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Reinvigorating the Jacksonville Landing

Earlier this year, marked the 10-year anniversary of Sleiman Enterprises' 2003 acquistion of the Jacksonville Landing. Still a hub of activity for downtown Jacksonville, the festival market place has never lived up to the hype it generated when the Rouse Company built it in 1987. Now Toney Sleiman and the Downtown Investment Authority's (DIA) new CEO Aundre Wallace are determined to change that and want your input.

Published December 6, 2013 in Development      183 Comments    Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article



Reinvigorating Festival Marketplaces

The Landing isn't the first festival marketplace to fail in achieving its original goal. Since the 1990s, several festival marketplaces in second tier downtowns across the country have had makeovers.  As we ponder the future of the Jacksonville Landing, here is a brief look at the redevelopment strategies of similar centers in other communities.


Waterside - Norfolk, VA



The Rouse Company opened The Waterside, on the Elizabeth River in downtown Norfolk on June 1, 1983. The $13 million center was intended to be a catalyst for the redevelopment of a declining downtown. Throughout the 1980s, Waterside was a success. However, the opening of nearby MacArthur Center, a 140 store mall anchored by Nordstrom and Dillard's, in 1999 resulted in Waterside's decline. That same year, the Norfolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority purchased the property.

In the early 2000s, the festival marketplace was revamped as an entertainment, nightlife and dining center. Tenants include Joe's Crab Shack, Freemason Abby Restaurant, Jack Quinn's Irish Pub, Bier Garden Restaurant, Granby Street Pizza, Baxter's Sports Lounge, Big Easy Oyster Bar, Snappers and Hell's Kitchen.

 The City wanted the project done, and we agreed to do it if they created a park, put the bulkhead along the waterfront, provided a garage and put up all the money for the marketplace. We then received a fee, and eventually when the project could pay debt service on the financing, we would then split the cash flow. So it was a no-investment, no-risk deal, and the opportunity to make money over time.
- James Rouse offering his opinion of coming to Norfolk





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183 Comments

vicupstate

December 06, 2013, 05:57:04 AM
The last page seems to have text missing. 

I didn't realize that there were so many of these built.  Very few seem to have made it long-term as originally envisioned. Baltimore and Boston and Miami(?) being the most successful it seems. 

thelakelander

December 06, 2013, 07:58:27 AM
Here's a wikipedia list of several:

Underground Atlanta, Atlanta, Georgia
Harborplace, Baltimore, Maryland
Faneuil Hall, Boston, Massachusetts
Navy Pier, Chicago, Illinois
Aloha Tower Marketplace, Honolulu, Hawaii
Jacksonville Landing, Jacksonville, Florida
The Grove at Farmers Market, Los Angeles, California
Hollywood and Highland, Los Angeles, California
Bayside Marketplace, Miami, Florida
Jackson Brewery, New Orleans, Louisiana
Riverwalk, New Orleans, Louisiana
South Street Seaport, New York City
Waterside, Norfolk, Virginia
Jack London Square, Oakland, California
Arizona Center, Phoenix, Arizona
Station Square, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Westfield Horton Plaza, San Diego, California
Ghirardelli Square, San Francisco, California
Pier 39, San Francisco, California
St. Louis Union Station, St. Louis, Missouri
Union Station (Washington, D.C.), Washington, D.C.
Tower City Center. Cleveland, Ohio
Water Street Pavilion, Flint, Michigan
Union Station, Indianapolis, Indiana
Portside, Toledo, Ohio
Erie Street Market, Toledo, OH
Sixth Street Festival Marketplace, Richmond, Virginia
Festival Market, Lexington, Kentucky
Saint Anthony Main, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Bandana Square, Saint Paul, Minnesota
Cray Plaza, Saint Paul, Minnesota
West End Marketplace, Dallas, Texas

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Festival_marketplace

mtraininjax

December 06, 2013, 08:17:24 AM
Sleiman claims his business model is flawed without the parking garage. The finger pointing back and forth over who is responsible for paying for it is rediculous. He will never say or do anything, like a little kid, until he gets his parking deck. I see nothing good in the future, rather status quo on grand plans.

On another note, the stores on the inside look to be rather full, where there were high end retailers, there are now moderately priced items. The restaurants seem to do OK, they are still there.

JaxArchitect

December 06, 2013, 10:14:07 AM
Lake, Several of the locations you mention above are different than others in that they integrate more mixed use (either office or residential) and don't rely solely on retail/restaurants.  Not coincidentally, they tend to be the ones that are more successful.
I also think that too many of these "Festival Marketplaces" rely on fabricated nostalgic design that has grown tired over the past 25 years.  Along these lines, I'm a little concerned about the precedent set by the recent Laura Street improvements (kiosk, pavers, stone piers, etc) because they're based on a similar pseudo-historic character.  I'd hate for the Landing to turn into a simulated Ponte Vedra mediterranean strip mall.

I-10east

December 06, 2013, 10:26:35 AM
I'm not saying that the current Landing is some bustling vibrant marketplace that forever stood the test of time by no means, but boy did it fare far better than many other festival marketplaces. Say what you want about the Landing, but you can't describe it as 'a flop from the beginning'. Whatever path that's chosen to revitalize the Landing will not be an easy one; I wouldn't want to be in charge of that. I wish the very best concerning the revitalizing efforts to the Landing.   

edjax

December 06, 2013, 02:47:44 PM
I see where Lavernious Coles has indicated an interest in some type of an entertainment venue in a revamped Landing in addition to his new Levels Restaurant on Bay St.  He indicated perhaps a bowling establishment. 

Jaxson

December 06, 2013, 07:25:40 PM
IMHO, the festival marketplace concept was a nice idea for some but the novelty wore off soon...

Garden guy

December 07, 2013, 08:12:41 AM
Its a mall...thats all it is..a shopping mall...

thelakelander

December 07, 2013, 08:38:45 AM
^Pretty much.  A small mall with no major anchors. One of the reasons novelty wore off was because the overall product being offered was inferior to the larger regional malls (like the Avenues) that opened across the country around the same time.  Festival marketplaces that were not located in cities where there were already tons of tourist and foot traffic basically died.

thelakelander

December 07, 2013, 08:56:57 AM
I'd hate for the Landing to turn into a simulated Ponte Vedra mediterranean strip mall.

Definitely agree.  It would be good to see something that reflects a change from the typical stucco dominated Jacksonville beige.

ricker

December 07, 2013, 12:56:13 PM
Guessing I may be ridiculed, or ignored on account of my out-of-touch -with-reality  dreams for a truly exciting Downtown, but_

I wonder what it would require to anchor a theme park on both banks of the river downtown?
Open 24/7/365 connected by sky carts like it was rumored here that Mr.Balanky mentioned in the past.

IMHO it would be tons of fun AND a beautiful PLACE given the situs to be able to enjoy a carnival atmosphere on both sides of the river by connecting the Riverfront at Maxwell House to the ship yards, and Met Park with the JEA brown field!

It could be a real catalyst to recreate our own little version of DUMBO by wrapping the Northbank Riverwalk all the way around to the old FORD assembly plant from RAM. Maybe just maybe Berkman 2 would become something better?  Certainly the Landing would benefit.

I still rather like Mr. Sleiman's "It's about time" presentation which involved removing a wedge from the Landing in order to deliver a river view while looking south down Laura St. That alone could have helped remove some of the glut of empty store fronts - but unfortunately the escalators too, no?

Just some random thoughts.

Our Riverwalks are wonderful, but could be even better if expanded drastically.


Is it sensible to have a convention enter in what is left of Lavilla WITH the Regional Transportation "Mall"?
I ask because IF any new convention center remained near I-95, this would free up the riverfront for something whacky like a HUGE number of roller coasters and perhaps the world's largest ferris wheel, etc...a touch of Disney meets Six Flags, meets Busch Gardens_you get the idea I am sure.

Respectfully, I always enjoy a pleasant volley, as I do love this town, and do as much as I can to spread positive PR about Jax with relocation specialists, in addition to volunteering to assist with different groups who work tirelessly to better their respective communities.

Bounce something back, please!?
Thanks in advance!
(go easy on me, I am an optimist and dream big - but do not mean to annoy)

ricker

December 07, 2013, 01:09:19 PM
Regarding the Landing specifically, I envision the interior common hall downstairs being redressed in order to look and feel even more like an outdoor street. It isn't far off now, but with a few tweaks it could feel more like each lease space was at the edge of a sidewalk.

Bring the sax player dude inside.

Freeeeaky balloon animal makers.

Expand the old Daniel bldg/nowHyatt garage into the Landing lot?

Wasn't Mactruque working a concept and in fact installing a public "living room"?

Not to date myself, but the somewhat cheesy vibe of Central Perk from FRIENDS, but not so high white.

Smelly cat, Oh smelly cat what are they feeding you?
Smelly cat ohh smellly cat, it's not your fault.
LOL
 

pierre

December 07, 2013, 03:05:27 PM
The inside of the Landing is so outdated it is sad. I had not been in years and went this summer and it looks exactly like it did when I was a kid. Half of food court is empty. There just isn't much of a reason for people to go other than for events. It seems like to function best as almost like a town square type meeting area. The retail aspect of it is dead.

IrvAdams

December 07, 2013, 03:06:23 PM
Great ideas. I love the concept of splitting the Landing in two and providing river access. Share the view. Have a food truck area, several different food trucks parked out there each day. They draw more business for everybody. Win-win.

Much potential. Perfect location. The Landing will be a focal point again - soon.

IrvAdams

December 07, 2013, 03:08:33 PM
Perhaps it should focus on food and entertainment, retail is tough there for the time being.

ProjectMaximus

December 07, 2013, 03:56:19 PM
Theme Park downtown? That could be a fantastic economic driver if it were successful but I doubt such a thing is feasible. I like the big dreaming though! Reminds me of the Mooneyhan Production Studios/Theme Park proposal for downtown, or the Shipyards gondola across the river. Very cool stuff.

Perhaps on the same level of fantasy but still very cool is the "JAX" climbing wall along the river that would be the tallest climbing wall in the world.

Back on topic, im with everyone for opening up the middle to connect the river and courtyard with the rest of downtown. Also would expect it to better as a mixed use building rather than the boutique retail angle.

Jaxson

December 07, 2013, 05:44:38 PM
^Pretty much.  A small mall with no major anchors. One of the reasons novelty wore off was because the overall product being offered was inferior to the larger regional malls (like the Avenues) that opened across the country around the same time.  Festival marketplaces that were not located in cities where there were already tons of tourist and foot traffic basically died.

In an organic sense, I suppose that it would be an uphill challenge to create an artificial demand for a festival marketplace in an area that does not have an existing customer base.  It is one thing to create a festival marketplace that supplements an already thriving area but it is asking too much IMHO to expect a festival marketplace to be a panacea for an already dying downtown.

ricker

December 07, 2013, 06:32:22 PM
^Pretty much.  A small mall with no major anchors. One of the reasons novelty wore off was because the overall product being offered was inferior to the larger regional malls (like the Avenues) that opened across the country around the same time.  Festival marketplaces that were not located in cities where there were already tons of tourist and foot traffic basically died.

In an organic sense, I suppose that it would be an uphill challenge to create an artificial demand for a festival marketplace in an area that does not have an existing customer base.  It is one thing to create a festival marketplace that supplements an already thriving area but it is asking too much IMHO to expect a festival marketplace to be a panacea for an already dying downtown.

Do you think that the mother of all theme parks (if ever built straddling the river including the old ship yards near Maxwell House, to the JEA site near Channel 4) could draw a large enough crowd on a regular basis if it were open year round, as opposed to our little once a year fair?

I know the thread topic is the Landing, but I just don't think of it as an island.
To me, its revival and survival involves so many other moving parts, I agree.

In my mind the Jacksonville Terminal is a relevant topic.
The "Regional Transportation Center".
Greyhound comes to mind.
Ruminations of the future of our convention center site populate.
Amtrak vs our "Amshack"
Skyway.
BRT.
Streetcar.
Trolley routes.
Artwalk.
Foodtrucks.
The agricultural aspects of the county fair.
The fate of Metropolitan Park.
The boat ramp at River City Brewing Co.
The Cummer reno.
Any Riverwalk extension.
Beacon Riverside.
The need to better highlight, connect and more fully utilize the currently existing parking structures.
 ^ including Kings Ave on the south bank.
The parador partners garage.
Any possible addition of more adequate mooring / boat slips / mini marina or full service?
Removing the Laura Street end wedge of the current 126k sqft

I guess I may always dream of a giant theme park with a downtown and a river running through it.
I can see it with my mind's eye and  i am in love with what I see.
Oh well.

Charles Hunter

December 07, 2013, 06:58:32 PM
To save them from posting, I provide the Landing Solutions by some of our favorite posters*:
Noone - kayak rental and launch sites instead of all those power-boats
Ocklawaha - run a train through it (but no PCTs)
stephendare - rebuild some ramshackle docks

All said in fun, I enjoy reading all of your posts, and you are each certainly more than the one dimension presented here.  :D

tufsu1

December 07, 2013, 11:03:01 PM
Its a mall...thats all it is..a shopping mall...

with some pretty sweet views

ronchamblin

December 08, 2013, 12:39:42 AM
Opening up the area so that one can see the river while walking on Laura Street is a great idea.  A long view across a river is always pleasant.  And we all seem tired of entering a rather stifling, arcade-like, mini-mall.  Other than that, its difficult to imagine the ideal use of the space -- especially given that one finds on adjacent blocks mostly large buildings with boring ground levels.

Only by being about twenty times larger, allowing for a super mall, would retail be successful.  Any mall these days must offer spectacular choice -- especially given existing alternatives in competing super malls and the ever growing Internet environment, the latter having become a cancer upon most established retail.  Retail in the area seems to be out of the picture, except for occasional niche types.   

Restaurants and night life seems feasible, tying into the growing SIN STRIP along east Bay.  A tastefully done “Gentleman’s Club” might do well, and would provide a good balance to the large church presence at the other end of Laura. 

Yes -- definitely...  opening up the landing right down the center, with structures along the sides, would provide a pleasant river view from several blocks up Laura.  And in the interest of education, offer museums -- nautical, aeronautical, science/technology (We need education in Jax… especially on Laura.. not more bimbo fluff) -- three or four good restaurants -- three or four niche specialty shops --- a tastefully done gentleman’s club .. serving alcohol and pot (when its legal).  Might  be room for  a small park (couple of big oaks) area for relaxation... for the homeless and vagrants... and a small stage for music performances… boxing… wrestling… Bill Maher.  There you go.  Problem solved… for free.

stephendare

December 08, 2013, 01:29:59 AM
To save them from posting, I provide the Landing Solutions by some of our favorite posters*:
Noone - kayak rental and launch sites instead of all those power-boats
Ocklawaha - run a train through it (but no PCTs)
stephendare - rebuild some ramshackle docks

All said in fun, I enjoy reading all of your posts, and you are each certainly more than the one dimension presented here.  :D

thats weird.  what on earth are you talking about charles?

are you under the impression that ramshackle docks are the same thing as water based trade?

I suppose they can be, and i know you mean it lightly, but how on earth did you confuse a trade route (the waterway) that is open and accessible for business with 'docks', ramshackle or otherwise?

stephendare

December 08, 2013, 01:31:42 AM
in any case, that isnt how the landing could be reinvigorated.  Perhaps some kind of meaningful water access would help the Landing, but the landings ills come from the other side of the shoreline.

thelakelander

December 08, 2013, 08:52:11 AM
I can't imagine a realistic scenario where a miniature theme park in downtown would be remotely feasible or encourage decent interaction between its gates and the rest of downtown. It would be one of those places you visit once and never return again and they'd be so cramped on land, they'd lose market share as all the larger, more well known competitors two hours away (Disney, Universal, Legoland, Sea World, Busch Gardens, etc.), continue to utilize their clout to remain "fresh." A miniature theme park downtown would be equivalent to the Landing trying to compete with SJTC as a regional retail destination. Essentially, I think you'd be lighting your investment money on fire.

As for the Landing, I probably fall in the camp of believing we don't need to over complicate this. The assets appear to be the location, waterfront dining and the central courtyard.  The liabilities appear to be dedicated parking, the enclosed horse shoe mall, a food court that takes up valuable real estate and a lack of connectivity with the rest of downtown to the north.

Thus preserve your assets and focus on turning your liabilities around.  I have no magic want, one-trick pony gimmicks or anything new to offer that hasn't been mentioned over the last decade. That food court space should be converted into waterfront sit-down restaurant space, and the courtyard should be opened to the street. This has the double benefit of making it a better live entertainment venue/central gathering space and better integrating the complex with downtown. With the mall, I'd probably explore flipping it inside out, and utilizing the structure for a few bigger boxes that could compliment the Landing and the surrounding downtown population. Potential uses for such space could include anything from a pharmacy like CVS or Walgreens to the bowling alley concept Coles has mentioned being interested in. There's also the opportunity to turn the Hogan Street area into a revenue generating space. Right now, it's really underutilized. However, what I've just mentioned isn't anything that hasn't been said before. Sleiman has the same opportunity as Hallmark does with Unity Plaza and 220 Riverside, but situated in a location that can draw from the high density uses surrounding it in the Northbank.

Dedicated parking will still be an issue though. I just wish that the Parador garage could have been designed to accommodate the Landing's needs and everything else in the immediate area as a centralized parking facility.  Then all the other surface lots in the surrounding blocks (including the Landing's east lot) could become game for redevelopment as well.

I-10east

December 08, 2013, 10:20:23 AM
IMO somewhere the suburbs would be better suited for an amusement park than downtown; IMO the negatives outweigh the pros with downtown amusement parks, like limited parking, limited room for expansion, etc. I probably can count all of the downtown amusement parks in the US on one hand; I'm not talking about just a large ferris wheel sorta thing, but an actual amusement park with atleast one big coaster, multiple flatrides etc. The first downtown park that comes to mind is Elitch Gardens in Denver. For some reason, there seem to be alot of overseas amusement parks that are downtown usually long-time established though, in places like the Far East. 

ronchamblin

December 08, 2013, 10:24:12 AM
Walked down to the landing this morning.  Digested Lakes post … and agree with him for the most part.
 
Most agree that “opening” up Laura to the river would be a big plus.. a necessary thing right up front.

What next?  Perhaps, given the existing lack of permanent foot traffic, and unless somebody has lots of millions… not much more should be done initially.

For a time, keep the existing rectangular, two-story buildings in place, with some appropriate facade improvements.  Plant some grass, and two or three oak trees, and meander some brick walkways through it, and see what happens.

The increase in overall attractiveness might increase the visitors to the area.  But, no matter what, Sleiman must make reasonable rents from the real estate.  How will this be done? 

Placing residential apartments on the second levels?  Encouraging basic retail such as a CVS into the area?  In any case, it would be good to keep several good restaurants.

Parking?  Short term? ….. walk a little. 

Parking .. long term?.... Do rail or street car mass transit thing …. to San Marco…. Riverside….Arlington… The Beaches…. To the suburbs.  This will solve lots of problems… including parking, pollution, and overall core vibrancy goals.

After things settle by opening the center, would be great to replace the existing rectangular buildings, first on the west side, then the east, with retro-looking brick buildings… to match what is remaining of the beautiful brick buildings built 100 years ago.  Perhaps they could be about 300 feet long, four to six stories high, paralleling Laura, with the ground floor opened to the center, and provide condos or apartments … retail at the ground floor.  They would not be curved, as is the modern way; but rectangular, with the ends being directed outward, providing a venture effect… giving a more open feeling.

I get the feeling that, as Lake indicated, there is not a quick and easy solution to bringing the landing area to a dynamic operation.  The core remains, still, on the border of being dead.  As I've said earlier, until "somehow" more "people" are permanent in the core, in the way of residents, workers, and visitors ... there will be few types of businesses which can actually survive and prosper in it.

Amusement Park kind of thing?   Uggg.   

river4340

December 08, 2013, 10:34:46 AM
Looks like everyone's with the idea of opening it up to Laura Street and the river. I don't know about residences there.

http://members.jacksonville.com/business/2013-12-08/story/what-should-landing-be-owners-vision-includes-direct-river-view-and

jaxjags

December 08, 2013, 10:45:00 AM
Parking .. long term?.... Do rail or street car mass transit thing …. to San Marco…. Riverside….Arlington… The Beaches…. To the suburbs.  This will solve lots of problems… including parking, pollution, and overall core vibrancy goals

Interesting how on most DT subjects have one constant thread. Street Car. I agree with Ron and others that this will mix the urban neighborhoods and lead to improved vibrancy. Also as Lakelander has promoted, infill development. Trolley system and bus systems will not have the same effect.

mtraininjax

December 08, 2013, 11:55:23 AM
Hey, I agree, people SHOULD walk more in Jax. but this is not about the people of Jax, it is about what Sleiman was promised and what the previous owners were promised when the landing was built, a parking deck. He can show you all the grand plans and opening up the landing down Laura Street, which would be cool, but repeatedly, he has said, he wants the parking deck that was promised. I don't see anything changing on the structure, until the deck gets built across the street.

This city cannot afford to pay its police and firemen, what makes you think they have the budget for a street car?

thelakelander

December 08, 2013, 12:33:26 PM
Different funding mechanisms. You can't spend mobility money on funding police and fire.

mtraininjax

December 08, 2013, 12:43:31 PM
Quote
You can't spend mobility money on funding police and fire.

Right you are, but then it does not matter about mobility money if the city declares bankruptcy because it cannot meet its obligations.

thelakelander

December 08, 2013, 12:49:30 PM
You can't declare bankruptcy with money that was never your's to begin with.

rutabaga

December 08, 2013, 03:55:57 PM
When I moved back to Jax, I was surprised and disappointed at how much the Landing had declined. 

I too would like to see the landing opened up in the middle so that people on Laura Street can see the river.  It would be less confining.  Needs to be open, with a tree or two, and grass and benches, with stuff on the sides.   

thelakelander

December 08, 2013, 04:01:27 PM

thelakelander

December 08, 2013, 04:15:05 PM
The original "opening of the courtyard" concept from 2004:

rutabaga

December 08, 2013, 04:25:16 PM
Thanks Lakelander.  I did not realize that the idea of opening the center was that old.  Basically, it looks cool.  As I said in an earlier post, I returned to Jax this summer. 

ricker

December 08, 2013, 06:56:15 PM

...
As for the Landing, I probably fall in the camp of believing we don't need to over complicate this. The assets appear to be the location, waterfront dining and the central courtyard.  The liabilities appear to be dedicated parking, the enclosed horse shoe mall, a food court that takes up valuable real estate and a lack of connectivity with the rest of downtown to the north.

...That food court space should be converted into waterfront sit-down restaurant space, and the courtyard should be opened to the street. This has the double benefit of making it a better live entertainment venue/central gathering space and better integrating the complex with downtown. With the mall, I'd probably explore flipping it inside out, and utilizing the structure for a few bigger boxes that could compliment the Landing and the surrounding downtown population. Potential uses for such space could include anything from a pharmacy like CVS or Walgreens to the bowling alley concept Coles has mentioned being interested in. There's also the opportunity to turn the Hogan Street area into a revenue generating space. Right now, it's really underutilized. However, what I've just mentioned isn't anything that hasn't been said before. Sleiman has the same opportunity as Hallmark does with Unity Plaza and 220 Riverside, but situated in a location that can draw from the high density uses surrounding it in the Northbank.

Dedicated parking will still be an issue though. I just wish that the Parador garage could have been designed to accommodate the Landing's needs and everything else in the immediate area as a centralized parking facility.  Then all the other surface lots in the surrounding blocks (including the Landing's east lot) could become game for redevelopment as well.


Rather succinctly stated, as usual!
Thanks Mr.Davis.

Adding the combination of a Walgreen/CVS, Latitude 30 type of entertainment space, dedicated parking, and activating the Landing east lot AND the waterfront street end of Hogan near the old civic auditorium with programmed activities all make the most sense coupled with removing the center of the horseshoe and rearranging the dining spaces on the upper deck to capitalize on the views.

AmyLynne

December 08, 2013, 08:54:47 PM



That's very pretty, and visually it would open up the river to Laura Street, but I don't see how doing this would help reinvigorate the Landing. Maybe I'm missing the big picture, but to me it seems like you've now opened it up and allowed access to the river without actually having to go into the mall part at all.

river4340

December 08, 2013, 09:03:15 PM
I think opening it up would bring people in and, perhaps more importantly, create a connection to downtown. as it is now, it's walled off. Would it actually create more business? I don't know.

Non-RedNeck Westsider

December 08, 2013, 09:03:55 PM



That's very pretty, and visually it would open up the river to Laura Street, but I don't see how doing this would help reinvigorate the Landing. Maybe I'm missing the big picture, but to me it seems like you've now opened it up and allowed access to the river without actually having to go into the mall part at all.

Well, at the moment, there is little reason to go to the mall at all.  If you can increase the number of people that visit the property with a more welcoming entrance, then the mall/shopping part will take care of itself.

I would rather have 1,000 potential customers (people walking by my store daily) than be limited to the 25 current customers.

AmyLynne

December 08, 2013, 09:25:27 PM



That's very pretty, and visually it would open up the river to Laura Street, but I don't see how doing this would help reinvigorate the Landing. Maybe I'm missing the big picture, but to me it seems like you've now opened it up and allowed access to the river without actually having to go into the mall part at all.

Well, at the moment, there is little reason to go to the mall at all.  If you can increase the number of people that visit the property with a more welcoming entrance, then the mall/shopping part will take care of itself.

I would rather have 1,000 potential customers (people walking by my store daily) than be limited to the 25 current customers.


That's what I was wondering...if it would bring in more foot traffic. I'm not arguing against the idea of opening it up, I was just wondering how it would relate to giving the stores a boost.

Tacachale

December 08, 2013, 09:36:58 PM
Well, one thing it would do would be to make the most successful part of the building - the riverfront restaurants and bars - visible and accessible from the rest downtown. You'd be able to walk to them without either having to open a door and walk through a building (which is pretty empty, especially at night) or go all the way around. You'd be able to see all the big events that happen there as well as the river, which would be an attraction of their own. That would probably have a positive effect on foot traffic even without the other potential changes.

AmyLynne

December 08, 2013, 09:50:23 PM
Well, one thing it would do would be to make the most successful part of the building - the riverfront restaurants and bars - visible and accessible from the rest downtown. You'd be able to walk to them without either having to open a door and walk through a building (which is pretty empty, especially at night) or go all the way around. You'd be able to see all the big events that happen there as well as the river, which would be an attraction of their own. That would probably have a positive effect on foot traffic even without the other potential changes.


Okay, thanks! I was having a hard trying wrapping my head around it, but that all makes sense.

thelakelander

December 08, 2013, 10:39:30 PM
If I were Sleiman, I'd make the mall part disappear.  I don't see in value in keeping it. I'd strip everything down to the physical structure itself, flip storefronts to face the outside (Independent Drive) and reconfigure retail spaces into larger modules. In the end, you'd end up with a lower number of individual retail outlets but a space configurations suitable for anchor uses that don't exist today.

For example, a pharmacy probably requires at least a 10,000 square foot box. You might be able to combine a portion of the mall and a few current interior storefronts to make that space.  When leased, you'll make more per square foot because former common area is now used as revenue generating square footage. Same goes for that food court. They aren't making a penny with a space that has great waterfront views because it's a seating area. In fact, it costs them money to air condition and maintain that space. Replace the food court with a second floor restaurant or two and all of that space becomes revenue generating.

If you still want to accommodate a few smaller spaces for specialty retail or a food court, you can situate them to face the area opening the courtyard up to Laura Street or along the green space facing the intersection of Water and Hogan Streets.

ricker

December 09, 2013, 12:14:39 AM
^
Yes.
This.
These thoughts compute to survival and good fiscal sense/cents.

The location would benefit with the addition of a pharmacy wrapped in a general goods store like a CVS or Walgreens, coffee shop w/ bakery, dry cleaners, pet food & care store, small hardware store, and great dining atop, casual dining around the downstairs courtyard as has been numerously suggested.  All smart improvements.

Looking at the existing exterior layout of the grounds in plan view layered with the interior dating back to 1988 at a time when my uncle had a kiosk (before the external elevator was added near what is now Fionn MacCools),
It appears as though a removal of a slice of the horseshoe would require relocation of the escalators, or permanent removal. I do not see the sense in permanently removing the escalators in favor of installing new elevator systems.  That said, couldn't the bones of the removed wedge and roof remain? New walls could provide airlock vestibule doorways and entrance to each remaining half of the Landing,  This way the escalators could remain and stay out of the weather.

Thoughts? please.

ALSO_
Looks like a CVS/Walgreens customers could enjoy their drive-thru service if the new store were located on the east side and patrons could use the loading dock service drive for entry and Coastline Dr for exit out and around to Newnan...?

What d o you all think?
(I may be obsessing.)

thelakelander

December 09, 2013, 12:26:47 AM
I don't think opening up the horseshoe to Laura would require relocation of the escalators. Laura Street is somewhat to the east of the escalators. Opening up the center would take out the space where B.Dalton Books used to be.

ricker

December 09, 2013, 12:34:12 AM
Not to argue senselessly, however I am fairly certain I have these plans tabbed and marked correctly and the escalators are completely in the way, unfortunately.

ricker

December 09, 2013, 12:42:56 AM
Is it complete nonsense to think it possible that an over the road open air or enclosed bridge could connect the reworked Landing facade to the yet to be built Parador Partners parking structure?

jaxjaguar

December 09, 2013, 12:55:59 AM
I want to attend the meeting tomorrow, but don't know if I'll be able to make it due to work.... I have kind of radical ideas, but I feel like it's what we need to really give the landing the spark it needs.

The spaces between the food court & mavericks / restaurants facing the water could be easily opened with minimal structural change. Opening a space for a massive ferris wheel (green strip).

The front could be opened up (yellow) and set up in a similar fashion to the area in the town center where whiskey river is located. Basically a corridor for block parties, small concerts, fire shows, etc.

There is a need for more "park space" downtown. The landing already has a small wooded area (blue) which could be doubled in size by removing some of the shop space. Some nice art structures / oak trees / putt-putt could be in this area to give people a place to picnic and relax.

More shops could be removed (pink) to make space for a public parking garage. The pink and black represents the current parking which would still be available.

Finally... the injection of life (red). This would be the apartments / condos to feed the landing a consistent customer base (through residents, friends, family, etc)


Am I crazy? Do you guys like my ideas? lol







ricker

December 09, 2013, 01:09:38 AM
WHOA
I actually LOVE where You are going with this!
This may seem crazy to many but it could work.

ricker

December 09, 2013, 01:39:42 AM
^
Yes.
This.
These thoughts compute to survival and good fiscal sense/cents.

The location would benefit with the addition of a pharmacy wrapped in a general goods store like a CVS or Walgreens, coffee shop w/ bakery, dry cleaners, pet food & care store, small hardware store, and great dining atop, casual dining around the downstairs courtyard as has been numerously suggested.  All smart improvements.

Looking at the existing exterior layout of the grounds in plan view layered with the interior dating back to 1988 at a time when my uncle had a kiosk (before the external elevator was added near what is now Fionn MacCools),
It appears as though a removal of a slice of the horseshoe would require relocation of the escalators, or permanent removal. I do not see the sense in permanently removing the escalators in favor of installing new elevator systems.  That said, couldn't the bones of the removed wedge and roof remain? New walls could provide airlock vestibule doorways and entrance to each remaining half of the Landing,  This way the escalators could remain and stay out of the weather.

Thoughts? please.

ALSO_
Looks like a CVS/Walgreens customers could enjoy their drive-thru service if the new store were located on the east side and patrons could use the loading dock service drive for entry and Coastline Dr for exit out and around to Newnan...?

What d o you all think?
(I may be obsessing.)

Noone

December 09, 2013, 04:41:19 AM
To save them from posting, I provide the Landing Solutions by some of our favorite posters*:
Noone - kayak rental and launch sites instead of all those power-boats
Ocklawaha - run a train through it (but no PCTs)
stephendare - rebuild some ramshackle docks

All said in fun, I enjoy reading all of your posts, and you are each certainly more than the one dimension presented here.  :D

Charles, We need to kayak Downtown. I'm serious.
As for the Landing I still might have my "It's about Time" t shirt somewhere around. I don't know if I'll be going tonight but going forward way back when at a Jacksonville Waterways Commission meeting an issue about economic opportunity from the Waterway came up and it had to do with the Landing. The result of that concern was resolved by then city councilwoman Lynette Self and then JWC Commission member Jim Bailey. That leadership resulted in 2007-451. Public, Private, Partnership. I hope that whatever develops that they will retain that economic opportunity for everyone.

Overstreet

December 09, 2013, 08:23:56 AM
.....................

The spaces between the food court & mavericks / restaurants facing the water could be easily opened with minimal structural change. Opening a space for a massive ferris wheel (green strip).

............................
Am I crazy? Do you guys like my ideas? lol


the foundations of the ferris wheel would conflict with the 54" force main.....and the utility easement.

crazy? .....no....impractical yes.

Overstreet

December 09, 2013, 08:39:44 AM
Its a mall...thats all it is..a shopping mall...

No.....it was never intended to be a "shopping" mall. It is a "place to be" mall. Shopping is secondary. Yes there was retail, but the prices would tell you it isn't for shopping.  It is a place to eat and have events.  Since there isn't a reason to be downtown if there isn't an event the place becomes a lunch spot. The lunch crowd reflects the downtown office building vacancy rate.

Parking garage.........whether you like it or not it was a broken promise by the city. Since downtown is a ghost town after dark without the suburbanites driving in it seems a parking lot would have helped. But as I've said before to get there I pass too many resturants I like.  I'm not going that far.

Opening the horseshoe to the street............reduce your square footage in favor of some driver likely too distracted driving and too lazy to park and explore. Amazing idea. It will be amusing if they do it.

mtraininjax

December 09, 2013, 08:55:26 AM
Ferris wheel belongs down at the Shipyards, more room for it and it would be a fun playground for adults on their way to Everbank field!

ricker

December 09, 2013, 09:31:12 AM
Ferris wheel belongs down at the Shipyards, more room for it and it would be a fun playground for adults on their way to Everbank field!

Could we also throw in at least one really fantastico roller coaster!?!? pLEeeeeeas?

CityLife

December 09, 2013, 09:38:50 AM
Laveranues Coles is considering putting a bowling alley in the Landing. Anyone know if that is a possibility design wise?

Quote
Coles said his next venture might be at the Landing, which is anticipating renovations.

Coles said he was waiting to see what happens with the riverfront marketplace.

"I want to put something in the Landing as soon as they give direction," he said, indicating he might know more in February.

One possibility he mentioned was a bowling entertainment venue.

Landing owner Toney Sleiman said Friday morning he was not directly working with Coles, who likely is speaking with other Landing representatives, but said a bowling center would be of interest.

"If it fits in, absolutely I would talk to him about it," Sleiman said.

"That might be something we will look at seriously."

http://www.jaxdailyrecord.com/showstory.php?Story_id=541245

thelakelander

December 09, 2013, 09:58:45 AM
Sure. All you have to do is demolish non-structural walls to combine multiple storefronts, creating a single larger space. However, since the interior storefronts don't have much depth, you may need consider killing a portion of the interior mall or adding on.

CityLife

December 09, 2013, 10:17:33 AM
The idea of opening the Courtyard to Laura is a no brainer imo and one that pretty much everybody seems to be on board with. After that, I'd like to see The Landing become better integrated with the Times Union Center to the west and the Hyatt to the east. I imagine that a portion of Hogan is needed for deliveries, but I'd like to see as much of that area become green space as possible. Possibly even turn the little pavilion on the river into a small band shell for live performances. There is actually more room there for performances than what the Landing Courtyard currently has.

We've got more than enough surface lots in Downtown and its ridiculous that there is one between the Landing and The Hyatt. I'd like to see the Riverwalk facing portion of the surface lot just east of the Main Street Bridge turned into restaurants with courtyard seating facing the river, possibly even with 2nd floor balconies facing the river. You could do some really cool things with string lighting and landscaping to make it more of an upscale dining area, which is something The Landing doesn't really offer. You could also utilize the northern portion of this property for things like a movie theater and/or bowling alley....This is already one of the more heavily traveled parts of the Riverwalk DT and would also help connect The Landing to the entertainment district and Florida Theater. At minimum, this space needs to be better utilized. Perhaps something like a night market with food trucks, live music, vendors, etc. Basically a night version of RAM with more partying. To properly utilize this space may require some tinkering with the ramps and roadways, but I think its at least worth exploring.

Both the above areas are either city owned or Landing owned, so they could be included in Landing renovation plans...I also like Lakes idea for turning the building inside out and reconfiguring the entire layout. I've got tons of ideas for the space and I'm sure everyone else does too, but its hard to really make recommendations for what to do with the site without knowing what Sleiman's goals are and how much he's willing to invest.

thelakelander

December 09, 2013, 10:28:47 AM
Sleiman's comments from yesterday's FTU story:

Quote
Sleiman said he’s open to the opinions that come out of Monday’s meeting, but there are several constants in his vision of the Landing’s future:

■ It needs to be physically changed to open it up and provide a view from Laura Street straight to the river.

■ Residences need to be added, whether it’s apartments, condominiums or even a hotel.

■ City money is vital, and the city’s leadership is far more open to working with him than it once was.

http://members.jacksonville.com/business/2013-12-08/story/what-should-landing-be-owners-vision-includes-direct-river-view-and

jaxjaguar

December 09, 2013, 12:28:46 PM
.....................

The spaces between the food court & mavericks / restaurants facing the water could be easily opened with minimal structural change. Opening a space for a massive ferris wheel (green strip).

............................
Am I crazy? Do you guys like my ideas? lol


the foundations of the ferris wheel would conflict with the 54" force main.....and the utility easement.

crazy? .....no....impractical yes.


Would it be possible to do it down the middle if the center of the landing was taken out? Or a observation tower in the center? I'm not familiar with what a force main / utility easement are....

Redbaron616

December 09, 2013, 12:32:41 PM
The common factor in all this is government. Private enterprise knows how to make money. Government typically has no clue because government never has to make a profit to stay in business. When I read about government investment, I want to laugh out loud. Government has never done anything cheaper or better than the private sector.

finehoe

December 09, 2013, 01:33:56 PM
The common factor in all this is government. Private enterprise knows how to make money. Government typically has no clue because government never has to make a profit to stay in business. When I read about government investment, I want to laugh out loud. Government has never done anything cheaper or better than the private sector.

Really?  What government agency constructed the Landing?  Which government body runs it now? 
Pure teabagger nonsense.

Stephen

December 09, 2013, 01:47:45 PM
Those Tea Baggers lie and expect everyone will go along with their lies...Not everyone is as stupid as they are..I wonder if people who want to live in a redone Landing...You'd not have much privacy and it could be very noisy.

stephendare

December 09, 2013, 01:50:42 PM
Those Tea Baggers lie and expect everyone will go along with their lies...Not everyone is as stupid as they are..

not everyone has to be, just 50% of the voters plus one.

Make sure to vote, and to remind all people more intelligent than the average ear wig to do the same. ;)

tufsu1

December 09, 2013, 01:51:28 PM
The common factor in all this is government. Private enterprise knows how to make money.

And in this case, that comes with a request for money from the government.

Thanks for your advice!

fieldafm

December 09, 2013, 02:01:31 PM
Technically, a substantial portion of the Landing construction came from a Community Development Block Grant... part of the political wrangling that went on after the Prime Osborn was selected as the convention center site (instead of a more central urban location-as the downtown merchants wanted).  And COJ is a 'landlord' of sorts, as the public does own the land that the Landing sits on.

thelakelander

December 09, 2013, 09:21:56 PM
I stopped by the workshop tonight. The proposal right now is to demolish everything (the mall portion) except the waterfront buildings containing Hooters and  Fionn MacCool's. Two smaller, two story buildings would then be built around an opening between the courtyard and Laura Street. Surface parking lots would be constructed between the smaller Landing and Independent Drive. Vehicle access points to the parking lot could be off Hogan, the Laura roundabout, and the existing east lot access points.  Public restrooms would be built along the riverwalk, under the Main Street Bridge.

At some point in the future, two mid-to-high rise buildings (residential or hotel) would replace the surface parking lots and another building featuring waterfront restaurants would be constructed along the riverwalk between the bridge and Hyatt.

edjax

December 09, 2013, 09:29:27 PM
Hmm. So basically we would always have the surface lots as the high rises are pipe dreams.  I sure hope the city woukd,not provide any assistance for this at all. Would only consider if the mid or high rises were built. 

Tacachale

December 09, 2013, 09:30:19 PM
Well... that's certainly different.

Bridges

December 09, 2013, 09:32:38 PM
I stopped by the workshop tonight. The proposal right now is to demolish everything (the mall portion) except the waterfront buildings containing Hooters and  Fionn MacCool's. Two smaller, two story buildings would then be built around an opening between the courtyard and Laura Street. Surface parking lots would be constructed between the smaller Landing and Independent Drive. Vehicle access points to the parking lot could be off Hogan, the Laura roundabout, and the existing east lot access points.  Public restrooms would be built along the riverwalk, under the Main Street Bridge.

At some point in the future, two mid-to-high rise buildings (residential or hotel) would replace the surface parking lots and another building featuring waterfront restaurants would be constructed along the riverwalk between the bridge and Hyatt.

You're kidding.  Right?

thelakelander

December 09, 2013, 09:34:27 PM
Nope.

edjax

December 09, 2013, 09:35:31 PM
Sounds like he will finally get his suburban strip center downtown with parking right up front!!! Yay Toney.  I guess we should not be surprised at his 'vision' for downtown as this type of crap is all he has ever done.  No to one cent of city incentives. 

Tacachale

December 09, 2013, 09:39:23 PM
Dare I ask what kind of incentives he wants for this?

thelakelander

December 09, 2013, 09:44:06 PM
The long term sketch was okay but it's hard to stomach the realistic one from a pedestrian scale standpoint. I'll try and get a hold of the conceptual site plans in the next day or so.



The two smaller new buildings are shown in this sketch. They'd be filled with restaurants. The Laura Street roundabout would be the main entrance to the new surface parking lots.  It would be designed where they could close it off for special events.

thelakelander

December 09, 2013, 09:49:42 PM
Dare I ask what kind of incentives he wants for this?

Cost, square footage, incentives, etc. were not discussed. Mayor Brown mentioned his dream of bringing Macy's, Nordstroms, etc. to downtown in the opening remarks, Dan Davis, Toney Sleiman and Aundra Wallace followed with brief presentations before the conceptual plan was unveiled. The public was then allowed to speak for two minutes each.

One of the coolest things to me was the amount of diversity in the room.  You could tell that the Landing is viewed as a critical piece of the downtown puzzle to the community.

edjax

December 09, 2013, 09:55:15 PM
Good to see the Mayor is still thinking realistically.   Nordstrom downtown and an NBA team.  Just wow. 

dougskiles

December 09, 2013, 10:16:20 PM
Some things I took away from the meeting:

1.  Great to see so many people at the meeting sharing opinions.  You never see that many people at a public meeting unless they are opposing something.  This was the reverse.  All showed up to support something.

2.  The plan needs more residential.  And the density should be as high as practical, and it should be "workforce" product.  I couldn't tell if there is any residential in phase 1 or not.

3.  I would like to see more of the parking in the form of angled onstreet parking and less in the form of large surface lots.  One thing all of the successful urban retail districts in Jacksonville have in common is the presence of onstreet parking.

thelakelander

December 09, 2013, 10:21:53 PM
Phase I appeared to be the demo and replacement of the mall part with smaller spaces for restaurants. The residential appeared to be a later phase.

I-10east

December 09, 2013, 10:46:58 PM
With that 'hole through the middle' revitalization to the Landing, they would be tearing down one the most vital parts of the Landing, the escalators. I most certainly realize that current dead retail space within the inner stores, but in a way removing them escalators is counter-productive in a sense; They would now have to install a dual escalator on BOTH sides of each half, for the sake of a riverview.

Now maybe after everything is done, I'll be like "Oh s**t, the Landing looks very nice after the 'Laura down the hole' renovation!!!" but as of now, there are too many unanswered questions with it; Right now, it's not so much as me being against that measure, but moreso of me not having a full understanding of it, other than a 'sightseeing' hole down the middle of a festival marketplace.   

river4340

December 09, 2013, 10:49:58 PM
Dare I ask what kind of incentives he wants for this?

Sleiman hasn't said, but he's made it clear that he wouldn't do any of it without city money.

fieldafm

December 09, 2013, 10:51:30 PM
Quote
With that 'hole through the middle' revitalization to the Landing, they would be tearing down one the most vital parts of the Landing, the escalators. I most certainly realize that current dead retail space within the inner stores, but in a way removing that escalator is counter-productive in a sense; They would now have to made TWO dual elevators on both sides of each half, for the sake of a riverview.

The current indoor retail spaces and upstairs food court would all be wiped out with this proposal, so escalators really aren't an issue. 

I-10east

December 09, 2013, 11:01:57 PM
The current indoor retail spaces and upstairs food court would all be wiped out with this proposal, so escalators really aren't an issue.

So basically it will be just be a dramatically reduced Landing with a Laura street riverview? With that proposal, quite a few interior existing businesses will be in no man's land. 

fieldafm

December 09, 2013, 11:05:47 PM
Phase 1 of this proposal envisions the Landing as a restaurant and entertainment center and no longer a mall.  Most of the retail would be gone. 

vicupstate

December 09, 2013, 11:08:52 PM
Phase 1 of this proposal envisions the Landing as a restaurant and entertainment center and no longer a mall.  Most of the retail would be gone. 

Isn't that's pretty much all is it now, in terms of tenants.

 

fieldafm

December 09, 2013, 11:13:14 PM
The food court is just shy of 50 percent occupancy.  Most of the downstairs retail spaces are full, in fact the downstairs portion has the highes occupancy rates in north of a decade.
 
Although I can't say that I would miss an outdated indoor mall hallway downtown. 

I-10east

December 09, 2013, 11:20:20 PM
Phase 1 of this proposal envisions the Landing as a restaurant and entertainment center and no longer a mall.  Most of the retail would be gone. 

Hopefully a possible in the future 'phase two' would be very exciting other than just housing, because that phase one is just downright sad IMO. One of the good things about the interior space (specifically upstairs, and downstairs near the escalator core) is shelter from the elements.

Lunican

December 09, 2013, 11:23:32 PM
Well I'm glad we waited 10 years for this plan. I wonder if tearing down a mall to expand its parking lot has ever been done before?

fieldafm

December 09, 2013, 11:36:23 PM
Quote
One of the good things about the interior space (specifically upstairs, and downstairs near the escalator core) is shelter from the elements.

Frankly those two spaces are the worst parts of the Landing.

I-10east

December 09, 2013, 11:43:39 PM
^^^There are many other 'vibrant urban indoor places' around the country that looks very similar space wise to those spaces, but I'm supposed to be forcefed to believe that 'everything urban and indoors' is the "outdated 80's" okay....
I respect your opinion though, thanks for the info. I actually hate this 'parting the Red Sea' proposal even more... 

fieldafm

December 09, 2013, 11:54:09 PM
Empty food courts on the second floor of a dead mall with no visibility from the street isn't exactly the hottest retail space going these days.

fieldafm

December 09, 2013, 11:58:08 PM
Mayor Brown mentioned his dream of bringing Macy's, Nordstroms, etc. to downtown in the opening remarks






The implosion of Macy's in Downtown Houston

stephendare

December 10, 2013, 12:07:25 AM
^^^There are many other 'vibrant urban indoor places' around the country that looks very similar space wise to those spaces, but I'm supposed to be forcefed to believe that 'everything urban and indoors' is the "outdated 80's" okay....
I respect your opinion though, thanks for the info. I actually hate this 'parting the Red Sea' proposal even more...

yawn.

I-10east

December 10, 2013, 12:14:03 AM
^^Yawn to you also... Sorry for having an opinion that isn't yours. That's what make people different you know, personalities!!!

stephendare

December 10, 2013, 12:20:07 AM
^^Yawn to you also... Sorry for having an opinion that isn't yours. That's what make people different you know, personalities!!!

I like lots of personalities and opinions.  Yours is really just the same thing restated many times over, no matter what anyone is talking about.  (or whether you know what they are talking about yourself).

I-10east

December 10, 2013, 12:29:40 AM
^^^That's the misconception that I 'regurgitate an opinion over and over' but that's not true, and doing that is very boring to me. It's actually vice-versa with you and people like Simms rebutting everything that I say, thus saying the same thing over and over. When talking with Field, I learned thoroughly about the Landing's first would-be 'part the river' phase, and gave my opinion for the FIRST time in understanding that proposal, but of course you butt in like always....I was totally over that conversation, until you brought it up again, which is very repetitive in itself; I get it, you disagree with me, okay you already said that in the past. Being 'redundant' is subjective; I probably can spout off with a green energy topic every two days, and you won't say that I'm being 'redundant'.   

kbhanson3

December 10, 2013, 05:59:13 AM
Some things I took away from the meeting:

1.  Great to see so many people at the meeting sharing opinions.  You never see that many people at a public meeting unless they are opposing something.  This was the reverse.  All showed up to support something.

2.  The plan needs more residential.  And the density should be as high as practical, and it should be "workforce" product.  I couldn't tell if there is any residential in phase 1 or not.

3.  I would like to see more of the parking in the form of angled onstreet parking and less in the form of large surface lots.  One thing all of the successful urban retail districts in Jacksonville have in common is the presence of onstreet parking.
Workforce housing would require significant government subsidy to make the economics of dense, urban construction viable.  Hard to imagine public support for that in this town....

thelakelander

December 10, 2013, 06:44:16 AM
I can't imagine workforce housing happening on the riverfront without massive public subsidies either. It would seem that the old City Hall Annex would be more suitable for that, since it's a structurally city owned high-rise already standing.

I had a early tip about what the proposal would be, so what I saw wasn't as shocking initially to me.  I didn't stay the entire time but it didn't appear that there was much criticism from the crowd. 

I'm not opposed to tearing down the mall portion although I believe the structure is salvageable and could easily be reconfigured but it's clear he wants his dedicated parking and we've failed to properly resolve that issue for +25 years. That Parador garage should be large enough to handled everyone's parking, so we could eliminate all the surface lots in the immediate vicinity, IMO.

After mulling this over a little more, my major concerns would be:

1. Pedestrian movement - I'm not sure it's a good idea to make the Laura Street roundabout the main vehicular entrance. That kills what should be a pretty interactive and pedestrian friendly space because all the pavers in the world aren't going to reduce the flow of cars using it. It also effectively pulls the possibility of outdoor dining from the street. It's a suburban vehicular solution in an urban setting and the vibe from the street would be no different than that of many strip malls with restaurants lining A1A in Jax Beach.

2. The treatment of Hogan Street, south of Independent is pretty underwhelming. It seems there would be opportunity to make it more of an interactive space. Although, the second phase would help with this issue somewhat. Yet, because there's no timeline associated with what was presented last night, it's hard to determine what will truly take place.

Overall, I think with the initial layout and the Parador garage, we've completely screwed up what should be one of the better intersections for foot traffic in the Northbank.

3. COJ needs to work with the owners of the Suntrust Tower and Wells Fargo Center to better integrate their ground levels with Laura Street. I'm not sure this plan of opening the courtyard up to Laura Street will accomplish much (outside of creating a view corridor of a parking lot entrance with some blue in the background) for helping spread redevelopment up Laura.

4. We need to figure out if we can get approval from FDOT to simply remove the on and off ramps to Independent Drive from Main Street. Doing anything with the Main and Ocean ramps would be more difficult to accomplish any time soon. If the Independent Drive ramps were gone, there would be an opportunity to reconfigure the area around the bridge for parking, which may free up space for better pedestrian scale interactivity with Independent Drive between Laura and Hogan Streets.

thelakelander

December 10, 2013, 06:47:20 AM
Quote
Workshop: A better Landing is vital to improving downtown

The name of Monday’s night’s workshop on The Jacksonville Landing was “Making waves, realizing a world-class waterfront.”

And that theme came up often, starting with Mayor Alvin Brown talking about his desire to make Jacksonville a world-class city.

“Can you imagine a Macy’s, Lord & Taylor and Saks downtown,” he said. “Can you see a 24-hour downtown Jacksonville?”

“The Landing is the key,” he said,

full article: http://members.jacksonville.com/business/2013-12-09/story/workshop-better-landing-vital-improving-downtown

CG7

December 10, 2013, 08:28:31 AM
I stayed for the entire meeting, and though there was a lot of patting on the back for this plan. there was enough criticism of the density and ho hum architecture (and those damn parking lots), that hopefully they will get back to the drawing board and come up with something Jacksonville deserves...This is not it.

PeeJayEss

December 10, 2013, 08:58:17 AM
I am confident Sleiman and the city can pull off demolishing the majority of the Landing. I'm just not so sold that they'll rebuild anything in its place after.

Is it really impossible for them to cut the front building down the middle and use what's left of it? Seems like the City's backing will mean this will be much more expensive but not substantially better.

Quote
“Can you imagine a Macy’s, Lord & Taylor and Saks downtown,” he said. “Can you see a 24-hour downtown Jacksonville?”

Dear God. It is amazing that this is the best we can do for leadership. Large department stores are certainly the future! Nothing says 24 hours like a business that takes up a full city block and closes at 8pm.

I-10east

December 10, 2013, 09:06:08 AM
I am confident Sleiman and the city can pull off demolishing the majority of the Landing. I'm just not so sold that they'll rebuild anything in its place after.

I agree. There's literally nothing added in phase one, only huge parts of the building being demoed. Even the very thing which is supposedly gonna revitalize the Landing (the breezeway) is nothing. To be honest, that proposal is very saddening IMO.

Tacachale

December 10, 2013, 09:07:02 AM
Well, if the Mayor is convinced that this is his ticket to a downtown Macys or Winn-Dixie or whatever, Sleiman can probably count on getting everything he wants and more. So long as it doesn't appear to be a new tax, of course.

tlemans

December 10, 2013, 09:26:07 AM
I think the Landing could take a Que from Pointe Orlando and of course a parking garage that will give more people a place to park and draw a bigger crowd. I think the right mix of restaurants, retail and a better variety of entertainment would draw a crowd. The restaurants, retail and entertainment currently available is mediocre. I visited Bayside Marketplace in Miami this year and it is like night and day compared to the Landing. People here in Jacksonville are looking for things to do here especially on the weekend. The Town Center and River City Marketplace are great but what a wonderful addition it would be for a Jacksonville Landing that is up to par.

fieldafm

December 10, 2013, 09:39:24 AM
Quote
Even the very thing which is supposedly gonna revitalize the Landing (the breezeway) is nothing.

Opening the Landing courtyard to the street is actually very important.  Right now, the building literally turns its back to Laura Street. 

Lake is right, using the roundabout as an entryway to a parking lot pretty much cuts off the very thing you are looking to accomplish with opening up the courtyard.... activating a pedestrian-centric interaction with the surrounding streets. 

However, I am less gloomy than others... I think some simple reconfigurations of the proposed parking lots can still open up areas that allow for outdoor dining opportunities and flexible space for events that interacts very well with Laura/Independent/Hogan/Water.

Bridges

December 10, 2013, 09:44:55 AM
Not at the Jeff Speck meeting this morning, but maybe someone will ask him about the design of the Landing and it's enhancement of walkability.  Especially a new parking lot with a roundabout entrance way in the middle of downtown.   

I-10east

December 10, 2013, 09:51:01 AM
Opening the Landing courtyard to the street is actually very important.  Right now, the building literally turns its back to Laura Street.

Even the most ardent supporter of that proposal has to realize that this is more about a 'hopeful' phase two; Phase one is more about renovating the 'gateway' for newcomers. Channel 4 is talking about this, with social media concerning on whether phase one would attract them to the Landing; That talk on social media should be very interesting, I'll be very surprised to hear alot of positive responses. 

Tacachale

December 10, 2013, 10:08:59 AM
Quote
Even the very thing which is supposedly gonna revitalize the Landing (the breezeway) is nothing.

Opening the Landing courtyard to the street is actually very important.  Right now, the building literally turns its back to Laura Street. 

Lake is right, using the roundabout as an entryway to a parking lot pretty much cuts off the very thing you are looking to accomplish with opening up the courtyard.... activating a pedestrian-centric interaction with the surrounding streets. 

However, I am less gloomy than others... I think some simple reconfigurations of the proposed parking lots can still open up areas that allow for outdoor dining opportunities and flexible space for events that interacts very well with Laura/Independent/Hogan/Water.

This is my concern even more than adding more empty lots downtown: if the entryway doesn't improve pedestrian access to the courtyard from Laura Street, it's not worth doing, and it's certainly not worth any city subsidies. Hopefully that's an element that can be fixed while the whole thing is still on nice, cheap paper.

My is that if Brown thinks this will get him his Macy's, this thing will get pushed right along without much further scrutiny or planning. We all saw what the DDRB was willing to do for that silly Parador garage - which should have included the Landing's parking already.

KenFSU

December 10, 2013, 10:17:15 AM
What scares me the most is the mayor's fundamental lack of understanding of what it takes to land something like a downtown Macy's (which have been rapidly closing for years) or an NBA team (which might realistically require a near complete demolition of our ten-year-old arena).

Macy's isn't touching downtown Jacksonville with a fifty-foot pole unless we have something like this in the can:

Quote
Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s to open at downtown Miami Worldcenter
December 8th, 2013

Miami’s cachet as an international shopping Mecca is taking a quantum leap forward.

Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s unveiled plans to open new stores at Miami Worldcenter, the outsized, mixed-use project planned for downtown’s Park West district, which is west of Biscayne Boulevard across from AmericanAirlines Arena.

Macy’s Inc., the parent of both retailing heavyweights, expects by late 2016 to open a 195,000-square-foot Macy’s and a 120,000-square-foot Bloomingdale’s, anchoring three levels of retail comprising another 425,000 square feet.

The Forbes Company and Taubman Centers Inc., two prominent regional mall developers, formed a joint venture to develop the urban mall on a 10-acre site it is acquiring from Miami Worldcenter Associates.

Miami Worldcenter Associates, headed by Nitin Motwani and Art Falcone, is the master developer overseeing the redevelopment of some 27 acres of prime downtown property that currently includes parking lots, night clubs, an art house and a tech accelerator. Earlier development efforts had stalled during the real estate crash, but the venture has since gained momentum.

The working name for the shopping center is The Mall at Miami Worldcenter.

“Our hopes are to break ground in late 2014,” said Nathan Forbes, managing partner of Forbes, based in Southfield, Mich.

Forbes said the site for the mall — which stretches from NE Seventh Street to NE 10th Street between First Avenue and Second Avenue — is especially choice. “Direct access to I-395 and I-95 gives it a regional draw,” Forbes said. “The arts and entertainment and cultural activities are adjacent ... the Performing Arts Center, the art museum and science museum. All the trips traversing this site, we think provide a great opportunity. They add to the draw of this downtown node for redevelopment.”

“Both will be significant stores showcasing the importance of downtown Miami,” said Motwani, who predicted much more lies ahead for Miami Worldcenter, including pedestrian-friendly residential, retail and hospitality.

The long-expected announcement from Macy’s comes as Miami’s downtown is enjoying an enviable spate of new development that is transforming the once-stagnant area into a vibrant work-live-play center.

Alyce Robertson, executive director of Miami’s Downtown Development Authority, said young professionals who have moved to recently built condominiums have spawned “demand for quality retail” and “corporations are realizing this is the place to be.”

The Miami Worldcenter project is particularly exciting, she added, because “that part of downtown has been depressed for decades. It’s a shot in the arm.”

The Miami Worldcenter is already slated to get a Marriott Marquis World Convention Center Hotel on nearly five acres west of the newly unveiled retail project. A nearby Florida East Coast train station, part of the plans for All Aboard Florida rail service that will connect downtown Miami to Orlando, would also boost the visibility of the site.

In May, Miami developer MDM Development said it has a contract to purchase the old Miami Arena site for the privately financed convention center with a huge 1,800-room hotel above it. An outside spokesman for MDM on Wednesday reiterated it “has a contract to purchase the former Miami Arena site and will soon be moving forward with our plans for a hotel and convention center.”

 He added: “The exciting announcement about Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s anchoring Miami Worldcenter’s retail component, coupled with our plans for a hotel and convention center, and Florida East Coast’s plans for its train station, further positions Miami Worldcenter as not only downtown Miami’s most compelling urban development, but one of our nation’s most important and largest urban renewal developments.”

Plans for the new Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s at the northern edge of the Central Business District come as Miami’s urban core is already abuzz with other plans for major retail development. In January, Swire Properties Inc. and Bal Harbour Shops unveiled plans to jointly develop 500,000 square feet of luxury shops at Swire’s Brickell City Centre, a huge mixed-use project under construction in downtown Miami. That retail venture is scheduled to open in the third quarter of 2015 along with condominiums and a hotel.

Meanwhile, developer Craig Robins is going full throttle on plans for a major luxury retail destination in Miami’s once-shabby Design District; some designer shops have already opened there.

Even with the spate of new retail on the horizon downtown, those involved in the Miami Worldcenter project are bullish.

Motwani said: “This will be the first time Bloomingdale’s has a presence in downtown Miami ... and we’re excited to keep Macy’s in downtown and part of a larger state-of-the-art facility to save downtown.”

Jim Sluzewski, Macy’s Inc.’s senior vice president for corporate communications, said the company hasn’t yet decided on the future of the Flagler Street Macy’s store. “We aren’t making any final decision at this point. We have a lease to the spring of 2018. As the next two years unfold, we’ll figure out what we’re going to do,” Sluzewski said.

Macy’s future on Flagler Street has been in question since 2007 when Julie Greiner, who at the time was Macy’s Florida chairwoman, chastised city leaders for the rundown conditions in the downtown area and threatened that Macy’s might leave.

fieldafm

December 10, 2013, 10:21:29 AM
Quote
Even the most ardent supporter of that proposal has to realize that this is more about a 'hopeful' phase two; Phase one is more about renovating the 'gateway' for newcomers.

If anyone actually is really looking forward to the 'phase 2' component with any intensity, I'd invite them to put much more focus on the 'phase 1' portion... which still has the potential to be something good with some simple modifications that all parties can agree on (parking is a concern, and it has to be addressed-however it can be addressed in a more workable manner).  I think it is very, very, very important that those modifications be accomodated.

I-10east

December 10, 2013, 10:29:11 AM
^^^I hear ya. Concerning Channel 4's "Whether or not you'll be inclined to visit the Landing" question, many on facebook are going to that obligatory "clean up the crime in the area" take; That seems like more of an imaginary perception more than anything.

Bridges

December 10, 2013, 10:30:24 AM
One of the coolest things to me was the amount of diversity in the room.  You could tell that the Landing is viewed as a critical piece of the downtown puzzle to the community.

The Landing is very important since it is one of the only places the public can interact with the river with bars and entertainment.  There is nothing on the Southbank that allows for entertainment on the river.  All the old stores are gone.  Sure there are benches, and a walk, but there isn't much.  There is River City Brewing but that is one place, and if you don't like that one place you're SOL. 

The Northbank has only the Landing.  There are the Shipyards that have potential, but if they're being saved for private residences, then there isn't much for the public to do on our grand riverwalk. 

Bridges

December 10, 2013, 10:30:45 AM
When is the next meeting for input?

I-10east

December 10, 2013, 10:34:38 AM
There is River City Brewing but that is one place, and if you don't like that one place you're SOL. 

Ruth Chris is certainly worth mentioning, but I get what you're saying.

fieldafm

December 10, 2013, 10:42:44 AM
Quote
When is the next meeting for input?

I would imagine there won't be much more opportunity for public input like last night until the actual incentive package is presented publicly at DIA.

CityLife

December 10, 2013, 10:44:18 AM
There is River City Brewing but that is one place, and if you don't like that one place you're SOL. 

Ruth Chris is certainly worth mentioning, but I get what you're saying.

I think he's speaking more to restaurants/bars that interact with the riverwalk. Both Ruth's Chris and The Chart House have river views, but are indoor restaurants. In that sense they don't interact with the Riverwalk anymore than The University Club does.

tufsu1

December 10, 2013, 10:48:47 AM
Not at the Jeff Speck meeting this morning, but maybe someone will ask him about the design of the Landing and it's enhancement of walkability.  Especially a new parking lot with a roundabout entrance way in the middle of downtown.   

After the event, I spoke to Jeff Speck about the Landing issue.  He was flabbergasted (remember he's only been here for a day).  I asked him to talk with some decision makers further if he had a chance before leaving town.

I-10east

December 10, 2013, 11:00:16 AM
I think he's speaking more to restaurants/bars that interact with the riverwalk. Both Ruth's Chris and The Chart House have river views, but are indoor restaurants. In that sense they don't interact with the Riverwalk anymore than The University Club does.

Fair enough.

Bridges

December 10, 2013, 11:34:21 AM

I think he's speaking more to restaurants/bars that interact with the riverwalk. Both Ruth's Chris and The Chart House have river views, but are indoor restaurants. In that sense they don't interact with the Riverwalk anymore than The University Club does.

Indeed.

AmyLynne

December 10, 2013, 12:08:56 PM
^^^I hear ya. Concerning Channel 4's "Whether or not you'll be inclined to visit the Landing" question, many on facebook are going to that obligatory "clean up the crime in the area" take; That seems like more of an imaginary perception more than anything.


That's the go to response for people that have no real reason of why they aren't doing something. Just like those people of saying they would buy Jags tickets "if only"...

You take away what ever that if is to them, they will only find another to replace it.

Noone

December 10, 2013, 12:36:49 PM
Quote
When is the next meeting for input?

I would imagine there won't be much more opportunity for public input like last night until the actual incentive package is presented publicly at DIA.

Be happy that you even had one Public meeting. It was discussed not to even have one. And it's just not on this issue but other key projects as well.

So many other examples to pick from. Add your own. What are we trying to transform again?

Visit Jacksonville!
I'm All In.

JaxArchitect

December 10, 2013, 01:30:13 PM
The opening in the middle of the site is critical to connecting to the City and creating human activity along Laura and Independent Drive.  While I can see Lake’s point about the vehicular entrance, I think that it makes sense as an access point because it’s more intuitive than the current entry location.  If they were to eliminate the public plazas on the north side of the building and either extend the structures or at least provide outdoor dining in these locations, it would be an improvement because it would bring this activity closer to Independent Drive.  Besides, I don’t think we need to expand the outdoor plaza beyond what’s inside the horseshoe anyway.  Alternatively, maybe the end of Hogan Street could be used flexibly as a temporary plaza for Fla/Ga game, etc and provide better connectivity to the Times Union Center.
I also though Bill Bishop’s comment about eliminating the ramps from Main Street are spot on right.
My biggest concern is that this development is being referred to as “mixed-use” but the “future” residential will most likely never happen.  It’s clear that the two residential towers are afterthoughts and not an integral part of the masterplan.  The footprint is not large enough to provide a ramped parking structure within them so they’ll never get enough parking to support residential, at least not anything beyond a couple of stories.  If they were to consolidate the residential component with the restaurants on the east side of the plaza into one structure (rather than independent structures separated by an alley), it would give the architect more flexibility to make the parking work.  Besides, I think the design could benefit from a little assymetry.
Instead, Mr. Sleiman understandably wants to focus on what he knows, which is essentially strip malls, and defer the residential to some future development.  As such, the only proposed use in Phase I is reconfigured restaurants and parking lots.  I feel that the masterplan needs to include a mixed use component from the start or it won’t be any more successful than what we’ve already got.

LBjax

December 10, 2013, 02:25:38 PM
Time to embrace change Duval!

When I have family visit and specifically request to go visit downtown b/c they've  heard of "The Landing", I sadly have to break the news that it's a disappointment and a waste of time. A has-been now infested with vacant lots, crappy over-priced restaurants, wanna-be bar/club, a refuge for the forgotten and ignored, and a stage with a view desperate for attention and appreciation.

The demand is there, people with time and money in hand (think FL/GA - The Landing was getting FREE advertising from National stations for god's sakes!) yet why is it falling apart?

 To me the answer is simple: Change from within. Need new skin in the game when it comes to those who write the checks and make the decisions. Just look at the improvements and support Khan has for Jacksonville in the short time he's been here!

There are too many "has-been's" running the show trying to prevent change because they are in denial that their vision, quite frankly SUCKS! The culture of our city has changed with the generations and the landing is stuck in the past. Without passion, belief, vision and support from above there can be no change.

Small example/idea/start (whatever you want to call it)  and I'll stop my rant.

Recently visited Orlando on a girls night out. Had NO IDEA Orlando had an awesome night life outside of the parks! Yes, I'm talking about Church Street District. "Located in the heart of Downtown Orlando, the Church Street District is home to an eclectic mix of world class dining, professional sports, live entertainment, night spots, theater and Orlando’s award winning Amway Center." - Right off their website! Doesn't sound too far off from what we have/could have here in Jax. Had the best time I've had in a long time. Bar/Club hopping until the sun came up (ok..until 2 when everything shut down). Club with DJ's that actually knew how to play dance music, raves, bar's, good food, awesome vibe, diverse culture - "something for everyone"! But the most important aspect that made it come together was the support from the city. Police blocked off the the street so we didn't have to worry about cars. Wide variety of restaurants, clubs, bars, theater, sports, arts - all because the city allowed and supported it!

Your people want it and have already laid the groundwork when it comes to idea's on what you community wants and already has (Folio, VOID, MetroJacksonville, JaxConnector - to name a few). Now all that's left to do is for the decision makers with deep pockets to support the change!

PEACE!

CityLife

December 10, 2013, 04:38:17 PM
Wasn't able to attend, but I guess Bill Bishop pitched the idea of removing the off-ramps to open up the surface lots east and west of the bridge. Like I said in my earlier post, its a complete waste to have prime surface lots along the river between the Landing and Hyatt/Entertainment District. This isn't a new concept or anything, but glad to see it may be getting some traction.

Quote
City Council member Bill Bishop, an architect, proposed that Main and Ocean streets be made two-way and turned back into a local road. By doing so, the ramps near the Landing and Hyatt Downtown could be removed, opening up more land near the venue.

"I think they are in the way, they're large concrete structures," Sleiman said.

Bishop and Mike Saylor, a Downtown Investment Authority board member, said the thought of removing the ramps isn't new. The suggestion has been around at least since former Mayor John Peyton's "Big Idea" plan to make parts of Downtown more pedestrian-friendly.

"We came 'this close' and didn't do it," said Saylor, who served as Peyton's planning director for a year.

Bishop said the ramps were "obsolete" and "unnecessary" now that the bridge is not the main traffic thoroughfare, as motorists now rely on Interstate 95. The portion near Downtown is being improved and both said now could be a time to try and partner with the state transportation department to seek the alteration.

Still, Bishop said such a major change would take years to implement. Making the two Downtown streets two-way again would be done first and wouldn't take long.

Removing the ramps weren't the only ideas Sleiman said he liked. Having high-density residential — not just a two-story structure — was something he favored, as was making the venue a destination for artists and concerts.

http://www.jaxdailyrecord.com/showstory.php?Story_id=541270

Tacachale

December 10, 2013, 04:49:35 PM
It is definitely a good long(ish) term plan. They should also remove the expressway on the Southbank side and make it an urban boulevard. If they can get rid of the Independent St. ramp sooner that would definitely open up a lot of potential.

Charles Hunter

December 10, 2013, 06:50:02 PM
Is Bishop asking for the DOT to give the City the antique Main Street Bridge (1940 something) - and the attendant maintenance?

From what I've read here about the Sleiman plan, I think folks are right - Toney knows strip malls with front-door parking, so that's what he wants to convert the Landing to.  Talk of future residential is, IMO, just talk to sweeten the deal for folks that aren't thinking. 

Kay

December 10, 2013, 07:52:56 PM
It was not a good day for downtown Jacksonville when Tony Sleiman bought the Landing. 

fieldafm

December 10, 2013, 08:54:32 PM
It was not a good day for downtown Jacksonville when Tony Sleiman bought the Landing.

I think the exact opposite is true.  Nobody wanted it.  Without Sleiman, it woud have become a surface parking lot 10 years ago. 

When people stop blaming Toney Sleiman or First Baptist for downtown's downfall and start finding solutions with the assets downtown does have... Downtown will have better days. 

Bottom line is, the owner has needs.  Downtown has needs.  There is common ground in between both of those needs.  You can still have parking and flex space for events and festivals which still contributes to a vibrant, walkable environment by simply flipping a few things around. 

rutabaga

December 10, 2013, 09:01:40 PM
I remember the area long before the landing.  I like most things about the landing.  But I don't like the inside area.. where you first walk in.  It seems so confining or awkward.  I think that opening up the middle so that people can see the river from Laura Street will be a big improvement. 

tufsu1

December 10, 2013, 09:47:32 PM
Bottom line is, the owner has needs.  Downtown has needs.  There is common ground in between both of those needs.  You can still have parking and flex space for events and festivals which still contributes to a vibrant, walkable environment by simply flipping a few things around. 

sure...which begs the question as to why Sleiman (and Haskell) couldn't just show a good plan from the start

Kay

December 10, 2013, 10:01:27 PM
Exactly.  If he is unwilling to be only a strip center developer, then he is not right for downtown.  Sorry, but he's going to have to prove me wrong--and I would love to be wrong about this.  I do not believe he will break out of his box and build something great.

Charles Hunter

December 10, 2013, 10:02:13 PM
So a compromise mediocre plan will seem to be wonderful?

CityLife

December 10, 2013, 10:42:18 PM
I think Sleiman showing a mediocre plan is a smart strategy on his behalf...especially if he's asking for incentives. Expectations have been lowered, so now any revisions will seem better than they would have if he had initially presented them. He can also claim to be making concessions based on what the public and city want to see, which might get him more community buy in on incentives he asks for. 

This certainly wouldn't be the first time a developer tried setting the bar low to either see what they could get away with, or with the knowledge that it would make an intended or revised plan look comparatively better.

stephendare

December 10, 2013, 11:18:07 PM
Exactly.  If he is unwilling to be only a strip center developer, then he is not right for downtown.  Sorry, but he's going to have to prove me wrong--and I would love to be wrong about this.  I do not believe he will break out of his box and build something great.

What is it with people that want to come to an urban area, and then try to make it into a suburb?  Its madness, and the hardest part is the idea that the sense of entitlement that comes along with it.

For_F-L-O-R-I-D-A

December 10, 2013, 11:37:13 PM
Downtown needs to focus on building a residential base. It is time to change the codes in the city to promote adaptive reuse to change many of the buildings currently empty in downtown into residences. I think the renaissance in Riverside that is spilling into Brooklyn will soon make this a prime period to focus on building the residential base in downtown.

If you bring the people, then there will be retail that follows. Likewise, businesses will want to be in downtown. Several cities have focused on residential growth and have seen incredible success.

As for the Landing, the mall needs to go one way or another. However, there is an identity crisis that needs to be dealt with. Is the Landing for Night Clubs? Families? Sports Bars? High end restaurants? There is no identity currently so it attracts no one. You cannot market to all of these groups. Rather you need to focus on a a true market. I believe that the Landing can do well if it does serve as a high end restaurant destination and some family programming during the day as "the town center" concept. Send the bars to Bay St.

I-10east

December 11, 2013, 02:58:14 AM
No one has any concerns about Maverick's? Maybe they can move to the Rush Street location; Oh wait, that's gonna be bulldozed too....

IMO the second floor outdoor half-circle deck which overlooks the river and courtyard is the most relaxing area of the Landing. I doubt if that environment would ever be replicated, even with a new phase. That Landing phase would be an equivalent of tearing down Regency's West mall, and trying to convince people that the mall is better now; Maybe tearing a section down is needed, but that doesn't mean that it's gonna be better. When fact, it (the Landing) actually would be worse, considering all of the things (many non-retail, and some successful retail) being taken out.

Sorry, but a waterview from Laura Street doesn't made up for all of that. The thing that no one is mentioning is that the Landing's first phase caters more to the newbie crowd in the future; Unfortunately for the Landing, it isn't some big tourist draw on regular occasion, and those 'improvements' really does nothing for Jax residents.

Longtimer: "What new restaurants etc are coming to the new and improved Landing? What, there aren't any? Just the riverview that I've seen many times? bummer..."  Hopefully a phase 2 will come in, and make the Landing very vibrant, but I'm not gonna hold my breath. Oh well...

thelakelander

December 11, 2013, 06:25:18 AM
^The proposed layout is pretty conceptual at this point.  However, the biggest money loser at the Landing is probably the second floor food court. Most of it cost ownership to keep it open as opposed generating revenue for them. Phase I would involve the construction of two, two-story buildings for additional restaurants, in place of the demolished structure.

billy

December 11, 2013, 06:55:38 AM
Downtown needs to focus on building a residential base. It is time to change the codes in the city to promote adaptive reuse to change many of the buildings currently empty in downtown into residences. I think the renaissance in Riverside that is spilling into Brooklyn will soon make this a prime period to focus on building the residential base in downtown.

If you bring the people, then there will be retail that follows. Likewise, businesses will want to be in downtown. Several cities have focused on residential growth and have seen incredible success.

As for the Landing, the mall needs to go one way or another. However, there is an identity crisis that needs to be dealt with. Is the Landing for Night Clubs? Families? Sports Bars? High end restaurants? There is no identity currently so it attracts no one. You cannot market to all of these groups. Rather you need to focus on a a true market. I believe that the Landing can do well if it does serve as a high end restaurant destination and some family programming during the day as "the town center" concept. Send the bars to Bay St.

Isn't there already a downtown zoning overlay that allows residential conversion?
I think a useful change for other areas would be a  modification that allows residential conversion  in Light Industrial structures that are at least fifty years old.

vicupstate

December 11, 2013, 09:10:03 AM
Downtown needs to focus on building a residential base. It is time to change the codes in the city to promote adaptive reuse to change many of the buildings currently empty in downtown into residences. I think the renaissance in Riverside that is spilling into Brooklyn will soon make this a prime period to focus on building the residential base in downtown.

If you bring the people, then there will be retail that follows. Likewise, businesses will want to be in downtown. Several cities have focused on residential growth and have seen incredible success.

As for the Landing, the mall needs to go one way or another. However, there is an identity crisis that needs to be dealt with. Is the Landing for Night Clubs? Families? Sports Bars? High end restaurants? There is no identity currently so it attracts no one. You cannot market to all of these groups. Rather you need to focus on a a true market. I believe that the Landing can do well if it does serve as a high end restaurant destination and some family programming during the day as "the town center" concept. Send the bars to Bay St.

Outstanding post and welcome to the forum!  I agree 100%, especially about the residential part.   

vicupstate

December 11, 2013, 09:24:27 AM
No one has any concerns about Maverick's? Maybe they can move to the Rush Street location; Oh wait, that's gonna be bulldozed too....

IMO the second floor outdoor half-circle deck which overlooks the river and courtyard is the most relaxing area of the Landing. I doubt if that environment would ever be replicated, even with a new phase. That Landing phase would be an equivalent of tearing down Regency's West mall, and trying to convince people that the mall is better now; Maybe tearing a section down is needed, but that doesn't mean that it's gonna be better. When fact, it (the Landing) actually would be worse, considering all of the things (many non-retail, and some successful retail) being taken out.

Sorry, but a waterview from Laura Street doesn't made up for all of that. The thing that no one is mentioning is that the Landing's first phase caters more to the newbie crowd in the future; Unfortunately for the Landing, it isn't some big tourist draw on regular occasion, and those 'improvements' really does nothing for Jax residents.

Longtimer: "What new restaurants etc are coming to the new and improved Landing? What, there aren't any? Just the riverview that I've seen many times? bummer..."  Hopefully a phase 2 will come in, and make the Landing very vibrant, but I'm not gonna hold my breath. Oh well...

I basically agree. Opening up a view corridor is a good idea, but it NOT the silver bullet that will reinvigorate The Landing all by itself.  There needs to be a GOOD design and a FRESH appearance in the FIRST phase, or this will fail, IMO.  The incentives will be throwing good money after bad.   

Also, others projects in the area like the Laura Trio don't need to be pushed to the back burner just so this can happen (even though the Landing is indeed a critical element in the big picture). 

JaxArchitect

December 11, 2013, 09:49:34 AM
Downtown needs to focus on building a residential base. It is time to change the codes in the city to promote adaptive reuse to change many of the buildings currently empty in downtown into residences. I think the renaissance in Riverside that is spilling into Brooklyn will soon make this a prime period to focus on building the residential base in downtown.

If you bring the people, then there will be retail that follows. Likewise, businesses will want to be in downtown. Several cities have focused on residential growth and have seen incredible success.

As for the Landing, the mall needs to go one way or another. However, there is an identity crisis that needs to be dealt with. Is the Landing for Night Clubs? Families? Sports Bars? High end restaurants? There is no identity currently so it attracts no one. You cannot market to all of these groups. Rather you need to focus on a a true market. I believe that the Landing can do well if it does serve as a high end restaurant destination and some family programming during the day as "the town center" concept. Send the bars to Bay St.

Exactly!

KenFSU

December 11, 2013, 09:49:55 AM
Maybe it's just me, but the actual Landing signage on the outer horseshoe is one of the more iconic features of the waterfront.

Does the signage go away post renovation?







Wacca Pilatka

December 11, 2013, 09:53:28 AM
It's not just you.  I'd like the signage to stay.

thelakelander

December 11, 2013, 10:00:07 AM
Yes, the sign and the entire building it's attached to would be torn down.

JeffreyS

December 11, 2013, 10:35:51 AM
Downtown needs to focus on building a residential base. It is time to change the codes in the city to promote adaptive reuse to change many of the buildings currently empty in downtown into residences. I think the renaissance in Riverside that is spilling into Brooklyn will soon make this a prime period to focus on building the residential base in downtown.

If you bring the people, then there will be retail that follows. Likewise, businesses will want to be in downtown. Several cities have focused on residential growth and have seen incredible success.

As for the Landing, the mall needs to go one way or another. However, there is an identity crisis that needs to be dealt with. Is the Landing for Night Clubs? Families? Sports Bars? High end restaurants? There is no identity currently so it attracts no one. You cannot market to all of these groups. Rather you need to focus on a a true market. I believe that the Landing can do well if it does serve as a high end restaurant destination and some family programming during the day as "the town center" concept. Send the bars to Bay St.

I know everyone is in love with this post but it happens to be wrong.  I wish we could make short term strides in residential but that is all it is wishing. In terms of enough new residents to radically change the purchasing power of DT in five years. 

You invest in quality of life and slowly residential follows. Shedding any retail would not be healthy for downtown.  The makeover for the Landing should be considered an aesthetic QOL investment and needs to retain retail.

chipwich

December 11, 2013, 12:16:48 PM
Maybe it's just me, but the actual Landing signage on the outer horseshoe is one of the more iconic features of the waterfront.

Does the signage go away post renovation?




Completely Agree.  The Landing's Signage is it's signature and quite a notable advertisement for Jacksonville.

I am sure if anyone can pull off a refurbishment of the Landing, it would be Sleiman.  He and his team certainly have the know-how, resources, and connections to bring in the right mix of retailers to make it happen. 

I am hopeful he will be able to pull it off, but just like other failed, or flat-lined "marketplace" concepts around the country, I think the Landing is plagued with functional and locational obsolescence.  I am not sure opening the center to Laura Street is going to do that much to help it.

The land it sits on is simply too small, too narrow, and has little room to grow.  So Sleiman is  a good developer, and maybe he can work around the size of the project and rework the square footage to a more functional, modern retail destination, but you still run into the biggest hurdle of all, which is the odd location of the Landing.

The Landing is surrounded by office buildings with no street level retail, and almost connectivity for anything else in downtown.  You loose the majority of the population after 6 PM.  Then after 6 PM, you have travel at least two lifeless blocks to reach any retail or nightlife on Bay or Forsyth Street.  The place is an island.  Retail requires critical mass to survive. 

For the Landing to be successful, the City needs to incentive the owners of the surrounding office buildings to renovate and reorient their first floor space towards street oriented retail.  Otherwise, tearing down the middle of the Landing, destroying its notable signage and opening it up to Laura Street would be just a wasteful and futile endeavor.

 A build it and they will come attitude simply cannot work for a project whose land, layout and square footage will not allow for something so grandiose that it can work as a stand alone retail project.

finehoe

December 11, 2013, 02:15:20 PM
...the two residential towers are afterthoughts and not an integral part of the masterplan.  The footprint is not large enough to provide a ramped parking structure within them so they’ll never get enough parking to support residential, at least not anything beyond a couple of stories.

True enough.  However....

Real Estate Trend: Parking-Free Apartment Buildings

A wave of new residential construction projects in places like Seattle, Boston, and Miami are showing that, yes, modern American cities can build housing without any car parking on site.

Officials in Boston gave their approval last week to what Curbed called the city’s “first big-time parking-less condo,” a 175-unit project named Lovejoy Wharf. The “plan was met with disbelief in some quarters,” according to Curbed, but the city’s redevelopment authority approved it unanimously.

Portland developers have been building housing sans parking for a few years. Last summer, NPR reported that about 40 percent of Portland’s under-construction housing was parking-free. Portland’s zoning rules have allowed zero-parking developments since the aughts, but builders and lenders weren’t pursuing that type of project until recently, the Oregonian reports. Unfortunately, the city pulled the rug out from under parking-free housing this summer, responding to car owners who feared increased competition for curbside parking spots. Portland’s new rule requires some parking in apartment buildings with more than 30 units.

Meanwhile, other cities are marching ahead. In Seattle, parking-free housing developments are becoming more common. Mark Knoll, CEO of Blueprint Capital, led the development of a 30-unit building with no parking in one of the city’s “urban villages.” These designated areas, chosen for their walkability and proximity to transit, have special zoning rules that allow Seattle developers to forgo parking. These relaxed parking requirements were set in motion by Washington state’s Growth Management Act in the 1990s, which was intended to combat urban sprawl. Since the new zoning rules came online in Seattle in 2010, between 20 and 30 parking-free projects have been developed, Knoll estimates.

Car parking is expensive: Each space in a city garage costs tens of thousands of dollars to build and hundreds of dollars annually to maintain. Eliminating on-site parking brings down the cost of apartment construction, Knoll estimates, between 20 and 30 percent. That makes it possible for developers to deliver more affordable housing. Knoll’s California Avenue development, for instance, is targeted at people making 60 percent of area median income, or about $15 per hour.

“There’s been quite a few developments [of this type] and they’re quite popular,” said Knoll. “There’s a waiting list for these types of housing.”

Parking-free housing is attracting buyers at the upper end of the spectrum too. Luxury apartments and condos are now appearing in cities like Miami and Portland without any car parking. Miami’s under-development, 352-unit Centro Lofts will have just five Car2Go spaces, covered bicycle parking, and a space for a future bike sharing station. No storage for private cars. That doesn’t seem to be hurting demand, according to the Miami Herald:

If you think this sort of thing won’t fly in auto-centric Miami, guess again. Half of Centro’s 352 units are sold even though the building hasn’t broken ground. Prices start at $220,000 and top out in the mid-$400,000s.

“These types of projects are really the wave of the future,’’ Oscar Rodriguez, the developer, told the Herald.

http://dc.streetsblog.org/2013/12/10/real-estate-trend-parking-free-apartment-buildings/

fsujax

December 11, 2013, 02:29:14 PM
Save the sign. I like it. Our skyline is dark enough and without it another iconic sign will be gone forever.

I-10east

December 11, 2013, 02:41:33 PM
^The proposed layout is pretty conceptual at this point.  However, the biggest money loser at the Landing is probably the second floor food court. Most of it cost ownership to keep it open as opposed generating revenue for them. Phase I would involve the construction of two, two-story buildings for additional restaurants, in place of the demolished structure.

If they phase out the food court, I can easily see that area being turned into a club, ala Maverick's.

I-10east

December 11, 2013, 02:41:54 PM
Save the sign. I like it. Our skyline is dark enough and without it another iconic sign will be gone forever.

I agree.

mtraininjax

December 11, 2013, 02:56:18 PM
Sleiman will sell the rights of the signage and Pepsi will call it the "The Jacksonville Landing, Pepsi docks"

For_F-L-O-R-I-D-A

December 11, 2013, 03:40:29 PM
Downtown needs to focus on building a residential base. It is time to change the codes in the city to promote adaptive reuse to change many of the buildings currently empty in downtown into residences. I think the renaissance in Riverside that is spilling into Brooklyn will soon make this a prime period to focus on building the residential base in downtown.

If you bring the people, then there will be retail that follows. Likewise, businesses will want to be in downtown. Several cities have focused on residential growth and have seen incredible success.

As for the Landing, the mall needs to go one way or another. However, there is an identity crisis that needs to be dealt with. Is the Landing for Night Clubs? Families? Sports Bars? High end restaurants? There is no identity currently so it attracts no one. You cannot market to all of these groups. Rather you need to focus on a a true market. I believe that the Landing can do well if it does serve as a high end restaurant destination and some family programming during the day as "the town center" concept. Send the bars to Bay St.

I know everyone is in love with this post but it happens to be wrong.  I wish we could make short term strides in residential but that is all it is wishing. In terms of enough new residents to radically change the purchasing power of DT in five years. 

You invest in quality of life and slowly residential follows. Shedding any retail would not be healthy for downtown.  The makeover for the Landing should be considered an aesthetic QOL investment and needs to retain retail.

I think it is the other way around. Create a solid group of residents, then invest in retail. If you have residents and business downtown, retail will come. Can you throw some future incentives at retail to get it going at that point? Sure. But for most of downtown, retail can come in but it will fail without people. Most of the retail closes anyway currently at 5 pm and is not open on weekends. You need residents. I am not for a cent at this point being put into the Landing, there are far more pressing issues. I am in favor of the current process of thinking about how things can be improved and letting them figure it out (although most of their problems revolve around marketing IMO).

There is an overlay district for converted use in downtown, however, being able to do something and incentivizing that process are two different animals. I think once Brooklyn gets up and going the time will be right to focus on residential in downtown. There is so much space in previous beautiful office buildings even just on Adams and Forsyth from Hogan to Main. Most of the space sits empty (even if there is some retail on the street). You are then able to save our historical buildings which tell a magnificent story and many cities (such as Tampa and Miami) have mostly torn down.

There is never enough money for this stuff. Right now the ad valorem tax benefits are maxed out in Jacksonville through Florida law. You need to incentivize the system by creating a streamlined process that is not held to the same code new construction would be. Parking is usually one of the big impediments to reuse in downtown centers because it is held to the same standard as new construction. It is almost impossible to overcome. Right now, 99% of the year, there is enough parking after 5 pm in downtown because there is no one in downtown. Parking can work itself out but it is killing reuse (Between public garages, what used to be LaVilla, and even FBC and their four parking garages).

Arguably, the most important factor is the expedited approval process for adaptive reuse projects. Usually, projects must go before the city council and go through a public comment and hearing. This process can take weeks and even months to get through even without controversy over the proposal. Waive that process for just adaptive reuse within an area the city wants to focus on creating more residential development within (Adams and Forsyth). It will be approved by the city planning department and have to meet the standards (both within the tax code for historic preservation tax credits and some basic codes that should/need to be enforced) and that person can start work the following day after its approval. That is a huge incentive for developers, cutting down legal costs, and really making a project like that desirable, especially with a little momentum for this type of living in the area.

That is exactly what LA did with its downtown. In 2000, no one lived downtown and the historic parts of downtown were run down and crime infested. Then, they streamlined their process and now that area is considered "one of the coolest" places to live in LA just 13 years later. Also, they have no more adaptive reuse stock left in the area so they incorporated more areas in the streamlined districts, however, in downtown, most of the buildings built now are brand new towers. Jax needs to focus on a dense block, get that going for residential use, and it will spread. Other cities have proven that. That is why getting the Laura St. Trio and Barnett Bank Buildings up and running is far more important than pouring city money into the Landing.

ProjectMaximus

December 11, 2013, 03:45:52 PM
But how do we get affordable residential in the current downtown climate? Both the carling and 11 east are struggling financially despite massive incentives.

Bolles_Bull

December 11, 2013, 04:17:33 PM
Downtown needs to focus on building a residential base. It is time to change the codes in the city to promote adaptive reuse to change many of the buildings currently empty in downtown into residences. I think the renaissance in Riverside that is spilling into Brooklyn will soon make this a prime period to focus on building the residential base in downtown.

If you bring the people, then there will be retail that follows. Likewise, businesses will want to be in downtown. Several cities have focused on residential growth and have seen incredible success.

As for the Landing, the mall needs to go one way or another. However, there is an identity crisis that needs to be dealt with. Is the Landing for Night Clubs? Families? Sports Bars? High end restaurants? There is no identity currently so it attracts no one. You cannot market to all of these groups. Rather you need to focus on a a true market. I believe that the Landing can do well if it does serve as a high end restaurant destination and some family programming during the day as "the town center" concept. Send the bars to Bay St.

I know everyone is in love with this post but it happens to be wrong.  I wish we could make short term strides in residential but that is all it is wishing. In terms of enough new residents to radically change the purchasing power of DT in five years. 

You invest in quality of life and slowly residential follows. Shedding any retail would not be healthy for downtown.  The makeover for the Landing should be considered an aesthetic QOL investment and needs to retain retail.

Exactly.  Example, look at the town center and all the new residential that is popping up around it.  Create a place people want to live and the housing will follow demand.  We need to improve QOL first.

fieldafm

December 11, 2013, 04:22:20 PM
I can afford most housing options currently being offered downtown.  I chose not to live there b/c you have all of the inconveniences of urban living... and none of the benefits.  Friends of mine that live downtown drive over to 5 Points to shop at Publix, or eat dinner at someplace not named Burrito Gallery or Fionn MacCools.  That's not really an environment where people want to live.  That's the crux of the issue to me.

thelakelander

December 11, 2013, 05:32:05 PM
Yeah, that's the crux of the issue. A close friend of mine moved here from Albuquerque and lived in a downtown apartment her first year in town.  After her lease was up, she decided to move to Tapestry Park and commute to downtown for work. In her opinion, that general area of town and the development itself offered more to her than living in the Northbank and driving out to enjoy the benefits one would expect with urban living.

Also, I agree with Jeffrey in that increasing residential in the Northbank to the point where it can drive a real retail market in the short term (less than 10 years) is wishful thinking. It takes most of these projects years to get off the ground and you'll need thousands of additional units for downtown to have a retail market supported only by places in the Northbank.

Jax should steal a page out of nearly every other American peer city's playbook and invest in mass transit as an economic stimulant. We have +75k people living within a three mile radius of DT right now. Some of the most popular urban districts in the state are within a mile of DT. Why we continue to overlook the importance of connecting them with downtown is puzzling to me. By all means, yes more residential in the Northbank is very important and should be considered a priority.  However, let's take advantage of the +75k residing around it to help feed desired infill that's still a good decade away from having any realistic major impact on vibrancy.

Bolles_Bull

December 11, 2013, 05:50:07 PM
Yeah, that's the crux of the issue. A close friend of mine moved here from Albuquerque and lived in a downtown apartment her first year in town.  After her lease was up, she decided to move to Tapestry Park and commute to downtown for work. In her opinion, that general area of town and the development itself offered more to her than living in the Northbank and driving out to enjoy the benefits one would expect with urban living.

Also, I agree with Jeffrey in that increasing residential in the Northbank to the point where it can drive a real retail market in the short term (less than 10 years) is wishful thinking. It takes most of these projects years to get off the ground and you'll need thousands of additional units for downtown to have a retail market supported only by places in the Northbank.

Jax should steal a page out of nearly every other American peer city's playbook and invest in mass transit as an economic stimulant. We have +75k people living within a three mile radius of DT right now. Some of the most popular urban districts in the state are within a mile of DT. Why we continue to overlook the importance of connecting them with downtown is puzzling to me. By all means, yes more residential in the Northbank is very important and should be considered a priority.  However, let's take advantage of the +75k residing around it to help feed desired infill that's still a good decade away from having any realistic major impact on vibrancy.

Bingo, instant access to all amenities of surrounding neighborhoods without having to use your car would give the biggest ROI in improving QOL factors that drives housing demand.  Next on the list would be replacing meters with 2 hr limit signs, getting a CVS and urban layout grocery store withing walking distance like DT orlando has now.

I cant understand how avondale/murray hill shouldnt obviously already connect thru DT to springfield via streetcar, with the skyway extending down to san marco. Its such a no brainer.

thelakelander

December 11, 2013, 06:04:10 PM
Unfortunately, we've screwed the pooch with the urban grocery. We had a change with the proposed Brooklyn Fresh Market but allowed a pretty suburban layout. Between that, the existing Northbank Winn-Dixie, Five Points' Publix and San Marco's proposed Publix, we may be waiting a long time for the market to support another grocery store.

JaxArchitect

December 11, 2013, 06:13:25 PM
Maybe it's just me, but the actual Landing signage on the outer horseshoe is one of the more iconic features of the waterfront.

That's a great comment!
The signage is iconic and will unfortunately go away with the renovation.  Although the existing curved sign most likely won't work on the new building design, I think they could still find a way to create a similarly iconic signage design for the new footprint that has a similar scale and impact from the river.

thelakelander

December 11, 2013, 06:26:06 PM
Could you repurpose the existing iconic sign to wrap the proposed parking lot facing the curving Independent Drive or would that be against the sign ordinance?

TomHurst

December 11, 2013, 06:44:18 PM
Lots of posts debating the chicken or egg theory of housing vs retail.  The reality is that both are somewhat correct and they both need to be nurtured and incentivized until they are self-sustaining.
However, the old adage that retail follows rooftops is accurate.  Retail, restaurants, bars, and other sources of activity just won't work on their own unless they have a customer base.  This is the main reason why the Landing has deteriorated over 25 years, because it cannot sustain itself solely as a destination retail/restaurant location isolated from our population centers.  No amount of renovation or physical improvements will make a long-term difference unless they have this built-in customer base close by....and office workers don't count nearly as much as residents.
If you look at the precedent of many other major cities that have undergone revitalization, it all started with refocusing on developing residential first and foremost.
My personal experience is from living in Cleveland in the 1990's.  When I first started working there in 1991, it was a ghost town after hours just like Jax.  The catalyst that changed the city was the introduction of thousands or new residents downtown through the renovation of old industrial warehouses.  Although there were bars and some restaurants before, most of this residential came before any significant rejuvenation of the retail/restaurant market.  Once they got around 5,000 residents downtown, the restaurants, bars, coffee shops, corner markets, dry cleaners, etc all just sprouted up because these businesses all of a sudden were no-brainers. In about ten years, the city added almost 10,000 residents downtown (they have about 12,000 now and are adding another 2000 units in next two years).
There is no reason to think that we cannot do the same thing here but it needs to start with residences.

ProjectMaximus

December 11, 2013, 07:14:12 PM
Supposing a grand influx of residents is the catalyst/solution...I again ask how do you achieve this? How do you attract residents to downtown considering the prices they will have to pay...or how do you attract residential developers to downtown considering the money they are likely to lose?

Lake has often referenced the coalition of private companies in Detroit that has created rebate incentives for new downtown residents. That seems to be a good solution though only viable if we have the private entities willing to step up. If 220 riverside and the Brooklyn riverside prove to be financially successful then we might have another blueprint, though I'm anxious to see what the eventual price points and occupancy will be.

thelakelander

December 11, 2013, 07:39:26 PM
Although the Landing was never designed to cater to just a Northbank population base, I agree that retail does follow rooftops. However, I'd argue there are rooftops already in place that can be taken advantage of immediately through stronger connectivity with adjacent neighborhoods while we work on attracting more residential to the Northbank and other areas we've ripped apart like Brooklyn and LaVilla. One of the keys for us is to acknowledge that there is a population base on the fringe of the imaginary circle we call downtown now.

When I look at Cleveland, it had some things going for it that provided some of that connectivity, even as far back as the 1990s. For one, even though the CBD may have been dead at night, the city's urban core still had a population density of nearly 7,000 people per square mile, all of which was connected to DT via a public transit rail system that never went away. In addition, it had significantly more available building stock at all sorts of shapes, sizes and price points and a decent sized university in CSU on the eastern edge.

While Cleveland benefited from urban pioneers in the warehouse district like many other cities in the 1990s, we labeled our downtown counterpart as blight and tore it down, killing the redevelopment opportunity that springs so many revitalization efforts across the country.  Now we're seeing another warehouse district come to life with stuff people wanted in the Northbank, it just happens to be where the cheap buildings (CoRK Arts District) are still standing, which is about two miles SW of DT.

When you look at transit, the corridor Cleveland's Red Line runs down has been used continuously for transit since 1920.  The Red Line is actually the first rail transit link between a downtown and airport in the country. Union Terminal never closed down either and became Cleveland's version of the Landing with the opening of the mall inside the terminal in 1990.

On the flip end, we killed our connectivity with other areas of town in 1936, added a Skyway 50 years later but forgot the importance of integrating supportive land use policy with it and tying it into areas where people already live. We also totally shut down our large passenger rail terminal in 1974. To make connectivity worse, we made people pay tolls to get to and from downtown. Jax could literally write a book on how to destroy a downtown well into the 2000s (most cities began to turn around in the 1990s).

Overall, when I look at the Cleveland, what really stands out to me are the things like having an abundance of cheap available building stock to utilize for adaptive reuse, a passenger rail terminal (providing a direct link to the airport) as an anchor that never left and connectivity between DT and other neighborhoods via mass transit. Not that we can't come back but we have to overcome some challenges that were actually opportunities and assets for Cleveland's downtown rebirth.

thelakelander

December 11, 2013, 07:51:55 PM
Supposing a grand influx of residents is the catalyst/solution...I again ask how do you achieve this? How do you attract residents to downtown considering the prices they will have to pay...or how do you attract residential developers to downtown considering the money they are likely to lose?

Easy. You bend over and give away the house for five to ten years with a long term goal of all the properties and people you incentivize eventually having to pay property taxes down the road. That method has certainly worked for places like Center City Philly and Uptown Charlotte and now Detroit seems to be benefiting from a similar approach.

tufsu1

December 11, 2013, 10:54:11 PM
I can afford most housing options currently being offered downtown.  I chose not to live there b/c you have all of the inconveniences of urban living... and none of the benefits.  Friends of mine that live downtown drive over to 5 Points to shop at Publix, or eat dinner at someplace not named Burrito Gallery or Fionn MacCools.  That's not really an environment where people want to live.  That's the crux of the issue to me.

I chose to live downtown for 3 reasons

1.  I'm an urban planner and it was time to put money where my mouth is
2. The potential
3. Central location with easy access to the great core neighborhoods

For now, #3 is the one that needs to be sold to potential buyers/renters downtown

mtraininjax

December 12, 2013, 05:28:21 AM
Quote
Jax should steal a page out of nearly every other American peer city's playbook and invest in mass transit as an economic stimulant. We have +75k people living within a three mile radius of DT right now. Some of the most popular urban districts in the state are within a mile of DT. Why we continue to overlook the importance of connecting them with downtown is puzzling to me. By all means, yes more residential in the Northbank is very important and should be considered a priority.  However, let's take advantage of the +75k residing around it to help feed desired infill that's still a good decade away from having any realistic major impact on vibrancy.

The Riverside Avondale trolley will not take anyone downtown, because, well, there is nothing really to go see in comparison to the route in R and A. Not to say it cannot be expanded when 220 is built,  or if and when Forest Street/Brooklyn fills in, but baby steps for now, let's get the RA trolley functional, then we can look at expansion, but DT needs more to offer someone from R or A, to make it worth the ride. The Landing alone is not enough for me to venture downtown.

You could always call up the mayor, put a TV Camera on him and have him discuss his downtown vision. Everyone says he has great plans for downtown.....

thelakelander

December 12, 2013, 06:43:39 AM
Yeah, the Riverside Trolley PCT (Potato Chip Truck) isn't what I was describing. That's not going to be a catalyst for supporting economic development.

TomHurst

December 12, 2013, 10:53:08 AM
Lake, you're right about a lot of the points you make.  Improving our transit system and connections is incredibly important to improving downtown.  While the transit system in Cleveland is much more robust than Jax and certainly helped to support the development of downtown, it had been robust during the entire period between the 60's and the early 90's also during the period that Cleveland was declining.  Cleveland also had inner ring suburbs with lots of residents (many more than Springfield/San Marco/Riverside) but that also didn't spur development downtown.  It was the introduction of residential in the heart of downtown that made the difference.
The reality is that there is no one magic bullet. Transit, housing, retail all need to be improved and it's going to take some pioneers to take a chance on downtown.  The demand is there, around 95% residential occupancy rate downtown, and market studies have shown there is significant interest in living downtown if there were more residential options and more things to do downtown.  We need to work on all of these aspects and if we do, we'll eventually reach a point where they'll feed off each other and not need any more incentives or public financial support.

Noone

December 12, 2013, 11:15:48 AM
Sleiman will sell the rights of the signage and Pepsi will call it the "The Jacksonville Landing, Pepsi docks"

That's making Waves!

vicupstate

December 12, 2013, 01:08:48 PM
Has Sleiman made any mention of why he didn't just dust-off the earlier 'it's about time' plans and just pick up where he left off?

Bridges

December 12, 2013, 01:14:14 PM
Jax should steal a page out of nearly every other American peer city's playbook and invest in mass transit as an economic stimulant. We have +75k people living within a three mile radius of DT right now. Some of the most popular urban districts in the state are within a mile of DT. Why we continue to overlook the importance of connecting them with downtown is puzzling to me. By all means, yes more residential in the Northbank is very important and should be considered a priority.  However, let's take advantage of the +75k residing around it to help feed desired infill that's still a good decade away from having any realistic major impact on vibrancy.

Exactly!  The urban core may be the heart but the surrounding neighborhoods are the arteries and chambers that feed it full of life. 

thelakelander

December 12, 2013, 02:12:51 PM
Lake, you're right about a lot of the points you make.  Improving our transit system and connections is incredibly important to improving downtown.  While the transit system in Cleveland is much more robust than Jax and certainly helped to support the development of downtown, it had been robust during the entire period between the 60's and the early 90's also during the period that Cleveland was declining.

There is no single silver bullet to rebirth. The period of urban decline between the 1960s and 1990s was a nationalwide phenomenon and it didn't matter if you had trains or if you had residential populations in your core as dense as Chicago and NYC. National trends started to change in the late 80s and early 90s and the "negatives" that the previous generation abandoned central cities for, became assets.  Down here, Savannah and Charleston were both considered blighted high crime dumps.  However, when national preferences changed, that blighted building fabric they couldn't afford to demolish became valued assets.


Quote
Cleveland also had inner ring suburbs with lots of residents (many more than Springfield/San Marco/Riverside) but that also didn't spur development downtown.  It was the introduction of residential in the heart of downtown that made the difference.

The large scale rebirth of residential in a specific area of an urban core is one of many outcomes. While it definitely helps, the reality is it takes time. Even today, +20 years later, DT Cleveland still has a way to go. For example, Euclid, once the heart of retail in downtown Cleveland, is still largely abandoned. However, they are certainly ahead of where Jax is today and was in the 1990s, after we destroyed the infrastructure that was critical in DT Cleveland's rebirth.


Quote
The reality is that there is no one magic bullet. Transit, housing, retail all need to be improved and it's going to take some pioneers to take a chance on downtown.  The demand is there, around 95% residential occupancy rate downtown, and market studies have shown there is significant interest in living downtown if there were more residential options and more things to do downtown.  We need to work on all of these aspects and if we do, we'll eventually reach a point where they'll feed off each other and not need any more incentives or public financial support.

I agree, there's no one magic bullet. However, like previous national trends over the last century, there are common characteristics that appeal to generations making purchasing decisions and common contextual characteristics of urban centers that have turned around and those that have not. These (one of which is human scaled connectivity/mobility) are the tools that we can utilize to create the conditions that causes everything from a warehouse district in DT Cleveland to a Cabbagetown in Atlanta to come back alive.

Jax should steal a page out of nearly every other American peer city's playbook and invest in mass transit as an economic stimulant. We have +75k people living within a three mile radius of DT right now. Some of the most popular urban districts in the state are within a mile of DT. Why we continue to overlook the importance of connecting them with downtown is puzzling to me. By all means, yes more residential in the Northbank is very important and should be considered a priority.  However, let's take advantage of the +75k residing around it to help feed desired infill that's still a good decade away from having any realistic major impact on vibrancy.

Exactly!  The urban core may be the heart but the surrounding neighborhoods are the arteries and chambers that feed it full of life. 

It's important to remember that Downtown isn't the urban core, it's a district within the urban core. The reasons people and businesses flock to Riverside and San Marco are the same reasons they'll flock to DT. The longer we continue to treat the Northbank as an isolated "urban core" the longer it will be to revitalize it because we're attempting to do something that has never been done organically in history.

JeffreyS

December 12, 2013, 02:43:00 PM
I am hopeful of the emergence of Brooklyn as a catalyst.  Though it is just one step it should breed connectedness with Riverside.

thelakelander

December 12, 2013, 02:53:16 PM
Has Sleiman made any mention of why he didn't just dust-off the earlier 'it's about time' plans and just pick up where he left off?

No. However, most of it (it had a highrise and midrise buildings) was probably just as unrealistic as the current phase II (highrise/midrise buildings). The largest difference between the current proposal and the old one is there's no structured parking and it appears he believes there's too much existing retail square footage to work with.

mtraininjax

December 13, 2013, 09:14:10 AM
Lake, I have a lot of respect for you and your urban planning beliefs, but some of them are so lofty and idealistic, Jacksonville may NEVER become the city you wish to build and live in. Are you OK with this?

So you don't like the Riverside Avondale trolley system, you call it a potato chip truck. (is this a slap in the face to food trucks?) Forget what it looks like, look at what it does. It gets people out of cars and moves them from one neighborhood to another. At its most basic, this is what a transportation system accomplishes. Who cares if it is a truck with sidepanels, it could be a pickup with hay bales in it for all we care in the neighborhood. It connects neighborhoods and improves the lives of its residents, some of whom cannot get to a grocery store in West Avondale because there is no way to get there other than a long walk.

You claim there is no silver bullet to fix the rebirth of downtown, I'd agree. But you need patience for the "tribe" of people to come to the same belief that you have on how to grow downtown. You have Springfield and Tallyrand, which nobody discusses at all. You have North Riverside and McCoy's, which nobody discusses. You have Brooklyn and Lavilla (which seems to have fallen off the map), and you have San Marco, St. Nicholas, Riverside and Avondale, which are all anyone ever seems to discuss as supporting downtown.

Draw a line through downtown at Bay Street and work to get more of the neighborhoods NORTH of that line to support downtown. Springfield does a nice job, but what about Moncrief or College Gardens or Edward Waters. The new restaurant by Coles on Bay street is huge, probably the first sign to me of faith from an area of Jacksonville about downtown since the failed restaurant up on Union and Genovese Hall, but its progress.

Work with city leaders to bring more growth downtown of residents who want to make a difference downtown from the areas that historically, have not. Or don't do anything, and we will have the same results.

The Potato Chip Truck is better than nothing, which is what we have had a lot of for a very long time.

Overstreet

December 13, 2013, 09:52:34 AM
So the current option is to tear down the radius building, leave the river buildings and put in a parking lot.  HAH!!

The circle will then be complete. We tore out the city parking lot to build The Landing. Not the first structure I built that was torn down but the largest.
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For the earlier poster the 54" force main.....is a sanitary sewer where the stuff is pumped. It was 3/4 to 7/8 full  and flowing pretty fast when I looked in there last. It is a major thing that takes up more space than you'd think.

thelakelander

December 13, 2013, 10:10:50 AM
Lake, I have a lot of respect for you and your urban planning beliefs, but some of them are so lofty and idealistic, Jacksonville may NEVER become the city you wish to build and live in. Are you OK with this?

What's so lofty? A streetcar? Better utilizing the Skyway to stimulate TOD? rightsizing existing streets to make the urban core safer for pedestrians and cyclist?

That's easier and cheaper to pull off than bringing an NFL team to town, restoring the Trio, getting the Shipyards developed and evidently living up to the promise made to Rouse to resolve the Landing's dedicated parking issues....If we consider multimodal connectivity as a lofty instead of essential, we are in real trouble and haven't learned anything since the failed 1971 downtown plan.  Just not with the Landing but all of downtown and the urban core in general.

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So you don't like the Riverside Avondale trolley system, you call it a potato chip truck. (is this a slap in the face to food trucks?) Forget what it looks like, look at what it does. It gets people out of cars and moves them from one neighborhood to another. At its most basic, this is what a transportation system accomplishes. Who cares if it is a truck with sidepanels, it could be a pickup with hay bales in it for all we care in the neighborhood. It connects neighborhoods and improves the lives of its residents, some of whom cannot get to a grocery store in West Avondale because there is no way to get there other than a long walk.

What about the economic development component?   I typically base my opinions on hard data, statistics and real life applications in peer environments.  I'm not aware of a PCT being able to both move people and serve as a physical infrastructural element that helps generate human scaled TOD/change the built environment surrounding it.  If you know of one in this country, please offer it up for evaluation.

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You claim there is no silver bullet to fix the rebirth of downtown, I'd agree. But you need patience for the "tribe" of people to come to the same belief that you have on how to grow downtown. You have Springfield and Tallyrand, which nobody discusses at all. You have North Riverside and McCoy's, which nobody discusses. You have Brooklyn and Lavilla (which seems to have fallen off the map), and you have San Marco, St. Nicholas, Riverside and Avondale, which are all anyone ever seems to discuss as supporting downtown.

I'm probably one of the most patient people on this stuff because I know the process takes time. The benefit of better mobility (something we've been pushing since 2006 on MJ...how's that for time?) is that you tie in these places that are overlooked but play a natural and important role in the success of downtown.   You'll cut your revitalization process down by years (and save millions along the way) by providing the basic ingredients of organic human scaled growth.

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Draw a line through downtown at Bay Street and work to get more of the neighborhoods NORTH of that line to support downtown. Springfield does a nice job, but what about Moncrief or College Gardens or Edward Waters. The new restaurant by Coles on Bay street is huge, probably the first sign to me of faith from an area of Jacksonville about downtown since the failed restaurant up on Union and Genovese Hall, but its progress.

I agree. That's why I'm a huge proponent of the S-Line. Something we've taking from talk on MJ in 2006 and gotten it added to the TPO's long range transportation plan, JTA's plans and mobility fee money for over the last seven years.

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Work with city leaders to bring more growth downtown of residents who want to make a difference downtown from the areas that historically, have not. Or don't do anything, and we will have the same results.

I'm not seeing where I've stated anything that goes against the concept of keeping anyone out of the process?

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The Potato Chip Truck is better than nothing, which is what we have had a lot of for a very long time.

Take a look around the state and the rest of the country. The PCT is a pacifier, it's not anymore of a sustainable connectivity and economic development solution that modifying a regular bus route to become more reliable for end users and choice riders (which is something that should be too, IMO).

But all of this is for another thread.  I'd like to keep this thread focused on the Landing.

Dennis

December 13, 2013, 10:40:32 AM
It seems to me Tony Sleiman is looking for a free lunch by wanting the city to pay for upgrades and renovations that are his responsibility.  I am getting tired of our city fathers spending my property taxes giving handouts to undeserving millionaires.

JeffreyS

December 13, 2013, 11:35:42 AM
I wouldn't worry if the guy running the project is a millionaire or deserving, just focus on the expected return on investment the city is looking for. If the ROI is there go for it if not pass.

mtraininjax

December 14, 2013, 06:25:10 PM
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Take a look around the state and the rest of the country.

That, there is your problem, you cannot compare the rest of the country to Jacksonville. If you do, you need to move, and I mean now somewhere else. We are what we are.

thelakelander

December 14, 2013, 07:06:23 PM
Sure you can. How do you think the food truck industry has grown here locally? Here's a hint...the ideas that were implemented came from successes and trends experienced in other communities. The world doesn't revolve around Jax and us ignoring the reality of what's around us and the economic impact that has only wastes time and local tax dollars.

hightowerlover

December 14, 2013, 08:21:14 PM
This place needs a 1000 ft observation tower

Dog Walker

December 15, 2013, 10:15:01 AM
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It's important to remember that Downtown isn't the urban core, it's a district within the urban core. The reasons people and businesses flock to Riverside and San Marco are the same reasons they'll flock to DT. The longer we continue to treat the Northbank as an isolated "urban core" the longer it will be to revitalize it because we're attempting to do something that has never been done organically in history.

Ennis, that is one of the most insightful things I have read about the issue in years.  Made one of those little pops in my mind and changed my perspective.

Thanks!
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