Author Topic: Town Center's Ben Carter Invests In Downtown Savannah  (Read 4583 times)

Metro Jacksonville

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Town Center's Ben Carter Invests In Downtown Savannah
« on: September 08, 2014, 03:00:02 AM »
Town Center's Ben Carter Invests In Downtown Savannah



After recently selling his share of ownership in St. Johns Town Center, developer Ben Carter decides to invest in Downtown Savannah, despite chairing Downtown Jacksonville's Retail Task Force in 2007. Metro Jacksonville's Kristen Pickrell provides us with the details.

Read More: http://www.metrojacksonville.com/article/2014-sep-town-centers-ben-carter-invests-in-downtown-savannah

jcjohnpaint

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Re: Town Center's Ben Carter Invests In Downtown Savannah
« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2014, 08:22:07 AM »
His comments are nothing near hollow.  Simms, Lake, and everyone else has been saying this since the site started.  Nobody is going to invest in this city with inept leadership that won't ever consider lending a hand- this is a bad investment.  Our politicians are CHEAP!  I love this city, but working here can be quite tough at times.  There is an old generation that refuses to move on and let the new generation have a say (ANY SAY).  Call it 'the good ol boy club, but news flash:  It isn't just boys and whites/ it is a way this club handles problems.  Kind of funny, but when I lived in the Northeast, we called it the mob.  This group is very similar.  Corruption is at the core (Putting the few ahead of the rest/ hiring people because they are friends/ firing people because they want to try something new).  A new generation is moving forward and the old will not step out of the way for new ideas.  I think we are at the end of this old way, but they are not going to bend over without a fight.  Just add this as another line in the resume of this cities failed policies.  Lets move on!

benfranklinbof

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Re: Town Center's Ben Carter Invests In Downtown Savannah
« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2014, 08:29:23 AM »
Depressing article. Hopefully Jax will change its ways.
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fsquid

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Re: Town Center's Ben Carter Invests In Downtown Savannah
« Reply #3 on: September 08, 2014, 08:30:02 AM »
ouch

urbanlibertarian

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Re: Town Center's Ben Carter Invests In Downtown Savannah
« Reply #4 on: September 08, 2014, 08:54:42 AM »
Depressing article. Hopefully Jax will change its ways.

In a sprawling city that is 90% suburban DT development is always going to be an uphill battle.  IMO our best hope is for COJ to let things happen DT instead of trying to make things happen DT.
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avonjax

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Re: Town Center's Ben Carter Invests In Downtown Savannah
« Reply #5 on: September 08, 2014, 09:27:12 AM »
I have two opinions.
My first is that the CHEAP comment is absolutely correct. NO ONE in this city government is willing to be bold and go against the grain of the horribly conservative strangle hold that is killing our city.
I know some on this site will feel that the kind of project that Carter is planning for Savannah is not the fix-all that would cure downtown. That the progress should be more organic and they may be partially right. But sometimes I think we underestimate the number of enlightened people who live here. Just look at Art Walk.
If it was done correctly and with the right mix of ideas that would draw people downtown I, for one, think that this concept would work.
I think that part of our problem is that downtown is only a very small section of Jacksonville. It's just another neighborhood and the people who vote and the ones who represent the suburban neighborhoods over power those who represent the downtown neighborhood. Let's face it, at this time the suburbs have all the amenities and I still don't think most of the elected officials and general population care or understand just how vital a strong downtown is for a city.

My second opinion is that since Jacksonville chose to raze as many of it's old structures as they could there just isn't an area with as many great old structures to accomplish what can happen on Broughton Street. It would require a lot of infill in Jacksonville. The buildings already exist there and the entire project will have a very special atmosphere.

If the dirt parking lots near the Osborne were still filled the cool old buildings that stood there as recently as the 1980's a great project like this one could have happened there.
Instead of utilizing great structures our city wants to tear down an iconic riverfront building, the Landing, and replace it with less shopping and dining and two horribly bland buildings.

I fear I will never see a really nice downtown in my lifetime.

It's also a shame that we lost the opportunity for someone with a ton of private money to go to another city to invest it. So as much as many people here hate SJTC thank god we have a first rate shopping area somewhere in town. At least Carter gave us that.

And lastly let's face it, Savannah is an amazing city that has enough history to attract tourist. This project should do fairly well there.



Tacachale

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Re: Town Center's Ben Carter Invests In Downtown Savannah
« Reply #6 on: September 08, 2014, 09:30:44 AM »
I don't see any news here. Ben Carter's forte is implementing big ideas in areas that are already successful. That's what he did on the Southside, and that's what he seems to be doing in Savannah's tourist district. He's not a pioneer, and that's what Downtown Jacksonville would need.

His comments are nothing near hollow.  Simms, Lake, and everyone else has been saying this since the site started.  Nobody is going to invest in this city with inept leadership that won't ever consider lending a hand- this is a bad investment.  Our politicians are CHEAP!  I love this city, but working here can be quite tough at times.  There is an old generation that refuses to move on and let the new generation have a say (ANY SAY).  Call it 'the good ol boy club, but news flash:  It isn't just boys and whites/ it is a way this club handles problems.  Kind of funny, but when I lived in the Northeast, we called it the mob.  This group is very similar.  Corruption is at the core (Putting the few ahead of the rest/ hiring people because they are friends/ firing people because they want to try something new).  A new generation is moving forward and the old will not step out of the way for new ideas.  I think we are at the end of this old way, but they are not going to bend over without a fight.  Just add this as another line in the resume of this cities failed policies.  Lets move on!

Right now, I think our bigger problem than the "old guard" is the fact that we keep electing leaders who don't have any clue what they're doing.

Depressing article. Hopefully Jax will change its ways.

In a sprawling city that is 90% suburban DT development is always going to be an uphill battle.  IMO our best hope is for COJ to let things happen DT instead of trying to make things happen DT.

Right on. Though they can do both at the same time: the city can be proactive in removing barriers of entry for pioneers, and building a government focused on positive results in the services it provides. Unfortunately, the last three years have shown that's not going to happen during this term.
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MusicMan

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Re: Town Center's Ben Carter Invests In Downtown Savannah
« Reply #7 on: September 08, 2014, 09:35:03 AM »
Hard to blame Carter for taking his money to Savannah. BUT it would have been a great opportunity for one of our cities "Power Brokers" (who are they anyway?) to bring Shad Khan and Carter together with the goal of transforming our downtown together. Khan IS a pioneer and investing his money into downtown. Add the $$ and ideas of Carter and we could have possibly taken this city into the future..................

jaxjags

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Re: Town Center's Ben Carter Invests In Downtown Savannah
« Reply #8 on: September 08, 2014, 09:37:03 AM »
I know this is a simplication of a complicated situation, but the people and leaders of Savannah will tell you " SCAD single handily"  brought Boughton Street back to life. I just drove down that street last week and stay near there often when on n business and do believe there is some truth to that. Also combined with tourism and many conferences/conventions.

Sentient

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Re: Town Center's Ben Carter Invests In Downtown Savannah
« Reply #9 on: September 08, 2014, 10:09:08 AM »
SCAD absolutely set the pace in Savannah and sustained an ethos when this area was largely vacant 

simms3

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Re: Town Center's Ben Carter Invests In Downtown Savannah
« Reply #10 on: September 08, 2014, 11:04:23 AM »
Depressing article. Hopefully Jax will change its ways.

In a sprawling city that is 90% suburban DT development is always going to be an uphill battle.  IMO our best hope is for COJ to let things happen DT instead of trying to make things happen DT.

Says the libertarian.  I firmly disagree.

I don't see any news here. Ben Carter's forte is implementing big ideas in areas that are already successful. That's what he did on the Southside, and that's what he seems to be doing in Savannah's tourist district. He's not a pioneer, and that's what Downtown Jacksonville would need.

His comments are nothing near hollow.  Simms, Lake, and everyone else has been saying this since the site started.  Nobody is going to invest in this city with inept leadership that won't ever consider lending a hand- this is a bad investment.  Our politicians are CHEAP!  I love this city, but working here can be quite tough at times.  There is an old generation that refuses to move on and let the new generation have a say (ANY SAY).  Call it 'the good ol boy club, but news flash:  It isn't just boys and whites/ it is a way this club handles problems.  Kind of funny, but when I lived in the Northeast, we called it the mob.  This group is very similar.  Corruption is at the core (Putting the few ahead of the rest/ hiring people because they are friends/ firing people because they want to try something new).  A new generation is moving forward and the old will not step out of the way for new ideas.  I think we are at the end of this old way, but they are not going to bend over without a fight.  Just add this as another line in the resume of this cities failed policies.  Lets move on!

Right now, I think our bigger problem than the "old guard" is the fact that we keep electing leaders who don't have any clue what they're doing.

Depressing article. Hopefully Jax will change its ways.

In a sprawling city that is 90% suburban DT development is always going to be an uphill battle.  IMO our best hope is for COJ to let things happen DT instead of trying to make things happen DT.

Right on. Though they can do both at the same time: the city can be proactive in removing barriers of entry for pioneers, and building a government focused on positive results in the services it provides. Unfortunately, the last three years have shown that's not going to happen during this term.

I agree with everything you just said.



Carter is bankrolling two former colleagues of mine who left their previous firm to go out on their own.  One of them worked on a mixed-use student-housing development on the edge of downtown Savannah.  This gets back to the talent base, particularly with my old firm, from Atlanta, that Sleiman glossed over.
Bothering locals and trolling boards since 2005

coredumped

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Re: Town Center's Ben Carter Invests In Downtown Savannah
« Reply #11 on: September 08, 2014, 11:06:35 AM »
Wasn't Savannah in the 80s/90s in bad shape? I thought I recall hearing that. If so, what turned it around?
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Glenn OSteen

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Re: Town Center's Ben Carter Invests In Downtown Savannah
« Reply #12 on: September 08, 2014, 11:18:52 AM »
In Jacksonville, Park Street from Roselle to Forest to Water Street is ripe for a developer with vision.

ben says

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Re: Town Center's Ben Carter Invests In Downtown Savannah
« Reply #13 on: September 08, 2014, 11:37:59 AM »
In Jacksonville, Park Street from Roselle to Forest to Water Street is ripe for a developer with vision.

And money.
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Wacca Pilatka

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Re: Town Center's Ben Carter Invests In Downtown Savannah
« Reply #14 on: September 08, 2014, 11:43:52 AM »
Coredumped is right - Savannah was in bad shape in a lot of ways and had a run-down reputation.  The combination of SCAD and an increased interest in historic city tourism seemed to spark its recovery.  Midnight In The Garden Of Good And Evil seemed to be one of the catalysts for the tourism interest.
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