Author Topic: DIA rejects 3 offers to buy vacant LaVilla building  (Read 4354 times)

jaxnyc79

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Re: DIA rejects 3 offers to buy vacant LaVilla building
« Reply #30 on: November 21, 2017, 01:45:49 PM »
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If revenue resulting from growth in every part of the county flows into the same coffers, what makes downtown so special?  Is there some sort of enhanced revenue that results from growth and development in the core versus growth and development on the southside or near the beaches?

What specifically is downtown’s target state - the point at which it no longer needs special treatment - or will it always have special needs because of some grand cultural role it plays in the history and evolution of the city?

Most suburban growth cost MORE in services and infrastructure than they return. This is why taxes continue to rise even in the face of steady growth. Urban growth typical returns more money than it requires in services. This is because of the density involved, the higher property values that normally exist and the fact that the infrastructure was already in place.

Historically DT JAX, like most cities, produced far more revenue than it required, such that it helped with the deficit created by suburban growth.  However, that surplus has dramatically been reduced by the falling property values from the recession, offices leaving for the suburbs and the resulting vacancy.     

Consider Manhattan.  While I love it, it makes me challenge the idea that suburban growth costs more.  Density has its benefits, but there’s an entirely new infrastructure required to support density.  Case in point, transit systems, because density with Auto-Centricity means disaster.

Tacachale

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Re: DIA rejects 3 offers to buy vacant LaVilla building
« Reply #31 on: November 21, 2017, 01:48:48 PM »
Jax is an odd place.  The council is comprised of representatives from far-flung corners of the county.  I’m guessing many of them have never lived in a walkable, dense, urban area.  It’s almost as though the “old part of urban Jacksonville” needs a sub-council, made up of actual residents, who should only have to go to City Council for massive actions.  The DIA isn’t really a governing body for the core - it seems more like an RFP machine scouring the landscape for economic catalysts to incentivize.

One of the downsides of Consolidation was that the urban core no longer has its own identity or the ability to come all together. As such it's easier to overlook how much the core continues to struggle considering that other parts of the city are booming. Individual neighborhoods have created organizations that have had a positive impact, but it's entirely driven by dedicated people within those neighborhoods. Because Downtown has so few people living there it has never had a group like that who can advocate for it as a neighborhood. The closest we have is DVI, and that's mainly a business organization and not primarily people who live downtown. DIA is a government organization made up of government folks, who also don't usually live there. Then we have the developers and advisers, who generally have their heart in the right place, but often don't have the background to know what really works when it comes to revitalization.

Yes, Jacksonville must continue to ask some tough questions about the area it defines as its downtown.  I could be wrong, but my sense is that the COJ is focused on making downtown a type of quasi-theme park for suburbanites.  Is that the grand vision, or what makes sense for the city?  Or is the plan to make it another lifestyle option for those who desire a dense, walkable, urban experience?  Or is downtown supposed to make a grand statement of identity about the city and region to outsiders?  Is downtown really just a branding project...an expression of cultural values?

If revenue resulting from growth in every part of the county flows into the same coffers, what makes downtown so special?  Is there some sort of enhanced revenue that results from growth and development in the core versus growth and development on the southside or near the beaches?

What specifically is downtown’s target state - the point at which it no longer needs special treatment - or will it always have special needs because of some grand cultural role it plays in the history and evolution of the city?

There's no one plan for Downtown that is adhered to. That's as much of a problem as anything. It has improved a lot in the past few years, and things will get easier the more residents move into downtown itself, rather than just (some of) the surrounding neighborhoods. Then, it'll have a core of people who are personally invested in making it a real neighborhood instead of just a business district or entertainment area.
Do you believe that when the blue jay or another bird sings and the body is trembling, that is a signal that people are coming or something important is about to happen?

Gunnar

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Re: DIA rejects 3 offers to buy vacant LaVilla building
« Reply #32 on: November 21, 2017, 02:11:09 PM »
Quote
If revenue resulting from growth in every part of the county flows into the same coffers, what makes downtown so special?  Is there some sort of enhanced revenue that results from growth and development in the core versus growth and development on the southside or near the beaches?

What specifically is downtown’s target state - the point at which it no longer needs special treatment - or will it always have special needs because of some grand cultural role it plays in the history and evolution of the city?

Most suburban growth cost MORE in services and infrastructure than they return. This is why taxes continue to rise even in the face of steady growth. Urban growth typical returns more money than it requires in services. This is because of the density involved, the higher property values that normally exist and the fact that the infrastructure was already in place.

Historically DT JAX, like most cities, produced far more revenue than it required, such that it helped with the deficit created by suburban growth.  However, that surplus has dramatically been reduced by the falling property values from the recession, offices leaving for the suburbs and the resulting vacancy.     

Consider Manhattan.  While I love it, it makes me challenge the idea that suburban growth costs more.  Density has its benefits, but there’s an entirely new infrastructure required to support density.  Case in point, transit systems, because density with Auto-Centricity means disaster.

Yes, transit systems cost money. However, if you look at the total picture and compare the cost of serving a population of 1 million in a dense urban area vs. in a spread out suburban area I would bet that the former is cheaper.

You have to look at everything - roads, power water and sewage lines, communication,....

Suburban growth seems like a great money maker for developers - buy cheap land, build houses and have the public finance and maintain the infrastructure.
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MusicMan

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Re: DIA rejects 3 offers to buy vacant LaVilla building
« Reply #33 on: November 21, 2017, 05:08:21 PM »
I spoke at length with Caldera today about the building in question. He said it has deteriorated so much that just stabilizing the facade will be tricky and expensive, not to mention the cost of environmental cleanup. There is undoubtedly asbestos and lead paint throughout the site.

thelakelander

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Re: DIA rejects 3 offers to buy vacant LaVilla building
« Reply #34 on: November 21, 2017, 05:53:15 PM »
It's basically a Cowford Chophouse type situation in a significantly less viable location. There's asbestos and lead paint in every unrenovated building constructed during the early 20th century. Those aren't significant challenges to overcome if the property is priced right. The building's conditions do become a challenge when the acquisition asking price is well above what the market will support. This is a situation where the property should be sold for whatever the market will support as opposed to COJ contining to sit on it until it caves in own itself.
« Last Edit: November 21, 2017, 05:56:38 PM by thelakelander »
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jaxrox

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Re: DIA rejects 3 offers to buy vacant LaVilla building
« Reply #35 on: November 21, 2017, 07:51:06 PM »
Yeah, I could see that building caving in on itself if something isn't done with it. A small grocery store/eatery business on the bottom with offices leased on the top floors would be a great idea if coj/dia weren't so greedy about wanting their $34k back that they paid for the property and essentially did nothing but let it sit there and rot away further. At the very least, the city should have kept up the building better the last two decades if they thought they should re-coup that $34k purchase price as resale price. It will probably cost at least a $660,000 to restore the building to safe and inhabitable, plus all that lead paint and asbestos. It's so near to all those new apartments being built
in /near lavilla too. What a shame. I'd try something, if I had the capital funds to. Maybe I will buy a lottery ticket haha ;)

marcuscnelson

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Re: DIA rejects 3 offers to buy vacant LaVilla building
« Reply #36 on: November 22, 2017, 01:30:20 AM »
Yeah, I could see that building caving in on itself if something isn't done with it. A small grocery store/eatery business on the bottom with offices leased on the top floors would be a great idea if coj/dia weren't so greedy about wanting their $34k back that they paid for the property and essentially did nothing but let it sit there and rot away further. At the very least, the city should have kept up the building better the last two decades if they thought they should re-coup that $34k purchase price as resale price. It will probably cost at least a $660,000 to restore the building to safe and inhabitable, plus all that lead paint and asbestos. It's so near to all those new apartments being built
in /near lavilla too. What a shame. I'd try something, if I had the capital funds to. Maybe I will buy a lottery ticket haha ;)

I'd always thought it'd be cool if there was a way to, in a sense, "crowdfund" development.

As in, have some kind of collective that makes decisions and gathers funding to purchase buildings, restore/redevelop them, and either put them on the market or find tenants to make them work.

jaxrox

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Re: DIA rejects 3 offers to buy vacant LaVilla building
« Reply #37 on: November 22, 2017, 01:29:11 PM »
That's not a bad idea. I don't really know how all the ins and outs of crowdfunding/crowdsourcing works, but I need to learn it anyway. I'm in for forming an independent organization for community building developments. Who else would be up for putting together something like that? We could call ourselves FDJ (Friends of Downtown Jacksonville)
Just an idea...

marcuscnelson

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Re: DIA rejects 3 offers to buy vacant LaVilla building
« Reply #38 on: November 23, 2017, 12:57:24 AM »
That's not a bad idea. I don't really know how all the ins and outs of crowdfunding/crowdsourcing works, but I need to learn it anyway. I'm in for forming an independent organization for community building developments. Who else would be up for putting together something like that? We could call ourselves FDJ (Friends of Downtown Jacksonville)
Just an idea...

With the way this Net Neutrality battle is going down, maybe it'd help to consider including some kind of mesh networking collective. Just putting that out there.

As far as names, I'm personally fond of Jacksonville Urban Development Collective (JUDC), or something similar. Sounds a bit more formal and effective.

jaxrox

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Re: DIA rejects 3 offers to buy vacant LaVilla building
« Reply #39 on: November 23, 2017, 02:22:52 AM »
Yeah, your name is good too. I am admittedly less formal and refined, more a call it like I see it type. But I'm passionate with good ideas, so i hope it counts for something :)

MusicMan

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Re: DIA rejects 3 offers to buy vacant LaVilla building
« Reply #40 on: December 12, 2017, 11:38:41 AM »
New development to this story.   In the Business Journal link they mention 326 Broad Street as being listed for sale at an asking price of $500,000.  The listing included the vacant lot at 618 W. Duval, immediately behind the building. Those props are now Under Contract.
I will post the selling price when it is posted.  Not sure it impacts the City owned vacant building but I wonder if the City would look at a new bid from the Pending owner of 326 Broad Street. Packaging it all together might be the best scenario going forward.

thelakelander

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Re: DIA rejects 3 offers to buy vacant LaVilla building
« Reply #41 on: December 12, 2017, 12:36:46 PM »
I doubt the new owner of the building and parking lot next door would want 324 Broad for anything close to the DIA's appraisal price. I also doubt they could be packaged today. One is privately owned and the other is publicly owned. They couldn't be packaged without the private property owner winning a RFP for the public property.
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali