Author Topic: Mayor Brown to Invest $9 Million in Downtown  (Read 17857 times)

Metro Jacksonville

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2644
    • MetroJacksonville.com
Mayor Brown to Invest $9 Million in Downtown
« on: January 29, 2013, 10:25:04 AM »
Mayor Brown to Invest $9 Million in Downtown



Mayor Alvin Brown has created a plan to inject $11 million this year into both Downtown revitalization and job-creating economic improvements across Jacksonville. Joined by civic and business leaders Tuesday along the Northbank Riverwalk, Mayor Brown committed to investing $9 million in order to leverage private investment that will improve Downtown. An additional $2 million is slated for economic expansion throughout the city.

Full Article
http://www.metrojacksonville.com/article/2013-jan-mayor-brown-to-invest-9-million-in-downtown

CityLife

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1863
Re: Mayor Brown to Invest $9 Million in Downtown
« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2013, 10:32:57 AM »
Very good news. Hats off to those who made this happen. Now get us a rock star DIA director and IMPLEMENT WITH URGENCY. That phrase should be the mantra of the Mayor's office over the next 2 years.

sheclown

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5551
Re: Mayor Brown to Invest $9 Million in Downtown
« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2013, 11:32:34 AM »
That's why we voted for you Mr. Mayor!

duvaldude08

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4492
Re: Mayor Brown to Invest $9 Million in Downtown
« Reply #3 on: January 29, 2013, 11:49:29 AM »
Brown sure pulled that Rabbit out of his ass! Thats why we voted for him. Hopefully the council doesnt screw it up.
Jaguars 2.0

JFman00

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 556
Re: Mayor Brown to Invest $9 Million in Downtown
« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2013, 11:57:33 AM »
Fantastic. Great to see the city avoid the megaproject trap, and to finance this privately-led development in a responsible way.

Steve Ducharme

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 17
Re: Mayor Brown to Invest $9 Million in Downtown
« Reply #5 on: January 29, 2013, 12:00:51 PM »
Sigh.. and now the council gets to put it's finger prints all over it.  How's that for a bucket of cold water...  Downtown need the help and I'm glad for it but this is the same council that gave us such grand ideas as the monstrosity of a courthouse.  I'll remain skeptically optimistic..
« Last Edit: January 29, 2013, 12:02:35 PM by Steve Ducharme »

duvaldude08

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4492
Re: Mayor Brown to Invest $9 Million in Downtown
« Reply #6 on: January 29, 2013, 12:16:17 PM »
Sigh.. and now the council gets to put it's finger prints all over it.  How's that for a bucket of cold water...  Downtown need the help and I'm glad for it but this is the same council that gave us such grand ideas as the monstrosity of a courthouse.  I'll remain skeptically optimistic..

Im not worried about that as far as the council goes. THe DIA will have say so in what to do with the money once they get it. Im just worried about the council saying "Thats too much money." And also, so the city council created the plans for the courthouse? Wow never knew that  ::)
Jaguars 2.0

peestandingup

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1406
Re: Mayor Brown to Invest $9 Million in Downtown
« Reply #7 on: January 29, 2013, 12:54:21 PM »
Good news, but I'm not gonna go fapping my wang just yet. Let's wait & see actually HOW this money gets used.

urbaknight

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 830
Re: Mayor Brown to Invest $9 Million in Downtown
« Reply #8 on: January 29, 2013, 02:25:13 PM »
Yeah, the very first sentence of the article has me concerned. I just hope and pray that they don't waste the money on any more land and/or streetscapes. Fix the damn buildings already!

Jason

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4290
  • I am the man in the box...
Re: Mayor Brown to Invest $9 Million in Downtown
« Reply #9 on: January 29, 2013, 02:26:33 PM »
Quote
The City has issued a request for proposals to revitalize, and potentially return to the tax rolls, a long-unused three-acre site of city-owned property in Downtown’s LaVilla neighborhood.

Anyone know what property is being referenced here?  Maybe the lot along Jefferson Station?

tufsu1

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 11100
Re: Mayor Brown to Invest $9 Million in Downtown
« Reply #10 on: January 29, 2013, 02:29:17 PM »
Sax Seafood site along Union Street

fsujax

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3588
  • Teapartysaurus!
Re: Mayor Brown to Invest $9 Million in Downtown
« Reply #11 on: January 29, 2013, 02:31:07 PM »
I did notice City crews out and about around there today cleaning out the homeless camps and trimming up trees and brush in the area.

duvaldude08

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4492
Re: Mayor Brown to Invest $9 Million in Downtown
« Reply #12 on: January 29, 2013, 02:55:51 PM »
Whatever the case, its good to see the mayor live up to his word about downtown. Let's just hope everyone works with him on this. (referring to the council, I know the DIA will).
Jaguars 2.0

thelakelander

  • The Jaxson
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 31346
    • Modern Cities
Re: Mayor Brown to Invest $9 Million in Downtown
« Reply #13 on: January 29, 2013, 03:00:36 PM »
Yeah, the very first sentence of the article has me concerned. I just hope and pray that they don't waste the money on any more land and/or streetscapes. Fix the damn buildings already!

It will be interesting to see what the cash eventually goes to.  With something like scale of the Laura Trio, all of the cash could be eaten by a project or two.  I do like that is will be leveraged with private dollars, meaning we can stretch it out a bit.
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

Cheshire Cat

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3728
  • Diane Melendez is Cheshire Cat
Re: Mayor Brown to Invest $9 Million in Downtown
« Reply #14 on: January 29, 2013, 03:50:50 PM »
From today's Times Union:
   
Using savings generated by refinancing the city's municipal bonds, Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown said Tuesday morning he will invest $11 million in economic development projects.

The bulk of that money is slated for the Downtown Investment Authority, which was created last year but had no money to spend. The other $2 million will go to citywide projects.

The disposition of the funding must be approved by the City Council.

Read more at Jacksonville.com: http://jacksonville.com/news/metro/2013-01-29/story/city-invest-9-million-downtown-economic-development#.UQfzPuiIdPE.facebook#ixzz2JOdpIocL


Here is the carrot, now what is the plan?

The first response to hearing about a potentially sizable investment in downtown would of course be greeted with some initial excitement by those who long for a better urban core.  I am one of those people. Knowing the Jacksonville political climate as well as I do I think we all need to take a minute to examine what we are seeing and what we can expect from this development.

First, I am not at all surprised by this announcement.  I hope everyone will pause to remember we are talking about Jacksonville politics at work here.  The Civic Council and Peter Rummell invested several hundred thousand dollars in the election of Alvin Brown.  If we are going to be honest with ourselves (and what we can expect to see happen with this funding) we have got to realize that the Civic Council members have gotten what they wanted in Alvin Brown, a new DIA authority and a great financial return on their investment if the nine million is spent the way they envision it.  At one level the Civic Council managed to garner a sizable amount of internal control in the mayors office but what of the rest of the council? The Civic Council are some of the same players we have had influencing our city for years and years so what has changed?  They played their hand well and used outside business sense to impact our city's future, but exactly what is the plan?  How will these funds be invested or spent and who exactly will they benefit?  What businesses and private investments will be enhanced by this and which ones won't?  Whose pockets will this money find it's way into?  Think a bit about how money in downtown was spent in past years.  How about that "round about" on Laura?  What about that "kewl" jazz restaurant and club for nearly two million that never opened?  What about the concrete monster weed patch for over $700,000 in front of the Main Library?  You all can list the other debacles and failures so before we get too excited over this, what is the plan and how can the average "unconnected" business person, investor or potential downtown resident hope to benefit?

Here are some serious considerations.  Some people will be asking why no one discussed refinancing our bonds when all the budget hub bub was going on?  Why now did someone finally decided to refinance? Why were mounting city debts not paid down?  What about the JSO and JFRD pensions?  This is not new money peeps but is in fact old debt being recycled.  Should some of this money be spent to reopen libraries?  What about our shabby infrastructure?  Why was the storm water fee money spent on regular city expenses and not or drainage?  So many questions and no answers, just a flurry of excitement and the mayors office telling Jacksonville what a pivotal moment this is for this administration.  The citizens and those interested in our urban core have got to watch this unfold carefully and have some input into how any funding downtown should best be used. 

It was stated that nine million is for downtown and two million for the rest of the community.  Hmmmm, okay, how many think some of the members on council will not cry foul and ask why the entire city gets 2 million and downtown gets nine? How about Ray Holt and that seven million pool?  What about flooded streets in other districts?  What about parking for the landing?  What about the landing? 

There is just so much to be considered by all of us who pay the taxes and the bills in this town.  We need more than a carrot, we need a well thought out funding plan. 



« Last Edit: January 30, 2013, 01:55:18 PM by Cheshire Cat »
Diane Melendez
We're all mad here!