Author Topic: Changed plans for Park Place at San Marco  (Read 6047 times)

JPalmer

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 69
Re: Changed plans for Park Place at San Marco
« Reply #30 on: February 08, 2020, 09:35:47 PM »
Honestly, considering the fact that Andy Allen was clearly part of the JEA con-job.  I’m not certain I would be mad to see this and every one of Corner Lot’s deals to fall through. 

jaxjags

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 313
Re: Changed plans for Park Place at San Marco
« Reply #31 on: February 09, 2020, 08:52:26 PM »
Zoning and overlays may be against this, but how many times has that been over ridden for other developments...

The below is a famous quote from a German Lutheran pastor about the expansion of Nazi power:
Quote
    First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—

         Because I was not a socialist.

    Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—
         Because I was not a trade unionist.

    Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
         Because I was not a Jew.

    Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.


Not to put it on the same plane, but many fight zoning changes in their neighborhood with the same concern expressed here ... that if they don't fight the first battle, there will be evermore impactful developments to follow that get harder to attack due to prior precedents.  Where does it all end? 

You basically confirm this fear with this line:  "how many times has that been over ridden for other developments."  This is why much of Jacksonville's historic buildings and neighborhood character has been greatly chiseled away.  We never draw a hard line in the sand and stand by it but rather defend rampant development because, once we made one exception, we might as well make exceptions for everyone without discrimination.  We see the same pattern leading to suburban sprawl and the gradual decimation of virgin green space and environmentally sensitive lands.

Then we will have a church building in very bad disrepair or a lot empty for 10-20 years(see Publix lot). The church owns property. They have property rights as all of us do. Maybe they should go back to a commercial development. Not sure I would consider this church property historic.




also

MusicMan

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2121
Re: Changed plans for Park Place at San Marco
« Reply #32 on: February 10, 2020, 08:18:23 AM »
I loved what the Weavers did at John Gorrie, and I wish the Church elders had thought about that before going into a contract. When I go over to the site, it looks like the existing building fronting Hendricks (between the sanctuary and Mathews)  is suitable for residential re-use, and then they could have built something within the existing guidelines on the backside, allowing for a nice complex that worked for everyone.   Once you start trying to make the most possible money out of the situation (like a developer),  then you start 'pushing the envelope' of the existing overlay boundaries, which it seems to me, has put us in this predicament.

Captain Zissou

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3862
Re: Changed plans for Park Place at San Marco
« Reply #33 on: February 10, 2020, 09:01:05 AM »
I loved what the Weavers did at John Gorrie, and I wish the Church elders had thought about that before going into a contract. When I go over to the site, it looks like the existing building fronting Hendricks (between the sanctuary and Mathews)  is suitable for residential re-use, and then they could have built something within the existing guidelines on the backside, allowing for a nice complex that worked for everyone.   Once you start trying to make the most possible money out of the situation (like a developer),  then you start 'pushing the envelope' of the existing overlay boundaries, which it seems to me, has put us in this predicament.

Delores Weaver lost tons of money on John Gorrie and the only reason that development happened is because she's a billionaire who didn't care about financial returns, but wanted to complete the project as a gift to the neighborhood.  The developers may not only care about money, but they do need to make money on this project.  Comparing this to John Gorrie is inaccurate and that project probably screwed up things for local developers because the uninformed think ta similar product is financially feasible for anyone.

MusicMan

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2121
Re: Changed plans for Park Place at San Marco
« Reply #34 on: February 10, 2020, 09:52:12 AM »
Let me help you Captain.

"I love what the Weavers's did with John Gorrie"..... They used the existing structure to make their units.

"I wish the church elders had thought about that before going into a contract"...... It might have been smart to hire an experienced local Commercial broker or real estate attorney to vet the proposal(s) prior to signing. Preferably one with San Marco background. Perhaps they did, but I have not seen that discussed.  Were any other proposals looked at?

The fact that the Weavers spent $15 million is hard to fathom, as that is about the budget CDP had to build from ground up the 145 units at SoBa, including a big garage and pool. 

fieldafm

  • Editor
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4294
Re: Changed plans for Park Place at San Marco
« Reply #35 on: February 10, 2020, 10:21:01 AM »
Quote
then you start 'pushing the envelope' of the existing overlay boundaries

They could have just torn down all the buildings and built a strip mall within the confines of the existing zoning code. Perhaps the existing zoning code doesn't adequately reflect the realities of today.

Quote
I loved what the Weavers did at John Gorrie, and I wish the Church elders had thought about that before going into a contract. When I go over to the site, it looks like the existing building fronting Hendricks (between the sanctuary and Mathews)  is suitable for residential re-use

Comparing the John Gorrie to the hodgepodge of buildings on this site is apples to oranges. Gorrie has much more square feet in its existing footprint, has parking on site (btw, it needed a parking variance), is much more interesting architecturally... and was a passion project that did not make money for the developer. 

BTW, its now 15 years later and the Gorrie retail pad sites are still not developed.

Quote
It might have been smart to hire an experienced local Commercial broker or real estate attorney to vet the proposal(s) prior to signing. Preferably one with San Marco background. Perhaps they did, but I have not seen that discussed. 

The developer lives in San Marco. The developer hired another local developer who lives in San Marco, whose headquarters are in San Marco, and has more property in San Marco than only 2 or 3 other companies. The civil engineer lives in San Marco and has designed many award-winning commercial projects in San Marco... oh, they also redesigned San Marco Square/Balis Park and were largely responsible for the San Marco By Design design guidelines.   

BUT, the planning consultant and the land use attorney both live in Avondale... so maybe you have a point?

Quote
The fact that the Weavers spent $15 million is hard to fathom, as that is about the budget CDP had to build from ground up the 145 units at SoBa, including a big garage and pool.

Another apples to grapefruit comparison... but clearly you've never penciled out either kind of development, so its understandable that the context escapes you.
« Last Edit: February 10, 2020, 10:23:13 AM by fieldafm »

MusicMan

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2121
Re: Changed plans for Park Place at San Marco
« Reply #36 on: February 10, 2020, 10:30:37 AM »
 "
The developer lives in San Marco. The developer hired another local developer who lives in San Marco, whose headquarters are in San Marco, and has more property in San Marco than only 2 or 3 other companies. The civil engineer lives in San Marco and has designed many award-winning commercial projects in San Marco... oh, they also redesigned San Marco Square/Balis Park and were largely responsible for the San Marco By Design design guidelines.   

BUT, the planning consultant and the land use attorney both live in Avondale... so maybe you have a point?"

Wow, hard to explain all the pushback.

jaxjags

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 313
Re: Changed plans for Park Place at San Marco
« Reply #37 on: February 10, 2020, 01:26:53 PM »
Quote
then you start 'pushing the envelope' of the existing overlay boundaries

They could have just torn down all the buildings and built a strip mall within the confines of the existing zoning code. Perhaps the existing zoning code doesn't adequately reflect the realities of today.

Quote
I loved what the Weavers did at John Gorrie, and I wish the Church elders had thought about that before going into a contract. When I go over to the site, it looks like the existing building fronting Hendricks (between the sanctuary and Mathews)  is suitable for residential re-use

Comparing the John Gorrie to the hodgepodge of buildings on this site is apples to oranges. Gorrie has much more square feet in its existing footprint, has parking on site (btw, it needed a parking variance), is much more interesting architecturally... and was a passion project that did not make money for the developer. 

BTW, its now 15 years later and the Gorrie retail pad sites are still not developed.

Quote
It might have been smart to hire an experienced local Commercial broker or real estate attorney to vet the proposal(s) prior to signing. Preferably one with San Marco background. Perhaps they did, but I have not seen that discussed. 

The developer lives in San Marco. The developer hired another local developer who lives in San Marco, whose headquarters are in San Marco, and has more property in San Marco than only 2 or 3 other companies. The civil engineer lives in San Marco and has designed many award-winning commercial projects in San Marco... oh, they also redesigned San Marco Square/Balis Park and were largely responsible for the San Marco By Design design guidelines.   

BUT, the planning consultant and the land use attorney both live in Avondale... so maybe you have a point?

Quote
The fact that the Weavers spent $15 million is hard to fathom, as that is about the budget CDP had to build from ground up the 145 units at SoBa, including a big garage and pool.

Another apples to grapefruit comparison... but clearly you've never penciled out either kind of development, so its understandable that the context escapes you.

+1000 . Present zoning allows a strip mall. Go for it. But the developers want better for San Marco. The existing buildings are disjointed, don't really fit San Marco today and are not historic.

I really believe this is another case of a small group of residents who disdain the idea of apartments so close to their homes.

CC needs to evaluate if this zoning change is better for the neighborhood, San Marco and the City of Jax, as compared to a potential strip mall. The church, one way or another, is going to sell the property.

MusicMan

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2121
Re: Changed plans for Park Place at San Marco
« Reply #38 on: February 10, 2020, 04:14:55 PM »
I think they (Right Size San Marco) have made it clear, they understand something will be built. They just want it to fit in the neighborhood.
That desire seems pretty reasonable to me, even if the developer gets everything they want. 


bl8jaxnative

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 372
Re: Changed plans for Park Place at San Marco
« Reply #39 on: February 11, 2020, 11:38:04 AM »
Strip malls ==> the only things that scare urbanistas more than a cul-de-sac with out a sidewalk.

jaxlongtimer

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 332
Re: Changed plans for Park Place at San Marco
« Reply #40 on: February 15, 2020, 02:28:07 PM »
Zoning and overlays may be against this, but how many times has that been over ridden for other developments...

The below is a famous quote from a German Lutheran pastor about the expansion of Nazi power:
Quote
    First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—

         Because I was not a socialist.

    Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—
         Because I was not a trade unionist.

    Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
         Because I was not a Jew.

    Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.


Not to put it on the same plane, but many fight zoning changes in their neighborhood with the same concern expressed here ... that if they don't fight the first battle, there will be evermore impactful developments to follow that get harder to attack due to prior precedents.  Where does it all end? 

You basically confirm this fear with this line:  "how many times has that been over ridden for other developments."  This is why much of Jacksonville's historic buildings and neighborhood character has been greatly chiseled away.  We never draw a hard line in the sand and stand by it but rather defend rampant development because, once we made one exception, we might as well make exceptions for everyone without discrimination.  We see the same pattern leading to suburban sprawl and the gradual decimation of virgin green space and environmentally sensitive lands.

The article below adds to my comments above about where is the line drawn on rezoning exceptions and how one change can set precedent for the whole city, as developers cry "Me too!"  This is just another reason why residents need to be vigilant, pay attention to other zoning battles in the City and resist rampant exceptions to carefully thought out zoning restrictions and long term overlay plans.   What good are zoning and overlays if they are not enforced?

Quote
https://www.jacksonville.com/news/20200214/san-marco-zoning-height-dispute-raising-questions-elsewhere

(Emphasis added)
Quote
Apartments proposed for San Marco church property might be shorter than a shopping center planned across the street, but a zoning debate surrounding them could cast a shadow on neighborhoods across Jacksonville.

People outside the area have stayed quiet so far about Park Place at San Marco, a four-story apartment building and garage that developers hope to build on land now housing part of the landmark South Jacksonville Presbyterian Church.

But questions about a calculation used to define the project’s height – letting a 49.5-foot-tall building meet a 35-foot height limit in that neighborhood – have drawn attention from people wondering about ripple effects in the rest of the city.

“It’s not something we’ve seen used before,” said Warren Jones, executive director of Riverside Avondale Preservation, the neighborhood group for the historic district on the opposite side of the St. Johns River.

“We wonder if, since we in the district use the term ‘maximum height,’ would this be used here,” Jones said. “And if so, what would the effect be on height calculations for us?”....
« Last Edit: February 15, 2020, 02:33:30 PM by jaxlongtimer »

jaxlongtimer

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 332
Re: Changed plans for Park Place at San Marco
« Reply #41 on: February 17, 2020, 02:21:10 PM »
San Marco height fight on steroids in the Big Apple!

How about this story from New York about a developer that pushed the building department to stretch zoning rules for height limits?  It now may cost them the removal of up to 20 floors already built!  Lessons for Jacksonville?

Quote
New York skyscraper must remove top 20 floors, judge rules

Fifty-two story block built far too high by taking advantage of zoning loophole

In an extraordinary ruling, a state supreme court judge has ordered the developers of a nearly completed 668-foot block of flats in New York to remove as many as 20 or more floors from the top of the building.

The decision is a major victory for community groups who opposed the project on the grounds that the developers used a zoning loophole to create the tallest building on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. A lawyer representing the project said the developers would appeal the decision.

Justice W Franc Perry ordered that the Department of Buildings revoke the building permit for the tower at 200 Amsterdam Avenue and remove all floors that exceed the zoning limit. Exactly how many floors might need to be deconstructed has yet to be determined, but under one interpretation of the law, the building might have to remove 20 floors or more from the 52-storey tower to conform to the regulation.

“We’re elated,” said Olive Freud, the president of the Committee for Environmentally Sound Development, one of the community groups that brought the suit.

“The developers knew that they were building at their own peril,” said Richard Emery, a lawyer representing the community groups that challenged the project before the foundation was even completed. Mr Emery said this decision sent a warning to other developers who proceed with construction despite pending litigation.

The question at the heart of the suit was whether the developers had abused zoning rules to justify the project’s size.

It is common for developers to purchase the unused development rights of adjacent buildings to add height and bulk to their project. But in this case opponents of the project argued that the developers, SJP Properties and Mitsui Fudosan America, created a “gerrymandered”, highly unusual 39-sided zoning lot to take advantage of the development rights from a number of tenuously connected lots. Without this technique, the tower might have been little more than 20 storeys tall, instead of the nearly finished 52-storey tower that now stands.

The decision also sets an important precedent, said Elizabeth Goldstein, president of the Municipal Art Society of New York, one of the advocacy groups that brought the suit against the project.

“The way this zoning lot was constructed has been invalidated, and that is extremely important,” Ms Goldstein said, adding that the decision would deter other developers from attempting similar strategies.

Scott Mollen, a lawyer with the firm Herrick Feinstein, which is representing the project, said the ruling contradicted earlier decisions from the Department of Buildings and the Board of Standards and Appeals that were based on a long-established zoning interpretation. SJP, one of the developers, said they would “appeal this decision vigorously”.

What comes next is unclear. While further litigation would effectively postpone any disassembly of the tower, sales at the luxury block would also be held up. Marketing is well underway for the 112 luxury apartments, and the most lucrative units are on the top floors — including a $21m (£16m) penthouse, which would likely be removed if the decision stands.

The New York Times
« Last Edit: February 17, 2020, 02:22:45 PM by jaxlongtimer »

sanmarcomatt

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1701
  • Donut Enthusiast
Re: Changed plans for Park Place at San Marco
« Reply #42 on: February 19, 2020, 10:11:08 AM »
Big land use meeting tonight at 5 with this project up for vote. Actually, this has turned into a battle for Jacksonville’s future. Adding a story to this project could be a threat to Jacksonville as we know it!
Uh, yeah.
For those that support this development, please email chair Danny Becton DBecton@coj.net  and let him know why. If you can make the meeting, all the better.




edjax

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1173
Re: Changed plans for Park Place at San Marco
« Reply #43 on: February 20, 2020, 09:59:07 AM »
How did the meeting go last night?

sanmarcomatt

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1701
  • Donut Enthusiast
Re: Changed plans for Park Place at San Marco
« Reply #44 on: February 20, 2020, 10:01:27 AM »
Good news. Unanimous approval. Big step forward. Next is full council vote which should be just a formality and then an appeal. We are getting there.

Due to some unfortunate circumstances, I have been “out of the fight” recently and couldn’t attend the meeting last night. However, it was still going on (this project went close to 5 hours I think) when I got in last night, I was able to watch the end of the public comments and then council questions/discussion. Here is my recap:

Biggest surprise was that feedback for and against was pretty close. I certainly think the majority are either in favor or indifferent but pleasantly surprised that they were as vocal as the opposed.

First, and I will need to watch the video so I can see the name, I was highly impressed with one speaker who touched upon a variety of subjects like density,economic impact,ridiculous driving habits of his neighbors and even  architecture in his 3 minutes and wanted to give him a standing ovation.
I also was very pleased that I got to see yet another lovely performance from the Fuhrer/leader( not sure if there are assigned titles so just spitballing) of RSSM. At some point, someone in his inner circle needs to have the bravery to tell this guy that his arrogance and superiority is so bad he is hurting his own cause every time he speaks. I can’t imagine what the council members think.He even spoke as if he had such amazing power that “He” was willing to give the developers 114 units .This happens to be what is allowed under current zoning so a little surprised the developers don’t just bow down, kiss his feet, and call it a day. The fear and misleading information he uses is pretty much common place so no big deal but wow does he come across bad.

Sadly, as the opposition argument wasn’t particularly strong, disrespectful comments  were directed toward the developers and apparently some speakers knew a lot more than the Planning Commission. Well, in their own mind I guess.

After the hours (!) of public comments, the discussion piece was actually pretty good. Well, it was during the breaks between speeches by Matt Carlucci. Woah. He is not part of the committee but dominated most of the time. 10 % points and 90% rambling/waxing poetically and “ educating” . I appreciate his passion but I do not think he endeared himself to his counterparts.

Cumber, our district rep,though a small sample size, was highly impressive speaking to issues for both sides. She was thoughtful and on point, and used her words efficiently and effectively unlike Mr War and Peace. When she pointed out that the fabled San Marco Overlay ( FYI, these are scrolls that are much revered like a religious artifact and must be unrolled By San Marco Elders. First generation residents are only allowed to lick the dust off the wooden handles but there is a waiting list as it is a prestigious honor) had recently been amended and was a living document, I chuckled.

Becton and Boylan also acquitted themselves well with good points about different perspectives. Gaffney and Dennis seemed genuinely interested and were most concerned about possible precedent. I think Pittman was awake. Not quite sure.

Finally a big shout out to Morgan Starks who organized people who were in favor of the development. She is a big reason why the opinions were so close despite getting such a late start compared to RSSM. She has done an amazing job and in a respectful manner.
 
And, as always, what gratitude we owe Doug Skiles.  He has been such an asset to San Marco and certainly to this project. The amount of time and effort he has put in to work with the residents is truly admirable. As is how he handles himself. I remember when I first heard about this project and was so happy he was involved. At this point, happy doesn’t cover it.

Still a ways to go, but let’s hope this momentum continues.
« Last Edit: February 20, 2020, 10:05:32 AM by sanmarcomatt »