Author Topic: A Blast From The Past: 1990s Downtown Jacksonville  (Read 1367 times)

Metro Jacksonville

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A Blast From The Past: 1990s Downtown Jacksonville
« on: January 09, 2018, 05:45:01 AM »
A Blast From The Past: 1990s Downtown Jacksonville



Downtown Jacksonville has come a long way over the last thirty years. Today, we go back in time and take a look at the streets of Downtown's Northbank during the early 1990s.

Read More: https://www.metrojacksonville.com/article/2018-jan-a-blast-from-the-past-1990s-downtown-jacksonville-

KenFSU

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Re: A Blast From The Past: 1990s Downtown Jacksonville
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2018, 10:44:41 AM »
Great photos!

Had no idea that UNF used to have a downtown campus where the MOCA now is. What was housed there? Why did they leave?
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thelakelander

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Re: A Blast From The Past: 1990s Downtown Jacksonville
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2018, 11:28:04 AM »
It operated from 1978 to 1988. It closed because of declining enrollment.

https://www.metrojacksonville.com/article/2015-oct-5-lost-colleges-universities-of-the-inner-city
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Gunnar

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Re: A Blast From The Past: 1990s Downtown Jacksonville
« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2018, 04:00:44 PM »
Oh the missed opportunities - so much building stock still left in the 90s. But they had to tear it down....
Does anyone think if a large part of the structures (there are many smaller buildings in the pictures) were left, a revitalization of downtown would be easier ?
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Tacachale

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Re: A Blast From The Past: 1990s Downtown Jacksonville
« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2018, 04:34:48 PM »
Oh the missed opportunities - so much building stock still left in the 90s. But they had to tear it down....
Does anyone think if a large part of the structures (there are many smaller buildings in the pictures) were left, a revitalization of downtown would be easier ?

No.
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?

thelakelander

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Re: A Blast From The Past: 1990s Downtown Jacksonville
« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2018, 05:14:50 PM »
I believe it would have been easier for smaller investments/projects to happen. Especially in a unique setting like Lavilla was. Still would have to deal with the political challenges though.
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Gunnar

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Re: A Blast From The Past: 1990s Downtown Jacksonville
« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2018, 06:31:28 AM »
Oh the missed opportunities - so much building stock still left in the 90s. But they had to tear it down....
Does anyone think if a large part of the structures (there are many smaller buildings in the pictures) were left, a revitalization of downtown would be easier ?

No.

I would have thought that with many smaller buildings still being there, they would be cheaper to fix up to a point where you could rent them out for cheap.

So you could start small, which over time would bring more people downtown (for shopping, eating / drinking and living), plus you'd have interesting stores (independently owned).

Once a certain momentum has been reached, restoring or constructing larger buildings would become profitable. Was this not how revitalization in Asheville began - a few individual bought smaller dt buildings for cheap and fixed them up mostly by themselves and then larger ones followed ?

With many of the smaller / mid size buildings gone, I am under the impression that you mostly have larger projects like the Barnett and Laura trio left that require considerable capital and incentives (since they are - slightly exaggerated - sitting in a wasteland).

So basically if you do not have millions at your disposal (and the city does not pay near the same in incentives), nothing will happen. This also means that you cannot really get "cool" and small stores, bars....
« Last Edit: January 12, 2018, 06:32:59 AM by Gunnar »
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Tacachale

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Re: A Blast From The Past: 1990s Downtown Jacksonville
« Reply #7 on: January 12, 2018, 02:27:37 PM »
Oh the missed opportunities - so much building stock still left in the 90s. But they had to tear it down....
Does anyone think if a large part of the structures (there are many smaller buildings in the pictures) were left, a revitalization of downtown would be easier ?

No.

I would have thought that with many smaller buildings still being there, they would be cheaper to fix up to a point where you could rent them out for cheap.

So you could start small, which over time would bring more people downtown (for shopping, eating / drinking and living), plus you'd have interesting stores (independently owned).

Once a certain momentum has been reached, restoring or constructing larger buildings would become profitable. Was this not how revitalization in Asheville began - a few individual bought smaller dt buildings for cheap and fixed them up mostly by themselves and then larger ones followed ?

With many of the smaller / mid size buildings gone, I am under the impression that you mostly have larger projects like the Barnett and Laura trio left that require considerable capital and incentives (since they are - slightly exaggerated - sitting in a wasteland).

So basically if you do not have millions at your disposal (and the city does not pay near the same in incentives), nothing will happen. This also means that you cannot really get "cool" and small stores, bars....

Well, for one thing, most of the demolition/dilapidation had already happened by the 90s. Perhaps if we had the building stock we had in say the 60s, it would be a different story. But more importantly, I don't believe it's as serious challenge to downtown development compared to the other major factors. Namely the inconsistent leadership, poor connectivity, lack of clustering, and the lack of residential.

Even having some proportion more buildings (of which an even smaller proportion would be economical to restore), we'd be no better off without fixing the real issues. Without more foot traffic, there's no demand for more retail spots. We'd just have even more buildings sitting empty than we do now. Without residential, clustering and connectivity, there's no more foot traffic (outside the work day and special events, and the last few years have shown that those aren't enough to support more than what we've got now). Without effective leadership, there's no more residential, clustering or connectivity.

There are downtowns that have recovered despite having even less building stock than we have, either due to demolition or to never having comparable stock. Don't get me wrong, it's important to save what remains, but it would be no easier to revitalize downtown without the leadership to do so.
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?