Author Topic: The Northbank's Successful Sibling: The Embarcadero  (Read 3858 times)

Metro Jacksonville

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The Northbank's Successful Sibling: The Embarcadero
« on: July 08, 2015, 05:45:02 AM »
The Northbank's Successful Sibling: The Embarcadero



Judging from the most recent Jacksonville Landing charrette, the courthouse parking lot falling into the river, indecision on a new convention center, and many focusing on  shipyards a mile away from the Northbank core, we are a community that has no idea of what we want our urban St. Johns River waterfront to become. While we continue to circle the wagons, here's a look at one of the country's most successful urban waterfronts: The Embarcadero.


Read More: http://www.metrojacksonville.com/article/2015-jul-the-northbanks-successful-sibling-the-embarcadero

coredumped

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Re: The Northbank's Successful Sibling: The Embarcadero
« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2015, 10:02:06 AM »
Sooo many people in those photos. While it's pie in the sky dreams for Jax, we should be starting small and expand from there. Start with metro park, shipyards, whatever, the rest will come.
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thelakelander

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Re: The Northbank's Successful Sibling: The Embarcadero
« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2015, 12:24:20 PM »
The night shots were taken on July 4th. I doubt it's that crowded on a regular basis.
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thelakelander

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Re: The Northbank's Successful Sibling: The Embarcadero
« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2015, 12:27:35 PM »
Also, starting small, means making a concentrated effort to upgrade programming, activity, etc. in a compact centralized area. Instead of metro park, Shipyards, think something more centralized to the core.....say the riverfront between the Hyatt and CSX. Remember, The Embarcadero you see today, is the result of a +20 year targeted effort to revitalize.
"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: The Northbank's Successful Sibling: The Embarcadero
« Reply #4 on: July 08, 2015, 12:38:45 PM »
^^^Every year something new.  Last year Exploratorium moved/expanded from Palace of Fine Arts to the $450M facility in one of the piers you captured above.  This year the cruise terminal opens.  Two years ago Bloomberg moved one of its local offices to one of the piers.  A few years ago a few more restaurants were built out by the Bay Bridge.  Every year there is something new.

Also keep in mind that yes, metro populations are different, and tax base within city is different for a variety of reasons, but SF and Jax have nearly identical city limits populations (and SF is really geographically cut off from the rest of the Bay Area).  Something to keep in mind, perhaps as motivation.

RE: crowds - I only see one night picture (the cover) and no, not usually that crowded, but often very crowded, probably about 25-33% of that on a daily basis throughout the year....Fisherman's Wharf can be that crowded in the daytime during the summer; it's an awful area that is basicallylike Disney in a city.  Fourth of July isn't as big in SF (or it would have been more crowded, like Times Square crowded), because you can't see the fireworks due to the fog.  This year was no exception and I was part of the vast majority of the city that didn't even attempt to get a view (I was disco napping for the club while the fireworks were going off somewhere shrouded in the mist...lol).
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downtownbrown

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Re: The Northbank's Successful Sibling: The Embarcadero
« Reply #5 on: July 08, 2015, 03:23:19 PM »
Any reference to a comparison between Jax and SF seem absurd to me.

thelakelander

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Re: The Northbank's Successful Sibling: The Embarcadero
« Reply #6 on: July 08, 2015, 03:33:15 PM »
Depends on the reference. Things in common:

- Early 20th century maritime industry
- Wharfs along the DT waterfront
- Ferry traffic falls due to opening of bridges during the Great Depression
- Waterfront plays significant role in WWI and WWII
- Waterfronts cut off from surroundings by elevated 1960s era freeways
- Port relocates from DT wharfs/waterfront due to containerization
- Waterfronts are in deep decline by the 1980s.
- Significant invest is made in both waterfronts over the past 30 years

Of course scale is a factor, but the timelines of rise and fall are pretty similar. The major differences revolve around revitalization steps. One method has resulted in a big turnaround over the last 20 years.  The other has not. The message to apply isn't an attempt to compare or copy San Francisco. It's to take a look at the process that worked and see if  that same process can be applicable to an area that shares (or shared) the same struggles.

Btw, you can replace the name San Francisco with Chattanooga, Baltimore, Norfolk, etc. or any decent sized early 20th century American waterfront city, and you'll find common features.  We really aren't that different when you drill things down. So you'll find good and bad examples to learn from.
« Last Edit: July 08, 2015, 03:37:28 PM by thelakelander »
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simms3

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Re: The Northbank's Successful Sibling: The Embarcadero
« Reply #7 on: July 08, 2015, 04:41:57 PM »
Fine, let's compare Jacksonville to Topeka (or Corpus Christi for waterfront).  Jax wins!  Yay

Jokes aside, SF is a fantastically comparable city to Jacksonville (and it has the exact same city limits population...so that does make it similar from that important perpective).  While SF is a major world class city and Jax is a little podunk, SF has a lot of similarities and has provided a clear pathway to take advantage of what are really a bunch of comparable/similar traits and historical attributes.  Jax hasn't taken advantage of anything yet, but it has a good example in SF.  Whether it wants to look to such a good example, hoping to scale successful actions taken by SF to a Jax size/goal, or not, is really up to city leaders and locals (ULI's fall meeting is in SF and I see 4-5 people from Jax going - Peter Rummell, who will be here in SF in a few months, and Regency Centers leadership...which means nothing for urban development in Jax - they will meet other REIT and capital markets guys).  Austin TX has about 20-30 people signed up so far.  Just to give a picture of the difference.

Also, the *best* examples for the Shipyards as a whole are in the Bay Area, mainly SF.

SF is a city where the waterfront is really the last frontier of revitalization.  As such, it's filled with major projects of similar scope (the below are not near the "wharves" pictured in today's article, but are the industrial waterfronts to the south of the city).

Hunters Point (Lennar Urban as master developer)
Candlestick Point (Lennar Urban as master developer)
Pier 70 (Forest City as master developer)
India Basin (Build, Inc as developer)
Mission Rock (SF Giants as master developer)
China Basin (City of SF as master developer)
Mission Bay (City of SF in partnership with UCSF as master developer)
Potrero Power Plant (District Development as developer)
Treasure Island (Lennar Urban as master developer)

Brooklyn Basin (Signature Development as developer)...this one is in Oakland near Jack London Square, which is itself an in-place example of what Jax Shipyards could look like.  JLS was developed in Oakland and is still being developed.  Oakland is a depressed city in many ways, and is actively developing its own downtown.  A PERFECT example right there.  Many people compare Oakland to Brooklyn - in my mind it's probably the best comparison to Brooklyn in the country relative to all the Brooklyn comparisons out there.

And Brooklyn has its own Shipyardsesque projects, like the massive Atlantic Yards development!  Very complex arrangement similar to Hunters Point/Candlestick Point in SF, where lots of hedge funds and equity groups are involved, city agencies, wars with NIMBY backlashes, similar development structure, etc etc.


All of the above are Shipyards style projects in various phases of their development.  All are done using different kinds of developers/development schemes, with different sources of financing, on different types of waterfront land (physically and legally).

No other city I can think of in the US has that level of waterfront development actively ongoing - perhaps Brooklyn/NYC, but those are two king/queen cities of this country yet still provide the best current ongoing examples for Jax to develop its own waterfront.  The waterfronts of these cities are quite similar to the waterfront by the Shipyards, as they are all former Shipyards and power plants there too!  Truth be told, if Jacksonville/Khan/anybody else are serious about doing the Shipyards, then they need to take a 1-2 month field trip to meet with the City of SF and its agencies (or NYC and its agencies), as well as the developers there, as well as investment banks that are helping to arrange the equity and the debt for these $1Bn++++ deals.  One stop shop - NYC/SF's financial districts have all the players one needs - government, development, finance, architects.

Jax money alone won't finance the Shipyards.  Probably not even 1% of it.  At some point, someone will need to make a trek to the financial centers anyway.

Sitting around Jacksonville, a city that has no history of such development and very obviously can't even get a fucking restaurant built downtown let alone massively overhauling its waterfront, is clearly not a strategy that's working (since clearly nobody agrees on anything, and nobody knows how to do anything).  It needs to quit going to Kansas City or Charlotte (to learn what these landlocked cities are doing and then not actually do anything they are doing in them), and it needs to get its butt over to NYC/SF to learn from two cities that very obviously can get things done, **even despite the kind of NIMBYism you wouldn't even be able to comprehend in FL**.


The widespread attitude that Jax should only look to Orlando or Mobile for examples or comparatives is why Jax will continue to be one of the suckiest cities in the country (from my standpoint...I mean it joins Phoenix, so it's all about what one considers sucky and what others consider heaven).

Seattle is a new city, but chose to look to SF to its south and Boston back East, and instead of being another Phoenix or Houston is more in line with SF and Boston.  It's about where one sets sights.

Jax follows Orlando closely.  But why?  Jax is older and has an open waterfront.  It should look to the SFs of the world.
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I-10east

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Re: The Northbank's Successful Sibling: The Embarcadero
« Reply #8 on: July 08, 2015, 05:45:56 PM »
Any reference to a comparison between Jax and SF seem absurd to me.

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Know Growth

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Re: The Northbank's Successful Sibling: The Embarcadero
« Reply #9 on: July 09, 2015, 12:33:03 PM »

I have often wondered what the San Francisco "Mind Set" would do with Downtown Jacksonville waterfront. That certain SF,California outlook.

simms3

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Re: The Northbank's Successful Sibling: The Embarcadero
« Reply #10 on: July 09, 2015, 01:19:39 PM »
^^^The values of SF residents and Jax residents are almost exact opposites.  Like that is not an exaggeration...what SF residents want for other people, what they want for themselves, and what they want for their city is literally the polar opposite of what your average Jax residents wants.

I'd say the same thing about Miami, too.  Miami is very often used in political campaigns as a stark contrast to SF and a negative (particularly the way Miami puts super private condo towers up right on its waterfront...SF residents tend to not want towers, let alone on the waterfront...a 22 story and 40 story proposal now are creating a huge stir because they'll increase shadows on the Embarcadero by 2% for approximately 15 more days out of the year or something like that..."No wall on the waterfront" and "No Miami in our Backyard").  And the term Manhattanization was indeed invented in SF and is still sort of used.

The city is super politically charged, and super progressive.  Everyone is involved in local politics and every little thing down to individual developments is voted on by the general population, so you literally won't find a more engaged city probably anywhere in the world (perhaps Berkeley and Oakland...but combined they're only ~525,000 people).  I would guess Paris comes in second...and then a huge drop off.
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CCMjax

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Re: The Northbank's Successful Sibling: The Embarcadero
« Reply #11 on: July 09, 2015, 01:51:43 PM »
^^^The values of SF residents and Jax residents are almost exact opposites.  Like that is not an exaggeration...what SF residents want for other people, what they want for themselves, and what they want for their city is literally the polar opposite of what your average Jax residents wants.

I'd say the same thing about Miami, too.  Miami is very often used in political campaigns as a stark contrast to SF and a negative (particularly the way Miami puts super private condo towers up right on its waterfront...SF residents tend to not want towers, let alone on the waterfront...a 22 story and 40 story proposal now are creating a huge stir because they'll increase shadows on the Embarcadero by 2% for approximately 15 more days out of the year or something like that..."No wall on the waterfront" and "No Miami in our Backyard").  And the term Manhattanization was indeed invented in SF and is still sort of used.



The city is super politically charged, and super progressive.  Everyone is involved in local politics and every little thing down to individual developments is voted on by the general population, so you literally won't find a more engaged city probably anywhere in the world (perhaps Berkeley and Oakland...but combined they're only ~525,000 people).  I would guess Paris comes in second...and then a huge drop off.

Agree with the tall building on the waterfront mentality.  That is not what Jacksonville needs.  It needs more public and green space on the waterfront so you can enjoy it without paying $2 million for a riverfront condo.
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thelakelander

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Re: The Northbank's Successful Sibling: The Embarcadero
« Reply #12 on: July 09, 2015, 09:51:15 PM »
Don't worry about a DT waterfront lined with highrise condos.  Jax is more on the level of Louisville or Dayton, than anything resembling Miami. We couldn't line our riverfront with highrises if we wanted to. There's no market for that type of development here. We probably have a million square feet of abandoned space that we need to find new uses for first.
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali