The Jaxson

Jacksonville by Neighborhood => Downtown => Topic started by: Metro Jacksonville on June 06, 2012, 03:07:47 AM

Title: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: Metro Jacksonville on June 06, 2012, 03:07:47 AM
Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown

(http://photos.metrojacksonville.com/photos/1888099974_XfCxzfX-M.jpg)

Jacksonville's desire to revitalize downtown is about to be put to the test. The design of a proposed parking garage by Parador Partners threatens to create another permanent dead zone in the heart of downtown.

Full Article
http://www.metrojacksonville.com/article/2012-jun-retail-less-parking-garage-proposed-for-downtown
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: acme54321 on June 06, 2012, 07:20:27 AM
I don't think that design could get much worse.  How many more nasty concrete boxes can downtown take?
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: JeffreyS on June 06, 2012, 07:30:18 AM
We need to carpet bomb the city council with emails, phone calls and meeting requests. This project needs more pedestrian integration than the standard requirements not less if the city is putting in money.
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: riverside planner on June 06, 2012, 07:32:20 AM
Such an awful idea!
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: Actionville on June 06, 2012, 07:33:46 AM
Horrible. Looks like there was zero thought or effort into designing a properly integrated and complementary structure. Amazing someone actually got paid to slap this one size fits all box into a square space
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: thelakelander on June 06, 2012, 07:36:28 AM
Great point Riverside Planner.  If a project is getting city money, it should go above and beyond the standard requirements instead of below them.

Actionville, now that you mention it, it does looks like kit selection out of a product magazine.

It really is hard for me to figure out why we keep getting this style of product designed in this manner.  What's the difference between placing this box in a suburban office park verses the HEART of downtown?  It's out of scale and context on so many levels.  I'm perplexed to how something like this actually makes the list for consideration of  design approval.

Here is a garage that recently opened in downtown Winter Haven, a city with a population of less than 35,000.  It has no retail but still appears to at least create a facade to fit that particular environment.

(http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa236/heartofflorida/Winter%20Haven/whgarage2.jpg)

What we have here is bad for any part of downtown but especially the epicenter of its historic heart.
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: fsujax on June 06, 2012, 07:39:53 AM
I really hope DDRB rejects this thing!
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: Steve_Lovett on June 06, 2012, 07:45:37 AM
The Hogan Street corridor should receive greater care and study. It's one of the only streets downtown that terminates unencumbered directly to the river.

If this is built as-is, it will kill the potential street-level viability of probably the most important stretch of this road.

While this solution does address one aspect of The Landing's parking issue, it creates multiple more problems that are much larger and more difficult to solve once it's built.
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: simms3 on June 06, 2012, 07:47:25 AM
This garage will be part of the skyline and will be on every postcard.  As it stands now, many riverfront views of  the city manage to conceal all the ugly garages, but that will be impossible if this is built.

If this is allowed to be built so the city can be "done" with its agreement with the Landing, I am permanently giving up on the place.  Is this even serious?  This literally would not even be proposed in any other city I can think of.

It's not only about street level retail.  This is the kind of garage construction that goes in the middle of a suburban hybrid apartment complex (well Jax's example would be St. Johns Villas).  This is not the kind of garage construction that goes in a city's most prominent development block and would be in every postcard view of the city.  In fact, NO garage should go there unless it provided a lower parking ratio and was part of a concealed pedestal of a larger, more architecturally pleasing development.  Patience is worth it...but I guess the Landing issues won't die and people don't know how to walk one extra block from the plethora of empty garages in the area.

For $3.5M I would think the city could arrange deals with current garages and then ultra-streetscape paths to the Landing for pedestrians so that the way is obvious and the walk pleasant with shade and nice sidewalks and perhaps vendor kiosks along the way.
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: thelakelander on June 06, 2012, 07:59:15 AM
While this solution does address one aspect of The Landing's parking issue, it creates multiple more problems that are much larger and more difficult to solve once it's built.

It doesn't even do that.  The Landing's parking situation deals with dedicated parking.  We really don't need extra free for all spaces to resolve that issue.  Just better utilization of the supply we already have.

Quote
For $3.5M I would think the city could arrange deals with current garages and then ultra-streetscape paths to the Landing for pedestrians so that the way is obvious and the walk pleasant with shade and nice sidewalks and perhaps vendor kiosks along the way.

Definitely something to consider.  This garage is more for SunTrust Tower, which I believe Parador owns, than anything else.
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: JeffreyS on June 06, 2012, 08:08:46 AM
Great point Riverside Planner.  If a project is getting city money, it should go above and beyond the standard requirements instead of below them.

I think you mean JeffreyS  ;D

Seriously I will contact every member of the city council and the Mayor and I expect the same from everyone here. Do they really expect the tax payer to pony up 3.5mil so they can give us less.  Pay them to be detrimental to our city no way.  Be pissed about this people.
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: thelakelander on June 06, 2012, 08:09:44 AM
^My bad.  I haven't had my morning coffee yet.
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: thelakelander on June 06, 2012, 08:12:39 AM
How five years changes....

(http://t1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRLo2Qj2a_dz0qgAqr_t1bmL8TnQfD8UR01wESarUfl1Z_SpBLG) (http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y74/asonj23/b9b0a888bd2e05091392c70aad81114b.jpg)
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: simms3 on June 06, 2012, 08:35:15 AM
While we're on the topic of parking I just want to announce that I will be joining the elite few south of DC who live in buildings with underground parking.  My new underground garage supports a 27 story and a 35 story condo tower and a 5 floor office building.  :)  Not even a pedestal.  Of course when my car lease ends I'm also choosing to go carless (just bought a new Electra hybrid bike and explored some urban jogging/bike paths this weekend with a nice sized group)

I feel so sorry for you guys down there.  Your most prime development site may become a garage whose design is literally illegal in every other city unless it's in the middle of some suburban apt complex or way off to the side.  I think downtown Jacksonville already offers more parking or about the same as the much larger Midtown Atlanta, with a quarter the office space and 1/12 the residents and 1/3 the hotel rooms.

Many developers I am familiar with are playing the patient waiting game until they can put up their dream mixed-use developments on the most prime spots of land up here (and these are land-locked non-postcard spots unlike the land down there).  Dewberry, who everyone in Atlanta strongly dislikes for waiting to do anything, is putting nothing less than 60 stories and heavy hitting retail with underground/concealed parking at 10th/Peachtree.  It may be another 5+ years, but in the meantime a Birmingham based urban grocer is occupying a temporary structure on the site to provide some sort of use/activation.

My firm has a piece of land on the fringe of Midtown near the John Marshall School of Law on W. Peachtree, and we've contemplated high-rise apartments/mixed-use and underground parking, but without a market in that particular area for $2.50++/SF rental rates to make it feasible we are putting a park on the site to benefit nearby students and residents.  And this is by no means even close to prime real estate.
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: copperfiend on June 06, 2012, 08:47:59 AM
Ugly
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: vicupstate on June 06, 2012, 08:48:41 AM
I agree with everyone on here that it is a bad design.  I don't think a garage-only structure even with street retail should be allowed.  Such a prime space needs an office or hotel/residential component of it's own.

As an FYI to the article, the Spring St Garage in Greenville has it's other 'bookend' under construction now.  It is an apartment building with street level retail.

http://www.100east.net/index.html (http://www.100east.net/index.html)
 
     
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: simms3 on June 06, 2012, 08:55:47 AM
That Greenville garage is really nice and fitting to the area.
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: JFman00 on June 06, 2012, 08:58:38 AM
I've joked with friends that Jacksonville's tagline should be something like "Jacksonville: Come Marvel At Our Parking Structures" or "Jacksonville: Paving Over History One Parking Lot at a Time". Sad to find out that it's not too far from the truth.
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: copperfiend on June 06, 2012, 09:04:53 AM
I've joked with friends that Jacksonville's tagline should be something like "Jacksonville: Come Marvel At Our Parking Structures" or "Jacksonville: Paving Over History One Parking Lot at a Time". Sad to find out that it's not too far from the truth.

Sadly, it's not that far off.
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: Ralph W on June 06, 2012, 09:53:27 AM
All too many of these multi-level parking structures present a uniform "HEY, here I am, a garage" facade on all sides, with no regard for the ambiance of the area or the general fit.

For a change, I would recommend that the prominent side of a garage be a multi-story multi-use facade of retail with office space above, backed by said garage, with entrances/exits to the rear (or side, but not the front), effectively hiding the fact that this is a potentially ugly but necessary structure. Provision could be made for secure access from the garage to the tenant spaces while the public takes the elevator or stairs to the ground level exiting to the main drag and the amenities of the area. This would also ensure that everybody renting, owning or using the built out spaces would have a front row seat to the good side and not be overlooking the alley or parking lots.
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: Captain Zissou on June 06, 2012, 10:00:57 AM
I am still not convinced that dedicated parking spaces in a garage across the street will really work well for the landing. It is still a suburban style shopping center, so I don't know that an urban style parking solution will suffice. I'm not saying throw down a surface lot. Opening up the landing to water street and Laura would do more than any parking solution, in my opinion.  If you make it into a more urban style development, people will be more urban minded when parking and walking. All these garages are bandaids that delay our addressing the more serious problem.
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: fsquid on June 06, 2012, 10:04:47 AM
at least make it free on the weekends.
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: Dapperdan on June 06, 2012, 10:11:09 AM
If they pass this design, I will have lost all respect for this current adminsitration. It is one embarrasment after another.
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: Tacachale on June 06, 2012, 10:13:10 AM
How is the city even considering this if it doesn't resolve the parking obligation to the Landing? How are we even considering variances that don't do anything to improve the environment downtown? This is so disappointing.
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: CityLife on June 06, 2012, 10:15:25 AM
Simms, it appears the partners of this "development" are from Atlanta. Surely they wouldn't propose something so poor in Downtown/Midtown Atl. They must think we're a bunch of yokels if they expect our city to actually pay them 3.5 million for something so poor. Perhaps they just assume that we like poorly designed buildings after seeing how much we paid for the monstrosity that is the new courthouse.

I think this proposal may be an attempt to lower expectations for the development and make a second or third proposal look much better. They have know DDRB will pick this apart and tell them to fix it. This way when they come back for round two it will look much better in comparison to the original. Or maybe I'm giving them too much credit.
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: avonjax on June 06, 2012, 10:19:48 AM
Here we go again. HORRIBLE idea.
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: Kay on June 06, 2012, 10:20:54 AM
Great point Riverside Planner.  If a project is getting city money, it should go above and beyond the standard requirements instead of below them.

I think you mean JeffreyS  ;D

Seriously I will contact every member of the city council and the Mayor and I expect the same from everyone here. Do they really expect the tax payer to pony up 3.5mil so they can give us less.  Pay them to be detrimental to our city no way.  Be pissed about this people.

It doesn't go to City Council to my knowledge but to the Downtown review board.  That is who you need to inundate and show up at the hearings.
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: Jaimen on June 06, 2012, 10:38:48 AM
BOOOOOOOOOO!!!!
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: copperfiend on June 06, 2012, 10:40:37 AM
Simms, it appears the partners of this "development" are from Atlanta. Surely they wouldn't propose something so poor in Downtown/Midtown Atl. They must think we're a bunch of yokels if they expect our city to actually pay them 3.5 million for something so poor. Perhaps they just assume that we like poorly designed buildings after seeing how much we paid for the monstrosity that is the new courthouse.

I was going to say, maybe they drove around a core. It's not like high standards have been set.
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: JeffreyS on June 06, 2012, 10:47:02 AM
Great point Riverside Planner.  If a project is getting city money, it should go above and beyond the standard requirements instead of below them.

I think you mean JeffreyS  ;D

Seriously I will contact every member of the city council and the Mayor and I expect the same from everyone here. Do they really expect the tax payer to pony up 3.5mil so they can give us less.  Pay them to be detrimental to our city no way.  Be pissed about this people.

It doesn't go to City Council to my knowledge but to the Downtown review board.  That is who you need to inundate and show up at the hearings.
Will do thanks. I will say I have already received responses from my City Council email's this morning about looking at the details of the project.
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: BrooklynSouth on June 06, 2012, 11:23:12 AM
You guys are missing the point! This will be Jacksonville's own Pompidou Center! In this project, all the ugly parts you would typically hide are deliberately exposed. Next, sewage lines that are currently underground will be dug up and replaced with eye-level, transparent plastic pipes that will run along all sidewalks downtown. The artistry will bring tourists from around the world!
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: BrooklynSouth on June 06, 2012, 11:31:28 AM
Seriously, though, here is how you find out who your representative is so you can contact them:
http://maps.coj.net/jaxgis/ (http://maps.coj.net/jaxgis/)
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: GatorNation on June 06, 2012, 11:36:05 AM
Who is on the DDRB and does anyone have their email addresses?  What about Staff to the DDRB?  Thanks
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: copperfiend on June 06, 2012, 11:38:09 AM
You guys are missing the point! This will be Jacksonville's own Pompidou Center! In this project, all the ugly parts you would typically hide are deliberately exposed. Next, sewage lines that are currently underground will be dug up and replaced with eye-level, transparent plastic pipes that will run along all sidewalks downtown. The artistry will bring tourists from around the world!

I think you can go to India and see that already.
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: CityLife on June 06, 2012, 11:46:52 AM
Who is on the DDRB and does anyone have their email addresses?  What about Staff to the DDRB?  Thanks

COJ/JEDC contact is Jim Klement-jklement@coj.net

Board is:
Chair - Andy Sikes, Baptist Health - Urban Planner Representative
Vice-Chair - Timothy Miller, AIA, ELM - Downtown Property Owner Representative
Secretary - Montasser (Monty) M. Selim, Urban Planner Representative
James F. Bailey, Jr., Bailey Publishing and Communications, Inc. - Downtown Property Owner Representative
John A. Fischer, AIA, Danis Construction - Architect Representative
Christopher D. Flagg, RLA, ASLA, Flagg Design Studio, LLC - Landscape Architect Representative
Jonathan R. Garza, Garza Constructors, Inc. - Contractor/Developer/ Realtor Representative
Logan Rink, Design Cooperative, LLC - Downtown Property Owner Representative
Roland Udenze, Haskell Architects and Engineers - Architect Representative

No emails are listed for the board.
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: fsujax on June 06, 2012, 11:57:47 AM
Interesting there is someone from Haskell on the DDRB and it is Haskell that designed this thing! really Haskell??? really?
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: Kay on June 06, 2012, 12:03:18 PM
Jim Bailey      JBailey@baileypub.com
Jonathan Garza      jgarza@garzabuilt.com
John Fischer      jfischer@marandbuilders.com
Timothy Miller      tmiller@elm-plan.com
Chris Flagg      cflagg@flaggdesignstudio.com
Logan Rink      rink@designcooperativefla.com
Monty Selim      selimm@bellsouth.net
Andy Sikes      andy.sikes@bmcjax.com
Roland Udenze      roland.udenze@thehaskellco.com
Eric Lindstrom      ericl@coj.net
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: CityLife on June 06, 2012, 12:24:31 PM
Interesting there is someone from Haskell on the DDRB and it is Haskell that designed this thing! really Haskell??? really?

I'd imagine he will have to abstain from voting or discussing the project as a board member.
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: wsansewjs on June 06, 2012, 01:20:35 PM
So WHOSE FAULT it is... the Downtown Development people / City Council OR the engineer firms coming up with these designs and FAILED to follow the requirements?

-Josh
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: CityLife on June 06, 2012, 01:31:51 PM
So WHOSE FAULT it is... the Downtown Development people / City Council OR the engineer firms coming up with these designs and FAILED to follow the requirements?

-Josh

None of the above. The DDRB and city council haven't determined anything yet. Haskell who designed it was quite likely just following instructions from the developers. The developers are at fault here.

If it passes DDRB and City Council, then they will be at fault for allowing such a poor development to receive city money.
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: wsansewjs on June 06, 2012, 01:43:34 PM
So WHOSE FAULT it is... the Downtown Development people / City Council OR the engineer firms coming up with these designs and FAILED to follow the requirements?

-Josh

None of the above. The DDRB and city council haven't determined anything yet. Haskell who designed it was quite likely just following instructions from the developers. The developers are at fault here.

If it passes DDRB and City Council, then they will be at fault for allowing such a poor development to receive city money.

This brings me to the next question. Did we taxpaypers have to pay for those engineering firms / developers to brew up some design proposals?

If so, I think it is a waste of tax money due to poor design and planning. It's time to ax some chicken heads off.

-Josh
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: L.P. Hovercraft on June 06, 2012, 01:45:01 PM
Is there a project or ID number designated to this fugly beast that we could refer to when contacting members of DDRB or city council with our concerns?
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: fsujax on June 06, 2012, 01:48:28 PM
I wouuld just refer to it as Parador Parking Garage.
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: thelakelander on June 06, 2012, 01:49:25 PM
DDRB Application 2012-007.  You can see tomorrow's entire agenda here:

http://www.coj.net/departments/jacksonville-economic-development-commission/downtown-development/downtown-development-review-board-(ddrb)-meeting-i.aspx
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: simms3 on June 06, 2012, 01:50:58 PM
The developers are trying to push through a proforma for bare minimum costs/space...I'm thinking a $10K-$12K per space garage that will allow them to either charge competitive rents or to bury the garage within the project level or fund level cash flows (which probably include other things).

What exactly is the agreement between Parador and the City?

I don't know the economics of garages, but I do know that one can do basic math and come to the equation that a certain price point garage with certain parking rates will produce a certain return and payback.  We have a developer up here who is building "cheap" apartment towers in the fringes of Midtown at a proforma of about $1.90/SF rents, and the developer is really only able to do that by building a cheaper garage off to the side rather than as a concealed pedestal or underground, which would be the most expensive (spotty granite bedrock up here, which makes underground parking that much more expensive to construct than underground parking in DC).
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: CityLife on June 06, 2012, 02:03:22 PM
DDRB Application 2012-007.  You can see tomorrow's entire agenda here:

http://www.coj.net/departments/jacksonville-economic-development-commission/downtown-development/downtown-development-review-board-(ddrb)-meeting-i.aspx

Here's the direct link. Scroll to Page 9

http://www.coj.net/departments/jacksonville-economic-development-commission/docs/downtown-development/ddrb-meeting-packet-june-2012.aspx
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: CityLife on June 06, 2012, 02:08:17 PM
Staff recommendations are:

Based on the foregoing, the Downtown Development Review Board Staff recommends
conceptual approval of DDRB Application 2012-006, subject to the following:
1. Applicant to receive a deviation to Section 656.361.13 Entrances to not provide entrances
to the building façade facing Bay Street prior to final DDRB approval.
2. Applicant to pursue the development of commercial retail space within the proposed
project or receive a deviation to Section 656.361.16 Off-Street Parking Overlay to not
provide the required 50% retail space on Bay and Hogan Street frontages prior to final
DDRB approval .
3. Applicant to receive a deviation to Section 656.361.20 to allow for alternative Streetscape
and landscape requirements for Hogan Street frontage prior to final DDRB approval.
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: wsansewjs on June 06, 2012, 02:18:17 PM
Staff recommendations are:

Based on the foregoing, the Downtown Development Review Board Staff recommends
conceptual approval of DDRB Application 2012-006, subject to the following:
1. Applicant to receive a deviation to Section 656.361.13 Entrances to not provide entrances
to the building façade facing Bay Street prior to final DDRB approval.
2. Applicant to pursue the development of commercial retail space within the proposed
project or receive a deviation to Section 656.361.16 Off-Street Parking Overlay to not
provide the required 50% retail space on Bay and Hogan Street frontages prior to final
DDRB approval .
3. Applicant to receive a deviation to Section 656.361.20 to allow for alternative Streetscape
and landscape requirements for Hogan Street frontage prior to final DDRB approval.

So the idiots at the developer agencies / engineering firms didn't even bother to READ about the recommendations.

I hope this bloody stupid design proposal will drop like a fly, then sprayed with a bug killer, then stomped repeatedly before a penny ever being transferred over to them from the city.

-Josh
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: Fallen Buckeye on June 06, 2012, 05:20:02 PM
I'm not into business or real estate, so please correct me if I'm way off on my thinking but...I wonder if they are trying to avoid adding retail space because they don't want to lower rents on current retail spaces in Suntrust (I'm assuming there is some retail inside) or the Landing. I mean vacancies are high as it is and I would imagine if you increase the supply of available retail space that prices would go down. Also, how much additional cost does it add to the project when you increase the space for retail? I agree that the design does not look great, but I'm trying to wrap my head around why they want to go this route in the first place.
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: tayana42 on June 06, 2012, 05:36:15 PM
We seem to learn; we say the right things; we have good intentions; but then the developer says "I won't build this unless you waive the rules", and "my job creating building won't be built with your constraints", etc.  Sad day.
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: thelakelander on June 06, 2012, 05:41:06 PM
I'm not into business or real estate, so please correct me if I'm way off on my thinking but...I wonder if they are trying to avoid adding retail space because they don't want to lower rents on current retail spaces in Suntrust (I'm assuming there is some retail inside) or the Landing. I mean vacancies are high as it is and I would imagine if you increase the supply of available retail space that prices would go down. Also, how much additional cost does it add to the project when you increase the space for retail? I agree that the design does not look great, but I'm trying to wrap my head around why they want to go this route in the first place.

The ground floor of the SunTrust Tower is leased.  Since Sleiman has nothing to do with this garage, I can't imagine Landing lease rates having anything to do with this project.  If they don't want to do any retail, they should avoid building on this site, imo.  At the very least, take a page out of Greenville, SC's book and construct the garage with setbacks from the street edge to allow for future infill development.
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: I-10east on June 06, 2012, 05:45:15 PM
I think that it's pretty decent, given that it will provide parking for folks near the Landing. Just kidding, just kidding! yall are right, it sucks, and it's very uninspiring, esp since it's in the heart of DT. What's up with that awkward wannabe 'courtyard space' between the parking garage, and the Jacksonville Center FKA Humana Bldg?
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: Adam W on June 06, 2012, 05:50:34 PM
I'd rather have (potentially) empty retail units at the base of a (potentially) empty parking garage than just a (potentially) empty parking garage. At least that way there's room to grow. It would be criminal to take this prime location and build a parking garage there. And then potentially have to pay lots of $$$ to tear it down in the future when Downtown finally starts to pick up.

This lacks vision and any sort of thought about long-term needs and plans.
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: I-10east on June 06, 2012, 05:53:03 PM
I am still not convinced that dedicated parking spaces in a garage across the street will really work well for the landing. It is still a suburban style shopping center

I'm lost with this statement. So the Landing is built in a suburban style now? Them 'suburban style or suburban' phrases gets thrown around way too much. Now whether you like the style that it's built in is a different story, but it's not suburban.
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: simms3 on June 06, 2012, 06:52:16 PM
I'm not into business or real estate, so please correct me if I'm way off on my thinking but...I wonder if they are trying to avoid adding retail space because they don't want to lower rents on current retail spaces in Suntrust (I'm assuming there is some retail inside) or the Landing. I mean vacancies are high as it is and I would imagine if you increase the supply of available retail space that prices would go down. Also, how much additional cost does it add to the project when you increase the space for retail? I agree that the design does not look great, but I'm trying to wrap my head around why they want to go this route in the first place.

The ground floor of the SunTrust Tower is leased.  Since Sleiman has nothing to do with this garage, I can't imagine Landing lease rates having anything to do with this project.  If they don't want to do any retail, they should avoid building on this site, imo.  At the very least, take a page out of Greenville, SC's book and construct the garage with setbacks from the street edge to allow for future infill development.

I think you both are right in that adding retail would a) cost more, b) sit empty, c) take up space that could be more effectively used for parking as the original purpose.  I also think that developers need to know what they are getting themselves into with downtown development - i.e. planning for the future, stricter regulations, more expensive construction, and the need for a cleaner, albeit tighter proforma.

This is a precedent setting development.  If we pass it through, that will signal that we just don't care and anything can be rammed through.  If we don't pass it and instead laugh at the proposal as if it were meaningless, then that would be the right signal that we will hold out for the highest and best possible uses for our best sites.  This thing should be allowed to be built without the blink of an eye on the fringes where nothing better could or would possibly be built...and not every garage needs ground level retail when there's absolutely no retail demand within a 1 mile radius.

Downtown would be better off waiting 10 years for the proper development to come along and trying to work with landowner in meantime for temporary activation of site than to have this piece of crap (shoved through with some serious variances) built.  That is now the line of thinking in more progressive cities with design review boards and citizens thinking more about the long term than the immediate term.
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: simms3 on June 06, 2012, 06:59:02 PM
I am still not convinced that dedicated parking spaces in a garage across the street will really work well for the landing. It is still a suburban style shopping center

I'm lost with this statement. So the Landing is built in a suburban style now? Them 'suburban style or suburban' phrases gets thrown around way too much. Now whether you like the style that it's built in is a different story, but it's not suburban.

I think the Landing would be consider kitschy/touristy/suburban in nature in many other cities.  It is walled off and doesn't serve as much of a local purpose as it could (not to mention there is not nearly enough local walk-up traffic to make it a local retail destination).

Urban retail is limited in America, but never includes "shopping centers" like the Landing.  If it is a shopping center of any sort, it is not urban.  I have made a transition in my job and will begin working on real urban retail portfolios along Newbury St in Boston, M St in DC, Alexandria, VA, and ground floor retail in other developments (including in Nashville...retail where NO parking is provided).
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: simms3 on June 06, 2012, 07:03:07 PM
I'm not into business or real estate, so please correct me if I'm way off on my thinking but...I wonder if they are trying to avoid adding retail space because they don't want to lower rents on current retail spaces in Suntrust (I'm assuming there is some retail inside) or the Landing. I mean vacancies are high as it is and I would imagine if you increase the supply of available retail space that prices would go down. Also, how much additional cost does it add to the project when you increase the space for retail? I agree that the design does not look great, but I'm trying to wrap my head around why they want to go this route in the first place.

The ground floor of the SunTrust Tower is leased.  Since Sleiman has nothing to do with this garage, I can't imagine Landing lease rates having anything to do with this project.  If they don't want to do any retail, they should avoid building on this site, imo.  At the very least, take a page out of Greenville, SC's book and construct the garage with setbacks from the street edge to allow for future infill development.

I think you both are right in that adding retail would a) cost more, b) sit empty, c) take up space that could be more effectively used for parking as the original purpose.  I also think that developers need to know what they are getting themselves into with downtown development - i.e. planning for the future, stricter regulations, more expensive construction, and the need for a cleaner, albeit tighter proforma.

Downtown would be better off waiting 10 years for the proper development to come along and trying to work with landowner in meantime for temporary activation of site than to have this piece of crap (shoved through with some serious variances) built.  That is now the line of thinking in more progressive cities with design review boards and citizens thinking more about the long term than the immediate term.

Its a requirement of the building codes that the ground floor is developed for retail in all parking garages.

What the group is doing is designing a building that ignores that requirement, and the developer is one of the individuals that intimately knows that requirement.  Whether or not it sits empty for now, once it is built it will still be empty of retail, and will never be converted back.

We're on the same page...the developer has requested that variance and the first review of the design (which seems to have 3 major variances including that one) has recommended approval to the next review.

I personally don't think a garage on let's say N Ocean or E Ashley or somewhere a small 2-3 level garage serving a 5-floor office building on the fringe of downtown should be forced to have ground level retail.  In fact, I personally also don't think a garage should be allowed at all on the proposed site (but so goes the "agreement" with the Landing).
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: JFman00 on June 06, 2012, 07:07:39 PM
I am still not convinced that dedicated parking spaces in a garage across the street will really work well for the landing. It is still a suburban style shopping center

I'm lost with this statement. So the Landing is built in a suburban style now? Them 'suburban style or suburban' phrases gets thrown around way too much. Now whether you like the style that it's built in is a different story, but it's not suburban.

Set back from the street, not particularly integrated into the urban fabric. It's not suburban, but it's not particularly urban either. It's not as bad as the New Orleans Riverwalk Mall, I'll say that. But it's a far cry from something like Chicago's Water Tower Place (a quite successful indoor urban shopping mall).
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: simms3 on June 06, 2012, 07:13:09 PM
And considering this garage is mostly being constructed as an amenity for nearby office workers, it doesn't truly make sense for the developer to put something expensive/pretty up when a) parking rates in DT Jax top out at ~$120/mo for reserved spots b) there is technically a glut of parking and super high vacancy with few prospects and tenant space reservations may not come in as crazily as to be expected c) I believe SunTrust is office condos? d) local office users have consistently had trouble justifying the cost of paying for parking e) Parador probably cannot soak up the cost in office condo sales or lease-up of SunTrust because rates/prices are soooo low and that prevents the garage from being a true amenity in that sense of the word.  Also the building may already be mostly full and so what is an added garage really going to do to rates/sales/tenant activity?

They are recovering cost of construction with bare minimum parking rates and bare minimum office condo sales/lease-up.  It's really no wonder why underground parking in DC is so common - it's the opposite situation as in Jax.  It's all about what can be justified/what is feasible.  This is where the design review committees need to step in and crack down.  It's not going to "kill" development downtown because there already is NO development downtown (which is really all market-based anyway and nothing to do with regulation or taxes).
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: vicupstate on June 06, 2012, 07:13:30 PM
Quote
Its a requirement of the building codes that the ground floor is developed for retail in all parking garages.

What the group is doing is designing a building that ignores that requirement, and the developer is one of the individuals that intimately knows that requirement.  Whether or not it sits empty for now, once it is built it will still be empty of retail, and will never be converted back.

This same issue came up with thr Carling garage.  Vestcor was allowed to leave out the retial but had to build the gargae in such a way as it could be converted to have ground level retail. The same is true for the garage next to Veterans Arena. It is suppose to be 'convertible'. 
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: simms3 on June 06, 2012, 07:16:34 PM
I am still not convinced that dedicated parking spaces in a garage across the street will really work well for the landing. It is still a suburban style shopping center

I'm lost with this statement. So the Landing is built in a suburban style now? Them 'suburban style or suburban' phrases gets thrown around way too much. Now whether you like the style that it's built in is a different story, but it's not suburban.

Set back from the street, not particularly integrated into the urban fabric. It's not suburban, but it's not particularly urban either. It's not as bad as the New Orleans Riverwalk Mall, I'll say that. But it's a far cry from something like Chicago's Water Tower Place (a quite successful indoor urban shopping mall).

I just got some shopping done at Water Tower and 900 N Mich...those are still malls in every sense of the word.  Many of the shoppers are people who come in from the burbs to shop or tourists (like me).  A lot of the locals stay west of Michigan or go north to Armitage/Lincoln Park.  Rush St/Oak St are arguably more "urban" retail destinations now.  Water Tower Place is also several times larger than the Landing and it has traditional upscale mall stores, just instead of 1-3 levels with parking it is like 10 levels served by transit.
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: JFman00 on June 06, 2012, 07:23:03 PM
I see it as doing exactly what it was intended to do. Can we say the same for the Landing?
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: Lunican on June 06, 2012, 07:27:00 PM
Does anyone actually pay $120 per month to park downtown? You'd have to be insane to pay that.
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: Lunican on June 06, 2012, 07:35:43 PM
Why have a design review board if they are going to waive all of the criteria they are supposed to enforce?
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: thelakelander on June 06, 2012, 07:59:06 PM
^Speaking of the sports district garages, they ended up not building them to incorporate retail. Since the city doesn't follow its own design guidelines its not surprising these type of poorly conceived projects keep popping up. As for retail, that's not a bad site for something like a ground floor Walgreens or Office Depot style retailer (assuming the retail space is designed to the right dimensions). The corner of Independent and Hogan would also make for a decent restaurant/bar space, considering one can see the river and the Omni and TU Performing Arts Center are across the street. Nevertheless, no matter what people think about the downtown market, every project that gets city money should go above and beyond the minimum. If you can't do right at the public level, go ahead, give up and save taxpayers a boat load of wasted money.
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: thelakelander on June 06, 2012, 08:04:45 PM
Does anyone actually pay $120 per month to park downtown? You'd have to be insane to pay that.
My firm has been considering switching garages. Yes, there a few that charge +$120/month for reserved parking. I refuse to pay that much to park monthly in any Florida downtown.
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: JeffreyS on June 06, 2012, 08:09:39 PM
Councilman Lumb was very responsive to my email. Without jumping to any conclusions on just my word acted to see what if anything should be done Kudos Councilman Lumb. Here is our email chain so far. I am posting this for everyone who thinks you can't get involved because no one will pay attention. Please contact your representatives when you feel something isn't right it is no magic pill but you can't blame government for not listening if you aren't talking. Again Kudos councilman Lumb for taking the time to look into this.

Quote
________________________________________
From: Jeff Sutton [jeff.sutton@ARSvend.com]
Sent: Wednesday, June 06, 2012 10:12 AM
To: Lumb, Robin
Subject: New Garage
Mr. Lumb, The proposed parking garage across from the Landing is unacceptable.  Whereas this is one of the few spots in downtown that would benefit from additional parking the proposed design is detrimental to our city. 
It is hard for me to believe that Haskell would even propose having the city subsidize a project and then request that it be permitted to not live up to our pedestrian standards of integrated retail and streetscaping.
The site is a very important location in Jacksonville that will be shown in every postcard , interacted with at every big event for the city and most importantly sits in the middle of a downtown we would like to revitalize.
If taxpayer money is going into this (and I am OK with that) the project should go above and beyond not come up short.  It should include retail space, streetscaping with awnings and work as a pedestal for future vertical construction.
This site is not in a suburban office park or even on the edge of town this is where we define our city.  Thank you for your help in this matter.
_____________________________________________
From: Lumb, Robin [mailto:RLumb@coj.net]
Sent: Wednesday, June 06, 2012 10:26 AM
To: Jeff Sutton
Subject: RE: New Garage

Mr. Sutton:
 
I will look into this but can you provide a few more details? Has there been legislation filed? What department is currently reviewing the plans?
 
Robin

 _________________________________________
From: Jeff Sutton [mailto:jeff.sutton@ARSvend.com]
Sent: Wednesday, June 06, 2012 10:45 AM
To: Lumb, Robin
Subject: RE: New Garage

I learned of it on the MetroJacksonville site here is the link.
Thanks again
http://www.metrojacksonville.com/article/2012-jun-retail-less-parking-garage-proposed-for-downtown

___________________________________________
From: Lumb, Robin
Sent: Wednesday, June 06, 2012 4:08 PM
To: Reingold, Dylan
Subject: FW: New Garage

Dylan:

See the link below to metrojacksonville.com.  Does this project have to undergo design review? Is there a way we can encourage retail at the bottom of the garage? Does our agreement with Parador allow that?

Robin
________________________________________________
From: Reingold, Dylan
Sent: Wednesday, June 06, 2012 4:22 PM
To: Lumb, Robin
Subject: RE: New Garage

Council Member Lumb,

The garage proposal is going to the Downtown Development Review Board tomorrow for conceptual approval.  Their meeting is a 2 pm.  Would you like the agenda and the materials?

I will research the agreement and get back with you on that issue.

Dylan

________________________________________
On Jun 6, 2012, at 4:55 PM, "Lumb, Robin" <RLumb@coj.net> wrote:
Does the DDRB have the authority to require the inclusion of retail space on the first floor or for requiring the installation of awnings. Etc.?

My constituent Mr. Sutton, along with others at Metro Jacksonville, believes that the present structure is stark in design and not compatible with the objectives of developing a more visually attractive and pedestrian friendly  downtown.

What can be done to address these concerns? (Thanks for the link to the agenda items which I have already forwarded to Mr. Sutton.)
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: simms3 on June 06, 2012, 08:17:10 PM
So for such a prominent site/such a major development (for Jax), this thing has had no press.  Does anyone beside me feel that that alone is a little fishy?  Like maybe the city is trying to push this through to wash its hands of the mess of an agreement it has with the Landing?  Like we are just finding out here on MetroJacksonville after it has gone through initial review and approval?

I know the local broker community found out for the most part today and it has been a topic of discussion.  Most of the surface lots actually have capacity and many of the garages are 50+% empty.  There is something else at work here because this garage is not really serving office and doesn't appear to be feasible on its own.

Also, either your company pays $80-$130/space for unreserved/reserved (perhaps only for senior level and secretaries) or you pay $80-$130/space to park in a garage downtown.  This is why there is an "argument" out there as to the reason companies are moving to the burbs (and parking is always at the top of the list when really it shouldn't be an issue).
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: simms3 on June 06, 2012, 08:21:02 PM
Thanks JeffreyS.  They sounded baffled, too, that there was a garage even up for approval at that prominent downtown site.  That blows my mind...when there is NOTHING going on in the city and finally something could go vertical on arguably the most prime piece of land in the city and NOBODY except for the review committees and the developer knows about it?!?!
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: CityLife on June 06, 2012, 08:47:06 PM
Jeffrey and others, while it is good to have the council engaged and aware of this, you should be contacting the DDRB members (listed by Kay in a previous post). DDRB will be meeting about it tomorrow afternoon. Below is the review process by the DDRB. Tomorrow is step 3 in the process.


The process is most productive for the applicant when the developer/design team meets with JEDC staff very early in the planning process - creating a collaborative approach with the city. The DDRB reviews and approves zonings, variances, exceptions and designs of new and rehabilitation projects in the downtown area for compliance with the Downtown Master Plan, Downtown Zoning Overlay and the Downtown Sign Overlay. This review process includes the following:

1) Meeting with JEDC/DDRB staff

2) Provide a completed DDRB Application (PDF 271K) that includes information on the project, appropriate drawings, etc.

3) Conceptual review and critique by the DDRB at a public meeting

4) Negotiate redevelopment agreement with JEDC staff allocating DRI development rights for project that requires JEDC Board and City Council approval.

5) Final review by the DDRB at a public meeting that includes revisions and supplemental information. Deviations to the Design Criteria and Special Sign Exceptions are also addressed during the Final Review process, if applicable.

Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: tufsu1 on June 06, 2012, 09:38:27 PM
So the idiots at the developer agencies / engineering firms didn't even bother to READ about the recommendations.

I'm betting they know quite well what the requirements are....but they are going to see what they can get away with....clearly this stripped-down garage will be relatively inexpensive to construct.
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: JeffreyS on June 06, 2012, 09:49:33 PM
I contacted both groups and hope many of my fellow readers have as well.
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: JeffreyS on June 06, 2012, 09:51:00 PM
Anyone available to live blog this tomorrow? I am going to try to make it.
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: JeffreyS on June 06, 2012, 09:53:46 PM
So the idiots at the developer agencies / engineering firms didn't even bother to READ about the recommendations.

I'm betting they know quite well what the requirements are....but they are going to see what they can get away with....clearly this stripped-down garage will be relatively inexpensive to construct.

I am betting you are right.
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: CityLife on June 06, 2012, 10:33:49 PM
Jeffrey and others, while it is good to have the council engaged and aware of this, you should be contacting the DDRB members (listed by Kay in a previous post). DDRB will be meeting about it tomorrow afternoon. Below is the review process by the DDRB. Tomorrow is step 3 in the process.

The process is most productive for the applicant when the developer/design team meets with JEDC staff very early in the planning process - creating a collaborative approach with the city. The DDRB reviews and approves zonings, variances, exceptions and designs of new and rehabilitation projects in the downtown area for compliance with the Downtown Master Plan, Downtown Zoning Overlay and the Downtown Sign Overlay. This review process includes the following:

1) Meeting with JEDC/DDRB staff

2) Provide a completed DDRB Application (PDF 271K) that includes information on the project, appropriate drawings, etc.

3) Conceptual review and critique by the DDRB at a public meeting

4) Negotiate redevelopment agreement with JEDC staff allocating DRI development rights for project that requires JEDC Board and City Council approval.

5) Final review by the DDRB at a public meeting that includes revisions and supplemental information. Deviations to the Design Criteria and Special Sign Exceptions are also addressed during the Final Review process, if applicable.

Meh.  Having the council engaged in this process (after all they created the legislation in the first place) is a pretty good idea.

If we had relied on DDRB contacts alone for the monroe street closure, there would be a six lane roadway in front of the courthouse right now.

While its also a good idea to suggest that people contact DDRB members, City Life, its not such a good idea to tell people what not to do in this context.

Meh. Engaging the body who enforces said legislation should be the first step. If that fails then there will be plenty of time to mobilize people to speak at City Council and discuss the matter with their council people.

And for the record, I never said don't contact council people. Just that people should be contacting DDRB members.

If everyone in Jacksonville let past decisions made by City Council, DDRB, HPC, etc deter them from challenging an issue, nobody would ever speak at a public hearing. 
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: Noone on June 06, 2012, 10:45:01 PM
2003-1536
2003-1537
2004-0340
2004-1303
2008-0830
2011--0700
2012-273
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: I-10east on June 06, 2012, 11:04:52 PM
I think the Landing would be consider kitschy/touristy/suburban in nature in many other cities.  It is walled off and doesn't serve as much of a local purpose as it could (not to mention there is not nearly enough local walk-up traffic to make it a local retail destination).

The Landing has two entrances on Independent Street, so how is it 'walled off'? You make it sound like it's a Supermax prison or something. JFMan mentioned the distance between the street and the entrances, making it 'not particularly urban' I disagree, if anything that's flexible courtyard space that is used during special events. The Landing is situated on the river, and it has a U-shaped core surrounding a courtyard with fountain, so it's not gonna have the typical 'NY square block' layout. I don't see anything suburban about the Landing at all; Every urban shopping area doesn't have to be squared off with straight parasol-lined sidewalks and traffic being a spit away.
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: JFman00 on June 06, 2012, 11:55:38 PM
Looking at the riverfront properties is to see one large single-use structure after another, with each being it's own little world (see the Dallas Arts District). I'm mystified why those dead end streets cut off each building from the other. I'm guessing parking... Looking at what there is on the riverfront corridor is like a catalog of urban design fails: Single uses physically and spatially separated from each other, no transit, giant parking lots, essentially no public space, no parks (if that green space across from the stadium is a park, then a drainage pond is the Bellagio fountain). Fine, I get it, for some reason I'll never understand 32202 needs yet another parking garage. At least it should be integrated into its surroundings. Looking at downtown on Google Maps is like looking at UNF. Just about every building has it's own parking lot/garage. Do we want a downtown or do we want a commuter college campus?
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: BackinJax05 on June 06, 2012, 11:56:53 PM
Arent there enough generic, ugly, parking garages downtown already?
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: simms3 on June 07, 2012, 07:25:47 AM
And nobody's answered my question...so I want to resubmit.  Isn't it STRANGE that nobody seems to know about this proposal?  That there has been NO stories on it aside from our own article yesterday?  Folks at CBRE were just discussing it/just found out yesterday, and their office is across the street.  Reading JeffreyS's email trail with a city councilman, HE had no idea.

Folks...there is literally nothing going on in Jacksonville in terms of vertical construction, and finally something may go up on the MOST prominent development site in the city and no stories are run?  There is something fishy here...one board attached to the city already gives this a thumbs up...they are trying to push this thing through without anyone finding out.

This alone is another story in and of itself and reeks of corruption.
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: thelakelander on June 07, 2012, 07:52:57 AM
^This project has been proposed for a couple of years now.  I think most are just surprised its going forward with such a poor design.  It's listed on this link on page 3. 

http://www.downtownjacksonville.org/Libraries/PDF_Libraries/Development_Projects_January_2012.sflb.ashx

It was also discussed when Sleiman wanted to use the $3.5 million to purchase the lot across the street.  At the time, the JEDC and Peyton Administration wanted to build a garage on this site.

http://m.jacksonville.com/news/metro/2011-09-13/story/jacksonville-landing-says-35-million-grant-parking-garage-not-enough

Quote
A deal to help build a 500-space parking garage near The Jacksonville Landing won a $3.5 million pledge of support from the City Council Tuesday.

But that apparently won't change the city's decades-old obligation to finance another garage in almost the same spot.

"It's a nice addition to downtown. It doesn't have anything to do with us," said Bruce Barcelo, a lobbyist for Landing owner Toney Sleiman and investors working with him.

The city made a deal to provide parking before the Landing opened in 1987, but that still hasn't been fulfilled. Doing that would require the city to provide another 300 parking spaces on weekdays and 375 on nights and weekends.

The bill adopted Tuesday offered a developer, Parador Partners, a $3.5 million grant for building a garage along Hogan Street, between Bay and Water streets. The company owns the nearby SunTrust Building and wants to lease some spaces to building tenants.

It could also meet the Landing's night and weekend quota and open 200 weekday spots for shoppers. But Barcelo said the location doesn't meet the needs of the top-grade mall tenants the Landing seeks.

The legislation also gives Parador a five-year option to buy a sliver of land needed for some development plans.

Barcelo said the Landing still wants to work out a solution with the city and hopes progress can be made after the 2012 budget is adopted late this month. The council OK'd a bill that Sleiman favored several months ago, but former Mayor John Peyton vetoed that.

A Parador garage might end up suiting the Landing more than the company realizes, council President Stephen Joost said. He pointed out that the city has money available for a garage project with the Landing but that would require Sleiman or someone else to put up money as well.

"To do nothing is not the right answer," Joost said.
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: fsujax on June 07, 2012, 07:57:13 AM
I am not really too surprised Councilman Lumb didn't know about it. Going to DDRB is usually the first step for any project Downtown to recieve approval. I really can't wait to attend the meeting today. Can't wait to hear what some of the members have to say.
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: JeffreyS on June 07, 2012, 07:59:00 AM
I think tufsu has given us the reason for the poor design.
So the idiots at the developer agencies / engineering firms didn't even bother to READ about the recommendations.

I'm betting they know quite well what the requirements are....but they are going to see what they can get away with....clearly this stripped-down garage will be relatively inexpensive to construct.

If the review board/ City Council / concerned citizens demand the developers live up to the design standards for the area they will.
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: simms3 on June 07, 2012, 08:12:20 AM
^This project has been proposed for a couple of years now.  I think most are just surprised its going forward with such a poor design.  It's listed on this link on page 3. 

http://www.downtownjacksonville.org/Libraries/PDF_Libraries/Development_Projects_January_2012.sflb.ashx

It was also discussed when Sleiman wanted to use the $3.5 million to purchase the lot across the street.  At the time, the JEDC and Peyton Administration wanted to build a garage on this site.

http://m.jacksonville.com/news/metro/2011-09-13/story/jacksonville-landing-says-35-million-grant-parking-garage-not-enough

I remember the stories and prior proposals for the site (I have those renderings clipped out as they were originally presented 5+ years ago), but I guess I didn't think "just" a garage would be proposed for the site, let alone this.  I feel like with decent/major projects there are news stories that break and discussions had before any procedures to "move forward" with plans are made, yet this seems like it is as quietly as possible slipping through (I guess because it's the shittiest project I have EVER seen proposed and anyone who passes it should be given the friggin chair for murdering downtown and they know that).

I guess I'm drawing an analogy here, but if Dewberry were to put up the same thing near me at the corner of 10th and Peachtree all major news outlets, bloggers, activists, would know about it before it went before the local review board and there would literally be riots.  It would be a major news story (I mean all developments are at least somewhere in news outlets, and the major ones get front page of business section and a mention in the BizJournal).

This article from 12 months ago is the last mention of Parador in the Jax BizJournal.

http://www.bizjournals.com/jacksonville/news/2011/06/09/jedc-backs-35m-city-grant-for.html

Now with a rendering and plans moving forward you would THINK this would be featured prominently front and center with a "Poll" asking readers what they think of the plans on such a prominent site.
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: Lunican on June 07, 2012, 08:29:11 AM
Another crazy aspect of this garage is that it won't even solve the dedicated parking issue for the Landing!

Quote
But that apparently won't change the city's decades-old obligation to finance another garage in almost the same spot.

"It's a nice addition to downtown. It doesn't have anything to do with us," said Bruce Barcelo, a lobbyist for Landing owner Toney Sleiman and investors working with him.
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: simms3 on June 07, 2012, 08:38:51 AM
I  also just looked up Parador (5-second search).  The guys are from Atlanta, but I don't think they do RE business in Atl.  Let's make sure they aren't able to do RE business in Jax either.  They don't even have a website and I have no idea what projects they are attached to or who they are for that matter.

In fact the only story attached with the trio/partnership is that they paid $10M cash for 190,000 unsold SF of the SunTrust tower.  One of the partners sold an electronic invoicing company to American Express, so these guys aren't even real estate guys.

Actually, while the price of the unsold office condos may have been attractive, I think anyone who knows anything about real estate/office would have stayed as far away from that deal as possible for too many reasons to list.

There's nothing that makes sense about this garage - the financials, the market, the design, there is nothing that makes sense here.
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: thelakelander on June 07, 2012, 09:32:46 AM
At six levels, this thing is going to tower over the Landing from the riverfront.  Coming across the Acosta Bridge this morning, it was easy to visualize how this thing is going to stain the waterfront skyline view.  This is a project that should definitely be built to be structurally sound enough to support a building on top of it at a future date.  The site is to prime and centrally located to waste on a Haskell garage kit.
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: thelakelander on June 07, 2012, 09:40:44 AM
Another example of a plain parking garage with street level retail.  This one is in the heart of downtown Fort Lauderdale.

(http://photos.metrojacksonville.com/Learning-From/Fort-Lauderdale-Nov-2008/P1170202/453263941_7x3UN-M.jpg)


Another Fort Lauderdale parking garage about a block away.  This one is set back from the street with a thin strip of retail along the sidewalk.  Nothing impressive architecturally but it still enhances walkability at street level.

(http://photos.metrojacksonville.com/photos/1104754444_nGBTC-M.jpg)
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: JeffreyS on June 07, 2012, 09:49:18 AM
Ok people we need to show up today and throughout this process. Every postcard, every downtown event, every espn shot of downtown,every drive into downtown, every walk on the riverfront and every meal that any big wig eats at Ruth's Chris will have this garage displayed prominently.

Contact the Board and Council now and do your best to show up.
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: PeeJayEss on June 07, 2012, 09:55:51 AM
The Landing has two entrances on Independent Street, so how is it 'walled off'? You make it sound like it's a Supermax prison or something. JFMan mentioned the distance between the street and the entrances, making it 'not particularly urban' I disagree, if anything that's flexible courtyard space that is used during special events. The Landing is situated on the river, and it has a U-shaped core surrounding a courtyard with fountain, so it's not gonna have the typical 'NY square block' layout. I don't see anything suburban about the Landing at all; Every urban shopping area doesn't have to be squared off with straight parasol-lined sidewalks and traffic being a spit away.

Isn't "shopping center" inherently suburban? It is "walled off." You can't see the businesses from the street. The only indication of businesses to the passerby is a sign with all listed (much like a suburban shopping center). There is a food court upstairs. There are two sets of doors, but the visual impact is still the same to the passerby. You see a wall with no visible activity going on. I'd say suburban is a pretty reasonable argument to make. Its not organic, it is a contrived commercial development, a small mall on a river downtown. That's not necessarily a negative. I think the Landing is the best use of riverfront property that we have in Jacksonville, and certainly the Northbank. I believe the argument - and I agree with this - is that the Landing could be improve (better tied in with the urban fabric of the city) by opening up its street side. Then you can see activity from the street.
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: thelakelander on June 07, 2012, 10:20:51 AM
Another garage in downtown Indianapolis.  Nothing special but you would never know it was a garage while walking down the sidewalk.

(http://www.metrojacksonville.com/photos/thumbs/lrg-3334-p1060811.JPG)
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: thelakelander on June 07, 2012, 10:27:26 AM
The Landing has two entrances on Independent Street, so how is it 'walled off'? You make it sound like it's a Supermax prison or something. JFMan mentioned the distance between the street and the entrances, making it 'not particularly urban' I disagree, if anything that's flexible courtyard space that is used during special events. The Landing is situated on the river, and it has a U-shaped core surrounding a courtyard with fountain, so it's not gonna have the typical 'NY square block' layout. I don't see anything suburban about the Landing at all; Every urban shopping area doesn't have to be squared off with straight parasol-lined sidewalks and traffic being a spit away.

Isn't "shopping center" inherently suburban? It is "walled off." You can't see the businesses from the street. The only indication of businesses to the passerby is a sign with all listed (much like a suburban shopping center). There is a food court upstairs. There are two sets of doors, but the visual impact is still the same to the passerby. You see a wall with no visible activity going on. I'd say suburban is a pretty reasonable argument to make. Its not organic, it is a contrived commercial development, a small mall on a river downtown. That's not necessarily a negative. I think the Landing is the best use of riverfront property that we have in Jacksonville, and certainly the Northbank. I believe the argument - and I agree with this - is that the Landing could be improve (better tied in with the urban fabric of the city) by opening up its street side. Then you can see activity from the street.

I'd fall in the camp of saying the Landing is an urban retail center.  I think we forget that it was designed to be an 1980s style "festival marketplace" which is different from a suburban strip mall or 21st century urban retail center.

Quote
A festival marketplace is a realization by James W. Rouse and the Rouse Company in the United States of an idea conceived by Benjamin C. Thompson of Benjamin Thompson and Associates for European style markets taking hold in the United States in an effort to revitalize downtown areas in major US cities in the late 20th century. Festival marketplaces were a leading downtown revitalization strategy in American cities during the 1970s and 1980s. The guiding principles are a mix of local tenants instead of chain stores, design of shop stalls and common areas to energize the space, and uncomplicated architectural ornament in order to highlight the goods.
In the second half of the 20th century, Rouse and his company became major developers of suburban strip shopping centers and pioneered large shopping malls. In many cities, these were seen as escalating the failure of retail businesses and causing further deterioration of older, downtown core areas.

In the late 1970s, Rouse and his company responded to critics of their suburban development by studying inner cities for similar development potential despite the widely held belief of investors and developers that downtown areas were both dirty and dangerous and not desirable destinations for their residents. In response, inspired by projects such as Ghirardelli Square in San Francisco, the Rouse Company worked with architects, urban planners, and city governments to develop the festival marketplace concept as a way to reverse the negative trends and to attract both suburban residents and out-of-town visitors to the downtown areas.

A typical festival marketplace would include local involvement in the creation of a safe and trendy attraction intended to serve as a major catalyst for other redevelopment. Generally, a festival marketplace offers major restaurants, specialty retail shops, and an international food court. Often, there is an exciting nightlife with music, dancing and live entertainment. The more successful projects seemed to benefit from waterfront locations and secure parking.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Festival_marketplace

The Landing is no different from Norfolk's Waterside, Miami's Bayside, Baltimore's Harborplace, Boston's Faneuil Hall and NYC's South Street Seaport.  It's an urban center that basically focuses on its self instead of making a real effort to blend in with the environment surrounding it.  Just like the office towers built during that era.
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: fsujax on June 07, 2012, 10:28:31 AM
Which could in our case be easily changed!
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: JeffreyS on June 07, 2012, 10:44:11 AM
I really believe the pedestrian level engagement is more important than the facade and pedestal capability.
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: thelakelander on June 07, 2012, 02:25:45 PM
Another Fort Lauderdale garage image at street level...

(http://photos.metrojacksonville.com/Learning-From/Fort-Lauderdale-Nov2010/P1420571/1104754398_F4qxG-M.jpg)
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: Tacachale on June 07, 2012, 02:27:37 PM
Is anyone at this hearing?
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: simms3 on June 07, 2012, 03:38:38 PM
I really believe the pedestrian level engagement is more important than the facade and pedestal capability.

Agreed.  A temporary corner market/urban grocer anchoring a pocket park that could host food trucks, bands and events would be 1000% more useful to 1000x more people (and could still generate some semblance of revenue for the partnership that owns the land/remaining office condos in SunTrust).

That surface lot is huge, but I could foresee the above on half the land, and the other half being a 2/2.5 level garage (not high enough to be visible) with street level retail or convertible space and enough parking spaces to take the number of spaces on the lot and put them on half the land.  Build it to be expandable as a pedestal for something in the future and you have the most adaptable site (and in the meantime you are still maintaining your parking revenue and supplementing that with alternative revenue and potential pop-ups in otherwise un-leasable retail space in the garage).  Design the garage to be expandable horizontally and vertically and able to support somewhere between 20 and 40 stories above it.
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: fieldafm on June 07, 2012, 04:18:49 PM
Is anyone at this hearing?

I was, as was FSUJax.

They deferred approval and will be scheduling a public workshop to vet alternative design concepts.

It was made clear that the developer would not entertain ground level retail whatsoever.  It is unacceptable for someone receiving taxpayer assistance to not even meet the Code.

People need to show up en masse when this public workshop is held. 

Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: JeffreyS on June 07, 2012, 04:24:48 PM
Just left the meeting the DDRB deferred the conceptual review. They are going to try and schedule a workshop for next week and do both the conceptual and final approval next month. I took notes and will expand on my thoughts more tonight. I just wanted to convey my basic observations.
1. This was a feeler by the the developer to see what the minimum was they needed to do.
2. The DDRB feels pretty strongly that the deviation from retail is a bad idea and that the aesthetics need to disguise that this is a parking garage.
3. Haskel already has alternate plans.
4. The client is very resistant to adding retail.
5. IMO if the DDRB stands firm on this they developer will comply.

Good job with your comments Field.
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: carpnter on June 07, 2012, 04:28:22 PM
Is anyone at this hearing?

I was, as was FSUJax.

They deferred approval and will be scheduling a public workshop to vet alternative design concepts.

It was made clear that the developer would not entertain ground level retail whatsoever.  It is unacceptable for someone receiving taxpayer assistance to not even meet the Code.

People need to show up en masse when this public workshop is held.

I suspect the developer's resistance to ground level retail is that a majority of the space would be unused and remain empty.  There is quite a bit of empty space downtown right now and they may not want space that cannot generate money. 
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: JeffreyS on June 07, 2012, 04:33:44 PM
I think there is good reason for the client to be skeptical of retail. However if he wants to operate on such a significant plot of land in this community and get 3.5 million dollars to do so he may need to be a bit accommodating.

He already owns the site and needs to parking the city has the leverage here.
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: CityLife on June 07, 2012, 04:34:22 PM
Great job going to the meeting Jeffrey, Mike, and FSUJax. And also to Ennis for writing a great article on MJ and a very well thought out letter to the DDRB.

Kudos to the DDRB for scheduling the workshop to let the public express opinions and concerns.
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: Tacachale on June 07, 2012, 04:48:05 PM
Thanks, all, for the input.

The developer has every right to be skeptical of retail in this environment. And we have every right to demand that something built in our city partially with our money consider the future. Retail may sit largely empty for a period of time. But if it's built without retail, it will sit empty forever.

Did anyone bring up the craziness of giving $3.5 million to a garage across the street from the Landing, that doesn't fulfill the city's parking obligation to the Landing?
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: CityLife on June 07, 2012, 04:48:13 PM
If the developers don't want to comply with the regulations, DDRB, and the will of the general public, they are always welcome to sell the property for its fair market value. Which btw shouldn't be affected by this, since they are proposing such a poor product.

PSS is looking for office space and aren't ruling out Downtown or new construction. So sell the parcel to them and let the city give them the $3.5 million to build an office building on top of the parking garage. Then throw in any additional incentives that they would have received for relocating downtown anyways on top of that.
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: fieldafm on June 07, 2012, 04:55:30 PM
Quote
I suspect the developer's resistance to ground level retail is that a majority of the space would be unused and remain empty.  There is quite a bit of empty space downtown right now and they may not want space that cannot generate money. 

If he can't make money building to code... then don't build it. 

No way in the world should someone get taxpayer assistance to build a subpar product in the heart of downtown that is not contextually sensitive to the surrounding environment.  Downtown would live with the reprecussions of such a decision for decades.  That is not acceptable. 

It was clear that retail will not be considered. 

Quote
Did anyone bring up the craziness of giving $3.5 million to a garage across the street from the Landing, that doesn't fulfill the city's parking obligation to the Landing?

That is not in the purview of a DDRB meeting.
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: acme54321 on June 07, 2012, 05:13:40 PM
Did they saw when the workshop would be?
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: JeffreyS on June 07, 2012, 05:26:50 PM
They were going to put it together for next week. Haskell did suggest once meeting individually with the board members but the board wanted a public forum.
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: thelakelander on June 07, 2012, 05:33:20 PM
Quote
I suspect the developer's resistance to ground level retail is that a majority of the space would be unused and remain empty.  There is quite a bit of empty space downtown right now and they may not want space that cannot generate money. 

If he can't make money building to code... then don't build it. 

No way in the world should someone get taxpayer assistance to build a subpar product in the heart of downtown that is not contextually sensitive to the surrounding environment.  Downtown would live with the reprecussions of such a decision for decades.  That is not acceptable. 

It was clear that retail will not be considered.

That's fine.  If they don't want to follow the design guidelines they should not benefit from the city's $3.5 million or receive approval to build something that causes more harm than good in the heart of the core.  It's not like a suburban garage on that site is a positive improvement in downtown.  Personally, if I had any say so, if they refused to follow the minimum design standards for a property this critical, I'd deny the entire thing, much less provide $3.5 million in city money (which is a waste in its own right). 

I also believe the avoiding retail because of the market stuff is a bunch of BS.  A totally acceptable solution would be to follow Greenville, SC's example and set the garage back 50' from both Sister City Plaza and Bay Street.  That way, retail could be included as a separate structure along the street edge when viable.  That's a much better solution (which cost them nothing) than screwing up this site and the riverfront for the next 50 years for additional parking.
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: Noone on June 07, 2012, 06:39:56 PM
Quote
I suspect the developer's resistance to ground level retail is that a majority of the space would be unused and remain empty.  There is quite a bit of empty space downtown right now and they may not want space that cannot generate money. 

If he can't make money building to code... then don't build it. 

No way in the world should someone get taxpayer assistance to build a subpar product in the heart of downtown that is not contextually sensitive to the surrounding environment.  Downtown would live with the reprecussions of such a decision for decades.  That is not acceptable. 

It was clear that retail will not be considered.

That's fine.  If they don't want to follow the design guidelines they should not benefit from the city's $3.5 million or receive approval to build something that causes more harm than good in the heart of the core.  It's not like a suburban garage on that site is a positive improvement in downtown.  Personally, if I had any say so, if they refused to follow the minimum design standards for a property this critical, I'd deny the entire thing, much less provide $3.5 million in city money (which is a waste in its own right). 

I also believe the avoiding retail because of the market stuff is a bunch of BS.  A totally acceptable solution would be to follow Greenville, SC's example and set the garage back 50' from both Sister City Plaza and Bay Street.  That way, retail could be included as a separate structure along the street edge when viable.  That's a much better solution (which cost them nothing) than screwing up this site and the riverfront for the next 50 years for additional parking.

But moving forward isn't the plan under the new Downtown Authority the expanded control of the parking revenue for an expanded zone? Just asking but would this explain why the design is just for parking.
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: I-10east on June 07, 2012, 06:47:17 PM
I'd fall in the camp of saying the Landing is an urban retail center.  I think we forget that it was designed to be an 1980s style "festival marketplace" which is different from a suburban strip mall or 21st century urban retail center.

Thank you Lake. I understand that the feisty urbanites don't wanna be 'complacent' and rest on the laurels, but saying that the Landing is 'suburban' is absurd IMO. What's next, the BOA Tower is suburban too?
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: JeffreyS on June 07, 2012, 06:48:28 PM
Quote
I suspect the developer's resistance to ground level retail is that a majority of the space would be unused and remain empty.  There is quite a bit of empty space downtown right now and they may not want space that cannot generate money. 

If he can't make money building to code... then don't build it. 

No way in the world should someone get taxpayer assistance to build a subpar product in the heart of downtown that is not contextually sensitive to the surrounding environment.  Downtown would live with the reprecussions of such a decision for decades.  That is not acceptable. 

It was clear that retail will not be considered.

That's fine.  If they don't want to follow the design guidelines they should not benefit from the city's $3.5 million or receive approval to build something that causes more harm than good in the heart of the core.  It's not like a suburban garage on that site is a positive improvement in downtown.  Personally, if I had any say so, if they refused to follow the minimum design standards for a property this critical, I'd deny the entire thing, much less provide $3.5 million in city money (which is a waste in its own right). 

I also believe the avoiding retail because of the market stuff is a bunch of BS.  A totally acceptable solution would be to follow Greenville, SC's example and set the garage back 50' from both Sister City Plaza and Bay Street.  That way, retail could be included as a separate structure along the street edge when viable.  That's a much better solution (which cost them nothing) than screwing up this site and the riverfront for the next 50 years for additional parking.

But moving forward isn't the plan under the new Downtown Authority the expanded control of the parking revenue for an expanded zone? Just asking but would this explain why the design is just for parking.
No the clien asked Haskell to come up with a cost effective solution to his parking needs. They are just trying to make the best deal they can. In this case the city has the cards. Parodor  needs the parking, expressed they need to move quickly and has 3.5 mil to lose out on if they play the game of trying to walk away for a while.  We just need to encourage the DDRB to stick to their guns and for the council to back them up.
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: simms3 on June 07, 2012, 07:05:38 PM
Again, if the $3.5M is a city incentive not tied to the Landing, it is to subsidize the "riskiness" of the "development" because it AIN'T GOING TO GENERATE PARKING REVENUE.

Literally the surface lot at Enterprise always has spaces.  I've even found spaces on that current surface lot.  Most if not all of the garages downtown are already half empty.  There is a GLUT of parking, and this garage isn't going to bring hoards of suburbanite shoppers in to the core to shop at nonexistent stores and pay parking fees that don't exist at any other shopping destination in the city.

This is a subsidy to prop up a shitty parking garage that won't perform.  Outrageous.
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: JeffreyS on June 07, 2012, 07:10:18 PM
The DDRB said they want better than has been presented and one member even said it would have to be exceptional to get his support. This parking is primarily for the Sun Trust building to serve it's tennents and future tennents. I would not be surprised if Parodor has one on the line but he has to solve parking first.
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: simms3 on June 07, 2012, 07:58:20 PM
Which is silly.  Let's call the garage 500 spaces (which is absurdly huge for SunTrust and even the general area but it's what has been discussed).  Let's guestimate the hard costs are $12,000/space and the soft costs and fees bring that total from $6M to $8M (and land is already owned).

So virtually half the cost to build this horrid thing is coming from the taxpayers, who will undoubtedly not benefit.

Now, Parador owns 190,000 SF of condos less the few that they have managed to sell over the last couple years, which is doubtfully much at all.  So let's keep that figure at 190,000 SF, and the building is roughly what - 350,000 RSF?

To get to 1 space per 1,000 SF all they need is 350 spaces.  Right now they can already fit about 120 cars extremely comfortably on that lot.  There's 1/3 of the building easily.  Of course there's Life of the South, etc etc and not too many garages within "1 block".

Still the bottom line is that if this is economic development because it will attract some mid-size office tenant to downtown, say 50,000 SF, a 10 year lease at $18 years 1-5 and 10% increase in year 6 (12 months free) still puts the value of the lease at roughly the cost of the garage.  I don't know what they sell a 50,000 SF office condo for, but I would imagine if opex were around 1:5 rental revenue (or would-be rental revenue) and cap rates hover around 8% you're still talking about the same price as the cost of the garage.

Think about that now.  Now tell me why the hell the city should help out!!!  And then you have to assume that in addition to that 50,000 SF tenant, additional leasing/sale activity could occur.  If anything at all the city's $3.5M should receive preferential equity treatment to Parador's equity (or should be treated as some sort of mezzanine debt) and the city should then make a return for helping make a deal happen.

WTF WTF Am I an idiot missing something?  From my stance there are just too many holes here to fly through and nothing is seeming clear.

Not to mention the three guys at Parador (who had limited real estate capability/experience prior to their investment in the unsold office condos at SunTrust) made a calculated risk.  The city should not even think about stepping in unless there is a return for the city/taxpayer.  This is either a bailout or a copout (of an agreement of some sort) or something else deemed fishy.
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: simms3 on June 07, 2012, 07:58:33 PM
(http://i916.photobucket.com/albums/ad1/jsimms3/SuntrustLot.jpg)
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: thelakelander on June 07, 2012, 08:00:55 PM
^That's more cars then normal on that lot.
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: simms3 on June 07, 2012, 08:12:40 PM
Exactly!!  That's my point!  There is NO demand for more parking and all the garages are half empty.  I have never had a problem parking at the surface lot at Enterprise Center across the street, either.

If this has nothing to do with the Landing agreement, the city is forking over a worthless subsidy for a bad investment (and a detrimental project).  Like people who pass this thing (if it so happens down the road) need to be tried or impeached.  If it's all to attract some mid-size tenant to SunTrust, the city should have NO business in that..but if it does - it needs to return taxpayer money with a return, so it needs to serve up a debt facility or a preferred equity piece rather than a "city incentive aka subsidy".
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: Ocklawaha on June 07, 2012, 08:52:49 PM
(http://inlinethumb23.webshots.com/22166/2775493700104969885S600x600Q85.jpg)
Neon Art's Garage
'Frankly this city could use some of Kokopelli's magic'



Strange things happen when one turns a creative or maybe a wild imagination loose on concepts for our downtown area, this little photo essay started off thinking about the neon building and Skyway lights in Jacksonville. I was thinking about COLOMBIA and the Parque De Luz (Park of Lights) and how people come from around the world visiting Colombia and many of them seek out this unique park. We've got a carbon copy veterans wall, we have a duplicate Andrew Jacksonville statue, and we copied the landing from Boston and Baltimore. What could our art community do to this ugly building?



(http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2786/4189831615_778e439d6a_z.jpg)
Eldorado Casino Garage, Shreveport, LA



(http://farm2.staticflickr.com/1070/1485167382_f1a958096f_z.jpg)
Neon Parking Structure
Columbia, Maryland



(http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3299/3501746851_2389baecc0_z.jpg)
Cardiff Bay, UK Garage



(http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3608/3370159288_dc3ff3b010_z.jpg)
Garage in the UK



(http://inlinethumb37.webshots.com/31076/2958016740104969885S600x600Q85.jpg)
New Garage, Atlantic City, NJ



(http://inlinethumb61.webshots.com/17532/2276286120104969885S600x600Q85.jpg)
Binons, Las Vegas



(http://inlinethumb38.webshots.com/49637/2066709520104969885S600x600Q85.jpg)
Chicago Garage that brings home the ad revenue



(http://inlinethumb17.webshots.com/48464/2196402220104969885S600x600Q85.jpg)
Okay, it's not actually a garage, but it has a lot of parked cars, NHRA Motorsport Museum



(http://inlinethumb35.webshots.com/48418/2598060510104969885S600x600Q85.jpg)
Rainbow Cove Garage, Logan Int'l Airport



(http://inlinethumb19.webshots.com/49874/2005035800104969885S600x600Q85.jpg)
Rhode Island Convention Center Garage



(http://inlinethumb28.webshots.com/51099/2900763690104969885S600x600Q85.jpg)
Neon Garage, Santa Monica



(http://inlinethumb34.webshots.com/50721/2742524810104969885S600x600Q85.jpg)
Neon Garage, Santa Monica



(http://inlinethumb51.webshots.com/47794/2247046780104969885S600x600Q85.jpg)
South Pasadena Garage



Now for the big question?

(http://www.daltonagency.com/wp-content/uploads/MOCA.jpg)

Guess we'll always have to wonder why the old line doesn't go, 'Paris, London, Rome, Jacksonville...'
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: Keith-N-Jax on June 07, 2012, 08:55:32 PM
Those really look nice!!!
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: JeffreyS on June 07, 2012, 09:31:44 PM
In the meeting I can't remember who said it but they made it sound as if this would satisfy the Landing's parking situation. We have to support the DDRB's position that this should not look like a parking garage and should include the required retail. With the money the city is putting up we can have our way. I was sitting very close to the Parodor guy and he wants to push back but he is building this thing in the end.
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: JFman00 on June 07, 2012, 09:42:46 PM
I'm surprised this parking garage hasn't been posted yet. If it has and I missed it, I apologize. Notice it is mixed-use. Penthouse, event space, street-level retail, 5th floor retail and of course, parking.

(http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2011/01/24/us/JP-GARAGE-2/JP-GARAGE-2-popup.jpg)
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/24/us/24garage.html (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/24/us/24garage.html)
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: thelakelander on June 07, 2012, 09:59:43 PM
In the meeting I can't remember who said it but they made it sound as if this would satisfy the Landing's parking situation. We have to support the DDRB's position that this should not look like a parking garage and should include the required retail. With the money the city is putting up we can have our way. I was sitting very close to the Parodor guy and he wants to push back but he is building this thing in the end.

He still has adopted development guidelines he has to follow and quite frankly, developing downtown the right way is more important to the community than a garage for his tenants (although I'm sure he doesn't feel that way).  With $3.5 million in the game, the city is nearly a 50% partner in this project.  The public deserves better and should not be willing to allow Parador to construct a bad product for the sake of being cheap.  We've been down that road with downtown before and the results haven't been pretty.  If following the minimum requirements in addition to getting 50% of the capital costs from the taxpayers makes the project unfeasible, then it shouldn't be built.
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: JeffreyS on June 07, 2012, 10:07:10 PM
All I am saying Lake is I believe he is committed so we can hold his feet to the fire. He will follow whatever guidelines he has to and nothing more.
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: simms3 on June 07, 2012, 11:25:23 PM
Well I spoke with someone about the matter who spoke with someone on the DDRB and apparently this thing has little chance of passing, at least in its current state.  There seems to be unanimous agreement that the retail code should be followed without exception.

The other thing(s) I heard were that this has absolutely nothing to do with the Landing (as has been semi-established now) and that the city's $3.5M is basically a pot of money they [the developers] think they can win/deserve, but it is by no means part of any agreement with Parador and is with strings/regulations attached (albeit loose strings).

Still - there is something about this whole proposal that reeks of lack of experience?  I'm encouraged by what I hear behind the scenes.
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: thelakelander on June 07, 2012, 11:37:40 PM
^Thanks for the update simms3!
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: JeffreyS on June 07, 2012, 11:38:25 PM
Well I spoke with someone about the matter who spoke with someone on the DDRB and apparently this thing has little chance of passing, at least in its current state.  There seems to be unanimous agreement that the retail code should be followed without exception.

I have heard 2 councilmen echo those sentiments.
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: Keith-N-Jax on June 07, 2012, 11:41:56 PM
Well its good to hear that.
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: PeeJayEss on June 08, 2012, 09:58:31 AM
Quote
In the second half of the 20th century, Rouse and his company became major developers of suburban strip shopping centers and pioneered large shopping malls. In many cities, these were seen as escalating the failure of retail businesses and causing further deterioration of older, downtown core areas.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Festival_marketplace

The Landing is no different from Norfolk's Waterside, Miami's Bayside, Baltimore's Harborplace, Boston's Faneuil Hall and NYC's South Street Seaport.  It's an urban center that basically focuses on its self instead of making a real effort to blend in with the environment surrounding it.  Just like the office towers built during that era.

Did they continue building strip centers and shopping malls, just in the urban areas rather than the burbs? The Landing design is focused on the water. You could build the exact same thing in Green Cove (or better, on the ICWW), surround it by parking lots, and it would probably be more successful.

Waterside, Bayside, and Harborplace are all good comparisons (and I'd add Station Square in Pittsburgh). They all embrace the water and are cut off on the road side. They all require large parking facilities. Station Square is completely isolated from the city, Waterside and Bayside aren't really walking destinations, and you'd be hard-pressed to realize something was going on if driving past Harborplace (I think the pier with the power plant is a much more attractive and urban section of the harbor, and thats a reuse). The Seaport is also kind of isolated being across FDR sticking out into the East River and located in one of the only sections of Manhattan with surface parking lots. Faneuil Hall Marketplace is pretty well tied-in with the surrounding city (though I don't get why the city hall plaza is so...pavementy). There's a good amount of reuse there. I think this one is more the exception than the rule for festival marketplaces, and it is nothing like The Landing.

It may just be my mistaken belief that contrived, isolated, and introverted cannot also be urban.
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: fsujax on June 08, 2012, 10:35:29 AM
There was good discussion yesterday it lasted about 2 hours. I say that is a perfect location to open a Dunkin Donuts in the ground level retail space!
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: If_I_Loved_you on June 08, 2012, 10:58:59 AM
There was good discussion yesterday it lasted about 2 hours. I say that is a perfect location to open a Dunkin Donuts in the ground level retail space!
I don't agree Dunkin Donuts isn't just for the morning & lunch time crowd's . And after 5pm this place like so many other places are dead. Besides I thought this proposed parking garage is to be Retail-less? Out of several parking garages in Downtown Jacksonville and Everbank on Riverside Ave for now have Retail Space without a lot of Retail? I remember Little John telling people about the parking garage for the Main Library. How the Retail on the ground floor was money well spent then putting a walking bridge over to the Library? Ha ha At this point I don't feel this new Proposed garage is needed. Being that a lot of parking garages are empty after employees go home all within walking distance to the landing?
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: thelakelander on June 08, 2012, 11:25:21 AM
Did they continue building strip centers and shopping malls, just in the urban areas rather than the burbs? The Landing design is focused on the water. You could build the exact same thing in Green Cove (or better, on the ICWW), surround it by parking lots, and it would probably be more successful.

Rouse built shopping malls in the burbs and festival marketplaces (different from shopping malls and strip centers) in urban areas two decades ago.  Whether we like how they meet the street, that's typically how projects were built in downtown's in during the 1980s.  However, poor ground level interactivity doesn't mean a project isn't "urban."  It's simply a poorly designed "urban" product.

Quote
It may just be my mistaken belief that contrived, isolated, and introverted cannot also be urban.

Sure it can.  It's just bad urban design.  Just up the street, I think most of us would consider both the BOA Tower and Everbank Center to be "urban."  However, they are just like the Landing.....isolated and introverted building products that focus on themselves rather than providing any attempt to integrate with the surrounding area.
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: fsujax on June 08, 2012, 11:32:33 AM
From the Daily Record.

http://www.jaxdailyrecord.com/downtowntoday.php?dt_date=2012-06-08

and I still like my DD idea! Maybe we should get PSS and this developer to team up. PSS can build a new HQ on top the proposed garage a win win for everybody!
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: tufsu1 on June 08, 2012, 11:36:44 AM
I don't agree Dunkin Donuts isn't just for the morning & lunch time crowd's.

not true...many DD's stay open until 10pm or later. 

In fact, I stopped in one in downtown Atlanta a few months ago at 9pm and theer were several people in the store....also saw one in the tourist area of San Juan, PR that was open at midnight....I'm willing to bet they'd stay open late here if the market demand was there.

That said, requirting that retail space be provided is a good idea....regulating the type (or brand) of retail is not.
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: fsujax on June 08, 2012, 11:39:17 AM
I am not suggesting the City regulate what type of retail. that was just my idea.
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: tufsu1 on June 08, 2012, 11:43:22 AM
I am not suggesting the City regulate what type of retail. that was just my idea.

I know you're not....the person saying no to DD was
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: thelakelander on June 08, 2012, 11:51:59 AM
A few things:

Quote
Holmes proceeded with the presentation and said one of the reasons there is no retail space included in the design is that the state building code requires any mixed-use development to have sprinklers as part of the fire safety design.

Holmes said that would add $300,000 to the cost of the garage, which the developers would like to avoid.

So this has little to do with retail market and more on saving some cash even though $3.5 million (nearly have of the costs) will be provided by taxpayers.

Quote
“The City is granting $3.5 million in incentives; $300,000 for sprinklers is not unreasonable,” said Fischer.

Great point!

Quote
As for the design of the structure, Holmes said it “mimics the appearance” of SunTrust Tower, is the same height as the base of the office building and will be constructed of precast concrete.

LOL!  Looks like the basic design of any parking garage with a SunTrust paint scheme.  I'm sure something better can be done.

Quote
Board member Chris Flagg said he doesn’t support putting a parking garage in the location. It is between SunTrust Tower, Enterprise Center and the Omni Hotel, one of the few undeveloped parcels on the Northbank.

Yes, a garage should not be placed on that site alone, ruining it for the next century.  Even if all they want is a garage, that site is large enough to be laid out in a manner than could support additional structures along the street edge at a future date.

Here are a few pictures of Greenville's Spring Street garage.  It was constructed in the middle of the block.  When the market was right, the spaces between the garage and street edge were utilized for infill development.

(http://www.greenvilleinformation.com/images/bookends%202.jpg)

(http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y100/Skyliner25/Bookends1_01.jpg)

(http://www.greenvilledailyphoto.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/DSC01953-001.jpg)
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: fieldafm on June 08, 2012, 11:59:07 AM
Quote
So this has little to do with retail market and more on saving some cash even though $3.5 million (nearly have of the costs) will be provided by taxpayers.

They opened up the public comment period for a second time to allow the developer to speak.. which he did through a representative at which point it was made clear that sprinkler savings or not, retail space was not going to be pursued.  The sprinkler system seemed to be a straw man argument.  From personal observation, it appears the main motivation is to put up as cheap of a parking structure as possible.
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: Lunican on June 08, 2012, 11:59:46 AM
It's still not clear why the city is giving them $3.5 million, especially if it does not resolve the parking obligation for The Landing.
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: thelakelander on June 08, 2012, 12:05:19 PM
^I have no idea why they are being given the $3.5 million.  However, I think it goes back to the fight between Sleiman and the JEDC/Peyton over the lot across the street that Sleiman wanted.

Quote
From personal observation, it appears the main motivation is to put up as cheap of a parking structure as possible.

It definitely sounds like that.  Facade design aside, IMO, under no circumstances should a garage be allowed on that site without the potential of additional structures being able to be incorporated to shield this monstrosity and it's associated surface parking lot on Bay Street from the street.
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: fieldafm on June 08, 2012, 12:09:57 PM
It's still not clear why the city is giving them $3.5 million, especially if it does not resolve the parking obligation for The Landing.

It actually carves out specific parking for the Landing as a part of the garage and a parking validation program serving that dedicated parking... that's a seperate issue from the DDRB's review yesterday, but it does serve to satisfy the City's two decade old long obligation to provide dedicated Landing parking.
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: If_I_Loved_you on June 08, 2012, 12:11:29 PM
I don't agree Dunkin Donuts isn't just for the morning & lunch time crowd's.

not true...many DD's stay open until 10pm or later. 

In fact, I stopped in one in downtown Atlanta a few months ago at 9pm and theer were several people in the store....also saw one in the tourist area of San Juan, PR that was open at midnight....I'm willing to bet they'd stay open late here if the market demand was there.

That said, requirting that retail space be provided is a good idea....regulating the type (or brand) of retail is not.
I know this but my point was after 5pm here in Jacksonville Fl this DD would be dead!
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: fieldafm on June 08, 2012, 12:18:04 PM
Quote
Facade design aside, IMO, under no circumstances should a garage be allowed on that site without the potential of additional structures being able to be incorporated to shield this monstrosity and it's associated surface parking lot on Bay Street from the street.

Obviously I agree.

Few on this site are for satisfying the Landing's parking obligation as much as I am... but this project as presented would create a permanent dead zone in the heart of the city for decades to come, all b/c of the short term interests of a developer getting taxpayer assistance to make a building more attractive for office condo tenants and therefore more attractive to sell down the road.  Clearly, the best interests of the community are of little importance in this circumstance... and that is beyond unacceptable. 
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: tufsu1 on June 08, 2012, 01:10:51 PM
It's still not clear why the city is giving them $3.5 million, especially if it does not resolve the parking obligation for The Landing.

because in the City's mind, it does
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: fsujax on June 08, 2012, 01:13:40 PM
I was under the impression that part of it would be designed so that retail space could be built out at a later date. Did I misunderstand? Initially, they will want no retail space. We simply can not allow this to happen. One member kept saying he wasn't too worried about the garage not having retail, he thought it was more important to activate the facade, not quite sure what he means by that.
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: thelakelander on June 08, 2012, 01:22:48 PM
That was the member who works at Haskell.  Activating the facade means nothing if the structure is dead at ground level.
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: fsujax on June 08, 2012, 01:25:41 PM
Yeah, his name is Roland Udenze. I was puzzled by his suggestions.
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: Overstreet on June 08, 2012, 01:55:50 PM
Norfolk's Waterside has an attached parking garage that's been there from the begining. That is one of the differences. However like the Landing it drained off the customers and killed a local brick pavered business district nearby just like the Landing did to Heming Plaza, namely JP Muggs and others. 

They wanted to build it without retail on the first floor because of cost. The column to column for parking vs other uses, HVAC (ventilation) and fire codes make mixed use more expensive. Requiring the retail may make the deal less workable in this economic climate.
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: Tacachale on June 08, 2012, 01:59:08 PM
^Fine, then don't build it at all if following the code makes it unworkable right now.
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: thelakelander on June 08, 2012, 02:09:31 PM
I second that.  The validity of not wanting to spend an extra $300k to follow the minimum guidelines goes down the tubes when you also want $3.5 million of public money for your project.
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: thelakelander on June 08, 2012, 02:12:00 PM
Norfolk's Waterside has an attached parking garage that's been there from the begining. That is one of the differences. However like the Landing it drained off the customers and killed a local brick pavered business district nearby just like the Landing did to Heming Plaza, namely JP Muggs and others.

The Landing didn't kill downtown's retail sector.  It was already on its last legs when the Landing opened.  Sears, Furchgott's, JCPenney, Ivey's, etc. had all closed a few years before the Landing opened.
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: acme54321 on June 08, 2012, 02:53:46 PM
That was the member who works at Haskell.  Activating the facade means nothing if the structure is dead at ground level.

That guy should have just excused himself from the meeting all together.  In the least he should have not commented on that particular project.
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: JeffreyS on June 08, 2012, 03:23:41 PM
That was the member who works at Haskell.  Activating the facade means nothing if the structure is dead at ground level.

That guy should have just excused himself from the meeting all together.  In the least he should have not commented on that particular project.

The city attorney warned him that commenting might be viewed as inappropriate. If he was not at the meeting however they would not have had the 5 members required be present not vote to approve the minutes and make any action.
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: simms3 on June 08, 2012, 03:43:01 PM
Developers who are focused on infill and downtowns are usually developers who take pride in their assets and their work.  They want their name attached to something fairly or significantly iconic.  The firm I works for takes so much pride in all of our projects (well suburban strip centers and multifamily deals we own are not the face of the company), but our marketing efforts to pension funds and to investors and to city agencies and communities focus on current and prior assets that are iconic on either a local level (Warehouse Row in Chattanooga) or on a global level (General Motors building, Chelsea Market, One Times Square, etc).

I am frankly shocked that Haskell and these guys have no shame in being the creators of/attached to this proposal.  It's a shameful design and horrible for the city.  It's a criminal development without major variances and offers up nothing to nobody.  Without city assistance there isn't even a way to justify building the garage because there isn't even demand for it.

I can't believe there is NO shame in this.  Parador doesn't mind putting this up???  Haskell will use this as one of theirs to advertise to suburban office users who need garages??  It's just incredible to me what is going on here.
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: Fallen Buckeye on June 09, 2012, 02:42:30 PM
Well, they are the same ones operate out of that really underwhelming building right on the riverfront. I never liked that building no matter what angle I looked at it from.
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: I-10east on June 09, 2012, 05:10:11 PM
Good news, the review board rejected the parking garage design.

www.jaxdailyrecord.com/downtowntoday.php?dt_date=2012-06-08
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: Ocklawaha on June 09, 2012, 10:30:20 PM
Quote
In the second half of the 20th century, Rouse and his company became major developers of suburban strip shopping centers and pioneered large shopping malls. In many cities, these were seen as escalating the failure of retail businesses and causing further deterioration of older, downtown core areas.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Festival_marketplace

The Landing is no different from Norfolk's Waterside, Miami's Bayside, Baltimore's Harborplace, Boston's Faneuil Hall and NYC's South Street Seaport.  It's an urban center that basically focuses on its self instead of making a real effort to blend in with the environment surrounding it.  Just like the office towers built during that era.

Did they continue building strip centers and shopping malls, just in the urban areas rather than the burbs? The Landing design is focused on the water. You could build the exact same thing in Green Cove (or better, on the ICWW), surround it by parking lots, and it would probably be more successful.

Waterside, Bayside, and Harborplace are all good comparisons (and I'd add Station Square in Pittsburgh). They all embrace the water and are cut off on the road side. They all require large parking facilities. Station Square is completely isolated from the city...

Oh, but STATION SQUARE is not as isolated as one might think, diagonally across Smithfield and Carson Streets is one element of the connectivity with the urban core. Pittsburgh's amazing Light Rail system.

(http://www.lightrail.com/photos/pittsburgh/TunnelNorth.jpg)

(http://inlinethumb03.webshots.com/9794/2264202760104969885S600x600Q85.jpg)
Smithfield Busway and Carson Street.

Seen from another direction, note that the LIGHT RAIL and the BRT system, one of the oldest in the country, share a stop at STATION SQUARE.

(http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5145/5599302331_b43e5077b6_z.jpg)
STATION SQUARE STATION - LRT-BRT-CITY BUS

I'm sure there is a message in this for Jacksonville, now if our leaders could just figure out what it is. It's not enough to say we want Streetcars, Skyway and BRT, we have to ACT! If we had such systems, another giant parking garage wouldn't be eating more of our public dollars.

Oh my God, I was at Station Square when it was still a station! Pittsburgh and Lake Erie Railroad, an arm of the New York Central, that became Penn Central, that became Conrail, that became CSX.
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: JFman00 on June 09, 2012, 10:45:21 PM
Good news, the review board rejected the parking garage design.

www.jaxdailyrecord.com/downtowntoday.php?dt_date=2012-06-08

Glad to see reason prevail and board members looking out for the best interests of the city.
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: JeffreyS on June 10, 2012, 07:32:47 AM
Good news, the review board rejected the parking garage design.

www.jaxdailyrecord.com/downtowntoday.php?dt_date=2012-06-08

This is not new news. There is not a rejection just a deferral to a workshop this week. At the workshop the developer will try to get out of doing retail with some spin about shadow boxes activating the space and the potential for adding retail later.  We have to keep banging the drum that retail be included.  If it is just potential for future modification the owner will never look for retail tenants but if he has empty retail space on site he will start looking immediately.  Having to do any construction later especially modifications will be a reason for the owner to discourage retail. Keep the emails going to the DDRB and CC and ask your council member to email the DDRB.
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: simms3 on June 10, 2012, 01:00:47 PM
Now that we know this thing isn't over I figured I would post a few pics of good and bad examples from my area.

When you live in an autocentric city with this -

(http://i916.photobucket.com/albums/ad1/jsimms3/Garages/traffic.jpg)

Garages are necessary.  The trick is to blend the garages in and allow them to serve multiple purposes and adapt over time as they become less and less necessary.

1) Terminus parking deck.  My old parking deck last year.  Master-planned development in a semi-urban vertical suburban office park called Buckhead.  Buckhead CID has been working hard the past 2 years to make the area more walkable.  This has included wider sidewalks, stricter design regulations, bike lanes, improved ped crossings, trees, a north entrance to the MARTA station, etc etc.  Terminus was developed by Cousins between 2006 and 2009 and was at the forefront of the "transformation" of the area.  It anchors the south end of the Buckhead CBD and sits prominently at the major intersection of Peachtree and Piedmont, so architectural appeal, sight lines, and precedent for new development were at the forefront.

There are 2 office buildings with over 1.2M SF, 137 sold out condos, and a 12 level deck...all over 70,000 SF of retail currently at 77% occupancy with several restaurants and retail tenants such as Poggen Pohl, a cosmetic dentist, a bridal shop and a Wolf/Sub-Zero showroom, Chik-Fil-A, Cantina, Bricktops, a bank, etc etc.

The BREEZEway between the deck and Terminus 100 office building now hosts events and is constantly activated.  It can be very breezy though (that is something they failed to plan for in the direction the breezeway faces).

My photos (3 years old):

(http://i916.photobucket.com/albums/ad1/jsimms3/Garages/AroundAtlantaPart2on3-20-10112.jpg)

(http://i916.photobucket.com/albums/ad1/jsimms3/Garages/AroundAtlantaPart2on3-20-10107.jpg)

From Terminus' Facebook site:

(http://i916.photobucket.com/albums/ad1/jsimms3/Garages/531930_10150653035372825_1957944428_n.jpg)

(http://i916.photobucket.com/albums/ad1/jsimms3/Garages/cafest2.jpg)

(http://i916.photobucket.com/albums/ad1/jsimms3/Garages/cafest.jpg)

A fashion event...

(http://i916.photobucket.com/albums/ad1/jsimms3/Garages/fasionadad2.jpg)

(http://i916.photobucket.com/albums/ad1/jsimms3/Garages/fasionadad3.jpg)

(http://i916.photobucket.com/albums/ad1/jsimms3/Garages/fasionadad.jpg)

One of the restaurants (a fancy sushi place with prices that would SCARE Jax natives use to paying Jax sushi prices)

(http://i916.photobucket.com/albums/ad1/jsimms3/Garages/mfbuckhead.jpg)

From Terminus website http://www.terminusatlanta.com/

(http://i916.photobucket.com/albums/ad1/jsimms3/Garages/florplan.jpg)

From Atlanta Skyrise Blog (Cousins scrapping 3rd office tower so Crescent Resources can put up rental low-rises) http://www.atlantaskyriseblog.com/

(http://i916.photobucket.com/albums/ad1/jsimms3/Garages/circle-at-terminus-2.jpg)




2) 12th and Midtown.  This is another master-planned development in Midtown by Daniel/Selig/Metlife/Northwestern Mutual/Canyon Johnson and is my favorite mixed-use development in the South.  Of course every building sits on a parking pedestal.  Most of these pics are old and the back of 1010 has long been leased to restaurants Ri Ra, Ra, and Piola.  Now STK and Cucina Asellina join those restaurants, Bank of America, and Crate and Barrel (CB2) as retail tenants and Cafe Intermezzo and Mi Cocina will be opening this fall on the corners of Peachtree and 11th, activating the main frontage a little more (and the buildouts are going to be phenominal).  Apple looked at going in a few years back and may reconsider within a year if current leasing picks up (rents here are $45-60+/SF, some of the most expensive retail in the city).

My really old pics (these buildings are truly some of the ony "big city" type buildings in the South, and so when fully built out and leased at the ground level this area will feel pretty cosmopolitan...and tall!)

Note how the important/Peachtree side is done pretty decently, and the garage is more noticeable in the back.  Perhaps with the Jax development it's important to "pick a side".  Which side should be the front (river or Bay St?) and how is the garage going to fit in and be concealed as a result.

(http://i916.photobucket.com/albums/ad1/jsimms3/Garages/MiscAtlanta001.jpg)

(http://i916.photobucket.com/albums/ad1/jsimms3/Garages/MiscAtlanta126.jpg)

The back of 1010 with construction in foreground (now 3 floors up half a year later...taking forever while a 23 floor building just went up a block away in the same time frame).

(http://i916.photobucket.com/albums/ad1/jsimms3/Garages/JanuaryConstructionandTerminus010-1.jpg)

Newish photo I took this Spring where you can kind of see back.  Garage facade has detailing and storefronts at ground level.  Across the street are 2 very active bars/restaurants.

(http://i916.photobucket.com/albums/ad1/jsimms3/Garages/AtlantaConstructionApril-May017.jpg)

Phase I, II and III.  There are 5 phases.  Parking pedestals clearly seen in this visual mock-up.

(http://i916.photobucket.com/albums/ad1/jsimms3/Garages/12_Midtown_Aerial.jpg)

Phase 4.

(http://i916.photobucket.com/albums/ad1/jsimms3/Garages/12thMidtownPhase4.jpg)

Maybe this is Phase 4.  All still conceptual but the rumor is Daniel/Metlife want to start soon.

(http://i916.photobucket.com/albums/ad1/jsimms3/Garages/1125Peachtree.jpg)

Interior of one of the restaurants.

(http://i916.photobucket.com/albums/ad1/jsimms3/Garages/Cucina.jpg)




OK, some Miscellaneous.

Phase I of master-planned Allen Plaza...the front.  This is meh, ok, but at least you can't tell you're looking at a garage.

(http://i916.photobucket.com/albums/ad1/jsimms3/Garages/fromback.jpg)

From the highway the world's largest LED screen flashes video and ads at you.  It conceals a garage for the W Downtown Hotel/Res and 45 Allen Plaza office.

(http://i916.photobucket.com/albums/ad1/jsimms3/Garages/fromhighway.jpg)



These are obnoxious pedestals.  At least they are activated at ground level (well Viewpoint only has 2 tenants, one of which is Sprint).  Spire seems to be leased-up or mostly leased-up at ground level and is decently inviting.  There are Italian cypress covering the garage from the Peachtree side.  This is what I think what NOT to do, though.

(http://i916.photobucket.com/albums/ad1/jsimms3/Garages/podiums.jpg)


And Streets of Buckhead...now finally underway again.

Old render.

(http://i916.photobucket.com/albums/ad1/jsimms3/Garages/SOB.jpg)

New render from this year's ICSC (they had full scale model, too).

(http://i916.photobucket.com/albums/ad1/jsimms3/Garages/SOB2.jpg)

The base of this Atlantic Station office building features an international office furniture designer, manufacturer and marketer.  The garage is built into the building seamlessly like Bank of America downtown.

(http://i916.photobucket.com/albums/ad1/jsimms3/Garages/AtlantaConstructionApril-May051.jpg)
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: simms3 on June 10, 2012, 01:04:14 PM
BTW I tried resizing the pics down a bit and they are still cut off.  These narrow boards

A) Make average posts seem so long and wordy when often they aren't.

B) Cut off pictures that are normal size (aka 800x600 or in my case since I resized 600x450).  They are still too large.  Can someone tell me the purpose of these narrow narrow templates?
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: Tacachale on June 10, 2012, 02:45:19 PM
^Compliments, simms. Those are good examples of how to build a garage.
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: dougskiles on June 10, 2012, 04:04:52 PM
I agree, excellent examples.  I would like to hear more about the Buckhead CID and the role they have played in the community.
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: simms3 on June 10, 2012, 07:32:09 PM
I agree, excellent examples.  I would like to hear more about the Buckhead CID and the role they have played in the community.

http://www.buckheadcid.com/

Current Projects underway include:

1) Peachtree Transformation - almost complete

Turning a pedestrian unfriendly suburban arterial into a complete street by adding landscaped medians, bike lanes, wider sidewalks, buried utilities, hardwood shade trees, seasonal plantings and streetside furniture.

(http://www.buckheadcid.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/Buckhead-Village-0011-300x225.jpg)

2) GA 400 MARTA bridge

Building a $24M pedestrian bridge to connect 2 otherwise disconnected quadrants of Buckhead and re-opening the north entrance to the Buckhead MARTA station, which is a more convenient entrance for Buckhead Station/Alliance Center/Terminus office users and shoppers/residents.

(http://www.buckheadcid.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/MARTA2-300x183.jpg)

3) GA 400 Greenway Trail

5 mile trail that will connect neighborhoods and schools to the Buckhead CBD and ultimately the Beltline.  For a story on all the new trails and greenways UC or planned for Buckhead see the link below.  PATH is a major organization in Atlanta that has a role in this and nearly every other trail ever constructed in Atlanta.

http://livablebuckhead.com/sustainability/greenspace-2/buckhead-collection/

(http://www.buckheadcid.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Screen-Shot-2012-05-23-at-2.54.44-PM.png)



Board of Directors

David Allman (Regent Partners) – Chairman Major developer in Buckhead
John Lundeen (Coro Realty) – Vice-Chairman Major developer in Buckhead
Charles Ackerman (Ackerman & Co.) – Treasurer Major developer
Robin Loudermilk (The Loudermilk Companies) – Member Aaron's CEO and major local figure...personally bankrolled much of Streets of Buckhead
Robin Suggs (Simon Properties) – Member
Councilperson Howard Shook (Atlanta City Council) – Member
Thad Ellis (Cousins Properties) – Member
Hunter Richardson (OliverMcMillan) – Member New master developer of Streets of Buckhead
Scott Selig (Selig Enterprises) – Member Major midtown/retail developer and resident of Buckhead

Partners
http://thebuckheadcoalition.org/

Sam Massell - Chairman (former Atlanta mayor)
Bernie Marcus (Marcus Foundation/Home Depot)
Jack Sawyer (Wilmington Trust)
Rob Schreiner (Kaiser Permanente)
Stuart Snyder (TBS)
Mike Sivewright (JLL)
Brant Standridge (BB&T)
Mark Donnelly (Wells Fargo)
Joshua Goldfarb (Southeast Apartment)


Buckhead Area Transportation Management Association
http://www.batma.org/

Livable Buckhead
http://livablebuckhead.org/

Buckhead Business Association
http://www.buckheadbusiness.org/



I hate Buckhead with a passion...but you can see the amount of organization, money, effort and influence it takes to create a place like Buckhead...and then to transform it into a more urban area.  As suburban as Buckhead is, it is 5x the size of downtown Jacksonville and downtown Jacksonville can take cues on how to get things done.

Some themes:

Lots of heavy hitting Jews sit on these boards (Sam Massell, Scott Selig, Bernie Marcus, Steven Cadranel, etc etc).  They all happen to be major developers.  They also welcome new people with open arms - bringing a representative from San Diego based developer Olliver MacMillan and Boston based hedge fund Baupost Group (Streets of Buckhead) for one.  Lots of money - several billionaires personally bankroll and throw money around Buckhead for personal interests.  The best example was Robin Loudermilk buying 4 city blocks worth of land and paying $400/land foot in order to close down rowdy bars and clubs and get a new development going.

It's definitely an interesting study - the dynamic and all.  It's as Good Old Boy as Atlanta gets and yet is not even close to being Good Old Boy in the way the Jacksonville network is.  You're invited in based on merit and community involvement, not because you're a member of a certain church or because your daddy was someone "important" back in the day.

Wayyy off topic, but since you asked.  Surely you know that intown Atl nabes like Midtown are far more urban, also controlled and improved by a CID and BID and several TIF zones and Empowerment zones, as well as a historic district.  Downtown has 2 TIF zones, a CID, BID, historic districs, and other groups.  Etc etc.
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: I-10east on June 10, 2012, 08:22:16 PM
I'm kinda a pessimist when it comes to things like this retail thing, and I don't get my hopes high on certain things only to be disappointed. To be honest, I'll be shocked if this thing will ever have retail. It will most likely only feature all parking, which IMO isn't necessarily be a bad thing as long as it fits better aesthetically than that style (or lack of) of the first proposal; There's some pics on here with non-retail downtown-aesthetic parking garages that looks fine. Probably 98 percent of downtown parking garages don't have retail anyway, that's what existing buildings are for. We already have tons of empty downtown retail space anyway, look no further than the Landing. So it's all good to e-mail and raise hell with wanting retail there, just don't bet the farm on it.
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: JeffreyS on June 10, 2012, 11:36:53 PM
The Landing is doing pretty well with occupancy rate. It really is an important block that just can not have a dead pedestrian space.  It is the block the new employees at Everbank and BB&T will walk on the way to the Landing.  Things change and empty retail space on that block will have the landlord soliciting tenants.
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: thelakelander on June 11, 2012, 01:31:33 AM
A good portion of the "occupiable" storefronts at ground level in downtown actually have businesses in them.  Unfortunately, not all of them are exposed to the street as good as they can be.  New ready to move in retail in that centralized location won't sit empty long unless lease rates are above what the market can bear.  Furthermore, what type of retail are we shooting for?  That can impact retail space dimensions.  If you want something like a CVS or Walgreens, you'll need a box in the range of 10,000 square feet at a signalized intersection.  That type of space will be different than a space designed for a storefront specialty shop or deli.  If you're interested in a restaurant, you might want to incorporate a larger setback along the sidewalk for outdoor dining.  If you want to be flexible, you'd shoot for a mix of all of these.
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: JeffreyS on June 11, 2012, 07:47:41 AM
Another worry is that if the developer does something else to "Activate" the space you will have another group that will start yelling to remove the amenities. After all someone they don't like might use them.
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: PeeJayEss on June 12, 2012, 11:26:31 AM
Oh, but STATION SQUARE is not as isolated as one might think, diagonally across Smithfield and Carson Streets is one element of the connectivity with the urban core. Pittsburgh's amazing Light Rail system.

Seen from another direction, note that the LIGHT RAIL and the BRT system, one of the oldest in the country, share a stop at STATION SQUARE.

I'm sure there is a message in this for Jacksonville, now if our leaders could just figure out what it is. It's not enough to say we want Streetcars, Skyway and BRT, we have to ACT! If we had such systems, another giant parking garage wouldn't be eating more of our public dollars.

Oh my God, I was at Station Square when it was still a station! Pittsburgh and Lake Erie Railroad, an arm of the New York Central, that became Penn Central, that became Conrail, that became CSX.

To help your point, I'd like to add that the Mon Incline ties in with Station Square, offering service to residents of Mt Washington up the hill. While it may seem gimmicky or outdated, it IS a legitimate and well-used commuter resource. Plus its just o so cool.
(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/8/8a/Monongahela_Incline.jpg/800px-Monongahela_Incline.jpg)

I will concede that Station Square is one of the better developments of those listed (behind the Seaport and Faneuil Hall), but it is more a satellite than part of the urban area. Aside from those living at the top of Mt Washington, no one lives within walking distance (including downtown, which is largely empty at night). It has a ginormous parking garage, and the T station carries more park-and-ride commuters who park in the garage or the lot and take the T into downtown than it does suburban light-rail riders. The transportation infrastructure is great, but I don't think that makes the Square urban. And it and the T line are not as successful as we might hope to believe. Station Square is more dead than the Landing on a rainy/cold winter weekday night, and that's with much more diverse amenities than the Landing (river cruise ship fleet, BRT lines, light rail, incline, parking).

I think we can learn something from the Port Authority of Allegheny County (Pittsburgh's better version of JTA), but not from Station Square (unless its about preservation of historic buildings, in which case its a good study).

One thing that I think could be implemented by JTA (I'm assuming it hasn't been) is some kind of public transportation pass for college students. In Pittsburgh, the Port Authority has partnered with the universities to simplifying bus and T-line use. All you need to get on the bus or the T is a University ID (the university charges every student a Port Authority fee, but its pretty small and unnoticeable with tuition and all the other fees). This greatly simplified using public transportation for the students. You didn't have to think about fares or much planning of efficient routes, you could just go. That lack of planning had us exploring parts of the city that we may not have intended at times, but the simplicity really encouraged our use of buses. While buses may not be ideal at capturing choice riders, having a bunch of college students riding them really helps their attractiveness (I believe). Hence, many of my friends still in the city ride the bus to their fairly high-paying jobs. There is not as significant a stigma attached to buses there.
I would think it would be fairly easy for JTA to do this with UNF, JU, FSCJ, etc. I realize some of those are more commuter schools, but for a college kid without a car, the bus should be a great option.
This is a topic for another post, but your post made me think about it, so there ya go.
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: JeffreyS on June 12, 2012, 12:37:50 PM
Has anyone heard about the scheduling of the DDRB workshop?
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: fieldafm on June 12, 2012, 12:53:44 PM
Thursday at 9AM. 

Have not gotten any notice of that personally, even though I was the only person to speak publicly on the project besides the architect and engineer.
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: JeffreyS on June 12, 2012, 01:30:08 PM
I won't make it this time hopefully others will.
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: thelakelander on June 12, 2012, 01:31:49 PM
NOTICE OF PUBLIC MEETING

THE DOWNTOWN DEVELOPMENT REVIEW BOARD (DDRB) WILL HOLD A WORKSHOP ON THURSDAY, JUNE 14, 2012 at 9:30 A.M.  This meeting is to discuss DDRB 2012-006, Parador Partners, LLC Parking Garage project.

The meeting will be held at CITY HALL AT ST. JAMES located at 117 WEST DUVAL ST. on the SECOND FLOOR in Conference Room C.

When you exit the elevator, Conference Room C will be to your right along the atrium wall.


Should you have any questions about this meeting, please contact Michelle Stephens at (904) 630-1979, or Jim Klement at (904) 630-2689.

NOTE:  Any person who anticipates an appeal of a decision made by the Board with respect to any matter considered at these meetings or who may decide to appeal such decisions will need to ensure that a verbatim record of the proceedings is made, which record includes the testimony and evidence upon which the appeal is based.
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: Captain Zissou on June 12, 2012, 03:31:05 PM
This is starting to stink, in my opinion. With $3.5 million in city money on the line and one of the highest potential sites in downtown, it should be a very stringent design approval process.  The developer should be put trough the ringer, but I don't see that happening.
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: tlemans on June 12, 2012, 04:32:13 PM
Lakelander will you be attending this meeting and are we allowed to express our opinions in this meeting?
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: JeffreyS on June 12, 2012, 04:55:48 PM
This is starting to stink, in my opinion. With $3.5 million in city money on the line and one of the highest potential sites in downtown, it should be a very stringent design approval process.  The developer should be put trough the ringer, but I don't see that happening.
The DDRB did request that they aggressively pursue retail and make it not look like a garage at the first conceptual meeting.  We just need to stay on them to make sure they stick to their guns.  In my opinion the city has all the leverage in this case.
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: simms3 on June 12, 2012, 05:19:52 PM
Also given the site a project for this site should receive no help from city other than tax incentives...and those incentives should go to contributing structures only (which exclude Parking Garages).  This site should be developed with the utmost respect when the time is right (i.e. when there is natural demand to put something great on the site).  Other projects like the Laura Trio would benefit a lot more from the $3.5M and would be constributing structures, transforming a blighted central corner of downtown to one filled with multiple uses.

The priorities of the city need to be of protecting taxpayer money and enriching the city/economic development, NOT saving their own asses and bowing down to inexperienced developers looking for free returns on crappy developments that would otherwise not stand on their own.  If the City makes poor choices and signs bad agreements, it shouldn't look to the taxpayer to unwittingly bail them out with "easy way outs".

The City should patiently wait to throw money at a development that could solve the Landing parking and provide payback on the tax rolls so that everyone wins, not just the City's elected officials and a trio of inexperienced real estate folk and a design/build firm.

And might I also contend that Mr. Sleiman is just using the City as an excuse for his own miscalculations on his investment in the Landing (if he did in fact misjudge the performance of his investment).  Should we really trust that he's going to do "big things" as soon as he gets parking solved?  I do not think so.  If he can't find a way to get people to use other garages or surface lots and stroll down the Riverwalk to his development (a hop skip and jump from anywhere within our tiny downtown), then he's not going to find a way to get people to come period.

The City should be firm and go the legal route (which I'm sure they sort of have) rather than just give in and look for a way to wash their hands of their poorly executed deal.  The legal route probably won't cost $3.5M and could most likely afford delay until the city can throw that money at a better development that suits the City's and the Landings needs as per the Agreement.
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: JeffreyS on June 12, 2012, 09:36:16 PM
Lakelander will you be attending this meeting and are we allowed to express our opinions in this meeting?
Yes the public can talk but will not be as formal as the normal meetings. Supposed to be more of a give and take session.
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: thelakelander on June 12, 2012, 11:27:19 PM
Lakelander will you be attending this meeting and are we allowed to express our opinions in this meeting?

At this point, I don't know.  Depends on how hot my fires at work are after working out of Orlando tomorrow.
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: ronchamblin on June 13, 2012, 02:51:12 AM
The following might be relevant to the parking garage issue, and our often quoted “parking problem”.  There seems to be three types of parking arrangements in the downtown core.  The first is the standard street parking at a parking meter, which includes the fear of a ticket, and therefore a big negative for people thinking of visiting the city core.  The second is inside of a parking garage, like the proposed Parador Partners kind, near the Landing.  The third is the off-site parking space, perhaps miles away, with the idea that the city visitor or shopper will park there and ride a bus or future mass transit to the city core.  Of course, with a fully developed mass transit of some kind, the people could simply use the system to get to the city core. 

Because of the need or desire to visit the core for only a short while, people do not wish to use the parking garages, nor do they wish to use the off-site / mass transit option, but would rather circle a few blocks looking for a metered parking space and worry about getting a ticket.  This habit and desire is a consequence of the fact that there is not much to do in our city core, that our city core has not achieved the high level of vibrancy which will cause the visitor to wish staying in the city core for several hours, or even all day. 

It’s like a formula.  No vibrancy = nothing to do in city core = wish to stay only for .5 or 1.0 hours for project  = parking meter use/not garage use = fear of parking ticket = negative for city core = other people avoid the core = perpetual core stagnation.

It is highly probable that shoppers and visitors to the core will be more inclined to use the parking garages “and” use the off-site option once the core has reached the mega-revitalization stage we’re all striving for.  Why?  Because a highly developed and vibrant downtown core will be a place people will love to be for several hours, or all day.  They might even want to live in the city core. 
   
If there is enough to see and do in a vibrant environment, people will desire longer term parking offered in a garage or off-site facility, and will care less about how and where they park because their primary concern will be to simply “get into the area and enjoy”.   

Currently, there is not much to do downtown, that is, as compared to what it could be, and perhaps will be, and compared to other more revitalized city cores wherein there is lots and lots of things to do.  Without much to do, people want to stay downtown for only thirty minutes to an hour to do whatever they must do.  This kind of short visit means, “find a parking meter”.     
 
Achieving the vibrancy will do two things for the often quoted “parking problem”.  It will lessen the “parking ticket” horror everyone talks about simply because people will wish to stay longer downtown, a decision which will cause them to decide increasingly to use the parking garages.  Vibrancy will also lessen the impact of the often quoted panhandlers, vagrants, and homeless. 

In summary, and to repeat somewhat, the very fact of achieving vibrancy in the core will “solve” most of the parking problem because people will want to stay in the core for several hours or all day, a decision causing them to: 1) Park in a parking garage or 2) use the option of parking in an off-site parking facility and use current or future mass transit to get to the city core.

So it seems to me, any decision about new parking garages ought to consider future vibrancy.  Not doing so might delay or prevent eventual vibrancy.  Don’t we have enough parking garages now?   To build another parking garage to satisfy one venue or retail environment, such as the Landing, might solve an immediate problem for that particular environment, but it would miss the mark.  A new parking garage might solve a temporary local parking problem, but it would cause greater negatives in the long run, such as poor use of valuable city core space, and the placement in the city core of another visually unattractive parking garage.   

The ultimate and ideal solution, one which will take a little patience, will be to invest in infrastructure and incentives which will encourage vibrancy.  The achievement of vibrancy might just solve the parking problem for all environments in the city core.     
 
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: thelakelander on June 13, 2012, 07:27:28 AM
No matter what the core use of the site or facade design is, it becomes a permanent pedestrian scale vibrancy killer in that particular area of downtown if it is designed without the potential of ground level retail on Bay, Hogan, and Independent Drive.  As far as this particular project goes, ground floor retail/leasable space or bust, IMO.
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: fsujax on June 13, 2012, 08:00:58 AM
well, i would suggest people start emailing members of DDRB or show up to the meetings and voice their concerns. If only more people were as vocal about stuff like this like they are about other things.
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: tlemans on June 13, 2012, 11:36:09 AM
Lakelander will you be attending this meeting and are we allowed to express our opinions in this meeting?

At this point, I don't know.  Depends on how hot my fires at work are after working out of Orlando tomorrow.

Thanks Lakelander. I understand my work situation will determine if I am able to attend. I have been following development on that site for a while here in Jacksonville. I have had my hopes up so many times only to be let down. I guess the economy is to blame. I hope and pray that the parking garage goes thru this time with retail at the ground level. I wonder what impact this will have on the Landing? What do you guys and girls think will happen to the Landing if this is built?
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: simms3 on June 13, 2012, 12:00:28 PM
I have had my hopes up so many times only to be let down. I guess the economy is to blame. I hope and pray that the parking garage goes thru this time with retail at the ground level. I wonder what impact this will have on the Landing? What do you guys and girls think will happen to the Landing if this is built?

I hope and pray this thing does not get passed period and it won't do jack s**t for anything or anyone, nor will the retail be leased.  A surface lot is better than a permanent garage at this point, and patience for something truly worthy of that site is my wish.  Of course in the meantime a little park, temp urban market, etc etc would be better than a dirt lot or a parking deck.  Landing suffers from crappy downtown and from lack of internal creativity, not from lack of parking.

The bad economy was now 2-5 years ago.  Jacksonville's former peers are seeing near record construction, mainly infill at this point.  I point to Nashville, Charlotte, Raleigh, Austin, Salt Lake City, Oklahoma City and others.

Raleigh may see its own record of multifamily starts this year, and probably 40-60% of that is infill...which is a huge chunk, especially for a city like Raleigh.

Nashville's skyline is in a relative boom period right now and the announcements and starts keep pouring in.

Charlotte is seeing a ton of multifamily infill right now, all concentrated along the LYNX, in Southpark, and University Center.

Austin is pulling ahead as a 2nd tier market (borderline 1st in certain investment categories).  There are more cranes up in DT Austin right now than buildings in DT Jacksonville.

Birmingham seems to be pushing forward with a few noteworthy projects, and the city is really transforming into a beautiful city filled with great parks and districts.

Again...Jacksonville has no macro excuses as to why it's not following suit...it only has itself to blame.
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: dougskiles on June 13, 2012, 12:26:37 PM
I agree with you, simms3.  I would prefer to see nothing happen here instead of a parking garage.

I plan on attending the meeting tomorrow morning, and if given the opportunity, will share that opinion.  Projects like this work counter to a number of goals that have been repeatedly expressed for downtown.  We have plenty of parking garages downtown already AND we have an underutilized people mover system.

The solution could be simple - would they still build it if the $3.5 million subsidy disappears?  How much of a guarantee is that part of the deal?
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: thelakelander on June 13, 2012, 09:30:28 PM
I'm actually fine with a parking garage, even a cheap ugly one if it were laid out differently on the site.  For example, while working out of Orlando today, I noticed this stick built infill apartment project under construction near downtown.  It has a cheap no-frills garage but it's set back from the street.  Between the street edge and the garage are apartment units that will block the ugly structure from the project's surroundings. 

(http://photos.metrojacksonville.com/Development/Parador-Partners-Parking/i-FPdmnCm/0/M/P1560026-M.jpg)

(http://photos.metrojacksonville.com/Development/Parador-Partners-Parking/i-ntSBwx7/0/M/P1560027-M.jpg)

(http://photos.metrojacksonville.com/Development/Parador-Partners-Parking/i-Bnj6DPf/0/M/P1560025-M.jpg)

If Parador doesn't want to have any retail, I'd suggest an alternative site layout where their garage is located in the middle of the block (yes, this means they'll have to lose that surface parking lot that have next to their proposed garage.  Locating the garage in the middle of the site would allow for the possibility of several infill uses to eventually cover it up Greenville/Orlando style.

Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: JeffreyS on June 13, 2012, 10:12:08 PM
No matter what the core use of the site or facade design is, it becomes a permanent pedestrian scale vibrancy killer in that particular area of downtown if it is designed without the potential of ground level retail on Bay, Hogan, and Independent Drive.  As far as this particular project goes, ground floor retail/leasable space or bust, IMO.

I do not think it should be left as potential. There should be retail spots burning under whoever is responsible for filling them.  Parador needs the parking the city is putting up 3.5 mil. The city has all the cards just insist on what we want and Parador will build it. They may scoff for a while but it will just be a ploy.

Two things were clear in the conceptual meeting. 1. Parador wants a cheap garage kit and that is all.  2. He really needs to build the parking and the help of 3.5 mil.

Just insist this time DDRB and you will get your way.
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: simms3 on June 13, 2012, 10:30:28 PM
I'm actually fine with a parking garage, even a cheap ugly one if it were laid out differently on the site.  For example, while working out of Orlando today, I noticed this stick built infill apartment project under construction near downtown.  It has a cheap no-frills garage but it's set back from the street.  Between the street edge and the garage are apartment units that will block the ugly structure from the project's surroundings. 

You know that's just straight infill and not typical of development on a city's most prime, central block, right?  Those stick built hybrid apt communities are what is being built en masse in Raleigh, Charlotte, Nashville, Atlanta, apparently Orlando, and other cities...but not on "Main Street".  That's the kind of stuff that should go in Lavilla or Brooklyn to start until the market can support higher quality infill.
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: thelakelander on June 13, 2012, 10:40:10 PM
^The Orlando project is located at Colonial Drive & Orange Avenue, immediately adjacent to I-4 and the Sunrail corridor.  That's the busiest street through urban Orlando and a major gateway into their downtown.  It's being developed by Atlanta-based Pollack Partners and will include a 326-unit, four-story complex with a 520-space parking deck.

(http://assets.bizjournals.com/orlando/news/Pollack-Shores.jpg?v=1)
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: thelakelander on June 13, 2012, 10:43:40 PM
Here's my suggested alternative, which I think in the long run would play out better than their current layout, even with retail.

(http://photos.metrojacksonville.com/Development/Parador-Partners-Parking/i-MhNwFnK/0/L/Parador-Alternative-L.jpg)

1. Shift the garage to the middle of the site.  They'll have to lose their extra surface parking lot and internal access drive but that's overkill on an urban site anyway.  Short term bank parking can be accommodated in the parking garage, just like it is in other cities with them (Ex. downtown Lakeland's Suntrust has short term parking within it's garage).

2. Shifting the garage to the middle of the site, creates significant opportunity for a variety of infill uses (hotel, retail, office, market rate multifamily, etc.) that could possibly cover up the entire garage from public view, while adding ground level life on Bay, Hogan and Independent.  Given the $3.5 million contribution, they should donate the extra land to the city so that a market rate RFP could be possibly developed.

3. Not only should Parador be more responsible for site planning here but also the city.  There are a lot of things that could be done to make Sister Cities Plaza an activity zone instead of a forgotten pass through.  That could include also using a portion of the city owned property for infill use.

This is basically the Greenville garage concept:

(http://www.metrojacksonville.com/photos/thumbs/lrg-4194-p1070173.JPG)

(http://www.greenvilledailyphoto.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/DSC01953-001.jpg)

If it isn't something like this, I think it should include ground floor retail and be built strong enough to support a future building on top of it or not be approved at all.  In either case, as far as the look of the facade goes, I could really care less.  The important issue is how whatever goes in here integrates and activates the surrounding area at ground level.  That means more than a slick decorated facade or landscaping theme.
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: simms3 on June 14, 2012, 08:11:30 AM
^The Orlando project is located at Colonial Drive & Orange Avenue, immediately adjacent to I-4 and the Sunrail corridor.  That's the busiest street through urban Orlando and a major gateway into their downtown.  It's being developed by Atlanta-based Pollack Partners and will include a 326-unit, four-story complex with a 520-space parking deck.

(http://assets.bizjournals.com/orlando/news/Pollack-Shores.jpg?v=1)

Sad for Orlando if that is what is going up on their most prime spot.  I guess patience for something grand is easier to come by when you get used to choosing between some crap Novare tower or waiting for a billion dollar development, but either way something is going to happen.  I guess in Jacksonville's case beggers can't be choosers and it should just take what it can get??
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: JeffreyS on June 14, 2012, 08:43:14 AM
Take your suggestion to meeting Lake. However with us putting in 3.5 mil I think we should get the whole shooting match up front.
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: thelakelander on June 14, 2012, 08:49:00 AM
Don't know if I'm going to make the meeting or not.  I've got a stack of work from Orlando that has to be completed before I head out to Cincinnati tomorrow.  However, I do plan to email each DDRB member right after my morning coffee from Chamblins.
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: thelakelander on June 14, 2012, 08:55:11 AM
Sad for Orlando if that is what is going up on their most prime spot.  I guess patience for something grand is easier to come by when you get used to choosing between some crap Novare tower or waiting for a billion dollar development, but either way something is going to happen.  I guess in Jacksonville's case beggers can't be choosers and it should just take what it can get??

Orlando, like the rest of Florida's downtowns has lots of surface lots at key intersections that can be filled.  As far as Jax goes, yes I'd take a stick built infill project on that site over what is currently being proposed.  This is Jax we're talking about.  I mean we're seriously contemplating allowing a freaking cheap and ugly no-frills parking garage with a site plan that kills the opportunity of anything else being done on that parcel.

Take your suggestion to meeting Lake. However with us putting in 3.5 mil I think we should get the whole shooting match up front.

Allowing that garage at the current location on that site means we'll need a little more than a limited amount of street retail to best utilize it.  Quite frankly, it will need to be structurally sound enough for something larger to possibly be built on top of it one day (like the original plan was).
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: dougskiles on June 14, 2012, 08:47:42 PM
I was able to attend the meeting today, albeit a little late.  From what I heard, I mostly missed introductions.  And the acknowledgement by the design team that because a portion of the building was planned to have some element that would require sprinkling, that issue was no longer being used as a reason to not build retail.

The developer was represented by two Haskell Architects, Chris Holmes and Alan Wilson.  The plan they were showing had the front of the garage about even with the Suntrust building, and shallow retail (about 20-30' deep) along the front.  They were proposing that the additional space created by the curvature of Independent Drive could become a public plaza with opportunities for public art (they never said who actually was going to pay for that part of it - I suspect it was going to be left for the City to do at some undetermined time in the future).  I believe this was offered as a means of satisfying the concern that the building needed something "interesting" for pedestrians.  One of the DDRB members (the one who works for Haskell and recused from the voting) mentioned that he thought the plaza was a good solution and that possibly retail wouldn't be needed.

They were also proposing to having nothing more than a false storefront on the Hogan Street side to satisfy, again, that desire for pedestrians to "have something to look at".

Thankfully I could sense that the other DDRB members weren't buying into it.  The statement was made by one of them that "we are moving in the right direction but we aren't there yet".

Mark Rimmer (as a member of the public - and operator of the courthouse garage) gave good reasons why the entrance should be moved from Hogan to Bay Street.

Chris Flagg (member of DDRB) stated his opinions about it clearly.  The building should not be JUST a garage.  It should be a mixed use building that has as one element garage parking.

"The Haskell Guy" read an email that he received from an interested citizen that offered the solution of moving the garage back and allowing infill around it.  That was obviously from Lakelander.  He liked the idea.  Alan Wilson agreed that even if they didn't go that far, the garage could be set back a little further from Hogan to create a viable retail space on the ground floor.

The opportunity was then provided for others to speak, and so I stated that I think some are missing the point of the need for retail.  It isn't just for pedestrians to have something to look at.  It is about creating opportunities for commerce.  We have dozens of public plazas that are wasteland primarily because of the void of activity around them.  Any outdoor urban space has to be surrounded by complementing commercial uses to be vibrant.  People aren't going to visit the plaza just because it is there.

Several others from the community commented on the importance of maintaining e retail requirement.  Amy from DVI spoke (although was clear that she wasn't speaking on behalf if DVI - these were her personal opinions).  My favorite was Melody Bishop who told us that she intentionally wore black and white to the meeting, because she felt this was a black and white issue.  There is no gray area about the need for retail along the street.

After the meeting, I had a chance to talk more with DDRB members and the Haskell team.  The overriding sense I got from them was that this could be worked out.  HOWEVER it occurred to me as I started writing this that because the developer wasn't there, this really could have just been a smoke session.  We need to have a strong contingent at the next DDRB meeting when they will be voting on it.  Lots can happen behind the scenes between now and then.

Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: jcjohnpaint on June 14, 2012, 08:53:53 PM
Thanks Doug!
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: Ocklawaha on June 14, 2012, 09:18:09 PM
Great report Doug, over the top man! Thank you.

I've sent out an email to every member of the board, I'm hoping that everyone else that reads this will do at least that much. Be nice if we could blitz the meeting.

Kay gracefully posted the email addresses back on page 2, and I'm reposting them here:

Jim Bailey      JBailey@baileypub.com
Jonathan Garza      jgarza@garzabuilt.com
John Fischer      jfischer@marandbuilders.com
Timothy Miller      tmiller@elm-plan.com
Chris Flagg      cflagg@flaggdesignstudio.com
Logan Rink      rink@designcooperativefla.com
Monty Selim      selimm@bellsouth.net
Andy Sikes      andy.sikes@bmcjax.com
Roland Udenze      roland.udenze@thehaskellco.com
Eric Lindstrom      ericl@coj.net

So fire up those keyboards boys and girls and shoot em all a piece of your mind.

"You may fire when you are ready Gridley." Commodore George Dewey, 1 May 1898

OCKLAWAHA
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: ronchamblin on June 15, 2012, 12:28:29 AM
I’m so pleased to see the recent posts opposing any ground level parking garage encroachment into the valuable street access areas.  Thanks Lake, Doug, Ock, Jeffs, Simms etc.  It’s almost like everybody is in agreement with what is an unwritten law saying that nobody can build another parking garage at ground floor with anything less than forty feet depth for future lease to retail or similar.  This is a principle which nobody should be able to disregard while designing any parking facility to be located in the city core.  Any attempt to disregard this unwritten law is probably evidence of pressure from motives not for the ultimate good of the city core..... selfish immediate profits?   .... stupidity?   

Just as with the Hemming Park problem, we should design and build for the future vibrancy, even if we don’t have it now, because not doing so will delay or prevent the actual achievement of the vibrancy in the end.  In other words, we might not be able to fill the retail spaces provided at ground level on the perimeter of any parking built in the core, but we should certainly build the space for it.   
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: dougskiles on June 15, 2012, 06:33:30 AM
I need to clarify my report of what Mark Rimmer stated (he emailed me this morning - I always forget that people do read this stuff!).  He actually said that the garage should have an entrance at BOTH Hogan and Bay St.  Here are his reasons:

Quote
The reason was that the Hogan entrance would be the front door for activities at the TU Center/Landing/River, but Bay would be needed to serve the office environment.  Also, many events require that Hogan be closed down to vehicular traffic, so you would need that additional ingress/egress on Hogan.  From an operational perspective you need to have both entrance areas in order to allow decent traffic flow without creating choke points on the downtown streets in that area.

Mark is a brilliant person who has more experience with parking garages and urban traffic issues than anyone I know.  I am grateful that he is also an advocate for responsible downtown development.
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: simms3 on June 15, 2012, 06:56:20 AM
Ron,

It's funny you bring up depth.  This is another angle that causes concern with the plan for me.  With a garage/streetlevel retail you're going to end up with one depth, limited space and limited floorplans.  You're a retailer/business owner so you are well versed in this subject, but the LOD/space plan is just as important to the process of attracting a retailer/restauranteur as the location and terms.  The space may be there, but it may be forced and unleasable to anything other than a dry cleaner or nail salon or smoothie shop.

This is another reason why I would personally rather wait for more money to be thrown at the space so a real development can be built and a real design team utilized.  The plan for the space as it stands is a tilt-up design...do we really want a tilt-up building, even with retail space, on our most prime piece of land?
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: thelakelander on June 15, 2012, 07:57:57 AM
Great point simms3.  We have several garages with retail depths that pretty much limit their use.
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: fsujax on June 15, 2012, 07:58:45 AM
Good to hear so many showed up.  Keep the pressure on!
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: Dapperdan on June 15, 2012, 08:06:35 AM
I don't understand why Parador wouldn't want these extra lease payments coming in. They can get a heckuva lot more money from a  store lease than they would for single parking spots in those same locations. It may cost them more upfront, but wouldn't this be more beneficial to them?
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: tufsu1 on June 15, 2012, 08:33:29 AM
I don't understand why Parador wouldn't want these extra lease payments coming in.

probably because they assume the space would be empty for many years....and more importantly, it means less parking spaces and they don't want to add another level to compensate.
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: fieldafm on June 15, 2012, 08:34:47 AM
I don't understand why Parador wouldn't want these extra lease payments coming in. They can get a heckuva lot more money from a  store lease than they would for single parking spots in those same locations. It may cost them more upfront, but wouldn't this be more beneficial to them?

My personal opinion is that they are in it for the short term.  The parking garage makes their building more attractive to sell in a few years once office condo penetration increases.  The building itself actually got a few more tenants a year or so ago (mostly attorneys).  Seeing this as a short term investment (with taxpayer money) they have every incentive to do this as cheaply as possible.  They probably won't fill up those retail spaces in a short period of time, hence they don't want to build them.  The developer doesnt seem like a long term player in this market.

Thanks for showing up Doug.  Being the only person that spoke on the issue at the first DDRB meeting, I emailed the board my thoughts(the setback idea basically echoed Ennis' comments) and also my dissapointment for not receiving notice of this meeting.  9:30AM meetings are tough to account for in my corporate job, so this was a particularly difficult meeting to attend even if proper notice was given.

I'll be at the next review, which would serve as the final review.  If they don't propose what is required by law with taxpayer assistance... come hell or high water this boondoggle should not be built.   
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: simms3 on June 15, 2012, 09:47:15 AM
To Parador retail bays represent a carrying cost, not rental income.  They rightly assume so.

This is the kind of developable land that deserves a great developer who can secure strong financing, provide tremendous vision, and move forward on a quicker timeframe on something that would normally be out of the city's league of development.  Said development would include certain loss leaders like retail and perhaps an office component, but the developer would be creative enough to create the demand through intense marketing and the lender would have a high level of faith and a working relationship with the partners involved.

http://vimeo.com/35291639
Just a marketing video routinely put out in conjuction with the CID and local developers, but actual developers routinely create similar videos to spread awareness of an area and spur demand for units in their developments.
http://vimeopro.com/12thmidtown/collection
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4u8TDKBHUkE&feature=youtu.be

I envision something to the level of the above.  Similar proposals for that site as years before, but more employed developer and stronger backing.  I won't complain too bitterly about a similar Parador proposal in another area of downtown that isn't "Prime", but I'll sit on my hands regarding the current site waiting for something great.

Once this site is taken up by a bland garage, the relative few prime developable plots downtown shrinks significantly.  Of course this is what you get when land is sooo cheap and anyone can feasibly put just about anything anywhere (especially with the city putting in).
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: Tacachale on June 15, 2012, 09:50:13 AM
Thanks for the input everyone. We can't be quiet about this one. Has anyone brought up building the garage so that a tower could be put on top of it down the road?
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: fsujax on June 15, 2012, 09:51:39 AM
I did mention that to a Board member.
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: dougskiles on June 15, 2012, 10:01:24 AM
To Parador retail bays represent a carrying cost, not rental income.  They rightly assume so.

This is the kind of developable land that deserves a great developer who can secure strong financing, provide tremendous vision, and move forward on a quicker timeframe on something that would normally be out of the city's league of development.  Said development would include certain loss leaders like retail and perhaps an office component, but the developer would be creative enough to create the demand through intense marketing and the lender would have a high level of faith and a working relationship with the partners involved.

http://vimeo.com/35291639
Just a marketing video routinely put out in conjuction with the CID and local developers, but actual developers routinely create similar videos to spread awareness of an area and spur demand for units in their developments.
http://vimeopro.com/12thmidtown/collection
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4u8TDKBHUkE&feature=youtu.be

I envision something to the level of the above.  Similar proposals for that site as years before, but more employed developer and stronger backing.  I won't complain too bitterly about a similar Parador proposal in another area of downtown that isn't "Prime", but I'll sit on my hands regarding the current site waiting for something great.

Once this site is taken up by a bland garage, the relative few prime developable plots downtown shrinks significantly.  Of course this is what you get when land is sooo cheap and anyone can feasibly put just about anything anywhere (especially with the city putting in).

Awesome videos simms3.  You work for such a developer, yes?  Have they looked at the site?
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: fieldafm on June 15, 2012, 10:15:15 AM
Quote
Has anyone brought up building the garage so that a tower could be put on top of it down the road?

Yes.  Doesn't appear the developer wants to do that.  Read: motivation is cheap construction due to short term goals. 
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: Tacachale on June 15, 2012, 10:16:42 AM
^These guys sound like some real class acts. Too typical.
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: dougskiles on June 15, 2012, 10:22:44 AM
Does anyone know if they have started working through the TCEA/DRI development rights process?  Just because they get DDRB approval for the design elements, doesn't mean they are through the approval process.

From JEDC's website:

Quote
Transportation Concurrency Exception Area: Downtown was recently designated as a Transportation Concurrency Exception Area (TCEA) to promote mixed-use development tied into mass transit options to mitigate the impacts of development on the downtown and surrounding roadway system.
 
The JEDC is the master developer of the Consolidated Downtown Development of Regional Impact Development Order (DRI DO), approved March 12, 1993 and the Transportation Concurrency Exception Area (TCEA), approved December 13, 2005. The Downtown Zoning Overlay requires a developer obtain DRI development rights prior to receiving final DDRB approval.
 
DRI development rights are obtained only after receiving conceptual approval by the DDRB. All new and rehabilitation projects require DRI development rights, which are made available through the Consolidated Downtown DRI DO. A developer of a proposed project must obtain DRI development rights prior to receiving final DDRB approval. DRI development rights are allocated to a developer through a Redevelopment Agreement, negotiated by the JEDC and approved by City Council. Developers are required to mitigate the impacts of their proposed development by adhering to the Consolidated Downtown DRI DO conditions and agreeing to applicable TCEA Mobility Performance Standards.
 
The downtown area is designated a TCEA and requires developers to agree to implement applicable mobility improvements that promote mixed-use development, increased efficiency of existing roadways, enhanced streetscapes, mass transit ridership, transit oriented design, etc., in lieu of traditional road widening improvements.

http://www.coj.net/departments/jacksonville-economic-development-commission/downtown-development/tcea.aspx (http://www.coj.net/departments/jacksonville-economic-development-commission/downtown-development/tcea.aspx)

I am going to do some research on the Consolidated Downtown DRI DO.  I just hope these issues weren't given away when the $3.5 million was.
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: simms3 on June 15, 2012, 11:24:12 AM
Awesome videos simms3.  You work for such a developer, yes?  Have they looked at the site?

I can't speak for the firm I work for, but don't hold your breath.  We've been heavily focused on acquisitions in large coastal gateway markets.

I firmly believe that one of the largest key ingredients missing from Jacksonville is a heavy hitting and motivated local developer.  Nashville, Charlotte and Austin all benefit from a slew of heavy hitting local developers who take pride in their local reputation and abilitity to provide a meaningful return to their investors and add value to their hometown.  Outside of Miami, Florida cities rely on so many Atlanta profiteers coming in, mowing over smaller cities and slamming through a bunch of crap for strong returns.
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: simms3 on June 15, 2012, 01:09:14 PM
Article on some Austin developments.  Lots of Atlanta (Cousins, Gables, Novare), Dallas (Trammell Crow), and various large groups that are also active in similar cities (White Lodging - also in Nashville).  Lots of local, too...Schlosser, Endeavor, Manchester Texas.

http://www.statesman.com/business/real-estate/downtowns-skyline-poised-for-a-remake-2397927.html?viewAsSinglePage=true

Here is Nashville's most prominent local developer, who has partnered with lots of larger outside developers from Atlanta and Chicago on lots of projects not listed on its site.

http://giarratana.com/

Here are a couple developers in Charlotte, among others.

http://www.bissell-companies.com/
http://www.pappasproperties.com/pappas_metropolitan.htm
http://www.crescent-resources.com/our-work/

Of course lots of these developers do suburban stuff...but they all do have some degree of focus on local infill and large downtown projects.  I'd argue Hallmark in Jacksonville has done the most recently in the CBD (more like Riverside), but other than that group there isn't an entity that has done anything truly transformational in the city.

http://naihallmarkpartners.com/Default.aspx?tabid=11653
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: simms3 on June 15, 2012, 01:19:33 PM
I don't see Parador as committing themselves to the market.  They seem to want to take what they can get in remaining office condo sales at SunTrust, build this garage with mega help from city to get them there, and then they're out.  Is that really who we need to be helping?  I don't think so!

You need some local guys with skin in the game to take risks (of course many try and the city repeatedly gets in the way), and then eventually you'll get the larger, better Atlanta/SE development firms, and then eventually the large guys from further away like John Buck, Hines, PREIS, Tishman (doubtfully ever), Starwood, etc etc.
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: Charles Hunter on June 15, 2012, 06:28:54 PM
Did the Mobility Fee system replace the mitigation elements of the Downtown DRI?  You know, the Mobility Fee the geniuses on City Council put a moratorium on?
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: dougskiles on June 15, 2012, 07:08:00 PM
Downtown is in the TCEA (Transportation Concurrency Exception Area) and therefore not subject to the Mobility Fee (which is fine with me because one of the main purposes of the Mobility Plan is to promote infill development).  However, the TCEA requires that all projects to implement applicable mobility improvements (see the information I posted earlier).
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: Ocklawaha on June 15, 2012, 10:48:22 PM
Ya have to know, I'm thinking the entire first floor would make a dandy railroad-streetcar museum with a car barn built in for our streetcar system...  and just for Lakelander, we'll include a nice RETAIL gift shop and cafe.

Hey I can dream can't I?
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: thelakelander on June 18, 2012, 06:52:41 AM
A parking garage in downtown Cincinnati's Restaurant Row:

(http://photos.metrojacksonville.com/Learning-From/Cincinnati-2012/i-tnJfwxQ/0/M/P1560168-M.jpg)

(http://photos.metrojacksonville.com/Learning-From/Cincinnati-2012/i-jSZgzZw/0/M/P1560313-M.jpg)
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: simms3 on June 18, 2012, 07:48:23 AM
And might I add that that garage, as interesting as it is, is still tucked away blocks from the waterfront and away from any postcard shot in and amongst the highrises.  We should be building garages like that, out of plain sight view, but we shouldn't build garages along the waterfront or within postcard view period, no matter how pretty (unless they are hidden as a podium).
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: ChriswUfGator on June 18, 2012, 08:06:17 AM
I need to clarify my report of what Mark Rimmer stated (he emailed me this morning - I always forget that people do read this stuff!).  He actually said that the garage should have an entrance at BOTH Hogan and Bay St.  Here are his reasons:

Quote
The reason was that the Hogan entrance would be the front door for activities at the TU Center/Landing/River, but Bay would be needed to serve the office environment.  Also, many events require that Hogan be closed down to vehicular traffic, so you would need that additional ingress/egress on Hogan.  From an operational perspective you need to have both entrance areas in order to allow decent traffic flow without creating choke points on the downtown streets in that area.

Mark is a brilliant person who has more experience with parking garages and urban traffic issues than anyone I know.  I am grateful that he is also an advocate for responsible downtown development.

You forgot the "lol"...
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: copperfiend on June 18, 2012, 09:10:45 AM
^These guys sound like some real class acts. Too typical.

Once our city and those in positions of power demand more, they will get more. Until then, it's just more of the same.
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: fieldafm on June 18, 2012, 10:16:45 AM
Just thinking outside the box a little (and more or less thinking out loud)... why not try to solve the problem of how the garage interacts with Sisters City Plaza with a shiping container store like the Starbucks in Seattle or the La Boite coffee shop in Austin? 
This is a cost-efficient (and LEED certified) way to create a pedestrian friendly, easily adaptable storefront that would instantly create a reason to activate the vastly underutilized Sisters City Plaza in a way that allows for interaction with the surrounding context= entertainment (Landing/Times Union Center) office space (Suntrust Bldg, Enterprise Center) and hotel (Omni). 

(http://www.starbucks.com/blogmedia/ebe457d4-9a24-419e-b362-84f765052f9b)

(http://containerhouse.info/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/starbucks-shipping-container-coffee-store.jpg)

(http://stateimpact.npr.org/texas/files/2011/12/Moblie-Food-Vendors-La-Boite-620x465.jpg)
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: PeeJayEss on June 18, 2012, 02:03:37 PM
A parking garage in downtown Cincinnati's Restaurant Row:

(http://photos.metrojacksonville.com/Learning-From/Cincinnati-2012/i-tnJfwxQ/0/M/P1560168-M.jpg)

(http://photos.metrojacksonville.com/Learning-From/Cincinnati-2012/i-jSZgzZw/0/M/P1560313-M.jpg)

A for effort, but I personally find that less appealing than possibly even a parking deck. I do not see that thing aging well.
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: Jason on June 18, 2012, 02:16:53 PM
I'm with the many others in that I would much rather see the lot vacant until something great can be built.
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: mtraininjax on June 19, 2012, 10:36:00 AM
Quote
Will some one please fire this guy?

A holdover from the Peyton era, what, the Mayor could not recruit anyone from DC for his position? Or is he Civil Service status like Pease and almost impossible to fire?
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: thelakelander on June 19, 2012, 11:16:56 AM
Quote
Crawford said the city enacted the requirement to make downtown more walkable and attract retail.
But he said fulfilling that goal has been difficult because garages built with first-floor retail have had trouble attracting tenants.

Why has filling first floor garage space been difficult?  With places like Sweet Lady Blue, Underbelly, Courtyard Cafe, Nature's Table recently opening or currently under construction, it would suggest that there is a market for certain types of retail.  So what's keeping retail away from various garages? 

There are several things that could stop retail from filling those spaces that have absolutely nothing to do with a natural demand for retail in downtown.  These could include  leasing rates above what the market can bear, retail frontage on streets with limited traffic/visibility or poorly dimensioned retail spaces that limit the type of retail that could logically go in them. 

For example, perhaps a CVS or Walgreens would work well on a street like Bay or Independent Drive.  However, they may need a retail box of 10,000 square feet with ceiling heights of 12' to 15'.  If you design your garage retail space with a depth of 50', you've pretty much killed that type of retailer from considering your site as a viable location for their product.  The dynamics explained above should be known by the JEDC, DIA or whatever agency is running downtown these days.
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: cline on June 19, 2012, 11:27:53 AM
Quote
If you design your garage retail space with a depth of 50', you've pretty much killed that type of retailer from considering your site as a viable location for their product.  The dynamics explained above should be known by the JEDC, DIA or whatever agency is running downtown these days.

The dynamics absolutely should be known by them.  Unfortunately they don't seem to have any grasp of the dynamics of downtown- that's part of the problem. 
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: comncense on June 20, 2012, 08:10:11 AM
With out luck as Downtown residents, they'll build a CVS or Walgreens and the store would close at 5pm and only be open Monday through Friday... Seriously though, it seems that generating foot traffic in that area of Downtown would be pretty easy. With the saturation of employees that are there during the work days and the people that still visit the Landing, I would seem that if you have decent stores or restaurants occupying that space, it would be easy to draw people in.
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: Jax_Spartan on June 28, 2012, 10:18:14 PM
Anyone know when the date is for the second approval meeting, now that the workshop is over?
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: Ocklawaha on June 28, 2012, 11:56:14 PM
The argument that the retail spaces will remain empty because that is what has happened up on Duval Street is bogus. With the Landing still having a spark of life and still attracting good sized crowds, retail in those spaces should fill in quickly.
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: acme54321 on July 24, 2012, 10:52:28 AM
Has the July DDRB meeting happened?  What's going on with this?
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: acme54321 on July 31, 2012, 02:24:12 PM
Still nothing on this project?
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: dougskiles on September 05, 2012, 02:39:16 PM
This just came to my email...

Quote
The City Office of Economic Development’s Downtown Development Review Board is scheduled Thursday to consider the final approval of materials and colors for the Jacksonville Transportation Authority’s Bus Rapid Transit customer shelters located Downtown.

Also on the agenda is a proposal for new signage for the Aetna Building on the Southbank, conceptual approval of the design for the proposed parking garage adjacent to SunTrust Tower on the Northbank and a discussion of the pedestrian bridge that has been approved for the Duval County Courthouse. The public meeting is 2 p.m. in the Lynwood Roberts Room at City Hall.
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: JeffreyS on September 05, 2012, 03:03:28 PM
Thanks for posting. I will try to make it but my schedule is tight tomorrow. I hope some others will show as we need to get this building right as it will play into the make up of downtown Jax for decades.


Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: thelakelander on September 05, 2012, 03:58:52 PM
(http://photos.metrojacksonville.com/Development/Parador-Partners-Parking/i-76cw57v/0/L/DDRB-Meeting-Packet-June-L.jpg)

(http://photos.metrojacksonville.com/Development/Parador-Partners-Parking/i-kQhbRLG/0/L/DDRB-Meeting-Packet-June-L.jpg)

Original design above.  DDRB staff has basically recommended conceptual approval to the design below

(http://photos.metrojacksonville.com/Development/Parador-Partners-Parking/i-5GQbWR5/0/L/Parador-12-L.jpg)

(http://photos.metrojacksonville.com/Development/Parador-Partners-Parking/i-hhpMR4H/0/L/Parador-23-L.jpg)

(http://photos.metrojacksonville.com/Development/Parador-Partners-Parking/i-gRmr4CL/0/L/Parador-24-L.jpg)

The developer doesn't want to build the retail component until the Suntrust Tower is 65% leased. Right now, Suntrust is 20% leased.
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: Tacachale on September 05, 2012, 04:04:32 PM
^They don't want to build the bottom floor of the structure until some later point? What am I missing here?
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: thelakelander on September 05, 2012, 04:16:52 PM
The retail is adjacent to the garage.  They want to build a garage with ground level parking and eventually add on some retail bays at some point in the future.  In the meantime, a temporary plaza would be constructed instead of retail.
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: Tacachale on September 05, 2012, 04:21:08 PM
Okay, I see now. At any rate it looks like a pretty weak design.
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: fsujax on September 05, 2012, 04:22:37 PM
i doubt they will ever build the retail if allowed to move forward without it, even if the Suntrust tower became 100% occupied.
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: JeffreyS on September 05, 2012, 04:22:46 PM
I think they should hold the line and build the retail. If it is not built the owner won't be shopping for tenants.
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: thelakelander on September 05, 2012, 04:34:19 PM
fsujax, I agree. I don't think the retail ever gets built if we're supposed to wait until that tower is 65% leased.  Personally, I don't see the direct relationship between the viability of street level retail and leasing office space in the Suntrust Tower.  I also believe the retail depth of 38' isn't great if you wanted to really lease those spaces.  At a minimum, they should be striving to 65' - 70' deep bays.  That can be accomplished by pushing the garage east, closer to the Suntrust Tower.  So what if the space between the tower and garage becomes essentially an alley.  Right now, with no street level uses opening up to it, the courtyard there is a waste of land.  Shrink it and give yourself some real retail flexibility to work with instead of repeating the Everbank retail bay situation on Riverside Avenue.
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: JeffreyS on September 05, 2012, 04:52:00 PM
So did they ever hold the public workshop.
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: thelakelander on September 05, 2012, 04:52:56 PM
Yes, I believe so.
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: dougskiles on September 05, 2012, 05:03:38 PM
DENY.

Let's remind them that they are getting a $3.5 million subsidy to build public parking spaces that we don't need downtown (we are overparked with public spaces).  I understand that privately owned office buildings want to provide dedicated parking for their tenants (and am fine with that).  However, the public subsidy changes the conversation.

The ONLY way we should agree to the phasing concept is if the subsidy is removed from the project - along with the public parking spaces.  And then pull the garage back even more so that a true multi-level mixed use building can be constructed along the perimeter.

I hope that new DIA member Melody Bishop attends the meeting tomorrow.  At the previous meeting, she was very vocal in her objection to a parking garage without retail on the ground floor.
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: tufsu1 on September 05, 2012, 05:13:32 PM
I'm pretty sure this is already teed-up for approval....the Mayor (and the new DIA) want to show that there is movement downtown....and I'm guessing that in their minds, a poorly designed urban garage is better than a grass/dirt lot.

The only bright side here....the plaza along Hogan Street could be a good spot for festival tents and/or food trucks
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: Jax_Spartan on September 05, 2012, 06:09:28 PM
The developer doesn't want to build the retail component until the Suntrust Tower is 65% leased. Right now, Suntrust is 20% leased.

Haha. It will take several years to triple its occupancy rate. By the time they reach it (if they do), haskel will just find a way to not go through with building the retail bays and the plan will fall apart. Thats going to be fun trying to hold them accountable for building the retail bays 7 years later. I would personally rather just have an empty lot and pray some other group in the future agrees to construct a garage with retail than work with these people that obviously have no intention of including retail ever and have another dead space.
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: JeffreyS on September 05, 2012, 06:25:29 PM
I'm pretty sure this is already teed-up for approval....the Mayor (and the new DIA) want to show that there is movement downtown....and I'm guessing that in their minds, a poorly designed urban garage is better than a grass/dirt lot.

The only bright side here....the plaza along Hogan Street could be a good spot for festival tents and/or food trucks

How blind are they this is getting built no matter what. They can hold them to the retail requirements with no concerns at all of this stalling the project. I was at the first approval meeting the developer needs this garage and the 3.5 mil. This is a no brainer show a little backbone.
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: thelakelander on September 05, 2012, 06:43:29 PM
How blind are they this is getting built no matter what. They can hold them to the retail requirements with no concerns at all of this stalling the project. I was at the first approval meeting the developer needs this garage and the 3.5 mil. This is a no brainer show a little backbone.

Jax and backbone to the development community go together like gasoline and bleach.
Title: Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
Post by: tufsu1 on September 05, 2012, 08:55:26 PM
as long as it makes horrible sense and smacks of guzzling at the public teat, Im sure you think there is a bright side, TUFSU.

well now, that's productive