Author Topic: The Ford on Bay  (Read 18852 times)

FlaBoy

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Re: The Ford on Bay
« Reply #225 on: February 21, 2020, 03:06:55 PM »
The responses aren't surprising but I'd argue they're based on a faulty perspective, an out-of-scale DIA-led convention center RFP and a Shipyards wet dream for the following reasons (based off the quoted comments):

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DIA CEO Lori Boyer, in response, noted that studies had concluded Jacksonville was not yet ready for a convention center, but it should be a part of long-term planning.

The Prime Osborn is a convention center. Like it, admit it or not....we're already in the business.

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A study further recommended a 25-acre site for a convention center, Boyer said, while the Ford on Bay comprises just 8.4 acres.

We're not ready for the massive thing the DIA RFP solicited and what Khan's pixie dust renderings have shown at the Shipyards. However, we won't be ready for those in 2040 either.  Realistically speaking, a lot of our problems would be resolved for the foreseeable future by doing exactly what the civic council advocated for when Alvin Brown was mayor.  That is to construct an exhibition hall adjacent to the Hyatt. Combined with the Hyatt's existing meeting and ballroom space, that would serve as our convention center/hotel solution for the foreseeable future. That combination isn't 25 acres but it isn't 8.4 acres either. Furthermore, unless we're only thinking horizontally, one could argue that 25 acres is excessive and a poor use of land within an urban area.

The "nothing to do" downtown argument for not addressing our convention center ills is something that would also be resolved by the centralized location. The Elbow, Florida Theater, Northbank Riverwalk, the DIA's restaurant incentive program, MOSH's expansion, events at the Sports District, convention center events itself, consistent programming (something we control locally), the floating ship proposal, etc. are the cluster of things that will give people something to do.

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KBJ President Thomas Rensing criticized the board's interest in Spandrel's bid, since Spandrel's second phase was not guaranteed

Although the renderings were more impressive than Related's, Spandrel's second phase is a pipe dream. Rensing is 100% correct about that. Plus, if the Jax Daily Record article concerning a grocery going into the Old JEA Tower is correct, the market that doesn't exist now for Spandrel's grocery component won't exist in the future either.

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Board member Todd Froats agreed that Jacksonville "isn't ready for it,"

We aren't ready for the thing Khan showed. It would be a larger misuse of tax dollars than the $233 million that will likely be approved for Lot J. Yet, we already have a convention center. It's been operating since 1985. I think we can safely assume it needs some work to remain viable. However, there's a gap between remaining viable for the next 20-30 years and significantly expanding with what the DIA RFP and Khan's renderings have shown.

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and board member Oliver Barakat noted that the convention center would have demanded hefty incentives to be feasible.

The bloated thing the DIA solicited would demand hefty incentives. An adequately sized properly scaled exhibition hall on the back side of the Hyatt  would not cost taxpayers anything near the amount that Lot J will. Spandrel's proposal also will take a bit of incentives and it still isn't 100% realistic.

Although it seems like the DIA would attempt to stop it from happening, as long as they don't stick a stick frame apartment complex on the city hall annex site, market conditions and Hyatt's first right of refusal on the City Hall Annex site leave the window open for a logical solution to the convention center issue. But it may need to be resolved once the current mayoral administration has moved on, so that more creativity and objectivity can be introduced into the downtown revitalization conversation.

It seems to me that the second phase, in partnership between the Hyatt and Spandrel, could include retail, an exhibition hall short term (12-15 years) convertible into grocery/Target or other box store or other use (which is about when the city will execute a plan for an updated football stadium and convention center as one large package deal) with additional density in the area. That way, the Prime Osborne can move on to another role as a train station/reuse while Jacksonville can host larger meetings in the Hyatt/Exhibition space within walking distance of Bay Street bars, the Florida Theater, and the Arena/Baseball Grounds. All of a sudden, there are things to do in the area when more people are around.

Keep the frills to a minimum like its future use is a grocery store/Target but something that is new, clean and can do the job for the next decade. If there is some plan for putting a roof on the stadium, and convention center with meeting rooms next to the stadium (which I think is the eventual plan), then that is a decade off anyway for just the stadium portion and then convention center issues.

Kerry

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Re: The Ford on Bay
« Reply #226 on: February 21, 2020, 03:54:32 PM »
Any convention center should be primarily geared towards the local population.  Except for a hand full of the largest convention centers, primarily in tourist destinations, almost all users are local residents.  Very few convention centers host more than a handful of national conventions.
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Re: The Ford on Bay
« Reply #227 on: February 21, 2020, 04:24:35 PM »
I am not amused with what I've seen that will be going on that site that used to be the courthouse. Not amused at all; but...I guess it's better than nothing.
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Steve

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Re: The Ford on Bay
« Reply #228 on: February 21, 2020, 04:31:47 PM »
Any convention center should be primarily geared towards the local population.  Except for a hand full of the largest convention centers, primarily in tourist destinations, almost all users are local residents.  Very few convention centers host more than a handful of national conventions.

Not sure that’s accurate. I attend 6 or so conventions every year, and while usually 1 or 2 are in the big ones (like McCormick in Chicago), the rest are in places like Columbus, Scottsdale, Pittsburgh, etc.

Give me a little while and I’ll pull the schedule for one of the midsized cities. It’s truly a good split.

heights unknown

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Re: The Ford on Bay
« Reply #229 on: February 21, 2020, 07:56:37 PM »
Any convention center should be primarily geared towards the local population.  Except for a hand full of the largest convention centers, primarily in tourist destinations, almost all users are local residents.  Very few convention centers host more than a handful of national conventions.

Not sure that’s accurate. I attend 6 or so conventions every year, and while usually 1 or 2 are in the big ones (like McCormick in Chicago), the rest are in places like Columbus, Scottsdale, Pittsburgh, etc.

Give me a little while and I’ll pull the schedule for one of the midsized cities. It’s truly a good split.
What really bothers me about this, that is, all this convention talk, is that we (Jax) is not a mid-sized city; or not supposed to be (thanks to consolidation). Maybe we are. But look; this is why we need to shed that small, mid-sized city thinking and think big, out of the box if you will. WE are a city of almost a million people. Now in my opinion, if we can't think out of the box, and want to think small minded, we really need to throw consolidation out of the window, annex some surrounding neighborhoods around the old urban core and city limits, and become the mid-sized or small size city that we really probably are, 200K to 350K. It just befuddles me that it appears that Jax is afraid to be the big city that we really can be.
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thelakelander

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Re: The Ford on Bay
« Reply #230 on: February 21, 2020, 09:32:38 PM »
Jax is a metro of 1.5 million. The top tier MSAs are +6 million and above. Jax is a mid sized city of 200k that consolidated with its core county. It may have nearly 900k residents spread across an 800 square mile area but it's not the same scale as a San Francisco. Nevertheless, we can do better, regardless of how big or small we are when compared to other places.
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thelakelander

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Re: The Ford on Bay
« Reply #231 on: February 22, 2020, 09:04:21 AM »
Now this makes a lot more sense. Kudos if they can actually pull this off because it really does resolve the convention center issue for the foreseeable future:

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The Hyatt’s right of first refusal dates back to the late 1990s when the city did a development deal for construction of the hotel, which was built originally under the Adam’s Mark brand.

Boyer told the JEA board that discussions continue with Hyatt officials. She said one path could be to build exhibition space into the residential buildings, which would give the Hyatt more room to host conventions that pull guests to the hotel.

“There are a number of other avenues and approaches that we’ll be evaluating,” she said.

Spandrel is open to incorporating exhibition space into its building and has done it elsewhere, said Emanuel Neuman, principal of the company.

He said an exhibition hall would have its own floor and a separate entrance from the rest of the building, so its activities wouldn’t affect residents.

Full article: https://www.jacksonville.com/news/20200221/city-might-use-design-competition-for-future-vision-of-landing-site-post-demolition
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bl8jaxnative

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Re: The Ford on Bay
« Reply #232 on: February 22, 2020, 09:55:54 AM »

Convention centers area  public money pit.  The smartest thing for the public to do is stay out of the business.  The hotels will take care of it where it actually makes sense.

https://www.brookings.edu/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/20050117_conventioncenters.pdf

Steve

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Re: The Ford on Bay
« Reply #233 on: February 22, 2020, 10:03:17 AM »
Now this makes a lot more sense. Kudos if they can actually pull this off because it really does resolve the convention center issue for the foreseeable future:

Quote
The Hyatt’s right of first refusal dates back to the late 1990s when the city did a development deal for construction of the hotel, which was built originally under the Adam’s Mark brand.

Boyer told the JEA board that discussions continue with Hyatt officials. She said one path could be to build exhibition space into the residential buildings, which would give the Hyatt more room to host conventions that pull guests to the hotel.

“There are a number of other avenues and approaches that we’ll be evaluating,” she said.

Spandrel is open to incorporating exhibition space into its building and has done it elsewhere, said Emanuel Neuman, principal of the company.

He said an exhibition hall would have its own floor and a separate entrance from the rest of the building, so its activities wouldn’t affect residents.

Full article: https://www.jacksonville.com/news/20200221/city-might-use-design-competition-for-future-vision-of-landing-site-post-demolition

This would require a level of coordination that this city doesn’t execute well. But yes....if this could be done then it COULD be a win-win.

Tacachale

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Re: The Ford on Bay
« Reply #234 on: February 22, 2020, 10:21:55 AM »

Convention centers area  public money pit.  The smartest thing for the public to do is stay out of the business.  The hotels will take care of it where it actually makes sense.

https://www.brookings.edu/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/20050117_conventioncenters.pdf

That ship sailed over 30 years ago. We’re already in the business. Might as well do it in a way that gets the best results for the least money.
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Tacachale

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Re: The Ford on Bay
« Reply #235 on: February 22, 2020, 10:23:19 AM »
Now this makes a lot more sense. Kudos if they can actually pull this off because it really does resolve the convention center issue for the foreseeable future:

Quote
The Hyatt’s right of first refusal dates back to the late 1990s when the city did a development deal for construction of the hotel, which was built originally under the Adam’s Mark brand.

Boyer told the JEA board that discussions continue with Hyatt officials. She said one path could be to build exhibition space into the residential buildings, which would give the Hyatt more room to host conventions that pull guests to the hotel.

“There are a number of other avenues and approaches that we’ll be evaluating,” she said.

Spandrel is open to incorporating exhibition space into its building and has done it elsewhere, said Emanuel Neuman, principal of the company.

He said an exhibition hall would have its own floor and a separate entrance from the rest of the building, so its activities wouldn’t affect residents.

Full article: https://www.jacksonville.com/news/20200221/city-might-use-design-competition-for-future-vision-of-landing-site-post-demolition

This would require a level of coordination that this city doesn’t execute well. But yes....if this could be done then it COULD be a win-win.

Since it would be private entities taking the lead, it could be easier to pull off than cases where the city decides to try and do things itself. But yes, that’s a good point.
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?

heights unknown

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Re: The Ford on Bay
« Reply #236 on: February 22, 2020, 10:57:26 PM »
Jax is a metro of 1.5 million. The top tier MSAs are +6 million and above. Jax is a mid sized city of 200k that consolidated with its core county. It may have nearly 900k residents spread across an 800 square mile area but it's not the same scale as a San Francisco. Nevertheless, we can do better, regardless of how big or small we are when compared to other places.
I agree; no argument here. But dammit, think outside of the box and think within the realm of who you say you are and who you dared to be and are; embrace it, accept it. I know what the metro and CSA populations are...well aware, but I'm talking city, and, as I said in my post, we are probably anywhere from 200K to 350K (in reality) and that's probably being generous (if neighborhoods are annexed IF we ever ditch consolidation). Yes! We can do better, and that's what I am saying, alluding to, and have been screaming in this forum for years. Thanks Lake for your post.
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Kerry

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Re: The Ford on Bay
« Reply #237 on: February 23, 2020, 07:01:25 PM »
Jax is a "big city" only in land area.  Population wise we are about mid-level, but at the corporate/business level, we are way down the list.  We just don't have the business presence most large cities have available to them.
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Re: The Ford on Bay
« Reply #238 on: February 24, 2020, 08:12:26 PM »
Jax is a "big city" only in land area.  Population wise we are about mid-level, but at the corporate/business level, we are way down the list.  We just don't have the business presence most large cities have available to them.
Agreed Kerry, agreed. But the population, in which I am well aware sucks up all of Duval County except for a couple of cities that opted out of consolidation, screams "big city" to people and others (businesses and corporations), that don't really know Jax. Like I've always said; maybe we should shed the consolidation, annex additional areas and neighborhoods around the old city limits, and shrink back to the mid-size city that we really are, which probably is around 300k, and, I might be generous here. But as the old soul song says, "it's too late to turn back now." We consolidated, been that for about 52 years now, and city leaders and government needs to bring the city up to par and in line with what "on paper" our population is.
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Kerry

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Re: The Ford on Bay
« Reply #239 on: February 25, 2020, 07:53:49 AM »
Yes Jax has a population of 1.5 million but to me that number doesn't reflect reality.  My friends in St Johns County do not consider themselves part of metro Jacksonville, even if the government does.  At best, they work in southern Duval County (Gate Parkway/Deerwood/Baymeadows) but that is it.  They don't do anything else in Jax and now with Durbin Creek they have even less reason to cross the County line.

Basically, we have 1.5 million but they are almost all spread across thousands of square miles with no synergy.  It is just 4 counties of low density urban sprawl.  Howard Kunstler coined the phrase for this - there is just no "there" there.
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