Author Topic: A Cheap Solution To Jax's Convention Center Problem?  (Read 27406 times)

thelakelander

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Re: A Cheap Solution To Jax's Convention Center Problem?
« Reply #150 on: July 15, 2017, 05:38:23 PM »
We don't compete against Orlando now. That's not the goal of moving the existing convention center out of the Prime Osborn.  The goal would be to cluster complementing uses (exhibition hall, hotel rooms, restuarants, bars, shops, etc.) with a compact setting (right next to each other instead of a mile apart). The other major benefit is that the Prime Osborn can then be converted into a complementing use to the transportation center going up across the street.....an intercity passenger rail station, which is what it was designed for in the beginning.
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jcjohnpaint

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Re: A Cheap Solution To Jax's Convention Center Problem?
« Reply #151 on: July 15, 2017, 06:47:30 PM »
I always felt the combing of site of the hotel to the other high rise would work well.  The new part could be where the courthouse stood.  Is the parking garage next to the Hyatt usable space or would an s configuration cause problems?  I know I've heard continuous space is important, but not sure why.  With all 4 parcels connected, that would give us twice the space of the PO I would guess.

vicupstate

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Re: A Cheap Solution To Jax's Convention Center Problem?
« Reply #152 on: July 16, 2017, 08:41:25 AM »
My understanding is that JAX is not competitive at all for the vast majority of convention business and it has been that way for many years. Building a new facility that I assume would be bigger would indeed be starting at zero because JAX has not been on the short list previously.

I'll reserve judgment until I see the plans but these centers cost a lot of money. I have to be convinced that it is the best use of the money.
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Tacachale

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Re: A Cheap Solution To Jax's Convention Center Problem?
« Reply #153 on: July 16, 2017, 10:23:24 AM »
My understanding is that JAX is not competitive at all for the vast majority of convention business and it has been that way for many years. Building a new facility that I assume would be bigger would indeed be starting at zero because JAX has not been on the short list previously.

I'll reserve judgment until I see the plans but these centers cost a lot of money. I have to be convinced that it is the best use of the money.

I'm sure they'll get right back to you with that.

Look, like it or not, Jax is already in the convention market. The facility we have isn't competitive and won't ever be, and having it there mostly precludes it from ever returning to the function it was built for, which is a transportation center.
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vicupstate

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Re: A Cheap Solution To Jax's Convention Center Problem?
« Reply #154 on: July 17, 2017, 04:44:08 AM »
My understanding is that JAX is not competitive at all for the vast majority of convention business and it has been that way for many years. Building a new facility that I assume would be bigger would indeed be starting at zero because JAX has not been on the short list previously.

I'll reserve judgment until I see the plans but these centers cost a lot of money. I have to be convinced that it is the best use of the money.

I'm sure they'll get right back to you with that.

Look, like it or not, Jax is already in the convention market. The facility we have isn't competitive and won't ever be, and having it there mostly precludes it from ever returning to the function it was built for, which is a transportation center.

If by in the market, you mean there is a facility that hosts events than mainly draws locals, like Boat Shows and Gun shows, then yes. If you mean a facility that draws overnight visitors on a continual basis, that is not the perception I have gotten over the many years this has been debated. Your best point is that the building probably has a higher and better use.  If you can get a facility for $50mm that is bigger and better then it is probably worth it. My guess is it will be at least twice that. I'm not sure that makes sense. 
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thelakelander

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Re: A Cheap Solution To Jax's Convention Center Problem?
« Reply #155 on: July 17, 2017, 06:26:23 AM »
Quote
If by in the market, you mean there is a facility that hosts events than mainly draws locals, like Boat Shows and Gun shows, then yes.

Hyatt draws people from outside the local market.  I've been a part of conferences in the past that have utilized Hyatt instead of the Prime Osborn.  An exhibition hall connected to its 1,000 hotel rooms would only increase the amount of events it already pulls. As for the Prime Osborn, DT Jax businesses would get a boost simply from shifting the trade shows and conventions it does draw, to a more centralized location. Locals eat and drink too, and would be more likely to do so in the establishments immediately surrounding it. Currently, people park in a dirt lot off I-95 and immediately leave afterward, since the ramp is right there. That's the benefit of clustering complementing uses within a compact setting, IMO.  Pack enough stuff in the heart of the Northbank, and some other issues, like the retail leasing power of the Landing, will solve themselves on their own.  Location-wise, it's a much better spot and investment, then having something similar built out near EverBank Field and funneling tax money into it.

Nevertheless, who knows what they'll do and what it will cost at this point?  Would it be a part of a larger plan, which could include a public private partnership? Would it be just an exhibition hall attached to the Hyatt, like Civic Council recommendation from years ago?  Or would it be a place that duplicates many of the spaces already existing in the Hyatt? These are thing things that will let us truly evaluate the pros and cons.
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FlaBoy

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Re: A Cheap Solution To Jax's Convention Center Problem?
« Reply #156 on: July 17, 2017, 10:26:49 AM »
Quote
If by in the market, you mean there is a facility that hosts events than mainly draws locals, like Boat Shows and Gun shows, then yes.

Hyatt draws people from outside the local market.  I've been a part of conferences in the past that have utilized Hyatt instead of the Prime Osborn.  An exhibition hall connected to its 1,000 hotel rooms would only increase the amount of events it already pulls. As for the Prime Osborn, DT Jax businesses would get a boost simply from shifting the trade shows and conventions it does draw, to a more centralized location. Locals eat and drink too, and would be more likely to do so in the establishments immediately surrounding it. Currently, people park in a dirt lot off I-95 and immediately leave afterward, since the ramp is right there. That's the benefit of clustering complementing uses within a compact setting, IMO.  Pack enough stuff in the heart of the Northbank, and some other issues, like the retail leasing power of the Landing, will solve themselves on their own.  Location-wise, it's a much better spot and investment, then having something similar built out near EverBank Field and funneling tax money into it.

Nevertheless, who knows what they'll do and what it will cost at this point?  Would it be a part of a larger plan, which could include a public private partnership? Would it be just an exhibition hall attached to the Hyatt, like Civic Council recommendation from years ago?  Or would it be a place that duplicates many of the spaces already existing in the Hyatt? These are thing things that will let us truly evaluate the pros and cons.

It is necessary. Looking forward to seeing the plan on the Mayor's desk sooner than later but count on a public-private partnership of some sort. Likewise, it may not be right next to the stadium, but for an NFL Draft, CFB Playoff Championship, Florida-Georgia, or even a Super Bowl in 15 years, this site is very convenient to the stadium in comparison to most sites. Atlanta and Indianapolis might be the only sites more convenient to an NFL stadium.

Mayor apparently said in press conference today he wants to demo ASAP.

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Re: A Cheap Solution To Jax's Convention Center Problem?
« Reply #157 on: July 17, 2017, 11:44:21 AM »
Mayor apparently said in press conference today he wants to demo ASAP.

Of course he did. 

Nothing says progress quite like some dynamite and excavators...  ::)
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Re: A Cheap Solution To Jax's Convention Center Problem?
« Reply #158 on: July 17, 2017, 12:05:57 PM »





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FlaBoy

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Re: A Cheap Solution To Jax's Convention Center Problem?
« Reply #159 on: July 17, 2017, 12:27:25 PM »
Mayor apparently said in press conference today he wants to demo ASAP.

Of course he did. 

Nothing says progress quite like some dynamite and excavators...  ::)

LOL. Apparently there is some remediation work necessary on the property as well which will take a bit.

KenFSU

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Re: A Cheap Solution To Jax's Convention Center Problem?
« Reply #160 on: July 17, 2017, 01:02:27 PM »
I really like Curry's aggression on downtown, but the speculative destruction worries me. A lot of talk and a lot of financial commitment toward removing things from downtown - the old Courthouse, the Annex, Coastline Drive, Metro Park, the Hart Expressway ramps, potentially the JEA building, Berkman II, even the Landing - without a whole lot of specifics about what will be taking their place. Downtown has density problems already, personally, I'd rather see the money be spent on build-out rather than teardown. Or, if we are spending money on the wrecking ball, very clearly lay out what the ultimate goal is.

Also, can someone explain to me why the Laura Street Trio project was held up for years over $7 million in incentives, and now we're giving Edward Waters an $8 million handout?
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thelakelander

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Re: A Cheap Solution To Jax's Convention Center Problem?
« Reply #161 on: July 17, 2017, 01:41:59 PM »
I just had this conversation at work.

1. Everything was on hold until the pension situation was resolved. Curry kept to his word on that one. So we should forget about timelines associated with anything prior to that.

2. Every project should be evaluated on their individual merits. The argument for investing millions on the private Laura Trio was built around economic development and downtown revitalization. One can make the same argument for investing in a private college that serves as the economic anchor for a distressed inner city neighborhood one mile west of downtown.  From what I understand, the $8 million would be for college dorms (college students living and spending their money in the inner city is a good thing) and recreational facilities that would also be available to the surrounding community.  I don't know if you all have had an opportunity to visit New Town, but it has a high population of children with little to no active recreational spaces.  Charlotte gave away a lot more to lure a private college to Uptown in the early 2000s. That investment paid off pretty handsomely for them.

At this point, I believe more detail is needed on these initiatives to really evaluate the pros and cons.  For now, I think we can give them the benefit of the doubt and press for more information.

3. I totally agree with the destruction talk. Doesn't seem like we've learned anything over the last 40 years other than we like blowing stuff up.  On one hand, the renewed interest in downtown revitalization is exciting. On the other hand, it's outright scary.
« Last Edit: July 17, 2017, 01:44:18 PM by thelakelander »
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Tacachale

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Re: A Cheap Solution To Jax's Convention Center Problem?
« Reply #162 on: July 17, 2017, 01:49:23 PM »
Also, can someone explain to me why the Laura Street Trio project was held up for years over $7 million in incentives, and now we're giving Edward Waters an $8 million handout?

In addition to what Ennis said, also the Recession chained with leadership issues on the city's part.
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FlaBoy

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Re: A Cheap Solution To Jax's Convention Center Problem?
« Reply #163 on: July 17, 2017, 02:21:12 PM »
Recession has a huge impact. I agree on wanting to see some real solid plans before just destroying the Courthouse/Annex. I think the Mayor is just trying to move this convention center a long but we will only truly know when the plans are out there finally. I do think the investment in a convention center will create positives in the Berkman II and Landing potential redevelopment/refurb. Likewise, I was driving through Bay St. this weekend around 12:30-1 am, and the place was absolutely dead. We have to bring some life to the area.  Again, it would be nice to keep the tower portion of the Annex building for its density but it does seem like a convention center is the goal from all indications. If it is designed and done right with retail, it could be a massive improvement for Bay St. and downtown.

vicupstate

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Re: A Cheap Solution To Jax's Convention Center Problem?
« Reply #164 on: July 17, 2017, 03:54:33 PM »
Quote
Also, can someone explain to me why the Laura Street Trio project was held up for years over $7 million in incentives, and now we're giving Edward Waters an $8 million handout?

It did strike me as unusual and opens the door for other private colleges to do likewise. Typically dorms are self-funding or nearly so. Spending money to bring a new college to town would not only involve bringing students but also jobs to town. 

I don't remember all the details, but the incentives for Johnson Wales to move to Charlotte were significantly if not mostly from private sources.     
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