Author Topic: Main Street Renaissance?  (Read 6844 times)

Metro Jacksonville

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Main Street Renaissance?
« on: May 07, 2007, 12:00:00 AM »
Main Street Renaissance?



Main Street has everything in place needed for a full blown urban renaissance.  These components include immediate population density, an urban zoning overlay, historic building fabric, lots for infill development, proximity to downtown and public support.  Despite all of the positives, Main Street still struggles to hit its stride. Today, Metro Jacksonville takes a photo journey along this pedestrian friendly commercial district to point out issues delaying a full blown boom.

Full Article
http://www.metrojacksonville.com/content/view/422

skimbro

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dominoes?
« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2007, 06:06:50 AM »
Great analysis of the problems on Main. I'm wondering when or if to expect a sudden shift in the prospects of Main. With the Cesery project at 3rd and Main projected to start soon, SRG planning to build on Main between 5th and 6th in the next year or so (and residential just off Main), and the street improvements between 4th and 12th starting this summer, is Main Street going to take off? Or are the speculators just going to get more unreasonable, stalling the commercial viability of Main Street for years and years to come?

Adam B

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guerrila campaign
« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2007, 08:07:21 AM »
anyone up for making some signs to hang of abandoned buildings, asking why the city isn't enforcing it's own codes?  we should focus on buildings owned by hionedes and other serial property abusers.

Pavers

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Some comments and questions
« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2007, 08:14:09 AM »
Excellent write-up, as is typical for these detailed visual tours through parts of the city.  Some questions and comments for the peanut gallery...

1.)  Re: Hionedes - He has the right to speculate and squat on property.  However, part of the deal is keeping his property up to snuff and maintained, particularly at the streetscape.  Are those properties in violation of any city code?  Does the city have laws in place to enforce that his properties (and others along the corrdior) are properly maintained?  Is it a matter of these laws not being enforced?  Or are there any laws to begin with?  I imagine that the city can not "selectively" target certain properties and/or areas for enforcement while neglecting to enforce the law in Argyle or Mandarin or other parts of the city, yes?  It seems to me that step 1 is getting those properties up to snuff.

2.)  Re: Prices, well, welcome to the free enterprise system.  Owners have a right to sell their building for whatever price they wish.  While some of these listing prices are likely irrational, there is a price level where these owners will sell and earn a rate of return that meets their personal threshold and reflects the risk assumed in undertaking the initial investment.   Land is "worth" what people are willing to pay.  I haven't heard any evidence of anyone paying $1M for such properties, so there seems to be a significant delta between asking prices and the market clearing price for such properties.  While I wouldn't pay $1.3M for the property detailed above either, maybe $800K would be a price that could make a hyptothetical development "work" - and maybe the owner would bite.  

How much did he/she pay for the property?  I assume such values are on the books in public record.  I would be VERY CURIOUS to see what the cost basis is for the various vacant and for-sale properties along Main Street.  That would be fascinating reading.

3.)  Re: "We're for Jesus" - again, they have the right to sit there, so long as their property is properly maintained.  For the right price, it will be in the self-interest of that group to sell - one just has to be patient.  If someone walked up to them and offer $5M (to pick a ridiculous number) for the property, they'd be silly not to sell, as that $5M could go a long way towards achieveing their respective goals and mission.  No one would pay $5M for the place, admittedly?  But what about $4m/$3m/$2m/$1m/$750K/$500K?  At some point, a private investor/developer will be able to get "more" out of the property that the current occupant, and a change in ownership will occur.  Could happen tomorrow, could happen in 2010.  You just never know.  One doesn't see many gas stations in mid-town Manhattan because such property could be much more valuably utilized for another purpose.  Same logic applies here.

Development of Springfield will occur over time in various fits and starts.  The pieces are in place for a happy story over the near future.

JJ

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Someplace else
« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2007, 11:12:58 AM »
Driving down that strip of Main Street reminds of driving thru a cool neighborhood in another city. I am thinking Chicago. The difference being the Chicago neighborhood is bustling with people. The streets are lined with businesses that succeed. Potential!

Pavers

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Amen, JJ
« Reply #5 on: May 07, 2007, 01:04:03 PM »
You've got a potential Clark Street through the northside here.  Or a Milwaukee Avenue through Bucktown.

Main Street's boulevard is perhaps a little wide. I'd prefer two lanes to four, as lower speed limits would be better for more of a neighborhood feel.  The four-lanes remind me of Western Avenue or Ashland, which are not as "friendly" because cars are zipping by at 40 mph.  (And another amen to the metrojax crew for their writings on the BRT and potential effects to Adams and Bay which would be harmful to street life.  If I want to sit close to speeding cars, I'll go to Daytona, thanks.)

But overall, we can work with this.  High potential indeed.

Adam B

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good point on the road width
« Reply #6 on: May 07, 2007, 03:13:32 PM »
i cross main at 5th almost every day walking the dog, and the light never stays red long enough for us to cross.  they really need to work on that if a 25 year old and an athletic dog can't cross the road in time.   god forbid if it were some old person and a chihuahua.

Adam B

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oops
« Reply #7 on: May 07, 2007, 03:36:21 PM »
6th rather.

gradco2004

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Magazine Street In The Making
« Reply #8 on: May 07, 2007, 04:27:50 PM »
Main Street is almost a defunct transplant of Magazine Street in New Orleans. Big stately homes, a lot of trees, and an abundance of small businesses. The whole street is vibrant from the River all the way to the Zoo. They need to let the artists and college (FCCJ & EWC) students takeover and make clothing and nightlife that cater to them. Magazine has a bunch of coffee shops, internet cafe's, vintage stores ,and more that we need. We just need more lofts with small business on bottom and poof! Success story. See:

www.magazinestreet.com

P.S. They even have an urban Whole Foods with a parking garage!

zoo

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Begging for Whole Foods
« Reply #9 on: May 07, 2007, 08:07:42 PM »
None of the stores with "urban" locations will give a look to Springfield. WHY!?!?!? Could it be that the suburbanism is contagious even to those from somewhere else?! If so, I'll have to leave as I don't want to catch it!

Or is it the local commercial brokers that the chains contact who encourage in-the-box, do-it-the-same-way-intown-you've-done-it-in-the-burbs, I've-got-to-have-my-1.5-2-acres-for-parking method???

I bought in Springfield hoping the urbanism would be contagious, and it is, just slowly. Stubborn, underexposed suburbanites just won't come around.

RG

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(No subject)
« Reply #10 on: May 08, 2007, 12:39:28 PM »
I think some of these speculators may be forced to accept low ball offers before too long.  They have priced Main Street as if it were in Avondale in 2005.  It really is a joke.  While I love Main Street and want to see it come back, it has a long way to go and is not close to being as valuable as the flippers imagine.  I am almost hoping that the real estate correction deepens for another year or two to punish clowns like this and to open up some buying opportunities for such properties at reasonable rates for people who actually intend to improve the properties.

thelakelander

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Response to Pavers: Prices
« Reply #11 on: May 08, 2007, 11:06:42 PM »
Quote
How much did he/she pay for the property? I assume such values are on the books in public record. I would be VERY CURIOUS to see what the cost basis is for the various vacant and for-sale properties along Main Street. That would be fascinating reading.


Here's a few, according to the property appraiser's records.

Uniform Man Building - 4,164sf one story structure on 70' x 125' parcel.


$60,000 = puchase price on 3/23/98
$750,000 = current asking price



1724 Main Street - 5,103sf one story building


$260,000 = puchase price on 7/02/02
$625,000 = current asking price


1637 Main Street - 8,862sf condemed building on 0.6 acres


$825,000 = puchase price on 3/20/06
$1,300,000 = current asking price


1636 Main - 2,955sf  building (the little white one) on 35' x 125' parcel


$108,000 = puchase price on 7/17/03
$229,000 = current asking price

Another that I don't have a picture posted of, is Craig Van Horn's old Rally's Hamburger site at 8th & Main.  It was purchased by Symbiosis on 4/18/02 for $175,000.  It's currently listed for $1.1 million.
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

thelakelander

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more answers for Pavers
« Reply #12 on: May 08, 2007, 11:20:55 PM »
Quote
1.) Re: Hionedes - He has the right to speculate and squat on property. However, part of the deal is keeping his property up to snuff and maintained, particularly at the streetscape. Are those properties in violation of any city code? Does the city have laws in place to enforce that his properties (and others along the corrdior) are properly maintained? Is it a matter of these laws not being enforced? Or are there any laws to begin with?


Great questions.  I'd don't know all the ends and outs regarding Hionedes and his investments, but it's clear there's a problem.  One way to resolve that problem is to know the code enforcement code and keep a close eye on his properties and others that blight the neighborhood.  When found in violation, report them and keep the heat on the city to do something about them.  While you can't force someone to develop or sell their property, they should properly maintain the appearance of it.


Quote
2.) Re: Prices, well, welcome to the free enterprise system. Owners have a right to sell their building for whatever price they wish. While some of these listing prices are likely irrational, there is a price level where these owners will sell and earn a rate of return that meets their personal threshold and reflects the risk assumed in undertaking the initial investment. Land is "worth" what people are willing to pay.


Land is worth what people are willing to pay and what the market will bare.  The examples above have been listed for quite a while now and it's evident that people aren't willing to pay such high prices.  In fact, 1636 Main, recently dropped their price from $250k down to $229k.  The market is bloated and for Main to be fully successful, land owners are going to have to get realistic, concerning the value of their property.


Quote
3.) Re: "We're for Jesus" - again, they have the right to sit there, so long as their property is properly maintained. For the right price, it will be in the self-interest of that group to sell - one just has to be patient.


This building was in use the other day.  It was the first event I've seen there in a while.  It definately has a lot of potential and while no one can force the owner to consider better utilization of the site, we all need to make sure it's maintained and not allowed to decay the way Lampru Court did.  In the meantime, there's several other properties that are available and can be put to good use to create the critical mass we all want to see along Main and 8th Streets.
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

Jeremiah

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join forces one and all
« Reply #13 on: May 09, 2007, 08:45:30 AM »
I'm seeing a growing trend on this site lately.  Everyone is congratulating the new hip developments, like 15 West, that are going up in Springfield (and I applaud them also...wish i had $250k to throw at a live work loft) and I also see a slew of suggestions for what should go where and how this site should be treated, etc.  What I think the next step should be, is you, as a group, form a small corporation (it really isn't difficult), pool some money together, leverage some more, buy one of these properties and develop it.  I'm serious about this.  I mentioned this yesterday as a response to affecting change in the downtown cityscape, and it holds true for Springfield also.  My wife and I were recently looking for a house there simply because it is an area that is fast on the upswing.  But it isn't there yet and it won't get to it's full potential without people like us (visionaries and risk takers) who are willing to step up and take a stab at it.  Large developers are in this to make money, and they could care less about our neighborhoods.  But, if instead, we are the developers, well, then things can really start to happen.  The reason large cities like Chicago and New York and Atlanta and San Fransisco have such successful neighborhoods like those mentioned is because the community works together to better the community.

thelakelander

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RE: join forces one and all
« Reply #14 on: May 09, 2007, 08:55:28 AM »
I agree 100%.  Its time we start to practice what we preach and kick it into high gear.
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali