Author Topic: Convention Center Wars  (Read 15143 times)

thelakelander

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Re: Convention Center Wars
« Reply #255 on: November 20, 2018, 07:23:02 PM »
They may be a pipedream at the moment because of mere renderings, but I'm in the midwest and can visibly see the benefit that these Cordish major venue anchored projects have had in downtown KC/STL, and infact have moved into the latter phases. These were places that since suburban flight have severely suffered but are now alive with activity on a regular basis.

I'm familiar with KC/STL. I don't mind Cordish coming to town but to be honest, Cordish isn't the driver of their downtown revitalization efforts. Both of those places have dense urban cores and do a great job of promoting their local culture. The Cordish developments also aren't a mile away from everything. They're in the middle of scenes that were already on the comeback.

In St. Louis, MetroLink LRT (1993), Citygarden (2009), Washington Avenue, etc. are all great spaces and investments that came on the scene before Ballpark Village opened in 2014. St. Louis also built their convention center (1977) literally in the heart of the city. Busch Stadium (2006) and Ballpark Village (2014) were also built within two blocks of the Old Courthouse. If we followed the St. Louis model, we'd have moved TIAA Bank Field closer to the core and all the additional development would simply bring more people into an area that was already organically making a comeback. The same thing applies to Kansas City. The Kansas City Convention Center (1976) and the Power & Light District (2007) are both in the heart of the city as opposed to Arrowhead Stadium. Now there's a street car the further ties these urban destinations together with other districts surrounding that city's downtown. If we followed the Kansas City example, we'd be building these things west of Hogans Creek.

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The Cowboys and the Rangers also have a joint project between their stadiums in Arlington. If its good enough for them its good enough for Jacksonville in my eyes. I don't see what development would take place in that part of Downtown without the Jags.

Context is everything when it comes to understanding what makes infill development work and don't work. With that said, I'm definitely not against the Jags developing infill around TIAA Bank Field. It really boils down to simply making sure we aren't subsidizing their profits at the expense of everyone else. In other words, we need to make sure what the public subsidizes complements the investments already being made.

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The shipyards have laid empty for years with prime riverfront space, we've got half built abandoned condos as well.

The Shipyards have laid empty because of the incompetence of the City of Jacksonville. Nothing more and nothing less. Berkman 2 is a special situation due to the collapse, years of lawsuits and a recession. However, it isn't unique. There's buildings like that in places like Miami and Houston as well.  Here's shots I took in both of their downtowns over the last month:

A dead project one block west of Miami's Brightline Station



Vacant shell in Downtown Houston


The two cities mentioned above are the two most cosmopolitan cities in the South. Both are also rapidly outgrowing Jax. Despite that growth, there are still projects that have failed in their downtowns for various reasons. I mention this because sometimes we get too fixated on sites we think are problems to vibrancy that really aren't. The Shipyards, Berkman and the JEA sites aren't the reason downtown struggles with obtaining pedestrian scale vibrancy. Because of their location and distance by foot from the core of the city, building them out won't resolve that particular issue either.

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Khan is the first man with the pockets and the intent to make stuff seriously happen in that area of town and has my full support, because as a small market NFL team, the organisation can't just rely on 10 games a year to make money.

They aren't making money off a convention center unless we're building it for them. It's well proven that convention Centers tend to be money losers. The benefit they bring is when clustered with existing complementing development (hotels, restaurants, retail, etc.), they help support those businesses. For Lot J to ultimately work, we could use a hell of a lot more permanent residents. So mixed use should be something definitely pushed in the Sports District. Connecting the area to the downtown core with some real reliable mass transit (yeah the U2C thing isn't going to do it) would also help the Jags big time.
« Last Edit: November 20, 2018, 07:31:36 PM by thelakelander »
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KenFSU

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Re: Convention Center Wars
« Reply #256 on: November 21, 2018, 12:32:38 AM »
They may be a pipedream at the moment because of mere renderings, but I'm in the midwest and can visibly see the benefit that these Cordish major venue anchored projects have had in downtown KC/STL, and infact have moved into the latter phases. These were places that since suburban flight have severely suffered but are now alive with activity on a regular basis.

But at what expense? Kansas City is $1.5 billion in debt, but they're on the hook for almost $20 million annually from their general fund just for debt service on the Power and Light District. A full 2 percent of their annual city budget goes to Cordish.

Additionally, Cordish has a provision in the agreement where they can build virtually unlimited residential, and the city is forced to provide parking and subsidies. For A HUNDRED YEARS. We'll be dead, our kids will be dead, and KC will still be on the hook.

landfall

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Re: Convention Center Wars
« Reply #257 on: November 21, 2018, 05:00:20 AM »
NYC, Chicago, Philadelphia are some of the most debt ridden cities in the country, they aren't exactly struggling though. Subsidising public-private partnerships for long term gain isn't unique to Kansas City. There is absolutely no one in any industry who is building anything here of significance without some element of public support.

thelakelander

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Re: Convention Center Wars
« Reply #258 on: November 21, 2018, 07:58:25 AM »
The Landing, Hyatt and Bay Street (Elbow) are all results of public-private partnerships. If we want to get to the point where we can reduce the amount of incentives tossed around for these projects, at some point, we have to start clustering things together. As for the KC/Cordish/Lot J thing (well basically all P3s), we'll need to figure out at what number does a P3 make sense and at what number does it not.
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Steve

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Re: Convention Center Wars
« Reply #259 on: November 23, 2018, 11:07:27 AM »
Yea, these buildings are coming down:

https://www.jaxdailyrecord.com/article/city-approves-permits-for-former-annex-courthouse-demolition

Strangely, while I think it's stupid to bring them down before a plan for the site is arranged, I feel much stronger about the Hogan Street demo for Fire Rescue. I just didn't see a scenario where whatever this site is, these buildings being a part of it.

Maybe I'm wrong.

thelakelander

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Re: Convention Center Wars
« Reply #260 on: November 23, 2018, 12:49:23 PM »
I could see a scenario where City Hall Annex could have been a hotel or workforce housing. However, we never put a RFP out for reuse to see what might have been possible. Instead, we let them sit empty for years and then decided they needed to be torn down and that razing them was equal to progress. It was like we've learned nothing from our bad decisions of the 70s, 80s and 90s.
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downtownbrown

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Re: Convention Center Wars
« Reply #261 on: December 06, 2018, 02:48:58 PM »
so now that DIA has scrapped the convention center at the old courthouse and rejected the RFP altogether, does that mean Khan gets to build his hotel there?

Captain Zissou

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Re: Convention Center Wars
« Reply #262 on: December 06, 2018, 03:20:46 PM »
so now that DIA has scrapped the convention center at the old courthouse and rejected the RFP altogether, does that mean Khan gets to build his hotel there?

If we are scrapping the convention center at this site, I want to see that Rimrock Devlin multi-family project moving forward tomorrow.  Chances are that whole project was just smoke and mirrors though. 

KenFSU

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Re: Convention Center Wars
« Reply #263 on: December 06, 2018, 05:18:49 PM »
so now that DIA has scrapped the convention center at the old courthouse and rejected the RFP altogether, does that mean Khan gets to build his hotel there?

Khan/Iguana never proposed a hotel at the old Courthouse site.

There were some early rumblings that Iguana might make a bid on a convention center at the Courthouse site, but ultimately, it's clear that they want all of their eggs in one basket out by the sports complex. Hence why, the day after the Courthouse RFP closed, Iguana submitted their own unsolicited proposal for a convention center on the eastern edge of the Shipyards.

In an effort to sweeten their own bid for a Shipyards convention center, Iguana's partner on the proposal - Rimrock Devlin - offered to also create a mixed-use development on the Courthouse site, consisting of low-rise apartments, a suburban style hotel, lots of surface parking, and just enough restaurant, retail, and marina space to look flashy on paper without competing with the Lot J plans.



This wasn't a separate thing, but rather an add-on the group agreed to develop if the city played ball on a Shipyards convention center.

A couple of problems here:

1) Iguana has exclusive development rights over the Shipyards, but not over the Courthouse site. We're not in a legal position to give that land to anyone, at least not without issuing another public RFP for all uses.

2) Hyatt technically still has right of first refusal on that property, giving them the right to match any offer for it.

To me, this week's developments are another clear signal that the convention center is ultimately going to the Shipyards.

The city and DIA aren't putting convention center talks on the backburner for the old Courthouse site, they're cancelling the RFP outright and rejecting the proposals from all three firms, including the winner, Jacobs. In essence, they're abandoning the grand Courthouse convention center plan outright for the foreseeable future.

I suppose there's always the chance that they re-RFP the Courthouse property for a smaller, more reasonably scaled convention center, but there sure does seem to be a lot of back-slapping going on between the mayor and the Jags today on getting the rest of that Hart Bridge ramp removal funding in place and moving forward as quickly as possible on bringing the ramps down (the city claims construction will be under way in 10-months, though that seems very optimistic).

Lamping has said multiple times that when the ramps come down, the Jags want to begin work on a Shipyards convention center.

2020 sounds about right for those negotiations to begin.

Hell, even the Innovation Corridor BUILD application references a Shipyards convention center.

Unfortunately, the most likely scenario is that the city grasses over the Courthouse site, Shipyards style, and sits on it for a few years while they figure everything else out.
« Last Edit: December 06, 2018, 05:20:59 PM by KenFSU »

120North

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Re: Convention Center Wars
« Reply #264 on: December 07, 2018, 09:44:32 AM »
To me the cancellation of the RFP is a bad thing for JAX overall.  It seems like we have officially thrown all of our eggs into the iguana basket with respect to North Bank public development.  Viable developers are being told no.  Jacobs is a Fortune 200 company, with private financing for the CC project.  The city would have had nothing out of pocket until the center had completed construction. The CC would have been ready to roll in 5 years.  How much ancillary development around that site happens in that 5 years and in the couple of years afterwards in anticipation of the opening?  Likely more than enough to support the CC.  Instead, we cancel that deal for more Iguana development that is dependent on waiting for multi-year dominoes (Har Bridge Ramps) to fall before anything gets done.

thelakelander

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Re: Convention Center Wars
« Reply #265 on: December 07, 2018, 10:05:44 AM »
I think it's bad in that it was all based off faulty information. That RFP was bloated with criteria we don't need at that site or Metropolitan Park. I do believe a realistic solution could have been done with Jacobs or someone else for a fraction of what we're going to be on the hook for, for much of the stuff being talked about east of Liberty Street. The other negative is wasting the resources of credible development teams. It takes a lot of time and money to respond to RFPs. Don't burn business money for the sake of burning it. Have a plan and be ready to implement before playing games with the private sector. Now we've burned $8 million in demo money to look at another two blocks of vacant land for the foreseeable future.
« Last Edit: December 07, 2018, 10:09:25 AM by thelakelander »
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KenFSU

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Re: Convention Center Wars
« Reply #266 on: December 07, 2018, 10:40:25 AM »
The other negative is wasting the resources of credible development teams. It takes a lot of time and money to respond to RFPs. Don't burn business money for the sake of burning it. Have a plan and be ready to implement before playing games with the private sector.

Can you imagine?

We fund a study that concludes that Jacksonville doesn't have the infrastructure to support a large convention center at this time.

We proceed to ignore the findings and issue an RFP for a massive convention center anyway, requiring every bell and whistle.

Jacobs spends three months and likely hundreds of thousands of dollars preparing a thoughtful, 257-page response to the RFP.

They bring in 35 people to present the plan to the DIA.

Jacobs scores a 93 on their proposal - 13 points higher than the other firms - and wins the bid.

A month later - after someone else has put in an unsolicited bid for a convention center at a totally different location - the city tells Jacobs, "Nevermind, we've got this study that says none of this was a good idea to begin with. Plus, we can't afford what we listed in the RFP. Whoops. We're rejecting your bid."

Plus, you can't discount the fact that we really did Hyatt dirty as well by dangling this convention center carrot on a string. They've been a good partner to the city through all the construction, they worked very closely with Jacobs on their bid, and we're ultimately going to need their blessing on anything we do with that property. Can't imagine we haven't wrecked some goodwill with Hyatt as well.

Jacksonville has historically had a hard time getting bids on RFPs from the private sector to begin with (Noah's Ark at the Shipyards doesn't count), you've gotta think that private developers will take notice of how the city is treating companies like Jacobs, Hyatt, and Sleiman Enterprises.

Still don't understand what the harm is in telling Jacobs and Hyatt, "Hey, we love what you guys came up with, but we can't afford the terms of the financing. What do you think you could do as a phase one for $XXX million?"

120North

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Re: Convention Center Wars
« Reply #267 on: December 07, 2018, 10:43:29 AM »
I think it's bad in that it was all based off faulty information. That RFP was bloated with criteria we don't need at that site or Metropolitan Park. I do believe a realistic solution could have been done with Jacobs or someone else for a fraction of what we're going to be on the hook for, for much of the stuff being talked about east of Liberty Street. The other negative is wasting the resources of credible development teams. It takes a lot of time and money to respond to RFPs. Don't burn business money for the sake of burning it. Have a plan and be ready to implement before playing games with the private sector. Now we've burned $8 million in demo money to look at another two blocks of vacant land for the foreseeable future.
I have no doubt that a reasonable project with the size/features that made sense could have easily been negotiated with Jacobs at the courthouse site.  That's usually how it works.  Developers from outside of JAX seem to get the short end of the stick so to speak.  JAX is developing that kind of reputation.

KenFSU

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Re: Convention Center Wars
« Reply #268 on: December 07, 2018, 11:43:09 AM »
I'm sure Jacobs (and Shad Khan) will love this quote:

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The DIA Strategic Implementation Committee comprises Craig Gibbs, Braxton Gillam, Ron Moody and Marc Padgett.

All agreed it was time to table the discussion. “I think it’s probably wise to wait,” Padgett said.

Gillam said he thought the board moved too quickly over the summer by issuing a request for proposals and allowing firms to present their visions.

He said the East Bay Street location isn’t the best fit.

“I never thought the proposed location was a good one for a convention center,” said Gillam. He said the 8.4-acre property restricted the possible scope of a convention center.


full article: https://www.jaxdailyrecord.com/article/dia-committee-recommends-halting-plans-for-bay-street-convention-center

thelakelander

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Re: Convention Center Wars
« Reply #269 on: December 07, 2018, 12:34:45 PM »


West Palm Beach's convention center was built for $83 million in 2004. It has a 100,000 square foot exhibition hall and a 25,000 square foot ballroom. It's across the street from CityPlace, a mixed-use retail, dining and entertainment complex that opened in 2000. Palm Beach County had an estimated 1,471,150 residents in 2017. Duval had 937,934.

The Palm Beach County Convention Center did not turn a profit until 2017. To do that, it took the addition of a $110 million, 400-room Hilton Hotel that opened in 2016. I don't think anyone here is crazy enough to argue that we get more tourist than South Florida or that our convention pull is stronger.



When I see this, I wonder why we need a center twice the size for something that already barely makes end's meat in a much larger market?

I also wonder what in the world is someone like Gillam thinking when he says the convention center scope is restricted at the courthouse site? Whatever it is, it sure can't be based on market reality. The scope should be shrunk.....in half at a minimum and if the courthouse is evaluated, a hotel (which costs more than the convention center itself) shouldn't be in it. If you really want to see what you can do with the courthouse site, set your parameters to the basics and make respondents come up with a $100 to $150 million plan with the option of taking advantage of what's already in place. If you want to realistically compare that site with another one that lacks the supportive infrastructure, no problem. Just make sure the other site includes the numbers for the rest. Then you'll have some apples to apples numbers to play with in your decision making.

« Last Edit: December 07, 2018, 12:50:05 PM by thelakelander »
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali