The Jaxson

Urban Thinking => Analysis => Topic started by: Metro Jacksonville on August 03, 2015, 06:40:02 AM

Title: Jacksonville vs Anchorage: A larger city by land area
Post by: Metro Jacksonville on August 03, 2015, 06:40:02 AM
Jacksonville vs Anchorage: A larger city by land area

(http://photos.metrojacksonville.com/photos/4246763361_6j8cg4G-L.jpg)

With the help of an original founding member, Metro Jacksonville takes a visit to the downtown of a city that's larger than Jacksonville by land area: Anchorage, Alaska.

Read More: http://www.metrojacksonville.com/article/2015-aug-jacksonville-vs-anchorage-a-larger-city-by-land-area-
Title: Re: Jacksonville vs Anchorage: A larger city by land area
Post by: JaxJersey-licious on August 03, 2015, 01:39:49 PM
Very informative and much appreciated. I'm curious to know if the DT area particularly around the port has to re-purpose itself when the peak cruise ship season passes? And is their DT retail and nightlife more reliant on tourists?
Title: Re: Jacksonville vs Anchorage: A larger city by land area
Post by: fsujax on August 03, 2015, 02:48:19 PM
Anchorage only gets about 4 cruise ships a year. Many of the stores are still open in the winter months and you will still see people out walking around, going to the bars and restaurants downtown, even on a cold snowy day. The Saturday market doesn't occur in the winter months, but the city has other events in winter like Fur Rondy, the ceremonial start of the Iditarod and ice carving/sculpting competitions.
Title: Re: Jacksonville vs Anchorage: A larger city by land area
Post by: fsquid on August 03, 2015, 04:12:50 PM
these pictures made me cold.
Title: Re: Jacksonville vs Anchorage: A larger city by land area
Post by: thelakelander on August 03, 2015, 05:43:46 PM
(http://photos.metrojacksonville.com/Other/Misc2/i-pLhBbzM/0/L/Anchorage%20Center-L.jpg)
Dena'ina Center is the big building with the white roof covering a full Anchorage city block.

What stands out most to me is the new convention center.  It's modern, 3 stories and cost $111 million to build in 2008.  Although the exhibition hall at street level is only 47,000 square feet, I wanted to drop it to scale on the courthouse site for fun.

First, here's a few images of the new Dena'ina Center:

(https://anchorageconventions.files.wordpress.com/2014/04/gallery_denaina01.jpg?w=1000&h=&crop=1)


(https://anchorageconventions.files.wordpress.com/2014/04/gallery_denaina03.jpg?w=700&h=&crop=1)


(https://anchorageconventions.files.wordpress.com/2014/04/gallery_denaina08.jpg?w=1000&h=&crop=1)


(https://anchorageconventions.files.wordpress.com/2014/04/gallery_denaina09.jpg?w=1000&h=&crop=1)


(https://anchorageconventions.files.wordpress.com/2014/04/gallery_denaina12.jpg?w=1000&h=&crop=1)


(https://anchorageconventions.files.wordpress.com/2014/04/gallery_denaina07.jpg?w=1000&h=&crop=1)


(https://anchorageconventions.files.wordpress.com/2014/04/gallery_denaina15.jpg?w=1000&h=&crop=1)


(https://anchorageconventions.files.wordpress.com/2014/04/gallery_denaina16.jpg?w=1000&h=&crop=1)

It looks pretty nice.  Definitely a big step up from the Prime Osborn Convention Center. It cost $111 million to construct. However, in addition to an exhibition hall, it includes two extra floors of meeting and ballroom space. If we look at the courthouse site and assume that the Hyatt can become a part of the convention complex, we already have Grand Ballroom and meeting rooms in the Hyatt. All we really need is an exhibition hall box.

(http://photos.metrojacksonville.com/Other/Misc2/i-MFRCDWC/0/L/JAX%20Hyatt%20Center-L.jpg)
The Hyatt and courthouse blocks at the same scale as the Dena'ina Center aerial above.

(http://photos.metrojacksonville.com/Other/Misc2/i-hsSznrZ/0/L/JAX%20Hyatt%20with%20Anchorage%20Center-1-L.jpg)
The Hyatt's second level ballroom layout, along with the Dena'ina Center footprint on the old county courthouse site. The full courthouse block is highlighted in yellow.

(http://photos.metrojacksonville.com/Other/Misc2/i-NGcTWLP/0/L/JAX%20Hyatt%20with%20Anchorage%20Center-3-L.jpg)
The Dena'ina Center exhibition hall, grand lobby and "some" support space floor plan overlayed on the courthouse block. Also included is the Hyatt's second level ballroom floor.

Why do we believe it could cost $200 to $500 million to build a new convention center? Are we assuming we replicate everything the Hyatt already offers across the street, while also adding a new exhibition hall?

Why not just go with a two story box featuring an exhibition hall covering the entire block on the second floor and retail/dining space at street level, facing Bay and the river?  We should be able to get something nice completed for $100 million. It can be connected to the Hyatt's ballroom level by skywalk, basically creating a three block convention facility, all located above street level.

Then consider demolishing that failing parking deck (millions cheaper than rebuilding it) over the river, taking the money not spent on rebuilding and making a real public waterfront space that's integrated with the Hyatt, new convention center's exhibition hall and Berkman?
Title: Re: Jacksonville vs Anchorage: A larger city by land area
Post by: fsujax on August 03, 2015, 06:11:45 PM
Sounds like a great plan Lake.
Title: Re: Jacksonville vs Anchorage: A larger city by land area
Post by: Ocklawaha on August 03, 2015, 06:44:44 PM
With the north bank river scour what it is, if we remove the parking area over the water, I question how long those Berkman Condo's will stand before that whole little peninsula is in the drink?

FSUJAX, No ARR news or photos? Arguably until AAF finally gets to Jax and Tampa, y'all have better rail service and plans for more then we have.
Title: Re: Jacksonville vs Anchorage: A larger city by land area
Post by: thelakelander on August 03, 2015, 06:49:40 PM
What does the ARR have going on?  I noticed on Google Earth that they have a passenger rail spur to the airport terminal.
Title: Re: Jacksonville vs Anchorage: A larger city by land area
Post by: fsujax on August 03, 2015, 06:52:48 PM
Yes, they do Lake. There is a large rail passenger terminal at the airport. It only operates through there in summer time. ARRC operates passenger service between Fairbanks, Anchorage and Seward year round. There is also a lot of talk about commuter rail from the "valley" to Anchorage.
Title: Re: Jacksonville vs Anchorage: A larger city by land area
Post by: Ocklawaha on August 03, 2015, 06:56:23 PM
Yes, and VERY FEC LIKE, AARC is paying a large chunk of the commuter rail study.
Title: Re: Jacksonville vs Anchorage: A larger city by land area
Post by: Keith-N-Jax on August 03, 2015, 07:37:52 PM
Dena'ina Center: A nice looking building. Nice photo set. I want to visit Alaska, but more interested in the nature .
Title: Re: Jacksonville vs Anchorage: A larger city by land area
Post by: fsujax on August 03, 2015, 07:48:56 PM
Believe me Keith, Alaska is much better just outside Anchorage! but you would be surprised at all the nature that lives right in Anchorage.
Title: Re: Jacksonville vs Anchorage: A larger city by land area
Post by: Keith-N-Jax on August 03, 2015, 07:53:47 PM
Yeah I watch a lot of National Geographic and I've seen shows where elk and moose come right into the city. Would love to see something like that.
Title: Re: Jacksonville vs Anchorage: A larger city by land area
Post by: fsujax on August 03, 2015, 07:57:55 PM
and bears!
Title: Re: Jacksonville vs Anchorage: A larger city by land area
Post by: Keith-N-Jax on August 03, 2015, 08:03:42 PM
Black bears right? I doubt grizzles would venture in and who would want them to.BTW Lake that plans sounds awesome for the Hyatt and Convention center space. Two birds one stone.
Title: Re: Jacksonville vs Anchorage: A larger city by land area
Post by: fsujax on August 03, 2015, 08:18:32 PM
yeah, only black bears in the city.
Title: Re: Jacksonville vs Anchorage: A larger city by land area
Post by: thelakelander on August 04, 2015, 08:35:41 AM
So the airport rail terminal is considered to be one of the biggest boondoggles in Alaska history?

Quote
Dreaming big: 6 Alaska boondoggles

(http://www.adn.com/sites/default/files/imagecache/image_detail/images/topic/news/train-terminal.jpg)

Railroad Depot at Anchorage's international airport
Here's how an Anchorage visitor’s guide website touts the services of the Alaska Railroad's terminal located at Anchorage’s Ted Stevens International Airport: “Hop off the plane and directly onto the Alaska Railroad.” It adds, “it's just about that easy.”

“Just about” are the operative words there. The terminal -- which opened for business in 2003 at a cost of $28 million in federal funds secured by the airport's namesake Alaska senator -- was projected to serve as many as 200,000 passengers a year, many of them tourists starting out or wrapping up an Alaska vacation.

In 2009, the airport served around 20,000 -- a tenth of the projected total -- of those potential passengers, according to a 2010 Anchorage Daily News article.  The depot’s other source of revenue, serving as a venue for large events like weddings, was unavailable during the winter of 2009-10. The terminal shut down completely as a cost-saving measure.

Perhaps the low ridership in recent years can be attributed to lackluster tourism figures as the U.S. continues to ride out the recession -- but the number of projected summer visitors to Alaska has still increased by nearly 200,000 in the years since the depot opened, from 1.3 million in 2003 to 1.5 million in 2010.

Like so many other projects here, the federal dollars poured into the railroad terminal has made it easier for Alaskans to swallow. At the railroad’s grand opening, then-Sen. Ted Stevens best summed up the attitude in those bountiful years when Alaska grew fat with federal pork. Responding to criticisms -- well-founded criticisms, when viewed through a modern-day lens -- that the depot could prove to be another classic Alaska boondoggle, Stevens said: “It doesn’t have to pay for itself. It was a grant from the federal government.”

by Ben Anderson

full article: http://www.adn.com/article/dreaming-big-6-alaska-boondoggles
Title: Re: Jacksonville vs Anchorage: A larger city by land area
Post by: CCMjax on August 04, 2015, 12:09:05 PM
Believe me Keith, Alaska is much better just outside Anchorage! but you would be surprised at all the nature that lives right in Anchorage.

Yeah, in my opinion Anchorage's downtown was struggling more than DT Jax.  Although that was 10 years ago or so.  Alaska was the most beautiful place I've ever seen outside of Anchorage though.
Title: Re: Jacksonville vs Anchorage: A larger city by land area
Post by: Sandyfeets on August 05, 2015, 04:28:03 PM
Having visited Anchorage multiple times, and in all seasons, as family was from there, there is plenty to do all year round.   High tourist season is from Memorial to Labor Day.   The streets can be a bit crowded the day that the cruise ships pull in/out of port, after that most of the tourists are RV campers or fly/drive. 
Summer Solstice is one of the highlights of June.   Downtown is alive until the wee, wee hours of the morning.  The sun barely sets and as your plane comes in for a landing over Cook Inlet, you look out the window and can sometimes spot humpback whales below you as you come in on the last flight of the night (12:30am)
Not too many metropolitan areas would you ever come across a moose meandering through downtown. Besides all the summer time activities, including salmon fishing, winter can be entertaining.  There's snow machining, skiing, skating, and ice fishing.   
Black bears are tempted by neighborhood issues, as they are here in Florida (pet food left out, garbage, gardens, bird feeder.)  Grizzlies tend to be in  more remote areas, but it's Alaska, there's wildlife everywhere and in the most unexpected places.