Author Topic: So far, Unity Plaza not bringing people together  (Read 4258 times)

vicupstate

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Re: So far, Unity Plaza not bringing people together
« Reply #30 on: May 18, 2017, 01:14:03 PM »
For a fraction of what was spent on this glorified retention pond had been spent in Hemming Plaza, a genuinely successful gathering spot could have been created.

As it always has, Coj thinks creating a 'pretty spot' is all it takes to create an successful urban setting. Remember the park across from the back side of the Library?  There was another pocket park created before that one too.  I guess they thought the third time would be the charm.   
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Tacachale

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Re: So far, Unity Plaza not bringing people together
« Reply #31 on: May 18, 2017, 02:47:14 PM »
For a fraction of what was spent on this glorified retention pond had been spent in Hemming Plaza, a genuinely successful gathering spot could have been created.

As it always has, Coj thinks creating a 'pretty spot' is all it takes to create an successful urban setting. Remember the park across from the back side of the Library?  There was another pocket park created before that one too.  I guess they thought the third time would be the charm.   

Not really what happened. The city put money into a public-private partnership that wasn't fully completed as promised. The city's major fault appears to have been signing the contract with no guarantees that it would be completed, or that the partnership programming the park would achieve specific benchmarks for events. Unfortunately, that was pretty characteristic of COJ at the time.
Do you believe that when the blue jay or another bird sings and the body is trembling, that is a signal that people are coming or something important is about to happen?

civil42806

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Re: So far, Unity Plaza not bringing people together
« Reply #32 on: May 18, 2017, 03:06:29 PM »

sanmarcomatt

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Re: So far, Unity Plaza not bringing people together
« Reply #33 on: May 18, 2017, 03:27:49 PM »
Here is the original thread, some interesting comments.

http://www.metrojacksonville.com/article/2013-nov-a-look-at-brooklyns-proposed-unity-plaza

Good Find. A quick skim of the comments and grades are as follows:

Tufsu1:              A
Everyone else : K (for koolaid drinkers)

vicupstate

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Re: So far, Unity Plaza not bringing people together
« Reply #34 on: May 18, 2017, 03:41:38 PM »
For a fraction of what was spent on this glorified retention pond had been spent in Hemming Plaza, a genuinely successful gathering spot could have been created.

As it always has, Coj thinks creating a 'pretty spot' is all it takes to create an successful urban setting. Remember the park across from the back side of the Library?  There was another pocket park created before that one too.  I guess they thought the third time would be the charm.   

Not really what happened. The city put money into a public-private partnership that wasn't fully completed as promised. The city's major fault appears to have been signing the contract with no guarantees that it would be completed, or that the partnership programming the park would achieve specific benchmarks for events. Unfortunately, that was pretty characteristic of COJ at the time.

Even if it looked better, it would still need the programming to meet the original hype. Even then it would have challenges. The location just doesn't work.

These comments from Saw Palmetto in the original thread, sum it up well:

 Inwardly, there are some good features. Outwardly, I would say it's not even close to making the best of an already awkward location. It's like a side yard to a single place rather than something central to several. I think it will only remain that way for the foreseeable future because of the way connections seem like an afterthought rather than smooth-as-butter, as should be expected when the word "plaza" is adopted. Forest serves as a wall, and that's whether there were anything immediately across it to begin with. The design seems to be giving a great deal of attention to the Magnolia and Forest corner, but Magnolia doesn't even at least offer a crossing at Forest of any legal sort. At the same time, the design appears to be directly ignoring its most "duh" pedestrian connection at Riverside & Forest in favor of a park entrance further up Riverside oriented towards its parking spaces. Ever heard of a drive-to "plaza"?
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Tacachale

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Re: So far, Unity Plaza not bringing people together
« Reply #35 on: May 18, 2017, 04:14:47 PM »
Here is the original thread, some interesting comments.

http://www.metrojacksonville.com/article/2013-nov-a-look-at-brooklyns-proposed-unity-plaza

Good Find. A quick skim of the comments and grades are as follows:

Tufsu1:              A
Everyone else : K (for koolaid drinkers)

Not true. There are many things to appreciate about Unity Plaza. For starters, it made one big retention pond that could be used as a water feature, instead of a bunch of small ones connected to every development all across the neighborhood. That was an innovative choice that is still worthy of support.

For a fraction of what was spent on this glorified retention pond had been spent in Hemming Plaza, a genuinely successful gathering spot could have been created.

As it always has, Coj thinks creating a 'pretty spot' is all it takes to create an successful urban setting. Remember the park across from the back side of the Library?  There was another pocket park created before that one too.  I guess they thought the third time would be the charm.   

Not really what happened. The city put money into a public-private partnership that wasn't fully completed as promised. The city's major fault appears to have been signing the contract with no guarantees that it would be completed, or that the partnership programming the park would achieve specific benchmarks for events. Unfortunately, that was pretty characteristic of COJ at the time.

Even if it looked better, it would still need the programming to meet the original hype. Even then it would have challenges. The location just doesn't work.

These comments from Saw Palmetto in the original thread, sum it up well:

Inwardly, there are some good features. Outwardly, I would say it's not even close to making the best of an already awkward location. It's like a side yard to a single place rather than something central to several. I think it will only remain that way for the foreseeable future because of the way connections seem like an afterthought rather than smooth-as-butter, as should be expected when the word "plaza" is adopted. Forest serves as a wall, and that's whether there were anything immediately across it to begin with. The design seems to be giving a great deal of attention to the Magnolia and Forest corner, but Magnolia doesn't even at least offer a crossing at Forest of any legal sort. At the same time, the design appears to be directly ignoring its most "duh" pedestrian connection at Riverside & Forest in favor of a park entrance further up Riverside oriented towards its parking spaces. Ever heard of a drive-to "plaza"?

Saw Palmetto's post is prescient, but my post was referring to the fact that COJ didn't design this space. This was a private development that the city helped fund. Even beyond that, while Unity Plaza is a disappointment, it's not an all out failure.

The bigger problem is really the amount of money the city put into it compared to how it turned out. That issue goes back before that thread to how the whole Riverside 220 development was designed. The lack of programming is a real problem considering that the city gave them $750,000 for it (with no guarantees they would actually do it). Yoga and exercise classes on the lawn are fine, but they're the kind of thing that a lot of apartment complexes do without incentives from the city.
Do you believe that when the blue jay or another bird sings and the body is trembling, that is a signal that people are coming or something important is about to happen?

sanmarcomatt

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Re: So far, Unity Plaza not bringing people together
« Reply #36 on: May 18, 2017, 04:54:51 PM »

Not true. There are many things to appreciate about Unity Plaza. For starters, it made one big retention pond that could be used as a water feature, instead of a bunch of small ones connected to every development all across the neighborhood. That was an innovative choice that is still worthy of support.


We agree to disagree as I see nothing to appreciate. We went once and found it to be a concrete nightmare. I doubt we will ever return with the one exception being an event specific to one of the causes that we financially support. I wouldn't care except for the waste of tax payer dollars . On a positive note, I am glad the funds were thrown away  supporting  shoddily built apartments in the urban core as opposed to another shoddily built development on the Southside. See..?I am being supportive!

Tacachale

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Re: So far, Unity Plaza not bringing people together
« Reply #37 on: May 18, 2017, 04:58:36 PM »

Not true. There are many things to appreciate about Unity Plaza. For starters, it made one big retention pond that could be used as a water feature, instead of a bunch of small ones connected to every development all across the neighborhood. That was an innovative choice that is still worthy of support.


We agree to disagree as I see nothing to appreciate. We went once and found it to be a concrete nightmare. I doubt we will ever return with the one exception being an event specific to one of the causes that we financially support. I wouldn't care except for the waste of tax payer dollars . On a positive note, I am glad the funds were thrown away  supporting  shoddily built apartments in the urban core as opposed to another shoddily built development on the Southside. See..?I am being supportive!

Well, I don't know about you, but I wouldn't be visiting five or six retention ponds taking up real estate across Brooklyn all that often either.
Do you believe that when the blue jay or another bird sings and the body is trembling, that is a signal that people are coming or something important is about to happen?

sanmarcomatt

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Re: So far, Unity Plaza not bringing people together
« Reply #38 on: May 18, 2017, 05:13:31 PM »

Not true. There are many things to appreciate about Unity Plaza. For starters, it made one big retention pond that could be used as a water feature, instead of a bunch of small ones connected to every development all across the neighborhood. That was an innovative choice that is still worthy of support.


We agree to disagree as I see nothing to appreciate. We went once and found it to be a concrete nightmare. I doubt we will ever return with the one exception being an event specific to one of the causes that we financially support. I wouldn't care except for the waste of tax payer dollars . On a positive note, I am glad the funds were thrown away  supporting  shoddily built apartments in the urban core as opposed to another shoddily built development on the Southside. See..?I am being supportive!

Well, I don't know about you, but I wouldn't be visiting five or six retention ponds taking up real estate across Brooklyn all that often either.

Uh....Okay...you win that point...I guess? Although, back when I had to *gasp* work for a living, there were office parks that had trails, benches, and grass around retention ponds that I found much more inviting than Unity Plaza. To each his own.

Any idea what the city cost would have been in comparison for the 5 or 6 retention ponds? That would have some relevance for me.
 

lastdaysoffla

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Re: So far, Unity Plaza not bringing people together
« Reply #39 on: May 18, 2017, 05:35:59 PM »
We touched  this a bit in my Brooklyn Gentrification thread. This pretty well sums up my thinking on Unity Plaza

Quote
Fourth, I'll give you this, Unity Plaza isn't conducive to reading a book.  There is no shade and you have to sit on concrete with no back support.  However, I have seen people laying out on the fake grass and I have played soccer with my two teenage boys there.  However, Unity Plaza wasn't designed to be a passive recreation area - it is a programed event driven facility.  On almost every weekend night and Saturday morning there is some type of live music or event.  If you want passive just cross the street to the Riverwalk.  It is so passive it can be sleep inducing.

Okay, reading a book was just an example I know it's not a passive park. My broader point is that I wouldn't feel very welcome there if I wasn't going to one of the restaurants or attending an event. I mean look at like you were visiting for the first time. Unity Plaza appears as just an extension of 220 Riverside, not a park. Even the signage facing Riverside Avenue looks like it's the name of the development. I feel like it's purpose is so the developers could say, "Hey we're gonna cut down a bunch of trees, cover all this nice open green space so close to downtown and the river with parking lots, but at least we're putting in a 'park' ". Correct me if I'm wrong but isn't Unity Plaza a private partnership with COJ. Without digging too much, I'd imagine the land isn't even owned by the city. A quick look at the website says © 2016 Jacksonville Unity Plaza, Inc.. So, am I even welcome there as a non-resident or a patron of a business there? It's owned by a private entity, doesn't look like a public park to me.

Noone

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Re: So far, Unity Plaza not bringing people together
« Reply #40 on: May 18, 2017, 06:44:34 PM »
Welcome to the Neighborhood.

Parking was another issue at the 5/10/17 meeting.
Welcome any correction on this but An action has triggered another action that is changing the previous parking. Mr. Newby was explaining this.
One of the guys indicated that this didn't happen on his watch.

Signage should correct some of this.



Kerry

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Re: So far, Unity Plaza not bringing people together
« Reply #41 on: May 26, 2017, 02:37:23 PM »
There is a retntion pond across the street and down a block.  I've never seen anyone picnic next to it.
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Kerry

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Re: So far, Unity Plaza not bringing people together
« Reply #42 on: May 26, 2017, 02:48:00 PM »
Right. It is surrounded by empty lots. And across the street on the river side is a private parking lot.

There's almost no foot traffic.
Not to mention the fact that the whole area is very poorly lit at night.

Serious question...have you ever been around there at night?  There might be problems but lack of lighting isn't one of them.  The whole area around 220, Brooklyn Station, and Brooklyn Riverside is lit up like noon on June 21.
Third Place

sanmarcomatt

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Re: So far, Unity Plaza not bringing people together
« Reply #43 on: May 26, 2017, 02:54:43 PM »
There is a retntion pond across the street and down a block.  I've never seen anyone picnic next to it.

This might deserve its own thread.