Author Topic: Peyton's Struggles: Building Yesterday's City  (Read 7281 times)

Metro Jacksonville

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Peyton's Struggles: Building Yesterday's City
« on: January 12, 2009, 05:00:00 AM »
Peyton's Struggles: Building Yesterday's City



A guest editorial written by Milt Hayes, Jr., a local urban planner, calling for a second look at the purposes of the Better Jacksonville Plan.

Full Article
http://www.metrojacksonville.com/content/view/983

zoo

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Re: Peyton's Struggles: Building Yesterday's City
« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2009, 09:59:51 AM »
Maybe COJ should just purchase a set of the plans for the Orange County Courthouse in Orlando. Their entire courthouse complex cost $183 million, and consists of 1.5 million square feet of floor area, looks good, and is primarily vertical, thus freeing up land for ultimate RFP/private development/taxation.

Here's a link to photos:

http://www.emporis.com/en/il/pc/?id=123054&aid=8

Having to duplicate another city's efforts seems ludicrous, until you consider how Jax has managed to fubar this project thus far...

And, Peyton, forget NEW roads to your family's/friends' properties in Clay Cty. Repair the ones we've got and funnel funding toward desired urban transit - commuter rail, light rail, streetcar, extended skyway and watertaxi.

copperfiend

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Re: Peyton's Struggles: Building Yesterday's City
« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2009, 10:22:59 AM »
I have always thought the same thing about the Orange County Courthouse. Or even the Federal Courthouse here in town.

JeffreyS

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Re: Peyton's Struggles: Building Yesterday's City
« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2009, 11:42:33 AM »
I have always though a twin for the Federal courthouse would be the best option.
Lenny Smash

tufsu1

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Re: Peyton's Struggles: Building Yesterday's City
« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2009, 11:59:40 AM »
keep in mind that the cost # that has been bantered around here includes rehab of the old federal courthouse and renovation of the Ed Ball building (I assume we all think these are good things) and land acquisition...the cost for the new building itself is around $240 million.

Also, the Orlando courthouse was built about 10 years ago....even with the recent decreases, construction costs have basically doubled since then.


JeffreyS

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Re: Peyton's Struggles: Building Yesterday's City
« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2009, 12:01:09 PM »
^Good points.
Lenny Smash

ProjectMaximus

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Re: Peyton's Struggles: Building Yesterday's City
« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2009, 12:18:47 PM »
Thanks for keeping us all in check, Mayor tufsu.  ;)

avonjax

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Re: Peyton's Struggles: Building Yesterday's City
« Reply #7 on: January 12, 2009, 12:29:52 PM »
The same stupidity that built a courthouse and city hall on the river is still alive and well in Jacksonville. The only difference from now and then is we just moved stupid to a different part of town. By building a multi-block courthouse campus we are probably robbing the city of just as much tax revenue potential as we did on a smaller footprint on the river front. Jacksonville leaders' incompetence is as hardy as the cockroach.

thelakelander

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Re: Peyton's Struggles: Building Yesterday's City
« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2009, 01:47:24 PM »
keep in mind that the cost # that has been bantered around here includes rehab of the old federal courthouse and renovation of the Ed Ball building (I assume we all think these are good things) and land acquisition...the cost for the new building itself is around $240 million.

Also, the Orlando courthouse was built about 10 years ago....even with the recent decreases, construction costs have basically doubled since then.

A more accurate comparison would be the recently built Mecklenburg County Courthouse in Charlotte.  It was completed in 2007 at the cost of $148 million or $261/sf.  In Jan. 2008, our courthouse numbers were at $272 million or $340/sf.

Mecklenburg County Courthouse - Uptown Charlotte


http://www.metrojacksonville.com/content/view/648/115/
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

thelakelander

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Re: Peyton's Struggles: Building Yesterday's City
« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2009, 01:50:40 PM »
Although the new design leaves a lot to be desired, it is better than Peyton's first pass (see below).



However, how the courthouse fits in with its surroundings continues to be the most important overlooked factor.  Somebody in the city should really pay attention to potential pedestrian movement and how to best take advantage of it.

"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

Midway ®

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Re: Peyton's Struggles: Building Yesterday's City
« Reply #10 on: January 12, 2009, 06:43:37 PM »
Wow! Never seen anything like that before! What a unique design. All it needs is a circular drive in front and it would look like an overblown McMansion.

stjr

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Re: Peyton's Struggles: Building Yesterday's City
« Reply #11 on: January 12, 2009, 08:27:13 PM »
Quote
Later, when it became apparent that the Cannon design proposal was financially indefensible even in terms of Jacksonville’s traditionally approving stance toward looting the public treasury, the original consultant team was sent packing and we were left with the present, very expensive hole in the middle of Jacksonville’s downtown.

Hear, Hear!!

The courthouse is another Skyway project. A preordained outcome was determined and consultants brought in to "justify" the decision.  (And you wonder why I wax cynical about consultants?  Has Jax ever done any public works project without them?  What is our batting average of living in bliss when these projects are finished? But I digress....) Common sense went out the window.  From the very first concepts made public, lay citizens such as myself questioned why it was some 7 blocks instead of one block vertically like the Feds (just think how another 20 to 30 story building could add to our skyline).  Apparently the judges had their ideas and no one wanted to take them on.  After all, we have had more than a few politicos from the State Attorney's office!  And who do they work with? 

And the outer beltway is for what purpose?  It sure doesn't look like a very direct route from I-95 to I-10. It's miles from most existing civilization and its clear it is for the sole purpose of enriching surrounding land holders while creating a few hundred more square miles of urban sprawl.  Clay and St. Johns have already admitted it's about bringing more jobs to their counties.  With jobs come roof tops and shopping centers and asphalt. 

Be careful what you ask for - your quiet and quaint, traffic free, rural way of life is about to disappear.  Want to see the future - just camp out along the Buckman Bridge for a few minutes as out of towners short cut through the 'hood leaving nothing behind but their vehicle exhaust. ???
Hey!  Whatever happened to just plain ol' COMMON SENSE!!

tufsu1

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Re: Peyton's Struggles: Building Yesterday's City
« Reply #12 on: January 12, 2009, 09:35:06 PM »
huh?

the courthouse takes up 2-4 blocks...not including the garage (which serves the entire area) and the re-use of the old federal courthouse....now, I'd like a more vertical design too, but you really need to get your facts straight!

As for the outer beltway...I don't support it becuase it will encourage more sprawl...but a primary purpose is to provide a bypass of the urban area for through traffic (especially freight)....right now the portion of I-10 east of Chafee Road becxomes quite congested, and we all know what the Buckman Bridge on 295 is like....and as for costs, it will be a toll road, so it will be paid for by users
« Last Edit: January 12, 2009, 09:39:57 PM by tufsu1 »

stjr

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Re: Peyton's Struggles: Building Yesterday's City
« Reply #13 on: January 13, 2009, 12:17:08 AM »
huh?

the courthouse takes up 2-4 blocks...not including the garage (which serves the entire area) and the re-use of the old federal courthouse....now, I'd like a more vertical design too, but you really need to get your facts straight!

Tufsu, you conveniently didn't bother to clarify my post.  First, I, like many, was referring to the entire project, not the single building.  I think that was obvious to most people familiar with what is going on and that they would understand what I meant without further clarification.  Since you worked so hard to back out pieces of the project, it seems you knew exactly what I meant by 7 blocks and chose to be literal about it for your own purposes (are you involved in this project?). [P.S. I also left my self some room when I said "some" 7 blocks.  In my world, that is equivalent to "approximately"  7 blocks - so another clue not to be too literal.]

It was disingenuous of you to not acknowledge that indeed 7 blocks are associated with the total courthouse project and that, through your eyes, you just want to look at the main structure (still a waste on any block beyond the first).  As to my 7 block approach, it's the same as the City's own Courthouse Audit document (March 14, 2008) below in which they refer to the "courthouse campus of 7 blocks".  My point was we don't need 7 blocks for a courthouse campus, we need one tower with every one in it.  We should have skipped the parking garage (another scandalous City deal that should be investigated!  Show me anyone who should be GUARANTEED a profit on their money making investment while the taxpayers have 100% of the risk!) as a separate structure.  Put a few spaces under the tower and let the rest use our beloved Skyway, existing parking, or a shuttle bus from other parking lots underutilized elsewhere.

I don't mind being corrected if I am wrong and would be the first to apologize.  But I don't appreciate someone manipulating what I said for their own purposes.

>>>>City of Jacksonville Courthouse Audit, March 14, 2008, Finding #2:
The City’s decision to build out instead of up increased the cost of the project significantly. The Federal Government built its courthouse as a 14 story tower on one block in downtown Jacksonville. In contrast, the City opted for a courthouse campus of 7 blocks, with one block being the site of the old federal courthouse and one block being used for a parking garage. The City acquired the old federal courthouse in exchange for a long-term parking lease valued at $875,000. The City spent $23,118,666 to acquire the other six blocks. The City’s costs include much more than just the compensation for the land. The costs include appraiser and attorney’s fees, tenant relocation costs, expert witness fees, and demolition costs. The decision to build out also increased costs by closing streets and incorporating their former footprint in the footprint of the new courthouse. This decision caused the City to incur millions of dollars of expense to relocate the utilities that ran within the right of way of the former streets.<<<<

Quote
As for the outer beltway...I don't support it becuase it will encourage more sprawl...but a primary purpose is to provide a bypass of the urban area for through traffic (especially freight)....right now the portion of I-10 east of Chafee Road becxomes quite congested, and we all know what the Buckman Bridge on 295 is like....and as for costs, it will be a toll road, so it will be paid for by users

I don't care what the rationale is for the road.  If it is built it will create sprawl and it will just be another problem NOT solved, but expanded, by another road.  You don't think people used the same argument to justify I-295 - that it would divert traffic around the City to avoid congestion in the City.  How many rings do you think we need to build before it actually works?  When the Buckman opened, you could shoot a canon across it and not hit anyone for years and then it hit a threshold and traffic exploded.  The same will happen with this road eventually.  Unless you reduce the population of Florida or create density around mass transit, it will never change.  You are being seduced by the inertia of our society!

« Last Edit: January 13, 2009, 12:45:10 AM by stjr »
Hey!  Whatever happened to just plain ol' COMMON SENSE!!

ProjectMaximus

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Re: Peyton's Struggles: Building Yesterday's City
« Reply #14 on: January 13, 2009, 02:15:36 AM »
STJR, I didnt agree with your justification on your Skyway stance, but I certainly agree with what you've said here.