Monday, November 24, 2014
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
 

Creating a Better Urban Core and Inner Northside

Despite containing most of Jacksonville's dense, walkable and transit dependent neighborhoods, the urban core has lagged behind the rest of the city, economically for six continuous decades. Despite promises of economic revitalization from a laundry list of mayoral administrations, talk has proven to be nothing more than hot air. With no viable solutions coming out of city hall, Metro Jacksonville illustrates how simply allowing the mobility fee moratorium to sunset, can lead to a better urban core.

Published September 7, 2012 in Neighborhoods      26 Comments    Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article


feature

Did you know that the urban core area of Jacksonville has lost roughly 50% of its population since 1950?
Built to sustain a high density residential population base, this area has the most potential for rejuvenation that can expand our City’s long term economic base.  Furthermore, many of the urban core neighborhoods have a symbiotic relationship with downtown, and all will benefit from enhancements in the area.        

Unfortunately, with Jacksonville's budget situation, discussion at the public level focuses more on what public services and employees to cut and what Northside schools to close than how can we best invest and improve our urban core neighborhoods.  Luckily, there is a way for us to immediately move forward with the improvement of these communities without taking additional funds from the taxpayer or robbing Peter to pay Paul.  The answer is for Jacksonville's city council to let the self imposed mobility fee moratorium sunset this year, allowing the 2030 Mobility Plan to be fully implemented.



What is the Mobility Plan & Fee

The Mobility Plan & Fee is a replacement for the City of Jacksonville's former transportation concurrency system.  It is a plan that provides a framework to integrate land development with mobility (pedestrians, bicycles, transit and roads) by providing the private sector with financial motivation to embrace smart growth principles, like gridded streets, in their project’s design and site selection.

Second, it lays out a mobility fee for new construction throughout the city.  The purpose of that fee is to generate funding needed to enhance public infrastructure negatively impacted by additional vehicle trips from new construction. Developments further from the city core that put more wear and tear on the city's streets and infrastructure will result in higher project mobility fees.


The 2030 Mobility Plan and Fee is structured to stimulate economic opportunity in areas with public infrastructure in place that can support additional market rate development without additional taxpayer dollars.  While much of the public revitalization focus in the urban core has been focused on Springfield, the mobility fee's credit adjustment system helps drive redevelopment to additional neighborhoods that have just as much character.


In addition, the land use component of the 2030 Mobility Plan encourages higher density development along transit corridors and areas of the Northside and urban core that can support it.



What can it do for Jacksonville's Northside and Urban Core

In recent years, the City of Jacksonville Planning and Development Department (COJ-PDD) and community created Urban Core and Northwest Jacksonville vision plans for the area that were also adopted by City Council.

Those community driven vision plans' guiding principles included:

Guiding Principle 1:

Capitalize on the Urban Core’s Uniqueness

Guiding Principle 2:

Promote Mixed-Use/Mixed-Income Redevelopment and Infill

Guiding Principle 3:

Provide a Variety of Transportation Choices

Guiding Principle 4:

Provide for Economic Growth

Guiding Principle 5:

Expand, Protect and Enhance Open Space


IMAGE OF S-LINE COMMUTER RAIL

This popular version of fixed mass transit would be funded partially by the 2030 Mobility Plan's mobility fee.  When completed, downtown Jacksonville, the urban core and the Northside would be connected to the Jacksonville International Airport and River City Marketplace area by reliable mass transit.  For comparison's sake, Charlotte has witnessed over $2 billion in economic development around its new LNYX light rail line and Tampa's TECO Streetcar has generated over $1 billion in the formerly long economically challenged Channel District.  Soon to be under construction, Milwaukee' streetcar is expected to create over 20,000 inner city jobs over a 20 year horizon. Image by sashimikid at http://www.flickr.com/photos/sashimikid/3279608888/in/set-72157613787302829/


Aging obsolete industrial areas like the Springfield and Myrtle Avenue warehouse districts are potential transit oriented development districts that the City of Jacksonville owned S-Line corridor presently goes through.  If Jacksonville wants light and commuter rail style transit services, ending the mobility fee moratorium is the most sound option for our community to begin generating the capital to fund its construction and benefit from the economic development and job creation these projects stimulate.  Tampa's TECO Streetcar and the Channel District is a nearby example of a fixed transit line's positive impact on obsolete inner city business districts similar to what litters Jacksonville's Northside.



The Urban Core and Northwest Jacksonville vision plans were born of community effort. However to achieve that vision, they have to be incrementally implemented.  Unfortunately, the City of Jacksonville's budget continues to bleed red and we spend more time finding ways to cut already poor public services than investing in these established communities. Neverthless, while we ponder closing libraries and reducing maintenance of public parks and right-of-way, Northside neighborhoods economic struggles continue to grow, causing steady decline.

What the Mobility Plan & Fee can do for Jacksonville's urban core is generate the funding for that needed for efficient mass transit connectivity and improve the bicycle and pedestrian network throughout the community.  This is infrastructure that not only puts residents back to work but also the type that has stimulated redevelopment in the country's most progressive cities over the last 20 years.  

Just as important, the mobility fee's credit adjustment component provides a financial incentive for private sector market rate reinvestment throughout the Northside and urban core. Quite frankly, for this section of the city, the 2030 Mobility Plan & Fee is the only fiscally sustainable option available to the City of Jacksonville to incrementally implement the community's guiding principles over the next two decades.  However, as long as the city's self imposed moratorium remains in place, all that awaits, what could become an economic powerhouse, is prolonged economic stagnation, failed promises from public servants and severe under-utilization.



Moncrief (above) and Durkeeville (below) are two of many urban core and Northside neighborhoods where economic redevelopment would be made more feasible by allowing the mobility fee moratorium to sunset.



Mobility Plan Projects in the Northside/Urban Core

Already blessed with a connected gridded street network, the majority of mobility plan projects for the urban core are transit, bicycle and pedestrian based infrastructure.  In other words, the missing elements of what was once and should be multimodal friendly urban communities.  Many of these projects are low cost in nature, meaning they can get off the ground and stimulate change in a short period of time.

Quote
Northside/Urban Core Automobile/Truck and Transit Mode Projects

1. Streetcar North - Downtown to Shands Jacksonville/8th Street - $21 million

2. S-Line Commuter Rail North - Downtown to Airport Center Drive- $31.25 million (25% local match for an enhanced commuter rail project providing light rail-like service)

3. New Kings Road - Soutel Drive to Edgewood Avenue - $1 million (construction of right turn lanes)

4. Old Kings Road - Edgewood Avenue to Plummer Road (including Dunn Avenue to US 1) - $12 million (intersection improvements)


Northside/Urban Core Bicycle Mode Projects

5. Laura Street - Bay Street to 8th Street - $513,026.92 (Pavement Markings & Signage)

6. Newnan Street - Bay Street to 8th Street - $523,829.71 (Pavement Markings & Signage)

7. Laura Street/13th Street - 8th Street to S-Line corridor - $245,957.70 (Pavement Markings & Signage)

8. Old Kings Road - S-Line corridor to Martha Street - $563,909.04 (Bike Lanes, Pavement Markings & Signage)

9. Dunn Avenue - Biscayne Avenue to Main Street - $574,432.92 (Bike Lanes)

10. Hubbard Street - 8th Street to 14th Street - $162,275.71 (Bike Lanes, Pavement Markings & Signage)

11. Myrtle Avenue - Forest Street to New Kings Road - $447,159.74 (Bike Lane, Pavement Markings & Signage)

12. Tallulah Avenue - 68th Street to Main Street - $307,505.26 (Bike Lane, Pavement Markings & Signage)

13. JTA Bus Rapid Transit Corridor (Jefferson, Forsyth, Boulevard, Broad Streets) - Water Street to Golfair Boulevard - $1,063,807.44 (Bike Lane, Pavement Markings and Signage)

14. CSX North Commuter Rail Corridor - Main Street (Springfield Warehouse District) to Main Street (Trout River) - $1,092,656.45 (Multi Use Path)

15. Moncrief Road - Golfair Blvd to 13th Street - $429,129.10 (Bike Lane, Pavement Markings and Signage)

The four images below were taking in the inner city neighborhoods of the Lakeland-Winter Haven, FL metropolitan area.  These images illustrate the type of bicycle and pedestrian projects the mobility plan and fee would introduce to the grid network of Jacksonville's urban core and Northside.











Northside/Urban Core Pedestrian Mode Project Summary

17. 21st Street - Market Street to CSX Railroad corridor - $17,381.29

18. Buffalo Avenue - 47th Street to CSXT Railroad corridor - $35,617.27

19. Tallulah Avenue - Main Street to 68th Street - $143,411.72

20. Wigmore Street - Tallyrand Avenue (at Norfolk Southern Railroad) to 44th Street - $159,736.56

21. Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway - Moncrief Road to New Kings Road - $465,786.46

22. 30th Street - Nancy to Martha; Division to Canal Street - $44,910.67

23. Canal Street - MLK Jr. Parkway to 30th Street - $64,501.27

24. New Kings Road - Edgewood Avenue to MLK Jr. Parkway - $143,891.95

25. Winona Drive/Evergreen Avenue - Main Street to Wigmore Street - $224,110.72

26. New Kings Road - I-295 to Redpoll Avenue, Moncrief Road to MLK Jr. Parkway - $292,419.31

27. New Kings Road - Soutel to Richardson; Hema to Edgewood - $191,369.25

28. Sibbald Road - Trout River Boulevard to Foxboro Road - $19,667.37

29. Moncrief Road - New Kings Road to Old Kings Road - $15,678.68

30. Edgewood Avenue - North Edgewood Drive to Mclendon Street - $87,478.49 (bridge over Norfolk Southern Railyard)

Source: City of Jacksonville 2030 Multimodal Transportation Study



a map of 2030 Mobility Plan projects in the urban core and inner northside.


How to make it Happen

To move forward, the mobility fee moratorium must be allowed to sunset this fall as opposed to being extended indefinitely into the future.  The easiest way to build support for sunsetting the moratorium is to let your local council representative know that you are a resident who cares for the future of your neighborhood and that you are in favor of allowing the moratorium to end.

District 1: Clay Yarborough

  Phone: (904) 630-1389
  Email: Clay@coj.net
  Assistant: BeLinda Peeples

District 2: William Bishop

  Phone: (904) 630-1392
  Email: WBishop@coj.net
  Assistant: Suzanne Warren

District 3: Richard Clark

  Phone: (904) 630-1386
  Email: RClark@coj.net
  Assistant: Sonia Johnson

District 4: Don Redman
 
 Phone: (904) 630-1394
  Email: Redman@coj.net
  Assistant: Scott A. Wilson

District 5: Lori N. Boyer

  Phone: (904) 630-1382
  Email: LBoyer@coj.net
  Assistant: James Nealis

District 6: Matt Schellenberg

  Phone: (904) 630-1388
  Email: MattS@coj.net  
  Assistant: Audrey Braman

District 7: Dr. Johnny Gaffney
 
  Phone: (904) 630-1384
  Email: Gaffney@coj.net
  Assistant: Bridgette Rodriguez

District 8: E. Denise Lee

  Phone: (904) 630-1385
  Email: EDLee@coj.net
  Assistant: Dan Macdonald

District 9: Warren A. Jones

  Phone: (904) 630-1395
  Email: WAJones@coj.net
  Assistant: Rupel Wells

District 10: Reginald L. Brown

  Phone: (904) 630-1684
  Email: RBrown@coj.net
  Assistant: Mercedes Parker

District 11: Ray Holt

  Phone: (904) 630-1383
  Email: Holt@coj.net
  Assistant: Connie Holt

District 12: Doyle Carter

  Phone: (904) 630-1380
  Email: doylec@coj.net
  Assistant: Rebekah Hagan

District 13: Bill Gulliford

  Phone: (904) 630-1397
  Email: Gulliford@coj.net  
  Assistant: Stan Johnson

District 14: Jim Love

  Phone: (904) 630-1390
  Email: JimLove@coj.net
  Assistant: Kevin Kuzel


Group 1: Kimberly Daniels

  Phone: (904) 630-1393
  Email: KimDaniels@coj.net
  Assistant: Ricky Anderson

Group 2: John R. Crescimbeni

  Phone: (904) 630-1381
  Email: JRC@coj.net
  Assistant:

Group 3: Stephen C. Joost

  Phone: (904) 630-1396
  Email: Joost@coj.net
  Assistant: Celeste Hicks

Group 4: Greg Anderson

  Phone: (904) 630-1398
  Email: GAnderson@coj.net
  Assistant: Leeann Summerford

Group 5: Robin Lumb

  Phone: (904) 630-1387
  Email: RLumb@coj.net
  Assistant: Donna Barrow



For more information on the 2030 Mobility Plan and Mobility Fee, CLICK HERE


Article by Ennis Davis







26 Comments

Bridges

September 07, 2012, 10:27:41 AM
What are the key dates or meetings where the Moratorium on the fee is discussed?

thelakelander

September 07, 2012, 10:47:52 AM
So far, there's a lot of lobbying going on behind closed doors by Toney Sleiman to get the moratorium extended.  In some cases, they've tossed out some job creation and tax revenue numbers on their part that don't muster up when fact checked.  However, these are numbers rarely questioned or investigated by local reporters.

I don't believe council has scheduled any meetings to directly discuss the moratorium sunsetting but council is hosting a topic on a related subject next week.  Many of the capital projects in the mobility plan would be context sensitive streets projects and improvements that can be incrementally implemented by public works by modifying our roadway design standards to create safer streets for all modes of mobility.

The City Council is hosting a meeting on Context Sensitive Streets next week:

Quote
City Council Context Sensitive Streets Special Committee

September 12, 2012
4:00 p.m.
City Hall
117 W. Duval St., 1st Floor
Council Chamber

Philip Zamarron, Legislative Assistant, at (904) 630-1404

Notice is hereby given that the Honorable Lori Boyer, Chair of the Special Committee on Context Sensitive Streets, will meet with members of the Special Committee on Wednesday, September 12, 2012 at 4:00 P.M. in the Council Chamber, 1st Floor of City Hall, 117 W. Duval St, Jacksonville, Florida.

Purpose: Review the existing Context Sensitive Streets Guidelines that have been drafted by the Planning Department but not implemented, determine the appropriateness of these guidelines, investigate any other information pertinent to this issue, and make recommendations for and/or draft legislation as appropriate to address this issue.

http://www.coj.net/city-council/council-committees,-boards---commissions/context-sensitive-streets-special-committee.aspx

Springfield Girl

September 07, 2012, 11:25:02 AM
Why would Toney Sleiman want the moratorium extended? It seems like it would be more beneficial for the landing if the moratorium was allowed to sunset.

Koula

September 07, 2012, 12:02:02 PM
Ennis, thanks so much for this very thorough post. I will make it to the Context Sensitive Streets meeting on the 12th and I hope that folks will consider going. Having this mobility fee will benefit lots of residents and the improvements made with the fees will point our city in a wonderful direction for growth.

Tacachale

September 07, 2012, 12:04:11 PM
Why would Toney Sleiman want the moratorium extended? It seems like it would be more beneficial for the landing if the moratorium was allowed to sunset.

He owns a lot more properties outside the urban core than within it. The Sleimans have made their empire on suburban strip malls.

dougskiles

September 07, 2012, 12:59:44 PM
The Context Sensitive Streets meetings will be a great way to show support.  I talked to Councilwoman Boyer yesterday about it.  I hope I am getting this right:

There will be a series of 3 meetings held 2 weeks apart starting on Sept 12th.  The first meeting will feature presentations by Laurie Kattreh (COJ transportation planner), Laureen Husband (health department) and Melody Bishop (local architect and new DIA member).  The second meeting will feature presentations by Chris Ledew (FDOT) and someone from COJ Public Works.  The final meeting will be an opportunity for advocates to share opinions, concerns, etc.

On that final note, she asked that people bring specific improvements/designs for incorporation into the Context Sensitive Streets initiative.

Springfield Girl

September 07, 2012, 01:01:05 PM
Yeah, I knew that but I guess my point was, that there is really not money right now for sprawl. The suburbs are what they are but real change and growth can happen by using and expanding on our urban core.

John P

September 07, 2012, 02:51:59 PM
Lets place bets on which city council person will introduce the bill to extend the moritorium fee.
Who will it be?

tufsu1

September 07, 2012, 02:56:34 PM
The Context Sensitive Streets meetings will be a great way to show support.  I talked to Councilwoman Boyer yesterday about it.  I hope I am getting this right:

There will be a series of 3 meetings held 2 weeks apart starting on Sept 12th.  The first meeting will feature presentations by Laurie Kattreh (COJ transportation planner),

will Laurie still be presenting?  She was one of the employees laid off this week

Jumpinjack

September 07, 2012, 03:33:48 PM
John P., who do you think it will be?

I will be at the meeting too because it is a chance to say that our town needs these improvements if we ever ever want to look like a destination city. Really sorry to hear about Laurie. What a loss to institutional knowledge when these smart dedicated people are laid off.

dougskiles

September 07, 2012, 06:17:16 PM
The Context Sensitive Streets meetings will be a great way to show support.  I talked to Councilwoman Boyer yesterday about it.  I hope I am getting this right:

There will be a series of 3 meetings held 2 weeks apart starting on Sept 12th.  The first meeting will feature presentations by Laurie Kattreh (COJ transportation planner),

will Laurie still be presenting?  She was one of the employees laid off this week

My understanding is yes.  I believe her last day is at the end of the week.  I'm very disappointed to see her go.

BackinJax05

September 08, 2012, 12:43:55 AM
I notice the area north of 21st & Liberty Streets (my old neighborhood) completely left out. Sad.

thelakelander

September 08, 2012, 07:48:51 AM
It's not.  It's got the S-Line multiuse path (already under construction) and commuter rail going through it.  Another project not funded by the mobility plan is the north corridor BRT project, which also goes through Brentwood. In essence, the mobility plan projects are intended to fill in mobility network gaps and serve as transportation capacity improvements needed locally over a 20 year horizon that aren't already funded by another source (such as FDOT).  Furthermore, the best thing for this area is the mobility plan's land use policies and mobility fee credit adjustment system, which is intended to make it easier for market rate infill development to take place here.

BackinJax05

September 08, 2012, 06:41:05 PM
^^ I hope you're right :)

Back in the day I could stand in the corner of my grandparents' front yard & see both S lines (the local that ran from King Edward to Gateway, and the trunk that ran to Richmond)

Used to watch alot of trains in that corner 8)

tayana42

September 18, 2012, 12:55:14 AM
Get that mobility fee reinstated.  Now.

Ocklawaha

September 18, 2012, 04:41:41 PM
^^ I hope you're right :)

Back in the day I could stand in the corner of my grandparents' front yard & see both S lines (the local that ran from King Edward to Gateway, and the trunk that ran to Richmond)

Used to watch alot of trains in that corner 8)

Just a technical adjustment, there is only ONE 'S' line, and there has never been more. 'S' was the former SEABOARD AIR LINE RAILROAD, which merged with the 'A' or ATLANTIC COAST LINE RAILROAD to form SEABOARD COAST LINE, forerunner 0f our CSX. The other line which you recall was originally the ST JOHNS RIVER TERMINAL RAILROAD, part of the Southern Railway System, forerunner of todays NORFOLK SOUTHERN. The STJRT had a roundhouse and shop complex at 11Th and Walnut Street just a block or two east of the streetcar line.

simms3

September 18, 2012, 06:25:56 PM
Good article.  The city will benefit greatly financially if it can stimulate the northside, springfield, riverside, eastside and san marco.  There will never be major appreciation in most areas of duval county, but the areas with the greatest potential to add value to the city's coffers are those that are in limited supply and unlimited potential for greatness.

The city should listen to its own bank accounts more than it currently listens to old timer special interests who are 110% in it for themselves.  Sleiman's strip malls will never add value to the city's coffers.  My question is regarding grandfathered developments.  If Sleiman has a CVS and a strip center on the SS built in the 90s, is it protected from additional fees under the 2030 Mobility Plan?  If the Mobility Fee only deters more strip centers from going in, thus limiting the supply of retail space available, wouldn't Sleiman benefit greatly?  And if Sleiman's properties see rent growth and barriers to entry compress cap rates and all of a sudden his formerly $5M center is sold for $10M 3-4 years later, doesn't the city then benefit greatly, too?

simms3

September 18, 2012, 08:18:05 PM
And one other thing.  Assuming the Mobility Fee does not impact current properties that are already improved/built on.  Surely the Mobility Plan places restrictions on the ability to get new retail centers out of the ground, which is its whole point (prevent overbuilding/sprawl, etc).  That means Sleiman's current properties benefit greatly, but that he's not able to develop as many new centers.  He must think there is more value in building ground up than harvesting value, so I have to make assumptions about his current partnership structures.  If he can't build new centers as easily, nobody else can either.  That means the money in ground up development is no longer there (as if it were now...everyone knows how overbuilt the market is and how unprotected all local Jax real estate is).   CVS is transitioning to standalone ground leases from NNN inline leases, so maybe Toney sees value in that (there's potentially a lot).

Am I missing something?  Whatever happened to creativity?  Are real estate developers in Jacksonville that lazy or that uncreative that they can't figure out how to harvest additional value in existing real estate or by trying something new?  There is nothing that overly regulatory about this Plan/Fee.  Other cities have much stricter regulations on new development and much higher fees, but all this seems to do is make these markets more attractive to anyone with the money.  What's provided?  Safety, known and constant demand, synergy, small pool of players, every lender and the best terms available, etc.  Jacksonville and Sunbelt cities will never be too expensive to limit the pool of players so this isn't a worry.  Very few if any markets are considered "overheated" and Jacksonville was one of them before and is in recovery, still.

And then there is also the fact that nobody owns as much urban retail in Jacksonville as Sleiman (the Landing...200,000-300,000 SF).  He has a platform to go off of, a start.  With the size of the Landing and the opportunity that exists there he can and should find a way make a name for himself rather than the guy that complains about the ground lease (when I can only guess he does A LOT of ground leases himself) and the guy that complains about parking, which is so baseless.  Don't go national then...they aren't interested in downtown anyway!

Jacksonville is only difficult because city leadership allows developers to take the easy road and so the market is so shitty, so overbuilt, so unregulated that nobody wants to invest in it any longer because there is no protection.  When are local developers going to figure this out?  Developers need investors and good debt.  The low cost of living, low taxes, awesome weather, and access to beach/water and trade zones will keep businesses and people coming no matter how impossible it is to build a new spec NNN strip center next to one built 3 years before. 

If you raise barriers to entry, somebody local will take advantage and outside developers/investors may take more notice.  Sleiman has all the things going for him that could make him that go-to developer.  He has the relationships, the local history and knowledge, the influence and a lot of experience.  Why would he want to limit himself to nothing more than a strip mall landlord who wasted money on the Landing and complained to the city about it?  Does he have the umph to untarnish his image and reinvent Sleiman Enterprises?

Any developer who rises up to take advantage of urban retail or urban mixed-use in Jacksonville will have somewhat of a monopoly.  There aren't that many developers in the city, and certainly not many with the experience, backing or control of an intown market or product such as retail.

If Jacksonville follows in Nashville's and Charlotte's footprints, then you can expect a wider array of lenders and investors knocking on the door.  I would want to be "that guy" that everyone has to deal with.  I would want to be offered a position of interest on the developer side of project ownership, or at least offered a management or developer fee for my role in making something happen.  Maybe I own the land and am a seller and a LP in whatever goes up.  Maybe I offer up land in exchange for a certain pref?  Sort of like debt, but better return and still senior.  I'm just thinking of possibilities that may not even exist.

So much creativity can be had.  Am I missing something?  Am I the idiot?  I know Sleiman has the experience and knows what he's doing, but why is he so against the Mobility Plan?

Not that Sleiman is totally invested in grocery neighborhood centers or larger community centers, but where these centers were the prodigal son of real estate a few years ago, producing guaranteed dividends for REITs and core grocery funds, there are a slew of problems with them now.  Occupancy is shriveling at even some of the best grocery-anchored centers.  Nail salons and service providers are finding better deals in the retail components of mixed-use developments, and they are closer and more convenient to their customer base.  Many mixed-use projects have cover in buying these deals or taking greater risks than publicly traded or dividend producing funds.  Tenants, guarantors and business lenders obviously like this.

Just looking at metro Atlanta, which now runs the full gamut of retail product types, grocery-anchored centers have NNN shop rents of $18-$35 and limited growth.  CVS anchored infill centers (much smaller) on good dirt have rents $25-$45 and higher prospects for rent growth.  Retail in new urban shopping districts range from $35-$50, and considering most are overnight popups with excellent prospects of growing and sticking around, rent growth potential is phenomenal.  Then you have retail on Peachtree in say Midtown.  High vacancy and longer to lease up, but you'll get a strong operator and $45-$65 in NNN rents.  Finally, in one new development quoted rates are $90-$130, representing the upper end.  This is an urban infill mixed-use development with a lot of retail.  The potential for rent growth in urban infill retail locations with high walkability and growing foot traffic is enormous as this is a retail segment that is JUST NOW getting going as opposed to grocery-anchored centers, which are stagnant at best.  Private developers with investors looking for yield will not touch stabilized grocery-anchored centers/strip malls.  They want opportunistic buys either in a failed center that needs work and has no prospective competition or can join a local synergy, or urban infill retail that is part of a growing shopping district/high street.  Evidencing the change in retail ownership, SIMON is slowly transitioning off malls and into outlet centers because that is where there is demand and growth.  You can't have publicly traded REITs investing in complex urban deals, but you have a lot of private guys making the switch.  They can do complex deals.

I think the saying goes Change or Die?

simms3

September 18, 2012, 08:31:13 PM
Well I take it back...if you can't get a new center out of the ground easily, and so very few are, if you are part of the few then you can really do well.  So essentially no matter the outcome the Mobility Plan should be very good for Sleiman, whether he wants to continue to do new retail centers, grow rents in his current portfolio by harvesting value, or transition to that of a big time mixed-use developer with a focus on retail and partnering.

Wow, win-win situation there.  Why's he against the Mobility Plan again?

thelakelander

September 18, 2012, 09:29:44 PM
They are against it because they simply don't want to pay any impact fee. Mobility fee or the old concurrency plan, and we have a council that had already set the precedent of caving in. Other than that, Suleiman could make a ton of money off the mobility plan's structure.

Bridges

September 19, 2012, 08:49:34 AM
They are against it because they simply don't want to pay any impact fee. Mobility fee or the old concurrency plan, and we have a council that had already set the precedent of caving in. Other than that, Suleiman could make a ton of money off the mobility plan's structure.

Since the mobility plan was passed, and then the mobility fee was put on hold, does that mean there are currently no impact fees being charged?  Or does it revert to the old way while in the moratorium?

thelakelander

September 19, 2012, 08:55:00 AM
^No fee is being charged (mobility fee or the old concurrency fee), so the Sleimans of the world pocket the extra cash, still charge the end user what the market will demand and the rest of the taxpayers are left on the long term hook for funding 100% of the infrastructure needs to support new development.

Bridges

September 19, 2012, 09:14:06 AM
Wow. 

I went back and looked at my email exchange with Crescimbeni last October.  This was his reply to my original email:

Quote
Thank you for your email about proposed ordinance 2011-617 which will be considered by the full City Council at tonight’s meeting.

 Although I have previously been reluctant to waive the collection of fair share or (what is now known as the) mobility fee, I recognize the fact that we are in a significant recession and I am interested in spurring any type of activity that would create jobs.  In addition, information provided by the Planning and Development Department (shown in the table below) clearly suggests that in recent years, the collection of fair share or (what is now known as the) mobility fee have fallen to almost non existent levels.

 
         Fiscal Year        Amount        # Projects

            2006-07        $7,142,171           56

            2007-08        $9,162,613           56

            2008-09        $2,740,333           18

            2009-10         $826,564              5

 
Likewise, the economy seems to be taking a toll on traffic counts.  The Florida Department of Transportation is reporting a marked decrease in vehicular traffic on local state roadways.  I am attaching several links from various roads which clearly show declines in usage (traffic) after peak traffic counts were established in 2007-2008.

 
With that said, ordinance 2011-617 proposes to waive the mobility fee for twelve (12) months from the effective date of the ordinance – and further requires the completion of the construction project to occur within thirty six (36) months of the effective date.  Because of current surplus inventory, I can’t imagine that any residential development (particularly single family) will result from the passage of this legislation.  However, commercial construction could result, which would in turn lead to two things; new jobs (both short term construction and long term employees for the businesses occupying the newly constructed buildings and additional ad valorem tax revenue for both the city and Duval County Public Schools.

 Again, while previously reluctant to waive the collection of fair share or (what is now known as the) mobility fee, based on recent fair share collections (or the lack thereof) and the promise of new jobs, I think a twelve (12) month experiment to create jobs is worth taking a chance on.

 In closing, thank you again for your email.

I went back and forth with him for a while pointing out several of his problems.  But my main question now would be, how did the experiment work?  Seems like we could find this out right?

simms3

September 19, 2012, 11:22:23 AM
Well the city probably missed out on a lot of fees with all of the multifamily construction on the SS that would have happened regardless.  A fee doesn't affect demand for real estate...people and job creators effect demand for real estate.  Where there is demand, someone will meet with supply.  In Jacksonville's case before, similarly to Miami, Atlanta, Las Vegas, SW FL, Phoenix, Inland Empire, etc builders/lenders/investors really overestimated demand, but a hefty fee system would have generated quite a bit of revenue!

How does a fee effect jobs?  Why do we need to protect duplicative real estate jobs and extra construction jobs just to fuel a building boom for no reason?  Why do we need to make it so easy and attractive that dentists and doctors and lawyers cease their old jobs and become developers?  What does a mobility fee have to do with making the area attractive to tech firms or other industries?  What does a mobility fee have to do with attracting F1000 firms?

Actually, a mobility fee that paves the way for public transit and bike lanes and mixed-use development probably makes the area A LOT more attractive to 21st century industries and could potentially BOOST jobs/employment and population growth in the 25-34 year old sector, thus CREATING demand for a real estate boom, and thus CREATING those construction jobs, etc AND still generating fees to keep the cycle going.

Ocklawaha

September 19, 2012, 02:27:00 PM
^No fee is being charged (mobility fee or the old concurrency fee), so the Sleimans of the world pocket the extra cash, still charge the end user what the market will demand and the rest of the taxpayers are left on the long term hook for funding 100% of the infrastructure needs to support new development.

Yeah, Sleiman seems to be a classic case of the tail wagging the dog.

If they don't allow the mobility plan to have at least an equal "one year experiment," then will one of you please bring the tar bucket to both the Landing and City Hall? I'll bring the feathers!

BackinJax05

September 20, 2012, 12:17:51 AM
^^ I hope you're right :)

Back in the day I could stand in the corner of my grandparents' front yard & see both S lines (the local that ran from King Edward to Gateway, and the trunk that ran to Richmond)

Used to watch alot of trains in that corner 8)

Just a technical adjustment, there is only ONE 'S' line, and there has never been more. 'S' was the former SEABOARD AIR LINE RAILROAD, which merged with the 'A' or ATLANTIC COAST LINE RAILROAD to form SEABOARD COAST LINE, forerunner 0f our CSX. The other line which you recall was originally the ST JOHNS RIVER TERMINAL RAILROAD, part of the Southern Railway System, forerunner of todays NORFOLK SOUTHERN. The STJRT had a roundhouse and shop complex at 11Th and Walnut Street just a block or two east of the streetcar line.

Yes, I know that. The other track Im referring to was a local line that ran from near King Edward Cigars, north to around Gateway shopping center. It then joined a track that runs east-west. The east-west track is still there.

Unfortunately, because of bushes & trees, I was unable to see the STJRT/Sou/NS track from the front yard.

BTW, do you know if there are any remants of the STJRT roundhouse still there? I see something sort of round at 11th & Walnut, but not sure what it is.
View forum thread
Welcome Guest. You must be logged in to comment on this story.

What are the benefits of having a MetroJacksonville.com account?
  • Share your opinion by posting comments on stories that interest you.
  • Stay up to date on all of the latest issues affecting your neighborhood.
  • Create a network of friends working towards a better Jacksonville.
Register now
Already have an account? Login now to comment.