Author Topic: MOSH weighs relocating museum from its Southbank site in downtown Jacksonville  (Read 4063 times)

Ken_FSU

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More deets from the JBJ.

Full article: https://www.bizjournals.com/jacksonville/news/2020/10/15/mosh-shipyards-future-uncertain.html?cx_testId=40&cx_testVariant=cx_28&cx_artPos=0#cxrecs_s

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MOSH on the Shipyards

While specifics were slim – Fafard said the project is in its earliest stages and renderings haven’t been completed – he said preliminary plans for the project include an approximately 129,000-square-foot, three-story building across a four-acre parcel of the approximately 30-acre Shipyards property.

The MOSH 2.0 redesign anticipated expanding the existing facility from 77,000 square feet to 120,000.

“The larger footprint would not only allow us to bring in larger traveling exhibits, but also allow us to expand on some of our permanent exhibits,” Fafard said. “We’re constrained by the footprint that’s available to us – so we need a slightly larger footprint and kind of a blank canvas. We get to really sort of reimagine what the experience would be like for the community and for visitors.”

He added that the larger property would provide opportunity for outdoor activities and could tie in with the Riverwalk park system – and it would also synergize with existing activities on the Northbank, such as TIAA Bank Field

“It could be you that you visit the Museum and then go to see a ball game or the Jaguars play,” Fafard said. “It really fits into the whole development of what's going on in in the Northbank.”

The Mosh 2.0 Capital Campaign sought to raise $20 million for a complete redesign and renovation of its existing facility at 1025 Museum Circle on the Southbank – a project that was estimated to cost between $80 million and $90 million. The $60 million to $70 million needed after fundraising was complete was expected to come from grants and other funding sources.

Fafard said the plan to move to the Shipyards would stay within that cost estimate – and it could even be slightly cheaper.

“For the total project, we’re still estimating it to be between $80 and $90 million – that’s cradle to grave, that’s the entire project,” Fafard said. “When we get to the actual design phase, we do expect to realize some cost savings because we won’t have to rehab an existing building – but we’re not exactly what that’s going to be yet.”

He added that the Museum has raised approximately $7 million towards their goal so far, and added that they’ve identified a significant portion of the remaining $13 million in public and private sectors. Fafard also noted that donors to the campaign – including VyStar Credit Union and PNC Bank – have been pleased with the idea of moving to the Shipyards.

“They are excited, to put it mildly,” Fafard said.

Park questions:

Before that project can move ahead, though, the city has to firm up what it wants to do with the Shipyards property.

In August, Shad Khan’s Iguana Investments’ previous development agreement for the property – as well as the adjacent Metropolitan Park – expired. At the time, Boyer told the Business Journal that the expiration of the deal wasn’t a sign that Iguana had lost interest, but rather that it was a procurement issue.

When the agreement expired, the mayor's office withdrew a bill that would have removed development restrictions on Metropolitan Park, with Chief of Staff Brian Hughes saying "the bill is no longer necessary."

Boyer said she anticipates hearing from the National Park Service within the next 30 days, and from there the path forward highly depends on their answer – and the answer isn’t just a simple yes or no.

She said the National Park Service could opt to only take a certain parcel, it could express interest in the entire property or it could say no to the property all together.

"Maybe in the next 30 days, we’ll hear something as to whether that might be an acceptable piece of land – and if it is, then you start refining the details,” Boyer said. “If it is [acceptable], then that goes to the board and you’d say ‘OK, the National Park Service said they’ll consider it, are you willing to do it?’”

She also said that development of the property needs to take into consideration how it impacts the broader picture of long-term downtown development.

"Do we want a park there, does putting a park on the Shipyards property substantially increase the value of the jail site when we relocate the jail?” Boyer said. “That’s the question that we have to look at if we meet the threshold.”

Boyer said one of the few specifics she knew about the Museum’s proposal to relocate was that they wanted to acquire the property at no cost – and it wouldn’t be taxable property.

Furthermore, she said what MOSH plans to do with their current facility is equally important.

“We want something experiential there – whether it’s another museum, whether it’s a hotel or a restaurant or a food hall. You could think of a bunch of different things that it could be,” Boyer said. “I personally would want to see something adjacent to the park or an expanded park in that location with a restaurant on it, back against the street.”

Ken_FSU

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Doesn't all of that land need remediation? Who pays for that?

Fun, genuinely cool fact:

There's been talk that we might be able to repurpose rubble from the Berkman II to help cap/remediate certain portions of the Shipyards property.

jaxlongtimer

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I don't know if moving MOSH is good or bad.  I hope their board is putting MOSH's interests first and not being browbeaten by the Mayor or his cronies who (cynic in me says) have some ulterior motives to help more of his major supporters.  I am looking for the other shoe to drop here like who gets the sweetheart deal to takeover the existing MOSH building/site and/or if this is something to boost the faux Bay Street "innovation" corridor that lacks "innovations" of consequence or if somehow this can benefit Khan's interests.

Given the speed, lack of transparency and no master plan for this move, one has to wonder what's really up here.

Time will tell but Dorothy, this isn't Kansas - it's Jacksonville!

acme54321

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MOSH's space constraints have been known for some time so I feel that's a valid reason for the relocation.  I also think the ship museum is a terrible idea, but it's less terrible if it is right behind a new and improved MOSH.

Jagsdrew

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I'm all for development and there's been no short of news the last 5 days about it.

But I think we really need appropriate development.

If MOSH moves across to the shipyards, why can't the USS Orleck be a part of that? Or the Jacksonville Fire Museum? I just think MOSH can bring these altogether and really emphasize the "H" in it's name.
Twitter: @Jagsdrew

Steve

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Cleary this has been in work for some time, so there must be SOME thought behind this. But a true implementation plan? Clearly not.

I'm still not in love with this idea, but I'm SLOWLY warming to it. As long as they do it right.

Papa33

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Here's hoping that we do not lose Friendship Park/Friendship Fountain.

Steve

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Thinking more about this....this may be a $150M plan, all in, when you consider:

 - Environmental
 - Parkland Development (you can't just plant grass)
 - MOSH move.
 - Other costs like USS Orleck, etc.

If Curry decided he wanted to spend $150M on this instead of Lot J, I'd be all for it.

Steve

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Here's hoping that we do not lose Friendship Park/Friendship Fountain.

I actually don't think we will. The more and more I listen to Boyer, I think she gets more right then she gets wrong. the Convention Center/Old City Hall property plan doesn't make sense to me, but Hughes didn't exactly set her up well on that one.

I outlined earlier how this could be really amazing. The potential is there. But the potential is there for a lot downtown, and most is unrealized. Why are we going to get it right this time?

BridgeTroll

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Instead of a rustbucket no one else wants perhaps a more recent and appropriate ship that was a workhorse in Mayport... The Oliver Hazard Perry class frigate...

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/24342/u-s-to-offer-surplus-oliver-hazard-perry-frigates-to-ukraine-reports
In a boat at sea one of the men began to bore a hole in the bottom of the boat. On being remonstrating with, he answered, "I am only boring under my own seat." "Yes," said his companions, "but when the sea rushes in we shall all be drowned with you."

Ken_FSU

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I'm still not in love with this idea, but I'm SLOWLY warming to it. As long as they do it right.

Agreed, particularly from the museum's perspective, for a few reasons:

1) They can expand their footprint beyond the space constraints of the Southbank property
2) They can continuously operate and drive revenue throughout construction, rather than closing for two years for renovations
3) With education/care for the St. Johns River being such a big focus of Mosh 2.0, it would be nice for them to actually be on the river, have programming along the river, be able to offer boat tours, etc.
4) And, of course, the $20 million from the CIP that probably wouldn't be available to them on the Southbank doesn't hurt either

Shad Khan's statement gives me some hope that may open up the checkbook to help as well:

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In an emailed statement Oct. 15, Khan said that he’s “all in” on the MOSH proposal to relocate and be “the centerpiece of a new riverfront park.”

“I’ve expressed my interest and endorsement to museum officials and pledge to wholeheartedly and personally support the effort,” Khan said. “Opening a world-class destination like the Museum of Science and History at the confluence of Hogan’s Creek and the St. Johns River would be a spectacular addition to Downtown Jacksonville.”

From a PR perspective, it would be brilliant for Shad Khan to bankroll the proposed Veteran's Park and help with the MOSH. Would earn him so much goodwill with the community leading up to subsequent big asks with the stadium and, inevitably, convention center.

To your point, Steve, I'm curious what the overall price tag is going to be and how it's going to be financed.

For remediation, we've got just under $13 million in a city account already for Shipyards remediation as a result of the LandMar bankruptcy lawsuit. Not sure what type of remediation would be required for museum use, but I do know that the MOSH Shipyards site that they're talking about is one of the more polluted sections of the Shipyards in terms of arsenic and lead and well beyond the threshold for commercial use.

Park, riverwalk, parking accommodations, and any Orleck subsidy probably won't be cheap. Wonder where the cash comes from if we're already borrowing $200 million+ for Lot J.

Steve

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From a PR perspective, it would be brilliant for Shad Khan to bankroll the proposed Veteran's Park and help with the MOSH. Would earn him so much goodwill with the community leading up to subsequent big asks with the stadium and, inevitably, convention center.

This is what kills me. To be clear - no one, no matter how much their worth, is ever obligated to give to charity, etc.

But, the man could write a check for an amazing Park, MOSH, and the Orleck this afternoon. To me, if he wrote that check (which would likely be $100M), I'd probably be all in for Lot J, and let him take the tax benefits of a charitable donation while we pay $150M or whatever for Lot J.

Now, I realize he's worth close to 10 figures because he doesn't invest his money poorly.

Bativac

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I'm still not in love with this idea, but I'm SLOWLY warming to it. As long as they do it right.

True, it's Jacksonville, what could possibly go wrong? The track record speaks for itself

Ken_FSU

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If Curry decided he wanted to spend $150M on this instead of Lot J, I'd be all for it.

Sounds like the city is also considering opening up the purse strings to buy back the three downtown parking garages that Metropolitan Parking Solutions owns.

Total estimated cost - $115 million  :o

$52 million in cash, $63 million in debt forgiveness.

https://www.bizjournals.com/jacksonville/news/2020/10/14/mps-issues-notice-of-default-to-dia.html?cx_testId=40&cx_testVariant=cx_28&cx_artPos=1#cxrecs_s

jaxlongtimer

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If this were to proceed, I would think there could be some great synergy with an adjacent wide-open park that catered to kids with a splash park, playground, open field, etc.  Embellish the park with some references via markers or interactive features to Jax history and the river's ecosystem to dovetail with the museum's mission and educate kids in a fun environment.

It would make for a wonderful multi-generational family outing or field trip to both visit MOSH and let kids blow off steam in the park.  Add some kid friendly food outlets in the area and it would generate some nice memories.

By the way, maybe this could somehow also incorporate the music museum the Historical Society is proposing.  I think that Jax could also look into a combined maritime/railroad/air (Blue Angels,  Bessie Coleman, Lindbergh, Naval aviation, old airports, etc.) museum with model ships and trains, maybe a small pond in the park to operate remote controlled boats (see Central Park), etc. Clustering a few museums would maybe benefit all of them above and beyond going solo.