The Jaxson

Jacksonville by Neighborhood => Downtown => Topic started by: thelakelander on December 28, 2017, 05:56:11 AM

Title: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: thelakelander on December 28, 2017, 05:56:11 AM
I wonder what they have planned for this site?

Quote
Miami-based property investor Ramon Llorens acquired more property in Downtown.

A deed executed Wednesday and recorded Friday shows that a group led by Llorens purchased the Greyhound bus station at 10 N. Pearl St., across the street from the EverBank Center, which he also owns.

Full article: https://www.jaxdailyrecord.com/article/greyhound-bus-station-sold-for-dollar2-78-million
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: Captain Zissou on December 28, 2017, 09:56:56 AM
Llorens has bought a ton of property in Jax lately.  He already owns Everbank center, so he has a decent footprint in that part of downtown.
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: JaxJersey-licious on December 28, 2017, 10:39:01 AM
I wonder what they have planned for this site?

Quote
Miami-based property investor Ramon Llorens acquired more property in Downtown.

A deed executed Wednesday and recorded Friday shows that a group led by Llorens purchased the Greyhound bus station at 10 N. Pearl St., across the street from the EverBank Center, which he also owns.

Full article: https://www.jaxdailyrecord.com/article/greyhound-bus-station-sold-for-dollar2-78-million

Is this a tease? You know something you can't tell?
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: FlaBoy on December 28, 2017, 01:30:15 PM
My money is on him wanting to tear it down for parking... :-\
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: BenderRodriguez on December 28, 2017, 01:45:49 PM
I smell more residential coming to the area...

Although, I would love to see the original building kept and repurposed. Maybe we can get that downtown Walgreens.
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: jaxnyc79 on December 29, 2017, 12:22:53 PM
Checked out tapestry park for the first time on my recent trip to Jax.  Has someone evaluated why we can’t see more of this product in Jax?  It’s the best attempt at place-making in new construction that I’ve seen in Jax in ages.  Can Mandarin and Arlington and other neighborhoods get their own versions of tapestry park to better congeal a sense of identity for those communities?  Is there anything the city can do to encourage more tapestry parks?  Are these great infill ideas for abandoned K-Marts?
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: thelakelander on December 29, 2017, 12:32:48 PM
Yes, the city can overhaul its archaic zoning and land use policies. You literally have to go the extra mile and rezone to a PUD to do something like Tapestry Park. Make mixed-use more easy to do and the easy crap a bit more difficult and we'd see more Tapestry Parks materialize.
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: Wacca Pilatka on December 29, 2017, 01:13:05 PM
I smell more residential coming to the area...

Although, I would love to see the original building kept and repurposed. Maybe we can get that downtown Walgreens.

Me too.  The classic bus station design deserves preservation.
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: exnewsman on December 29, 2017, 01:42:50 PM
I really hope its not another parking garage. So many better options that that. But if it does go parking, perhaps they will do a mixed-use with retail, then parking, then office and/or residential. Residential directly across from the Skyway would be cool. Don't have high hopes though.

Anybody with enough money can buy property, but they rarely have the vision to see beyond the basics.
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: cline on December 29, 2017, 02:10:24 PM
Checked out tapestry park for the first time on my recent trip to Jax.  Has someone evaluated why we can’t see more of this product in Jax?  It’s the best attempt at place-making in new construction that I’ve seen in Jax in ages.  Can Mandarin and Arlington and other neighborhoods get their own versions of tapestry park to better congeal a sense of identity for those communities?  Is there anything the city can do to encourage more tapestry parks?  Are these great infill ideas for abandoned K-Marts?

Tapestry Park is hardly infill...its basically an extension of Tinsletown/Town Center. There are plenty of places where "infill" would work if the City promoted it rather than subsidizing suburban office parks.

As an aside, the term "placemaking" is way overused.
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: thelakelander on December 29, 2017, 02:36:55 PM
I really hope its not another parking garage. So many better options that that. But if it does go parking, perhaps they will do a mixed-use with retail, then parking, then office and/or residential. Residential directly across from the Skyway would be cool. Don't have high hopes though.

Anybody with enough money can buy property, but they rarely have the vision to see beyond the basics.
It would be a cool space for an indoor/outdoor public market or food hall. It would pull from all the workers in the nearby office towers and courthouse and parking wouldn't be an issue with all of the garages and the adjacent skyway station. My guess is that it ends up being torn down at some point.
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: DrQue on December 29, 2017, 02:41:51 PM
My money is on structured parking for the EverBank building. Best case would be mixed use but I imagine the owner of 301 W Bay wants more control over his parking situation. Hoping for the best but expectations are low.
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: jaxnyc79 on December 29, 2017, 03:45:43 PM
Checked out tapestry park for the first time on my recent trip to Jax.  Has someone evaluated why we can’t see more of this product in Jax?  It’s the best attempt at place-making in new construction that I’ve seen in Jax in ages.  Can Mandarin and Arlington and other neighborhoods get their own versions of tapestry park to better congeal a sense of identity for those communities?  Is there anything the city can do to encourage more tapestry parks?  Are these great infill ideas for abandoned K-Marts?

Tapestry Park is hardly infill...its basically an extension of Tinsletown/Town Center. There are plenty of places where "infill" would work if the City promoted it rather than subsidizing suburban office parks.

As an aside, the term "placemaking" is way overused.

Jesus Christ, everyone on here can be challenged for the smallest points.  I was making the point that tapestry park’s design could be a model for a mixed use project used in other neighborhoods in the city, many of which currently lack any sort of village-style, walkable, mixed-use district.  Maybe a tapestry park design could fill in the now vacant Kmart space at San Jose and Old St Augustine.  I wasn’t saying tapestry in its current location is infill - but if you’re going to have new developments in the suburbs of Jax, that was a relatively nice project versus the loads of other garbage being built all over Duval
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: jaxjags on December 29, 2017, 03:55:19 PM
Checked out tapestry park for the first time on my recent trip to Jax.  Has someone evaluated why we can’t see more of this product in Jax?  It’s the best attempt at place-making in new construction that I’ve seen in Jax in ages.  Can Mandarin and Arlington and other neighborhoods get their own versions of tapestry park to better congeal a sense of identity for those communities?  Is there anything the city can do to encourage more tapestry parks?  Are these great infill ideas for abandoned K-Marts?

Tapestry Park is hardly infill...its basically an extension of Tinsletown/Town Center. There are plenty of places where "infill" would work if the City promoted it rather than subsidizing suburban office parks.

As an aside, the term "placemaking" is way overused.

Jesus Christ, everyone on here can be challenged for the smallest points.  I was making the point that tapestry park’s design could be a model for a mixed use project used in other neighborhoods in the city, many of which currently lack any sort of village-style, walkable, mixed-use district.  Maybe a tapestry park design could fill in the now vacant Kmart space at San Jose and Old St Augustine.  I wasn’t saying tapestry in its current location is infill - but if you’re going to have new developments in the suburbs of Jax, that was a relatively nice project versus the loads of other garbage being built all over Duval

Some people do not like suburban developments even if done correctly. Personally I don't "connect" this to Tinseltown and I think the new apartments close by will add to the mixed use. I agree with you. This approach could have been used at the new SJTC additions for a much better feel to the area.
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: jaxnyc79 on December 29, 2017, 04:11:40 PM
Checked out tapestry park for the first time on my recent trip to Jax.  Has someone evaluated why we can’t see more of this product in Jax?  It’s the best attempt at place-making in new construction that I’ve seen in Jax in ages.  Can Mandarin and Arlington and other neighborhoods get their own versions of tapestry park to better congeal a sense of identity for those communities?  Is there anything the city can do to encourage more tapestry parks?  Are these great infill ideas for abandoned K-Marts?

Tapestry Park is hardly infill...its basically an extension of Tinsletown/Town Center. There are plenty of places where "infill" would work if the City promoted it rather than subsidizing suburban office parks.

As an aside, the term "placemaking" is way overused.

Jesus Christ, everyone on here can be challenged for the smallest points.  I was making the point that tapestry park’s design could be a model for a mixed use project used in other neighborhoods in the city, many of which currently lack any sort of village-style, walkable, mixed-use district.  Maybe a tapestry park design could fill in the now vacant Kmart space at San Jose and Old St Augustine.  I wasn’t saying tapestry in its current location is infill - but if you’re going to have new developments in the suburbs of Jax, that was a relatively nice project versus the loads of other garbage being built all over Duval

Some people do not like suburban developments even if done correctly. Personally I don't "connect" this to Tinseltown and I think the new apartments close by will add to the mixed use. I agree with you. This approach could have been used at the new SJTC additions for a much better feel to the area.

At the very least, the city and/or planning department should be making it easy to get such developments done.  Who do we lobby for that?  I wonder if this developer is doing anything else around town?
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: jaxjaguar on December 29, 2017, 04:51:55 PM
Would love to see a mixed use apartment/condo tower here like The Plaza in downtown Orlando. It's a similar footprint to the Greyhound station. The Plaza is 21 stories and two connected towers with several shops and restaurants on the ground floor, parking hidden within the building, a small but great movie theater, offices in one tower and apartment/condos in the other.

It's a great building imo because it fills out the skyline nicely since it looks like two buildings. Also, there is ALWAYS foot traffic in the area because of the density of mixed use.

A building like this would greatly compliment the area and increase all of the numbers we're looking for.
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: jaxnyc79 on December 29, 2017, 05:32:25 PM
Just arrived in downtown Orlando this evening.  I am literally blown away.  I remember the downtown Orlando of the early 2000s and what I’m seeing now is massively different...revolutionized. North Orange has all these street-front shops, bars, and restaurants in modest, low-rise quaint buildings, and Weber street is now an avenue clustered with mid-rise residential, also fronting the sidewalk.  I mean, it’s laughable that the city of Jax sends an army of delegates to Toronto, when there’s an entire book of lessons learned right down the road in Orlando. Sad to say it, but seeing this now after the past 5 days in Jax just makes Jax look woefully behind.
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: thelakelander on December 29, 2017, 05:40:31 PM
On your way back, drive north on US 17/92 through Winter Park and Maitland. There's a lot of nice suburban infill going up along that corridor around the Sunrail stations. Oh and yes, it has completely changed for the better since the early 2000s, although I don't like what they're doing with Parramore.
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: jaxjaguar on December 29, 2017, 06:38:30 PM
Just curious about what you don't like about what's going on in Paramore, Lake? UCF is putting in a downtown campus, the magic are building out an entertainment complex like we want near the Jags stadium, Orlando city built a stadium and they've put up two mixed use apartment complexes.
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: JaxAvondale on December 29, 2017, 08:38:17 PM
I really hope its not another parking garage. So many better options that that. But if it does go parking, perhaps they will do a mixed-use with retail, then parking, then office and/or residential. Residential directly across from the Skyway would be cool. Don't have high hopes though.

Anybody with enough money can buy property, but they rarely have the vision to see beyond the basics.
It would be a cool space for an indoor/outdoor public market or food hall. It would pull from all the workers in the nearby office towers and courthouse and parking wouldn't be an issue with all of the garages and the adjacent skyway station. My guess is that it ends up being torn down at some point.

An indoor/outdoor food market would be awesome. I went to a similar market in Lisbon earlier this year and enjoyed my immensely.

(https://wareontheglobe.files.wordpress.com/2017/04/348.jpg?w=705&h=435&crop=1)
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: thelakelander on December 29, 2017, 08:48:56 PM
Just curious about what you don't like about what's going on in Paramore, Lake? UCF is putting in a downtown campus, the magic are building out an entertainment complex like we want near the Jags stadium, Orlando city built a stadium and they've put up two mixed use apartment complexes.
I don't like that the only redevelopment strategy they can come up with is one that virtually takes out the existing residents. Growing up down there and knowing a little about the neighborhood's history, I find it disappointing that it's being erased as opposed to being apart of the revitalization process. The proposed UCF campus is on the old Magic arena site across the tracks. The Magic's project is being built on the former location of a parking garage. Those are ok. I have a big problem with the Orlando City stadium in that it basically does to Parramore Avenue what the LaVilla School of the Arts did to Ashley Street.
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: tufsu1 on December 29, 2017, 09:58:29 PM
I mean, it’s laughable that the city of Jax sends an army of delegates to Toronto, when there’s an entire book of lessons learned right down the road in Orlando. 

Nearly every big city Chamber of Commerce takes this kind of trip annually. They didn't go to Orlando merely to learn about downtown development. Also note that the City (taxpayers) pay very little of the trip cost, if any.
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: Tacachale on December 29, 2017, 11:02:18 PM
Just curious about what you don't like about what's going on in Paramore, Lake? UCF is putting in a downtown campus, the magic are building out an entertainment complex like we want near the Jags stadium, Orlando city built a stadium and they've put up two mixed use apartment complexes.
I don't like that the only redevelopment strategy they can come up with is one that virtually takes out the existing residents. Growing up down there and knowing a little about the neighborhood's history, I find it disappointing that it's being erased as opposed to being apart of the revitalization process. The proposed UCF campus is on the old Magic arena site across the tracks. The Magic's project is being built on the former location of a parking garage. Those are ok. I have a big problem with the Orlando City stadium in that it basically does to Parramore Avenue what the LaVilla School of the Arts did to Ashley Street.

I agree. That stadium is a boondoggle anyway. Orlando SC makes a killing at the underused Citrus Bowl as it is. They didn’t need to destroy a neighborhood to build a separate stadium a mile away. It’s just MLS’s self-interested SSS flimflam.
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: jaxnyc79 on December 30, 2017, 09:36:37 AM
I mean, it’s laughable that the city of Jax sends an army of delegates to Toronto, when there’s an entire book of lessons learned right down the road in Orlando. 

Nearly every big city Chamber of Commerce takes this kind of trip annually. They didn't go to Orlando merely to learn about downtown development. Also note that the City (taxpayers) pay very little of the trip cost, if any.

When I typed what I typed, I was recalling an article I’d read in the spring.  I located a quote in that article from th JaxDailyRecord: “In an invitation to register, emailed Friday to Mayor Lenny Curry’s Chief of Staff Kerri Stewart, Peyton said the focus for this year’s trip is downtown development “and Toronto is just the city.””  I’m not making a point on how the trip was funded, just that what Orlando has done to its downtown seems like lower hanging fruit than a place like Toronto in, not just a different state, but a different country.  Jax’s downtown is so far from anything decent, that no one really needs to go all the way to an international city to start covering the basics of catalyzing a bit of vibrancy and assembly.

Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: thelakelander on December 30, 2017, 11:10:16 AM
They travel someplace out side of the state every year. Quite frankly, they could learn just as much from a half day trip to St. Augustine or Fernandina Beach. The size of the city and scale of its individual developments may change, but the basic concepts of revitalization are pretty much the same. None of it is rocket science. We just like making it more difficult than it has to be. Why? I'm not exactly sure.
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: Tacachale on December 30, 2017, 11:22:57 AM
I mean, it’s laughable that the city of Jax sends an army of delegates to Toronto, when there’s an entire book of lessons learned right down the road in Orlando. 

Nearly every big city Chamber of Commerce takes this kind of trip annually. They didn't go to Orlando merely to learn about downtown development. Also note that the City (taxpayers) pay very little of the trip cost, if any.

When I typed what I typed, I was recalling an article I’d read in the spring.  I located a quote in that article from th JaxDailyRecord: “In an invitation to register, emailed Friday to Mayor Lenny Curry’s Chief of Staff Kerri Stewart, Peyton said the focus for this year’s trip is downtown development “and Toronto is just the city.””  I’m not making a point on how the trip was funded, just that what Orlando has done to its downtown seems like lower hanging fruit than a place like Toronto in, not just a different state, but a different country.  Jax’s downtown is so far from anything decent, that no one really needs to go all the way to an international city to start covering the basics of catalyzing a bit of vibrancy and assembly.

Lack of institutional knowledge and followthrough from one mayoral administration to the next, and a private sector and populace that didn’t value downtown as a destination until relatively recently. Neither chamber trips nor looking at St Augustine would fix those systemic problems.
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: thelakelander on December 30, 2017, 11:40:37 AM
Very true.
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: jaxnyc79 on December 30, 2017, 11:45:32 AM
I mean, it’s laughable that the city of Jax sends an army of delegates to Toronto, when there’s an entire book of lessons learned right down the road in Orlando. 

Nearly every big city Chamber of Commerce takes this kind of trip annually. They didn't go to Orlando merely to learn about downtown development. Also note that the City (taxpayers) pay very little of the trip cost, if any.

When I typed what I typed, I was recalling an article I’d read in the spring.  I located a quote in that article from th JaxDailyRecord: “In an invitation to register, emailed Friday to Mayor Lenny Curry’s Chief of Staff Kerri Stewart, Peyton said the focus for this year’s trip is downtown development “and Toronto is just the city.””  I’m not making a point on how the trip was funded, just that what Orlando has done to its downtown seems like lower hanging fruit than a place like Toronto in, not just a different state, but a different country.  Jax’s downtown is so far from anything decent, that no one really needs to go all the way to an international city to start covering the basics of catalyzing a bit of vibrancy and assembly.

Lack of institutional knowledge and followthrough from one mayoral administration to the next, and a private sector and populace that didn’t value downtown as a destination until relatively recently. Neither chamber trips nor looking at St Augustine would fix those systemic problems.

I understand what you’re saying, but these can’t be issues that were foreign to Orlando either, or other Florida cities which now have budding downtowns.  In fact, given Jax’s age, it probably has a history of more downtown (Core City) vibrancy than other parts of Florida - I’m just thinking of all the compelling pics that get posted here of Jax in the 1900s-1950s.  Something just went terribly wrong and the city can’t pull itself together to get back on track and start making enough progress to keep it from falling terribly behind.  I wonder if Consolidated Government is a bad thing for Downtown Revitalization.  Anyone ever study this academically?
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: thelakelander on December 30, 2017, 05:54:49 PM
^It's not. Nashville, Indianapolis, Louisville, Philly, New Orleans, etc. are all forms of consolidated government and have more vibrant downtowns.  Regarding Orlando, they have a pretty good Downtown CRA that produces a lot of money for reinvestment. I believe Jax's Northbank CRA is still in the red from failed projects from the distant past.
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: jaxnyc79 on December 31, 2017, 07:38:49 AM
^It's not. Nashville, Indianapolis, Louisville, Philly, New Orleans, etc. are all forms of consolidated government and have more vibrant downtowns.  Regarding Orlando, they have a pretty good Downtown CRA that produces a lot of money for reinvestment. I believe Jax's Northbank CRA is still in the red from failed projects from the distant past.

But consolidated over 800+ square miles?  I mean, every city may be some form of consolidated government...even consider New York City with its boroughs.  Ultimately, sprawl in other corners of the county may be covering up the fact that Core Jax is, perhaps, in a pretty depressed and crummy state.  Growth in the county overall may be the only real chance to finance revitalization in the core - but based on your mentions of the CRAs, it sounds as though the finances and investment opportunities have been ill-advised or mismanaged.  Who should be held to account for recent downtown wastefulness - Delaney, Peyton? 


What are specific, measurable goals to start to give Jacksonville the kind of downtown it wants?  A daily average number of pedestrians tracked walking along its streets after a certain hour of the day?  A certain number of street-fronting bars or live-music establishments or sit-down restaurants within a 5 block radius?  A downtown grade based on a citywide survey, to measure regional perception of downtown?  Like has anyone written this down and is DIA being measured based on this?
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: thelakelander on December 31, 2017, 10:00:08 AM
Anchorage, Alaska is 1,704 square miles and its downtown isn't exactly dead either. Jax is 747 square miles but being serious, much of those 747 square miles aren't developed and will never be developed. Oklahoma City covers 606 square miles and is nationally known for its up and coming downtown and MAPS initiatives (think BPJ on steriods). Houston is 600 square miles and there's cranes all over its skyline and other parts of the city. Basically, we have no excuses that make us unique for not being able to properly revitalize after five decades of continuously trying.

Quote
What are specific, measurable goals to start to give Jacksonville the kind of downtown it wants?  A daily average number of pedestrians tracked walking along its streets after a certain hour of the day?  A certain number of street-fronting bars or live-music establishments or sit-down restaurants within a 5 block radius?  A downtown grade based on a citywide survey, to measure regional perception of downtown?  Like has anyone written this down and is DIA being measured based on this?

I'm sure the Mayor's Office and the DIA have some measurable goals for what they want to achieve but vibrancy means different things to different people, cultures and administrations. They could achieve their goals and the place would still be dead, if one's goal of vibrancy is Orange Avenue in Orlando or King Street in Charleston.

Nevertheless, I doubt there's a goal of having a certain number of street-fronting bars or live-music establishments or sit-down restaurants within a fairly compact area. That's pretty easy to achieve if that's the definition of success. Identify your concentrated zone and implement strategies for overcoming whatever market-rate barriers stopping that dream from coming true. The fact that dreams such as developing the Shipyards, possibly giving incentives for the District, and AV transit less connected to helping change the land development form indicates to me that compact clustering isn't necessarily the main priority right now in Jacksonville.
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: vicupstate on December 31, 2017, 11:11:29 AM
The city's strategy over the last 50 years has been 'throw stuff at a wall and see what sticks'.

Looked at another way, it is simlar to investing in your retirement. You can make consistent, regular investments in proven markets and build something sustainable over time. Or you can hop year to year from the Money magazine 'hot stock' to the next and end up without much to show for it in the end. The former is what most cities that have been successful have done. The latter is what JAX has done. Always waiting for a silver bllet project or white knight to save the day. 

There is no consistency from Mayor to Mayor, Council President to President, there is no strategy, what guidelines there are aren't followed consitently.  Focus is over a huge swath of land from Brooklyn to LaVilla to the Northbank, to the Stadium district to the Southbank.

And no, there are not any measurable goals. To be an actual goal, it must have a numeric value that can be measured and a time limit on it. I have never seen any publicized. 
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: thelakelander on December 31, 2017, 12:08:32 PM
As far as the entertainment district stuff goes, Curry has been putting out his hints for months. It's all about working with the Jags and attracting Cordish to build a "Landing 2.0" next to the stadium. Not sure how that will immediately help the heart of the Northbank, but that doesn't appear to be the goal.
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: jaxnyc79 on December 31, 2017, 01:33:16 PM
The city's strategy over the last 50 years has been 'throw stuff at a wall and see what sticks'.

Looked at another way, it is simlar to investing in your retirement. You can make consistent, regular investments in proven markets and build something sustainable over time. Or you can hop year to year from the Money magazine 'hot stock' to the next and end up without much to show for it in the end. The former is what most cities that have been successful have done. The latter is what JAX has done. Always waiting for a silver bllet project or white knight to save the day. 

There is no consistency from Mayor to Mayor, Council President to President, there is no strategy, what guidelines there are aren't followed consitently.  Focus is over a huge swath of land from Brooklyn to LaVilla to the Northbank, to the Stadium district to the Southbank.

And no, there are not any measurable goals. To be an actual goal, it must have a numeric value that can be measured and a time limit on it. I have never seen any publicized.

I would agree - I sense there are no measurable goals concerning street-level vibrancy, bustle, and regional perception.  This message-board might be as good as any to become a quasi-community group in advocacy for the kind of Downtown that people on here want.  But it might mean putting forth measures that don’t require tons of cost.  Surely there are meaningful ways to change the regional perception of downtown and to get people active on its streets without massively tapping the city’s coffers.  It would take organization, consistency, communication and outreach, corporate sponsorships, regulatory easing, strong university partnerships, etc, but surely it can get done.  But the initiative and energy will probably have to come from the grassroots, and not from the DIA or Council.
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: jaxnyc79 on December 31, 2017, 02:10:03 PM
...www.ferncreek5.com - saw these developments near Downtown Orlando.
Any reason this sort of product wouldn’t work in Cathedral District of downtown Jax, and in Brooklyn, in parts of LaVilla, and on the JEA Generating Station site (formerly known as The District).  Density and Walkability without Verticality.  I think that works for Jax. 
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: thelakelander on December 31, 2017, 03:12:34 PM
^There are developments with townhouses proposed. The District would be the one closest to the core of downtown at the moment.

(https://photos.smugmug.com/Cities/Jacksonville/Development/The-District/i-xKTJ6kV/0/L/The-District-Masterbook-16-0621-Pg1-7-Compressed_Page_3-L.jpg)

However, a building product is largely dependent on the price and size of the property assembled.  From my perspective, building density of any kind isn't a real public priority in Jax. The density you do see being built is strictly private sector driven. You're not going to see large blocks pop up in downtown because of land acquisition costs. By the same token, you won't find large blocks being built in downtown Orlando either.

In the District's case, they want the city to buy their Southbank land for them. There's also an 8-unit townhouse project going up at Beaver & Acorn near the farmer's market. You can find a few in duplex and triplex forms on streets in neighborhoods like Murray Hill. Then they're popping up like mushrooms in the Southside. I suspect you'll see more proposed in the urban core, since that is a segment of the market that isn't close to be overbuilt locally.
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: TimmyB on December 31, 2017, 03:51:18 PM
A question was asked about the possibility that Jacksonville being a consolidated city/county was negatively affecting the downtown.  I believe it is and for several reasons, but the biggest one that I see is: if Jacksonville were losing major developments such as the SJTC to the suburbs (just using this development as an example) and the city itself was getting little development, you better believe you'd be seeing someone downtown raising holy hell and getting real focused, real quickly.  As it is now, it's ALL Jacksonville, so who cares?  There is no incentive to build downtown; all the money collected is going into our coffers, so who cares?

We have indeed seen all the old pictures of the vibrant downtown that existed in the 50's and 60's.  Those existed almost everywhere.  Then, the suburbs exploded, which caused the downtowns to decay everywhere.  Once it became obvious to these core cities that something needed to be done to win the battle over the suburbs (80's-90's), things began to happen.  This is why so many of them have made that giant comeback, many of which have been noted on this site in great detail.  But, not here in Jax.  Why not?  See above paragraph.
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: Tacachale on December 31, 2017, 04:06:29 PM
I mean, it’s laughable that the city of Jax sends an army of delegates to Toronto, when there’s an entire book of lessons learned right down the road in Orlando. 

Nearly every big city Chamber of Commerce takes this kind of trip annually. They didn't go to Orlando merely to learn about downtown development. Also note that the City (taxpayers) pay very little of the trip cost, if any.

When I typed what I typed, I was recalling an article I’d read in the spring.  I located a quote in that article from th JaxDailyRecord: “In an invitation to register, emailed Friday to Mayor Lenny Curry’s Chief of Staff Kerri Stewart, Peyton said the focus for this year’s trip is downtown development “and Toronto is just the city.””  I’m not making a point on how the trip was funded, just that what Orlando has done to its downtown seems like lower hanging fruit than a place like Toronto in, not just a different state, but a different country.  Jax’s downtown is so far from anything decent, that no one really needs to go all the way to an international city to start covering the basics of catalyzing a bit of vibrancy and assembly.

Lack of institutional knowledge and followthrough from one mayoral administration to the next, and a private sector and populace that didn’t value downtown as a destination until relatively recently. Neither chamber trips nor looking at St Augustine would fix those systemic problems.

I understand what you’re saying, but these can’t be issues that were foreign to Orlando either, or other Florida cities which now have budding downtowns.  In fact, given Jax’s age, it probably has a history of more downtown (Core City) vibrancy than other parts of Florida - I’m just thinking of all the compelling pics that get posted here of Jax in the 1900s-1950s.  Something just went terribly wrong and the city can’t pull itself together to get back on track and start making enough progress to keep it from falling terribly behind.  I wonder if Consolidated Government is a bad thing for Downtown Revitalization.  Anyone ever study this academically?

Anchorage, Alaska is 1,704 square miles and its downtown isn't exactly dead either. Jax is 747 square miles but being serious, much of those 747 square miles aren't developed and will never be developed. Oklahoma City covers 606 square miles and is nationally known for its up and coming downtown and MAPS initiatives (think BPJ on steriods). Houston is 600 square miles and there's cranes all over its skyline and other parts of the city. Basically, we have no excuses that make us unique for not being able to properly revitalize after five decades of continuously trying.


A question was asked about the possibility that Jacksonville being a consolidated city/county was negatively affecting the downtown.  I believe it is and for several reasons, but the biggest one that I see is: if Jacksonville were losing major developments such as the SJTC to the suburbs (just using this development as an example) and the city itself was getting little development, you better believe you'd be seeing someone downtown raising holy hell and getting real focused, real quickly.  As it is now, it's ALL Jacksonville, so who cares?  There is no incentive to build downtown; all the money collected is going into our coffers, so who cares?

We have indeed seen all the old pictures of the vibrant downtown that existed in the 50's and 60's.  Those existed almost everywhere.  Then, the suburbs exploded, which caused the downtowns to decay everywhere.  Once it became obvious to these core cities that something needed to be done to win the battle over the suburbs (80's-90's), things began to happen.  This is why so many of them have made that giant comeback, many of which have been noted on this site in great detail.  But, not here in Jax.  Why not?  See above paragraph.

One of the downsides of consolidation is that it masked the decline of downtown and the urban core. The decline was obscured by robust countywide growth, and there was no longer a mechanism for people in the old city to try to improve on their own. I think most consolidation reviews have noted that. However, consolidation is obviously not the problem in and of itself, as there are a number of consolidated cities with vibrant downtowns, and many non-consolidated cities with dead downtowns. And when we have mayors who are on the ball, we've had success tapping countywide resources for improvements downtown. Again, it comes down to a lack of followthrough over the years.

Orlando isn't that different from Jacksonville when it comes to the urban core. Neither is Tampa. But neither city is particularly vibrant except in comparison to Jacksonville. The cities that have had more success are those that have a long-term plan and stick with it.

In the 90s and early 2000s, we were investing a lot downtown, residential growth was taking off, and we were generally doing a lot of things right. However, neither of the last two mayors before Curry built on that momentum or accomplished much for downtown (it just wasn't a focus for Peyton, and Brown just couldn't pull it off). Curry has a strong downtown focus, but we've basically had to start from scratch, again. The one thing that has finally changed for the better is that the private sector and in general, the public are enthusiastic about revitalizing downtown. This is a sea change from the way things were in the 90s and I have to think that it'll pay off in the long run, even though it'll be uneven at first.
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: jaxnyc79 on December 31, 2017, 04:24:40 PM
A question was asked about the possibility that Jacksonville being a consolidated city/county was negatively affecting the downtown.  I believe it is and for several reasons, but the biggest one that I see is: if Jacksonville were losing major developments such as the SJTC to the suburbs (just using this development as an example) and the city itself was getting little development, you better believe you'd be seeing someone downtown raising holy hell and getting real focused, real quickly.  As it is now, it's ALL Jacksonville, so who cares?  There is no incentive to build downtown; all the money collected is going into our coffers, so who cares?

We have indeed seen all the old pictures of the vibrant downtown that existed in the 50's and 60's.  Those existed almost everywhere.  Then, the suburbs exploded, which caused the downtowns to decay everywhere.  Once it became obvious to these core cities that something needed to be done to win the battle over the suburbs (80's-90's), things began to happen.  This is why so many of them have made that giant comeback, many of which have been noted on this site in great detail.  But, not here in Jax.  Why not?  See above paragraph.

I tend to agree with you.  County-wide metrics obscure how dismal the situation in old Jax really is.  The core city really is depressed, and it sometimes takes a crisis to spur real action and attention.  At the same, bond issuances to fund capital projects downtown are probably counting revenue streams from every corner of the county.  Also, only a small group of council reps are from the urban core and actually have lived its realities.  Imagine if a council body of 12 or 14 were all from the core city, preoccupied with issues of renewing aging blocks, and pedestrian comforts, and filling abandoned/vacant lots.

I talked to a former Jax police officer about recent law enforcement articles.  NYC credits “neighborhood policing” with its drastic reductions in crime.  This year, NYC is at roughly 280 homicides. The city of Jax is a tenth the size, with 139 or so homicides in 2017.  NYC did away with stop and frisk a few years ago, and has still seen the homicide rate plummet.  I asked him about neoghborhood policing in Jax.  He mentioned it’s been tried, and it’s worked, but was too expensive to maintain. 
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: thelakelander on December 31, 2017, 05:34:59 PM
A question was asked about the possibility that Jacksonville being a consolidated city/county was negatively affecting the downtown.  I believe it is and for several reasons, but the biggest one that I see is: if Jacksonville were losing major developments such as the SJTC to the suburbs (just using this development as an example) and the city itself was getting little development, you better believe you'd be seeing someone downtown raising holy hell and getting real focused, real quickly.  As it is now, it's ALL Jacksonville, so who cares?  There is no incentive to build downtown; all the money collected is going into our coffers, so who cares?

We have indeed seen all the old pictures of the vibrant downtown that existed in the 50's and 60's.  Those existed almost everywhere.  Then, the suburbs exploded, which caused the downtowns to decay everywhere.  Once it became obvious to these core cities that something needed to be done to win the battle over the suburbs (80's-90's), things began to happen.  This is why so many of them have made that giant comeback, many of which have been noted on this site in great detail.  But, not here in Jax.  Why not?  See above paragraph.
Two things would have happened if Jax did not consolidate with Duval County.

1. It would have annexed as much suburban growth as possible (ex. Charlotte, Orlando, Tampa, Phoenix, Houston, etc.).

2. It would have stagnated  and lost economic growth to incorporated suburbs (ex. Detroit, Birmingham, Cincinnati, St. Louis, etc.). Either way, suburban growth would have occurred, along with urban decline following WW2. That growth pattern was largely driven by federal and state policies moreso than local.

Either way, DT was going to go through a period of decline. Even NYC couldn't avoid it. Tacachale basically nails why revitalization hasn't kept up with other communities since the 1990s. I'll add that even in the 1990s we made some mistakes. Losing LaVilla and not strategically clustering investment being two major mistakes. Now the interest is back but clustering still seems to be an afterthought.
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: jaxnyc79 on December 31, 2017, 06:29:44 PM
A question was asked about the possibility that Jacksonville being a consolidated city/county was negatively affecting the downtown.  I believe it is and for several reasons, but the biggest one that I see is: if Jacksonville were losing major developments such as the SJTC to the suburbs (just using this development as an example) and the city itself was getting little development, you better believe you'd be seeing someone downtown raising holy hell and getting real focused, real quickly.  As it is now, it's ALL Jacksonville, so who cares?  There is no incentive to build downtown; all the money collected is going into our coffers, so who cares?

We have indeed seen all the old pictures of the vibrant downtown that existed in the 50's and 60's.  Those existed almost everywhere.  Then, the suburbs exploded, which caused the downtowns to decay everywhere.  Once it became obvious to these core cities that something needed to be done to win the battle over the suburbs (80's-90's), things began to happen.  This is why so many of them have made that giant comeback, many of which have been noted on this site in great detail.  But, not here in Jax.  Why not?  See above paragraph.
Two things would have happened if Jax did not consolidate with Duval County.

1. It would have annexed as much suburban growth as possible (ex. Charlotte, Orlando, Tampa, Phoenix, Houston, etc.).

2. It would have stagnated  and lost economic growth to incorporated suburbs (ex. Detroit, Birmingham, Cincinnati, St. Louis, etc.). Either way, suburban growth would have occurred, along with urban decline following WW2. That growth pattern was largely driven by federal and state policies moreso than local.

Either way, DT was going to go through a period of decline. Even NYC couldn't avoid it. Tacachale basically nails why revitalization hasn't kept up with other communities since the 1990s. I'll add that even in the 1990s we made some mistakes. Losing LaVilla and not strategically clustering investment being two major mistakes. Now the interest is back but clustering still seems to be an afterthought.

A few years back, I lived in a large luxury apartment building in the West Village of Manhattan.  When I signed the lease, there was an addendum that described that the building and the land had different owners.  Essentially, the apartment building owner was leasing the land - not unlike the situation between the city and The Jacksonville Landing.  Is anyone aware of similar residential arrangements here in Jax?  If land acquisition costs are such a huge barrier to getting anything done in core Jax, and if the city is a significant downtown land-owner, perhaps they could find willing developers who’d own the vertical asset while leasing the land from the city.  Same could be arranged with private land owners in the core as well.
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: thelakelander on December 31, 2017, 06:38:17 PM
Manhattan is such a different type of market. I'm not sure why a private landowner would want to tie up their property that way or if the banks here would fund such a project. With that said, COJ could sell off or provide land it has at a reduced cost to stimulate certain outcomes. That's been successfully pulled off in many places. However, local history clearly indicates we don't always practice the KISS principle. Also as shown by the DIA board's recent action on 324 Broad Street, there's been a willingness to sit and have nothing happen, if responses to RFPs don't come in the ballpark of what COJ thinks its dilapidated properties are worth.
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: jaxnyc79 on December 31, 2017, 06:49:57 PM
Manhattan is such a different type of market. I'm not sure why a private landowner would want to tie up their property that way or if the banks here would fund such a project. With that said, COJ could sell off or provide land it has at a reduced cost to stimulate certain outcomes. That's been successfully pulled off in many places. However, local history clearly indicates we don't always practice the KISS principle. Also as shown by the DIA board's recent action on 324 Broad Street, there's been a willingness to sit and have nothing happen, if responses to RFPs don't come in the ballpark of what COJ thinks its dilapidated properties are worth.

You’re a landowner and not a builder.  So you let someone with building and property management expertise implement another use, and you, as land lessor, share in the cash flows of what results.  Land-leases tend to be a drag on condo values in NYC, but my building was all rentals.
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: thelakelander on December 31, 2017, 07:19:05 PM
Or you just sell your land, take your cash upfront and be done with it. With that said, we're only talking about very few properties, when you subtract publicly owned land, religious owned property and properties with buildings sitting on them.  This all gets back to practicing that KISS principle. The Northbank is filled with a number of old large underutilized buildings. If we can fill them, the vibrancy created will generate a market for new construction development.
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: TimmyB on December 31, 2017, 07:36:25 PM
A question was asked about the possibility that Jacksonville being a consolidated city/county was negatively affecting the downtown.  I believe it is and for several reasons, but the biggest one that I see is: if Jacksonville were losing major developments such as the SJTC to the suburbs (just using this development as an example) and the city itself was getting little development, you better believe you'd be seeing someone downtown raising holy hell and getting real focused, real quickly.  As it is now, it's ALL Jacksonville, so who cares?  There is no incentive to build downtown; all the money collected is going into our coffers, so who cares?

We have indeed seen all the old pictures of the vibrant downtown that existed in the 50's and 60's.  Those existed almost everywhere.  Then, the suburbs exploded, which caused the downtowns to decay everywhere.  Once it became obvious to these core cities that something needed to be done to win the battle over the suburbs (80's-90's), things began to happen.  This is why so many of them have made that giant comeback, many of which have been noted on this site in great detail.  But, not here in Jax.  Why not?  See above paragraph.
Two things would have happened if Jax did not consolidate with Duval County.

1. It would have annexed as much suburban growth as possible (ex. Charlotte, Orlando, Tampa, Phoenix, Houston, etc.).

2. It would have stagnated  and lost economic growth to incorporated suburbs (ex. Detroit, Birmingham, Cincinnati, St. Louis, etc.). Either way, suburban growth would have occurred, along with urban decline following WW2. That growth pattern was largely driven by federal and state policies moreso than local.

Either way, DT was going to go through a period of decline. Even NYC couldn't avoid it. Tacachale basically nails why revitalization hasn't kept up with other communities since the 1990s. I'll add that even in the 1990s we made some mistakes. Losing LaVilla and not strategically clustering investment being two major mistakes. Now the interest is back but clustering still seems to be an afterthought.

I wasn't suggesting that it should or shouldn't have happened.  I was simply voicing my opinion about how it has hindered Jacksonville's downtown redevelopment.  I still believe it hasn't helped.  You have 800 square miles of one city to build in; why WOULD you build downtown unless someone offered you a huge incentive?
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: thelakelander on December 31, 2017, 08:31:07 PM
Quote
You have 800 square miles of one city to build in; why WOULD you build downtown unless someone offered you a huge incentive?

Or...you have 800 square miles of one city to build in; why WOULD you build in the suburbs unless someone offered you a huge incentive?

Realistically speaking though, from a private standpoint, you build/invest where there's a market to make money. Doesn't really matter if a city is 1,000 square miles or ten. If you're developing for a profit, you could be based in Jax and developing in Seattle or in Chicago and developing in Jax.

I'm not arguing that consolidation has helped downtown Jacksonville. I'm saying not consolidating wouldn't have done anything for downtown either. Jax would just as likely be another Flint, Toledo, Youngstown or Macon. Basically a municipality abandoned by white and black flight, with all the growth and new tax base happening just outside of its borders.

Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: jaxnyc79 on December 31, 2017, 08:43:19 PM
Quote
You have 800 square miles of one city to build in; why WOULD you build downtown unless someone offered you a huge incentive?

Or...you have 800 square miles of one city to build in; why WOULD you build in the suburbs unless someone offered you a huge incentive?

Realistically speaking though, from a private standpoint, you build/invest where there's a market to make money. Doesn't really matter if a city is 1,000 square miles or ten. If you're developing for a profit, you could be based in Jax and developing in Seattle or in Chicago and developing in Jax.

I'm not arguing that consolidation has helped downtown Jacksonville. I'm saying not consolidating wouldn't have done anything for downtown either. Jax would just as likely be another Flint, Toledo, Youngstown or Macon. Basically a municipality abandoned by white and black flight, with all the growth and new tax base happening just outside of its borders.

Jax is 800 square miles of mostly suburbs and swamp.  I believe consolidation has hurt along with a host of other factors, in part because you have a council from all these far flung corners of the county, who are much more concerned with the rudimentary interests of those far-flung corners, than a compact clustering of programs and projects in the core city.  A council covering 800 square miles probably didn’t spend the time to study and reject/redirect all those ill-advised downtown projects that have put the downtown CRA in the red.  And I’d probably want to evaluate whether consolidation has hurt a multitude of other cities around the U.S.  Many downtowns are resurging by overcoming the roadblocks of consolidation.  I’d also argue that not every consolidation is the same.  Consolidating otherwise urban areas (or dense, walkable suburbs) is one thing...Jax consolidation included vast stretches of nothingness, farms, trailer parks, and rural residential, along with zoning policies and transportation programs that said, “sprawl everywhere young men and women.” 
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: thelakelander on December 31, 2017, 09:17:32 PM
I think for a true evaluation, you'll need to look outside of consolidation and into cities that have annexed hundreds of miles since 1950 as well. Nearly all cities saw their urban cores fall into decline between the 1950s and 1980s. The reasons are pretty much the same.....white flight, black flight, poor public school systems, subsidizing suburban growth, racism, decline in manufacturing, etc. Since then, some have been more successful than others in bringing life back to their center cities. The most successful, are generally those with consistent goals and leadership. Then there are a few exceptions due to once-in-a-generation events, etc. Nevertheless, even today the overall the urban growth patterns for American cities are pretty consistent across the US, with scale playing a major role in how we perceive them.
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: TimmyB on December 31, 2017, 11:13:38 PM
Quote
You have 800 square miles of one city to build in; why WOULD you build downtown unless someone offered you a huge incentive?

Or...you have 800 square miles of one city to build in; why WOULD you build in the suburbs unless someone offered you a huge incentive?

Realistically speaking though, from a private standpoint, you build/invest where there's a market to make money. Doesn't really matter if a city is 1,000 square miles or ten. If you're developing for a profit, you could be based in Jax and developing in Seattle or in Chicago and developing in Jax.

I'm not arguing that consolidation has helped downtown Jacksonville. I'm saying not consolidating wouldn't have done anything for downtown either. Jax would just as likely be another Flint, Toledo, Youngstown or Macon. Basically a municipality abandoned by white and black flight, with all the growth and new tax base happening just outside of its borders.

Flint???  They had ONE major industry (autos) and ONE major company HQ (Buick).  When GM gave their middle finger to Flint and pulled the plug on the Buick HQ, the town died.  It was the 2nd biggest city in Michigan.  Now, it's 7th or 8th, and falling.  Jacksonville in their worst nightmare wouldn't have approached that, consolidation or not.

Either way, we both (all) want the best for our downtown.  I still believe firmly that it's going to take a local big-money person to get involved to really make things happen, and as of yet, I've not seen one.  I've seen people with great vision, but no money.  I've heard of people with great money, but no vision.  I've seen a person with both, but he's not local.  If he were to die tomorrow, would any of his family be here to carry on his vision?  Hardly.  I was really hoping this "end of the year" announcement would be here, but as seems to be the case around here, over-promise, then under-deliver.
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: thelakelander on December 31, 2017, 11:59:08 PM
Flint???  They had ONE major industry (autos) and ONE major company HQ (Buick).  When GM gave their middle finger to Flint and pulled the plug on the Buick HQ, the town died.  It was the 2nd biggest city in Michigan.  Now, it's 7th or 8th, and falling.  Jacksonville in their worst nightmare wouldn't have approached that, consolidation or not.

(http://www.metrojacksonville.com/photos/thumbs/lrg-6961-1937.jpg)

The funny thing is that their declines are pretty similar when you strip the suburban areas away. Jax was 30.2 square miles before consolidation and Flint was and still remains 33.4 square miles of land area.

https://www.metrojacksonville.com/article/2011-mar-census-2010-urban-jacksonville-in-decline

Preconsolidated Jax maxed out with a population of 204,517 residents in 1950. It slightly declined to 201,030 in 1960. According to the Census, despite the city consolidating a few years later, the exact land area of the preconsolidated city had declined to 104,047 by 2010. That's a loss of 100,470 between 1950 and 2010 and 96,983 between 1960 and 2010. Flint's population maxed out at 196,940 in 1960. In 2010 it had fallen to 102,434. A loss of 94,506.

Old Jax also took a hard economic blow with the consolidation of the insurance and banking industry in the 1980s and 1990s. Virtually, all of its major companies headquartered in the old city were lost, leaving a downtown skyline virtually unchanged since the completion of the former Barnett Bank tower (now BOA) in the mid-1990s and a ton of vacant office space to back fill.  During the 20th Century, Jax went from being Florida's largest metro area to a distant 4th behind Miami, Tampa and Orlando.

(http://photos.metrojacksonville.com/photos/4284505824_dGHS2BC-800x1000.jpg)
https://www.metrojacksonville.com/article/2015-aug-seven-decisions-that-killed-downtown/page/

The major difference between the two is Jax is a sunbelt city that has had a ton of suburban growth surrounding the old city during the course of this time and Flint has not. Nevertheless, back before the days of sprawl, they were legit peer cities of similar size and scale. So we literally have a Flint in the center of our city surrounded by robust suburbs. Sort of what Detroit is now and what DT Detroit was before Dan Gilbert took interest in it.

Quote
Either way, we both (all) want the best for our downtown.  I still believe firmly that it's going to take a local big-money person to get involved to really make things happen, and as of yet, I've not seen one.  I've seen people with great vision, but no money.  I've heard of people with great money, but no vision.  I've seen a person with both, but he's not local.  If he were to die tomorrow, would any of his family be here to carry on his vision?  Hardly.  I was really hoping this "end of the year" announcement would be here, but as seems to be the case around here, over-promise, then under-deliver.

If a person wants to step forward and spend their money to make Jax great....then great. However, we're likely doomed if that's what we pin our hopes for. That's simply not a reality for most cities in the country. In the past, downtown's economy was largely driven by the growth of several corporate headquaters that no longer exist. That model is being played out in Uptown Charlotte right now. However, the models employed by cities like Charleston and even Lakeland can work when there is no big money sugar daddy. They focus on establishing a plan of what you want to be and sticking with it through years of incremental implementation. That's a model that Jax has never attempted to do either. In the end, there's room for all but we have to start somewhere. Some positives have been made in recent years, so hopefully we're already in the process.
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: TimmyB on January 01, 2018, 12:17:07 AM
If that orange in the map is the "old" Jacksonville, I admit, I am shocked!  I thought/assumed it was MUCH bigger than that, pre-consolidation.  Am I misinterpreting that map?  Probably because of what you noted about the sprawl.  You get two miles outside of Flint, you are back into cornfields on I-69 and I-75!  Jacksonville, even beyond that orange section was already far more developed back then.  I just believed that most of what is inside the 295 ring would have been Jacksonville, proper.
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: thelakelander on January 01, 2018, 08:02:06 AM
Yes, the orange area illustrates the boundaries of Jacksonville prior to consolidation.
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: thelakelander on January 01, 2018, 08:24:55 AM
Here's the census numbers for Duval and Genesee Counties since 1900. Prior to WWII, Genesee was slightly larger. The investment of WWII military installments in the 1940s pushed Duval past Genesee for good.

Despite Old Jax declining just as much as Flint since then, Duval has three times as much people as it did in 1950. I'm not too familar with Flint but looking at its stagnantion and decline, I suspect the significant hit with the auto industry started in the late 1970s and continued into the 1980s.

Since then, it hasn't recovered. On the other hand, like the rest of the sunbelt, Duval has continued to grow and economically diversify and now it's light years ahead.

762 Square Miles - Duval
637 Square Miles - Genesee


 39,733 - 1900 Duval
 41,804 - 1900 Genesee


 75,163 - 1910 Duval
 64,555 - 1910 Genesee


113,540 - 1920 Duval
125,668 - 1920 Genesee


155,503 - 1930 Duval
211,641 - 1930 Genesee


210,143 - 1940 Duval
227,944 - 1940 Genesee


304,029 - 1950 Duval
270,963 - 1950 Genesee


455,411 - 1960 Duval
374,313 - 1960 Genesee


528,865 - 1970 Duval
444,341 - 1970 Genesee


571,003 - 1980 Duval
450,449 - 1980 Genesee

672,971 - 1990 Duval
430,459 - 1990 Genesee


778,879 - 2000 Duval
436,141 - 2000 Genesee


864,263 - 2010 Duval
425,790 - 2010 Genesee


926,255 - 2016 Duval
408,615 - 2016 Genesee
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: TimmyB on January 01, 2018, 10:04:15 AM
GM used to have their division HQs in various cities, semi-autonomous from world HQ.  When they brought all of those in-house (98 for Buick, I believe), it was the final nail in the coffin.  GM had a market share of around 45% in the 70's and 80's.  Then, they started making decisions based on bean counters, not cars.  The decisions they made devastated cities all over the midwest, but especially in Michigan.  Flint, Saginaw, GR, Kalamazoo, etc. all got clobbered by these decisions.  Buick City in Flint had over 35,000 jobs cut.  Of course, their market share is around 17% these days.  Hard to imagine.

As you mentioned, there was great diversity in Jax AND the fact that they were in the sun belt.  Not happening in Flint.   That town is gone and just like the downtown area we are discussing in Jacksonville, WHY would anyone build there?  There has to be a market for it, first.
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: jaxjags on January 01, 2018, 10:58:51 AM
I think for a true evaluation, you'll need to look outside of consolidation and into cities that have annexed hundreds of miles since 1950 as well. Nearly all cities saw their urban cores fall into decline between the 1950s and 1980s. The reasons are pretty much the same.....white flight, black flight, poor public school systems, subsidizing suburban growth, racism, decline in manufacturing, etc. Since then, some have been more successful than others in bringing life back to their center cities. The most successful, are generally those with consistent goals and leadership. Then there are a few exceptions due to once-in-a-generation events, etc. Nevertheless, even today the overall the urban growth patterns for American cities are pretty consistent across the US, with scale playing a major role in how we perceive them.

Columbus OH is a good example of annexation. Although not a consolidated gov, they have surrounded the old suburbs and country towns with annexation. They too have seen an explosion in the suburbs of new growth and the immediate urban core is ok but only "vibrant" due to the presence of the state government. I still have relatives their and they never talk about going DT, but do praise and visit the Short North area(OSU driven).
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: thelakelander on January 01, 2018, 11:01:06 AM
GM used to have their division HQs in various cities, semi-autonomous from world HQ.  When they brought all of those in-house (98 for Buick, I believe), it was the final nail in the coffin.  GM had a market share of around 45% in the 70's and 80's.  Then, they started making decisions based on bean counters, not cars.  The decisions they made devastated cities all over the midwest, but especially in Michigan.  Flint, Saginaw, GR, Kalamazoo, etc. all got clobbered by these decisions.  Buick City in Flint had over 35,000 jobs cut.  Of course, their market share is around 17% these days.  Hard to imagine.

As you mentioned, there was great diversity in Jax AND the fact that they were in the sun belt.  Not happening in Flint.   That town is gone and just like the downtown area we are discussing in Jacksonville, WHY would anyone build there?  There has to be a market for it, first.

On the good side of things, in Jax there is a market and interest in downtown. Evidence of this is indicated in the limited supply of available downtown housing, the number of proposed projects and the recent openings of several restaurants. In the surrounding neighborhoods, this is visually illustrated with the amount of housing infill and restorations taking place. The challenge here is when it comes to downtown, what the local market is willing to pay in terms of rent is lower than the cost it would take to build new or restore. Eliminating that funding gap is where the need for incentives (ex. Laura Trio/Barnett, Cowford Chophouse, Lofts at LaVilla, etc.) makes sense. For new construction, the city could do the same by offering up land it owns at a reduced rate. To my knowledge, this hasn't occurred at this point. Target these types of deals adjacent to major public/medical projects in the works (ex. JRTC, JEA Headquarters, Baptist Health, etc.) and Jax will be fine.
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: thelakelander on January 01, 2018, 11:04:28 AM
I think for a true evaluation, you'll need to look outside of consolidation and into cities that have annexed hundreds of miles since 1950 as well. Nearly all cities saw their urban cores fall into decline between the 1950s and 1980s. The reasons are pretty much the same.....white flight, black flight, poor public school systems, subsidizing suburban growth, racism, decline in manufacturing, etc. Since then, some have been more successful than others in bringing life back to their center cities. The most successful, are generally those with consistent goals and leadership. Then there are a few exceptions due to once-in-a-generation events, etc. Nevertheless, even today the overall the urban growth patterns for American cities are pretty consistent across the US, with scale playing a major role in how we perceive them.

Columbus OH is a good example of annexation. Although not a consolidated gov, they have surrounded the old suburbs and country towns with annexation. They too have seen an explosion in the suburbs of new growth and the immediate urban core is ok but only "vibrant" due to the presence of the state government. I still have relatives their and they never talk about going DT, but do praise and visit the Short North area(OSU driven).

Columbus is a great example. It's a Midwestern city with late 20th century Sunbelt growth tendencies. The last time I went, the DT wasn't exactly bustling but revitalization was taking place. On the other hand, Short North and the area around OSU was booming.
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: TimmyB on January 01, 2018, 11:40:14 AM
I think for a true evaluation, you'll need to look outside of consolidation and into cities that have annexed hundreds of miles since 1950 as well. Nearly all cities saw their urban cores fall into decline between the 1950s and 1980s. The reasons are pretty much the same.....white flight, black flight, poor public school systems, subsidizing suburban growth, racism, decline in manufacturing, etc. Since then, some have been more successful than others in bringing life back to their center cities. The most successful, are generally those with consistent goals and leadership. Then there are a few exceptions due to once-in-a-generation events, etc. Nevertheless, even today the overall the urban growth patterns for American cities are pretty consistent across the US, with scale playing a major role in how we perceive them.

Columbus OH is a good example of annexation. Although not a consolidated gov, they have surrounded the old suburbs and country towns with annexation. They too have seen an explosion in the suburbs of new growth and the immediate urban core is ok but only "vibrant" due to the presence of the state government. I still have relatives their and they never talk about going DT, but do praise and visit the Short North area(OSU driven).

Columbus is a great example. It's a Midwestern city with late 20th century Sunbelt growth tendencies. The last time I went, the DT was exactly bustling but revitalization was taking place. On the other hand, Short North and the area around OSU was booming.

Oh, God, if we could pick up Columbus and move it to the beach!  What a great town.  All that energy and (for us) we could ride our bikes from north of OSU all the way to downtown as safely as you can imagine, and then, there were tons of safe cycling options down there, as well.  Riverfront parks, designated (and safe) bike lanes, etc.  And, I can only speak anecdotally here, but the DT seemed much more vibrant than ours does, but when you are only there for a couple of days, you don't have any real data to back that up.
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: thelakelander on January 01, 2018, 11:48:25 AM
I've only been through Columbus two or three times over the last decade. The downtown was more lively than Jax's but not anything I'd call vibrant. What I really loved about it though was the compactness, the parks and a lot of the new redevelopment projects, like the park on the former shopping mall site. I really loved the connectivity with Short North. You cross over highways and don't even realize it from the street. There's a lot of urban lessons Jax can learn from Columbus, IMO.
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: jaxrox on January 01, 2018, 01:56:40 PM
Hmmm.. in the name of K.i.S.S., my thoughts here:
The best use to repurpose the Greyhound building imho, a combination pharmacy/small grocery/little lunch counter type restaurant setup, and keep the videogames for a small arcade. I don't think we need more apartments or condos downtown, there's a lot of that already. 4 small businesses like that put into that spot could be really beneficial for the downtown, (plus possible opportunities for some smaller scale business people to get their big break in the thirsty downtown market?) but I know, I know, opinions are like @**h0**$ ;)
On a side note, I'm originally from a smaller midwestern city that once had a lot of GM business going on there. I basically watched my hometown wither, languish, and die. The very strip of that highway (sr9) that once held the General Motors plants is now masses of car sales lots, ironically.
Jacksonville has a lot of potential. I guess to sum it up, redevelopment just has to be done right for it to succeed. And the city made many mistakes in that department for years already. I hope they can get it right, but I'm not convinced that they have or will, just yet
Cheers to the new year and a better Jacksonville!
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: Keith-N-Jax on January 01, 2018, 02:22:18 PM
This may not be the site for it but downtown certainly needs more residents living downtown.

Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: jaxnyc79 on January 01, 2018, 02:34:48 PM
Hmmm.. in the name of K.i.S.S., my thoughts here:
The best use to repurpose the Greyhound building imho, a combination pharmacy/small grocery/little lunch counter type restaurant setup, and keep the videogames for a small arcade. I don't think we need more apartments or condos downtown, there's a lot of that already. 4 small businesses like that put into that spot could be really beneficial for the downtown, (plus possible opportunities for some smaller scale business people to get their big break in the thirsty downtown market?) but I know, I know, opinions are like @**h0**$ ;)
On a side note, I'm originally from a smaller midwestern city that once had a lot of GM business going on there. I basically watched my hometown wither, languish, and die. The very strip of that highway (sr9) that once held the General Motors plants is now masses of car sales lots, ironically.
Jacksonville has a lot of potential. I guess to sum it up, redevelopment just has to be done right for it to succeed. And the city made many mistakes in that department for years already. I hope they can get it right, but I'm not convinced that they have or will, just yet
Cheers to the new year and a better Jacksonville!

There’s a lot of residential downtown already?  Am I still on a message thread about Jacksonville? 
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: jaxrox on January 01, 2018, 03:30:16 PM
Ok, well, it's being constructed anyway..guess it doesn't count if it isn't finished?
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: jaxnyc79 on January 01, 2018, 03:58:05 PM
Ok, well, it's being constructed anyway..guess it doesn't count if it isn't finished?

Even with what’s being constructed, I hope we see significantly more - preferably clustered in a compact area, to achieve some sort of critical mass that can draw other land uses and change the regional and visitor perceptions of downtown.
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: vicupstate on January 02, 2018, 08:59:07 AM
Some thoughts on the recent posts:

1) JAX attempted several times between the 1930's and COnsolidation to annex outlying areas and none were successful, IIRC, they all lost like 2-1 or worse.  There is no reason to believe that would have changed significantly had Consolidation not taken place, and piecemeal attempts had continued.

2) Consolidation did not cause DT JAX's decline and it is not preventing it's revivial.  The sooner we stop using that excuse and stop looking for a sugar daddy, the sooner revitialization will actually occur. 

4) I was in Columbus last April and while DT is not as vibrant as the adjacent Short North, it is pretty obvious that it is moving in the right direction. The Sports district is immediately adjacent to DT and is doing quite well also. In the very heart of DT, nearly all the buildings are offices only. But for that, I think it would be further along. Even so, it appears to be on an upward trajectory.   

5) The Greyhound Station may not be the best site for residential, but make no mistake, the current projects underway, though encouraging, are not sufficient to bring vibrancy. You need a 10,000 population to sustain significant retail development and JAX is WAY short of that. What DT population it does have is skewed to low income and senior citizens. That demographic doesn't bode well for retail.
       

           
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: jaxnyc79 on January 02, 2018, 10:53:40 AM
Some thoughts on the recent posts:

1) JAX attempted several times between the 1930's and COnsolidation to annex outlying areas and none were successful, IIRC, they all lost like 2-1 or worse.  There is no reason to believe that would have changed significantly had Consolidation not taken place, and piecemeal attempts had continued.

2) Consolidation did not cause DT JAX's decline and it is not preventing it's revivial.  The sooner we stop using that excuse and stop looking for a sugar daddy, the sooner revitialization will actually occur. 

4) I was in Columbus last April and while DT is not as vibrant as the adjacent Short North, it is pretty obvious that it is moving in the right direction. The Sports district is immediately adjacent to DT and is doing quite well also. In the very heart of DT, nearly all the buildings are offices only. But for that, I think it would be further along. Even so, it appears to be on an upward trajectory.   

5) The Greyhound Station may not be the best site for residential, but make no mistake, the current projects underway, though encouraging, are not sufficient to bring vibrancy. You need a 10,000 population to sustain significant retail development and JAX is WAY short of that. What DT population it does have is skewed to low income and senior citizens. That demographic doesn't bode well for retail.
       

           

Whilst I agree with most of your points, I will take issue with #2.  A message thread that explores causality and factor analysis is not necessarily a "cop out" on downtown.  In fact, I think it's very reasonable that all consolidations during the age of the automobile have negatively impacted or at least inhibited the growth of American downtowns and urban cores (there have likely been overall societal benefits resulting from consolidations and sprawl as well).  We must know what we're up against before spending the city's precious Treasure - especially when much of that Treasure is funded by people living deep in the suburbs among the cul-de-sacs. 

Consolidations have been very tied in with sprawl development and the systematic provisioning of infrastructure to the urban fringe.  What makes it so grotesque in Jax, is that one can drive around inner-Arlington, and see that there are major gaps in development that are screaming for infill, and yet sprawl and the provisioning of infrastructure essentially leapfrogged those vast stretches before they were really even urbanized. 

I will agree that even if Consolidation had not occurred, state and federal transportation and land use bodies were still in a position to promote sprawl, to the detriment of downtown.  So yes, consolidation is not the only issue, but I think it's reasonable to discuss how it may be yet another in a long list of detractors from downtown.  While I don't think a reversal of consolidation is tenable, I think a re-evaluation of the city's governance structure may be in order.  Perhaps some sort of semi-autonomous sub-council can exist, focused on the needs and requirements of pre-consolidation Jacksonville, and comprised of people actually living in pre-consolidation Jacksonville (i.e. the core city).  Maybe elements of Beaches autonomy could be applied to pre-consolidation Jacksonville to more closely attend to core city interests.

But for the idea of a restructuring of city governance to occur, there must be an acknowledgement that a council looking after interests across the vastness of the county, cannot devote the intensity of attention required to revive a dismal and dying core city.
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: vicupstate on January 02, 2018, 11:15:49 AM
Consolidation for JAX is just an example of 'correlation not being causation'.

There are literally no examples besides JAX of what you describe. OKC, Charlotte, Nashville, Indy, Louisville, Lexington KY. There is only one datapoint for your theory. Jacksonville.
 
There is simply no causation or even correlation (except for JAX) between urban revitilization and city limit land mass.

In 1975 Charelston was 16 square miles and DT was as downtrodden as any city you can name. Today it is 112 square miles and its DT is without peer in the South for successful revitilization. The city limits expanded in tandem with DT revitilization. One really didn't affect the other.       

JAX has spent PLENTY of money on DT, since Consolidation. Money it would not have had without COnsolidation. The money has simply been ineffectively spent.

Consolidation has nothing to do with sprawl either. Devlopment goes whereever the utilities go. Consolidation may make it easier to expand those utilities perhaps. But whether provided by the central Metro city, a suburb, the urban county or a suburban county, the development goes wherever the water and sewer lines go.  There are many square miles in Duval that are not developed. They are in the city limits, but they don't have the infrastructure to develop subdivisions.     
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: Tacachale on January 02, 2018, 11:38:37 AM
Some thoughts on the recent posts:

1) JAX attempted several times between the 1930's and COnsolidation to annex outlying areas and none were successful, IIRC, they all lost like 2-1 or worse.  There is no reason to believe that would have changed significantly had Consolidation not taken place, and piecemeal attempts had continued.


The city successfully annexed (https://www.metrojacksonville.com/article/2008-oct-the-plight-of-the-urban-core) many areas before 1932. Not sure how many failed annexations there were after that; there was a consolidation effort that did fail. Additionally, a much greater percentage of Duval County population lived in unincorporated areas by the 1960s, and literally every other city of size in Florida annexed outlying areas in the 1960s and after. Jacksonville would certainly be no different. Areas that certainly would have been annexed include the old and new airports, the seaport, and probably Arlington. Neighborhoods on the Westside and Southside that grew up after the 1930s would likely have been annexed, as that's what happened in Tampa, Orlando, and Miami.


2) Consolidation did not cause DT JAX's decline and it is not preventing it's revivial.  The sooner we stop using that excuse and stop looking for a sugar daddy, the sooner revitialization will actually occur. 


100% correct. Consolidation contributed some hurdles to downtown revitalization (like masking the scope of the decline) but it removed others (such as the failing budget). If consolidation was the main culprit, consolidated cities of a similar size like Nashville and Indianapolis wouldn't be doing well.


4) I was in Columbus last April and while DT is not as vibrant as the adjacent Short North, it is pretty obvious that it is moving in the right direction. The Sports district is immediately adjacent to DT and is doing quite well also. In the very heart of DT, nearly all the buildings are offices only. But for that, I think it would be further along. Even so, it appears to be on an upward trajectory.   


This has been my experience in Columbus as well. They're doing a lot right. The arena district, which is a lot of new construction, is pretty impressive for a city like that.


5) The Greyhound Station may not be the best site for residential, but make no mistake, the current projects underway, though encouraging, are not sufficient to bring vibrancy. You need a 10,000 population to sustain significant retail development and JAX is WAY short of that. What DT population it does have is skewed to low income and senior citizens. That demographic doesn't bode well for retail.
       

Not only that, but we need more people who live in the downtown core, not just outlying areas like Brooklyn and the Southbank. There are fewer than 2000 people living in the core area of downtown (even when LaVilla is included) so we're not close to seeing more neighborhood retail. This issue has been recognized for at least 25 years but we can't follow through on any plans to fix it.
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: jaxnyc79 on January 02, 2018, 11:56:46 AM
Consolidation for JAX is just an example of 'correlation not being causation'.

There are literally no examples besides JAX of what you describe. OKC, Charlotte, Nashville, Indy, Louisville, Lexington KY. There is only one datapoint for your theory. Jacksonville.
 
There is simply no causation or even correlation (except for JAX) between urban revitilization and city limit land mass.

In 1975 Charelston was 16 square miles and DT was as downtrodden as any city you can name. Today it is 112 square miles and its DT is without peer in the South for successful revitilization. The city limits expanded in tandem with DT revitilization. One really didn't affect the other.       

JAX has spent PLENTY of money on DT, since Consolidation. Money it would not have had without COnsolidation. The money has simply been ineffectively spent.

Consolidation has nothing to do with sprawl either. Devlopment goes whereever the utilities go. Consolidation may make it easier to expand those utilities perhaps. But whether provided by the central Metro city, a suburb, the urban county or a suburban county, the development goes wherever the water and sewer lines go.  There are many square miles in Duval that are not developed. They are in the city limits, but they don't have the infrastructure to develop subdivisions.     

Not all consolidations are the same, so let's stick to city-county.  In the Central Iowa region, Polk County voters just considered a city-county consolidation in 2017, for the second time.  The measure failed.  A common issue cited by city residents, probably the most active special interest voting block, was that the suburbs would get too much control over city spending.  The interests of suburbs would start to take priority over those of the core city.  In looking into this matter, I was surprised to see just how many city-county consolidations have come up for a vote and been rejected in the 2000s.  You seem dismissive of the idea that city-county consolidations may be an obstacle to the fullness of a downtown's potential, but I'm arguing that it's an idea worth study and analysis.  Having said that, I will agree that certain core cities have been forced into consolidation due to economic forces.  If a core city has a regional asset (for example, an airport), it often must make significant investments in its upkeep and the muni bond issuance process is much more efficient if you can tie as much of the region as possible to the issuance. 

I still hold that the city's governance structure should be reconsidered.  I also contend that the city has wasted an opportunity of city-county consolidation.  Zoning and Land Use Restrictions could have done a lot to lesson the competition for downtown.
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: Tacachale on January 02, 2018, 12:10:08 PM
Some thoughts on the recent posts:

1) JAX attempted several times between the 1930's and COnsolidation to annex outlying areas and none were successful, IIRC, they all lost like 2-1 or worse.  There is no reason to believe that would have changed significantly had Consolidation not taken place, and piecemeal attempts had continued.

2) Consolidation did not cause DT JAX's decline and it is not preventing it's revivial.  The sooner we stop using that excuse and stop looking for a sugar daddy, the sooner revitialization will actually occur. 

4) I was in Columbus last April and while DT is not as vibrant as the adjacent Short North, it is pretty obvious that it is moving in the right direction. The Sports district is immediately adjacent to DT and is doing quite well also. In the very heart of DT, nearly all the buildings are offices only. But for that, I think it would be further along. Even so, it appears to be on an upward trajectory.   

5) The Greyhound Station may not be the best site for residential, but make no mistake, the current projects underway, though encouraging, are not sufficient to bring vibrancy. You need a 10,000 population to sustain significant retail development and JAX is WAY short of that. What DT population it does have is skewed to low income and senior citizens. That demographic doesn't bode well for retail.
       

           

Whilst I agree with most of your points, I will take issue with #2.  A message thread that explores causality and factor analysis is not necessarily a "cop out" on downtown.  In fact, I think it's very reasonable that all consolidations during the age of the automobile have negatively impacted or at least inhibited the growth of American downtowns and urban cores (there have likely been overall societal benefits resulting from consolidations and sprawl as well).  We must know what we're up against before spending the city's precious Treasure - especially when much of that Treasure is funded by people living deep in the suburbs among the cul-de-sacs. 

Consolidations have been very tied in with sprawl development and the systematic provisioning of infrastructure to the urban fringe.  What makes it so grotesque in Jax, is that one can drive around inner-Arlington, and see that there are major gaps in development that are screaming for infill, and yet sprawl and the provisioning of infrastructure essentially leapfrogged those vast stretches before they were really even urbanized. 

I will agree that even if Consolidation had not occurred, state and federal transportation and land use bodies were still in a position to promote sprawl, to the detriment of downtown.  So yes, consolidation is not the only issue, but I think it's reasonable to discuss how it may be yet another in a long list of detractors from downtown.  While I don't think a reversal of consolidation is tenable, I think a re-evaluation of the city's governance structure may be in order.  Perhaps some sort of semi-autonomous sub-council can exist, focused on the needs and requirements of pre-consolidation Jacksonville, and comprised of people actually living in pre-consolidation Jacksonville (i.e. the core city).  Maybe elements of Beaches autonomy could be applied to pre-consolidation Jacksonville to more closely attend to core city interests.

But for the idea of a restructuring of city governance to occur, there must be an acknowledgement that a council looking after interests across the vastness of the county, cannot devote the intensity of attention required to revive a dismal and dying core city.

Some of what you say could work, but there's no reason a consolidated government can't revive Downtown. It works in cities like Nashville and Indianapolis, and in other large land area cities like OKC - all of which are peers. And again, when we've had governments that actually focus on downtown and build off of previous plans, we've seen progress downtown. The problem has been that the continuity gets abandoned almost as often as we elect a new mayor.

Consolidation for JAX is just an example of 'correlation not being causation'.

There are literally no examples besides JAX of what you describe. OKC, Charlotte, Nashville, Indy, Louisville, Lexington KY. There is only one datapoint for your theory. Jacksonville.
 
There is simply no causation or even correlation (except for JAX) between urban revitilization and city limit land mass.

In 1975 Charelston was 16 square miles and DT was as downtrodden as any city you can name. Today it is 112 square miles and its DT is without peer in the South for successful revitilization. The city limits expanded in tandem with DT revitilization. One really didn't affect the other.       

JAX has spent PLENTY of money on DT, since Consolidation. Money it would not have had without COnsolidation. The money has simply been ineffectively spent.

Consolidation has nothing to do with sprawl either. Devlopment goes whereever the utilities go. Consolidation may make it easier to expand those utilities perhaps. But whether provided by the central Metro city, a suburb, the urban county or a suburban county, the development goes wherever the water and sewer lines go.  There are many square miles in Duval that are not developed. They are in the city limits, but they don't have the infrastructure to develop subdivisions.     

Not all consolidations are the same, so let's stick to city-county.  In the Central Iowa region, Polk County voters just considered a city-county consolidation in 2017, for the second time.  The measure failed.  A common issue cited by city residents, probably the most active special interest voting block, was that the suburbs would get too much control over city spending.  The interests of suburbs would start to take priority over those of the core city.  In looking into this matter, I was surprised to see just how many city-county consolidations have come up for a vote and been rejected in the 2000s.  You seem dismissive of the idea that city-county consolidations may be an obstacle to the fullness of a downtown's potential, but I'm arguing that it's an idea worth study and analysis.

It has been studied, relatively extensively. We just went through a consolidation review a few years ago. The conclusion is as we're saying, that there were downsides to consolidation vis a vis downtown revitalization, but it isn't the only or main factor, and there were upsides as well. Not sure what actionable info further study would reveal that we don't already know.
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: Tacachale on January 02, 2018, 12:14:04 PM
A question was asked about the possibility that Jacksonville being a consolidated city/county was negatively affecting the downtown.  I believe it is and for several reasons, but the biggest one that I see is: if Jacksonville were losing major developments such as the SJTC to the suburbs (just using this development as an example) and the city itself was getting little development, you better believe you'd be seeing someone downtown raising holy hell and getting real focused, real quickly.  As it is now, it's ALL Jacksonville, so who cares?  There is no incentive to build downtown; all the money collected is going into our coffers, so who cares?

We have indeed seen all the old pictures of the vibrant downtown that existed in the 50's and 60's.  Those existed almost everywhere.  Then, the suburbs exploded, which caused the downtowns to decay everywhere.  Once it became obvious to these core cities that something needed to be done to win the battle over the suburbs (80's-90's), things began to happen.  This is why so many of them have made that giant comeback, many of which have been noted on this site in great detail.  But, not here in Jax.  Why not?  See above paragraph.
Two things would have happened if Jax did not consolidate with Duval County.

1. It would have annexed as much suburban growth as possible (ex. Charlotte, Orlando, Tampa, Phoenix, Houston, etc.).

2. It would have stagnated  and lost economic growth to incorporated suburbs (ex. Detroit, Birmingham, Cincinnati, St. Louis, etc.). Either way, suburban growth would have occurred, along with urban decline following WW2. That growth pattern was largely driven by federal and state policies moreso than local.

Either way, DT was going to go through a period of decline. Even NYC couldn't avoid it. Tacachale basically nails why revitalization hasn't kept up with other communities since the 1990s. I'll add that even in the 1990s we made some mistakes. Losing LaVilla and not strategically clustering investment being two major mistakes. Now the interest is back but clustering still seems to be an afterthought.

Clustering is a perfect example of the lack of followthrough. It's one of my old man's Downtown pet peeves. It's something they figured out 20+ years ago, but it wasn't given priority by the succeeding administrations, and doesn't appear to be much of a concern with (most of) the current proposals.
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: jaxnyc79 on January 02, 2018, 12:40:34 PM
Some thoughts on the recent posts:

1) JAX attempted several times between the 1930's and COnsolidation to annex outlying areas and none were successful, IIRC, they all lost like 2-1 or worse.  There is no reason to believe that would have changed significantly had Consolidation not taken place, and piecemeal attempts had continued.

2) Consolidation did not cause DT JAX's decline and it is not preventing it's revivial.  The sooner we stop using that excuse and stop looking for a sugar daddy, the sooner revitialization will actually occur. 

4) I was in Columbus last April and while DT is not as vibrant as the adjacent Short North, it is pretty obvious that it is moving in the right direction. The Sports district is immediately adjacent to DT and is doing quite well also. In the very heart of DT, nearly all the buildings are offices only. But for that, I think it would be further along. Even so, it appears to be on an upward trajectory.   

5) The Greyhound Station may not be the best site for residential, but make no mistake, the current projects underway, though encouraging, are not sufficient to bring vibrancy. You need a 10,000 population to sustain significant retail development and JAX is WAY short of that. What DT population it does have is skewed to low income and senior citizens. That demographic doesn't bode well for retail.
       

           

Whilst I agree with most of your points, I will take issue with #2.  A message thread that explores causality and factor analysis is not necessarily a "cop out" on downtown.  In fact, I think it's very reasonable that all consolidations during the age of the automobile have negatively impacted or at least inhibited the growth of American downtowns and urban cores (there have likely been overall societal benefits resulting from consolidations and sprawl as well).  We must know what we're up against before spending the city's precious Treasure - especially when much of that Treasure is funded by people living deep in the suburbs among the cul-de-sacs. 

Consolidations have been very tied in with sprawl development and the systematic provisioning of infrastructure to the urban fringe.  What makes it so grotesque in Jax, is that one can drive around inner-Arlington, and see that there are major gaps in development that are screaming for infill, and yet sprawl and the provisioning of infrastructure essentially leapfrogged those vast stretches before they were really even urbanized. 

I will agree that even if Consolidation had not occurred, state and federal transportation and land use bodies were still in a position to promote sprawl, to the detriment of downtown.  So yes, consolidation is not the only issue, but I think it's reasonable to discuss how it may be yet another in a long list of detractors from downtown.  While I don't think a reversal of consolidation is tenable, I think a re-evaluation of the city's governance structure may be in order.  Perhaps some sort of semi-autonomous sub-council can exist, focused on the needs and requirements of pre-consolidation Jacksonville, and comprised of people actually living in pre-consolidation Jacksonville (i.e. the core city).  Maybe elements of Beaches autonomy could be applied to pre-consolidation Jacksonville to more closely attend to core city interests.

But for the idea of a restructuring of city governance to occur, there must be an acknowledgement that a council looking after interests across the vastness of the county, cannot devote the intensity of attention required to revive a dismal and dying core city.

Some of what you say could work, but there's no reason a consolidated government can't revive Downtown. It works in cities like Nashville and Indianapolis, and in other large land area cities like OKC - all of which are peers. And again, when we've had governments that actually focus on downtown and build off of previous plans, we've seen progress downtown. The problem has been that the continuity gets abandoned almost as often as we elect a new mayor.

Consolidation for JAX is just an example of 'correlation not being causation'.

There are literally no examples besides JAX of what you describe. OKC, Charlotte, Nashville, Indy, Louisville, Lexington KY. There is only one datapoint for your theory. Jacksonville.
 
There is simply no causation or even correlation (except for JAX) between urban revitilization and city limit land mass.

In 1975 Charelston was 16 square miles and DT was as downtrodden as any city you can name. Today it is 112 square miles and its DT is without peer in the South for successful revitilization. The city limits expanded in tandem with DT revitilization. One really didn't affect the other.       

JAX has spent PLENTY of money on DT, since Consolidation. Money it would not have had without COnsolidation. The money has simply been ineffectively spent.

Consolidation has nothing to do with sprawl either. Devlopment goes whereever the utilities go. Consolidation may make it easier to expand those utilities perhaps. But whether provided by the central Metro city, a suburb, the urban county or a suburban county, the development goes wherever the water and sewer lines go.  There are many square miles in Duval that are not developed. They are in the city limits, but they don't have the infrastructure to develop subdivisions.     

Not all consolidations are the same, so let's stick to city-county.  In the Central Iowa region, Polk County voters just considered a city-county consolidation in 2017, for the second time.  The measure failed.  A common issue cited by city residents, probably the most active special interest voting block, was that the suburbs would get too much control over city spending.  The interests of suburbs would start to take priority over those of the core city.  In looking into this matter, I was surprised to see just how many city-county consolidations have come up for a vote and been rejected in the 2000s.  You seem dismissive of the idea that city-county consolidations may be an obstacle to the fullness of a downtown's potential, but I'm arguing that it's an idea worth study and analysis.

It has been studied, relatively extensively. We just went through a consolidation review a few years ago. The conclusion is as we're saying, that there were downsides to consolidation vis a vis downtown revitalization, but it isn't the only or main factor, and there were upsides as well. Not sure what actionable info further study would reveal that we don't already know.

According to my research, it's still very much a debate globally.  At any rate, I'm putting up food for thought.  Your stance on this is well noted.  And I also proposed a solution to address the downsides of consolidation.  You cite Nashville and OKC.  Yes, anything is better than downtown Jax and Jax has a lot to learn from them, but would you call them "Core City Ideals?"  Do their downtowns have pre-WWII prominence and centrality of regional wealth and prosperity?
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: thelakelander on January 02, 2018, 01:02:45 PM
Nashville and OKC are two of the most successful US DT revitalization examples out there, consolidation or not. Neither was significantly large before WW2 to begin with, so they won't be a Philly, Boston or San Francisco but their scale is applicable to Jax.
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: Tacachale on January 02, 2018, 01:09:54 PM
Nashville and OKC are two of the most successful US DT revitalization examples out there, consolidation or not. Neither was significantly large before WW2 to begin with, so they won't be a Philly, Boston or San Francisco but they're scale is applicable to Jax.

This. Both are major success stories in terms of downtown revitalization, and both are peers to Jacksonville. I'd consider them better examples to follow than, say, Orlando. OKC especially, as they've totally turned around over the last 30 years.
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: vicupstate on January 02, 2018, 01:42:52 PM
As far as annexation into the old Jacksonville, there is one very big factor that is left out of the comparison to Tampa, and other FL cities.
Prior to Consolidation JAX had a very byzantine, ineffecient, ineffective and corrupt government. There were effectively TWO City Council type legislative boards. Consolidation did away with most of those issues but in the absence of that, why would anyone vote to become a part of that?       

I have never heard of the same problems in Tampa, Orlando, St. Pete.  I have heard similar about Miami in past decades and that is probably a big reason why the suburbs did their own incorporations to avoid annexation to Miami.   

I am pretty sure there were at least two, if not three, major anenxations that failed between 1932 and 1968. I can verify that at home tonight.   

While it is certainly possible some expansion of the city's limits might have happened at some point, I doubt it would be at the level being assumed in this discussion.   
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: jaxnyc79 on January 02, 2018, 01:48:31 PM
Nashville and OKC are two of the most successful US DT revitalization examples out there, consolidation or not. Neither was significantly large before WW2 to begin with, so they won't be a Philly, Boston or San Francisco but they're scale is applicable to Jax.

This. Both are major success stories in terms of downtown revitalization, and both are peers to Jacksonville. I'd consider them better examples to follow than, say, Orlando. OKC especially, as they've totally turned around over the last 30 years.

I never said Orlando was an ideal.  Only that it was vastly improved from what I'd seen previously, and that given Orlando is just down the road from Jax, it seemed laughable for the Chamber to travel all the way to Toronto when an example of downtown transformation was so close by.  Also, to some degree, I imagine state interference plays a role in a downtown's prospects, all the more reason Florida cities may have better lessons to give than a foreign city.  Having said that, many American downtowns have confronted a range of common challenges.
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: Tacachale on January 02, 2018, 02:56:14 PM
As far as annexation into the old Jacksonville, there is one very big factor that is left out of the comparison to Tampa, and other FL cities.
Prior to Consolidation JAX had a very byzantine, ineffecient, ineffective and corrupt government. There were effectively TWO City Council type legislative boards. Consolidation did away with most of those issues but in the absence of that, why would anyone vote to become a part of that?       

I have never heard of the same problems in Tampa, Orlando, St. Pete.  I have heard similar about Miami in past decades and that is probably a big reason why the suburbs did their own incorporations to avoid annexation to Miami.   

I am pretty sure there were at least two, if not three, major anenxations that failed between 1932 and 1968. I can verify that at home tonight.   

While it is certainly possible some expansion of the city's limits might have happened at some point, I doubt it would be at the level being assumed in this discussion.

I doubt consolidation could have gotten through if annexations couldn't. Jax was more similar to Tampa in that era than to Miami (though Miami has annexed a sizable area). Dade County already had a lot of incorporated municipalities popping up; Duval, like Hillsborough, didn't.
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: vicupstate on January 02, 2018, 03:19:55 PM
Consolidation completed revamped the entire city and county government from top to bottom. Annexation would not have changed a thing about how the city governemnt operated, except to add tax base and a small minority of new citizens. They are not at all comparable.  Consolidation passed 2-1 countywide and even passed in the Beaches communities. All annexations in the prior 30 years failed by large margins.   
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: jaxnyc79 on January 02, 2018, 04:03:48 PM
So maybe we move on from the annexation or city-consolidation discussion, and address governance.  What about something like the Neptune Beach City Council, for just Core City Jacksonville?
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: thelakelander on January 02, 2018, 04:58:47 PM
I'm lost. Why create an independent city for the core? I'm not following how that's supposed to benefit DT. We'd create a mini-Detriot. Basically a declining population and tax base that's responsible for aging infrastructure built to support a population twice its size.
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: vicupstate on January 02, 2018, 05:03:22 PM
The issue isn't government structure. It is  ineffective leadership, part of which is structural. JAX City Council isn't structured any differently than most cities. It's Mayor is much more powerful than most cities, particualrly Southern cities.

Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: jaxnyc79 on January 02, 2018, 05:12:05 PM
I'm lost. Why create an independent city for the core? I'm not following how that's supposed to benefit DT. We'd create a mini-Detriot. Basically a declining population and tax base that's responsible for aging infrastructure built to support a population twice its size.

Well, not necessarily an independent city, maybe a quasi-independent one, that still has representation on the council, but has a separate sub-council comprised of core city residents to be solely focused on core city interests, in recognition of the fact that core city interests are very different than the at-large, suburban ones.  At the same time, downtown would still benefit from county-wide services, where appropriate, and would receive the benefit of COJ bond-issuances, where appropriate.
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: BenderRodriguez on January 02, 2018, 10:05:25 PM
So maybe we move on from the annexation or city-consolidation discussion, and address governance.  What about something like the Neptune Beach City Council, for just Core City Jacksonville?

This is already addressed in the form of a Special District for the downtown area. The Special District is named "Downtown Redevelopment Area (DRA)" and the governing body for the DRA is the "Downtown Investment Authority (DIA)".  Taken directly from COJ.net:

Quote
The Downtown Investment Authority was created to revitalize Jacksonville's urban core by utilizing Community Redevelopment Area (CRA) resources to spur economic development. The DIA’s projects will be guided by a nine-member board of directors who will conduct open-to-the-public business on an unpaid, volunteer basis. Of the nine, five are appointed by the mayor and four by the council president. All nine are confirmed by the Jacksonville City Council.

It doesn't get anymore "go out there and specifically make downtown better" than that.
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: jaxnyc79 on January 03, 2018, 09:47:22 AM
Interesting.  I haven't really thought of the DIA as a Community Council, but rather just an economic development commission available to negotiate incentives.  But based on the description of its charter, I suppose there's nothing really stopping it from operating in many other capacities.  Are any of the DIA members urban dwellers (or even core city dwellers)?
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: Tacachale on January 03, 2018, 10:07:46 AM
Downtown development groups like the DIA and old DIA are good, but onl as effective as the administration calling the shots. Downtown might benefit from a more empowered neighborhood org like RAP, but it doesn’t have the population yet. There just aren’t enough people living there.
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: vicupstate on January 03, 2018, 11:04:56 AM
Downtown development groups like the DIA and old DIA are good, but onl as effective as the administration calling the shots. Downtown might benefit from a more empowered neighborhood org like RAP, but it doesn’t have the population yet. There just aren’t enough people living there.

I couldn't agree more, but they don't need to live there. A business association could be just as effective if not more so. A non-profit, probably membership driven from people anywhere, could do great things as well.

if the people lead, the leaders will follow.     
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: howfam on January 03, 2018, 11:13:27 AM
Would love to see a mixed use apartment/condo tower here like The Plaza in downtown Orlando. It's a similar footprint to the Greyhound station. The Plaza is 21 stories and two connected towers with several shops and restaurants on the ground floor, parking hidden within the building, a small but great movie theater, offices in one tower and apartment/condos in the other.

It's a great building imo because it fills out the skyline nicely since it looks like two buildings. Also, there is ALWAYS foot traffic in the area because of the density of mixed use.
A building like this would greatly compliment the area and increase all of the numbers we're looking for.


Bravo! My sentiments exactly. It's time for more high rise construction, especially in the heart of downtown where this site is. Enough of these 4 and 5 story wood-frame apartments. Bring on the concrete and steel high rises that will fill out our skyline and make our downtown look like the urban big city that its supposed to look like.
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: Steve on January 03, 2018, 11:50:28 AM
Would love to see a mixed use apartment/condo tower here like The Plaza in downtown Orlando. It's a similar footprint to the Greyhound station. The Plaza is 21 stories and two connected towers with several shops and restaurants on the ground floor, parking hidden within the building, a small but great movie theater, offices in one tower and apartment/condos in the other.

It's a great building imo because it fills out the skyline nicely since it looks like two buildings. Also, there is ALWAYS foot traffic in the area because of the density of mixed use.
A building like this would greatly compliment the area and increase all of the numbers we're looking for.


Bravo! My sentiments exactly. It's time for more high rise construction, especially in the heart of downtown where this site is. Enough of these 4 and 5 story wood-frame apartments. Bring on the concrete and steel high rises that will fill out our skyline and make our downtown look like the urban big city that its supposed to look like.

Yea....Jacksonville tried that. The Plaza was developed by Cameron Kuhn. You'll find renderings of RiverWatch at CityCenter on this site - it was his Jacksonville version. That died when he went Kuhn when the proverbial ATM stopped spitting free money out.

The challenge with concrete highrises is the cost of construction versus what you can sell things for. Take Apartments as an example - they challenge has been building a high-rise apartment building without incentives and being able to pay for it in rent. Downtown struggles to generate the rent that would be needed to cover it. One of the differences in Real Estate prices here versus many cities is in Jacksonville, the building is usually worth more than the dirt it's on. In many other cities, it's the opposite. The difference is that you can charge enough rent to make it work based purely on location. Here, it's a challenge.

Personally, I'd rather mid-rise construction and street level vibrancy than another EverBank Center that's dead at night. I know they built that with a "mall" inside. That doesn't count.
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: Steve on January 03, 2018, 11:51:41 AM
Downtown development groups like the DIA and old DIA are good, but onl as effective as the administration calling the shots. Downtown might benefit from a more empowered neighborhood org like RAP, but it doesn’t have the population yet. There just aren’t enough people living there.

I couldn't agree more, but they don't need to live there. A business association could be just as effective if not more so. A non-profit, probably membership driven from people anywhere, could do great things as well.

if the people lead, the leaders will follow.     

Perhaps the DIA can evolve to that. RAP naturally works because of people's passions in the neighborhoods that they raise their families in. My thought is the structure of the DIA isn't bad. It seems like Aundra Wallace is the most successful person I've seen yet in that role, and the DIA has made more progress than the 1,238,264 versions before it. I do think the DIA board should potentially be expanded. Right now, you have 9 people:

Jim Bailey (Chair) - former owner of the Daily Record
Jack Meeks (VC) - CPA, lives in Springfield I believe
Craig Gibbs - Lawyer, office on the Southbank
Oliver Barakat - Real Estate, does a good amount of business downtown
Dane Grey - In the Parking Business. I don't know his views, but we've botched parking downtown so long that this concerns me
Braxton Gillam - Lawyer, office on Bay St.
Marc Padgett - CEO of Summit Contracting Group (1000 Riverside). Not technically downtown but about as close as you can be without being in the border
Brenna Durden - Lawyer, office in Brooklyn. Not sure if that office is the HQ as the firm has 4 Florida offices.
Ron Moody - Real Estate appraiser, office on the Southbank.

They're missing a few things here:

 - Not one in retail. I know a CPA office is small business, but a CPA doesn't depend on foot traffic. No one walks by a CPA office and says off the cuff, "Let me stop in and do my taxes." I'm not sure who I'd nominate here.
 - No one in the restaurant industry. The needs here are different than retail shops. I'd nominate Allan DeVault here (Partner in Bellwether/Black Sheep/Orsay)
 - Curious if any of these folks live downtown full time (I don't mean have a condo they rent out). If not, that's a HUGE miss.
 - Dare I say it, but they should have one representative from JTA. I can't believe I'm saying this about an organization that was led by Michael Blaylock for about 15 years but they're doing really good things with better leadership.

There's probably other useful people here. I'm not saying throw anyone off because I don't know who's doing a good job or not - though a board of 1/3 attorney's strikes me as odd. Maybe expand the board because there are critical voices from industries that aren't here.

I do think that Consolidation has hurt downtown in some ways. While they may have been mitigated with better leadership, there are definitely negatives to it. There's no incentive to live in the city, as services and incentives are offered to everyone in the county. Now to be clear - I'm not saying given where Jacksonville was in the 1960s it was the wrong move. There was a lot of crap in the 60s that consolidation fixed very quickly.

Some leaders have had incentive programs that direct funds north and west of the city, including the Northbank. Delaney had one that Peyton quickly trashed (shocker). I don't remember how successful it was.
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: howfam on January 03, 2018, 12:12:49 PM
Quote
You have 800 square miles of one city to build in; why WOULD you build downtown unless someone offered you a huge incentive?

Or...you have 800 square miles of one city to build in; why WOULD you build in the suburbs unless someone offered you a huge incentive?

Realistically speaking though, from a private standpoint, you build/invest where there's a market to make money. Doesn't really matter if a city is 1,000 square miles or ten. If you're developing for a profit, you could be based in Jax and developing in Seattle or in Chicago and developing in Jax.

I'm not arguing that consolidation has helped downtown Jacksonville. I'm saying not consolidating wouldn't have done anything for downtown either. Jax would just as likely be another Flint, Toledo, Youngstown or Macon. Basically a municipality abandoned by white and black flight, with all the growth and new tax base happening just outside of its borders.

Yes  Lakelander, and the effects of that white-black flight was diminished by consolidation, because in Jax one can move nearly 15 miles in any direction from downtown and still be within the city limits, hence retaining the population and tax base. A good result of consolidation.
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: Lostwave on January 03, 2018, 12:15:04 PM
Yea....Jacksonville tried that. The Plaza was developed by Cameron Kuhn. You'll find renderings of RiverWatch at CityCenter on this site - it was his Jacksonville version. That died when he went Kuhn when the proverbial ATM stopped spitting free money out.

The challenge with concrete highrises is the cost of construction versus what you can sell things for. Take Apartments as an example - they challenge has been building a high-rise apartment building without incentives and being able to pay for it in rent. Downtown struggles to generate the rent that would be needed to cover it. One of the differences in Real Estate prices here versus many cities is in Jacksonville, the building is usually worth more than the dirt it's on. In many other cities, it's the opposite. The difference is that you can charge enough rent to make it work based purely on location. Here, it's a challenge.

Personally, I'd rather mid-rise construction and street level vibrancy than another EverBank Center that's dead at night. I know they built that with a "mall" inside. That doesn't count.

The problem is the land just isn't valuable enough for highrises as you said above.  There is too much vacant land and a developer could make the same money from a much smaller investment building a 5 floor apartment/condo building, than building a 25 floor apartment/condo.  They could build 225 units in several small buildings for much cheaper than in one highrise, and because our land is so plentiful, thats exactly what they do.  In cities like Seattle, they would never build a 5 floor apartment downtown because they just paid 45 million for a half block.  It would never pencil out, so they are forced to build a tower. 
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: thelakelander on January 03, 2018, 12:29:03 PM
The easy answer here is embrace as many of those stick built projects on all of these vacant sites as possible. As long as they're designed right, they still add density that stimulates life in the core. At the same time, strategically use incentives to adaptively reuse existing historic building stock. Sure, it won't be new tower cranes like Orlando or Charlotte but they'll also never have the historic urban building stock we have. Then, even with the market we have, you tower lovers will get your crane soon enough. Both JEA and Baptist Health have future plans for highrises. Neither is dependent on the market for office and residential construction.
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: howfam on January 03, 2018, 12:30:05 PM
I think for a true evaluation, you'll need to look outside of consolidation and into cities that have annexed hundreds of miles since 1950 as well. Nearly all cities saw their urban cores fall into decline between the 1950s and 1980s. The reasons are pretty much the same.....white flight, black flight, poor public school systems, subsidizing suburban growth, racism, decline in manufacturing, etc. Since then, some have been more successful than others in bringing life back to their center cities. The most successful, are generally those with consistent goals and leadership. Then there are a few exceptions due to once-in-a-generation events, etc. Nevertheless, even today the overall the urban growth patterns for American cities are pretty consistent across the US, with scale playing a major role in how we perceive them.

Lakelander. You used a key word "annexation". Jax's model was one of both consolidation and annexation in which those small outlying areas : Arlington, Oceanway Densmore etc,. were actually absorbed into the city of Jax thereby losing their independent status. Some cities simply consolidate city county governments/services without annexation such Miami- Dade did a few years back. As such Miami is still not even in the top 25 largest cities in the U.S. in terms of actual city population , while Jax is 11th or 12th in the U.S.- For all its worth, it does boost the image of the city and give it something to boast about and to promote when trying to attract big business. Another positive effect of consolidation in Jax's case.
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: howfam on January 03, 2018, 12:36:49 PM
If that orange in the map is the "old" Jacksonville, I admit, I am shocked!  I thought/assumed it was MUCH bigger than that, pre-consolidation.  Am I misinterpreting that map?  Probably because of what you noted about the sprawl.  You get two miles outside of Flint, you are back into cornfields on I-69 and I-75!  Jacksonville, even beyond that orange section was already far more developed back then.  I just believed that most of what is inside the 295 ring would have been Jacksonville, proper.

TimmyB: I saw a map a few years ago that showed the old city of Jax boundaries before consolidation , and Beaver St. and Edgewood Av. was as far west as it went.
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: thelakelander on January 03, 2018, 12:40:20 PM
Jax didn't annex other cities during the 1960s. When both the City of Jax and Duval County's governments were blown up and replaced by a new single entity, Duval County's 4 other municipalities remained. Places like Arlington and Oceanway were unincorporated areas of the former Duval County government. Previously incorporated cities like Murray Hill, South Jacksonville, LaVilla, East Jacksonville and Fairfield became parts of Jax prior to WW2.
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: jaxnyc79 on January 03, 2018, 01:06:29 PM
Downtown development groups like the DIA and old DIA are good, but onl as effective as the administration calling the shots. Downtown might benefit from a more empowered neighborhood org like RAP, but it doesn’t have the population yet. There just aren’t enough people living there.

I couldn't agree more, but they don't need to live there. A business association could be just as effective if not more so. A non-profit, probably membership driven from people anywhere, could do great things as well.

if the people lead, the leaders will follow.     

Perhaps the DIA can evolve to that. RAP naturally works because of people's passions in the neighborhoods that they raise their families in. My thought is the structure of the DIA isn't bad. It seems like Aundra Wallace is the most successful person I've seen yet in that role, and the DIA has made more progress than the 1,238,264 versions before it. I do think the DIA board should potentially be expanded. Right now, you have 9 people:

Jim Bailey (Chair) - former owner of the Daily Record
Jack Meeks (VC) - CPA, lives in Springfield I believe
Craig Gibbs - Lawyer, office on the Southbank
Oliver Barakat - Real Estate, does a good amount of business downtown
Dane Grey - In the Parking Business. I don't know his views, but we've botched parking downtown so long that this concerns me
Braxton Gillam - Lawyer, office on Bay St.
Marc Padgett - CEO of Summit Contracting Group (1000 Riverside). Not technically downtown but about as close as you can be without being in the border
Brenna Durden - Lawyer, office in Brooklyn. Not sure if that office is the HQ as the firm has 4 Florida offices.
Ron Moody - Real Estate appraiser, office on the Southbank.

They're missing a few things here:

 - Not one in retail. I know a CPA office is small business, but a CPA doesn't depend on foot traffic. No one walks by a CPA office and says off the cuff, "Let me stop in and do my taxes." I'm not sure who I'd nominate here.
 - No one in the restaurant industry. The needs here are different than retail shops. I'd nominate Allan DeVault here (Partner in Bellwether/Black Sheep/Orsay)
 - Curious if any of these folks live downtown full time (I don't mean have a condo they rent out). If not, that's a HUGE miss.
 - Dare I say it, but they should have one representative from JTA. I can't believe I'm saying this about an organization that was led by Michael Blaylock for about 15 years but they're doing really good things with better leadership.

There's probably other useful people here. I'm not saying throw anyone off because I don't know who's doing a good job or not - though a board of 1/3 attorney's strikes me as odd. Maybe expand the board because there are critical voices from industries that aren't here.

I do think that Consolidation has hurt downtown in some ways. While they may have been mitigated with better leadership, there are definitely negatives to it. There's no incentive to live in the city, as services and incentives are offered to everyone in the county. Now to be clear - I'm not saying given where Jacksonville was in the 1960s it was the wrong move. There was a lot of crap in the 60s that consolidation fixed very quickly.

Some leaders have had incentive programs that direct funds north and west of the city, including the Northbank. Delaney had one that Peyton quickly trashed (shocker). I don't remember how successful it was.

Thanks for this entry, very helpful.  I really like your suggestions for other appointments.  If I recall correctly, the Mayor appoints some, and the Council president, others.
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: vicupstate on January 03, 2018, 01:10:00 PM
Downtown development groups like the DIA and old DIA are good, but onl as effective as the administration calling the shots. Downtown might benefit from a more empowered neighborhood org like RAP, but it doesn’t have the population yet. There just aren’t enough people living there.

I couldn't agree more, but they don't need to live there. A business association could be just as effective if not more so. A non-profit, probably membership driven from people anywhere, could do great things as well.

if the people lead, the leaders will follow.     

Perhaps the DIA can evolve to that. RAP naturally works because of people's passions in the neighborhoods that they raise their families in. My thought is the structure of the DIA isn't bad. It seems like Aundra Wallace is the most successful person I've seen yet in that role, and the DIA has made more progress than the 1,238,264 versions before it. I do think the DIA board should potentially be expanded. Right now, you have 9 people:

Jim Bailey (Chair) - former owner of the Daily Record
Jack Meeks (VC) - CPA, lives in Springfield I believe
Craig Gibbs - Lawyer, office on the Southbank
Oliver Barakat - Real Estate, does a good amount of business downtown
Dane Grey - In the Parking Business. I don't know his views, but we've botched parking downtown so long that this concerns me
Braxton Gillam - Lawyer, office on Bay St.
Marc Padgett - CEO of Summit Contracting Group (1000 Riverside). Not technically downtown but about as close as you can be without being in the border
Brenna Durden - Lawyer, office in Brooklyn. Not sure if that office is the HQ as the firm has 4 Florida offices.
Ron Moody - Real Estate appraiser, office on the Southbank.

They're missing a few things here:

 - Not one in retail. I know a CPA office is small business, but a CPA doesn't depend on foot traffic. No one walks by a CPA office and says off the cuff, "Let me stop in and do my taxes." I'm not sure who I'd nominate here.
 - No one in the restaurant industry. The needs here are different than retail shops. I'd nominate Allan DeVault here (Partner in Bellwether/Black Sheep/Orsay)
 - Curious if any of these folks live downtown full time (I don't mean have a condo they rent out). If not, that's a HUGE miss.
 - Dare I say it, but they should have one representative from JTA. I can't believe I'm saying this about an organization that was led by Michael Blaylock for about 15 years but they're doing really good things with better leadership.

There's probably other useful people here. I'm not saying throw anyone off because I don't know who's doing a good job or not - though a board of 1/3 attorney's strikes me as odd. Maybe expand the board because there are critical voices from industries that aren't here.

I do think that Consolidation has hurt downtown in some ways. While they may have been mitigated with better leadership, there are definitely negatives to it. There's no incentive to live in the city, as services and incentives are offered to everyone in the county. Now to be clear - I'm not saying given where Jacksonville was in the 1960s it was the wrong move. There was a lot of crap in the 60s that consolidation fixed very quickly.

Some leaders have had incentive programs that direct funds north and west of the city, including the Northbank. Delaney had one that Peyton quickly trashed (shocker). I don't remember how successful it was.

The DDA/DIA agencies had/have their function and for the most part have done ok. Historically speaking Frank Nero and Paul Krutko did great work as Exe. Directors and the work they did was interrupted for a significant period unfortunately.

However, the DIA will never be able to do for Downtown what RAP does for it's 'client'. It will always carry water for the city, and by extension for the incumbent Mayor, first and foremost. The city pays the bills and has it's own priorities (like budget pressures) to consider.   The better model for what I am talking about would be the 5 Points and San Marco Merchants Associations.  A private entity that has the ability and the 'charge' to make sure that DT interests are protected.   

Independence is necessary because sometimes it is the city itself that requires the pushback. An example of that would be holding the line on design guidelines (ie Brooklyn GATE station, Parador garage across from the Landing). Other examples would be lobbying to put funding into the Historic Rehab fund or not diverting funding from the TIFs that are suppose to be dedicated to the Northbank and Southbank respectively.  They could also lobby the city to bring its parking meters out of the 1950s and do more street sweeping and cleanup. They could also be an independent but impacted arbitar over troublesome issues like Hemming Plaza and the never-ending Landing fiasco.   

The retailiers, restuaranteurs, etc. that you mentioned would be a fit perfect to govern such a organization.   

Like anything else in life, Rome won't be built in a day, but this element would bring some much needed focus and CONTIGUITY (which I think we all agreee has been missing) to DT redevelopment.         
   
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: howfam on January 03, 2018, 01:19:57 PM
Jax didn't annex other cities during the 1960s. When both the City of Jax and Duval County's governments were blown up and replaced by a new single entity, Duval County's 4 other municipalities remained. Places like Arlington and Oceanway were unincorporated areas of the former Duval County government. Previously incorporated cities like Murray Hill, South Jacksonville, LaVilla, East Jacksonville and Fairfield became parts of Jax prior to WW2.

Well, whether unincorporated or simply  independent, Arlington and Oceanway,  etc. were not counted in Jax's population or land area before consolidation in 1968, and therefore after being absorbed, helped boost those elements that propelled Jax to the #1 spot in Fla. in both land area and city population.
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: thelakelander on January 03, 2018, 01:53:07 PM
That's not unique with most city county consolidations.
 
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consolidated_city-county

If anything, what Miami and Dade County did is more unique. Overall, those numbers don't matter from a market standpoint. The City of Miami may only officially be 36 square miles with 453,000 residents but the actual urban area is still 5.5 million (#4 largest in US).

So it's not surprising that Miami's downtown would be significantly larger than a much smaller urban area like Jax's (#40 at 1.06 million) despite Jax's larger city population number.

If anything about consolidation is a symbolic negative, it's the city population number that makes many assume that Jax's DT should be significantly larger than it is. In reality, we're a lot closer to Grand Rapids, MI or Providence, RI and not San Francisco or whatever else is in that US largest cities by population list. Even Orlando and Charlotte are more than twice our size today in reality. Understanding that will help put expectations of what DT Jax is and can become (in the short term) in better perspective.

Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: howfam on January 03, 2018, 02:18:25 PM
That's not unique with most city county consolidations.
 
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consolidated_city-county

If anything, what Miami and Dade County did is more unique. Overall, those numbers don't matter from a market standpoint. The City of Miami may only officially be 36 square miles with 453,000 residents but the actual urban area is still 5.5 million (#4 largest in US).

So it's not surprising that Miami's downtown would be significantly larger than a much smaller urban area like Jax's (#40 at 1.06 million) despite Jax's larger city population number.

If anything about consolidation is a symbolic negative, it's the city population number that makes many assume that Jax's DT should be significantly larger than it is. In reality, we're a lot closer to Grand Rapids, MI or Providence, RI and not San Francisco or whatever else is in that US largest cities by population list. Even Orlando and Charlotte are more than twice our size today in reality. Understanding that will help put expectations of what DT Jax is and can become (in the short term) in better perspective.

If Charlotte and Orlando are twice the size of Jax,  it's not actual size as you say but metro area only. Actual size is what a city can legally claim as part of their city populations. Latest figures show Jax as 12th or 13th in city population in the U.S., and positioned to be the 1st city in Florida to ever reach a million residents in the next few years. And no other city, except maybe Charlotte is close enough to eclipse Jax in the short run. These are the facts.
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: DrQue on January 03, 2018, 02:20:09 PM
Back to the bus station... Any other thoughts on what may happen?
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: thelakelander on January 03, 2018, 02:39:20 PM
That's not unique with most city county consolidations.
 
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consolidated_city-county

If anything, what Miami and Dade County did is more unique. Overall, those numbers don't matter from a market standpoint. The City of Miami may only officially be 36 square miles with 453,000 residents but the actual urban area is still 5.5 million (#4 largest in US).

So it's not surprising that Miami's downtown would be significantly larger than a much smaller urban area like Jax's (#40 at 1.06 million) despite Jax's larger city population number.

If anything about consolidation is a symbolic negative, it's the city population number that makes many assume that Jax's DT should be significantly larger than it is. In reality, we're a lot closer to Grand Rapids, MI or Providence, RI and not San Francisco or whatever else is in that US largest cities by population list. Even Orlando and Charlotte are more than twice our size today in reality. Understanding that will help put expectations of what DT Jax is and can become (in the short term) in better perspective.

If Charlotte and Orlando are twice the size of Jax,  it's not actual size as you say but metro area only. Actual size is what a city can legally claim as part of their city populations. Latest figures show Jax as 12th or 13th in city population and positioned to be the 1st city in Florida to ever reach a million residents in the next few years. And no other city except maybe Charlotte is close enough to eclipse Jax in the short run. These are the facts.
The fact is Jax is Florida's 4th largest metropolitan and urban area and will remain so for the foreseeable future. The market is driven by people and not the number of trees spread across remote undeveloped land areas. As such, DT Jax will not match the amount of growth and development happening in Florida's larger communities anytime soon, short of an unforeseen disaster negatively impacting one of them. Nevertheless, that's okay. Jax can still work to have the best DT for a market its size that creativity, social equity and money can buy.
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: thelakelander on January 03, 2018, 02:41:39 PM
Back to the bus station... Any other thoughts on what may happen?
My best guess is it will become something that will involve parking as a major component. I doubt a highrise of any sort materializes.
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: DrQue on January 03, 2018, 03:56:40 PM
Back to the bus station... Any other thoughts on what may happen?
My best guess is it will become something that will involve parking as a major component. I doubt a highrise of any sort materializes.

Really too bad because this part of downtown is covered in parking, both surface and structured:

https://www.google.com/maps/@30.327361,-81.6628543,645m/data=!3m1!1e3
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: FlaBoy on January 04, 2018, 10:08:49 AM
That's not unique with most city county consolidations.
 
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consolidated_city-county

If anything, what Miami and Dade County did is more unique. Overall, those numbers don't matter from a market standpoint. The City of Miami may only officially be 36 square miles with 453,000 residents but the actual urban area is still 5.5 million (#4 largest in US).

So it's not surprising that Miami's downtown would be significantly larger than a much smaller urban area like Jax's (#40 at 1.06 million) despite Jax's larger city population number.

If anything about consolidation is a symbolic negative, it's the city population number that makes many assume that Jax's DT should be significantly larger than it is. In reality, we're a lot closer to Grand Rapids, MI or Providence, RI and not San Francisco or whatever else is in that US largest cities by population list. Even Orlando and Charlotte are more than twice our size today in reality. Understanding that will help put expectations of what DT Jax is and can become (in the short term) in better perspective.

If Charlotte and Orlando are twice the size of Jax,  it's not actual size as you say but metro area only. Actual size is what a city can legally claim as part of their city populations. Latest figures show Jax as 12th or 13th in city population and positioned to be the 1st city in Florida to ever reach a million residents in the next few years. And no other city except maybe Charlotte is close enough to eclipse Jax in the short run. These are the facts.
The fact is Jax is Florida's 4th largest metropolitan and urban area and will remain so for the foreseeable future. The market is driven by people and not the number of trees spread across remote undeveloped land areas. As such, DT Jax will not match the amount of growth and development happening in Florida's larger communities anytime soon, short of an unforeseen disaster negatively impacting one of them. Nevertheless, that's okay. Jax can still work to have the best DT for a market its size that creativity, social equity and money can buy.

There is also something to thinking about this regionally as well. Jacksonville is the largest metro and job haven of the Southern Atlantic Coastal region running from SC or even Wilmington south. There are more and more South Carolinians moving this way for good jobs. We are also the second largest greater metro incorporating parts of Georgia.
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: thelakelander on January 04, 2018, 04:15:24 PM
Sort of how Central Florida views itself regionally as a place with more than 7 million residents. That's fine and should be done. However, it's not going to have much, if any, impact of downtown's market demand to the private sector.
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: Steve on January 04, 2018, 04:40:20 PM
Downtown development groups like the DIA and old DIA are good, but onl as effective as the administration calling the shots. Downtown might benefit from a more empowered neighborhood org like RAP, but it doesn’t have the population yet. There just aren’t enough people living there.

I couldn't agree more, but they don't need to live there. A business association could be just as effective if not more so. A non-profit, probably membership driven from people anywhere, could do great things as well.

if the people lead, the leaders will follow.     

Perhaps the DIA can evolve to that. RAP naturally works because of people's passions in the neighborhoods that they raise their families in. My thought is the structure of the DIA isn't bad. It seems like Aundra Wallace is the most successful person I've seen yet in that role, and the DIA has made more progress than the 1,238,264 versions before it. I do think the DIA board should potentially be expanded. Right now, you have 9 people:

Jim Bailey (Chair) - former owner of the Daily Record
Jack Meeks (VC) - CPA, lives in Springfield I believe
Craig Gibbs - Lawyer, office on the Southbank
Oliver Barakat - Real Estate, does a good amount of business downtown
Dane Grey - In the Parking Business. I don't know his views, but we've botched parking downtown so long that this concerns me
Braxton Gillam - Lawyer, office on Bay St.
Marc Padgett - CEO of Summit Contracting Group (1000 Riverside). Not technically downtown but about as close as you can be without being in the border
Brenna Durden - Lawyer, office in Brooklyn. Not sure if that office is the HQ as the firm has 4 Florida offices.
Ron Moody - Real Estate appraiser, office on the Southbank.

They're missing a few things here:

 - Not one in retail. I know a CPA office is small business, but a CPA doesn't depend on foot traffic. No one walks by a CPA office and says off the cuff, "Let me stop in and do my taxes." I'm not sure who I'd nominate here.
 - No one in the restaurant industry. The needs here are different than retail shops. I'd nominate Allan DeVault here (Partner in Bellwether/Black Sheep/Orsay)
 - Curious if any of these folks live downtown full time (I don't mean have a condo they rent out). If not, that's a HUGE miss.
 - Dare I say it, but they should have one representative from JTA. I can't believe I'm saying this about an organization that was led by Michael Blaylock for about 15 years but they're doing really good things with better leadership.

There's probably other useful people here. I'm not saying throw anyone off because I don't know who's doing a good job or not - though a board of 1/3 attorney's strikes me as odd. Maybe expand the board because there are critical voices from industries that aren't here.

I do think that Consolidation has hurt downtown in some ways. While they may have been mitigated with better leadership, there are definitely negatives to it. There's no incentive to live in the city, as services and incentives are offered to everyone in the county. Now to be clear - I'm not saying given where Jacksonville was in the 1960s it was the wrong move. There was a lot of crap in the 60s that consolidation fixed very quickly.

Some leaders have had incentive programs that direct funds north and west of the city, including the Northbank. Delaney had one that Peyton quickly trashed (shocker). I don't remember how successful it was.

The DDA/DIA agencies had/have their function and for the most part have done ok. Historically speaking Frank Nero and Paul Krutko did great work as Exe. Directors and the work they did was interrupted for a significant period unfortunately.

However, the DIA will never be able to do for Downtown what RAP does for it's 'client'. It will always carry water for the city, and by extension for the incumbent Mayor, first and foremost. The city pays the bills and has it's own priorities (like budget pressures) to consider.   The better model for what I am talking about would be the 5 Points and San Marco Merchants Associations.  A private entity that has the ability and the 'charge' to make sure that DT interests are protected.   

Independence is necessary because sometimes it is the city itself that requires the pushback. An example of that would be holding the line on design guidelines (ie Brooklyn GATE station, Parador garage across from the Landing). Other examples would be lobbying to put funding into the Historic Rehab fund or not diverting funding from the TIFs that are suppose to be dedicated to the Northbank and Southbank respectively.  They could also lobby the city to bring its parking meters out of the 1950s and do more street sweeping and cleanup. They could also be an independent but impacted arbitar over troublesome issues like Hemming Plaza and the never-ending Landing fiasco.   

The retailiers, restuaranteurs, etc. that you mentioned would be a fit perfect to govern such a organization.   

Like anything else in life, Rome won't be built in a day, but this element would bring some much needed focus and CONTIGUITY (which I think we all agreee has been missing) to DT redevelopment.         
   

I agree in concept and yes, the DIA is ultimately controlled by the Mayor/Council.

The challenge is that RAP is largely made up of residents. Those residents have sway with their City Council person because RAP members are all VERY likely voters in an election, and RAP can cast influence in the neighborhood. With the current (and past) districts, it's very unlikely to win District 14 without RAPs support. This is why their influence is strong.

Downtown on the other hand isn't like that. Lately, it's basically 1 or 2 precincts in whatever district they feel like putting Downtown in (was 4 for a long time, now 7). When George Banks ran for Suzanne Jenkins' seat she was leaving in 2007, he referred to Downtown as, "A precinct I can win." Now, the statement was in reference to something in the context of the conversation we were having. However, if you think about it, someone running for District 7 can lose downtown and yet easily win the district. This is why today is not the time for a powerful Downtown Merchants/Residents association.

My feeling is that regardless of the fact that the DIA is technically government, we need to have people who have more of a Vested Personal Interest in downtown on the DIA. I don't know all of the people, but having 1/3 of the board be attorneys who's offices are downtown doesn't necessarily scream, "Vested Personal Interest." Many attorneys are downtown because they either need to be close to the courthouse, or need to be close to clients who may be located there. That's very different from a Restaurateur who deals with his customers getting parking tickets or harassed by a homeless person.
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: Steve on January 04, 2018, 05:07:20 PM
Yea....Jacksonville tried that. The Plaza was developed by Cameron Kuhn. You'll find renderings of RiverWatch at CityCenter on this site - it was his Jacksonville version. That died when he went Kuhn when the proverbial ATM stopped spitting free money out.

The challenge with concrete highrises is the cost of construction versus what you can sell things for. Take Apartments as an example - they challenge has been building a high-rise apartment building without incentives and being able to pay for it in rent. Downtown struggles to generate the rent that would be needed to cover it. One of the differences in Real Estate prices here versus many cities is in Jacksonville, the building is usually worth more than the dirt it's on. In many other cities, it's the opposite. The difference is that you can charge enough rent to make it work based purely on location. Here, it's a challenge.

Personally, I'd rather mid-rise construction and street level vibrancy than another EverBank Center that's dead at night. I know they built that with a "mall" inside. That doesn't count.

The problem is the land just isn't valuable enough for highrises as you said above.  There is too much vacant land and a developer could make the same money from a much smaller investment building a 5 floor apartment/condo building, than building a 25 floor apartment/condo.  They could build 225 units in several small buildings for much cheaper than in one highrise, and because our land is so plentiful, thats exactly what they do.  In cities like Seattle, they would never build a 5 floor apartment downtown because they just paid 45 million for a half block.  It would never pencil out, so they are forced to build a tower. 

Yes, and in Downtown Seattle they can charge $868/SqFt so the investment is returned. (seriously, that's the average according to this site: https://seattle.curbed.com/2017/5/4/15546302/seattle-home-prices-square-foot)

In Jacksonville, I couldn't find a reliable average number, likely due to not enough sample size. Doing a quick search, it looks to be between $175 and $225 per square foot. That makes it REALLY tough to turn a profit for a developer.

Now, Seattle is a bit of an outlier. Take Charlotte. In 2016, their average Price/SqFt in "Uptown" (they have to be different and call their downtown Uptown), is $260. That isn't otherworldly higher than Jacksonville like Seattle is, but significantly higher. In 2012 Charlotte was $220. If we could legit average $225-$240 here it would change the conversation dramatically.

Simple math: At $190/SqFt a 1,200 SqFt place is $228k. If a building had 150 of those units, selling out a building would get the developer a gross number of $34.2M.

Now, if a developer can get even $225/SqFt for that exact same building, the developer would get a gross of $40.5M - almost a 20% increase.

In short, let's get some stick buildings built, fill the ground level with retail/restaurants/etc, and get downtown to the point that people want to live there.

Going on another tangent (like this thread doesn't have enough already), this is where a Convention Center can come into play. You have a thousand room hotel that struggles. With a convention center, Jacksonville all of a sudden is a cheap place to host a convention for a lot of people. Not everyone is going to eat at the hotel restaurant, and business travelers on expense accounts like to drink. Downtown bars and restaurants have historically struggled with traffic Monday-Wednesday nights to the point it doesn't make sense to open. This is where the business travelers can fill the gap. That then raises the demand for food/drink places downtown, which raises downtown's appeal, which allows a developer to charge more for a residential unit, which then makes these high rises more profitable.

Okay, leaving the office now.
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: thelakelander on January 04, 2018, 05:18:08 PM
Steve for mayor!
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: vicupstate on January 04, 2018, 06:38:50 PM
Quote
I agree in concept and yes, the DIA is ultimately controlled by the Mayor/Council.

The challenge is that RAP is largely made up of residents. Those residents have sway with their City Council person because RAP members are all VERY likely voters in an election, and RAP can cast influence in the neighborhood. With the current (and past) districts, it's very unlikely to win District 14 without RAPs support. This is why their influence is strong.

Downtown on the other hand isn't like that. Lately, it's basically 1 or 2 precincts in whatever district they feel like putting Downtown in (was 4 for a long time, now 7). When George Banks ran for Suzanne Jenkins' seat she was leaving in 2007, he referred to Downtown as, "A precinct I can win." Now, the statement was in reference to something in the context of the conversation we were having. However, if you think about it, someone running for District 7 can lose downtown and yet easily win the district. This is why today is not the time for a powerful Downtown Merchants/Residents association.

My feeling is that regardless of the fact that the DIA is technically government, we need to have people who have more of a Vested Personal Interest in downtown on the DIA. I don't know all of the people, but having 1/3 of the board be attorneys who's offices are downtown doesn't necessarily scream, "Vested Personal Interest." Many attorneys are downtown because they either need to be close to the courthouse, or need to be close to clients who may be located there. That's very different from a Restaurateur who deals with his customers getting parking tickets or harassed by a homeless person.

I just think you are putting up a barrier where none need exist.  You keep saying 'residents' but how many 5 Points and San Marco Merchants Association members are residents of those areas?  All you need is interested parties, be they residents, merchants or just concerned citizens.   RAP might be very powerful in District 14, but I would say they sway extends far beyond just that council member.  That is because they have staff who's job it is to make sure they are listened to and that their side of the story is communicated.   

What is to keep every DT business, every DT resident and every poster on this site from creating an association that exists soley to advocate on behalf of DT?  If you have every dealt with government on any level, you know that the sqeaky wheel gets the grease. That is what RAP is for Riverside-Avondale, SPAR is for Springfield, 5 Points Merchants Association is for 5 Points and San Marco Merchants Association is for San Marco Square.   

       
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: jaxnyc79 on January 04, 2018, 06:40:32 PM
Steve for Core City Manager! :)
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: jaxrox on January 05, 2018, 02:12:29 AM
Sure, why not?
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: Lostwave on January 05, 2018, 09:18:43 AM
Yes, and in Downtown Seattle they can charge $868/SqFt so the investment is returned. (seriously, that's the average according to this site: https://seattle.curbed.com/2017/5/4/15546302/seattle-home-prices-square-foot)

In Jacksonville, I couldn't find a reliable average number, likely due to not enough sample size. Doing a quick search, it looks to be between $175 and $225 per square foot. That makes it REALLY tough to turn a profit for a developer.

Now, Seattle is a bit of an outlier. Take Charlotte. In 2016, their average Price/SqFt in "Uptown" (they have to be different and call their downtown Uptown), is $260. That isn't otherworldly higher than Jacksonville like Seattle is, but significantly higher. In 2012 Charlotte was $220. If we could legit average $225-$240 here it would change the conversation dramatically.

Simple math: At $190/SqFt a 1,200 SqFt place is $228k. If a building had 150 of those units, selling out a building would get the developer a gross number of $34.2M.

Now, if a developer can get even $225/SqFt for that exact same building, the developer would get a gross of $40.5M - almost a 20% increase.

In short, let's get some stick buildings built, fill the ground level with retail/restaurants/etc, and get downtown to the point that people want to live there.

Going on another tangent (like this thread doesn't have enough already), this is where a Convention Center can come into play. You have a thousand room hotel that struggles. With a convention center, Jacksonville all of a sudden is a cheap place to host a convention for a lot of people. Not everyone is going to eat at the hotel restaurant, and business travelers on expense accounts like to drink. Downtown bars and restaurants have historically struggled with traffic Monday-Wednesday nights to the point it doesn't make sense to open. This is where the business travelers can fill the gap. That then raises the demand for food/drink places downtown, which raises downtown's appeal, which allows a developer to charge more for a residential unit, which then makes these high rises more profitable.

Okay, leaving the office now.

Strongly agree to every point you made here.
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: Tacachale on January 05, 2018, 01:03:44 PM
Downtown development groups like the DIA and old DIA are good, but onl as effective as the administration calling the shots. Downtown might benefit from a more empowered neighborhood org like RAP, but it doesn’t have the population yet. There just aren’t enough people living there.

I couldn't agree more, but they don't need to live there. A business association could be just as effective if not more so. A non-profit, probably membership driven from people anywhere, could do great things as well.

if the people lead, the leaders will follow.     

Perhaps the DIA can evolve to that. RAP naturally works because of people's passions in the neighborhoods that they raise their families in. My thought is the structure of the DIA isn't bad. It seems like Aundra Wallace is the most successful person I've seen yet in that role, and the DIA has made more progress than the 1,238,264 versions before it. I do think the DIA board should potentially be expanded. Right now, you have 9 people:

Jim Bailey (Chair) - former owner of the Daily Record
Jack Meeks (VC) - CPA, lives in Springfield I believe
Craig Gibbs - Lawyer, office on the Southbank
Oliver Barakat - Real Estate, does a good amount of business downtown
Dane Grey - In the Parking Business. I don't know his views, but we've botched parking downtown so long that this concerns me
Braxton Gillam - Lawyer, office on Bay St.
Marc Padgett - CEO of Summit Contracting Group (1000 Riverside). Not technically downtown but about as close as you can be without being in the border
Brenna Durden - Lawyer, office in Brooklyn. Not sure if that office is the HQ as the firm has 4 Florida offices.
Ron Moody - Real Estate appraiser, office on the Southbank.

They're missing a few things here:

 - Not one in retail. I know a CPA office is small business, but a CPA doesn't depend on foot traffic. No one walks by a CPA office and says off the cuff, "Let me stop in and do my taxes." I'm not sure who I'd nominate here.
 - No one in the restaurant industry. The needs here are different than retail shops. I'd nominate Allan DeVault here (Partner in Bellwether/Black Sheep/Orsay)
 - Curious if any of these folks live downtown full time (I don't mean have a condo they rent out). If not, that's a HUGE miss.
 - Dare I say it, but they should have one representative from JTA. I can't believe I'm saying this about an organization that was led by Michael Blaylock for about 15 years but they're doing really good things with better leadership.

There's probably other useful people here. I'm not saying throw anyone off because I don't know who's doing a good job or not - though a board of 1/3 attorney's strikes me as odd. Maybe expand the board because there are critical voices from industries that aren't here.


The board doesn't need to be expanded. Too many cooks in the kitchen. It could probably benefit from a more diverse makeup, it just happens that lawyers are overrepresented among downtown businesspeople/workers. A knowledgeable retail/restaurant person would be a good add, as it's underrepresented on the board.
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: Steve on January 05, 2018, 01:55:11 PM
Downtown development groups like the DIA and old DIA are good, but onl as effective as the administration calling the shots. Downtown might benefit from a more empowered neighborhood org like RAP, but it doesn’t have the population yet. There just aren’t enough people living there.

I couldn't agree more, but they don't need to live there. A business association could be just as effective if not more so. A non-profit, probably membership driven from people anywhere, could do great things as well.

if the people lead, the leaders will follow.     

Perhaps the DIA can evolve to that. RAP naturally works because of people's passions in the neighborhoods that they raise their families in. My thought is the structure of the DIA isn't bad. It seems like Aundra Wallace is the most successful person I've seen yet in that role, and the DIA has made more progress than the 1,238,264 versions before it. I do think the DIA board should potentially be expanded. Right now, you have 9 people:

Jim Bailey (Chair) - former owner of the Daily Record
Jack Meeks (VC) - CPA, lives in Springfield I believe
Craig Gibbs - Lawyer, office on the Southbank
Oliver Barakat - Real Estate, does a good amount of business downtown
Dane Grey - In the Parking Business. I don't know his views, but we've botched parking downtown so long that this concerns me
Braxton Gillam - Lawyer, office on Bay St.
Marc Padgett - CEO of Summit Contracting Group (1000 Riverside). Not technically downtown but about as close as you can be without being in the border
Brenna Durden - Lawyer, office in Brooklyn. Not sure if that office is the HQ as the firm has 4 Florida offices.
Ron Moody - Real Estate appraiser, office on the Southbank.

They're missing a few things here:

 - Not one in retail. I know a CPA office is small business, but a CPA doesn't depend on foot traffic. No one walks by a CPA office and says off the cuff, "Let me stop in and do my taxes." I'm not sure who I'd nominate here.
 - No one in the restaurant industry. The needs here are different than retail shops. I'd nominate Allan DeVault here (Partner in Bellwether/Black Sheep/Orsay)
 - Curious if any of these folks live downtown full time (I don't mean have a condo they rent out). If not, that's a HUGE miss.
 - Dare I say it, but they should have one representative from JTA. I can't believe I'm saying this about an organization that was led by Michael Blaylock for about 15 years but they're doing really good things with better leadership.

There's probably other useful people here. I'm not saying throw anyone off because I don't know who's doing a good job or not - though a board of 1/3 attorney's strikes me as odd. Maybe expand the board because there are critical voices from industries that aren't here.


The board doesn't need to be expanded. Too many cooks in the kitchen. It could probably benefit from a more diverse makeup, it just happens that lawyers are overrepresented among downtown businesspeople/workers. A knowledgeable retail/restaurant person would be a good add, as it's underrepresented on the board.

Fine with me.
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: RattlerGator on January 05, 2018, 07:45:06 PM
Flint ? ? ?

Sweet Jesus, Ennis, that's laughably absurd. Genesee County, Michigan -- Flint's county -- hasn't had any population growth for 50 freaking years. Not the damn city core of Flint, and not just the whole city. No! The whole damn county! But hey, that city is only X square miles and has lost massive population and guess what? The Jax old city core is only X square miles and has lost massive population. Shazam, man, they're similar !!!

Ennis has a hard time seeing and understanding Jacksonville's uniqueness. In that, he's not alone, and that has been a primary problem for the city and our leaders. Much bigger, though, has been an unavoidable problem: all of that [1] available and [2] desirable land outside of the city core -- much of it along a big, beautiful river or out at the Intracoastal and the Beaches.

Hasn't been much discussion in this rambling thread about the Beaches but that's the number one reason our downtown is the way it is.

Mayor Curry and Shad Khan may be about to change all of that. Of course, the density crowd will surely have serious issues with the upcoming Sports and Entertainment District proposal because . . . reasons.

A sports and entertainment district, by the way, that will likely be unmatched in the State of Florida. But . . . density, density, density !!!
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: thelakelander on January 05, 2018, 07:50:51 PM
lol slow down and read RG! I made the post saying Flint hadn't grown in 50 or 60 years. Prior to that, it and Jax were in the same ballpark.  However, you are right about me not understanding Jax's uniqueness.  There's nothing unique about the city's development patterns or the things that will stimulate revitalization faster. It's just like every place else. The faster we realize, the less money we'll burn.

Hasn't been much discussion in this rambling thread about the Beaches but that's the number one reason our downtown is the way it is.

Definitely not buying this poor excuse. Last time I checked, there's thousands of miles of beach along the Atlantic, Pacific and Gulf in this country. There's also tons of coastal cities with vibrant beaches and urban cores.
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: jaxnyc79 on January 06, 2018, 11:17:11 AM
lol slow down and read RG! I made the post saying Flint hadn't grown in 50 or 60 years. Prior to that, it and Jax were in the same ballpark.  However, you are right about me not understanding Jax's uniqueness.  There's nothing unique about the city's development patterns or the things that will stimulate revitalization faster. It's just like every place else. The faster we realize, the less money we'll burn.

Hasn't been much discussion in this rambling thread about the Beaches but that's the number one reason our downtown is the way it is.

Definitely not buying this poor excuse. Last time I checked, there's thousands of miles of beach along the Atlantic, Pacific and Gulf in this country. There's also tons of coastal cities with vibrant beaches and urban cores.

Hmm, what are the cities with both vibrant cores and beach communities, separated by 20 miles?  RG may have a point in that only after the Beaches are totally built out and cost-prohibitive, will the demographic that might be interested in dense, walkable, mixed use living will start to consider the urban core.  Right now, the perception of many outsiders (at least near-millennials) is that the Beaches are the best thing Jax has going for it, to be honest.
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: thelakelander on January 06, 2018, 11:25:02 AM
^Nothing wrong with perception from a tourist but that has nothing to do with market. Downtown and the beaches are mutually exclusive of one another.  As for a few places with vibrant beaches and downtowns (at least better than Jax's) that list includes Miami, Fort Lauderdale, St. Petersburg, Norfolk/Virginia Beach (Hampton Roads) and San Diego, LA.  This stuff really isn't rocket science. The only reason DT Jax is what it is today is because of ourselves.
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: jaxnyc79 on January 06, 2018, 12:04:02 PM
^Nothing wrong with perception from a tourist but that has nothing to do with market. Downtown and the beaches are mutually exclusive of one another.  As for a few places with vibrant beaches and downtowns (at least better than Jax's) that list includes Miami, Fort Lauderdale, St. Petersburg, Norfolk/Virginia Beach (Hampton Roads) and San Diego, LA.  This stuff really isn't rocket science. The only reason DT Jax is what it is today is because of ourselves.

While few things are rocket science, I do think downtown revitalization in many cities, and especially in Jax, is a complex issue that brings together a diversity of philosophical drivers and issues: the role of government, property rights, race relations, land use, demographic trends.

I also think general perception has a lot to do with market outcomes.  In jax, I think it’s totally reasonable to explore the idea that the beaches and downtown are competing for a certain residential demographic that could bring both wealth and vibrancy to either neighborhood, and the beaches is winning out.  It’s no reason for Jax to throw its hands up in surrender, but Jax must have a full accounting of the obstacles.  \

Everyone says Jax should have kept doing what it did in the late ‘90s, and I’m no Jax historian, but the carcass of Berkman II still sits idle, the Adams Mark which is now the Hyatt is fairly unimpressive, the Carling and 11E were historic building renovations.  If downtown weren’t contending with the beach and with horrible land use planning that has allowed St. John’s Town Center to become the retail hub of the region, would the projects of the late 90s have catalyzed the kind of downtown we all want?
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: Tacachale on January 06, 2018, 12:36:41 PM
^Nothing wrong with perception from a tourist but that has nothing to do with market. Downtown and the beaches are mutually exclusive of one another.  As for a few places with vibrant beaches and downtowns (at least better than Jax's) that list includes Miami, Fort Lauderdale, St. Petersburg, Norfolk/Virginia Beach (Hampton Roads) and San Diego, LA.  This stuff really isn't rocket science. The only reason DT Jax is what it is today is because of ourselves.

While few things are rocket science, I do think downtown revitalization in many cities, and especially in Jax, is a complex issue that brings together a diversity of philosophical drivers and issues: the role of government, property rights, race relations, land use, demographic trends.

I also think general perception has a lot to do with market outcomes.  In jax, I think it’s totally reasonable to explore the idea that the beaches and downtown are competing for a certain residential demographic that could bring both wealth and vibrancy to either neighborhood, and the beaches is winning out.  It’s no reason for Jax to throw its hands up in surrender, but Jax must have a full accounting of the obstacles.  \

Everyone says Jax should have kept doing what it did in the late ‘90s, and I’m no Jax historian, but the carcass of Berkman II still sits idle, the Adams Mark which is now the Hyatt is fairly unimpressive, the Carling and 11E were historic building renovations.  If downtown weren’t contending with the beach and with horrible land use planning that has allowed St. John’s Town Center to become the retail hub of the region, would the projects of the late 90s have catalyzed the kind of downtown we all want?

There would be a lot more residents downtown if we’d kept incentivizing residential development after the early 00s. That alone would resolve many of the problems there. The master plan from that time also had a lot of ideas that would have helped connect downtown to the surrounding areas and built up dead blocks. So yes, we should have continued doing the things we had started in the 90s. The reasons we didn’t largely have to do with leadership and lack of priority by the public and business center, more so than anything else. If we had, we’d also be making proportionately fewer “rookie errors” like forgetting about clustering and street-front interaction.
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: TimmyB on January 06, 2018, 01:57:56 PM

There would be a lot more residents downtown if we’d kept incentivizing residential development after the early 00s. That alone would resolve many of the problems there. The master plan from that time also had a lot of ideas that would have helped connect downtown to the surrounding areas and built up dead blocks. So yes, we should have continued doing the things we had started in the 90s. The reasons we didn’t largely have to do with leadership and lack of priority by the public and business center, more so than anything else. If we had, we’d also be making proportionately fewer “rookie errors” like forgetting about clustering and street-front interaction.

You just made a light bulb turn on inside my head.  I may be wrong in this analogy, so please feel free to correct me, if so. 

Growing up in Michigan, I witnessed first-hand the six decades of futility of the Detroit Lions.  Six decades, all of which they were owned by the same people, the Ford family.  Every few years, they come in and fire the head coach.  Of course, the new coach comes in with all of his own people and starts "fresh" and the fans (sheep) get all excited, thinking "Now, things are going to happen!"  Then, the dreams fade after a couple of years because when you start from scratch, you must REALLY start from scratch.  That never really happens, does it?

I'm hearing the same things about DT Jax.  New mayor, new priorities, new projects announced, great fanfare, no follow-through...  Good God, are we the Lions???
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: thelakelander on January 06, 2018, 03:47:58 PM
^Pretty much. We're the Detroit Lions of urban revitalization!
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: thelakelander on January 06, 2018, 04:29:46 PM
^Nothing wrong with perception from a tourist but that has nothing to do with market. Downtown and the beaches are mutually exclusive of one another.  As for a few places with vibrant beaches and downtowns (at least better than Jax's) that list includes Miami, Fort Lauderdale, St. Petersburg, Norfolk/Virginia Beach (Hampton Roads) and San Diego, LA.  This stuff really isn't rocket science. The only reason DT Jax is what it is today is because of ourselves.

While few things are rocket science, I do think downtown revitalization in many cities, and especially in Jax, is a complex issue that brings together a diversity of philosophical drivers and issues: the role of government, property rights, race relations, land use, demographic trends.

I also think general perception has a lot to do with market outcomes.  In jax, I think it’s totally reasonable to explore the idea that the beaches and downtown are competing for a certain residential demographic that could bring both wealth and vibrancy to either neighborhood, and the beaches is winning out.  It’s no reason for Jax to throw its hands up in surrender, but Jax must have a full accounting of the obstacles.  \

In general, I think a better look at DT Jax's history would lead to a realization that it isn't the beaches that are competing with downtown or any place else locally for vibrancy. For example, what is this "residential demographic" that downtown is losing out to the beaches or competing for?

http://jacksonville.com/news/metro/2017-09-05/downtown-jacksonville-s-8600-residents-cusp-luring-thousands-more-neighbors

Downtown has a residential occupancy rate of 95%. The office vacancy rate is less than compared to the suburbs. The hotel occupancy rate is at 65.9%. What exactly is downtown struggling against the beaches to attract from a market perspective? It certainly isn't residential, since what ever is built immediately fills up to capacity upon completion.

Quote
Everyone says Jax should have kept doing what it did in the late ‘90s, and I’m no Jax historian, but the carcass of Berkman II still sits idle, the Adams Mark which is now the Hyatt is fairly unimpressive, the Carling and 11E were historic building renovations.

History plays a critical role. Berkman II collapsed during construction, killing a construction worker and was tied up in court for years. It's situation has nothing to do with downtown's residential demand. Adams Mark (Hyatt) is a hotel and regardless of how it looks, its design doesn't have anything to do with downtown market demand either. Then the Carling and 11E are historic building renovations that resulted in additional housing units in downtown. They're also leased to capacity. That's a good thing and they bring a sense of character and place that a new stick built project will never have. If anything, more of DT's old vacant office buildings should be converted into housing like 11E, Carling, 20 West Adams, Metropolitan Lofts, Churchwell Lofts, the Barnett, etc. I'd argue that filling up old urban buildings like the Ambassador, Furchgott's, Old JEA, etc. would be more beneficial to DT retail and vibrancy than subsidizing something new on the fringe like the District. These things that have nothing to do with downtown demand only become a part of a problem that doesn't exist when they're casually group together in a fashion that they should not.

Quote
If downtown weren’t contending with the beach and with horrible land use planning that has allowed St. John’s Town Center to become the retail hub of the region, would the projects of the late 90s have catalyzed the kind of downtown we all want?

Outside of a few major US cities (like less than 10 total), downtown's were removed as metropolitan retail hubs as far back as the 1970s and early 80s.  Another misconception is that SJTC takes away or competes against DT. It doesn't. DT retail didn't move to SJTC and what's at SJTC wouldn't have come downtown if SJCT wasn't built. They're completely different animals.  I find that over-complicating downtown's current state is typically related to believing that DT competes against suburbs for retail or that the demographic it needs to attract to be healthy is suburbanites. There's very little discussion about the importance of clustering mixes of uses and encouraging things in a relatively compact land area. These things are easy to pull off and address once we get past attempting to resolve perceived problems that aren't actually problems at all.

Anyway, here's a link to a collection of downtown reports worth checking out. It won't answer the issues you're attempting to solve but it will give a better idea of what's been taking place in downtown in recent years and what's on the way:

http://www.downtownjacksonville.org/media/publications.aspx

Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: jaxnyc79 on January 06, 2018, 04:51:03 PM
^Nothing wrong with perception from a tourist but that has nothing to do with market. Downtown and the beaches are mutually exclusive of one another.  As for a few places with vibrant beaches and downtowns (at least better than Jax's) that list includes Miami, Fort Lauderdale, St. Petersburg, Norfolk/Virginia Beach (Hampton Roads) and San Diego, LA.  This stuff really isn't rocket science. The only reason DT Jax is what it is today is because of ourselves.

While few things are rocket science, I do think downtown revitalization in many cities, and especially in Jax, is a complex issue that brings together a diversity of philosophical drivers and issues: the role of government, property rights, race relations, land use, demographic trends.

I also think general perception has a lot to do with market outcomes.  In jax, I think it’s totally reasonable to explore the idea that the beaches and downtown are competing for a certain residential demographic that could bring both wealth and vibrancy to either neighborhood, and the beaches is winning out.  It’s no reason for Jax to throw its hands up in surrender, but Jax must have a full accounting of the obstacles.  \

Everyone says Jax should have kept doing what it did in the late ‘90s, and I’m no Jax historian, but the carcass of Berkman II still sits idle, the Adams Mark which is now the Hyatt is fairly unimpressive, the Carling and 11E were historic building renovations.  If downtown weren’t contending with the beach and with horrible land use planning that has allowed St. John’s Town Center to become the retail hub of the region, would the projects of the late 90s have catalyzed the kind of downtown we all want?

There would be a lot more residents downtown if we’d kept incentivizing residential development after the early 00s. That alone would resolve many of the problems there. The master plan from that time also had a lot of ideas that would have helped connect downtown to the surrounding areas and built up dead blocks. So yes, we should have continued doing the things we had started in the 90s. The reasons we didn’t largely have to do with leadership and lack of priority by the public and business center, more so than anything else. If we had, we’d also be making proportionately fewer “rookie errors” like forgetting about clustering and street-front interaction.

The demographic...segments with meaningful purchasing powerful more amenable to dense, mixed-use, walkable living than Jax natives: northern retiree transplants and young, college-educated, childless professionals.  I’ll get back to you on relative health of downtown residential and office submarkets versus downtown.  There’s tons more product coming online in other submarkets outside of downtown, and without incentives.  Yes, there was a construction accident and fatality with Berkman II, but I’d contend that a healthy submarket would’ve absorbed the tragedy and the skeleton of a building wouldn’t sit idle for half a generation.  But now for playoff games.  More later
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: thelakelander on January 06, 2018, 04:54:27 PM
Now here's a real problem. Although downtown residential is 95% occupied, the average leasing rate is $1.59/square foot and $150/square foot for residential sales (page 24 of link below):

https://indd.adobe.com/view/ba5d6f25-688f-4e46-85c4-763198677a10

Although you'd quickly lease or sell the units in your project (the demand is there), you'd take a loss on your investment if your asking prices are around Jax's average. Steve explained this a few posts back, but typically it will cost you more to renovate or build new. For DT residential, resolving this market gap is the problem. Not the beaches, SJTC, Tapestry Park or whatever else appears to be the successful picture of the day. We don't need to deconsolidate the city or create new agencies to overcome this issue. All these things are overcomplicating solutions that still don't address the core problem......the funding gap.

Consider a few none-sexy solutions like using incentives (tax breaks, discounts on city owned properties, etc.) on certain types of projects  (Northbank adaptive reuse, new construction on Northbank city owned lots, etc.) that eliminate the funding gap, while also strategically building the compact style of redevelopment (basically target the core Northbank) that visually changes perception (get three or 4 continuous blocks working and public perception changes), resulting in a willingness to increase the prices what the local market is willing to pay. This can be done relatively quickly. On the other hand, not prioritizing density and spreading things out like kicking an ant hill over a 90 square block area, will only result in spending a lot of money and the place still looking sparsely occupied.

Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: jaxnyc79 on January 06, 2018, 05:06:55 PM
Now here's a real problem. Although downtown residential is 95% occupied, the average leasing rate is $1.59/square foot and $150/square foot for residential sales (page 24 of link below):

https://indd.adobe.com/view/ba5d6f25-688f-4e46-85c4-763198677a10

Although you'd quickly lease or sell the units in your project (the demand is there), you'd take a loss on your investment if your asking prices are around Jax's average. Steve explained this a few posts back, but typically it will cost you more to renovate or build new. For DT residential, resolving this market gap is the problem. Not the beaches, SJTC, Tapestry Park or whatever else appears to be the successful picture of the day. We don't need to deconsolidate the city or create new agencies to overcome this issue. All these things are overcomplicating solutions that still don't address the core problem......the funding gap.

Consider a few none-sexy solutions like using incentives (tax breaks, discounts on city owned properties, etc.) on certain types of projects  (Northbank adaptive reuse, new construction on Northbank city owned lots, etc.) that eliminate the funding gap, while also strategically building the compact style of redevelopment (basically target the core Northbank) that visually changes perception (get three or 4 continuous blocks working and public perception changes), resulting in a willingness to increase the prices what the local market is willing to pay. This can be done relatively quickly. On the other hand, not prioritizing density and spreading things out like kicking an ant hill over a 90 square block area, will only result in spending a lot of money and the place still looking sparsely occupied.

I’m not arguing against a compact clustering of mixed uses to create critical mass...I’m saying that incentives to house upper middle class tenants is politically problematic, while incentives for low income housing creates a long-term branding problem.  Downtown (Northbank specifically) needs a draw to make it something special versus other living alternatives around the county , and it just doesn’t have it in my opinion.  More than the government handing out incentives to private developers, downtown needs re-branding.  Why is it sexy and special to live downtown?  Does downtown Jax living have pedigree?  When there are clear answers to those questions, I think it’ll be easier to naturally get all the other stuff.  But I agree that there should be planning and clustering!  If UNF could strategically integrate with downtown and a major corporate created a massive urban corporate campus with housing and retail included, and FCCJ downtown hadn’t been designed behind gates and grassy fields, we’d  be getting somewhere.

Just left Chelsea market here in manhattan...too bad the landing couldn’t be more like a Chelsea market or biscuit mill in capetown.  Any chance something like a riverside arts market could be somewhere downtown along city streets instead of under a bridge overpass?
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: thelakelander on January 06, 2018, 05:23:00 PM
The demographic...segments with meaningful purchasing powerful more amenable to dense, mixed-use, walkable living than Jax natives: northern retiree transplants and young, college-educated, childless professionals.

A healthy downtown will need more than that demographic (ex. professionals with kids, people working in the service sector, etc. should be desired too) but I think you'll discover that demographic that has been filling new development in Brooklyn, the Southbank, Springfield, Riverside and San Marco.

Quote
I’ll get back to you on relative health of downtown residential and office submarkets versus downtown.  There’s tons more product coming online in other submarkets outside of downtown, and without incentives.

It's basically the same everywhere. For example, I spend most of my weeks in Orlando now and there's a ton of a lot more happening in submarkets than downtown. Plus even in places like Orlando, they still give incentives. They just happened to be a bit more targeted (ex. Publix didn't come to downtown Orlando on its own), which is what we should be doing as well. With that said, there are some areas with projects proving that there's a market without incentives. Broadstone is a great example of this.

Quote
Yes, there was a construction accident and fatality with Berkman II, but I’d contend that a healthy submarket would’ve absorbed the tragedy and the skeleton of a building wouldn’t sit idle for half a generation.  But now for playoff games.  More later

Don't target just Berkman. There are skeletons in cities all across the country for various reasons. Here are two examples where building skeletons have sat idle for years:

This one is about 10 minutes from my Orlando apartment. It's been "under construction" for 16 years:

(http://tannerandcompany.com/images/content/pf/comm172.jpg)
http://www.orlandosentinel.com/classified/realestate/os-bz-altamonte-tower-20170209-story.html


This smaller Southside Jax luxury condo project sat for years like Berkman 2. Another developer eventually took it over, finishing a part and demolishing what they believe the market could not support:

(https://www.jaxdailyrecord.com/sites/default/files/styles/sliders_and_planned_story_image_870x580/public/_1473345221Palazzo-alternate-USE-THIS-ONE.jpg?itok=VS1qEmMJ)
https://www.jaxdailyrecord.com/article/forge-capital-partners-finish-palazzo-st-johns-condos




Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: thelakelander on January 06, 2018, 05:50:41 PM
I’m not arguing against a compact clustering of mixed uses to create critical mass...I’m saying that incentives to house upper middle class tenants is politically problematic, while incentives for low income housing creates a long-term branding problem.

I'm a big believer in social equity so IMO, any redevelopment plan only targeting a "desired" demographic is already off on the wrong foot and will most likely be a failure at the end of the day anyway.  However, that's another topic altogether. As far as incentives go, you have to start somewhere until you can build your market. In Philly, it was a citywide 10-year tax abatement program that turned Center City around in the early 2000s. That's a great example of an aggressive program that positively impacts all demographics of the community. On the other hand, we heavily incentivized development in the Southside (and still do) and it wasn't as politically problematic as it should have been.

Quote
Downtown (Northbank specifically) needs a draw to make it something special versus other living alternatives around the county , and it just doesn’t have it in my opinion.  More than the government handing out incentives to private developers, downtown needs re-branding.  Why is it sexy and special to live downtown?  Does downtown Jax living have pedigree?  When there are clear answers to those questions, I think it’ll be easier to naturally get all the other stuff.

These answers should be clear. The draw is the river and the same basics that attract people to city cores across the globe....walkability, history, sense of place, parks, convenience, etc. These basics can't be replicated anywhere else in the region. They don't have to be "sexy" because they are basic quality-of-life things that already appeal to a certain segment of the market. So the question is how to improve/enhance these amenities and public access to them, while also resolving the financing gaps that limit the pent up population already wanting to be DT, from coming in faster. As for those who desire "cool" or whatever (I assume certain types of retail, bars, entertainment, etc.), get your basics right and what naturally comes from that will resolve that issue. Nevertheless, DT needs to become an urban neighborhood again first.

Quote
But I agree that there should be planning and clustering!  If UNF could strategically integrate with downtown and a major corporate created a massive urban corporate campus with housing and retail included, and FCCJ downtown hadn’t been designed behind gates and grassy fields, we’d be getting somewhere.

That ship has sailed with UNF and I wouldn't get my hopes up with some urban corporate campus coming in. However, FSCJ wants to become DT's SCAD. That's a low hanging fruit that should be taken advantage of, in regards to better integrating an existing campus into its surroundings and utilizing their desire for on-campus housing as a solution to getting long vacant buildings filled with residences.

Quote
Just left Chelsea market here in manhattan...too bad the landing couldn’t be more like a Chelsea market or biscuit mill in capetown.  Any chance something like a riverside arts market could be somewhere downtown along city streets instead of under a bridge overpass?

Unfortunately, the Landing is tied up in court and politics. However, IMO it's only a matter of time before something like a food hall/market or two or three ends up in the urban core. That's where national retail trends are headed and even places like Jax will eventually end up getting their piece of the pie. In the meantime, enjoy the Jacksonville Farmers Market. It's as authentic as Jax gets, open 7 days a week and has been in its location since 1938. A real local treat.
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: jaxnyc79 on January 06, 2018, 06:11:20 PM
The social equity question is for a different thread.  Your point laying out downtown’s appeal is where we differ.  You seem to think the draw is adequate, and I don’t, so we can just agree to disagree.  But the general perception is out there that the best thing to do in DT Jax is drive through it, and that needs to be addressed before residential incentives.  Maybe you guys on this thread disagree and think DT is some hidden gem that only needs City incentives to flourish, but I disagree.  Downtown’s lackluster state and the lack of high-profile, non-governmental community organization and activism corroborate my position.
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: TimmyB on January 06, 2018, 06:13:28 PM
This smaller Southside Jax luxury condo project sat for years like Berkman 2. Another developer eventually took it over, finishing a part and demolishing what they believe the market could not support:

(https://www.jaxdailyrecord.com/sites/default/files/styles/sliders_and_planned_story_image_870x580/public/_1473345221Palazzo-alternate-USE-THIS-ONE.jpg?itok=VS1qEmMJ)
https://www.jaxdailyrecord.com/article/forge-capital-partners-finish-palazzo-st-johns-condos

I had no idea about this project.  I keep getting Facebook ads for it, suggesting I take a look at it.  I guess they must have successfully finished them. (?)
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: thelakelander on January 06, 2018, 06:27:25 PM
^Yes, I believe they ended up finishing two condo buildings and tearing down the last one.
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: thelakelander on January 06, 2018, 06:35:44 PM
The social equity question is for a different thread.  Your point laying out downtown’s appeal is where we differ.  You seem to think the draw is adequate, and I don’t, so we can just agree to disagree.

No problem. It can't be everything to everyone.

Quote
But the general perception is out there that the best thing to do in DT Jax is drive through it, and that needs to be addressed before residential incentives.

We'll agree to disagree. That depends on what one considers "general". I try to base my thoughts on what's been tested, tried and proven true in hundreds of communities across the country over the last few decades. So I'm not opposed to strategic use of incentives to level the playing field or make things possible that would not have been without the use of them.

Quote
Maybe you guys on this thread disagree and think DT is some hidden gem that only needs City incentives to flourish, but I disagree.

Personally, I don't think it's a hidden gem. In fact, I believe it would be a lot better off it was hidden. It's been hurt by continued failed investment in big-ticket gimmick, one-trick-pony type of projects that have all ended up ultimately failing big time since the 1970s.

Quote
Downtown’s lackluster state and the lack of high-profile, non-governmental community organization and activism corroborate my position.

It only corraborates the opinion that something different needs to be done. However, that's what everybody already knows. People just have different opinions on how to address the problem (which also happens to be different for different people).
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: vicupstate on January 08, 2018, 09:04:53 AM
Isn't a big part of the problem with high construction costs in DT JAX simply that 1) few properties are on the market and 2) what properties there are   are overpriced for where DT is and the properties condition 3) a large inventory of properties are city owned and unavailable. 

Obviously if that is the case, the city could simply put some of its properties on the market at a competitive price.
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: aubureck on January 08, 2018, 09:42:50 AM
^Yes, I believe they ended up finishing two condo buildings and tearing down the last one.

Actually, they finished two of them and the two remaining shells still sit there with no sign of any work or demo.  I pass it everyday.
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: thelakelander on January 08, 2018, 10:35:28 AM
Isn't a big part of the problem with high construction costs in DT JAX simply that 1) few properties are on the market and 2) what properties there are   are overpriced for where DT is and the properties condition 3) a large inventory of properties are city owned and unavailable. 

Obviously if that is the case, the city could simply put some of its properties on the market at a competitive price.
I've always felt that the city has so much land, it could resolve the gap by offering its holdings at a competitive rate. For whatever reason it does not, making itself a stumbling block for its own revitalization dreams. The DIA board's recent decision to sit on a long vacant building in LaVilla, because the real market won't pay their desired asking price, is a perfect example of the problem.
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: vicupstate on January 08, 2018, 12:09:02 PM
The city should put at a map of ALL the land it owns (and isn't using) in the entire DT area and invite proposals for ANY and ALL parcels. 

No minimum price, bidder just includes that in the proposal.  See what comes back. At least that would tell them what parcels the market desires most, evne if you declined them all. If you get multiple offers for the same parcel(s), then rank them based on price, 20 year tax return based on the project, and snergy potential with what is already in that location.

   
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: Steve on January 08, 2018, 05:36:35 PM
The city should put at a map of ALL the land it owns (and isn't using) in the entire DT area and invite proposals for ANY and ALL parcels. 

No minimum price, bidder just includes that in the proposal.  See what comes back. At least that would tell them what parcels the market desires most, evne if you declined them all. If you get multiple offers for the same parcel(s), then rank them based on price, 20 year tax return based on the project, and snergy potential with what is already in that location.

   

This. Save for parcels that are of a legit use (City Hall, Ed Ball, Hemming, etc. NOT that POC Main St Park Peyton had to have) toss them all out there. If the bids suck then they suck....maybe it will wake them up to the true value.

The existing landowners might be pissed, but it could help to more accurately price the land downtown.
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: JaxVision on January 09, 2018, 01:02:19 PM
I think this location could be a great farmers market type place like Grand Central Market in DT Los Angeles or The Anaheim Packing District in Anaheim, Ca. It could also as some have mentioned become a great spot for residential units with a plaza or mixed use on the bottom level...you could even build residential with a small packing district type place..

This last thing I have is not about the greyhound but the Doro District, (sorry to ask about a off topic) I just couldn't find a thread about any new development going on in that area of DT. Has the bowling alley and other mixed use developments stalled or will they break ground this year? Thanks.
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: Steve on May 30, 2019, 09:15:33 AM
Not really sure why it took the city this long to catch on that he was doing a parking lot....

https://www.jaxdailyrecord.com/article/city-wants-to-know-why-old-greyhound-site-is-a-parking-lot
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: Captain Zissou on May 30, 2019, 09:23:33 AM
Not really sure why it took the city this long to catch on that he was doing a parking lot....

https://www.jaxdailyrecord.com/article/city-wants-to-know-why-old-greyhound-site-is-a-parking-lot

I'm sure they were doing thorough due diligence.
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: acme54321 on May 30, 2019, 09:27:41 AM
I'm shocked  ::)
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: Charles Hunter on May 30, 2019, 09:29:39 AM
Chain it shut.
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: thelakelander on May 30, 2019, 10:03:21 AM
Lol are we watching a circus? The owner was quoted months ago that he was demolishing the building to use as a parking lot for the foreseeable future. Who cares whether it's an empty grass field or paved lot, the big problem is allowing demolition to take place so easy.
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: Papa33 on May 30, 2019, 10:18:28 AM
The City plays the stooge to everyone.
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: Tacachale on May 30, 2019, 10:20:54 AM
That's that "expertise" at DIA for you.
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: Steve on May 30, 2019, 10:47:40 AM
Lol are we watching a circus? The owner was quoted months ago that he was demolishing the building to use as a parking lot for the foreseeable future. Who cares whether it's an empty grass field or paved lot, the big problem is allowing demolition to take place so easy.

I guess the theory behind the Downtown Overlay prohibiting this was to eliminate the economics of demolishing a building so the land owner could then sell parking and make money. But, the way this was handled was nuts. Lori Boyer, you listening?
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: Downtown Osprey on May 30, 2019, 11:04:35 AM
Honestly, it's all starting to become comical at this point.
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: Downtown Osprey on May 30, 2019, 11:07:30 AM
I think this location could be a great farmers market type place like Grand Central Market in DT Los Angeles or The Anaheim Packing District in Anaheim, Ca. It could also as some have mentioned become a great spot for residential units with a plaza or mixed use on the bottom level...you could even build residential with a small packing district type place..

This last thing I have is not about the greyhound but the Doro District, (sorry to ask about a off topic) I just couldn't find a thread about any new development going on in that area of DT. Has the bowling alley and other mixed use developments stalled or will they break ground this year? Thanks.

Don't get your hopes up on any of what you mentioned above. Anything of substance that could be seen has beneficial for DT Jax is out the window at this point in my mind.
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: UNFurbanist on May 30, 2019, 01:48:29 PM
This has got to be one of the dumbest things I have seen from the city yet and that's really saying something! Unfortunately this is the future of all the buildings the city has recently razed. It's like we have learned nothing for the other 100 buildings that have been torn down and turned into parking lots over the last 50 years...
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: Artmo on May 30, 2019, 03:46:26 PM
I live downtown and saw both the demolition of the old bus terminal, as well as the parking lot being paved over a course of months! This is beyond embarrassing for the DIA. LOL...... IT WAS IN THE NEWS (his plans) BEFORE HE EVEN STARTED THE PARKING LOT!!!
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: KenFSU on May 30, 2019, 08:39:39 PM
Cool: Bulldozing a historic, architecturally interesting bus terminal in the heart of the urban core and replacing it with a grass lot.

Not Cool: Bulldozing a historic, architecturally interesting bus terminal in the heart of the urban core and replacing it with an asphalt lot.

#Jacksonville
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: thelakelander on May 30, 2019, 08:47:49 PM
Yeah, this whole thing is pretty jacked up and ridiculous. At the end of the day, the dude will end up planting some trees to appease but the real damage has already been done. Sod, broken concrete, asphalt......all of it is the same.  Basically another hole of dead space in the middle of the city that will be there for years. I know some people think they are better than those who ride the bus but at least Greyhound was something open around the clock and had a eatery in it (A Burger King at one time I believe). Now it's just as exciting as the Shipyards is now and what the Landing property will be this time next year. Oh, and those who were afraid of Greyhound's riders who didn't visit the area, still won't today or tomorrow.
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: MusicMan on May 31, 2019, 08:40:35 AM
If the site of the old Greyhound Bus Station is worth $2.78 million dollars to a developer from Miami, who turns it into a parking lot, what the hell is the site of The Landing worth?
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: Captain Zissou on May 31, 2019, 09:52:20 AM
If the site of the old Greyhound Bus Station is worth $2.78 million dollars to a developer from Miami, who turns it into a parking lot, what the hell is the site of The Landing worth?
  $25 million and rising according to the city.
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: Charles Hunter on June 01, 2019, 11:23:28 AM
Chain it shut.

I withdraw this suggestion, and substitute one for action similar to when Code Compliance finds a lot with weeds that are too tall. In that case, the City has a contractor mow the weeds, then sends the property owner an overpriced bill for the service. If the property owner doesn't pay up, a lien is placed against the property.  Here, the City could hire a contractor to remove all the paving and replace it with grass. Maybe the could get a "deal" from the contractor for Curry Riverfront Open Field (aka "The Landing"), where they will be doing similar work.
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: bl8jaxnative on June 06, 2019, 01:43:38 PM
If the site of the old Greyhound Bus Station is worth $2.78 million dollars to a developer from Miami, who turns it into a parking lot, what the hell is the site of The Landing worth?
  $25 million and rising according to the city.

Duval county's tax appraisal is $4,430,070.00 for 3.4 acres.
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: acme54321 on August 21, 2019, 08:29:26 AM
Has anyone heard if the city actually did anything about this?
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: thelakelander on August 21, 2019, 08:36:31 AM
People still park on it. Also another makeshift parking lot just went up at Park and Rosselle.
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: acme54321 on September 24, 2020, 08:39:31 PM
Is this still there functioning as a surface lot?
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: heights unknown on September 25, 2020, 12:20:51 AM
What happened to the 900 foot skyscraper by the Miami Developer?
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: thelakelander on September 25, 2020, 06:46:48 AM
What happened to the 900 foot skyscraper by the Miami Developer?

He's operating the surface parking lot. They never should have ran that article. It was all fluff. There's no skyscraper coming to that lot anytime soon.
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: heights unknown on September 25, 2020, 03:02:29 PM
What happened to the 900 foot skyscraper by the Miami Developer?

He's operating the surface parking lot. They never should have ran that article. It was all fluff. There's no skyscraper coming to that lot anytime soon.
I know Lake; just playing. They're blowing smoke as usual getting hopes high and then deflating what little ego we're able to muster.
Title: Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
Post by: jaxlongtimer on September 25, 2020, 11:09:44 PM
What happened to the 900 foot skyscraper by the Miami Developer?

He's operating the surface parking lot. They never should have ran that article. It was all fluff. There's no skyscraper coming to that lot anytime soon.

Not only that, but, the parking lot was illegally built as they never obtained a permit.  I wonder if they were ever penalized.  Do developers get a pass in this City once again?
Quote
After AK Pearl bought the old bus station, the developer demolished it and installed a surface parking lot. The city has said the conversion lacked a permit for the parking lot. Boyer said on First Coast Connect the city filed a code compliance citation.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/realestate/city-developer-discussed-54-story-tower-in-downtown-jacksonville/ar-AAJR3eW (https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/realestate/city-developer-discussed-54-story-tower-in-downtown-jacksonville/ar-AAJR3eW)

Adding this Daily Record article link posted previously in this thread about the illegal parking lot:

https://www.jaxdailyrecord.com/article/city-wants-to-know-why-old-greyhound-site-is-a-parking-lot (https://www.jaxdailyrecord.com/article/city-wants-to-know-why-old-greyhound-site-is-a-parking-lot)

P.S.  Looks like the search function on Jacksonville.com for archived Times Union articles has been seriously downgraded.  I found this one via Google on a third party site.  When I searched "Llorens" on Jacksonville.com it came back with nothing.  Not much more when entering "Greyhound."  Never had this problem in the past.  More history removed from the public domain.  Sad.