Author Topic: The Premature Destruction of Downtown Jacksonville  (Read 24729 times)

Metro Jacksonville

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The Premature Destruction of Downtown Jacksonville
« on: April 12, 2012, 03:12:14 AM »
The Premature Destruction of Downtown Jacksonville



In recent weeks, many have openly advocated the immediate demolition of the Duval County Courthouse and the former city hall buildings along East Bay Street. Today, Metro Jacksonville explains why this idea is just a repeat of the failed strategies that have torn Downtown Jacksonville apart over the last 60 years.

Full Article
http://www.metrojacksonville.com/article/2012-apr-the-premature-destruction-of-downtown-jacksonville

Anti redneck

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Re: The Premature Destruction of Downtown Jacksonville
« Reply #1 on: April 12, 2012, 04:30:16 AM »
I still can't believe that after decades of driving things into the ground, policies never changed. Why would they continue all of this? Why take things away that founded a city? What were they thinking? Seriously, why?

Noone

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Re: The Premature Destruction of Downtown Jacksonville
« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2012, 07:12:32 AM »
So who wants to kayak underneath this vast unique Downtown Urban Waterway Destination. As a bonus we can fish under the brand new no fishing signs.

I am Downtown and why you aren't. 

simms3

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Re: The Premature Destruction of Downtown Jacksonville
« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2012, 07:22:56 AM »
Great article.  While I believe a CC is the best use of that site, I also agree that if the city demolishes those 2 structures or even just the old courthouse and builds a park, a CC may actually not get built soon after and the "park" will fill with weeds and vagrants just like every other park in the city.

I believe there may be a chance of reuse for the City Hall Annex, but there is no way the courthouse will see another use.  It's all going to depend on what the building can be bought for.  I know a group that recently purchased an old office building and is converting it to a hotel because their basis was somewhere in the $20s or $30s psf, which made that possible.  Institutional buildings are probably the most difficult to work with because they were never designed well to begin with, or they were designed with a very limited scope of use in mind and designed for single government ownership forever.  Office buildings that happen to have GSA leases are different, in that they are private buildings which trade hands frequently and allow for each owner to improve or alter the building how they see fit.
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ben says

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Re: The Premature Destruction of Downtown Jacksonville
« Reply #4 on: April 12, 2012, 07:27:29 AM »
I agree that these failed policies suck, and we shouldn't demo buildings in general. If we have a plan implemented with $$ set aside, then maybe, just maybe, a demo (RARELY) could work.

BUT, in the case of the courthouse, a building which I've spent many, many hours in, I can't envision COJ doing anything to it that would constitute adaptive reuse. I'm not even sure a private company could do it. I don't think the city, the banks, private industry (in this town at least) has the drive for another John Gorrie-esque rehab project.

I say this thing gets torn down within the next 5 years. Hopefully, just hopefully, we have a plan, and money in place to fix whats left.
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thelakelander

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Re: The Premature Destruction of Downtown Jacksonville
« Reply #5 on: April 12, 2012, 07:35:38 AM »
Yeah, I'm not chaining myself to either of the buildings but I can see a scenario in where you can re-purpose the City Hall Annex as something that economically contributes to the area and complements a convention center on the couple of blocks next door.  However, I also see an scenario where both are torn down and then we end up with another blighted spot in downtown.  We've got a bad track record with this type of stuff and when ever we talk downtown revitalization at a public level, we rarely consider things at the pedestrian scale level and how to truly generate foot traffic.  Yesterday, I had the opportunity to listen to the Mayor talk about his plans for downtown.  Once they get the DIA together, they talked about developing a list of priorities in implementing things.  I would hope that these structures are at least allowed to stand until a coordinated plan is actually put together, because they just may discover that the City Hall Annex can be integrated into it.
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buckethead

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Re: The Premature Destruction of Downtown Jacksonville
« Reply #6 on: April 12, 2012, 07:44:22 AM »
Well done yet again, Ennis.

MetroJacksonville continues to provide our city's most accessible and unbiased voice of reason. (They even let me chime in...)

Any powers that be would do well to heed such obviously correct advice or risk losing power. Not that we despise you, just that we love our city.

WmNussbaum

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Re: The Premature Destruction of Downtown Jacksonville
« Reply #7 on: April 12, 2012, 08:07:03 AM »
I wonder if a waterfront convention center will attract more business than one not on the waterfront. Why would it? If you want to attract convention business provide something for the attendees to do besides looking across a parking lot at the St. Johns River.

Short term: Allow those food trucks that are so in vogue to use the parking lot - assuming there will be enough folks close by to patronize them after the courthouse workers move away.

JeffreyS

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Re: The Premature Destruction of Downtown Jacksonville
« Reply #8 on: April 12, 2012, 08:11:54 AM »
Great article hope your advice is taken.
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tufsu1

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Re: The Premature Destruction of Downtown Jacksonville
« Reply #9 on: April 12, 2012, 08:20:08 AM »
well done once again Ennis...we'll need to all work hard on this issue over the coming months as the vultures are beginning to circle.

Marley Weinstein

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Re: The Premature Destruction of Downtown Jacksonville
« Reply #10 on: April 12, 2012, 09:04:56 AM »
Great article! 

bornnative

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Re: The Premature Destruction of Downtown Jacksonville
« Reply #11 on: April 12, 2012, 09:05:36 AM »
Might it help to go ahead and load the email boxes of the appropriate COJ personnel with inquiries about the space, indicating a possible demand for inexpensive re-use occupants?  I have a couple of ideas ready to go that are just looking for inexpensive downtown space.  Not enough to fill the building, but perhaps several thousand square feet...

jaxlore

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Re: The Premature Destruction of Downtown Jacksonville
« Reply #12 on: April 12, 2012, 09:10:39 AM »
Great article with some great advice. Does anyone know what the heck is going on with the old library? I worry that someone will come in with grand ideas buy the place and let is languish around for years.

jcjohnpaint

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Re: The Premature Destruction of Downtown Jacksonville
« Reply #13 on: April 12, 2012, 09:11:04 AM »
Wonderful article.  I have no problem with a convention center being put there, but without the proper thinking about convention center funding and Amtrak relocation etc- this is a waste.  I think the key is to walk around the site.  Go to street level and take a look.  It is funny how many decisions are made in this city without taking a commonsense street level look. 

ben says

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Re: The Premature Destruction of Downtown Jacksonville
« Reply #14 on: April 12, 2012, 09:18:27 AM »
Great article with some great advice. Does anyone know what the heck is going on with the old library? I worry that someone will come in with grand ideas buy the place and let is languish around for years.

Word of mouth is Cesery bought the place with grand ideas, then was inundated with friends/family/ investors/COJ telling him to do XYZ. Now he has enough ideas, but no idea where to go from here....
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