Author Topic: 10 Qualities of a Great Waterfront Destination  (Read 10577 times)

Metro Jacksonville

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10 Qualities of a Great Waterfront Destination
« on: March 13, 2013, 03:00:33 AM »
10 Qualities of a Great Waterfront Destination



Since there is so much local energy and desire to bring life back to downtown Jacksonville, it only makes we share Project for Public Spaces' recommendations for creating a great waterfront destination.


Full Article
http://www.metrojacksonville.com/article/2013-mar-10-qualities-of-a-great-waterfront-destination

JeffreyS

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Re: 10 Qualities of a Great Waterfront Destination
« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2013, 06:50:13 AM »
I think what Jax lacks is the "buildings enhance the space "portion.
Lenny Smash

Actionville

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Re: 10 Qualities of a Great Waterfront Destination
« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2013, 06:53:45 AM »
And the fact that we've utilized prime waterfront realty for parking lots.

Noone

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Re: 10 Qualities of a Great Waterfront Destination
« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2013, 07:39:54 AM »
Jacksonville Waterways Commission meeting two hours out. On the agenda is the Southbank. It's show time.
Anyone Going? Anybody care? Anyone if you do show up can make a donation to 2009-442 the artificial Reef Trust Fund. 6 Artificial Reefs south of the Fuller Warren Bridge. This is a Mayor Brown slam dunk Downtown Destination and activity.

Will be mentioning the Jim Love! Kevin Kuzel Berkman floating dock kayak launch next to Shipyards III that was misrepresented to Waterways by OGC during the 2013 FIND grant application process.

Anyone want to launch from another kayak launch location that needs a Mayor Brown kayak logo and we'll take it over and fish under the brand new No Fishing signs that was never before Waterways?

Ben- JCCI, We need to kayak Downtown before 2025

I am Downtown and why you aren't.
« Last Edit: March 13, 2013, 07:43:06 AM by Noone »

Ben Warner

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Re: 10 Qualities of a Great Waterfront Destination
« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2013, 08:09:57 AM »
John, I agree we need to kayak -- hopefully JAX2025 will leave me some free time soon to do so! You going to be there March 19 for the next meeting?

simms3

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Re: 10 Qualities of a Great Waterfront Destination
« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2013, 10:50:35 AM »
1. Surrounding Buildings - missed the boat here (we had our chance to have piers and cool old buildings)
2. Limits placed on residential development - people still want condos on the Shipyards and JEA land
3. Year-round activities - not much waterfront activity, but the Jax calendar of events is very year-round
4. Flexible design - I get the concept, but I don't see flexibility so much in any waterfronts
5. Creative amenities - I think Jacksonville does ok here with the museums, Landing, fountains, etc
6. Easy access - There's access, just not a lot of use
7. Local identity showcased - to a small degree with Maritime Museum and 1901 Monument, but what is Jacksonville's identity?
8. Water itself draws attention - that's up to the people
9. Iconic buildings - hell no, not in Jacksonville.  I don't think Quay Terminal is the best example of this.
10. Good management - the worst in Jacksonville, look at the state of the riverwalks!
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BrooklynSouth

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Re: 10 Qualities of a Great Waterfront Destination
« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2013, 12:26:30 PM »
I'd say the bottom line is to keep the waterfront for the public. To me that means either more parks or more public buildings, like a new aquarium, and no more condos or offices right on the water. The riverwalks are great, but still feel narrow and squeezed in. And I think that the riverfront parking lot in front of the old courthouse is the only place downtown that feels like open space, where I can look up and down and across the river and really get a sense of Jacksonville on both sides of the river at once. I hope no one builds a convention center there. The whole parking lot should be turned into a second Memorial Park like the one near Five Points.
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JFman00

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Re: 10 Qualities of a Great Waterfront Destination
« Reply #7 on: March 13, 2013, 10:31:28 PM »
Chicago got very lucky a century ago when private development was almost entirely outlawed on its ~30 miles of lakefront. The only major developments east of Lake Shore Drive are Navy Pier, the Museum Campus (Field Museum, Shedd Aquarium, Adler Planetarium) and the private residential Lake Point Tower. That public accessibility gave me a closer connection to the water there than it does it.

simms3

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Re: 10 Qualities of a Great Waterfront Destination
« Reply #8 on: March 13, 2013, 10:57:03 PM »
One thing I hate about Miami is the total dominance these 60 story boring condo towers have over public space.  The only public space near DT is where Bayside Marketplace is, the new museum, etc, but across the street is a wall of four 60+ story towers and another [fugly] one just announced (we'll see if it actually goes up...Miami the past couple years is all talk and no action).  Brickell Ave is semi-interesting, but if you're not acquainted with the area, you would have no idea where to go to stroll Biscayne Bay.

If you're not a tourist city like SF, known for your piers, the only other way to scream Public Access to visitors and those not acquainted with the area is for waterfront GREEN space, i.e. expansive parks that aren't completely covered in trees so as to look like an unlandscaped forest.  The Shipyards should be a park, and travelers, visitors, etc will be able to see it from the bridges.  The piers can be put to public use, as well.

Here in SF, while the Bay is beautiful and interesting, I find the city views to be much more interesting.  I like how the entire waterfront around the entire city is public, and the piers are still intact and put to good use (a museum is opening a new $350MM relocation on one pier next month, Anchorsteam Brewery is building a huge new brewery and museum on another, the GS Warriors are likely relocating to a grand new arena on another in a few years, etc).
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I-10east

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Re: 10 Qualities of a Great Waterfront Destination
« Reply #9 on: March 13, 2013, 11:00:42 PM »
1. Surrounding Buildings - missed the boat here (we had our chance to have piers and cool old buildings)
2. Limits placed on residential development - people still want condos on the Shipyards and JEA land
3. Year-round activities - not much waterfront activity, but the Jax calendar of events is very year-round
4. Flexible design - I get the concept, but I don't see flexibility so much in any waterfronts
5. Creative amenities - I think Jacksonville does ok here with the museums, Landing, fountains, etc
6. Easy access - There's access, just not a lot of use
7. Local identity showcased - to a small degree with Maritime Museum and 1901 Monument, but what is Jacksonville's identity?
8. Water itself draws attention - that's up to the people
9. Iconic buildings - hell no, not in Jacksonville.  I don't think Quay Terminal is the best example of this.
10. Good management - the worst in Jacksonville, look at the state of the riverwalks!

Reasonable enough.

thelakelander

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Re: 10 Qualities of a Great Waterfront Destination
« Reply #10 on: March 13, 2013, 11:05:34 PM »
Chicago got very lucky a century ago when private development was almost entirely outlawed on its ~30 miles of lakefront. The only major developments east of Lake Shore Drive are Navy Pier, the Museum Campus (Field Museum, Shedd Aquarium, Adler Planetarium) and the private residential Lake Point Tower. That public accessibility gave me a closer connection to the water there than it does it.

That's pretty much St. Petersburg's story.  It was decided early on that the urban waterfront would be preserved as public space for the community.
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

JFman00

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Re: 10 Qualities of a Great Waterfront Destination
« Reply #11 on: March 13, 2013, 11:09:24 PM »
I agree simms but I'm doubtful that people are willing to look past the dollar signs. Just too much to be made from developing the land. With the uproar over Hemming Plaza, I can't even imagine the howls that would come with parkifying the Shipyards site.

simms3

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Re: 10 Qualities of a Great Waterfront Destination
« Reply #12 on: March 13, 2013, 11:42:36 PM »
^^^I'd normally agree, and normally in development markets a city has to step in and put its foot down, but in Jacksonville, as it stands, the highest and best use for the JEA site and the Shipyards site is as public land.

Despite being cleared and largely remediated for now going on 15-20 years, no private interests have wanted either site.  There's another parcel with improvements to be torn down quietly for sale off-market every once and a while, but the ownership interest is out of a certain city down south that is used to dumbasses paying $400 per land foot for waterfront development sites, and it wants the same pricing up in Jax!

So, nobody has expressed interest in owning waterfront development sites in Jacksonville for decades now aside from:

Strand - had to be converted to apartments and is now marginally successful (did someone step in and buy the original note?...we did for one project and it was the only way of saving it)
Peninsula - after "selling out" in record time, had trouble actually selling condos and put several groups out of business
Berkman Plaza - financial failure, both I and obviously II

Hines went into partnership for one development site, but that was foreclosed on and never started.  JEA sent out an RFP for development, received tons of feedback, at one point or another several groups provided plans and won bids at different time periods (including a design-build group that really had no experience or business designing or developing such a large scale project), but still nobody wanted the land or to invest in any of the proposals.

I wouldn't call TriLegacy's partners an ownership example...why isn't anyone in jail?  LoL that was a worse blunder than the Shipyards and the city gave them development rights to Cecil Commerce Center, as well!  (Jeff Spence had never actually built one building anywhere...but was awarded billions of dollars of development work)

So bottom line, so far as I can tell the highest and best use is as public land, and why should anyone complain?  Nobody wants any of this waterfront land anyway!  The public won't complain too much if the city can get private donations to cover much of the cost...would be an example of where the city's richies should really step up, Khan included.  Most public space in any major city is publicly owned/maintained, yet privately financed.

Developers need a remarkable amenity to sell for their developments anyway.  Downtown job convenience won't cut it, shops and restaurants?  Eh...Riverwalk?  Nice, but not nearly spectacular enough to be a real driver.  A truly great public park on the waterfront can drive private development, drive up land values, etc.
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thelakelander

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Re: 10 Qualities of a Great Waterfront Destination
« Reply #13 on: March 14, 2013, 12:41:09 AM »
^The problem with making the entire Shipyards a park to stimulate surrounding development is there's essentially no land for new development.  Outside of the Berkman II skeleton, we'd have to relocate Maxwell House (bad idea, imo) or build a new jail (with what money?). It really doesn't make any sense to spend millions on an additional green space in DT if you can't leverage that investment for future private sector infill and redevelopment.  If we had $100 million to toss into the Shipyards for green space, we'd be better off taking that same amount of cash and upgrading existing public spaces such as Hemming Plaza, the Northbank Riverwalk/Hogan Street, Southbank Riverwalk, Hogans Creek, etc.

I've always felt and still do that we should take a page out of the Columbus Commons (OH) book and carve out the public space we want, then parcel off the rest and sell for complementing infill development. Our problem with these large parcels (btw, I think the Shipyards is still contaminated) is we sit and wait for some big savior to swoop in a build thousands of units on these sites.  Instead of really considering an Intuition on a portion of property, we rather wait for the next LandMar or Ben Carter. 

Original Columbus Commons plan (yellow for future private development)


in the short term, future infill development was additional green space


Recently announced infill apartment project on three parcels




As for the old JEA site, I have no idea what the deal is there.  They (and the school board) should have sold their properties when real estate values were insanely high.
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

simms3

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Re: 10 Qualities of a Great Waterfront Destination
« Reply #14 on: March 14, 2013, 02:09:54 AM »
^^^If there is anywhere and anytime for the city to take down those elevated Hart expressways, the time is now.  There is not that much traffic, not that much need.  I created the following maps to highlight greenspace in respective cities.

1. Jacksonville - this is merely potential greenspace as only a couple small squares in Riverside/Avondale are actually parks at least semi-maintained.  I believe that either the Shipyards and/or the JEA site should entirely be public space.  That does not mean that the space can't be activated by miscellaneous uses such as an Intuition Brewery or a square where food trucks have semi-permanent space or maybe even the Maritime Museum can build a permanent architecturally pleasing location.

Regardless...there is basically no waterfront access in Jacksonville and the Shipyards and JEA site are sort of the two last options remaining.

Red = potential immediate development sites should the city take down elevated Hart Expressway ramps.



2. St. Petersburg for comparison...not much park space in interior, but the entire downtown waterfront is park/public space.  (Scroll right ---->)



3. Miami - pathetic amount of public space, especially waterfront space, for a city of its stature.



4. Atlanta - really making inroads with world class park space and the Beltline and Stone Mountain urban trails (the stringy green spaces connecting the larger green spaces).  TONS of development going up around the green/public spaces.  I played on a kickball league in the smallest isolated square...still had enough room for about 5 kickball fields just for perspective.



5. San Francisco - the green really stands out.  Note that this is nearly the entire city limits, LoL.  We're packed in here :)





Also note that neither the Shipyards site or the JEA site are really significantly large.  Compared to the major parks/public spaces in other cities, they are actually quite small.  Keep that in mind as we develop the city.
« Last Edit: March 14, 2013, 02:21:05 AM by simms3 »
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