Author Topic: JBJ: We must not dawdle if we want a riverfront miracle mile  (Read 4028 times)

KenFSU

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JBJ: We must not dawdle if we want a riverfront miracle mile
« on: October 01, 2018, 09:25:06 AM »
Full editorial from the Business Journal below, but give it at a read at the source link below if you can.

https://www.bizjournals.com/jacksonville/news/2018/09/30/editorial-we-must-not-dawdle-if-we-want-a.html

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We must not dawdle if we want a riverfront miracle mile

The final quarter of 2018 could be a pivotal moment for the future of Jacksonville.

In coming days, city leaders will make decisions on a number of potential projects that could, in aggregate, reshape downtown and put the city on a new upward trajectory.

Among the issues confronting the mayor's office and the City Council:

-    Do we want to commit to having a convention center, and if so, where?
-    Is the proposed plan for the site of the Berkman II project the best use of that property?
-    What should be the future of the Jacksonville Landing if Bay Street does become the site of massive development?
-    If the Berkman II project is done, what is the future of Shad Khan's idea for the Shipyards -- and what does that mean for the city's relationship with the Jaguars?

It is vital that these and other questions are answered comprehensively -- and quickly.

Jacksonville has failed in two different ways with major public projects in the past: Either inadequate planning is done or city leaders got so caught up in studies and meetings that the moment of action passes us by.

That can't happen this time.

It is imperative that we seize this opportunity. It is also important that we don't rush into making a decision and end up with the downtown equivalent of Project Vogtle.

That means that now is the time for a public conversation about priorities and the path forward.

It is disheartening, for example, to see general confusion over the issue of how the site of a convention center will be picked.

It is all too easy to imagine a circling debate over which billion-dollar project would be best for the city that leads to us having neither of them.

And, of course, all of this will come with a hefty public price tag, and there should be a public discussion around that.

(Our position: While it is necessary to invest in other parts of town, these projects will have such an impact on our economy that the return on investment should make them a priority. The city’s strategy of mainly using tax rebates rather than cash handouts as incentives helps with this argument: While there is a notional cost to the city in not bringing in as much money, rebates don't drain the general fund.)

We also shouldn't fool ourselves that these steps are enough: To have a fully functioning downtown will require more than a convention center and resort hotel.

Hemming Park development still needs our support. The Landing question must be answered. A day center for transients must be built.

The time for those conversations is now. The time for those decisions to be made is soon.

Jacksonville could be transformed, and city leaders must act both deliberately and with haste.

thelakelander

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Re: JBJ: We must not dawdle if we want a riverfront miracle mile
« Reply #1 on: October 01, 2018, 11:54:28 AM »
To add another layer to this, dreaming of a riverfront mile is all nice and dandy but the reality is most of these things are at least a decade away.....assuming they materialize after the next recession is over. In the meantime, we have a plus century old core to the west with a slew of active projects already underway. Just as important to the isolated riverfront focus is what is the vision for the actual historic heart of the city and what role should these dreams on the peripheral play? Btw, I believe there was an article in one of the papers last week about a day center coming soon.
« Last Edit: October 01, 2018, 11:57:28 AM by thelakelander »
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vicupstate

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Re: JBJ: We must not dawdle if we want a riverfront miracle mile
« Reply #2 on: October 01, 2018, 12:05:21 PM »
Quote
Jacksonville could be transformed, and city leaders must act both deliberately and with haste.

I get the distinct feeling that the writer does not live in Jacksonville and hasn't for many years. The only way these decisions will be made with haste, is if they involve tearing buildings down. 
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MusicMan

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Re: JBJ: We must not dawdle if we want a riverfront miracle mile
« Reply #3 on: October 01, 2018, 01:05:53 PM »
Whatever they do, plan around more storms like Irma.  You don't want your shiny new nickel in Downtown to be flooded every other year...

Bill Hoff

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Re: JBJ: We must not dawdle if we want a riverfront miracle mile
« Reply #4 on: October 02, 2018, 01:55:06 AM »
The new "day center" will be at the Sulzbacher Center. Basically, a place for the public to wash laundry and take showers, possibly access other basic services.

This will be the 2nd day center open to the public, as there's already one at Quest, not even half a block from Sulzbacher. The services should compliment each other.

Quest currently offers case management, housing screenings, phone use, mail box services, public restrooms, water, air conditioning, movies, small clothing closet and a place to hangout M-F, 8am to 4pm. It's rarely full.

Vets have their own day center as well, at Clara White and the new adjacent VA office.
« Last Edit: October 02, 2018, 01:58:55 AM by Bill Hoff »

bl8jaxnative

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Re: JBJ: We must not dawdle if we want a riverfront miracle mile
« Reply #5 on: October 03, 2018, 04:29:09 PM »
Note that the whole paradigm of having the city's politicians - they rarely behave like leaders - mucking around with this stuff is largely how the problems came about in the first place.  Their behaviors and decisions, the ones that generated things like The Landing, 3/4th of downtown abandoned or vacant, Unity Plaza, empty parking ramps that the city has to pay private companies for, etc.  They all produced that sort of stuff.

One has to be a special kind of a dunderhead to see all that and concluded "HOLY CRAP!   THEY BETTER HURRY UP AND DO MORE OF THAT OR WE'RE DOOMED!"

Bill Hoff

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Re: JBJ: We must not dawdle if we want a riverfront miracle mile
« Reply #6 on: October 16, 2018, 03:44:24 PM »

This will be the 2nd day center open to the public, as there's already one at Quest, not even half a block from Sulzbacher.

Good news - Quest/MHRC will actually be moving into the Sulzbacher Center, creating a true one stop shop day center. So, less duplication of services in the same small area. Good to see.

Kerry

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Re: JBJ: We must not dawdle if we want a riverfront miracle mile
« Reply #7 on: October 16, 2018, 10:05:48 PM »
Well crud - dwadle is what Jax does best.  Just came back from my honeymoon in a nearby state and the new wife asked, "How come downtown Jax can't be like this."  As I pulled out my list of reasons she told me it was a rhetoric question.
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thelakelander

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Re: JBJ: We must not dawdle if we want a riverfront miracle mile
« Reply #8 on: October 16, 2018, 10:31:39 PM »
Congrats on the wedding. Where did you go?
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fieldafm

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Re: JBJ: We must not dawdle if we want a riverfront miracle mile
« Reply #9 on: October 17, 2018, 09:29:39 AM »
'Miracle Mile' has officially joined 'gamechanger' on the list of terms I would no longer like to hear when talking about urban development in Jax.

Tacachale

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Re: JBJ: We must not dawdle if we want a riverfront miracle mile
« Reply #10 on: October 17, 2018, 11:33:39 AM »
Congrats on the wedding. Where did you go?

Let me guess, Oklahoma City?  ;D

Seriously though, congrats, Kelly!
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Adam White

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Re: JBJ: We must not dawdle if we want a riverfront miracle mile
« Reply #11 on: October 17, 2018, 11:38:52 AM »
« Last Edit: October 17, 2018, 11:57:36 AM by Adam White »
“If you're going to play it out of tune, then play it out of tune properly.”

Kerry

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Re: JBJ: We must not dawdle if we want a riverfront miracle mile
« Reply #12 on: October 18, 2018, 09:43:03 PM »
We went to Great Smoky Mountains National Park for 7 days.  Rented a cabin.
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sanmarcomatt

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Re: JBJ: We must not dawdle if we want a riverfront miracle mile
« Reply #13 on: October 18, 2018, 10:36:34 PM »
We went to Great Smoky Mountains National Park for 7 days.  Rented a cabin.

So the new wife wants Downtown Jax to be like a cabin in the woods? Do you have any pictures for a  "learning from" article?

bl8jaxnative

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Re: JBJ: We must not dawdle if we want a riverfront miracle mile
« Reply #14 on: October 20, 2018, 05:15:08 PM »

Wonderful.  I hope you two enjoyed your honeymoon.    Given that location, I'd guess the downtown in question is Gatlinburg, Ashveille or Knoxville.     The first two as thanks to geography - squeezed into a small space because of mountains - combined with an uncommonly huge concentration of tourism.   

Downtown Knoxville is wonderful for a city it's size.  But outside of Market Square it's nothing to aspire to.  And Market Square has the vitality is has because of all the free parking the city has subsidized.