Could someone explain how this will be a "district" and mot more than Manifest, Intuition, and whatever Doro does? There's literally no other buildings down there, it isn't close enough to downtown so that people would potentially bar hop, etc.
I want to believe, but seems like people are just like, "New shit! yeah! It's totally going to become something that all the facts point to it not being!"
I think its important to note a few things.
a) The owners of the buildings along A Philip Randolph (APR) are not involved in a hype machine. They are very deliberately acquiring buildings and curating a mix of uses and tenants (which you will hear more about in 2017) that are complementary in nature in a compact setting.
b) If some of the articles posted on Modern Cities come off as hype, then I would like to personally apologize for being responsible for any kind of 'spin' inadvertently inherent within these pieces. Instead, the intent is to take a deeper dive into how APR is developing and how private business owners are finding success despite several obstacles. These obstacles include, but are not limited, to having to deal with the perception that APR would never work again (see efforts to 'revitalize' the area dating to the Delaney administration http://www.coj.net/departments/planning-and-development/docs/community-planning-division/plans-and-studies/east-jax-nap.aspx
and the Peyton administration http://www.metrojacksonville.com/article/2008-jul-a-philip-randolph-creating-a-vibrant-corridor
), dealing with having no parking despite being surrounded by a sea of parking (the purpose of this article, which quite frankly is relevant to any of the urban core's commercial areas where available, unused parking supply isn't unbundled as part of a comprehensive parking management strategy) and being on the eastern edge of the Northbank without a walkable environment to connect the two areas.
At least to me, its very interesting to follow the challenges, tribulations, etc of an area that is in the early stages of a transformation as they unfold in real time. Its easy to look back, form an opinion and comment on say, King Street, 10 years later... but its another thing to work through issues as they happen and establish a record of theories, mindsets, etc in order to establish context.
c) Because of the interest shown by Iconic and businesses like Intution, BLK SHP and Manifest, there are other buildings and properties in and around Doro that are garnering interest from other parties. The Noland Building still has space for another tenant. The Doro Fixtures Building will be redeveloped. There are other properties in the area that will likely see another 'higher and greater' use in the short term. And in the long term, whatever happens to the Shipyards/Metro Park properties will have a dramatic effect on what this area will look like in 10 years. Personally, having been involved in this line of work for 15 years.. mega developments aren't something you count on. In 3 years, it is VERY likely that the CRE market goes through a completely different cycle that would halt work on a Shipyards-esque megadevelopment. But, I'm certain that the incremental development that is occurring now won't be affected by a slowdown in CRE activity... as it will already have been built up when we enter into the next corrective CRE cycle.
d) Let's assume that the fact that people travel to Intuition outside of events being held at one of the city-owned sports and entertainment facilities is a small 'win'. I for one, don't consider it a 'small win' that people would travel out of their way and deal with the hassles of finding non-existent parking in a sea of blocked off and dormant taxpayer-owned parking just to grab a burger at BLK SHP and a beer at Intuition.. but I regress. Assuming this is a small win, what other small wins could be a result? Success begets success so is there a chance that, like on King Street or like what is happening now along Edgewood, these small wins lead to more small wins? Possibly. By all indications, Daily's Place is going to add at least another 30-40 event days to the already 180 or so event days in the area. None of the existing business in the area have any problem making money on event days. Add another months' worth of event days.. and how many other businesses would be willing to setup shop in the area to capitalize on that foot traffic?
1) Any chance that the stretch of East Forsyth between Intuition and the Doro Fixtures complex becomes pedestrian only?
Not speaking for the developer by any means, but the roadway between the Doro Fixtures building and the Noland building is actually an abandoned Right of Way. You can see from image #36 on this link http://www.moderncities.com/article/2016-jun-george-doro-fixtures-downtowns-next-big-thing/page/3
that this is a 'private road'. I don't think its any secret to publicly talk about the developer's intent to enhance the building facades in such a way that makes this area a pedestrian-centric block, while using this private roadway as a flexible space that can act as a roadway to serve existing tenants but also be completely closed down on a moment's notice in order to host street parties, etc.
2) What does the pedestrian walkway to the river that you noted entail? A sidewalk? Something fancier? I like the idea in theory, but isn't it cutting directly through Shipyards property that's up for redevelopment?
I have not seen any actual engineering plans. So, anything I say on the subject is purely speculation. Given the dollar figure and the needed improvements to Lot X, my guess is that this winds up being a simple paved sidewalk that connects from the floating dock to APR. A good example would be the sidewalk that leads to Bay Street from the Metro Park marina's water taxi stop (unfortunately, I do not have a picture of that on my phone.. but you should be able to Google Earth the area to get a visual reference).
I would have to suspect that DIA has a pretty good idea of what Khan's new RFP response is going to look like and any designs of said pedestrian pathway will be done in a way that would be easily integrated into whatever happens with that particular parcel (which if Metro Park gets redeveloped, would likely be some sort of public parkland).
Again, speculation only. When the engineering plans become available, I'll certainly post an image.