Author Topic: Riverfront Jacksonville: $1.1 billion Master Plan  (Read 33377 times)

fieldafm

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Re: Riverfront Jacksonville: $1.1 billion Master Plan
« Reply #180 on: October 22, 2021, 02:28:08 PM »
Quote
Goldman knows how to make money but a bit surprised they see that huge of a chunk of DT Jax real estate as something worth pursuing

That's part of the showmanship of this carefully orchestrated PR campaign.

Goldman's involvement in this proposal would be as a bond holder for the public infrastructure financing for all of these pieces to come together. The City has to bond out money to pay for roads, and Lenny's Lawn, etc- and that's where Goldman comes in.  Goldman is already the underwriter/issuer for most of COJ's bonds.

What people think when they see/hear that 'Goldman Sachs wants to invest billions into Downtown' is that GS is lined up to finance a bunch of spec office buildings, a hotel and condo towers... which isn't really the case.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2021, 02:29:55 PM by fieldafm »

marcuscnelson

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Re: Riverfront Jacksonville: $1.1 billion Master Plan
« Reply #181 on: October 22, 2021, 03:45:52 PM »
What about the other bank, Piper Sandler & Co.?
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jaxoNOLE

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Re: Riverfront Jacksonville: $1.1 billion Master Plan
« Reply #182 on: October 22, 2021, 03:55:18 PM »
Quote
Goldman knows how to make money but a bit surprised they see that huge of a chunk of DT Jax real estate as something worth pursuing

That's part of the showmanship of this carefully orchestrated PR campaign.

Goldman's involvement in this proposal would be as a bond holder for the public infrastructure financing for all of these pieces to come together. The City has to bond out money to pay for roads, and Lenny's Lawn, etc- and that's where Goldman comes in.  Goldman is already the underwriter/issuer for most of COJ's bonds.

What people think when they see/hear that 'Goldman Sachs wants to invest billions into Downtown' is that GS is lined up to finance a bunch of spec office buildings, a hotel and condo towers... which isn't really the case.

It's refreshing to see at least something related to downtown development be carefully orchestrated.

marcuscnelson

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Re: Riverfront Jacksonville: $1.1 billion Master Plan
« Reply #183 on: October 22, 2021, 07:10:04 PM »
Here's the full updated proposal, from the Riverfront Jacksonville website:

https://jaxriverfront.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/SEG-21018_RiverfrontJax_ProposalDesign_M2_web-v2.pdf

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Ken_FSU

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Re: Riverfront Jacksonville: $1.1 billion Master Plan
« Reply #184 on: October 22, 2021, 08:14:34 PM »
I agree. My first reaction here is I do like the plan overall, putting aside my feelings of how realistic given the market aside. I'd have to go through a few times to understand the details of some things, but conceptually, it's the kind of thing the City should be showing, not Atkins.

Bottom line is this - this rendering is what DIA was capable of putting together 5 years ago. Why didn't they?

100% agree, on all counts here.

In a perfect world, the city should be doing the master planning in conjunction with brilliant consultants with a proven track record of successful revitalizing major urban areas through master-planned development.

Unfortunately, we've got local politicians arbitrarily "master planning" downtown Jacksonville, under the cover of darkness, in piecemail fashion, driven less by overall vision and more by cronyism, secretive future plans, and unsubstantiated opinions about what works best where.

Literally every single RFP that the DIA has issued has been mired in some kind of bullshit before ultimately failing to materialize into anything of substance. We've seen three Shipyards/Met Park RFPs over the last decade from the DIA without a shovel in the ground. Ford on Bay is about to be RFP'd for the THIRD TIME, with nothing to show for it but a hole in the northbank and a right of first refusal. The DIA is already backtracking on the Landing park, and art installation, and timeline, and funding mechanism. They botched the LaVilla townhomes RFP. How long have we been waiting for the Times-Union Center park to begin construction? Or Friendship Park to finally begin major construction (doesn't look like much is going on there lately)?

I don't understand how anyone thinks that Lori Boyer and the DIA are qualified to unaliterally make major decisions that are going to shape our downtown for decades to come, nor do I understand how anyone who has closely watched downtown progress on the riverfront over the last decade can have any faith that Lori Boyer and the DIA have the ability to execute ANY of these plans to completion anytime within the next decade.

Atkins' plan leaves a LOT of questions to be answered, and the jury is still way out there in terms of financing and how realistic/market appropriate it actually is, but the updated proposal is more thorough, intelligent, thought-out, strategic, and developed than anything I've seen from the DIA over the last ten years. It's embarrassing what he's been able to pull together in two years - including letters of support from brands like Hard Rock and Marriott, buy-in from the Hyatt, and potential capital partners -  versus what the DIA has managed to pull together in ten.

I don't know if it's the right plan for downtown Jacksonville, but it's better than what we've got. And it would be fucking INSANE for the DIA to let their own egos, arrogance, insecurities, and utterly baseless confidence about their own abilities to move the riverfront forward stand in the way of at least allowing Atkins' plan to be fully vetted by the city and the public.

What's there to lose?

Here's one of the few people who has actually made a dent in redeveloping downtown Jacksonville in the last decade. He's restoring historic building stock. He's reeled in some great retail and hotel partners. He submitted a proposal for the JEA headquarters intended to save the iconic tower. And he's dumped two years of his life and over a million dollars into putting together a plan that he thinks will move Jacksonville forward.

And the DIA can't even be bothered to delay the Ford on Bay RFP that they've flubbed and then sat on for YEARS by a month to listen to what Southeast has to say?

It's just embarrassing.

Hear the guy out.

If it turns out to be smoke and mirrors, so be it, but at least vet the damn proposal instead of stubbornly moving forward with your next doomed stick apartments with 30% retail frontage on Bay Street.

jaxoNOLE

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Re: Riverfront Jacksonville: $1.1 billion Master Plan
« Reply #185 on: October 22, 2021, 08:59:54 PM »
^Well said.

heights unknown

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Re: Riverfront Jacksonville: $1.1 billion Master Plan
« Reply #186 on: October 22, 2021, 10:23:25 PM »
I agree. My first reaction here is I do like the plan overall, putting aside my feelings of how realistic given the market aside. I'd have to go through a few times to understand the details of some things, but conceptually, it's the kind of thing the City should be showing, not Atkins.

Bottom line is this - this rendering is what DIA was capable of putting together 5 years ago. Why didn't they?

100% agree, on all counts here.

In a perfect world, the city should be doing the master planning in conjunction with brilliant consultants with a proven track record of successful revitalizing major urban areas through master-planned development.

Unfortunately, we've got local politicians arbitrarily "master planning" downtown Jacksonville, under the cover of darkness, in piecemail fashion, driven less by overall vision and more by cronyism, secretive future plans, and unsubstantiated opinions about what works best where.

Literally every single RFP that the DIA has issued has been mired in some kind of bullshit before ultimately failing to materialize into anything of substance. We've seen three Shipyards/Met Park RFPs over the last decade from the DIA without a shovel in the ground. Ford on Bay is about to be RFP'd for the THIRD TIME, with nothing to show for it but a hole in the northbank and a right of first refusal. The DIA is already backtracking on the Landing park, and art installation, and timeline, and funding mechanism. They botched the LaVilla townhomes RFP. How long have we been waiting for the Times-Union Center park to begin construction? Or Friendship Park to finally begin major construction (doesn't look like much is going on there lately)?

I don't understand how anyone thinks that Lori Boyer and the DIA are qualified to unaliterally make major decisions that are going to shape our downtown for decades to come, nor do I understand how anyone who has closely watched downtown progress on the riverfront over the last decade can have any faith that Lori Boyer and the DIA have the ability to execute ANY of these plans to completion anytime within the next decade.

Atkins' plan leaves a LOT of questions to be answered, and the jury is still way out there in terms of financing and how realistic/market appropriate it actually is, but the updated proposal is more thorough, intelligent, thought-out, strategic, and developed than anything I've seen from the DIA over the last ten years. It's embarrassing what he's been able to pull together in two years - including letters of support from brands like Hard Rock and Marriott, buy-in from the Hyatt, and potential capital partners -  versus what the DIA has managed to pull together in ten.

I don't know if it's the right plan for downtown Jacksonville, but it's better than what we've got. And it would be fucking INSANE for the DIA to let their own egos, arrogance, insecurities, and utterly baseless confidence about their own abilities to move the riverfront forward stand in the way of at least allowing Atkins' plan to be fully vetted by the city and the public.

What's there to lose?

Here's one of the few people who has actually made a dent in redeveloping downtown Jacksonville in the last decade. He's restoring historic building stock. He's reeled in some great retail and hotel partners. He submitted a proposal for the JEA headquarters intended to save the iconic tower. And he's dumped two years of his life and over a million dollars into putting together a plan that he thinks will move Jacksonville forward.

And the DIA can't even be bothered to delay the Ford on Bay RFP that they've flubbed and then sat on for YEARS by a month to listen to what Southeast has to say?

It's just embarrassing.

Hear the guy out.

If it turns out to be smoke and mirrors, so be it, but at least vet the damn proposal instead of stubbornly moving forward with your next doomed stick apartments with 30% retail frontage on Bay Street.
Remember how excited everyone was when Lori Boyer took over the DIA? IMO she has done nothing, absolutely nothing. If they, Boyer and Company start mulling over Atkins proposals, then you know its a "tongue in cheek" and jealousy thing; feeling guilty and afraid that they will be exposed and called out for doing nothing...and Atkins is doing "something." I say bring Atkins in to head the DIA; and I agree, in the last 2 to 3 years its been him (Atkins) that's been injecting the "shot in the arm" to downtown Jax and the Urban Core. Lori needs to pack up and go home. Her and I are about the same age, so, maybe her best game days have passed her by. (LOL)
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thelakelander

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Re: Riverfront Jacksonville: $1.1 billion Master Plan
« Reply #187 on: October 23, 2021, 07:11:59 AM »
Not saying the proposal should not be vetted but also not ready to make it a Boyer vs Atkins thing. Atkins gets nothing done in Downtown without Boyer and the DIA. It's not the sexy thing people like to think about but just about all the adaptive reuse underway now in the Northbank (including the Trio) doesn't happen without the modification of the DT Jax Historic Preservation Trust Fund incentives program. Imo, that's been the biggest plus for Downtown redevelopment this century. Independent Life, Ambassador, Trio, Old Federal Reserve Bank, First Baptist Convention Building, etc. would all still be sitting empty with no real chance of adaptive reuse without it. Now not having a transparent master plan, a dead riverfront, failed RFPs, blowing up the Landing with no plan in place, poorly laid out suburban infill projects, etc. yeah there's been some real struggles there from the DIA, DDRB and COJ. Somehow, I get the impression that the work on the other, competing studies and proposals on the riverfront won't stop though. I guess we'll find out soon since Atkins has given them a deadline to consider the proposal.
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jaxjags

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Re: Riverfront Jacksonville: $1.1 billion Master Plan
« Reply #188 on: October 23, 2021, 10:47:19 AM »
I wouldn't say its Atkins or anyone else against the DIA. I just think people on this forum believe the the DIA has not been very successful and they are not taking a holistic approach to DT development.  There is nothing stopping new development to occur simultaneously with adaptive reuse. I know DIA is all about the numbers, but it also takes vision for success.

The park issue really burns me. We want something iconic, choose it and the start moving backwards again. Something tells me that higher ups, not the "people" slowed this.

Ken_FSU

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Re: Riverfront Jacksonville: $1.1 billion Master Plan
« Reply #189 on: October 23, 2021, 10:56:13 AM »
It's not the sexy thing people like to think about but just about all the adaptive reuse underway now in the Northbank (including the Trio) doesn't happen without the modification of the DT Jax Historic Preservation Trust Fund incentives program. Imo, that's been the biggest plus for Downtown redevelopment this century. Independent Life, Ambassador, Trio, Old Federal Reserve Bank, First Baptist Convention Building, etc. would all still be sitting empty with no real chance of adaptive reuse without it.

To me, this is what the DIA's role should be, and to your point, what they're actually quite good and effective at. Vetting private investment and doing the blocking and tackling through code modification and incentive programs necessary to stimulate private investment. They've done great things with the Historic Preservation Trust Fund. The negotiated a great deal for the city on the Four Seasons project. The Targeted Food and Beverage/retail corridor program is a great idea in theory, though we've been hearing about it since October 2019 and (to my point about the glacial pace at which the DIA operates and the general lack of urgency during limited windows of economic prosperity) still haven't seen a restaurant on the DIA's target list open a new branch downtown as a result.

It's the overall master planning and riverfront development that I personally think the DIA is grossly unqualified to oversee. When you have to publish an editorial piece after years of impotence saying, "Yes, there is a plan for Downtown Jacksonville," and to the best of my knowledge, the most we've ever seen of this plan is one or two PowerPoint slides and a bunch of failed, piecemealed RFPs, that's a problem.

I think Lori Boyer is great at what she's good at - rolling up her sleeves, poring over fine details of zoning regulations, and funding mechanisms, and development agreements - but I look at her track record of actually planning and executing major projects (going back to City Council with things like the riverfront nodes), and it just isn't there.

Aside from vetting private development proposed by other entities, like the Four Seasons project and the new FIS HQ, what projects have come out of the ground in the last five years that have been planned from the ground up by the DIA? I might be totally forgetting something, but all I've seen and heard from a new development perspective coming out of the DIA is a bunch of talk, a bunch of empty grass lots, a bunch of failed RPFs, and a bunch of burned developers. 

If we were stagnating elsewhere in the region or in the midst of an economic recession, I'd have more patience, but Jacksonville has too much momentum coming out of this pandemic to squander another decade going through this same cycle of:

1) Holding meetings about meetings
2) Tabling discussions until next month
3) Kicking master planning down the road
4) Talking in circles about RFPs
5) Finally issuing RPFs
6) Changing our minds and starting over

Talk is great, but we need more action, and more importantly, we need more urgency.

Of which the DIA has none.

Would MUCH rather see the DIA stick with what they're good at and have the city hand off master-planning and riverfront development to someone with a proven track record of revitalizing a major urban area and attracting outside investment.

Nothing personal against Boyer, but she doesn't have that experience, and we need someone yesterday who does.

We had some great candidates too...

Quote
The park issue really burns me. We want something iconic, choose it and the start moving backwards again. Something tells me that higher ups, not the "people" slowed this.

No other project quite sums up my frustration with the DIA like the Landing park.

1) Prepare an RFP heavily weighted toward iconic public art
2) Select a winner, in their own words, off the strength of the central art piece
3) When the public complains about the art piece, immediately backtrack and say that the art might not even be included at all, turning the entire scoring system into a farce.

It's baffling, and just so incredibly lame for a city that otherwise has so much going for it.
« Last Edit: October 23, 2021, 11:44:38 AM by Ken_FSU »

thelakelander

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Re: Riverfront Jacksonville: $1.1 billion Master Plan
« Reply #190 on: October 23, 2021, 06:26:20 PM »
We had some great candidates too...

Jim Edwards would have been the perfect choice years ago. He had strong track record of working in downtown environments that were at the stage where DT Jax is today. We've struggled to accomplish getting the basics right and that's what he excelled at in Lakeland, Hollywood and Charleston, WV. Anyway, that ship has long sailed.

As for the Landing situation.........I knew this would be the outcome. We had 50 years of revitalization strategy history to tell us this. It was a major reason we pushed for not evicting successful businesses and blowing up a structurally fine public asset. Totally unfortunate but completely avoidable.
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Florida Power And Light

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Re: Riverfront Jacksonville: $1.1 billion Master Plan
« Reply #191 on: October 23, 2021, 07:51:11 PM »
What about My Official “Downtown Waterway  Based Jacksonville’s Gracious Front Porch- After All I Altered the First Coast Expressway Alignment et al so Everyone Should Focus, pontificate and extrapolate because of Me!!!!” Plan?

martt12

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Re: Riverfront Jacksonville: $1.1 billion Master Plan
« Reply #192 on: October 25, 2021, 10:38:08 PM »
Not 100% optimistic about many of these proposals here. However, if this were to happen I would like a nice art piece in the old Landing area. I’d also prefer if they left an opening to the building in front of the VyStar breezeway.

Ken_FSU

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Re: Riverfront Jacksonville: $1.1 billion Master Plan
« Reply #193 on: October 26, 2021, 08:30:27 PM »
https://www.jaxdailyrecord.com/article/cbre-releases-marketing-info-timeline-for-the-ford-on-bay

Great that we sit on this thing for ages, and then make the timing as wildly inconvenient as possible for interested developers.

Disposition the week before Thanksgiving.

Pre-proposal conference the Monday that everyone gets back from Thanksgiving.

Bids due Monday of Christmas week.

Short list selected between Christmas and New Year's.

Oral presentations for short listed firms the Monday when everyone's getting back from Christmas/New Year's break, meaning they'd have to build their presentations during the one week of the year that half the country is out of office?

You've gotta think the timing alone could dissuade some interested parties in participating, right?


acme54321

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Re: Riverfront Jacksonville: $1.1 billion Master Plan
« Reply #194 on: October 26, 2021, 11:02:45 PM »
Wtf.  They have to be doing that to give some insider bidder an advantage right?  I mean otherwise that's just idiotic.