Author Topic: The Evolution of the Arlington Expressway  (Read 12514 times)

Ocklawaha

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Re: The Evolution of the Arlington Expressway
« Reply #45 on: February 03, 2013, 07:13:56 PM »
A neighborhood no doubt, a neighborhood that has lost guidance, direction and life.  I don't consider offering some unique proposals and incentives as bribes to fool anyone into anything.  They are savvy enough to read the demographics for themselves, you stated a 60 mile radius and I said if that is true we are within that window. All I'm suggesting is that we get out of the box every other downtown in the country is in, the status quo obviously hasn't worked in a downtown since about 1960.  Go to them with a plan, a real plan, explain how the pieces could fit together for everyones mutual benefit, strength in numbers. Invite Simon and the other operators out there to come in and treat this downtown segment (yet to be identified) as a property. Tell them this is the chance to make a new town center out of a real "TOWN CENTER". I just don't see why this is bad or why we should stand in line with every Pittsburgh, Tampa and Memphis that comes down the pike - We should stand out!

thelakelander

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Re: The Evolution of the Arlington Expressway
« Reply #46 on: February 03, 2013, 08:39:10 PM »
You don't think this city hasn't invited the owners of SJTC to attempt to do something downtown?  Believe me, Ben Carter and Simon have already been contacted.  In the 1980s, it was Rouse.  The 1990s, we decided to take out LaVilla. In the 2000s, it was LandMar and the Shipyards. We see how all that turned out.  On the other hand, King Street has bloomed to life in the middle of a recession from several "little" local players who've been excluded out of the downtown game.

Downtown revitalization is one of the easiest problems to fix in Jacksonville, IMO. There is a national wide trend of people flocking back to urban cores all across the country.  It's where Echo Boomers (a generation that's larger than the Baby Boom population) want to be.

The only reason downtown has struggled to cash in is because of us.  We've torn down most of the existing building fabric that was suitable for urban pioneers.  We've implemented silly policies to where small business can barely even advertise themselves at street level and we've continued to approve projects that are deadly at street level (Parador garage for example).  Then instead of following the natural revitalization process, we continue to swing wildly for expensive one hit home run projects (Shipyards for example) instead of manufacturing points with bunts, singles, walks, stolen bases and doubles.

The main thing we need to stop is our continued actions that has limited market rate development from taking place. We've been the problem by continuing to enforce policy that makes the CBD hostile to business and pedestrians.  The answer to this problem isn't giving riverfront property and $20 million to Bass Pro or Target.  It's not even trying to recreate the wheel to be "different" from the Pittsburgh, Tampa, and Memphis. It's really as simple as making the decision to stop tripping over our own two feet. Set a plan but that plan should not have an entity with no development experience out front pre-determining private sector uses or preferring certain retailers/developers over another.  Setting you vision, development regulations, streamlining the permitting process, investing in public infrastructure, etc. is one thing.  But grabbing and reserving blocks for preferred  user whoever is another. 
« Last Edit: February 03, 2013, 08:43:53 PM by thelakelander »
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thelakelander

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Re: The Evolution of the Arlington Expressway
« Reply #47 on: February 03, 2013, 09:02:21 PM »
A neighborhood no doubt, a neighborhood that has lost guidance, direction and life.  I don't consider offering some unique proposals and incentives as bribes to fool anyone into anything.

I just wanted to mention that there is nothing unique about issuing an RFP for city property or going after certain retailers, throwing incentives at developers, etc.  It's been done in Jacksonville and all across the country. Unique would be flipping the script and giving everyone investing/moving in the urban core a 10-year property tax abatement (ex. Philly/Cincinnati), or taking Bass Pro's $20 million and giving it to people willing to move to downtown (ex. Detroit).

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They are savvy enough to read the demographics for themselves, you stated a 60 mile radius and I said if that is true we are within that window.

It was IKEA's people saying Jax is too small.  I only repeated the information as an example of why it's not prudent to reserve downtown property for a preferred retailer like IKEA.  This model leaves you with a permanent vacant lot.

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thelakelander

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Re: The Evolution of the Arlington Expressway
« Reply #48 on: February 03, 2013, 09:18:49 PM »
It is a fact that Ben Carter has been part of the discussion about downtown.  I sat on a committee founded by Elaine Brown with Mr. Carter specifically for the purpose of treating downtown like a mall and leasing the spaces using a regional shopping center management approach.

Peyton simply was not interested.

It wasnt because the idea wouldnt work.  Obviously the approach works for malls across the country.

To be honest, I don't blame Peyton.  Downtown is a neighborhood in the same fashion that Riverside, Brooklyn, and the Eastside are.  Urban communities tend to grow organically and contain a variety of property owners with different ideologies (ex. Bostwicks vs Rich at Petra Management).  A mall is operated by a single property owner.  If we want to get the mall concept right, start small by getting with Sleiman and resolving the Landing's issues.

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But truly, the discussion about IKEA would be worth pursuing on a multi pronged level.

It doesnt matter really what the store has stated into a vacuum at a meeting.  Given a good proposal and a clear way forward to profit, most any business will give something a try.

Really the better question is whether or not an IKEA is worth it in terms of value as an 'Anchor' tenant to drive development downtown.

Let's start here.  I'll admit, I've kind of jumped on Ock, probably out of a little frustration from the JAX 2025 downtown table I sat at yesterday.  My head almost popped as I heard people say the answer to downtown was to tear down things like the Bostwick Building and replace them with Apple stores, Publix, and St. Louis Arches.  I get kind of frustrated when we strive to make revitalization more complicated and expensive than it has to be.

But let's address your question.  Let's say our market could support an IKEA.  The typical american IKEA store is around 300,000 square feet or five football fields combined.  It has less interaction with the street than a suburban Walmart.  Where would you put such a category killer in downtown and why?  I'd argue, you'd be better off placing the Lowe's on Cassat Avenue in the middle of downtown than you would putting huge category killer like IKEA there.


« Last Edit: February 03, 2013, 09:21:17 PM by thelakelander »
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thelakelander

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Re: The Evolution of the Arlington Expressway
« Reply #49 on: February 03, 2013, 10:15:17 PM »
IKEA isn't the type of store you're walking up to.  It's like a Walmart on steroids.  It's about as self contained of a store as they come.  They even have their own restaurants and even will watch your kids for free while you shop. I have not come across any IKEA in America being built and resulting in an urban development boom.  Google Earth shows big boxes with large surface parking lots.  Atlanta's IKEA was built as a part of a mixed use infill project but it's the only part of the development that's pretty disconnected from everything else and autocentric. 
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Charles Hunter

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Re: The Evolution of the Arlington Expressway
« Reply #50 on: February 03, 2013, 10:25:38 PM »
We must be talking about the west end of the Arlington Expressway?

thelakelander

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Re: The Evolution of the Arlington Expressway
« Reply #51 on: February 03, 2013, 10:32:39 PM »
Lol.  If the market could support an IKEA, it would be better if it were at some suburban commercial spot in need of redevelopment like Regency Square.
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Ocklawaha

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Re: The Evolution of the Arlington Expressway
« Reply #52 on: February 03, 2013, 10:33:01 PM »
IKEA in Brooklyn NY is such a store Lake, they are the spearpoint of the Red Hook Renewal a project that might include streetcar.  Ikea is served by water taxi's and there is a limited parking garage which is usually at capacity. My argument has always been had they done this at the Shipyards, the JEA site or in LaVilla or Brooklyn in Jax, they would have even better exposure. Our Skyline visible from I-95 is a veritable shout out to passers by.

Again, I'm NOT talking about tearing down a damn thing, I think you know that. I'm just saying we could say, look how IKEA fits this idea, now what others could also fit that site and need? identify the targets and go after them, be it a Pier One, IKEA, urban Target, or a dozen others.

You speak of Jacksonville letting itself die, while talking life to death, and we agree. Organic development is fantastic, get the streetcar up and running, extend the Skyway and add commuter rail and we'd have all of the organic development we could handle. We simply need to be better and more creative then the competition.

Imagine Flagler developing LaVilla?  You know we COULD pull that off tomorrow if we had anyone with vision downtown.

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thelakelander

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Re: The Evolution of the Arlington Expressway
« Reply #53 on: February 03, 2013, 10:56:49 PM »
IKEA in Brooklyn NY is such a store Lake, they are the spearpoint of the Red Hook Renewal a project that might include streetcar.  Ikea is served by water taxi's and there is a limited parking garage which is usually at capacity.

Why don't you show an aerial of that Brooklyn IKEA so we can see the huge surface parking lot on the waterfront?



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My argument has always been had they done this at the Shipyards, the JEA site or in LaVilla or Brooklyn in Jax, they would have even better exposure. Our Skyline visible from I-95 is a veritable shout out to passers by.

You can't find a property in Brooklyn or LaVilla large enough for an IKEA without taking out buildings and the street grid. The IKEA box is so big, it won't even fit on the Shipyards site without filling in a chunk of the river and turning most of the rest of the property into a parking lot. 

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Again, I'm NOT talking about tearing down a damn thing, I think you know that. I'm just saying we could say, look how IKEA fits this idea, now what others could also fit that site and need? identify the targets and go after them, be it a Pier One, IKEA, urban Target, or a dozen others.

I don't think you're realizing how much property such a box takes up for a use that doesn't encourage walkability.  Nevertheless, my main point is don't waste time identifying targets like Pier One, IKEA, urban Target, etc.  Let the private sector respond to what the market will bear (ex. Pope and Land's project in Brooklyn) and work with them to make sure their developments fit into an overall urban footprint and long term vision. 

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You speak of Jacksonville letting itself die, while talking life to death, and we agree. Organic development is fantastic, get the streetcar up and running, extend the Skyway and add commuter rail and we'd have all of the organic development we could handle. We simply need to be better and more creative then the competition.

There is no competition to be more creative against.  People want to be in downtown Jacksonville.  Empower them to do so.

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Imagine Flagler developing LaVilla?  You know we COULD pull that off tomorrow if we had anyone with vision downtown.

Flagler is already downtown. I worked for two years in their property on Prudential Drive, right next door to Kings Avenue Station.  Before I'd give them property in LaVilla, perhaps they can experiment with TOD on the big surface parking lot they already own next door to Kings Avenue.
« Last Edit: February 03, 2013, 11:14:30 PM by thelakelander »
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thelakelander

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Re: The Evolution of the Arlington Expressway
« Reply #54 on: February 03, 2013, 10:59:39 PM »
^With that said, if the market was large enough, they'd be an idea tenant for a redeveloped Regency Square Mall, assuming the empty west end of the mall was demolished.
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thelakelander

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Re: The Evolution of the Arlington Expressway
« Reply #55 on: February 03, 2013, 11:09:43 PM »
Now perhaps there is some merit in the idea that Ock seems to be suggesting: to "big box" out the eastern end of downtown where the blasted remains of the old industrial district sits.  Perhaps there is some use to that.

How well is Walmart spurring redevelopment on Philips Highway? I don't think a lack of industrial need is why that area looks like that.  Instead, we've replaced industry with tailgate parking lots. Whenever we come to consider new uses, how about using an old waterfront industrial district for high paying maritime related uses?  North Florida Shipyards seems pretty boxed in. Might as well take advantage of those big bridges, a 35-40' deep river and the limited amount of rail accessible land that remains along the riverfront.  I bet, you'd generate more jobs and higher paying property taxes going industrial than suburban commercial.

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Perhaps such a strategy would bring the suburbanites back into the downtown by creating a huge retail area out of a huge tract of land that will not be used for a generation or more?  Didnt the Town Center start with the big boxes first? (honest question, i was busy in springfield at the time and never went out there)

Town Center started out as a mall just like Regency Square and Avenues did.  It just happens to be outdoor. There's nothing unique about SJTC.  It's the same type of regional retail lifestyle center that's replaced the enclosed mall concept all over the country in the last 10-15 years.
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thelakelander

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Re: The Evolution of the Arlington Expressway
« Reply #56 on: February 04, 2013, 06:56:36 AM »
Why would Stein Mart need to partner with anyone at Regency? Regency Square Mall is owned by General Growth Properties out of Chicago.  General Growth is a competitor to Simon, the REIT that partnered with Ben Carter to develop SJTC.  Playing around with their box last night, I noticed it fits like a glove between Sears and Belk and leaves you some space for something like an outdoor collection of clustered eateries.  Also played around with their box on the Shipyards site.  The only spot it fits is the piece of dirt immediately next door to where Kids Kampus needs to be.  Overall, with parking, you would eat up roughly half of the site alone with a "warehouse" store use that has absolutely nothing to do with water or urban walkability.

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Its cleaned up the area a good bit. and the marble companies and building supply companies have picked up business as a result of Walmart being close by.

We have low standards if that's the type of clean up envisioned for downtown.  I'm of the mindset that urban vibrancy to me means a 24/7 walkable mixed use environment.  I just don't see how you realistically get there subsidizing "preferred" big box stores or treating it like a mall attract suburbanites.  This falls more into the one-trick pony gimmick to me.  Might as well just pour all of your cash into a convention center.  At least it will help activity on Bay Street and the downtown hotels.  You aren't getting any of that with something like IKEA.

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Cluster it with seven other retail giants and form a wedge on the downtown periphery and you would create instant traffic.

Sounds easy but once you start looking at our retail demographics, analyzing sites and the fact that it's easily arguable this city has more supply than demand, I'd argue there are less risky and more affordable methods to jump start economic revitalization.
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Mathew1056

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Re: The Evolution of the Arlington Expressway
« Reply #57 on: February 04, 2013, 08:58:57 AM »
The biggest asset I see to putting a Wal-Mart, or even a cluster of national retailers, is the 24-hour aspect that would be established. Wal-Mart on Philips has had little effect on the area because the population and design does not exist around the store to spur growth. If you can get people use to going downtown at all hours of the night you can get them to go to restaurants at night. If it is going to be build anywhere I vote next to 95 on and the Prime Osborn. It's kind of a wasteland out there anyway. It would keep heavy traffic from penetraiting too deep into downtown and offer quick access to suburban neighborhoods that currently have to go to Philips.

thelakelander

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Re: The Evolution of the Arlington Expressway
« Reply #58 on: February 04, 2013, 09:18:35 AM »
Suburbanites aren't going to pass tons of malls and strip malls to drive into downtown because of a couple of big box stores.  If you're seeking retail boxes of various sizes, we should be doing it for the purpose of serving urban core residents.  Thus you have to start considering/utilizing the demographics of the neighborhoods surrounding downtown as well. Suburbanities will come occassionally once you have a lively mixed-use urban core that provides an atmosphere that is unique to the rest of the metropolitan area. 

Just wondering, what would you guys do to revamp the Arlington Expressway corridor?  It has the bones in place and location to transition into a linear node of mixed use activity with direct and short access to and from downtown.  What role do you think it plays in Jacksonville's future?
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Mathew1056

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Re: The Evolution of the Arlington Expressway
« Reply #59 on: February 04, 2013, 09:35:35 AM »
I'm not saying avoid the needs of the urban core neighborhoods. A strong retail center would benefit the all of those neighborhoods, outer suburbanites would be a fridge benefit.

As far as the Arlington Expressway, I think you assessment of the road is correct. It would serve the community well as a BRT corridor. It drives me crazy every time I think about the plan the city is about to implement I get angry. BRT would work better on an actual line that served people, not a phase one downtown line.