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Community => News => Topic started by: Metro Jacksonville on February 05, 2008, 02:10:00 PM

Title: The Courthouse is as Good as Dead.
Post by: Metro Jacksonville on February 05, 2008, 02:10:00 PM
The Courthouse is as Good as Dead.

The Courthouse is Dead.Blockbuster new revelations from City Council Insiders claim the Mayor has given the Greenlight to killing the project.  According to revelations from inside sources at City Hall, and verified by two other political insiders, the Mayor's Office has been quietly contacting Council Members to tell them that if the Courthouse isnt built, it won't hurt his feelings.  This signifies an ignonomous end to a project which was slightly overbudget overbudget from the beginning, but whose costs have skyrocketed as time and inflation have adjusted the costs for building a downtown courthouse upwards of several hundred million dollars.  It was always a controversial project,  said one insider from the previous administration,  It would only work if it was combined with the Better Jacksonville Plan   Andy Johnson, a very vocal bitter opponent of the BJP agreed.  There's no way the public would have voted to build this project, thats why they had to promise everything on earth to anybody who would listen in order to get it passed.   There's nothing on earth to keep them from simply NOT building the courthouse, The only legally binding restriction (until they decide its no longer legally binding) is that they cannot spend that money on anything else.  However they can simply decide to no build the project and pay the bond off sooner.  If they want to kill it, the mayor has the power to do it, and I guess thats what is happening.  Still another official reminded metrojacksonville that tens of millions have already been spent on the project, and that if the project had simply been built at the onset, then hundreds of millions would have already been saved, and it would already be open and functioning. There is no doubt that the price of building is NOT going to decrease if they delay.  Does anyone seriously think the Courthouse will be CHEAPER to build in five years?   John Peyton is no stranger to construction or associated costs, no one knows better than he does about rising costs and the deflating dollar.   Stagnation, confusion and delay based on lack of leadership have already cost the taxpayers tens of millions on this project, not to mention the loss of several of downtowns more historic blocks, preventing any possible development on those properties for five years now. If administrations and mayors are chiefly remembered by the landmarks and buildings they leave behind, then this one will be remembered for castrating the downtown andleaving a seven block crater in the middle of the city.  Stephen Darereportossiper

Full Article
http://www.metrojacksonville.com/content/view/709
Title: Re: The Courthouse is as Good as Dead.
Post by: jeh1980 on February 05, 2008, 02:40:30 PM
Wow, that's not good. I'm very sorry to see this article if this is really true :(. I don't believe the part about "castrating the downtown". That sounded stupid! We all due respect. Maybe now we can build some big office projects or a larger than life shopping mall to take the place of that huge piece of land...hopefully. Don't lose heart and Keep the faith! 8)
Title: Re: The Courthouse is as Good as Dead.
Post by: thelakelander on February 05, 2008, 02:59:50 PM
I hope we aren't resigned to leaving the courthouse where it is.  Nevertheless, if they aren't going to do it lets hope a good portion of the $263 million currently set aside goes into improving the core.  For example, we could turn around the entire Hogans Creek area for a fraction of the number.

As for the moonscape, I'm with jeh1980.  Sell it to Simon or Ben Carter aka Indianapolis and Circle Centre.
Title: Re: The Courthouse is as Good as Dead.
Post by: vicupstate on February 05, 2008, 03:10:10 PM
I hope we aren't refined to leaving the courthouse where it is.  Nevertheless, if they aren't going to do it lets hope a good portion of the $263 million currently set aside goes into improving the core.  For example, we could turn around the entire Hogans Creek area for a fraction of the number.

As for the moonscape, I'm with jeh1980.  Sell it to Simon or Ben Carter aka Indianapolis and Circle Centre.

I have more to say on the Courthouse subject, but as for a shopping mall DT, no disrespect, but put down the crack pipe.   

Indy subsidized that mall with tens (hundreds?) of millions of dollars, and it was in Simon's HQ city. Enclosed malls are dying out, and getting one in DT Jax is as likely as Madonna being the next President. 
Title: Re: The Courthouse is as Good as Dead.
Post by: thelakelander on February 05, 2008, 03:26:42 PM
Oh, I wasn't advocating the construction of an "enclosed mall".  These developers also have developed urban retail/entertainment complexes in the past.  A few things that come to mind include Uptown Charlotte's Epicenter (under construction), Miami's Mary Brickell Village and Louisville's 4th Street Live. 

Fourth Street Live
(http://www.stengel.net/wedding/4th.jpg)


Nevetheless, if there is not going to be a courthouse going on that property, I'd advocate the city getting rid of that property as quick as possible.  Mall, museums, entertainment District, urban college campus, affordable housing, farmer's market, etc. Just about anything would be a benefit than just holding onto the site and doing nothing.

Title: Re: The Courthouse is as Good as Dead.
Post by: Steve on February 05, 2008, 03:50:47 PM
Wow - if this ends up happening, excellent message to send to the youth of Jacksonville.

"If at first you don't succeed, throw in the towel"

You know, he shouldn't have been complaining about Delaney in the first place.  If it weren't for Delaney, he would have to still build a courthouse, and wouldn't have $211 million to start with.

Not too many cities have a voter-approved tax increase to help pay for things like a courthouse.
Title: Re: The Courthouse is as Good as Dead.
Post by: lynnegh on February 05, 2008, 04:55:25 PM
I'll bet anybody who reads this that within a year, that entire area will be surface level parking.  Any takers?

It would be a really nice site to create a mini- Central Park affair, but given our ACLU-dictated lack of policy for getting rid of squatters, such a park would merely become a magnet for the homeless.  Sigh...

Of course, the suggestion of development such as Louisville's 4th Street is a pipe dream of major proportions.  Actually, affordable housing makes a lot of sense, which means, of course, that it's the least likely possible thing to happen.
Title: Re: The Courthouse is as Good as Dead.
Post by: JeffreyS on February 05, 2008, 05:11:22 PM
The Judges are the villains of the courthouse failure.  They couldn't dream of sharing a bathroom with the other employees of the courthouse.  They couldn't hear of every judge not having a dedicated courtroom to use twice a week. They wouldn't be caught dead in chambers that did not resemble a suite at the Ritz.  We can build a courthouse so much cheaper but we had to say no to this runaway train first. We pandered to the judges  for whom the budget was no concern too long.
Title: Re: The Courthouse is as Good as Dead.
Post by: JeffreyS on February 05, 2008, 05:24:20 PM
The Mayor is not blameless certainly the courthouse delay and cost increases because of the delay are his administrations fault.  The Judges however are the ones who made this a P***ing contest about not giving in on anything. 
Title: Re: The Courthouse is as Good as Dead.
Post by: jerry cornwell on February 05, 2008, 07:49:26 PM
ok ive buckled my flak jacket, you can go ahead and hit me with your best shots........ this is great!!!!
i hope its true!
Title: Re: The Courthouse is as Good as Dead.
Post by: jerry cornwell on February 05, 2008, 07:50:46 PM
lets make a go cart track out of the site! miniature nascar renditions!
Title: Re: The Courthouse is as Good as Dead.
Post by: Driven1 on February 05, 2008, 08:50:19 PM
good report Dare.  i think i would end it like this...


"If administrations and mayors are chiefly remembered by the landmarks, buildings and programs they leave behind, then Peyton's legacy will be as void and barren as the 7 city blocks cleared for the failed new courthouse."

Serious question here....  has there ever been a mayor as lacking in leadership in Jacksonville as the current thrown-sitter?  I've only been here 10 years, so only know Delaney and Peyton.
Title: Re: The Courthouse is as Good as Dead.
Post by: tufsu1 on February 05, 2008, 08:55:41 PM
I wouldn't count this as "dead" yet....at the end of the day, everyone can agree that new/additional courthouse space is needed

this could be a ploy to get the judges to back down their wish list....it could also just be bad information from Dare and his "sources"
Title: Re: The Courthouse is as Good as Dead.
Post by: Lunican on February 05, 2008, 10:32:51 PM
According to what went on at the special city council meeting on this topic I thought that if no action was taken to stop or proceed with a combined civil and criminal courthouse, that construction on the criminal only courthouse would start in June.

That is how it was explained to the council by the city lawyer.
Title: Re: The Courthouse is as Good as Dead.
Post by: Hippodamus on February 05, 2008, 10:39:03 PM
I agree with tufsu1.  Who are your insiders at city council, the caterers?  As I said in my introduction, we have a classic example of this famous Greek saying, "Passing from mouth to mouth it was learned by a thousand, and by the time it came to be heard by the king he learned of how a cow laid an egg!"  
Title: Re: The Courthouse is as Good as Dead.
Post by: thelakelander on February 05, 2008, 10:47:43 PM
Even if they started today from the drawing board with a set of parameters to fit the budget, none of the bids nor the final awards could be finished in time for him to break ground on the project.....agreed?

Ennis, or any of our architects on board, is there time to reconceptualize, approve, get bids and commence?

They could do a design-build, which I believe that's what they were doing.  That would allow them to break ground on a faster schedule.
Title: Re: The Courthouse is as Good as Dead.
Post by: avonjax on February 05, 2008, 11:55:19 PM
If this turns out to be true.....
Wow!
Whether it's Peyton's fault or not, he will be blamed....and in my opinion rightly so.
The only progress in Jacksonville since he  took office has been in the suburbs. At least that's the perception.
And as the expression goes.....
This will be another blow to downtown progress.
The perception HAS to be that he can't get anything done with regards to downtown.
I think it is a total embassment that a city the size of Jacksonville has so many empty blocks, especially when that whole area was leveled by the city, and now maybe abandoned.
As a lifelong resident, I try very hard to be positive about our downtown but since Peyton I'm losing faith.
If the courthouse is not built I really don't believe that the seven blocks will be developed anytime soon.

Title: Re: The Courthouse is as Good as Dead.
Post by: Charles Hunter on February 06, 2008, 05:56:46 AM
I forget ... is there a deadline by when BJP funds have to be spent?  I seem to have heard that somewhere, but have no idea if it is based in fact or not.
Title: Re: The Courthouse is as Good as Dead.
Post by: hank on February 06, 2008, 08:53:00 AM
This makes me wonder about a public/private partnership.  1) Why is the city in the building business anyway - shouldn't they be focusing on making laws or taxing people or something?  2) As I've heard it described by some of the lawyers on the board, the courthouse is basically a glorified office building with a ready-made tenant population.  Add to that the support for restaurants, office supply stores, shipping outfits, and cigar bars and you have a mixed-use development opportunity waiting to happen.

Any precedents for something like this?

Title: Re: The Courthouse is as Good as Dead.
Post by: hank on February 06, 2008, 11:04:02 AM
I mean public/private courthouse projects...  Are there other cities anyone has heard of where the courts lease their space from a private entity.

Public entities seem so bad at managing something as complicated as a building project - I'm thinking of ways that someone else could do the project and the courts simply occupy it.
Title: Re: The Courthouse is as Good as Dead.
Post by: Steve on February 06, 2008, 11:15:47 AM
I mean public/private courthouse projects...  Are there other cities anyone has heard of where the courts lease their space from a private entity.

Public entities seem so bad at managing something as complicated as a building project - I'm thinking of ways that someone else could do the project and the courts simply occupy it.

Don't look at the guys we have running the show at how government manages building projects.  Under the Delaney Administration (his point man for these big things was Sam Mousa), they delivered:

Ritz Theatre on time/on budget
Times-Union Center on time/on budget
Jacksonville Municipal Stadium on time/on budget - this one was particularly important, because if it didn't get done on time, where would the Jaguars have played, Gainesville?
City Hall at St James on time/on budget
Jacksonville Arena on time/on budget
Baseball Grounds on time/SLIGHTLY UNDER budget.

The problem is not government, the problem is the people who are doing the work.
Title: Re: The Courthouse is as Good as Dead.
Post by: hank on February 06, 2008, 11:46:47 AM
This is what I was afraid you'd say - EXPLANATION: people are stupid.
Title: Re: The Courthouse is as Good as Dead.
Post by: Johnny on February 06, 2008, 12:28:57 PM
I for one am looking forward to a new homeless shelter. Or atleast include a good pocket park that can be filled with vagrants & litter. Thank you Mayor Payton, you rock! Hopefully we can finally change our name to Homelessville by the Summer. Woohoo!
Title: Re: The Courthouse is as Good as Dead.
Post by: JeffreyS on February 06, 2008, 07:31:42 PM
Lurking around city hall today the gossip seems to be people want to get it done but no one seemed very hopeful. This is not real inside info just gossip.
Title: Re: The Courthouse is as Good as Dead.
Post by: jeh1980 on February 06, 2008, 11:00:10 PM
I for one am looking forward to a new homeless shelter. Or atleast include a good pocket park that can be filled with vagrants & litter. Thank you Mayor Payton, you rock! Hopefully we can finally change our name to Homelessville by the Summer. Woohoo!
Uhh,...I wouldn't think so ::). As for Mayor Peyton, anyone can make a big mistake from time to time. No disrespect to you, Johnny, but I forgave the Mayor for this courthouse incident. I don't see a pocket park in downtown's future...maybe a new covention center, or a large mixed use multi-building high rise project(I would definately love to see that happening soon! 8)), or maybe a downtown version of the St. John's Town Center, but not a pocket park. I think that we have enough of those already...so let's all perish that thought :-X. 8)
Title: Re: The Courthouse is as Good as Dead.
Post by: SWAMP FOX on February 06, 2008, 11:33:40 PM
If the Courthouse had been built first, when BJP monies were newly available, it would be in use now and the questioned expenditures would be whether or not we build a mammoth downtown library or the Baseball Grounds.
The administration spent BJP monies on niceties first, instead of necessities first.  They (Mousa and Delaney) knew all along that the courthouse was a $400mil  to $500 mil project and knew the subsequent mayors would have to raise taxes to build it with the Chief Judge hammering away at them about it. 
They didn't count on the Chief Judge's dirty laundry quieting his hammering racket.

They also didn't expect Peyton to discover that Delaney had picked an architectural firm (Cannon Design) that had never requested a Certificate of Authority from the Architecture Board  to function as a qualified business.  Yep, Delaney hired an unlicensed Architecture firm, despite spending $125,000 on five consultant architect's to come in and evaluate the proposals, despite all five independently rating the same firm as the best option meeting the specs, and despite that firm being a local firm (BJP was sold to citizens as a good way to stimulate the local economy), not Cannon Design!!!  Peyton had no choice but to fire Cannon Design and cancel their contract for cause.  What he should do is seek return of the monies they were paid.

Hopefully, the Grand Jury will get into this once they get the reports from the Council Auditor.  Then there's the parking garages contracts........
Title: Re: The Courthouse is as Good as Dead.
Post by: RiversideGator on February 07, 2008, 12:25:49 AM
Interesting fantasy version of events, swamp fox (aka Mayor Peyton).  While newcomers to town might fall for this fiction, those of us who have followed this story from day one know that the failures with the Courthouse fall squarely on Peyton's narrow shoulders.  I, for one, do hope that the Courthouse is dead... at least until we can get a real Mayor in office who has the nerve to get things done.
Title: Re: The Courthouse is as Good as Dead.
Post by: jeh1980 on February 07, 2008, 01:39:21 AM
Interesting fantasy version of events, swamp fox (aka Mayor Peyton).  While newcomers to town might fall for this fiction, those of us who have followed this story from day one know that the failures with the Courthouse fall squarely on Peyton's narrow shoulders.  I, for one, do hope that the Courthouse is dead... at least until we can get a real Mayor in office who has the nerve to get things done.
WHOA! :o WAIT A MINUTE!! In all honesty, we all needed a Mayor that can get the job done...but we all due respect, it is WE who put John Peyton back in the Mayor's office. Before we can get a "real Mayor" ::), I want to see Mayor Peyton shape up and do better.

Mayor Peyton, we all due respect(at least I honor and respect you 'cause you're the Mayor), but you knew better than that. Please do a better job.
Title: Re: The Courthouse is as Good as Dead.
Post by: hank on February 07, 2008, 07:38:30 AM
I don't have a lot of faith that this lame duck will do anything but eat the free donuts.  Maybe its time to talk about Peyton's replacement - our only chance of getting anything accomplished.
Title: Re: The Courthouse is as Good as Dead.
Post by: jbm32206 on February 07, 2008, 08:03:43 AM
While newcomers to town might fall for this fiction, those of us who have followed this story from day one know that the failures with the Courthouse fall squarely on Peyton's narrow shoulders.  I, for one, do hope that the Courthouse is dead... at least until we can get a real Mayor in office who has the nerve to get things done.
I couldn't agree more, there's so much that needs to be done, and so much that hasn't...let's just hope that there's someone out there that's willing to step up to the plate!
Title: Re: The Courthouse is as Good as Dead.
Post by: vicupstate on February 07, 2008, 09:45:33 AM
If the Courthouse had been built first, when BJP monies were newly available, it would be in use now and the questioned expenditures would be whether or not we build a mammoth downtown library or the Baseball Grounds.
The administration spent BJP monies on niceties first, instead of necessities first.  They (Mousa and Delaney) knew all along that the courthouse was a $400mil  to $500 mil project and knew the subsequent mayors would have to raise taxes to build it with the Chief Judge hammering away at them about it. 
They didn't count on the Chief Judge's dirty laundry quieting his hammering racket.

They also didn't expect Peyton to discover that Delaney had picked an architectural firm (Cannon Design) that had never requested a Certificate of Authority from the Architecture Board  to function as a qualified business.  Yep, Delaney hired an unlicensed Architecture firm, despite spending $125,000 on five consultant architect's to come in and evaluate the proposals, despite all five independently rating the same firm as the best option meeting the specs, and despite that firm being a local firm (BJP was sold to citizens as a good way to stimulate the local economy), not Cannon Design!!!  Peyton had no choice but to fire Cannon Design and cancel their contract for cause.  What he should do is seek return of the monies they were paid.

Hopefully, the Grand Jury will get into this once they get the reports from the Council Auditor.  Then there's the parking garages contracts........

The original courthouse design was $325mm when Peyton pulled the plug. Please provide rational for the $400-500mm figure, had it been built at that time (and basically complete by now).  When BJP was voted on, there had not been a 9/11 or a 50% increase in the price of concrete and steel.  Delaney's only omission was not including money for a new site.  Everything else is on Peyton.  Pure and simple. 
Title: Re: The Courthouse is as Good as Dead.
Post by: jerry cornwell on February 07, 2008, 01:18:55 PM
we should put the courthouse out in new avenues walk annex; a least a portion of it(sorry bad joke) . the loss of the courthouse spells more confirmation of the failure of the city to develop downtown, even as a center of municipal services.
the only development (economic or otherwise) will be started with residential and cultural growth. it makes sense i think many in the city know this, but i guess a few dont, and they seem to be on the top.
our city needs to come up with a strategy to acquire the vacant downtown buildings and aim them towards 18-24s artists, ect. i accept that 99% of jax has no intent on living downtown, but they're all for its cultural development, success. after which will come economic development. but not before residential development. but i think all here know this.
Title: Re: The Courthouse is as Good as Dead.
Post by: thelakelander on February 07, 2008, 01:34:25 PM
There's a lot of potential here if we can take advantage of it.  The funny thing is the city already owns a good percentage of vacant buildings and lots in downtown. 
Title: Re: The Courthouse is as Good as Dead.
Post by: Steve on February 07, 2008, 02:12:42 PM
The original courthouse design was $325mm when Peyton pulled the plug. Please provide rational for the $400-500mm figure, had it been built at that time (and basically complete by now).  When BJP was voted on, there had not been a 9/11 or a 50% increase in the price of concrete and steel.  Delaney's only omission was not including money for a new site.  Everything else is on Peyton.  Pure and simple.

And actually, the idea behind paying for the move was that it would be paid for with the $21 million in contingency funds and the sale of three blocks of riverfront land to a private developer.  That make sense to me.

If I were to blame Delaney for anything, it would be the design.  This behemoth of a courthouse sprawled over four blocks (plus the parking and the old federal) was nuts.  It was also the only design that sat on top of Clay St, meaning that the utility lines would have to be relocated (that was probably the one thing that Delaney didn't factor in).
Title: Re: The Courthouse is as Good as Dead.
Post by: JeffreyS on February 07, 2008, 03:19:55 PM
Do we really need a new courthouse?  I know the current property would be a great spot for a convention center or another development but property Downtown we have.
Title: Re: The Courthouse is as Good as Dead.
Post by: Dapperdan on February 07, 2008, 03:27:09 PM
I was at the Cornerstone meeting this morning at the Hyatt, and Mayor Peyton said one of his main goals for this year was to get a courthouse built and to free up prime Real Estate on the River. He called the courthouse Jacksonville's own economic stimulus plan apart from the federal stimulus plan. He was joking of course but mentioned all the jobs it would create and would cause some more revitalization in La Villa if ever built.
Title: Re: The Courthouse is as Good as Dead.
Post by: JeffreyS on February 07, 2008, 03:32:26 PM
He could use something to hang his administration's hat on.
Title: Re: The Courthouse is as Good as Dead.
Post by: tufsu1 on February 07, 2008, 04:32:02 PM
political cover speech.  thats all.

Stephen...were your "sources" on the Courthouse as good as the ones who told you Fuel had closed?
Title: Re: The Courthouse is as Good as Dead.
Post by: Steve on February 07, 2008, 04:33:39 PM
I was at the Cornerstone meeting this morning at the Hyatt, and Mayor Peyton said one of his main goals for this year was to get a courthouse built and to free up prime Real Estate on the River. He called the courthouse Jacksonville's own economic stimulus plan apart from the federal stimulus plan. He was joking of course but mentioned all the jobs it would create and would cause some more revitalization in La Villa if ever built.

Mitt Romney also said Tuesday night that they were going to press on, even after getting spanked by McCain and Huckabee
Title: Re: The Courthouse is as Good as Dead.
Post by: konstantconsumer on February 07, 2008, 11:12:54 PM
to jeffrey s: YES we need a new courthouse.  i used to work there, it it's unbearably overcrowded, dated, and insufferable. 


as far as fuel, it is closed, right?  i mean, they randomly have events there at night, usually punk shows, but that's it.  it's not like you can hop over there for a quick latte or something.


FUCK this sucks.  i'm moving after i graduate from law school then.
Title: Re: The Courthouse is as Good as Dead.
Post by: fpj on February 10, 2008, 04:02:51 PM
I have been thinking about this on and off since the courthouse faltered due to budget increases:  convert the Prime Osborne to the Courthouse and put the convention center in the four blocks cleared for the courthouse and then when looking online, look at this, plucked from the TU:

Wednesday evening council members discussed legal questions and funding mechanisms. They then began looking at options, starting with a proposal to convert the Prime Osborn Convention Center into a courthouse instead of building Peyton's $400 million version.

The council will continue that discussion and look at other options when it next meets on the courthouse.

Here are some questions that need answers in the meantime:

A consultant hired by the city told council members that the projected cost of $200 million to convert the Prime into a courthouse was wrong and that it actually would cost $21 million more than Peyton's plan.

Those numbers need to be closely examined.

For instance, how does the consultant's price per square foot compare with the costs of recently built courthouses in other cities?

The city told the consultant that a 2-acre lot adjacent to the Prime would have to be purchased at a cost of $6 million. The current market value of that land, according to city records, is $1.8 million. Why the difference?

There may be a lot of reasons why the Prime wouldn't do as a courthouse, but the council needs to make sure the numbers aren't being inflated.


It would create the facade the judges and so forth want for a regal courthouse for sure.  Let's grab a picture from NYC, where they are eventually going to convert the post office into Pennsylvania Station:

(http://www.nyc-architecture.com/ARCH/20ouro1.xl.jpg)

Rip out the old crappy convention center back behind the great front and build a very simple structure to house the courtrooms and such.  You could create a great atrium like the one above between the old and new structures.  And if you wanted to keep access to the rails for future transit issues, you could as well (Both train stations and court houses need security and if you can have a mall in the Pentagon, I am sure we could figure a way to have a courthouse next to a working railway station lol).  Parking could be safely put across the street by the people mover terminal.  A smaller lot for secure parking for judges only and such could be created onsite, too, I suppose.

As for the four blocks left uptown, take a look at what was done at the Pennsylvania Convention Center (PCC) in Philadelphia at  http://www.paconvention.com/home/.  One great aspect of that center is that it straddles 12th Street which runs right through the first floor (and has an amazing kenetic neon art installation in it as well).  This might work great here in Jax and allow better traffic flow.

One other key point of the PCC is they have installed an amazing public art collection:  this idea would mesh well here with our Art in Public Spaces Project. 

This could really create a jewel that would be seen by everyone driving through on I95.

Just throwing it out there. 

FPJ


Title: Re: The Courthouse is as Good as Dead.
Post by: JeffreyS on February 10, 2008, 04:15:45 PM
I am not against a new courthouse. I do think if we a regal building let that be the convention center or transit center. The criminals can have a plain Jane building.
Title: Re: The Courthouse is as Good as Dead.
Post by: fpj on February 10, 2008, 05:59:15 PM
I am not against a new courthouse. I do think if we a regal building let that be the convention center or transit center. The criminals can have a plain Jane building.

Exactly.  Let the courthouse have the existing regal front facade of the old train station and build a plain-jane building behind it.   Then actually build a kick-ass convention center that would really shine on those four blocks of grass and dirt up by city hall.  I just brought up the NYC picture because it's a project I was aware of that reused a great facade for good effect with a neat segue between the buildings (that atrium).
Title: Re: The Courthouse is as Good as Dead.
Post by: thelakelander on February 10, 2008, 08:14:53 PM
I'm totally against the courthouse in the Prime Osborn.

1. The courthouse should anchor and spur additional downtown development because of its user base.  This is impossible with the Prime Osborn because its bordered by I-95(west), McCoys Creek (south), JTA (north) and the Federal Reserve (east).  So we'd spend $300+ million to solve one issue (the courthouse), but fail to put the city in the position to benefit from it economic development wise.

2. Jacksonville Terminal - the entire site south of Bay was originally set up to be one thing.  A massive transportation center.  Needless to say, its location next to I-95, the railroad track and the skyway makes its original purpose the highest and best use.  We need a transportation center to, and there's no other site in downtown more ideal, than the Prime Osborn.  Converting it into a courthouse may solve the courthouse issue, but it creates a massive one on the transportation front.

Imo, to say that the Prime Osborn's conversion into a courthouse is a great idea is to only look at downtown and the city's needs through a short sighted point of view.  We have the opportunity to kill three birds with one stone, but we continue to refuse to accept it.

A. Build courthouse vertical on proposed site.  We can do that for cheaper than we can converted the Prime Osborn if we change the design to be one that serves today's needs without the crazy idea of believing it should look like structures built 100 years ago.

B. Move convention center to Bay Street site as a part of a public/private development.  A convention center's success is highly dependent on its surroundings.  At the Bay Street site, the convention center would anchor the Bay Street entertainment district, the riverwalk and be within short walking distance of the Landing's shops & restaurants and the Florida Theater.  Also, the Hyatt could serve as the convention center hotel, eliminating the need to give incentives to build one at the Prime Osborn or proposed Monroe Street courthouse site.  Also, air/waterfront rights could be sold to the private sector to bring in more compact retail, dining, cultural, entertainment and residential uses.

C. Prime Osborn goes back to its original use.  The best transportation center we could design in downtown would have greyhound, amtrak, streetcars, BRT, the skyway, commuter rail all using a facility SOUTH of Bay Street.  The close proximity of each system's stops would make for efficient transfers between systems.  The rest of JTA's land north of Bay could then be sold for mixed-use affordable housing.

In the end all issues are solved and we end up with a stronger urban core, generating more property tax dollars in the process.
Title: Re: The Courthouse is as Good as Dead.
Post by: JeffreyS on February 10, 2008, 09:13:22 PM
Preach it Lake.

Halaujah forward thinking I feel the power take me to light amen.
Title: Re: The Courthouse is as Good as Dead.
Post by: City Slicker on February 12, 2008, 03:05:26 AM
Lost in all this is the fact that a new courthouse is required.  That's the whole reason it was put in the BJP.  Not to mention that the current one is quite antiquated and pretty much useless.  I agree with Lakelander that the thought of converting the Prime is not a good idea.  The current site can work.  It is best to bite the bullet and move forward with what is going to be required - by law - to support the population expected to be here in 20 years.  That is the whole problem now, no one has ever stopped to comprehensively vision and plan for the future.  All we have had is scattershot pieces of a downtown puzzle.  Think about the potential of the area - residential, business, the arts, etc. We stand on the edge of something new and wonderful for this community.  If someone in their infinite wisdom would just stop, think, plan and consider what could be.  Alas, a simple Utopian thought that also will never be achieved.
Title: Re: The Courthouse is as Good as Dead.
Post by: thelakelander on February 12, 2008, 09:44:20 AM
I think the biggest problem is we've been led to believe that we have to spend $400 million.   They don't even have a completed set of plans.  We don't have to spend that much if we don't want to.  We should be able to build a plain jane facility a lot closer to the original budget if we strip the bells and whistles.  Reduce the square footage, where possible, and go vertical would be my advice.
Title: Re: The Courthouse is as Good as Dead.
Post by: DetroitInJAX on February 12, 2008, 01:57:06 PM
It seems to me that someone told someone else "this is how much money you have to work with", so theyre designing a courthouse to those specifications instead of what is actually NEEDED in the facility.


How much did the Orange County Courthouse in Orlando cost?

EDIT:

So I looked around and according to Wikipedia, it says that with 100 million dollars, in 1997, they built:

(416 feet tall tower)
23-level courthouse tower
Two five-story office buildings
1,500 car parking facility

Why is everything so hard for this city?  like pullin' teeth, people.. like pullin' teeth.

(http://www.metrojacksonville.com/photos/thumbs/lrg-899-dcp_9744.JPG)
Title: Re: The Courthouse is as Good as Dead.
Post by: thelakelander on February 12, 2008, 02:16:30 PM
The Orlando courthouse was built before 9/11.  However, Charlotte's courthouse was completed last year for $148 million.  It would be interesting to compare the materials selected and square footage spaces we're planning for with those that were a part of cheaper courthouses going up across the country. 
Title: Re: The Courthouse is as Good as Dead.
Post by: avonjax on February 12, 2008, 02:37:58 PM
It's understandable that the Orlando courthouse was a real bargin 10 years ago, but Charlotte could build one for 148 million.....
Does someone have a picture?
I am beginning to believe there is something deeply wrong about our city government.
If Charlotte can do it, certainly we can.....
Title: Re: The Courthouse is as Good as Dead.
Post by: thelakelander on February 12, 2008, 02:46:18 PM
Mecklenburg County (Charlotte) is larger than Duval in population and is growing faster than Duval, yet their new courthouse facility is 230,000sf smaller than Duval's.  In any event, they paid $261/sf for their complex, while we're looking at $340/sf for ours.  Imo, the problem is here and not whether we can build it cheaper at the Prime Osborn or Monroe Street site.  What finish materials are we specifying and are our spaces larger than they really have to be?  Something tells me we can trim the fat and still have a decent building if we want to.

(http://www.metrojacksonville.com/photos/thumbs/lrg-3570-361596563_ebbb1a17c2_b.jpg)

Quote
Charlotte's new $148 million courthouse complex opened in 2007.  That price covered the construction costs for the 568,000 square foot courthouse building, containing space for 47 courtrooms, a 1,164 space parking deck and 10,000 square feet of retail. Strangely enough Turner Construction Company (the one involved in our project) was involved in the construction of this one as well.

http://www.metrojacksonville.com/content/view/648/115/ (http://www.metrojacksonville.com/content/view/648/115/)
Title: Re: The Courthouse is as Good as Dead.
Post by: Jimmy on February 12, 2008, 02:51:25 PM
I don't suppose that Turner Construction ever even placed a bid to build our courthouse...  I'm impressed by what they accomplished in Charlotte.

http://www.turnerconstruction.com/carolinas/content.asp?d=3297&p=3296
Title: Re: The Courthouse is as Good as Dead.
Post by: Steve on February 12, 2008, 03:13:10 PM
I don't think that the issue is the contractor or the architect, but the specifications in the bid.  No one construction company is going to be able to install floors made of gold much cheaper than any other contractor.
Title: Re: The Courthouse is as Good as Dead.
Post by: Jimmy on February 12, 2008, 05:15:49 PM
We should just get a few of those leftover Katrina FEMA trailers and hold court there.

Why should Jacksonville have a decent courthouse anyway?  ::)
Title: Re: The Courthouse is as Good as Dead.
Post by: Charles Hunter on February 12, 2008, 10:14:30 PM
But .... but .... it doesn't have faux Roman columns ... or a dome .... or look like it was built in in the 1800s ...

it can't be a court house!
Title: Re: The Courthouse is as Good as Dead.
Post by: Steve on February 12, 2008, 11:14:15 PM
I don't think the courthouse is dead yet....


City To Pay Part-Timer 6 Figures To Oversee Courthouse Plan

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The city has made plans to bring back a familiar face to try to get the ball rolling on the stalled courthouse project, but the services of this part-timer will not come cheap.

With the new courthouse nowhere near being built and the price tag now close to $400 million, the city has reached back in time to bring in a familiar face get the job done.

The city has begun the process of hiring Sam Mousa to oversee the courthouse project. Mousa was Mayor John Delaney's chief aide and one of Mayor John Peyton's first appointments.

He was involved in the original courthouse plan.

"I think the value he brings and the experience he brings with a similar type project, doing those projects in both the public and private sector is just invaluable. It just adds to our team," said Alan Mosely, of the mayor's office.

However, not everyone was so positive about Mousa's return. A group that has been skeptical of the courthouse project from the start called the Concerned Taxpayers said hiring Mousa is a mistake.

"We are reaching to the bottom of the barrel here if we have to bring Sam Mousa back to try and save this courthouse project," said John Draper, of the Concerned Taxpayers. "The idea that Mayor Peyton would call back Sam Mousa is just a sign of desperation."

Also, Mousa doesn't come cheap. He will be working part time and get paid a part-time hourly fee of $225 per hour.

The city said Mousa wouldn't be allowed to make anymore than $135,000 a year for the part-time job.

Channel 4 reporter Jim Piggot talked to Mousa by phone about the job and the pay.

"Jim, I had no input with the maximum indebtedness. I provided the city with an hourly rate, and the city came back with that maximum indebtedness," Mousa said.

City official said the courthouse project needs Mousa, and they believe the move will actually save money.

"As we go forward, we have plans for an engineering firm to help us support our needs as we go forward. We were not going to do all of this in the body of government. We had a consultant planned as our engineering consultant with the work. Sam will supplement our team," Mosely said.

Mousa said he would like to stay with the courthouse project until it is completed.

The city hopes to sign the contract with Mousa next week.

http://www.news4jax.com/news/15283961/detail.html
Title: Re: The Courthouse is as Good as Dead.
Post by: Steve on February 12, 2008, 11:22:17 PM
I'm not sure what John Draper is so upset about - this IMO is a great thing.  Personally, if Mousa was involved from the start, then this thing would have stayed at 211 million.

On the other hand, if you look up the definition of "Surrender" in the dictionary, you will now see Peyton's face.  Mousa was hired bbefore Peyton was sworn in, and "resigned" 13 days into the administration.  If you resign 13 days into an administration (after working in government since the Hazouri Administration and a track record of on time/on budget), something irreconcilable must have happened.

Now, all of a sudden, when the courthouse problem seemed "hopeless", Mousa is back.

Wonder what that phone call must have been like - case in point the $135,000 for a part time job.
Title: Re: The Courthouse is as Good as Dead.
Post by: fsujax on February 13, 2008, 07:51:48 AM
This could be a real positive for the project.  Draper complains about everything. In one ear out the other for me, when it comes to him.
Title: Re: The Courthouse is as Good as Dead.
Post by: tufsu1 on February 13, 2008, 08:07:19 AM
but I thought the project was dead?
Title: Re: The Courthouse is as Good as Dead.
Post by: thelakelander on February 13, 2008, 08:30:58 AM
I guess not.  Besides, we're mandated by law to construct a new facility.  Hopefully, we won't have to pay $400 million for it. 

Stephen Dare, are you around?  What's your take on these change of events?
Title: Re: The Courthouse is as Good as Dead.
Post by: Jimmy on February 13, 2008, 09:12:10 AM
I've said for years that I hoped they would mothball the design/build plans until we have new leadership to execute it.  With Mousa coming aboard, maybe it will be the next best thing?
Title: Re: The Courthouse is as Good as Dead.
Post by: Driven1 on February 13, 2008, 05:19:16 PM
this whole thing is just freaking hilarious. 

STILL TALKING ABOUT A STUPID COURTHOUSE!

i wish i could draw cartoons like Gamble or whatever his name is at the T-U...if i could, i would draw one with Peyton just bashing his head over and over again on the "snake-bit" courthouse project.

we were talking about this back in 2002...let's take odds on we'll STILL be talking about the unfinished courthouse in 2011!!!  i'd give it 50/50 at least for a decade of talking about it.


 ;D :)
Title: Re: The Courthouse is as Good as Dead.
Post by: gatorback on February 13, 2008, 06:51:20 PM
 pericles built the parthenon in less time
Title: Re: The Courthouse is as Good as Dead.
Post by: gatorback on February 13, 2008, 07:44:02 PM
freedom tower: completed 2009 cost: 3 billion  heigth: tallest in the world
Title: Re: The Courthouse is as Good as Dead.
Post by: gatorback on February 13, 2008, 08:45:12 PM
Jumping Holy Thursday what a (Song of Experience)
"Is this a holy thing to see,
In a rich and fruitful land,
Babes reduced to misery,
Fed with cold and usurios hand?"

Title: Re: The Courthouse is as Good as Dead.
Post by: Hippodamus on February 13, 2008, 11:58:29 PM
but I thought the project was dead?

Well Stephendare?  Shouldn't the 6 pages in this post be refiled under the opinion category, not the news. 
I do like the spin though trying to take credit of the change.  True Jacksonvillian/Athenian imperialism at work. 

signed:  Ἱππόδαμος


 
Title: Re: The Courthouse is as Good as Dead.
Post by: vicupstate on February 14, 2008, 08:45:58 AM
but I thought the project was dead?

Well Stephendare?  Shouldn't the 6 pages in this post be refiled under the opinion category, not the news. 
I do like the spin though trying to take credit of the change.  True Jacksonvillian/Athenian imperialism at work. 

signed:  Ἱππόδαμος


In defense of Stephen, Peyton may have put the word out to city council to kill the project because 1) he really wants to kill the project but wanted to have council to blame for why it got cancelled or 2) he was releasing a 'trial baloon' and it simply got shot down, after which he realized he has to get the courthouse built, or look like a complete failure.  While either scenario means he is playing politics with a important matter, that would not be out of character for him, or unfortunately, most politicians.     

 
Title: Re: The Courthouse is as Good as Dead.
Post by: tufsu1 on February 14, 2008, 10:43:37 AM
Vicup...I agree....that said, I made that same suggestion last week and Mr. Dare shot it down!
Title: Re: The Courthouse is as Good as Dead.
Post by: thelakelander on February 14, 2008, 11:53:57 AM
We're mandated by law to do something.  The largest issue to me is seeing if they can figure out how to get the thing built for under $400 million. 

For example, I noticed in the "Wiley" plan documents (courthouse specs) that the Judge's offices have been enlarged from 200 sq. ft (roughly 14'x14') in the original $190 million specs to 240 sq. ft (roughly 15'x16') in the lastest plan.   

Others growing include the Family Courtrooms from 1000 sq. ft. to 1200 sq. ft. and Standard Courtrooms growing from 1750 sq. ft. to 1800 sq. ft.  These may not seem like much on an individual basis, but in a project this large, an extra foot here or an extra there can really increase your overall costs.

Currently, we're using 416,625 sq. ft. spread out over 9 facilites across town, including 30,000 sq. ft. of warehouse space for Clerk of Courts record storage.  The courthouse plan on the table, comes out to around 1.2 million sq. ft., when you add in the Ed Ball Building and old Federal Courthouse.  I know they're cramped for space, but can we get away with a larger facility that's less than triple the size of what we're already working with?

Personally, I believe if we can start chipping away a foot here and there on a few of these spaces, the footprint shrinks, which means less building material is required, which means the price drops.
Title: Re: The Courthouse is as Good as Dead.
Post by: RiversideGator on February 14, 2008, 12:18:51 PM
The problem is the judicial system is really cramped right now and spread out all over town.  They need to add space just to deal with current issues and to plan for the courthouse to be used for the next 50 years.  This is the reason for the large space requirement.  If you do a half-right job now you will end up paying more to correct it later.
Title: Re: The Courthouse is as Good as Dead.
Post by: thelakelander on February 14, 2008, 01:02:35 PM
I understand, but we simply don't have the money.  Its a reality that we must face and work to find a solution that doesn't bankrupt the community or put additional needed capital improvement projects at risk of not being funded. 

With so many facilities spread out, is it safe to assume that some of the current space being used is going for duplicate sources that would be eliminated if constructed at a single site? 

For example, can the Judges take a trip to IKEA to learn how to maximize a 14'x14' office, if it means saving the taxpayer's a little money, by taking a foot or two out of 15'x16' space?  How about only constructing shell space for future expansion (which has been discussed), or designing a structure that can be expanded vertically, when the time comes?

If a place like Charlotte can construct their facility for nearly $100 less per square foot than ours, then we should be able to find some fat to trim off our $400 million turkey.
Title: Re: The Courthouse is as Good as Dead.
Post by: Driven1 on February 14, 2008, 01:21:38 PM
i'm with Lake here...it is called living within your means - not DOUBLE of what your means are ($190 million vs. $395 million).

btw...yes, costs are higher, but two things:

1) construction costs have actually taken a nice dip since the housing slowdown (makes me wonder how much of the new price bids are the contractors trying to keep up 2004 profits in a 2008 market)

2) the cost has more than doubled in 5 years.  and yes, inflation has kicked up - but only to the tune of 3% average/year.  at 3%/year inflation, it takes 21 YEARS for something to double in cost.
Title: Re: The Courthouse is as Good as Dead.
Post by: thelakelander on February 15, 2008, 01:56:18 PM
Costly courthouse deserves special vote in referendum

Quote
By RON LITTLEPAGE, The Times-Union

Mayor John Peyton's proposed $400 million courthouse gets smellier by the day.

Peyton has been trying for five years without success to get the courthouse built, hemorrhaging taxpayer money along the way.

In what amounts to waving a white flag and admitting that neither he nor his highly paid staff can get it done, Peyton is turning to Sam Mousa, a City Hall veteran who now works for J.B. Coxwell Contracting, for help.

Peyton wants to hire Mousa to oversee the courthouse project. The part-time work would net Mousa $225 an hour, with a maximum of $135,000.

That's just wrong.

I have a lot of respect for Mousa and he has a track record of completing tough assignments.

But Peyton's chief administrative officer, Alan Mosley, is already being paid $175,000 a year and his public works director, Joey Duncan, $141,000 a year.

If they can't get the job done with so many tax dollars flowing into their bank accounts, then fill those jobs with people who can.

That, however, isn't Peyton's style. He has a habit of tossing around high salaries like they were candy at a parade.

Maybe he has missed the fact that there's a taxpayer revolt in progress because of big spending and wasted money.

Well, he won't be able to ignore the explosion a $400 million courthouse would ignite.

If Peyton continues to insist on that astronomical price tag, there's only one thing to do:

Put the courthouse back on the ballot.

I'm not the only one suggesting that. Former Mayor Jake Godbold said this week that he's been urging Peyton to do just that.

The reasoning is simple: When voters approved the Better Jacksonville Plan, they agreed to spend $190 million on a new courthouse, not $400 million.

To break that covenant and spend that much, Godbold argues, would further erode the public's confidence in elected officials, a confidence already shaken by broken promises such as the approval of the runway extension at Craig field.

Godbold also correctly points out that any future bond issues that would need the approval of voters would likely fail because of the courthouse deceit.

The solution is simple:

If $400 million must be spent on a courthouse, if the city's general fund has to be depleted for 30 years to help pay that kind of debt, then mount a campaign much like John Delaney did with the Better Jacksonville Plan and convince the voters.

Or propose a more reasonable alternative and convince the voters to approve that.

And if the judges aren't satisfied and want to force a more expensive courthouse on the taxpayers, then let them try.

The last time I checked, they have to face the voters to keep their jobs.


http://www.jacksonville.com/tu-online/stories/021508/opl_247024210.shtml
Title: Re: The Courthouse is as Good as Dead.
Post by: tufsu1 on February 15, 2008, 02:52:40 PM
hmm.

i dunno tufsu.

you think its going to be built still?

I suspect mousa is going to find out that the cost estimates are off by 70 million.....maybe more.


what makes you think differently....do you take all of Mr. Littlepage's rantings as fact?

As stated by many above, we need a new courthouse....the existing one is too small and its falling apart....I'm not saying we need a Taj Mahal, but yes something will be built!
Title: Re: The Courthouse is as Good as Dead.
Post by: reednavy on February 15, 2008, 04:17:38 PM
So, Florida's largest urban prairie will stay that way, IMAGINE THAT! I feel really bad for this city really. Orange County did do it right, vertical! We really need to look at their downtown as a model, and thaqts the only thing we need to model after. The sprawl, hmm, we got that down with Orange Park.
Title: Re: The Courthouse is as Good as Dead.
Post by: 02roadking on February 19, 2008, 10:06:28 AM
From the Jaxdailyrecord.com:

There may not be any visible work being done on the new County Courthouse, but the bills are still piling up. Rink Design Partnership Controller Stephen Voellinger sent Steve Diebenow, Mayor John Peyton’s chief of staff, an invoice for “service charges on the past due balance.” The invoice is for $14,418.68 and the current outstanding balance is $1.34 million
Title: Re: The Courthouse is as Good as Dead.
Post by: Charles Hunter on February 21, 2008, 10:56:13 PM
All good questions and research.
Title: Re: The Courthouse is as Good as Dead.
Post by: RiversideGator on February 21, 2008, 11:03:58 PM
Finally the adults are in charge again with the courthouse fiasco.
Title: Re: The Courthouse is as Good as Dead.
Post by: Charles Hunter on February 22, 2008, 05:59:07 AM
Should Coxwell - the company Mr. Mousa still works for - be eligible to get any contracts or sub-contracts on the Court House?
Title: Re: The Courthouse is as Good as Dead.
Post by: mtraininjax on February 29, 2008, 02:32:50 AM
 :D Another ringing endorsement for John Peyton and his worthless legacy. How much did we spend on the Super Bowl and what was that economic impact again?  ::)
Title: Re: The Courthouse is as Good as Dead.
Post by: gatorback on March 15, 2008, 03:41:15 PM
 "The holy passion of Friendship is of so sweet and steady and loyal and enduring a nature that it will last through a whole lifetime, if not asked to lend money."  -- Mark Twain

The old mug hit this right on the head.  I think the reason we're having problems with this has to do with we don't have the money for it.
Title: Re: The Courthouse is as Good as Dead.
Post by: JeffreyS on March 26, 2008, 10:22:21 PM
Here is my suggestion for the new courthouse.

Title: Re: The Courthouse is as Good as Dead.
Post by: JeffreyS on March 26, 2008, 10:27:56 PM
I need help adding pictures.
Title: Re: The Courthouse is as Good as Dead.
Post by: jeh1980 on March 27, 2008, 04:12:20 AM
Here is my suggestion for the new courthouse.


I saw the picture of the old U.S. courthouse. But is it big enough to be the new courthouse? ???
Title: Re: The Courthouse is as Good as Dead.
Post by: thelakelander on March 27, 2008, 08:35:08 AM
I need help adding pictures.

1. Upload images from your hard drive to a photo host site like: www.photobucket.com

To post on Metro Jacksonville Discussion Boards

2. place [img] in front of image's web address in your post.

3. place [/ img] in back of image's web address in your post. (remove the space between / and img)

4. When you finish your post, the image should show up (make sure no spaces are between anything).

Title: Re: The Courthouse is as Good as Dead.
Post by: Steve on March 27, 2008, 10:09:40 AM
I saw the picture of the old U.S. courthouse. But is it big enough to be the new courthouse? ???

What you could do is gut the interior, and use the exterior pacade for the new courthouse, and go up with it.

Like this:

(http://www.metrojacksonville.com/photos/thumbs/lrg-1296-p1010720.JPG)
(http://www.metrojacksonville.com/photos/thumbs/lrg-1321-p1010563.JPG)

These, by the way, are from lakelander's article on Toronto.  Talk about no comparison to Jacksonville:

http://www.metrojacksonville.com/content/view/481/118/
Title: Re: The Courthouse is as Good as Dead.
Post by: JeffreyS on March 27, 2008, 12:16:17 PM
The old post office would even look better that the Toronto buildings.  I have no idea what the sq footage is of that building or if there are any plans for it.
(http://i301.photobucket.com/albums/nn72/Vendingman/CITY2.jpg)
(http://i301.photobucket.com/albums/nn72/Vendingman/CITY.jpg)

Thank you Lake.
Title: Re: The Courthouse is as Good as Dead.
Post by: thelakelander on March 27, 2008, 12:30:41 PM
The old post office is already planned to become a part of the new courthouse complex.  A portion of the $400 million will be used to renovate it.
Title: Re: The Courthouse is as Good as Dead.
Post by: JeffreyS on March 27, 2008, 02:28:42 PM
Great now maybe we can save some money by making the other portion vertical.
Title: Re: The Courthouse is as Good as Dead.
Post by: Matt on March 27, 2008, 04:01:28 PM
that postoffice is a rather handsome building, however plain. good to see its getting included.
Title: Re: The Courthouse is as Good as Dead.
Post by: fightingosprey07 on April 27, 2008, 06:43:12 PM

During this recession this will probably be the only thing that keeps downtown from collapsing altogether.  Thank providence that it was delayed long enough to be timed the way that it has.


Good point Stephen, maybe we're lucky it was delayed for so long. You know what they say, "Mayor Peyton works in mysterious ways"
Title: Re: The Courthouse is as Good as Dead.
Post by: fsujax on April 28, 2008, 09:02:25 AM
That is one good way to look at the delay in this project. At least construction will enhance that part of Downtown during this slow down.