Author Topic: For real though, Downtown Jax needs a master plan  (Read 3641 times)

thelakelander

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For real though, Downtown Jax needs a master plan
« on: June 17, 2021, 08:54:50 AM »
Quote


Jacksonville has long approached downtown development in a secretive and piecemeal fashion, and over the last few weeks this has resulted in several different groups offering up competing plans for parts of the city center. It's time for Jacksonville to create something many cities with successfully revived Downtowns have done: create a comprehensive, strategic, publicly vetted Downtown master plan.


Read More: https://www.thejaxsonmag.com/article/for-real-though-downtown-jax-needs-a-master-plan/
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jaxlongtimer

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Re: For real though, Downtown Jax needs a master plan
« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2021, 07:11:44 PM »
Great article. 

To add, to have a great master plan, we need a great "master" - one that is competent, experienced, focused, stable, transparent, community minded, immune to undue political interference, avoids favoritism, multi-dimensional, etc.  So far that hasn't happened in this City.

It's frustrating that every two-bit town in America just about has a real master plan today and we don't.  So do college, hospital, corporate and other owners of campuses.  Just not that hard to do but we can't get it done.

jaxoNOLE

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Re: For real though, Downtown Jax needs a master plan
« Reply #2 on: June 17, 2021, 09:42:31 PM »
Is it just me, or does it seem like the Atkins plan is a great private complement to what a master plan should be? Sure, a master plan for downtown should extend beyond the Atkins boundaries. But that plan laid out development for private pads, and I have to imagine they'd be open to negotiations on the public spaces. Heck, they even acknowledged the city would be on the hook for the convention center and parks.

If the DIA/GAI CRA revamp is the rough sketch, Riverfront Parks Now and Jessie Ball Dupont ought to be able to fill in the details on the public spaces, and Atkins can fill in the private development. They may not be aligned yet, but this looks like it should be doable with just a bit of leadership out of the DIA.

heights unknown

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Re: For real though, Downtown Jax needs a master plan
« Reply #3 on: June 17, 2021, 11:26:16 PM »
Jax has an immense and unlimted amount of potential to be much more than it now is; for the last 5 decades this has been the case. With the old boys gone from the scene, and hopefully those now on the government scene in leadership will take the reins, take off, and lead Jax to where it wants to be and needs to be. Yes, great article. There is no master plan at present; thus different developers, etc., coming out of the closet with grand visions and plans of their own for certain sections and sectors of downtown; hodge podge, here and there development with no firm plan.
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marcuscnelson

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Re: For real though, Downtown Jax needs a master plan
« Reply #4 on: August 08, 2022, 06:34:06 PM »
Well, about a year later, the city’s legislation for the DIA’s new BID Plan has been adopted.

https://dia.coj.net/BID-Plan-(1)

Does this seem like a master plan?
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heights unknown

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Re: For real though, Downtown Jax needs a master plan
« Reply #5 on: August 08, 2022, 08:39:10 PM »
Well, about a year later, the city’s legislation for the DIA’s new BID Plan has been adopted.

https://dia.coj.net/BID-Plan-(1)

Does this seem like a master plan?
It's not there anymore; the link goes to nowhere, i.e., "not found."
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thelakelander

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Re: For real though, Downtown Jax needs a master plan
« Reply #6 on: August 08, 2022, 08:41:34 PM »
Does it identify potential uses for all major city owned catalyst properties, along with a desired funding or development timeline? If not, it's not a master plan, IMO. For example, when and where will the convention center be built?
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marcuscnelson

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Re: For real though, Downtown Jax needs a master plan
« Reply #7 on: August 08, 2022, 09:38:11 PM »
Well, about a year later, the city’s legislation for the DIA’s new BID Plan has been adopted.

https://dia.coj.net/BID-Plan-(1)

Does this seem like a master plan?
It's not there anymore; the link goes to nowhere, i.e., "not found."

That’s strange. Try this?
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: For real though, Downtown Jax needs a master plan
« Reply #8 on: August 08, 2022, 11:12:48 PM »
Well, about a year later, the city’s legislation for the DIA’s new BID Plan has been adopted.

https://dia.coj.net/BID-Plan-(1)

Does this seem like a master plan?

I reviewed the appendices in your link and I didn't see anything amounting to a master plan.  I saw references to studies, analytics, policies and micro plans, but nothing bringing all these elements together in one cohesive, overarching, long term plan.

The below also didn't inspire longevity for anything they might actually plan.  From changing it every 5 years to lots of other excuses to deviate from it, it is clear that, if there was a plan, it is unlikely it would be adhered to.  See the last 75 years of Downtown's evolution.

Quote
  Why Update the Plan?
- Directed by the Ordinance Code; update required every five (5) years
- Adjusts plan to new market conditions and responds to current economic and consumer demands
- Incorporates intervening plans and studies (i.e Emerald Trail)
- Responds to changes in development activity since 2014 (i.e. U2C, Four Seasons)
- Streamlines legislation and incentive processing time

thelakelander

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Re: For real though, Downtown Jax needs a master plan
« Reply #9 on: August 08, 2022, 11:32:01 PM »
Quote
  Why Update the Plan?
- Directed by the Ordinance Code; update required every five (5) years
- Adjusts plan to new market conditions and responds to current economic and consumer demands
- Incorporates intervening plans and studies (i.e Emerald Trail)
- Responds to changes in development activity since 2014 (i.e. U2C, Four Seasons)

- Streamlines legislation and incentive processing time

This is basically why its not a master plan. Intervening plans and studies should align with an overall plan and vision for the downtown. Things should change with every little dream that an independent Tom, Dick or Harry comes up with......especially when talking about publicly owned property. Think of the master plan at that 10,000 feet level and the more detailed intervening plans and studies focusing on components of the master plan at a 100 or 10 foot level. The Master Plan would illustrate a desire for a COJ block to be developed as mixed used. If the mixed use happens to be a Four Seasons or Related RCB mixed use development (the development activity) on that identified COJ owned property, there's no reason for the master plan to change.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2022, 11:36:22 PM by thelakelander »
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marcuscnelson

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Re: For real though, Downtown Jax needs a master plan
« Reply #10 on: August 09, 2022, 12:54:11 AM »
I reviewed the appendices in your link and I didn't see anything amounting to a master plan.  I saw references to studies, analytics, policies and micro plans, but nothing bringing all these elements together in one cohesive, overarching, long term plan.

The below also didn't inspire longevity for anything they might actually plan.  From changing it every 5 years to lots of other excuses to deviate from it, it is clear that, if there was a plan, it is unlikely it would be adhered to.  See the last 75 years of Downtown's evolution.

Quote
  Why Update the Plan?
- Directed by the Ordinance Code; update required every five (5) years
- Adjusts plan to new market conditions and responds to current economic and consumer demands
- Incorporates intervening plans and studies (i.e Emerald Trail)
- Responds to changes in development activity since 2014 (i.e. U2C, Four Seasons)
- Streamlines legislation and incentive processing time

The top level links themselves are supposed to be the actual plans.

Community Redevelopment Area Plan

Business Investment & Development Strategy
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: For real though, Downtown Jax needs a master plan
« Reply #11 on: August 09, 2022, 01:53:43 AM »
^Thanks, Marcus.  I could only find an "illustrative plan" described on Page 44 and mapped on Page 45 which I am not convinced is an actual master plan but rather a reflection of current realities based on DIA's own description (see quote below) or, worse, a plan "designed" to be driven by developers and their projects, not city planners (see bolded language in the below quote).  The rest of the 102 pages seems to be regurgitating statistics, maps of existing status, general guidelines and policies (which it doesn't even follow consistently in the present time) and a wish list of specific projects it plans or hopes to complete at some point. 

So, help me out and tell me if you feel this adds up to a coherent master plan for the ages.  I am not sure I can see it among all the platitudes in this presentation which, unless you actually are embedded in DIA's world, is not easy to sort out and make sense of in terms of leading to a true master plan.

Quote
The focus of the Illustrative Master Plan included herein is to depict current and proposed redevelopment projects as well as likely near term private redevelopment site opportunities throughout Downtown, and the public infrastructure that will support these private developments. Mobility projects (including roadway, streetscape, trail, in-water, and transit) and park and civic space improvements are included in distinct layers in the digital format.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2022, 06:57:06 PM by jaxlongtimer »

heights unknown

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Re: For real though, Downtown Jax needs a master plan
« Reply #12 on: August 09, 2022, 04:59:44 PM »
Well, about a year later, the city’s legislation for the DIA’s new BID Plan has been adopted.

https://dia.coj.net/BID-Plan-(1)

Does this seem like a master plan?
It's not there anymore; the link goes to nowhere, i.e., "not found."

That’s strange. Try this?
Got it! Thanks!
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marcuscnelson

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Re: For real though, Downtown Jax needs a master plan
« Reply #13 on: Yesterday at 09:59:03 PM »
Some updates from the State of Downtown report by the DIA today.

https://www.jaxdailyrecord.com/article/state-of-downtown-report-dollar4-63-billion-in-projects-in-pipeline

The good news is that they seem to have taken at least one piece of advice from here: pivoting away from 10,000 residents and towards 10,000 units.

Shame I find it hard to take the top line number seriously when so many of these projects are still questionable as to whether they'll make it to the finish line.
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heights unknown

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Re: For real though, Downtown Jax needs a master plan
« Reply #14 on: Today at 09:40:43 AM »
Bravo. Not only no viable plan, whether master or otherwise, but it also appears no vision as well. Will someone open their eyes? And so....downtown Jacksonville is a little larger maybe than Live Oak Florida, and the goal is for it to be larger than Lake City Florida (in population). Even though these might seem to be small cities with small populations, you still have to have amenities like stores, shopping centers, gas stations, theaters, bars, night clubs, and other entertainment venues (not many mind you), to support a city of 7,000+ that's looking to become a city of 17,000+...(you have to look at it in that sense even if it's just the city center, urban core, or downtown Jacksonville). I hope that they have all of this in mind. (dream on)
« Last Edit: Today at 09:51:20 AM by heights unknown »
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