 10:54:52 AM
I agree with this article. No more sexy projects. Even if Wayne Mooney had cash money to begin his project, I would not want it to happen. Im tired of these silly mega projects. Something like the Laura Street trio, IMO is a perfect start. We have been thinking to big. And when all know, its the little things that count.

We do tend to rely way too much on the big projects.  That does not make those projects bad. We just do not need to wait on them to the detriment of smaller more organic policy driven growth.

Ocklawaha

June 30, 2011, 11:01:39 AM
Having seen MAPS in Oklahoma City I've concluded...

Having a Bass Pro, IKEA, Streetcar, or Streetscape really does bring people into a central business district, but these things are tools and not the completed structure of a city.


OCKLAWAHA

Ajax

June 30, 2011, 12:00:23 PM
Ennis, thanks for putting this together so succinctly. 

simms3

June 30, 2011, 01:11:20 PM
Also within the private sector there are other things going on.

Jacksonville is so small that big change for the city and big growth are still pretty small in the grand scheme of things.  We are also traditionally not open to change or growth.  When times are booming, the big players in the larger cities will look to smaller markets to buy, sell, or develop (depending on the cycle and the conditions).  Of the smaller cities, we are usually last on the list and Charlotte, Austin, and Salt Lake City are first.

Also, because we (as in smaller markets) don't get a lot of action from deep pockets, we must rely on more local/regional guys to move projects foward.  We don't have many homegrown developers who can get a substantial infill project off the ground.  Charlotte does have these guys and they are attractive to institutional capital.

I do think that we are going to have to do a lot of things grassroot in Jacksonville because there is no choice.  This could be a very good thing, but other cities will still have us beat because they have the grassroots working with the big guys.  Having lots of money does tend to help.

Finally, the last point is huge.  Not only do we shoot down our own ideas and those that work in other similar markets, we also scoff at other markets and provide our own reasons why we should not become a bigger, better, denser city.  This is a bad attitude and this also scares off investors (which is why shrinking cities like Hartford, CT can still attract institutional capital to come in and fortify inner core areas like West Hartford...see Blue Back square).

vicupstate

June 30, 2011, 01:26:28 PM
Quote
We do tend to rely way too much on the big projects.  That does not make those projects bad. We just do not need to wait on them to the detriment of smaller more organic policy driven growth.


I agree.  I also agree that it is very detrimental to demo historic building stock in the hopes that a new project will follow.   On the other hand, if someone proposes a 'big sexy project' on vacant land, then until it proves not do-able, the city should assist as it can. 

BTW, the Laura Trio would have to be considered a big, sexy project, IMO.  The number of buildings involved, the past difficulties and the costly renovation involved all deem it so.

As for streetscaping, I think they CAN be VERY beneficial. However,  they can't be viewed as a silver bullet or a 'do it and we are done' item.  Phillip Randolph would be a classic example of that.  They built it, then forgot about it.  No upkeep, no small business encouragement (loans,grants, associations, festivals), no fascade improvements. 
   

duvaldude08

June 30, 2011, 01:34:23 PM
IMO the trio is a small scale project. The shipyards and even the St John's were sexy MEGA projects.  The trio project invovles renovating buildings that are already there.  The trio is closer to happening than anything than any other project that came and gone in the past 5 years.

Jaxson

June 30, 2011, 01:35:38 PM
I agree that the conversion of Hemming Park into Hemming Plaza was a disaster for downtown.  IMHO, Hemming Plaza looks too much like a 1980s-era suburban shopping mall courtyard than it does an urban centerpiece.

Jaxson

June 30, 2011, 01:37:50 PM
Quote
We do tend to rely way too much on the big projects.  That does not make those projects bad. We just do not need to wait on them to the detriment of smaller more organic policy driven growth.


I agree.  I also agree that it is very detrimental to demo historic building stock in the hopes that a new project will follow.   On the other hand, if someone proposes a 'big sexy project' on vacant land, then until it proves not do-able, the city should assist as it can. 

BTW, the Laura Trio would have to be considered a big, sexy project, IMO.  The number of buildings involved, the past difficulties and the costly renovation involved all deem it so.

As for streetscaping, I think they CAN be VERY beneficial. However,  they can't be viewed as a silver bullet or a 'do it and we are done' item.  Phillip Randolph would be a classic example of that.  They built it, then forgot about it.  No upkeep, no small business encouragement (loans,grants, associations, festivals), no fascade improvements. 
   

I agree 100% that we have been prone to tearing stuff down and then making concrete plans once the dust settles.  It would bother me to know that even one historic building was demolished for the sake of a plan that never materialized.  Unfortunately for us, this has happened more than once in our city...

hooplady

June 30, 2011, 03:25:58 PM
Whatever happened to the 5th & Liberty project?  How did that go?
The new residents finally moved in a few weeks ago and the place looks great.   I believe there are also new occupants in the house on the NW corner - [poof!] - just like that there's life in that area again.  (And by "just like that" I mean after months and years of blood, sweat and tears).

Big glamorous projects are great but when they fail they fail spectacularly.  Give me a few small projects clustered together any day.

jcjohnpaint

June 30, 2011, 03:54:34 PM
yeah and it feels that because of smaller size and limited resources, when policy makers make a blundering mistake- which is what it seems like all they do (if something is done right in idea they somehow screw it up in planning/ courthouse and plaza)- then it is that much more catastrophic for the city.  If we look to the Trio/ as time runs out it will soon be too late.  Not only will the important property to a vibrant neighborhood just sit there, we will loose more of our dwindling history that cannot be brought back. 

JaxNative68

June 30, 2011, 04:00:42 PM
I strongly believe the city's past belief is "give them eye candy at the curb level as they drive by, and they won't notice all the nothingness behind the sidewalk level, then we can filter all the money to our brothers in-law in the suburbs and forget about downtown".

Hopefully the future administration can keep the money downtown and revive the dying fabric of our once great city!

Personally I think we need more medium sized mixed use projects downtown.  And the housing portion of these projects should be affordable to the younger business generation just out of college, not the residential projects with the price ranges the the Peninsula.  There is no reason why the Riverside Avenue corridor, just outside downtown area, could not filled with these types of projects.  It would be a great transition from downtown to the Riverside neighborhoods.

duvaldude08

June 30, 2011, 04:17:20 PM
I strongly believe the city's past belief is "give them eye candy at the curb level as they drive by, and they won't notice all the nothingness behind the sidewalk level, then we can filter all the money to our brothers in-law in the suburbs and forget about downtown".

Hopefully the future administration can keep the money downtown and revive the dying fabric of our once great city!

Personally I think we need more medium sized mixed use projects downtown.  And the housing portion of these projects should be affordable to the younger business generation just out of college, not the residential projects with the price ranges the the Peninsula.  There is no reason why the Riverside Avenue corridor, just outside downtown area, could not filled with these types of projects.  It would be a great transition from downtown to the Riverside neighborhoods.

Amen! Affrodable housing DT is another problem. I am considering relocating to the core next year. However I am running into the affordibility issue. The only condos DT that are affordable are City Place, BUT they are tiny as hell. I actually have an appointment to view churchwell lofts. They guy stated the one bedroom is 99,000. Which is the most I could afford. So we'll see..

Tacachale

June 30, 2011, 06:08:27 PM
The Laura Trio is definitely a big, sexy project, just consider the scale of it. It's slightly different than some others in that they're trying to rehab existing structures, and if the news stories are to be believed, are looking for incentives that are only paid when the project is complete. But it's still a big fancy project with big potential to fall apart.

jcjohnpaint

June 30, 2011, 06:13:34 PM
I think that the city should put a lot of attention to the Laura St area and grow out from there.  There is an amount of vibrancy in this area of downtown and can be enhanced if attention is paid to this area and all of this leap from projects.  This is another reason why the Trio property is so important. 

Wacca Pilatka

June 30, 2011, 06:21:06 PM
I strongly believe the city's past belief is "give them eye candy at the curb level as they drive by, and they won't notice all the nothingness behind the sidewalk level, then we can filter all the money to our brothers in-law in the suburbs and forget about downtown".

Or perhaps more recently, "give them eye candy with the view from I-95."  Downtown is full of buildings that look photogenic from the interstate but have mediocre to awful interaction with their streets. 

Wacca Pilatka

June 30, 2011, 06:22:57 PM
I think that the city should put a lot of attention to the Laura St area and grow out from there.  There is an amount of vibrancy in this area of downtown and can be enhanced if attention is paid to this area and all of this leap from projects.  This is another reason why the Trio property is so important.

Definitely - and it's also an important symbolic project saying we're no longer going to wantonly destroy our historic fabric or allow it to rot, but instead will celebrate it.  This is the most significant architectural grouping of commercial buildings in the state and the city absolutely cannot let them fall to pieces.

dougskiles

June 30, 2011, 07:29:58 PM
Thanks Lake for adapting the article to Jacksonville.  One important aspect to consider is that the myths apply to the Revitalization of the urban area.  We also need to address the cause for the decline, which I believe to be the rampant, unchecked sprawl that has taken place over the last several decades.  Until we stop the sprawl, our revitalization efforts will be like running up the down escalator.

I would be happy if this new administration did nothing more for downtown than to stop the sprawl.  It is a very cheap fix.  Developers and builders will eventually catch on and start rebuilding the core.

Coolyfett

June 30, 2011, 11:53:53 PM
very sad

Jumpinjack

July 01, 2011, 07:19:06 AM
Excellent article. What happened to Brooklyn and LaVilla was a dreadful disrespectful disaster. The longer they sit vacant the harder it is to attract the money to fulfill a vision.

A sixth problem could be added: widening highways and creating higher speed corridors to move more cars faster has divided our neighborhoods from each other and from the business areas. The natural flow of pedestrian scale streets, where residence and commercial interface and  mix is gone.   

jcjohnpaint

July 01, 2011, 09:44:46 AM
Thanks Lake for adapting the article to Jacksonville.  One important aspect to consider is that the myths apply to the Revitalization of the urban area.  We also need to address the cause for the decline, which I believe to be the rampant, unchecked sprawl that has taken place over the last several decades.  Until we stop the sprawl, our revitalization efforts will be like running up the down escalator.

I would be happy if this new administration did nothing more for downtown than to stop the sprawl.  It is a very cheap fix.  Developers and builders will eventually catch on and start rebuilding the core.

Your right.  I do believe this is at the root of the problem.  If you just took one of those condo projects in the southside such as Tapestry Park and put it downtown- there would be change.

jcjohnpaint

July 01, 2011, 09:48:02 AM
You hear people always saying Duval Co is no good anymore, so I live in St. Johns.  This is the mentality that has been killing us.  Keep moving out for better while abandoning what we left.  Look at Regency Square.  In 20 yrs we will be talking about SJTC the same way.  We cannot let this city rot from the inside out. 

tayana42

July 01, 2011, 08:57:26 PM
Stop the sprawl.  Extend the Skyway Express to the stadium and into Riverside and Springfield.  Improve the educational system; and provide a better-trained workforce.  And finally, provide the things that help improve quality of life:  culture, arts, music, parks, recreation.  City'l grow.

duvaldude08

July 01, 2011, 09:15:41 PM
Stop the sprawl.  Extend the Skyway Express to the stadium and into Riverside and Springfield.  Improve the educational system; and provide a better-trained workforce.  And finally, provide the things that help improve quality of life:  culture, arts, music, parks, recreation.  City'l grow.

I agree 100%. Long story short, take care of the core of our city and everything else will fall in place.

Timkin

July 02, 2011, 01:13:37 AM
A M E N !!!!!!

krazeeboi

July 03, 2011, 04:05:59 PM
Interesting article here, especially factor #5. I noticed that Jacksonville seemed to have a good bit of streets that have been freshly streetscaped when I was there back at the end of May. That contributes to an overall feeling of cleanliness, which is a good thing, but it's true that that by itself doesn't lead to revitalization. However, there have been several urban revitalizations that have occurred with streetscaping projects being a part of the process. But there has to be an overall process to begin with.

Kiva

July 03, 2011, 04:21:38 PM
Stop the sprawl.  Extend the Skyway Express to the stadium and into Riverside and Springfield.  Improve the educational system; and provide a better-trained workforce.  And finally, provide the things that help improve quality of life:  culture, arts, music, parks, recreation.  City'l grow.
Streetcars will be cheaper than the Skyway. Everything else on your list is perfect!

iMarvin

July 03, 2011, 05:29:47 PM
Skyway > Streetcar

ProjectMaximus

July 04, 2011, 03:03:07 AM
skyway to the stadium. Streetcar to riverside and springfield. :)

Happy Fourth!!

duvaldude08

July 04, 2011, 04:05:16 AM
^^Sounds good to me. The sports district is on expansion that is a must.

Steve Ducharme

April 09, 2013, 05:10:32 PM
Jacksonville Beach up until the early 90's was proof positive of this.  Every grand revitalization scheme imaginable was proposed until they finally gave up when the proposed financing "security"  was unprocessed gold ore.  Essentially just rocks.  After that debacle the city gave up and told the property owners to go to it under some sensible development guidelines.  BOOM!  Jax Beach blossomed quickly once the property owners knew they were safe to invest their own dollars without the threat of imminent domain snatching it away for someone's fantasy.  Oh if only Jacksonville would learn the same lesson.    GET the gov't buildings OFF the river and get off the property owners backs.  On the flip side, STOP giving away millions to every developer who comes along.  Let the city develop organically.  Give them transportation systems (like a city is supposed to) and get out of the way.
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