Author Topic: The Evolution of the Arlington Expressway  (Read 40076 times)

Metro Jacksonville

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The Evolution of the Arlington Expressway
« on: January 31, 2013, 03:10:41 AM »
The Evolution of the Arlington Expressway



The Arlington Expressway served as a key component of local post World War II infrastructure investments that forever altered the growth patterns of Jacksonville.  Today, Metro Jacksonville's Ennis Davis takes a look at the expressway's life as Jacksonville's first major suburban commercial corridor.

Full Article
http://www.metrojacksonville.com/article/2013-jan-the-evolution-of-the-arlington-expressway

Mathew1056

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Re: The Evolution of the Arlington Expressway
« Reply #1 on: January 31, 2013, 06:54:57 AM »
I think eventually it all will come full circle. Downtown lost out to Regency. Regency is losing out to The Town Center, but I think the winds are changing in favor of downtown again. Consumers eventually become aware of the Disneyis quality of suburban shopping centers. It is my belief that Town Center property has peaked in returns. Adding more apartments and shops, without public transit, only makes it that much less enjoyable to go there. It's the cheap property in transitioning neighborhoods that offers some excitement in this city. 

thelakelander

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Re: The Evolution of the Arlington Expressway
« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2013, 07:03:02 AM »
I don't think Downtown's/the urban core's true competition is SJTC (which I don't believe has already peaked).  Suburban shopping centers come a dime a dozen across America.  These places can co-exist, just like they do in other places. 
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Mathew1056

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Re: The Evolution of the Arlington Expressway
« Reply #3 on: January 31, 2013, 08:20:29 AM »
I get your point. The Town Center serves its purpose and downtown gives what it has to offer. But I do think there is a zero-sum aspect to outgrowth areas becoming stylish and then tarnishing. Are high-end stores going to continue there push to edge-cites, leaving a path of outmoded structures in their wake? Will it become increasingly inconvenient for people who choose to live a Town Center lifestyle to see the value in downtown? Has consolidation handed the fate of downtown to the people who could careless the most? Downtown has to become attractive for everyone in this community to travel and spend money at. The urban core should house the high-end boutiques currently at the Town Center, but it seems that the Jacksonville market is to small for competing regional retail centers. Sure, put a Target or a Publix downtown, that isn't going to hurt the SJTC, but attracting high fashion names would be troubling for the mall. Take Miami's Design District for instance. It is starting to pull stores out of Bal Harbor, one of the more upscale malls in the region. The Town Center has an expiration date.

thelakelander

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Re: The Evolution of the Arlington Expressway
« Reply #4 on: January 31, 2013, 08:35:05 AM »
I get your point. The Town Center serves its purpose and downtown gives what it has to offer. But I do think there is a zero-sum aspect to outgrowth areas becoming stylish and then tarnishing. Are high-end stores going to continue there push to edge-cites, leaving a path of outmoded structures in their wake?

Stores will go to where the demographics exist to support their profit model.  That could be in the burbs, the urban core or both.  However, right now our urban core (this is much larger than just downtown) isn't well enough to support the demographic model of many of the retailers at SJTC.

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Will it become increasingly inconvenient for people who choose to live a Town Center lifestyle to see the value in downtown?

This is something I think we put too much focus on.  Downtown was never the epicenter of commerce for people living in Baymeadows, Gate Parkway, etc.  DT was already going down the tubes or dead when these places came online.  DT's best bet is to first redevelop as an epicenter for the urban core neighborhoods surrounding it, like it historically was.

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Has consolidation handed the fate of downtown to the people who could careless the most? Downtown has to become attractive for everyone in this community to travel and spend money at.

Consolidation hasn't hurt Philly, New Orleans, San Francisco, Nashville, Indianapolis, etc.  I don't think we can totally pin downtown not being a regional shopping mecca on consolidation.

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The urban core should house the high-end boutiques currently at the Town Center, but it seems that the Jacksonville market is to small for competing regional retail centers. Sure, put a Target or a Publix downtown, that isn't going to hurt the SJTC, but attracting high fashion names would be troubling for the mall.

Why should the urban core house the high-end boutiques currently at SJTC? If there is money to be made in a downtown location, they'd be there.  If SJTC wasn't there, they'd probably be at the Avenues before DT.

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Take Miami's Design District for instance. It is starting to pull stores out of Bal Harbor, one of the more upscale malls in the region. The Town Center has an expiration date.

Metro Miami has over 5 million residents and a tourism base that's much larger.  Bal Harbor may be suffering from something that has little to do with the Design District (I'm not sure, I'd have to study that market a bit more).  However, while the Design District increases in popularity, it doesn't appear that Dadeland, Miracle Mile or South Beach is suffering.
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

Overstreet

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Re: The Evolution of the Arlington Expressway
« Reply #5 on: January 31, 2013, 08:48:50 AM »
Town Center, Downtown..........I'll go to the one that gives me the closest access to West Marine and REI.

I noticed the style of expressway with access roads, ie Arlingtone Expressway or Southside, has fallen to the way side in favor of true limited access like J. Turner or the multi lane road like San Jose. I welcome that change. I remember a similar Mercury Blvd in Hampton/Newport News that was WAY too complicated. It made it more convienent to get things done elsewhere.

The trend of businesses leaving Arlington Expressway seems to apply to  all of old Arlington. You can see some of the same trend begining in Mandarin at the San Jose/St Augustine around the Kmart. The early stages have the large anchors divided up and replaced by clearance stores and other lower tier retailers.  Also closed empty buildings that were solid franchises like the Wendy's. It is all caused by people moving farther out.
« Last Edit: January 31, 2013, 08:52:14 AM by Overstreet »

Wacca Pilatka

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Re: The Evolution of the Arlington Expressway
« Reply #6 on: January 31, 2013, 09:00:36 AM »
Very, very well done as usual.  Seeing the old Thunderbird photos was a treat (though sad to think of what the property has become today).  As an aficionado of roadside signage, on my Jacksonville trips I'm always happy to see that there's still an operating Thunderbird in Florence, SC with the classic neon sign pictured above.
The tourist would realize at once that he had struck the Land of Flowers - the City Beautiful!

Henry J. Klutho

gedo3

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Re: The Evolution of the Arlington Expressway
« Reply #7 on: January 31, 2013, 09:50:53 AM »
Having lived (years ago) in Arlington, I particularly enjoyed this article!  And the mention of past history and current events with various buildings was especially informative and interesting.   Thanks for all the hard work and research!

Captain Zissou

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Re: The Evolution of the Arlington Expressway
« Reply #8 on: January 31, 2013, 10:12:05 AM »
You can see some of the same trend begining in Mandarin at the San Jose/St Augustine around the Kmart. The early stages have the large anchors divided up and replaced by clearance stores and other lower tier retailers.  Also closed empty buildings that were solid franchises like the Wendy's. It is all caused by people moving farther out.

I see what you mean, but it may not be the same thing.  K-mart as a whole is fading, as is Books a Million, who (I believe)vacated a shopping center farther south.  Mandarin is not as hot as it once was, but I don't know that it is on the road to decline already.  From what I have seen there is growth amoung local retailers and restaurants in Mandarin that might be able to save the neighborhood.

JECJAX

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Re: The Evolution of the Arlington Expressway
« Reply #9 on: January 31, 2013, 11:25:14 AM »
With the close proximity to downtown, I do see the Arlington area coming full circle.  As an Arlington resident, you can still be very close to downtown, have awesome river views and be able to find great affordable older homes.  I'm seeing lots of young married couples getting their starter homes and walking my neighborhood.  Thanks for the memories of what Arlington use to provide to the city and potentially what it could be able to provide again.

TheGeo35

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Re: The Evolution of the Arlington Expressway
« Reply #10 on: January 31, 2013, 12:45:26 PM »
Excellent! I grew up in Arlington in the late 70s and early 80s...The Arlington Expressway was the "Main Street" for me....Lots of memories and back when the neighborhood was relatively safe and vibrant!

tufsu1

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Re: The Evolution of the Arlington Expressway
« Reply #11 on: January 31, 2013, 01:08:17 PM »

Quote
Take Miami's Design District for instance. It is starting to pull stores out of Bal Harbor, one of the more upscale malls in the region. The Town Center has an expiration date.

Metro Miami has over 5 million residents and a tourism base that's much larger.  Bal Harbor may be suffering from something that has little to do with the Design District (I'm not sure, I'd have to study that market a bit more).  However, while the Design District increases in popularity, it doesn't appear that Dadeland, Miracle Mile or South Beach is suffering.

there was an interesting article about high end shops in Miami yesterday....apparently one of the rules Bal Harbour Shops has is that no other outlet of the same brand can be within 20 miles...the owners are now considering relaxing that rule and are also looking to invest in competing centers.

tufsu1

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Re: The Evolution of the Arlington Expressway
« Reply #12 on: January 31, 2013, 01:09:54 PM »
You can see some of the same trend begining in Mandarin at the San Jose/St Augustine around the Kmart. The early stages have the large anchors divided up and replaced by clearance stores and other lower tier retailers.  Also closed empty buildings that were solid franchises like the Wendy's. It is all caused by people moving farther out.

I see what you mean, but it may not be the same thing.  K-mart as a whole is fading, as is Books a Million, who (I believe)vacated a shopping center farther south.  Mandarin is not as hot as it once was, but I don't know that it is on the road to decline already.  From what I have seen there is growth amoung local retailers and restaurants in Mandarin that might be able to save the neighborhood.

Oh I think it is the exact same thing....Mandarin has peaked and is changing (eventually not for the better)...primarily because people have continued to move south and Julington Creek is the new Mandarin.

thelakelander

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Re: The Evolution of the Arlington Expressway
« Reply #13 on: January 31, 2013, 01:47:50 PM »
Mandarin/Baymeadows has definitely peaked.  The major question for these corridors is if we've changed devvelopment wise to keep them from falling like the Arlington Expressway, Edgewood Avenue, Lem Turner corridors that predated them.  I believe older corridors like the Arlington Expressway have a lot of potential and are key to introducing more density and walkability in our suburban areas of town.  However, change will require a massive rewrite of our zoning regulations.
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

BackinJax05

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Re: The Evolution of the Arlington Expressway
« Reply #14 on: January 31, 2013, 02:16:37 PM »
The Oaks office park was originally built to be the headquarters of Offshore Power Systems (OPS). OPS also had a huge crane out at Blount Island. In one of Jacksonville's many failed business ventures, OPS was going to build floating nuclear power plants at Blount Island (hence the crane), and sell them all over the world.

OPS was to bring in highly skilled labor, and high paying jobs. Sadly, OPS failed. Though I still remember when OPS announced they were planning to locate in Jacksonville, the news was even bigger than when the city was awarded the Jaguars.