Author Topic: Top 10 Things to Make DOWN-town a BOOM-town  (Read 30324 times)


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Re: Top 10 Things to Make DOWN-town a BOOM-town
« Reply #195 on: December 21, 2009, 10:54:33 AM »
I see it dying a slow (potentially very slow, but still) death to an eventual downtown full of residents and destinations.

The slow death will more likely be a result of the next 'new' shopping destination, that in all liklyhood, will be in northern St. John's County.  When Nocatee fills out, SJTC will become the 'new' Baymeadows.  
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Re: Top 10 Things to Make DOWN-town a BOOM-town
« Reply #196 on: December 22, 2009, 01:29:08 PM »
I think downtown needs something that will draw people...something that appeals to everyone, especially the suburban majority. would love to see a D&B or something like that. it may not be the most "progressive"...but honestly we're talking about Jacksonvillians.  :-\
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Re: Top 10 Things to Make DOWN-town a BOOM-town
« Reply #197 on: December 22, 2009, 03:55:15 PM »
I just don't understand why the vast majority of Jacksonville locals want downtown to fail. It just doesn't make sense, I live in Springfield, Its great here. Most of the people moving in are from out of town. and love it as well.
IMHO The local population is missing out


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Re: Top 10 Things to Make DOWN-town a BOOM-town
« Reply #198 on: December 22, 2009, 06:38:02 PM »
The WORLDS FAIR would bring us international and national attention for a 5-6 month season, then, leave us with infrastructure for a lifetime of great uses.

Done right, it can be a huge boost. Spokane in 1974 was the smallest town to ever host the fair and it exploded with growth after the exposure. Chocking up an 18.9% increase in 10 years. Just one of several THINK BIG successes.



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Re: Top 10 Things to Make DOWN-town a BOOM-town
« Reply #199 on: December 22, 2009, 09:38:53 PM »
Here come the Monday morning quarterbacks from the do-not-lead City Council.  A bunch of worthless, do-nothing sound bites for the T-U.  Maybe, if they lack for ideas, they could find dozens in this thread along with some thoughtful discussion.

Closest on-target comment is by Warren Jones who zeros in on the lack of leadership.

Biggest "laugher" is double-talking Richard Clark who offers the usual pandering-to-the-voters low taxes while having a first class educated work force and non-specific investments in Downtown.  Blames the economy (that explains 50 years of neglect?) and then says we should follow the "model" of the big cities up north.  And, just what part of that "model" will you, Mr. Clark, support following in your LEADERSHIP role as Council president?

Jacksonville City Council wants spark to energize downtown
But its president says no matter the dream, magic comes down to money.

    * By Tia Mitchell
    * Story updated at 10:46 AM on Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2009

Don Redman spent Thanksgiving in the hospital, recovering from a nasty bike accident on the Southbank Riverwalk that left the City Council member with a broken leg — and a new cause.

Redman says the warped, wood-planked path needs an overhaul to bring it up to the standard set by the pedestrian- and cyclist-friendly Northbank Riverwalk.

“I feel like if you don’t have a really great downtown area, you’re not going to have a city that you can show off to anybody,” said Redman, whose district includes the largest chunk of downtown and parts of the Southside.

An overhaul of the Southbank Riverwalk has languished on downtown’s project wish list for years, even though the City Council controls a billion-dollar budget and capital spending.

Several council members, responding to The Times-Union’s recent series on the troubled state of downtown, said more needs to be done — from bringing back the Downtown Development Authority to solving the homeless problem.

For years, city incentives and resources have been directed at development in high-growth suburban areas, but council members are now sharing ideas about how best to move ahead with downtown revitalization.

Councilman Warren Jones believes that it’s time for the city to redirect its focus back on downtown. For too long suburban sprawl has consumed the bulk resources, he said, draining funding and other support from the aging urban core.

“Every neighborhood is going to get old at one time,” said Jones, who represents neighborhoods just west of downtown. “Even the ones that we’re running to now. So the problems are going to follow you. We have got to start investing more dollars in our core city areas.”

Jones blames a lack of attention from city leaders.

“It’s less about money and more about the focus and the priority of working with companies that are looking to develop a project,” he said.

The Downtown Development Authority should be re-established as an arm of the Jacksonville Economic Development Commission to focus solely on downtown, Jones said. The authority, a powerful force in many cities with vibrant downtowns, was eliminated by Mayor John Peyton in 2006 during a cost-cutting reorganization approved by the council.

Council President Richard Clark said the focus for improving the core should not just be on luring the next Fortune 500 company.

“We’re always going to be out there working as hard as we can to bring the next Fidelity, but what we can’t forget about is that we need to encourage the Dalton Agencies of the world and the Perdues  [Office Interiors] of the world.”

Companies like those, with 50 or 60 employees apiece, don’t generally require incentives to locate downtown, Clark said, but still contribute heavily to the local economy.

Councilman Kevin Hyde, one of five at-large members, wants the city to do a better job of attracting the type of small business that makes downtown a destination for visitors, such as stores and restaurants.

Downtown Jacksonville has one of the smallest retail footprints in the country. “Getting those businesses,” Hyde said, would draw “people to downtown, regardless if they’re ever going to live there.”

A candidate for mayor in 2011, Hyde said developers had a high interest in downtown several years ago, but the recession caused that spark to fade. He believes the council should work on setting money aside to help finance retail projects.

Councilman Clay Yarborough said existing programs to help build up downtown are good, but he questioned the idea of spending more on the city core in the current economy. He opposes the mayor’s plan, approved by council, to spend roughly $30 million renovating Metropolitan Park to connect it with the Riverwalk.

“The project sounds great, but this year? That much? Not right now,” he said.

Yarborough said the constituents he talks to don’t have the same fervor for investing in downtown that he hears at City Hall. He considers it a “worthy pursuit” whose time may not have arrived.

Clark said any talk about making downtown a priority will always circle back to money, or the lack thereof.

“Right now, No. 1 on our list is really the finances of the city and what the economy has done to our government,” he said. “Downtown is really a direct reflection of where we are in the economy.”

When the economy was booming, downtown projects were sprouting and attracting new businesses, he said, and now the city will have to work to recapture that magic.

Besides spending, Clark says the council also has a responsibility to keep the tax rate low and ensure businesses interested in downtown have an educated workforce to draw from. He also believes Jacksonville should follow models set by New York City, Baltimore, Washington D.C., and Chicago.

While the crime rate in downtown Jacksonville is relatively low, critics often cite the number of homeless people congregating at Hemming Plaza and along the waterfront. Records show there are approximately 1,500 homeless people living downtown, in shelters and on the streets, compared with 2,600 people living in apartments and condos.

Clark said investing in downtown is essential if Jacksonville wants to reach its full potential.

“Every great city in America has a vibrant downtown,” he said.

« Last Edit: December 22, 2009, 09:53:00 PM by stjr »
Hey!  Whatever happened to just plain ol' COMMON SENSE!!


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Re: Top 10 Things to Make DOWN-town a BOOM-town
« Reply #200 on: August 12, 2020, 10:50:49 PM »
Was looking for an existing thread regarding employment levels Downtown.  Didn't find one among the top threads but did find this from 11 years ago and thought I would put it back out there for current discussion.  Doesn't seem much has changed over that time and we are still talking about the same issues.  (Note, it appears some replies are missing as some posters reference replies I didn't see.  May have been ones by Mr. Dare, but not sure.)

To my original point, Downtown is going to lose 375 good "Downtown" jobs with Stein Mart packing it in on the Southbank.  I don't see anyone touting this loss and how it might be made up elsewhere.  I recall there was concern a few months ago about TIAA cutbacks too.  Other than FIS, Fidelity and Black Knight, all mostly in Brooklyn, are there any notable employment gains elsewhere in Downtown?  If we follow other "high rise" downtowns, after COVID's work-at-home changes, will our Downtown suffer as well? 

Note this article about major NYC doldrums in the NY Times and possible permanent impacts on retail and more:

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Re: Top 10 Things to Make DOWN-town a BOOM-town
« Reply #201 on: August 13, 2020, 09:15:36 AM »
Vystar is the biggest thing going on the northbank right now.  Otherwise I don't know of anything that will really move the needle.


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Re: Top 10 Things to Make DOWN-town a BOOM-town
« Reply #202 on: August 13, 2020, 12:32:27 PM »
Depressing. This thread is from the time when I was first moving back to much promise and excitement and anticipation.

Berkman 2 was just on a temporary pause and Mooneyhan was a possibility.
« Last Edit: August 13, 2020, 12:34:01 PM by ProjectMaximus »