What is the purpose of the State of Downtown? I ask because it reads very much like a marketing package that a brokerage would put out.
If I were thinking of investing in downtown and knew very little, I would come away with stronger feelings for downtown Jacksonville after reading that package and seeing the high-def photos, but there are statistics that would bother me and statistics that would seem highly biased/inflated. And RevPar for hotels would absolutely scare me. (a visit to downtown would negate everything I read in this package)
Anyway, I ask because I thought that this was more of an internal report meant to be a fair and honest look at the state of downtown (leave it to an actual marketing package and individual brokers' reports to do the advertising). If it is an internal "cold hard look", then I think DVI and JEDC continue to pat themselves on the back for a job not done. The package kept referring to "other cities", and well other cities certainly have a lot more to show for themselves. And also, many positive things downtown are despite DVI and JEDC, not because of those organizations.
Bringing Everbank in was a real positive, but perhaps the package should have gone into what it took to lure Everbank in in the first place. It wasn't just that Everbank decided to not renew in the suburbs and to sign a new lease and "come" downtown - it was paid to do so! And I supported that, but the evidence that despite the low rents and abundant cheap parking (for a CBD), and the fact that it's a bank and belongs in a tower, only makes the obvious that much clearer: downtown is not exactly healthy and SHOULD NOT BE GIVEN A CLEAN BILL OF HEALTH WITH A PRETTY FLUFFY MARKETING PACKAGE AND A RIBBON TIED AROUND IT.
Let's see if we can convince the authorities to not pat themselves on the back until they truly have something to show for it.
When I see vacancies coming down, rent growth, new construction, better policies, less need for incentives to beg suburban companies to come in and that money being used instead to lure companies in other cities to relocate/expand in our downtown, historic buildings being saved and rehabbed for new uses, increased hotel occupancies and increased revpar, greenspace improvements, and MOST OF ALL HARD DATA SHOWING THE PERCEPTION OF DOWNTOWN BY JACKSONVILLE RESIDENTS HAS IMPROVED,
...then I will look for a "we did good" package (as long as it still has the message that we are never threw and should never throw the towel in).