Author Topic: City to spend another $10-15 million on Landing site  (Read 1731 times)

thelakelander

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City to spend another $10-15 million on Landing site
« on: April 07, 2021, 07:54:05 AM »
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The City of Jacksonville will include $10-15 million in next year's budget for the proposed park at the Jacksonville Landing site. While this raises the total cost of the project to a whopping $35-40 million, it still won't be enough to create an iconic space as our peer communities have done.

Read More: https://www.thejaxsonmag.com/article/city-to-spend-another-10-15-million-on-landing-site/
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

jaxjaguar

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Re: City to spend another $10-15 million on Landing site
« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2021, 12:47:11 PM »
I have a feeling that the shift in workforce from office to home from covid will be the final nail in downtown Jacksonville's coffin. Too much incompetency for too long, missing every opportunity to make it a place where people would want to live. Mismanaged funds, etc, etc.

The cities best bet is to act swiftly to start negotiating with the high rise owners to try to consolidate as many businesses into as few office buildings as possible in order to keep some density. From there spend money to encourage the building owners to convert their spaces into living spaces. This would take time, but not nearly as long as building from scratch. While we're waiting for that to be completed we can divert that funding to the few blocks where all of the high rises are to make them as attractive and safe as possible. People aren't going to complain much about the park in its current state. They will however complain if we dump millions into this park and it's not world class.

If I were in charge I'd install some bathrooms and benches in Lenny Park and focus all resources on livening up the 6-8 block section around JWJ Park. Prepare now to have people living and working as densely as possible in that area now that vaccines are rolling out and the rest will start to spread naturally.

Sadly we'll miss the boat again and be too focused on 1 big thing rather than combining many smaller things.

Ken_FSU

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Re: City to spend another $10-15 million on Landing site
« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2021, 11:55:26 PM »
I have a feeling that the shift in workforce from office to home from covid will be the final nail in downtown Jacksonville's coffin. Too much incompetency for too long, missing every opportunity to make it a place where people would want to live. Mismanaged funds, etc, etc.

This is a big one, and I don't think we've fully wrapped our heads around how much of an impact it's going to have. Not only the reduction in downtown workforce, but all the residual effects that the lack of workers in cubes and business travel will have on our foot traffic, restaurants, hotel occupancy, parking collections, etc. Opportunity knocks but a few times in our lives, and we accomplished shockingly little beside demolition during that unprecedented streak of economic prosperity between the recession and pandemic.

It's going to touch more than just downtown as well. I've heard that some of the city's largest employers with their big suburban campuses (like Florida Blue GWC and Fidelity) are considering permanently cutting bait on massive chunks of their physical office space.

Call me prematurely old-fashioned, but the thought of a society where all the well-to-do lock themselves in their houses all day sitting in front of their laptops while the working class/service industry folk travel to work or travel to their homes to serve them is kinda terrifying. As is the thought of a college student getting their degree and then starting their first job from their living room. Society was already moving more and more towards isolationism before the 'vid.

jaxlongtimer

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Re: City to spend another $10-15 million on Landing site
« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2021, 11:58:14 PM »
I am wondering if the hoped-for "Riverfront Parks Now" concept gets traction, and such parks are tied into the Emerald Trail/Riverwalk, if such parks could be funded with the gas tax on the basis that they are amenities enhancing a pedestrian/bike path through Downtown.

It's time for City leaders to get a bit creative about finding funding for these projects.  And, who is going to invest in contesting it in a courtroom it if it is a reasonable and politically popular connection?

Ken_FSU

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Re: City to spend another $10-15 million on Landing site
« Reply #4 on: April 08, 2021, 08:16:46 AM »
I am wondering if the hoped-for "Riverfront Parks Now" concept gets traction, and such parks are tied into the Emerald Trail/Riverwalk, if such parks could be funded with the gas tax on the basis that they are amenities enhancing a pedestrian/bike path through Downtown.

Sincerely hope it happens, but when, four years later, we've still got zip-tied bicycle racks serving as balustrades for Memorial Park, I have a hard time believing the city will get this one right.

Steve

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Re: City to spend another $10-15 million on Landing site
« Reply #5 on: April 08, 2021, 10:16:10 AM »
Not only the reduction in downtown workforce, but all the residual effects that the lack of workers in cubes and business travel will have on our foot traffic, restaurants, hotel occupancy, parking collections, etc. Opportunity knocks but a few times in our lives, and we accomplished shockingly little beside demolition during that unprecedented streak of economic prosperity between the recession and pandemic.

While I completely agree with the second part of this, I'm not so convinced the first part will actually happen. I can tell you from a business traveler perspective, people are itching to get back on the road. Obviously there will be some companies that ask themselves if the LEVEL of travel is necessary (likely NO), my belief is just like we realized we CAN work remote, once people start getting together in person companies will see the need to collaborate face to face too.

With all of that said, I don't think anyone has the crystal ball on this one.

thelakelander

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Re: City to spend another $10-15 million on Landing site
« Reply #6 on: April 08, 2021, 10:36:21 AM »
^My company has already sent an email, telling me to block out dates for business trip to the Chicago office. This particular trip was delayed a year because of the pandemic.
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

Florida Power And Light

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Re: City to spend another $10-15 million on Landing site
« Reply #7 on: April 08, 2021, 09:09:47 PM »
Define ‘ Iconic’
Great.

Now, let’s define Downtown Jacksonville reference and image.” Potential “, as it relates and compares to other “ Iconic” ‘ downtown’ .
Wonderful...... different.
Where do we cease such comparisons?

Reserving Public waterfront as Public Open Space will not thwart future aspirations, will in fact energize what has been to date an Illusive quest.
Even if development remains “ Illusive”, the public lands not compromised..... a given...... as valuable as a Talbot State Park that could have been “ developed”.

MusicMan

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Re: City to spend another $10-15 million on Landing site
« Reply #8 on: April 12, 2021, 04:20:08 PM »
For God's sake, put a nice little Starbucks there with a fabulous patio (facing the river or Main Street Bridge) and you'll have foot traffic all effing day. You'll even pull it off I 95 North and South bound once people learn it's there.   Once the gas station goes into the Kartouche spot it'll be rocking! People will pull off to fill up, grab a Joe, take a walk/aka 'stretch legs', and then finish the drive to Charleston, Savannah, or Daytona and points further South.

FYI travelers up and down I 95 pit stop based on their favorite eateries (Chik-Fil-A.....?)and coffee places. It ain't rocket science.

Captain Zissou

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Re: City to spend another $10-15 million on Landing site
« Reply #9 on: April 12, 2021, 04:58:55 PM »
That would be such a complicated stop of 95 NB.  You'd get off 95 a mile early onto the US-90 section, over the mainstreet bridge, fight for paid street parking or paid parking at the Lawn, get your coffee, wind through one way streets, fight off the homeless at the 7-eleven on main, get gas, then get back on 95 after a 40 minute ordeal.

MusicMan

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Re: City to spend another $10-15 million on Landing site
« Reply #10 on: April 12, 2021, 06:27:02 PM »
Captain, clearly you don't have a wife and kids.....

tufsu1

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Re: City to spend another $10-15 million on Landing site
« Reply #11 on: April 13, 2021, 01:40:33 PM »
For God's sake, put a nice little Starbucks there with a fabulous patio (facing the river or Main Street Bridge) and you'll have foot traffic all effing day.

because a Starbucks at that site hasn't been tried before ;)

CityLife

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Re: City to spend another $10-15 million on Landing site
« Reply #12 on: April 13, 2021, 03:17:56 PM »
I don't think I've seen it mentioned, but it's almost too obvious to put a Beer Garden there. Create a small taproom type building, with a rooftop deck and a ton of shaded/covered outdoor seating at ground level, serve only beers from Jacksonville and perhaps a few from the best breweries in Florida like Cigar City or Funky Buddha. Profit. Activate. Something like this would print money and would be a minimal upfront investment. Rather than open this up to an RFP and let a private operator profit from the investments in the rest of the park (and prime location), the City should have it operated by DVI (with assistance from an experienced manager) with profits used to maintain the park and other key downtown initiatives.  Or at worst seek a share of the revenue generated. We do this in the city I work in. An established operator runs a restaurant/bar for us in a park and we capture a percentage of sales once they hit their breakeven. Once the breakeven hits, we print money.

For families, create iconic water features and splash pads...though these can be added elsewhere downtown along the riverwalk. Pretty embarrassing that Jax doesn't currently have any downtown. Or are there any?

Finally, create a series of attractive and well landscaped multi-purpose berms that are sloped upwards as you go away from the river. These can be used by patrons to lounge on, read books, or work on their laptops; but also as a mini amphitheater for concerts, plays, speeches, etc. There is a lot of synergy with TUCPA next door too. Imagine having live music and events set up before events at TUCPA. You grab an early dinner, go grab a beer or two at the beer garden, and relax on the berm while listening to live music before your event there or at the Florida Theater.

These are far, far more likely to create vibrancy and activate the park than a piece of iconic art. 


« Last Edit: April 13, 2021, 03:32:56 PM by CityLife »

thelakelander

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Re: City to spend another $10-15 million on Landing site
« Reply #13 on: April 13, 2021, 03:27:14 PM »
For families, create iconic water features and splash pads...though these can be added elsewhere downtown along the riverwalk. Pretty embarrassing that Jax doesn't currently have any downtown. Or are there any?

Not since Kids Kampus was closed and demolished over a decade ago. The only other water feature that kids used to play in would have been at the Landing.
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

Downtown Osprey

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Re: City to spend another $10-15 million on Landing site
« Reply #14 on: April 13, 2021, 04:24:04 PM »
I don't think I've seen it mentioned, but it's almost too obvious to put a Beer Garden there. Create a small taproom type building, with a rooftop deck and a ton of shaded/covered outdoor seating at ground level, serve only beers from Jacksonville and perhaps a few from the best breweries in Florida like Cigar City or Funky Buddha. Profit. Activate. Something like this would print money and would be a minimal upfront investment. Rather than open this up to an RFP and let a private operator profit from the investments in the rest of the park (and prime location), the City should have it operated by DVI (with assistance from an experienced manager) with profits used to maintain the park and other key downtown initiatives.  Or at worst seek a share of the revenue generated. We do this in the city I work in. An established operator runs a restaurant/bar for us in a park and we capture a percentage of sales once they hit their breakeven. Once the breakeven hits, we print money.

For families, create iconic water features and splash pads...though these can be added elsewhere downtown along the riverwalk. Pretty embarrassing that Jax doesn't currently have any downtown. Or are there any?

Finally, create a series of attractive and well landscaped multi-purpose berms that are sloped upwards as you go away from the river. These can be used by patrons to lounge on, read books, or work on their laptops; but also as a mini amphitheater for concerts, plays, speeches, etc. There is a lot of synergy with TUCPA next door too. Imagine having live music and events set up before events at TUCPA. You grab an early dinner, go grab a beer or two at the beer garden, and relax on the berm while listening to live music before your event there or at the Florida Theater.

These are far, far more likely to create vibrancy and activate the park than a piece of iconic art.

Love this idea but it makes too much sense. That's not how we operate here. More renderings!!