Author Topic: Old Gen Station - Ground Broken  (Read 3325 times)

heights unknown

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Re: Old Gen Station - Ground Broken
« Reply #15 on: May 05, 2021, 05:30:04 PM »
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Preston Hollow plans May 25 groundbreaking at The District

In the April 23 interview, Albarran said the Dallas-based real estate capital firm will not be a vertical developer on the project and will market the individual property parcels at the 32-acre site to other developers.

https://www.jaxdailyrecord.com/article/preston-hollow-plans-may-25-groundbreaking-at-the-district
So...they have no takers yet and marketing hasn't even started. Hope there's intense interest in building and developing on this site.
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thelakelander

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Re: Old Gen Station - Ground Broken
« Reply #16 on: May 05, 2021, 06:11:27 PM »
Seeing as they are still building a decent-sized park along the property, and certainly isn't nearly as egregious as The Peninsula, I find it hard to justify protesting. It's particularly hard to come up with a decent case against it when "Riverfront Plaza" ends up being the city's example of building larger setbacks from the river, in which we don't invest enough in making it a useful public space anyway.

One thing that stands out to me is remembering people ask why the city didn't do something akin to this with the Shipyards before. Remediate the land, prepare the infrastructure, and then get the money back by selling the parcels and receiving property taxes. To be clear: that's not the same thing as demolishing existing structures with potential uses and reducing them to a grass lot in hopes of "preparing for development."
Yeah, could have put the infrastructure in on these sites a decade ago and reaped the benefits of selling individual parcels off for infill development by now. Anyway, I'm not concerned about the allowable building heights on this one.
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thelakelander

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Re: Old Gen Station - Ground Broken
« Reply #17 on: May 05, 2021, 06:14:59 PM »
Quote
Preston Hollow plans May 25 groundbreaking at The District

In the April 23 interview, Albarran said the Dallas-based real estate capital firm will not be a vertical developer on the project and will market the individual property parcels at the 32-acre site to other developers.

https://www.jaxdailyrecord.com/article/preston-hollow-plans-may-25-groundbreaking-at-the-district
So...they have no takers yet and marketing hasn't even started. Hope there's intense interest in building and developing on this site.
I'm not surprised that there have been no takers so far. Hopefully that will change once some infrastructure goes in. However, the buildout of this, in whatever shape it ends up in, will take an additional decade or two.
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

jaxlongtimer

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Re: Old Gen Station - Ground Broken
« Reply #18 on: May 05, 2021, 06:25:51 PM »
Seeing as they are still building a decent-sized park along the property, and certainly isn't nearly as egregious as The Peninsula, I find it hard to justify protesting. It's particularly hard to come up with a decent case against it when "Riverfront Plaza" ends up being the city's example of building larger setbacks from the river, in which we don't invest enough in making it a useful public space anyway.

One thing that stands out to me is remembering people ask why the city didn't do something akin to this with the Shipyards before. Remediate the land, prepare the infrastructure, and then get the money back by selling the parcels and receiving property taxes. To be clear: that's not the same thing as demolishing existing structures with potential uses and reducing them to a grass lot in hopes of "preparing for development."
Yeah, could have put the infrastructure in on these sites a decade ago and reaped the benefits of selling individual parcels off for infill development by now. Anyway, I'm not concerned about the allowable building heights on this one.

Re: heights, the issue is death by a thousand knife cuts.  One by one, these exceptions not only add up but also act as precedent for the next project that wants exceptions, a favorite tactic used by developers in zoning issues.  And, a blocked view is a blocked view, whether it's one building or a series - it only takes one building to block a "down river" view.  Again, why have the setback policy if we are not going to enforce it.

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Re: Old Gen Station - Ground Broken
« Reply #19 on: May 05, 2021, 06:39:56 PM »
Seeing as they are still building a decent-sized park along the property, and certainly isn't nearly as egregious as The Peninsula, I find it hard to justify protesting. It's particularly hard to come up with a decent case against it when "Riverfront Plaza" ends up being the city's example of building larger setbacks from the river, in which we don't invest enough in making it a useful public space anyway.

One thing that stands out to me is remembering people ask why the city didn't do something akin to this with the Shipyards before. Remediate the land, prepare the infrastructure, and then get the money back by selling the parcels and receiving property taxes. To be clear: that's not the same thing as demolishing existing structures with potential uses and reducing them to a grass lot in hopes of "preparing for development."
Yeah, could have put the infrastructure in on these sites a decade ago and reaped the benefits of selling individual parcels off for infill development by now. Anyway, I'm not concerned about the allowable building heights on this one.
Yes you are Lakelander, you are concered with allowable building heights; you know darn well you want four 500 to 695 footers on that development site; (just joking/playing). I'm concerned with it but just glad something, anything is starting downtown. IMO it's on the wrong side of the bank of the river; should be on the Northbank.
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marcuscnelson

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Re: Old Gen Station - Ground Broken
« Reply #20 on: May 05, 2021, 11:06:58 PM »
Seeing as they are still building a decent-sized park along the property, and certainly isn't nearly as egregious as The Peninsula, I find it hard to justify protesting. It's particularly hard to come up with a decent case against it when "Riverfront Plaza" ends up being the city's example of building larger setbacks from the river, in which we don't invest enough in making it a useful public space anyway.

One thing that stands out to me is remembering people ask why the city didn't do something akin to this with the Shipyards before. Remediate the land, prepare the infrastructure, and then get the money back by selling the parcels and receiving property taxes. To be clear: that's not the same thing as demolishing existing structures with potential uses and reducing them to a grass lot in hopes of "preparing for development."
Yeah, could have put the infrastructure in on these sites a decade ago and reaped the benefits of selling individual parcels off for infill development by now. Anyway, I'm not concerned about the allowable building heights on this one.

Re: heights, the issue is death by a thousand knife cuts.  One by one, these exceptions not only add up but also act as precedent for the next project that wants exceptions, a favorite tactic used by developers in zoning issues.  And, a blocked view is a blocked view, whether it's one building or a series - it only takes one building to block a "down river" view.  Again, why have the setback policy if we are not going to enforce it.

This says to me that the policy could be more lax. If most developers seem to have reason for asking for an exception (and their project requires that space to be economically feasible) then the policy might actually be wrong. It might be better to have a less stringent policy that we actually enforce than a more stringent policy that we are constantly making exceptions for.

Yes you are Lakelander, you are concered with allowable building heights; you know darn well you want four 500 to 695 footers on that development site; (just joking/playing). I'm concerned with it but just glad something, anything is starting downtown. IMO it's on the wrong side of the bank of the river; should be on the Northbank.

My point, heights, is that it could be on the Northbank. We could remediate the Shipyards, add infrastructure, and then parcel it out to any interested developers. But instead we've gone from master planner to master planner, hoping someone will do that for us even when they end up asking taxpayers to cover that cost anyway.
So, to the young people fighting in this movement for change, here is my charge: march in the streets, protest, run for school committee or city council or the state legislature. And win. - Ed Markey

jaxlongtimer

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Re: Old Gen Station - Ground Broken
« Reply #21 on: May 05, 2021, 11:42:43 PM »
Quote
Re: heights, the issue is death by a thousand knife cuts.  One by one, these exceptions not only add up but also act as precedent for the next project that wants exceptions, a favorite tactic used by developers in zoning issues.  And, a blocked view is a blocked view, whether it's one building or a series - it only takes one building to block a "down river" view.  Again, why have the setback policy if we are not going to enforce it.

This says to me that the policy could be more lax. If most developers seem to have reason for asking for an exception (and their project requires that space to be economically feasible) then the policy might actually be wrong. It might be better to have a less stringent policy that we actually enforce than a more stringent policy that we are constantly making exceptions for.

How about we get some backbone instead.  I presume the policy was put in place to protect views and scale along the banks of the river.  You are saying because we can't stick to those basic principles, we should give up on the policy?*  If we believe in the value of the policy, let's stick with it and enforce its standards. 

This inability to stay the course is what is wrong with so much of Jax.  We sell out to every developer's whim.  Effectively, this means we have no dependable vision and plan and it's a big part of why areas like Downtown are not progressing as they should.  It occurs to me that if we had more reliable standards that everyone could count on, we would actually create more value and  thus enhance development and everyone would be better off.  Prostituting ourselves for developers is going to get us mixed, uneven, inappropriate, incompatible and unreliable developments that will just create even more disillusionment and havoc than we already have in this city.

Please keep in mind the river is our greatest natural asset in the urban core.  Detracting from its aesthetics, creating distractions to its natural beauty and burying it in a valley of high-rises is a sure way to destroy the most significant and unique identifier for Downtown.  At the rate we are going, we will have a cookie-cutter and under-appreciated river running through the City.   

Maybe some just want to give up on preserving any part of enjoying our river.  It's already being environmentally abused by the port dredging, Orlando's water withdrawals, decreasing spring flows due to a falling aquifer, altered natural flows created by such projects as the Rodman dam and runoff from poorly regulated sludge deposits produce by South Fla. and dumped along the headwaters of the St. Johns.  This doesn't even factor in the impact of increased salinity and water levels due to rising seas.

* To add, based on your suggestion, we might as well "relax" our zoning laws because we don't stick to those frequently either.  Exceptions and loopholes for developers are rampant there too.  By example, the City just neutered its zoning height limits in the San Marco case in which it concluded limits are not really limits but averages instead.  On that basis, don't be surprised by the buildings going up around your home one day.

marcuscnelson

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Re: Old Gen Station - Ground Broken
« Reply #22 on: May 06, 2021, 02:45:32 AM »
I'm saying that if the policy we put in place doesn't reflect the realities of the market, and we're not putting up the money to make it so, then maybe we need to change our expectations, and thus, the policy. I don't think we're about to buy up the entire riverfront, spend tens or hundreds of millions turning it into anything more than a grass lot, and then maintain that space indefinitely. I wouldn't expect developers to see that as a profitable enterprise, especially seeing that the parks in this project are funded in part by the city.

There's a difference between being unable to stay the course and recognizing that something isn't working. It's one thing to sell out to every developer's whim (which we have done or tried to do, in the case of stuff like Lot J), and another to see that the market is in a certain place right now, and if we want downtown development, we have to make some compromises. I'd also argue that mixed and "uneven" development should be just fine and dandy in an urban context. This isn't Nocatee, it's okay to mix things up a little.

I get that the river is a great asset, but at some point we can't treat it like a tourist attraction. It's not much use as an asset for downtown if no one can afford to utilize it, and people aren't going to travel all the way downtown just to look at water. And it's silly to act like we're going to mandate that the riverfront in an urban core should look more like it does in Orangedale and then be surprised when we struggle to get things built downtown.

I'm certainly not saying that our river should be a toxic waste dump, or that we need to build a new expressway right along it or anything, but I don't believe tall buildings (which plenty here feel we have a serious shortage of) being a bit close to the water is the hill to die on. So if we're not going to spend hundreds of millions buying up the riverfront, and we're not going to demand developers do so for us, we should dispel with the fiction this policy creates and be realistic about what we're going to do.

As far as zoning goes, sure, why not? I'm not saying build an enormous factory on top of downtown, or carpet the place in strip clubs, but acting like some 4-story multifamily housing is going to kick off the end of days is a bit ridiculous.
So, to the young people fighting in this movement for change, here is my charge: march in the streets, protest, run for school committee or city council or the state legislature. And win. - Ed Markey

jaxjags

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Re: Old Gen Station - Ground Broken
« Reply #23 on: May 06, 2021, 12:04:39 PM »
I dont have problems with height restrictions along the river. The St. Johns is so wide that it will never look like a tunnel as in Chicago. If your worried about view blocking I just dont see that as an issue. I still don't fully understand the height issue with the Southbank Apartments. It's a city, not the beach. I want density.


There's a difference between being unable to stay the course and recognizing that something isn't working. It's one thing to sell out to every developer's whim (which we have done or tried to do, in the case of stuff like Lot J), and another to see that the market is in a certain place right now, and if we want downtown development, we have to make some compromises. I'd also argue that mixed and "uneven" development should be just fine and dandy in an urban context. This isn't Nocatee, it's okay to mix things up a little.

I get that the river is a great asset, but at some point we can't treat it like a tourist attraction. It's not much use as an asset for downtown if no one can afford to utilize it, and people aren't going to travel all the way downtown just to look at water. And it's silly to act like we're going to mandate that the riverfront in an urban core should look more like it does in Orangedale and then be surprised when we struggle to get things built downtown.

Exactly - Such as the the bad example of the DT Gate Station. They were not required to change anything for an urban look.

And where River City Brewing Apartment did a good job changing the exterior design to give it a more modern and three dimensional look. I believe a lot of this came from some loud voice on this site.

Change the things that are critical.

jaxjags

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Re: Old Gen Station - Ground Broken
« Reply #24 on: May 06, 2021, 01:11:24 PM »
Meant to say I DO have problems with the height restrictions.

jaxlongtimer

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Re: Old Gen Station - Ground Broken
« Reply #25 on: May 06, 2021, 08:10:31 PM »
I'm saying that if the policy we put in place doesn't reflect the realities of the market, and we're not putting up the money to make it so, then maybe we need to change our expectations, and thus, the policy. I don't think we're about to buy up the entire riverfront, spend tens or hundreds of millions turning it into anything more than a grass lot, and then maintain that space indefinitely. I wouldn't expect developers to see that as a profitable enterprise, especially seeing that the parks in this project are funded in part by the city.

Any zoning restriction can be said to reduce the ability of a developer to extract full value of a property.  That is a given.  Be it setbacks, minimum infrastructure requirements, maximum density, protection of trees, wetlands, endangered wildlife, archeological sites, historic buildings, life safety or traffic needs to address, etc.  And builders pay in cash or "lost value" all the time for these concessions.  But, there is an offset, the value created by having compatible, sustainable, aesthically pleasing and dependable outcomes that "users" will pay a premium for.

Quote
There's a difference between being unable to stay the course and recognizing that something isn't working. It's one thing to sell out to every developer's whim (which we have done or tried to do, in the case of stuff like Lot J), and another to see that the market is in a certain place right now, and if we want downtown development, we have to make some compromises. I'd also argue that mixed and "uneven" development should be just fine and dandy in an urban context. This isn't Nocatee, it's okay to mix things up a little.

I don't have a problem with adding "texture" to the urban environment but, given that, there are still boundaries and limits that should be in place to insure scale, compatibility, aesthetics, etc.  It's why every property in the county is subject to zoning classifications.  There isn't an exemption for Downtown or the urban core.  And, it's why we have DIA and the DDRB among the "regulatory" agencies to enforce those standards.  My complaint is they are not doing their job when they make excessive exceptions to setbacks, demolitions of historic buildings, etc.  The rules they are charged with enforcing exist because our community has "decided' these rules create value for the greater community from the sum of its parts, not specific to an individual part.  Concessions to one developer may be transferring value from another developer making it a zero sum game in the long run.

As to making compromises, that, in part, has gotten Downtown nowhere.  This City has laid down for every developer that ever came here and where has that gotten us?  Not very far.  If you look at some of the most valued cities in this country you will usually find they have some of the most development restrictive policies anywhere.  Even NYC has height restrictions.  And, the lobby of Trump Tower is literally a public space by edict of NYC (to the chagrin of the Secret Service).  More specifically, look at the demand to live in historic districts like Society Hill in Philly or in Charleston and Savannah.  People want to live where there is some degree of "order" and "predictability" to their environment and they will pay a premium for that.  You mention Nocatee and that just demonstrates the demand for that.  We should not confuse the issue by saying that urban settlers don't want what Nocatee offers  - yes, they don't want big yards and suburbia, but that doesn't mean they don't crave the same "order" that Nocatee provides, just in a different architectural and density context.  I believe urban developers here struggle to make their numbers work because we lack the "order" that comes from a master plan/vision that is enforced over the decades and not for the length of a mayor's term in office.

Quote
I get that the river is a great asset, but at some point we can't treat it like a tourist attraction. It's not much use as an asset for downtown if no one can afford to utilize it, and people aren't going to travel all the way downtown just to look at water. And it's silly to act like we're going to mandate that the riverfront in an urban core should look more like it does in Orangedale and then be surprised when we struggle to get things built downtown.

I'm certainly not saying that our river should be a toxic waste dump, or that we need to build a new expressway right along it or anything, but I don't believe tall buildings (which plenty here feel we have a serious shortage of) being a bit close to the water is the hill to die on. So if we're not going to spend hundreds of millions buying up the riverfront, and we're not going to demand developers do so for us, we should dispel with the fiction this policy creates and be realistic about what we're going to do.

We disagree here.  What standards would you stand by?  Where is the line drawn?

The river is a tourist attraction and it is why Jacksonville is what it is.  I believe, as such, it is the "hill to die on."  The river is our signature, our heritage, our future... but only if we treat and respect it appropriately.  If we build to its edges we are killing the proverbial "goose that lays our golden eggs."  Do we want to end up like the ocean front in South Florida? 

Your general approach here is not taking the long view, just what you think works for today and tomorrow.  That, again, is representative of not having a master plan/vision.  It is already proven that doesn't work.  It is time to hold our ground.  Don't worry about developers, they are resourceful and will work around any standards imposed on them.  They already do it everywhere else and they can do it here too.
Quote
As far as zoning goes, sure, why not? I'm not saying build an enormous factory on top of downtown, or carpet the place in strip clubs, but acting like some 4-story multifamily housing is going to kick off the end of days is a bit ridiculous.

I think you miss my point entirely.  The reason for the height or any zoning limit is to give predictability and order to property owners.  If an exception is not contested, fine.  But, if it is, we are now talking about taking value from one property owner and giving it to another.  That is inherently unfair to the owner that arrived first and followed and relied on the "rules" when buying their property.  And, as was noted in San Marco's case, the greater concern, too, was that this would open the door to future exceptions everywhere.  I don't know where you live, but I am sure you bargained for a certain environment and you would not be happy to have it transformed into something you didn't approve of.
« Last Edit: May 06, 2021, 08:26:07 PM by jaxlongtimer »

heights unknown

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Re: Old Gen Station - Ground Broken
« Reply #26 on: May 07, 2021, 09:34:56 PM »
Seeing as they are still building a decent-sized park along the property, and certainly isn't nearly as egregious as The Peninsula, I find it hard to justify protesting. It's particularly hard to come up with a decent case against it when "Riverfront Plaza" ends up being the city's example of building larger setbacks from the river, in which we don't invest enough in making it a useful public space anyway.

One thing that stands out to me is remembering people ask why the city didn't do something akin to this with the Shipyards before. Remediate the land, prepare the infrastructure, and then get the money back by selling the parcels and receiving property taxes. To be clear: that's not the same thing as demolishing existing structures with potential uses and reducing them to a grass lot in hopes of "preparing for development."
Yeah, could have put the infrastructure in on these sites a decade ago and reaped the benefits of selling individual parcels off for infill development by now. Anyway, I'm not concerned about the allowable building heights on this one.

Re: heights, the issue is death by a thousand knife cuts.  One by one, these exceptions not only add up but also act as precedent for the next project that wants exceptions, a favorite tactic used by developers in zoning issues.  And, a blocked view is a blocked view, whether it's one building or a series - it only takes one building to block a "down river" view.  Again, why have the setback policy if we are not going to enforce it.
Got it JLT, and agree wholeheartedly. I really don't think that what we now see is "set in stone" in any way, shape or form. Things could change, i.e., type of structures, set back policy, building heights, from now until twelfth of never; and I hope it doesn't take long to get cranes and/or constrction workers on site building the structures. Everything takes so damn long in Jax.
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heights unknown

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Re: Old Gen Station - Ground Broken
« Reply #27 on: May 07, 2021, 09:36:57 PM »
Meant to say I DO have problems with the height restrictions.
Here, here...and so do I!!!
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marcuscnelson

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Re: Old Gen Station - Ground Broken
« Reply #28 on: May 17, 2021, 09:20:33 AM »
Luxury townhomes. Good start. Hopefully that office and hotel interest pans out.

https://www.jaxdailyrecord.com/article/preston-hollow-two-luxury-town-house-parcels-under-contract-at-the-district
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thelakelander

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Re: Old Gen Station - Ground Broken
« Reply #29 on: May 17, 2021, 10:06:43 AM »
Townhouses would be a good start. That's a residential product that is still pretty foreign in the downtown area. Other than the Parks, I can't think of any that has been built in DT since 2000.
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