Author Topic: City to spend another $10-15 million on Landing site  (Read 1689 times)

CityLife

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1951
Re: City to spend another $10-15 million on Landing site
« Reply #15 on: April 13, 2021, 05:02:08 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!!

Thank you! It's not even funny how easy it is for Downtown Jacksonville to become a vibrant place and some of the things are so obvious.

If you simply had live music along the river every night on weekends, you would exponentially grow the number of visitors and give them a reason to come eat, shop, or attend an event. Have a jazz ensemble from Douglas Anderson in one spot, subgroups of the Jax Symphony in another, and then have a mix of curated buskers, musicians, magicians, etc along the riverwalks. There is plenty of talent around town and many people that would even do it for free just for the publicity. But it's almost like the people that are supposed to be working for downtown development don't even try.

Instead, they want more downtown ambassadors to clean things up and direct people to nothing. I interviewed for Deputy Director of DVI many moons ago when I was younger and experienced and told Terry Lorrince point blank that DVI's money would be better allocated towards programming and placemaking than the downtown ambassador program (which is/was a large chunk of their budget). Obviously, I didn't get the position, but I was right. Sad that they still haven't figured it out.


thelakelander

  • The Jaxson
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 32390
    • Modern Cities
Re: City to spend another $10-15 million on Landing site
« Reply #16 on: April 13, 2021, 06:42:39 PM »
Thank you! It's not even funny how easy it is for Downtown Jacksonville to become a vibrant place and some of the things are so obvious.

If you simply had live music along the river every night on weekends, you would exponentially grow the number of visitors and give them a reason to come eat, shop, or attend an event. Have a jazz ensemble from Douglas Anderson in one spot, subgroups of the Jax Symphony in another, and then have a mix of curated buskers, musicians, magicians, etc along the riverwalks. There is plenty of talent around town and many people that would even do it for free just for the publicity. But it's almost like the people that are supposed to be working for downtown development don't even try.

The funny thing is that just about everything mentioned was either already happening at the Landing or could have been programmed without spending the millions to destroy the place and create the empty field that's there today. Much of what's being asked for in this park are things that we already had and now we're going to have to spend millions more to get them back. To a degree, I get the impression that people are working too hard and overcomplicating things that are simple and that should be easy, common sense wins.
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

Bativac

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 814
Re: City to spend another $10-15 million on Landing site
« Reply #17 on: April 13, 2021, 08:12:03 PM »
Yeah it seems like almost every suggestion of what to do with the site is some version of the Landing. The whole thing is ridiculous

Snaketoz

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 673
Re: City to spend another $10-15 million on Landing site
« Reply #18 on: April 14, 2021, 06:06:36 AM »
Solutions are not the answer.

CityLife

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1951
Re: City to spend another $10-15 million on Landing site
« Reply #19 on: April 14, 2021, 08:00:05 AM »
Thank you! It's not even funny how easy it is for Downtown Jacksonville to become a vibrant place and some of the things are so obvious.

If you simply had live music along the river every night on weekends, you would exponentially grow the number of visitors and give them a reason to come eat, shop, or attend an event. Have a jazz ensemble from Douglas Anderson in one spot, subgroups of the Jax Symphony in another, and then have a mix of curated buskers, musicians, magicians, etc along the riverwalks. There is plenty of talent around town and many people that would even do it for free just for the publicity. But it's almost like the people that are supposed to be working for downtown development don't even try.

The funny thing is that just about everything mentioned was either already happening at the Landing or could have been programmed without spending the millions to destroy the place and create the empty field that's there today. Much of what's being asked for in this park are things that we already had and now we're going to have to spend millions more to get them back. To a degree, I get the impression that people are working too hard and overcomplicating things that are simple and that should be easy, common sense wins.

There's a big difference between having live music at the Landing and having live music/entertainment at multiple locations along the Riverwalk as I was suggesting. And yes, had DVI and the City programmed downtown better, perhaps the Landing has a different fate.

I was supportive of modifying the existing Landing building rather than tearing it down, but it's done. It does no good to continually lament its loss and not work to find productive solutions for it's replacement.

Let's be honest though. It was a concrete jungle and not an ideal place to go relax on a lunch break or after work, or have a glass of wine on a date. A new space with more greenspace, shade, and attractive landscaping can be a far more desirable place to spend time. Sadly, Jax does not have many attractive outdoor spaces or parks, so some residents may have a hard time visualizing what it could be, but the end result can be far superior to the Landing imo.

This is currently the most popular outdoor drinking establishment in Jax as far as I'm aware. It does have a nice view of the beach, but has nothing interesting design wise. It's so populatr that you can barely move there on weekends or holidays.



Imagine having a shaded, European style beer garden inside of a well landscaped park, with water features, art, and a bermed lawn with elevated views of the river (where you can also hold events).



Something like that would be completely different than the Landing was and could be highly successful. I'm sure there are plenty of other great ideas and opportunities. 
« Last Edit: April 14, 2021, 09:25:57 AM by CityLife »

thelakelander

  • The Jaxson
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 32390
    • Modern Cities
Re: City to spend another $10-15 million on Landing site
« Reply #20 on: April 14, 2021, 09:28:28 AM »
There's a big difference between having live music at the Landing and having live music/entertainment at multiple locations along the Riverwalk as I was suggesting. And yes, had DVI and the City programmed downtown better, perhaps the Landing has a different fate.

The uses could be applied in a variety of settings, including a revamped property that involves of mix of adaptive reuse and new development.

Quote
I was supportive of modifying the existing Landing building rather than tearing it down, but it's done. It does no good to continually lament its loss and not work to find productive solutions for it's replacement.

I like to make sure we remember past mistakes in order to avoid making them in the future. Not repeating the bad mistakes of the past is a very productive solution for the overall revitalization of downtown. Speaking of the Landing site specifically, all shortlisted firms are competent. Planning the space for the umpteenth time will not be a problem. The ultimate outcome will be determined by how much money is put into the place. 

Quote
Let's be honest though. It was a concrete jungle and not an ideal place to go relax on a lunch break or after work, or have a glass of wine on a date. A new space with more greenspace, shade, and attractive landscaping can be a far more desirable place to spend time. Sadly, Jax does not have many attractive outdoor spaces or parks, so some residents may have a hard time visualizing what it could be, but the end result can be far superior to the Landing imo.

This is currently the most popular outdoor drinking establishment in Jax as far as I'm aware. It does have a nice view of the beach, but has nothing interesting design wise. You can barely move there on weekends or holidays.



Imagine having a shaded, European style beer garden inside of a well landscaped park, with water features, art, and a bermed lawn with elevated views of the river (where you can also hold events).



Something like that would be completely different than the Landing was and could be highly successful. I'm sure there are plenty of other great ideas and opportunities.

I don't see anything here that could not have been a part of an urban redevelopment project, even one like the Landing site. As you know, there are ways to green existing spaces and/or even add different scenes, settings and environments through selective demolition and adaptive reuse. Sparkman Wharf and Armature Works in Tampa are both great examples of this.

It's too late for the Landing site, for that type of unique approach and outcome, but I'm looking forward to seeing how some of the other DT projects going that route, will turn out. As for the Landing site, I'm just hoping the city bites the bullet and pays +$50 million for a space that supports the type of iconic and authentic scene that everyone would like to see.


Quote
Imagine having a shaded, European style beer garden inside of a well landscaped park, with water features, art, and a bermed lawn with elevated views of the river (where you can also hold events).

I'm hoping the consulting teams invest some time in better understanding Jacksonville history, culture and identity and engage with a diverse cross section of the community in the early stages of their planning effort. Then when the planning starts, using that information to work elements into the design of the space, to where the end result is a unique and authentic Jacksonville experience.
« Last Edit: April 14, 2021, 09:33:51 AM by thelakelander »
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

Captain Zissou

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3925
Re: City to spend another $10-15 million on Landing site
« Reply #21 on: April 14, 2021, 09:35:06 AM »
I was supportive of modifying the existing Landing building rather than tearing it down, but it's done. It does no good to continually lament its loss and not work to find productive solutions for it's replacement.

I would agree with you except the city still doesn't realize that demolition isn't the path to development.  The city continues to demolish things in hopes of "stimulating future growth" and it has never worked.  We need to point out what a waste the destruction of the landing was so that it doesn't happen again and again.

CityLife

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1951
Re: City to spend another $10-15 million on Landing site
« Reply #22 on: April 14, 2021, 11:55:30 AM »
I'm hoping the consulting teams invest some time in better understanding Jacksonville history, culture and identity and engage with a diverse cross section of the community in the early stages of their planning effort. Then when the planning starts, using that information to work elements into the design of the space, to where the end result is a unique and authentic Jacksonville experience.

What elements of Jacksonville history, culture, and identity should be incorporated into the park? Why not tell that story at Hemming Park in the political heart of the City? Can't people just relax, have fun, and enjoy the riverfront and outdoors?

There are tried and true things that work to activate a waterfront space. The space needs a fixed dining/drinking component or it will be completely underwhelming and underutilized. To that end, I don't see how a restaurant with shaded outdoor seating/beer garden isn't the highest and best use of the land. Like I said earlier, utilize only local beers, since Jax has turned into a solid beer town. As I've said in other threads before, a best of Jacksonville and the beaches restaurant would make an absolute killing downtown. Curate a menu (with input from the public) on the best food/drink of Jax. What better way is there to showcase the city to visitors and make people want to come back and explore more?

Also, create flex space to hold events and live entertainment (but also can be used for lounging when there aren't events) and a splash pad/interactive water feature to attract families and keep kids cool in the summer time. I'm sure there are countless other ways to activate the park with some vision and money.

In my opinion, this effort should focus on creating spaces that people will want to visit and spend time in, then focus on incorporating the secondary storytelling elements . Would it be cool to have something about the 1901 Fire, LaVilla's history, and the birthplace of Southern Rock? Sure, but nobody from out of town is jumping off the highway to see those things or spending a weekend downtown because of them. 

thelakelander

  • The Jaxson
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 32390
    • Modern Cities
Re: City to spend another $10-15 million on Landing site
« Reply #23 on: April 14, 2021, 01:20:55 PM »
I'm hoping the consulting teams invest some time in better understanding Jacksonville history, culture and identity and engage with a diverse cross section of the community in the early stages of their planning effort. Then when the planning starts, using that information to work elements into the design of the space, to where the end result is a unique and authentic Jacksonville experience.

What elements of Jacksonville history, culture, and identity should be incorporated into the park? Why not tell that story at Hemming Park in the political heart of the City? Can't people just relax, have fun, and enjoy the riverfront and outdoors?

People enjoy spaces in different ways. Relaxation could be passive or interactive, depending on the individual's preferences.  So it's very important for a planning design team to be able to understand the community from a multicultural perspective before diving into the design. Historically, this was a site that was very interactive with the river....wharfs, docks, seafood markets, fishing, etc. That's very different from JWJ/Hemming, a space that if you were Black, would have been a pretty hostile environment for you to be in prior to desegregation. With this in mind, there are likely some strong maritime, culinary and water related design themes that will be very popular with the region's demographics that can be incorporated.



Quote
There are tried and true things that work to activate a waterfront space. The space needs a fixed dining/drinking component or it will be completely underwhelming and underutilized. To that end, I don't see how a restaurant with shaded outdoor seating/beer garden isn't the highest and best use of the land. Like I said earlier, utilize only local beers, since Jax has turned into a solid beer town. As I've said in other threads before, a best of Jacksonville and the beaches restaurant would make an absolute killing downtown. Curate a menu (with input from the public) on the best food/drink of Jax. What better way is there to showcase the city to visitors and make people want to come back and explore more?

Also, create flex space to hold events and live entertainment (but also can be used for lounging when there aren't events) and a splash pad/interactive water feature to attract families and keep kids cool in the summer time. I'm sure there are countless other ways to activate the park with some vision and money.

In my opinion, this effort should focus on creating spaces that people will want to visit and spend time in, then focus on incorporating the secondary storytelling elements . Would it be cool to have something about the 1901 Fire, LaVilla's history, and the birthplace of Southern Rock? Sure, but nobody from out of town is jumping off the highway to see those things or spending a weekend downtown because of them.



My bad, I'm not talking about a heritage trail. I'm talking about understanding the essence of a community to create the spaces you mention above, that are inclusively authentic and Jacksonville. After all, we can do these things in a way to where they work or they don't, depending on the design and activities programmed in them and if these things are included in an equitable manner.

« Last Edit: April 14, 2021, 01:23:33 PM by thelakelander »
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali