Author Topic: Downtown Jacksonville's Darth Vader  (Read 3478 times)

Metro Jacksonville

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Downtown Jacksonville's Darth Vader
« on: May 23, 2007, 09:16:28 PM »
Downtown Jacksonville's Darth Vader



Downtown Jacksonville’s most damaging menaces may not be who you think.  When you think about people holding Downtown back, you may think of the homeless, you may think about the speculators trying to buy downtown one historic building at a time just to sit on them, or you might think of the city administration itself.  However, there is another group that is arguably more dangerous to downtown then all of these individuals (yes, even more dangerous than the Mayor’s Office).  Who is this group of individuals looking to expose their evil to downtown?

Full Article
http://www.metrojacksonville.com/content/view/444

tufsu1

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One Problem
« Reply #1 on: May 24, 2007, 08:03:38 AM »
From what I understand, the two garages mentioned were built at least partially with private funds.  If the City were to take them over, how much would they have to pay Republic

downtownparks

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« Reply #2 on: May 24, 2007, 08:16:57 AM »
Good question.

To know the impact, we also need to know how much do we pay for empty garages annually? Then we can calculate that out over years.

Does the city pay for maintenance? Are taxes paid on the properties?

Could we pay off Republic, then sell them outright to a private firm that doesn't require Jax taxpayers to make their business plan profitable??

Jeremiah

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sprawl sprawl and more sprawl
« Reply #3 on: May 24, 2007, 11:34:35 AM »
ok, i see one parking garage within easy reach of the Landing, and underutilized and nearly obsolete retail structure.  then a surface lot right near City Hall Annex and the old Adams Mark.  Only one in the heart of what would be the City Core....BUT IT'S SURROUNDED BY SURFACE PARKING LOTS!  
Now, while the style of the building, to me, is rather hideous the new corner development on Margaret and Riverside Ave in Five Points is a perfect example of WHAT TO DO IN JACKSONVILLE!  it is a retail/residential structure designed with HIDDEN PARKING.  which creates room for extra parking at the street level and also hides the resident parking.  why is it, that all across the united states, we can't take more lessons from the more successful cities of Europe?  is it a simple fear of change?  do we just want to hold on to that "american pride" till our last dying breath?  it really does give me the red ass to look at that map of downtown and to look back at old postcards of when this city had ambition, real ambition and real vision.  and people in power who were willing to work with and for the people in order to realize that vision.  Egh, christ.  i'm sure all of us feel like we just bang our heads against the proverbial wall over and over and over again.  no wonder red brick is so popular here.

RG

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« Reply #4 on: May 24, 2007, 01:35:38 PM »
And think about KBJ's contribution to the problem too while you are at it.   ;) :)

Pavers

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Parking anecdote and comment
« Reply #5 on: May 24, 2007, 04:28:11 PM »
An anecdote from today that adds to the discussion.

My dad, who very very rarely goes to the downtown area from his perch in Clay County, was in downtown today to go an event at the downtown library this morning.  He parked at the library garage.  I asked him about the event and he volunteered the following:

"Gosh, it sure is expensive to go to the library - it cost me $7 just to park!"

Will he ever return to the library?  Who knows.  But that $7 price will stick in his head, I can tell you that for sure.

It does seem a bit penny-wise, pound-foolish to spend nearly $100M on the library, and then potentially turn people away from visiting because of the high parking charges.  $7 does seem pretty high for 121 minutes of parking.

To answer the question: "Why does Republic Parking need to be guaranteed a profit on a brand new garage, when they own many other parking garages downtown?"  I think it's as simple as the garage would not have been built without the guarantee.  
Did Republic finance and build the garage?  

One could certainly make the argument that the city shouldn't be "guaranteeing" profits for any business.  On the other hand, I don't know if the city should be in the business of expending precious capital dollars on new parking garages either.  If the city believed that a garage was needed there to support City Hall, the Library, MOCA, etc., (let's just assume that premise is true) then it could have paid for one itself (bad idea, I would say), hope that the market steps in and builds one (that could take a while), or provide this guarantee.  Seems like the latter choice was the best of admittedly poor options.

downtownparks

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« Reply #6 on: May 24, 2007, 04:45:39 PM »
If he was in the Library, he could have validated at the help desk, and it wouldn't have cost him a dime... It would have cost the Taxpayers of Jax $7, but not him :D

Pavers

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Thanks, downtownparks
« Reply #7 on: May 24, 2007, 05:50:48 PM »
I'll mention that to him.  Although he may yell at me for not telling him sooner!    :o

thelakelander

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library parking validation
« Reply #8 on: May 24, 2007, 06:19:29 PM »
The library only validates up to $3.  Paver's dad would still be on the hook for the rest.
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

karpf

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Too Little Research
« Reply #9 on: May 25, 2007, 12:02:08 AM »
This article is on the right track with the new city garages but obviously very little research was done before sending it to print.  Republic Parking manages parking garages by contract and does not own a single garage in Jacksonville.  They benefit only to the extent that they receive a small management fee for daily operations.   The owner of the new garages is Metropolitan Parking Solutions.  The clout behind MPS is not Republic Parking or Mark Rimmer, it is some very well connected businessmen in JAX who were able to convince city leaders to give them a stupendous deal at the expense of JAX taxpayers despite the fact that other nationwide conglomerates bid on the project with their own financial backing and asking for very little government subsidy.  Even without regard to rate structure, it would blow the top off city hall if the public truly understood this deal and how it was a pure gift of tens of millions of public dollars to a few power brokers in downtown JAX.

JUSTDAVE

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Thank you
« Reply #10 on: May 25, 2007, 01:16:36 AM »
why can't other media sources mention this bad deal when the city says it as to cut is public safety
Dave Siebert
vice president Concerned taxpayers of Duval county
intolerent of deadbeat city council members who don't pay child support

mtraininjax

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Put the parking decks everywhere
« Reply #11 on: May 25, 2007, 01:59:40 AM »
We want to be known for something, why not glorified concrete structures reaching for the sky?  ;D

RG

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« Reply #12 on: May 25, 2007, 11:17:13 AM »
Basically, this is a tale of very poor city planning and corruption.  Parking garages should be privatized or run by the City totally IMO.  The whole guaranteed profit idea is guaranteed to be abused.  What incentive do the owners have to insure success or charge a fair rate to bring in more customers if they are guaranteed a profit by the City?  The whole deal was asinine from the start and needs to be revisited as soon as the contract expires.

karpf

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Ron Littlepage
« Reply #13 on: May 28, 2007, 04:02:34 PM »
You are right Dave.  For example Ron Littlepage is supposed to be the "town crier" for the Times Union but its obvious he is an establishment stooge for the powers that be.  He had access to all the bids and after MPS was awarded his only article simply complained that the rates were too high.  Now he is writing puff pieces about pollution in the St. Johns and whining loudly about the Governor attempting to trim city level budgets by a reduction in property taxes.  Maybe its because the state sees cities cutting sweetheart deals like this and packing more and more fluff into their budgets!  The JTA BRT plan is the prime example of STUPID decisions made by Jacksonville politicians to benefit THEMSELVES at the expense of the public while Ron Littlepage continues to value job security over the truth.