Author Topic: Lost Jacksonville  (Read 33852 times)

Ocklawaha

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Re: Lost Jacksonville
« Reply #45 on: January 30, 2009, 12:00:45 AM »
JEH, No forgivness needed man, your opinion counts too. I just wanted you to see a bit through our eyes as city professionals, and many world travelers on this site. We don't give up...EVER. But we do look back fondly at our recent and now lost past.

I am one of the oldest folks around this site, and I've been hammering on the JTA and transit since my "SKYWAY WARS" back in 1980. Still hold my ground... WE NEED RAIL!

You sound like a younger person, and if so, you should be commended on your love and support of your city. Keep it up and come join us.


OCKLAWAHA

zoo

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Re: Lost Jacksonville
« Reply #46 on: January 30, 2009, 09:17:36 AM »
Just as tragic as what has been lost is what is being designed now!!! Many comments have been made on this site regarding KBJ, the courthouse, renovations of historic buildings that don't fit with the urban fabric (Haverty's), etc.

When I think about this, I get so angry about the GOB network in Jacksonville that keeps the assignment of important projects/contracts going to the same designers over and over again. I am particularly disgusted by Daniel Davis' effort to work into the City bid process an over-weighting of the "proximity to Jacksonville" element of the bid.

Don't get me wrong, I agree that Jacksonville wants to keep work local when it can, but I believe the more important weighting, most of it, should go to TALENT. I'm not saying there isn't talent in this market - far from it. All I'm saying is Mr. Davis, and Jacksonville, are on a course to enable the languishment of our local talent through gifting assignments, rather than helping it to grow in a competitive environment.

If there were a threat of greater or deeper talent pools from elsewhere getting Jacksonville assignments, maybe Jacksonville firms/contractors would do more to ensure they can attract, and continue training, their local assets.

In this type of market-based environment, all boats have to RISE to remain competitive. Instead, in Jacksonville, it's protect our own to its detriment and mediocrity. Shame on Daniel Davis and the GOB network that still reigns here.

SunKing

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Re: Lost Jacksonville
« Reply #47 on: February 03, 2009, 09:48:17 AM »
Food for thought.  Jacksonville has suffered from poor leadership as has any city but blaming "leadership" one only needs to look in the mirror as Mayor Peyton ironically enough just recently suggested.  Lots of blame flying around but all I read on this post is a bunch of griping and complaining. 

I know that there are folks here that have committed time, talent and treasure to bringing commuter rail to our beloved city.  I have read some fine postings supporting it and if it ever does happen it is through the relentless efforts of these individuals.

Have any of you whiners out there actually decided to take on the restoration of one of these structures?  Put your money and efforts where your mouth is.  I am not talking about charettes!  The last thing anyone wants to hear is how they are supposed to spend their money!  I am talking about making something actually happen.

Hey, I love these old structures too and have been involved in quite a few of these projects myself, so it burns me up to hear all this talk and no action.  Instead of bemoaning what is lost why not save what is still here.  I am not talking about slapping a historic designation on it or incentives either.  This takes a lot of blood, sweat and tears my friends.

You want leadership?  Just look in the mirror.

stjr

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Re: Lost Jacksonville
« Reply #48 on: February 03, 2009, 01:40:38 PM »
Have any of you whiners out there actually decided to take on the restoration of one of these structures?  Put your money and efforts where your mouth is.  I am not talking about charettes!  The last thing anyone wants to hear is how they are supposed to spend their money!  I am talking about making something actually happen.

To do something for love is admirable.   However, many people may have the love but not the time, abilities, or financial resources.  Also, "lovers", acting alone, are not likely to get anything done on a grand scale or coordinated basis.  They need more help.

Further, the benefits of historic preservation are enhanced greatly by creating an historic "environment" that heightens the senses and envelops us with a greater appreciation of what it was like to experience some past time.   [Movie scenes are intended to be historically accurate in every detail - they don't just throw in a few token period pieces and leave it to you to convert modern images into past objects.] These environments also create additional financial "value" much as is accomplished when, say, a bunch of entertainment venues cluster together to create a destination district. 

Admirable and necessary as historic preservation is, to achieve it on any scale successfully, it will still take making the "numbers work".  Due to the risks and added costs of restoring an existing building vs. building new, this likely means, at least initially, financial assistance and/or incentives (the carrot).  To create a proper, or at least a threshold, environment (which yields additional financial motivation per above) takes regulation (the stick).  Both take people buying into the concept (leadership).

While a private-public partnership is necessary, usually it will be the public/government side that needs to take the first step as this is, by far, the hardest rock to move.  This has never happened on a focused, large scale, and consistent basis in Jacksonville.
Hey!  Whatever happened to just plain ol' COMMON SENSE!!

Jason

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Re: Lost Jacksonville
« Reply #49 on: February 03, 2009, 01:43:34 PM »
Jason, how hard would it be to create a google 3d map of old jacksonville?

A fairly accurate map would be extremely tough.  But a simplistic 3D block image at the old structures using the available images and aerials wouldn't be too bad, just time consuming.

samiam

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Re: Lost Jacksonville
« Reply #50 on: February 03, 2009, 01:47:02 PM »
The city of Jacksonville does very little to assist homeowner in the restoration of there house. I have seen cases where a house was a boarding house or rental property for years. the owner had a dumpster delivered and started working on restoring the house and within 2 weeks the city safety Nazis slaps a condemned sigh on the house. all the while making smart @ss comments and laughing to them self's while doing it

Ethylene

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Re: Lost Jacksonville
« Reply #51 on: February 03, 2009, 01:54:49 PM »
The City was officially informed last week that it will get a little over $26 million in funding from U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development through its Neighborhood Stabilization Program. Those funds will be used to help area developers rehabilitate abandoned and foreclosed properties.

from: http://jaxdailyrecord.com/citynotes.php

Granted this won't help the city's center but can/should be leveraged to maximum advantage in our historic communites!

samiam

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Re: Lost Jacksonville
« Reply #52 on: February 03, 2009, 02:21:51 PM »
I seems all grants are geared toward the rich and the lower income people. there is no way the middle class can get ahead. wish I could.

SunKing

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Re: Lost Jacksonville
« Reply #53 on: February 04, 2009, 09:52:53 AM »
Its not just money, Samiam,  it is "blood sweat and tears" as stephendare put it.  It is also a tremendous risk.  And that is my point entirely, I have done quite a few renovations myself, I love historical buildings.  But it is a disincentive to anyone willing to make that sacrifice to have to put up with a bunch of folks with their hands in their pockets with nothing to share but an opinion.  A code enforcer is just doing his/her job, not that I like it anymore but there is a difference.

I didn't have any money,(I still don't btw) but there is a lot of opportunity downtown right now.  Prices are depressed lenders are reeling with this toxic inventory.  If this is a passion, don't just sit on the sidelines, make it happen.

samiam

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Re: Lost Jacksonville
« Reply #54 on: February 04, 2009, 01:08:05 PM »
I am currently working on my second historical house since 2005 the one I currently live in is an apartment building that i converted into a single family house built in 1911. The next one is an ex boarding house built in 1908. What makes it difficult for a middle class guy like me is there is not that much incentive to take on multiple projects. If there was federal, state or city incentives the historic districts would become a show place in no time. If the incentives where in place more people that know how to restore these historic property would be inclined to take on more than just there own house. I for one took on a second project just to made my little corner of the world better and when that second house is done I will probably take on a third

SunKing

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Re: Lost Jacksonville
« Reply #55 on: February 04, 2009, 01:55:03 PM »
Nice work then.  Sounds like you are doing your part.

I will tell you that the best thing that a city can do is raise taxes on derelict buildings.  Simple as that.  Less incentive to buy and hold which is the main problem downtown.  If I am an investor and I can buy a building downtown and keep a low tax basis, I have less risk just sitting on it than someone that spends money rehabbing, leasing, paying expenses, only to get dinged by the city.  They will tell you that the historic designation holds taxes for 10 years, which it does but it is a pain in the ass!  Just hold the taxes for 10 years anyway.  Or raise taxes on unimproved buildings and lower them for improved.

thelakelander

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Re: Lost Jacksonville
« Reply #56 on: February 04, 2009, 01:59:36 PM »
In Tampa, this led to the demolition of several historic buildings.  It was cheaper for property owners to sit on surface parking lots than continue to pay on old derelict buildings.
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samiam

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Re: Lost Jacksonville
« Reply #57 on: February 04, 2009, 03:03:41 PM »
I believe that the way to improve and save historic building is to reward action (new concept in modern America) in the form of incentives for anyone. Include the middle class as well, we are the ones paying most of the taxes. Don,t limit the grants to lower income. a person has the ability to pay more out of packet if they make more. If you have restored a historic building you know it is not a cheep endever and not for the weak of heart, It will nickle and dime you to death. I do not believe penalizing the large property holders will save any of the historic building in Jacksonville, but if an individual has a history of buying building and holding on to them, not improving them then maybe they should be forced to sell at fair market value.

lindab

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Re: Lost Jacksonville
« Reply #58 on: February 04, 2009, 04:58:32 PM »
This is a really interesting discussion. We are seeing this in the case of Public School #4, Annie Lytle School.

The school is neither abandoned or foreclosed but it is derelict and an attractive nuisance to vandals especially young kids. The property has been undeveloped for over 20 years. If the taxes went up on the place, it would be a goner.

If it weren't for citizens who care about historic preservation coming to council meetings,cleaning debris, removing graffiti, mowing lawns, nailing up window coverings, & calling the cops on trespassers, this place would be dust. No laws, no organizations, no grants are saving this building presently.

stjr

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Re: Lost Jacksonville
« Reply #59 on: February 04, 2009, 07:38:25 PM »
Quote
I will tell you that the best thing that a city can do is raise taxes on derelict buildings.  Simple as that.  Less incentive to buy and hold which is the main problem downtown.

Quote
In Tampa, this led to the demolition of several historic buildings.  It was cheaper for property owners to sit on surface parking lots than continue to pay on old derelict buildings.

The same point I made in my previous posts on this thread.  Refer back to my comments about greenbelt/history-belt status.   No one owns/holds a structure just to sit on it forever.  They either want to tear it down and build anew or reuse it when the time is right.

Lowering the carrying costs on an un-restored building will allow the owner more patience in deciding its future and/or the ability to wait until the times are right to justify the risks and costs of a restoration.   This beats tearing it down just to remove the higher improved tax value but otherwise mostly worthless (prior to restoration) building and replacing it with a revenue raising parking lot at lower taxes.
Hey!  Whatever happened to just plain ol' COMMON SENSE!!