The Jaxson

Jacksonville by Neighborhood => Downtown => Topic started by: downtownbrown on August 09, 2018, 09:43:56 AM

Title: Convention Center Wars
Post by: downtownbrown on August 09, 2018, 09:43:56 AM
https://www.jaxdailyrecord.com/article/convention-crossroad-whats-next-as-developers-prepare-competing-visions-for-a-new-jacksonville-convention-center

So who wins the battle of convention centers?  Khan or Curry?  Or both?
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: KenFSU on August 09, 2018, 10:48:05 AM
Khan.

The Jags have too much leverage with the stadium lease expiring in 10 years and the existential London threat.

I think the Jags view the convention center as less a "nice to have" and more a necessity to feed into their Lot J/Shipyards projects, and Lamping will continue to double down on the passive aggressive "long-term sustainability of the franchise in Jacksonville" rhetoric to ratchet up the pressure.

No legacy-obsessed mayor is going to risk pushing out a beloved NFL team on their watch, and I don't see a universe where Curry says no to Shad Khan, even if building at the Courthouse site is better for the city.

The proposal says the Shipyards convention center would be open by 2021.

Can't see a universe where construction begins prior to 2021.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: downtownbrown on August 09, 2018, 11:03:43 AM
Yeah, I still see Khan's announcement of a convention center IF AND ONLY IF the ramps come down is all about the ramps, and not the convention center.  Removing the ramps gives Khan a blank slate.  The implied threat is pretty clear.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: Dapperdan on August 09, 2018, 01:30:13 PM
The convention center can be built with the ramps still up if they know the ramps will be down by 2021.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: vicupstate on August 09, 2018, 02:34:06 PM
The convention center can be built with the ramps still up if they know the ramps will be down by 2021.

Kind of like how the Landing was built with the promise of additional parking in the future?   
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: vicupstate on August 10, 2018, 08:19:02 AM
What is the possibility that the RPF is just a ruse to justify building according to Khan's wishes. If the proposals involve massive subsidies then it will give impetus to say 'for the same money we can build at the Stadium and also have more room to expand'.  Of course the Khan proposal would probably end up being as expensive or more, but since those numbers aren't specified yet, that argument might win out.

It would explain why the RPF was put out knowing full well that Khan had other plans. It would also allow Curry to be able to excuse not building at the courthouse. And of course the courthouse and annex will be demoed any day now, which might also be to Khan's liking for all we know.     
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: KenFSU on August 10, 2018, 10:18:54 AM
What is the possibility that the RPF is just a ruse to justify building according to Khan's wishes. If the proposals involve massive subsidies then it will give impetus to say 'for the same money we can build at the Stadium and also have more room to expand'.  Of course the Khan proposal would probably end up being as expensive or more, but since those numbers aren't specified yet, that argument might win out.

It would explain why the RPF was put out knowing full well that Khan had other plans. It would also allow Curry to be able to excuse not building at the courthouse. And of course the courthouse and annex will be demoed any day now, which might also be to Khan's liking for all we know.     

I'm always game for a good Curry conspiracy theory, but I definitely think the RFP is on the up-and-up.

The capital spending Curry allocated over the last couple years for the Coastline inlet/beautification and the courthouse/Annex demolition was setting the stage for a convention center on that site, and I know Curry's got a good enough relationship with the Hyatt folks that he wouldn't intentionally use them as a pawn if the RFP was a lark.

Plus, Khan's mentioned a convention center in the past, but he's never been super-committal about it.

If you'll remember, Khan's first two sets of plans for the Shipyards included hotels with meeting/expo space, but nothing on the scale of a proper convention center.

It wasn't until the city announced the RFP for the courthouse site in January that Khan's team started to feel some urgency about the idea. I thought they'd actually bid for the courthouse site, but the Hyatt's right of first refusal might have scared them off.

It was at this point that they added a proper convention center to the tenth set of Shipyards renders they released at the State of the Franchise in May.

And it wasn't until the RFP was issued that the Jaguars came back with a specific proposal for the Shipyards site, exactly matching what the city and DIA included in the RFP for the courthouse site.

I know for the fact that the mayor's office was blindsided by the Iguana proposal as well.

For the convention center, it seems more likely that the Jags are trying to pull Curry's strings than actively colluding with him.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: jaxnyc79 on August 10, 2018, 10:46:04 AM
What is the possibility that the RPF is just a ruse to justify building according to Khan's wishes. If the proposals involve massive subsidies then it will give impetus to say 'for the same money we can build at the Stadium and also have more room to expand'.  Of course the Khan proposal would probably end up being as expensive or more, but since those numbers aren't specified yet, that argument might win out.

It would explain why the RPF was put out knowing full well that Khan had other plans. It would also allow Curry to be able to excuse not building at the courthouse. And of course the courthouse and annex will be demoed any day now, which might also be to Khan's liking for all we know.     

I'm always game for a good Curry conspiracy theory, but I definitely think the RFP is on the up-and-up.

The capital spending Curry allocated over the last couple years for the Coastline inlet/beautification and the courthouse/Annex demolition was setting the stage for a convention center on that site, and I know Curry's got a good enough relationship with the Hyatt folks that he wouldn't intentionally use them as a pawn if the RFP was a lark.

Plus, Khan's mentioned a convention center in the past, but he's never been super-committal about it.

If you'll remember, Khan's first two sets of plans for the Shipyards included hotels with meeting/expo space, but nothing on the scale of a proper convention center.

It wasn't until the city announced the RFP for the courthouse site in January that Khan's team started to feel some urgency about the idea. I thought they'd actually bid for the courthouse site, but the Hyatt's right of first refusal might have scared them off.

It was at this point that they added a proper convention center to the tenth set of Shipyards renders they released at the State of the Franchise in May.

And it wasn't until the RFP was issued that the Jaguars came back with a specific proposal for the Shipyards site, exactly matching what the city and DIA included in the RFP for the courthouse site.

I know for the fact that the mayor's office was blindsided by the Iguana proposal as well.

For the convention center, it seems more likely that the Jags are trying to pull Curry's strings than actively colluding with him.

Hasn't the city assigned development rights for the Shipyards to Iguana already?  Consequently, the city can't issue an RFP on the Shipyards for anything, including a center, correct?  Only Iguana can do anything with that property.  Curry probably knew Iguana would propose a Center on the Shipyards to complement its Cordish development, but wanted to get a fuller sense of the developmental demand by also soliciting bids on the Courthouse site.  Now it will just be a matter of comparing both sets of proposals.  For all we know, the courthouse proposals might blow Iguana's ideas out of the water.  If not, well, there's a willing party down the street.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: downtownbrown on August 10, 2018, 01:00:53 PM
I think Ken is right.  Khan is leveraging Curry to take down the ramps.  I'd bet a nickel that if Curry said to Khan today, "I have the money and materials to take down the ramp immediately," Khan's convention center would turn back into a Four Seasons.  Khan is basically saying, "Don't spend money at the courthouse until you remove those damned ramps".
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: vicupstate on August 10, 2018, 01:14:34 PM
I think Ken is right.  Khan is leveraging Curry to take down the ramps.  I'd bet a nickel that if Curry said to Khan today, "I have the money and materials to take down the ramp immediately," Khan's convention center would turn back into a Four Seasons.  Khan is basically saying, "Don't spend money at the courthouse until you remove those damned ramps".

Well they are spending $8mm for the demo and that will definitely be spent long before anything happens with Shipyards or the ramps.

Given that a courthouse CC and hotel would be in direct competition with Shipyards, i have a hard time believing Khan would drop having the CC in his project. 
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: KenFSU on August 10, 2018, 02:35:07 PM
The proposal says the Shipyards convention center would be open by 2021.

Can't see a universe where construction begins prior to 2021.

The convention center can be built with the ramps still up if they know the ramps will be down by 2021.

Even if the ramps were gone tomorrow and the city and Iguana agreed to all terms overnight, I don't see construction prior to 2021.

Based on the study we commissioned in 2015, the property where Khan is proposing to build the convention center is contaminated to the point where it can't be used for commercial purposes. The entire property is saturated with lead, arsenic, mercury, and even toxic remnants from the Great Fire of 1901. We still don't know the full extent of the contamination, or how much it will cost to clean up.

And though we've done almost no environmental study on the adjacent Kids Campus property where the hotel, ballroom, and restaurant/retail would be located, we're pretty confident there will be contamination issues with that site too.

Before any construction could begin, we'd need to choose the Shipyards site, conduct further environmental research, figure out how we're going to approach remediation (piecemeal'ing the convention center/hotel site vs. full Shipyards remediation), RFP the cleanup, decontaminate the site, and get a clean environmental bill-of-health (which, for context, was a two-year, $2 million process for the District property).

I just don't see how they've got construction underway anytime before mid-2021 at the earliest.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: thelakelander on August 10, 2018, 06:05:15 PM
(https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/c8/St._Johns_River_Shipbuilding_Company_shipyard_%281940s%29.jpg)

Kids Kampus (and probably Lot J as well) is a part of the old St. Johns River Shipbuilding Company site. If the Jax Shipyards site is contaminated, I would not doubt that the site just east of it is as well.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: KenFSU on August 11, 2018, 10:21:55 AM
Sounds like the Jags will be dangling the NFL Draft/Super Bowl carrot when it comes to their developments at the sports complex.

https://www.jaxdailyrecord.com/article/jaguars-advocating-for-other-downtown-projects
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: Keith-N-Jax on August 11, 2018, 12:16:20 PM
^^ It's a WIN WIN IMO, if only we could get the city to work the Landing as well.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: heights unknown on August 11, 2018, 05:01:12 PM
"There's not enough to do downtown." WOW! I guess Jax had better get on the "good foot" as they used to say and quit dawdling.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: downtownbrown on August 13, 2018, 09:00:07 AM
https://www.bizjournals.com/jacksonville/news/2018/08/13/city-leaders-look-at-next-steps-following.html?ana=e_mc_prem&s=newsletter&ed=2018-08-13&u=WlI%2BuS2dnrpUQEXzA1dC%2FQ0a72b012&t=1534165166&j=83231101
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: downtownbrown on August 13, 2018, 09:03:36 AM
Corrigan said that the day a shovel goes into the ground for a new center, Visit Jacksonville would already be behind on selling it to conferences and groups. And either site needs a significant amount of outside work to make the location viable to large conferences.

In the meantime, Jacksonville’s leaders wait.

“It depends on what’s done with the Landing, the entertainment zone and the waterfront,” Boyer said. “Then, we’ll be ready. But that’s a lot of if.”
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: thelakelander on August 13, 2018, 09:25:46 AM
Any discussion about what Jax would like its downtown to be? Everything should be planned and implemented according to that goal. Boyer's quote shoulds like after all the money spent so far, we still have no clue and ultimate coordination is still lacking.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: Lostwave on August 13, 2018, 09:47:23 AM
I think Ken is right.  Khan is leveraging Curry to take down the ramps.  I'd bet a nickel that if Curry said to Khan today, "I have the money and materials to take down the ramp immediately," Khan's convention center would turn back into a Four Seasons.  Khan is basically saying, "Don't spend money at the courthouse until you remove those damned ramps".

The Four Seasons is still in the plans.  its the oval building in the rendering just east of the convention hotel.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: JaxVision on August 13, 2018, 10:23:24 AM
Of the two pieces of land vying for a convention center (Lot J/Shipyard & Annex property) whichever one does not get the center should start planning to bring an aquarium DT. Both properties are on the water and either one could be a great spot for a destination aquarium. The other addition to DT that some laugh about but it draws tourist and field trips is the USS Adams, have the Adams, convention center, & aquarium all from the Hyatt to the stadium and you have a great starting package to offer event coordinators & tourist.

All of a sudden if that did occur DT would have sporting events, concerts, dining, museums, aquarium, convention center expos, river cruises and seasonal events. Not to mention the zoo would be a river shuttle service away.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: downtownbrown on August 13, 2018, 11:24:45 AM
I'm sure that if the people behind the aquarium idea were in anyway capitalized beyond just the idea, they would be part of the conversation.  Seems like I haven't heard anything from them in quite some time.  The Adams, meanwhile, is currently raising funds for the diesel fuel needed to tow her down here.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: KenFSU on August 13, 2018, 11:39:06 AM
^AquaJax is still very active on social media, but beyond the feasibility study in 2015, they've been pretty quiet.

The Shipyards plot where Khan is proposing his convention center is the same plot that AquaJax pitched for their aquarium a few years back.

We've beaten the aquarium argument into the ground 'round these parts over the years, but I will say that if it did happen, it would be insane to put it out by the sports complex.

At least with a convention center out there, you're dealing with overnight captive guests who may have a small chance of finding their way downtown.

With an aquarium, you can almost guarantee that people would park at the sports complex, go look at some fish, and then go home.

I'm fine subsidizing an aquarium if it's part of a larger, well thought out plan to bring vibrancy to the Northbank core, but I think it's suicide to open one in a location where it's not going to have any true positive impact.

If we do commit to an aquarium one day and the convention center ends up at the Shipyards, I think the Courthouse site would be a solid spot for it. It'd be a true destination on the riverwalk, you could probably find a creative way to incorporate that inlet created from the Coastline demo, it's an easy river taxi ride to the zoo, and to your point, it creates some synergy with what we're trying to do with the Adams
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: heights unknown on August 13, 2018, 12:02:47 PM
https://www.bizjournals.com/jacksonville/news/2018/08/13/city-leaders-look-at-next-steps-following.html?ana=e_mc_prem&s=newsletter&ed=2018-08-13&u=WlI%2BuS2dnrpUQEXzA1dC%2FQ0a72b012&t=1534165166&j=83231101
Well it would be nice to read it without paying for it!!!
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: heights unknown on August 13, 2018, 12:07:18 PM
^AquaJax is still very active on social media, but beyond the feasibility study in 2015, they've been pretty quiet.

The Shipyards plot where Khan is proposing his convention center is the same plot that AquaJax pitched for their aquarium a few years back.

We've beaten the aquarium argument into the ground 'round these parts over the years, but I will say that if it did happen, it would be insane to put it out by the sports complex.

At least with a convention center out there, you're dealing with overnight captive guests who may have a small chance of finding their way downtown.

With an aquarium, you can almost guarantee that people would park at the sports complex, go look at some fish, and then go home.

I'm fine subsidizing an aquarium if it's part of a larger, well thought out plan to bring vibrancy to the Northbank core, but I think it's suicide to open one in a location where it's not going to have any true positive impact.

If we do commit to an aquarium one day and the convention center ends up at the Shipyards, I think the Courthouse site would be a solid spot for it. It'd be a true destination on the riverwalk, you could probably find a creative way to incorporate that inlet created from the Coastline demo, it's an easy river taxi ride to the zoo, and to your point, it creates some synergy with what we're trying to do with the Adams
Good thought, good thinking Ken; I agree. Aquarium, should be on or close to the St. John's River commensurate with not only its name but its overall theme.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: downtownbrown on August 13, 2018, 12:59:41 PM
I'd love to see the aquarium at the courthouse site, along with a new marina.  And I'd love to see someone buy that restaurant pad by the Plaza Townhouses as was originally planned.  Comes complete with a valet parking garage.  But all this will take private capital.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: vicupstate on August 13, 2018, 03:53:50 PM
The Aquarium craze has sort of run it's course. If you haven't got in the game before now, I don't know that it makes sense now. To some degree the same thing can be said for Convention Centers.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: Steve on August 13, 2018, 04:02:03 PM
The Aquarium craze has sort of full it's course. If you haven't got in the game before now, I don't know that it makes sense now. To some degree the same thing can be said for Convention Centers.

Not sure I agree. Once I've been to a couple aquariums I'm not going to necessarily go every year. However, I do have business conventions that I attend every year.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: Tacachale on August 13, 2018, 04:44:12 PM
During the Better Jacksonville plan, the city seriously considered building an aquarium. They determined that the things are very expensive to do well, and they have to be updated constantly. In the end, they decided to focus on the things the city could knock out of the park, so a lot of the resources that could've gone to an aquarium went to the Jacksonville Zoo. The result is that we've now got a first class zoo that gets better every year, instead of what could have been a fairly middling aquarium. It was a case of building on our own assets and finding our strengths rather than just throwing stuff out there to see if it works.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: jaxnyc79 on August 13, 2018, 06:06:29 PM
During the Better Jacksonville plan, the city seriously considered building an aquarium. They determined that the things are very expensive to do well, and they have to be updated constantly. In the end, they decided to focus on the things the city could knock out of the park, so a lot of the resources that could've gone to an aquarium went to the Jacksonville Zoo. The result is that we've now got a first class zoo that gets better every year, instead of what could have been a fairly middling aquarium. It was a case of building on our own assets and finding our strengths rather than just throwing stuff out there to see if it works.

Has the site ever done a post-mortem on the Better Jax Plan?  In the final analysis, the Better Jax Plan was, at best, of little to no impact on downtown's fortunes, and at worst, a downtown detractor.  Interesting to think how the Plan could have been designed and implemented differently to achieve a better result for Downtown.  Would the city have gotten away with making the public works projects mixed use?  For example, a main library with residential?   
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: Tacachale on August 13, 2018, 06:28:15 PM
During the Better Jacksonville plan, the city seriously considered building an aquarium. They determined that the things are very expensive to do well, and they have to be updated constantly. In the end, they decided to focus on the things the city could knock out of the park, so a lot of the resources that could've gone to an aquarium went to the Jacksonville Zoo. The result is that we've now got a first class zoo that gets better every year, instead of what could have been a fairly middling aquarium. It was a case of building on our own assets and finding our strengths rather than just throwing stuff out there to see if it works.

Has the site ever done a post-mortem on the Better Jax Plan?  In the final analysis, the Better Jax Plan was, at best, of little to no impact on downtown's fortunes, and at worst, a downtown detractor.  Interesting to think how the Plan could have been designed and implemented differently to achieve a better result for Downtown.  Would the city have gotten away with making the public works projects mixed use?  For example, a main library with residential?

I don’t know if the site published anything, but the BJP was great for Downtown. It would’ve been better yet if the city had stuck with the projects and built off of it.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: jaxnyc79 on August 13, 2018, 06:52:51 PM
During the Better Jacksonville plan, the city seriously considered building an aquarium. They determined that the things are very expensive to do well, and they have to be updated constantly. In the end, they decided to focus on the things the city could knock out of the park, so a lot of the resources that could've gone to an aquarium went to the Jacksonville Zoo. The result is that we've now got a first class zoo that gets better every year, instead of what could have been a fairly middling aquarium. It was a case of building on our own assets and finding our strengths rather than just throwing stuff out there to see if it works.

Has the site ever done a post-mortem on the Better Jax Plan?  In the final analysis, the Better Jax Plan was, at best, of little to no impact on downtown's fortunes, and at worst, a downtown detractor.  Interesting to think how the Plan could have been designed and implemented differently to achieve a better result for Downtown.  Would the city have gotten away with making the public works projects mixed use?  For example, a main library with residential?

I don’t know if the site published anything, but the BJP was great for Downtown. It would’ve been better yet if the city had stuck with the projects and built off of it.

What downtown projects were abandoned after passage?  I was under the impression that BJP only offered a new main library, arena, baseball stadium, and courthouse for downtown. 
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: Kiva on August 13, 2018, 06:58:11 PM
Well, at least the courthouse came in under budget!  ;D
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: Tacachale on August 13, 2018, 07:07:12 PM
During the Better Jacksonville plan, the city seriously considered building an aquarium. They determined that the things are very expensive to do well, and they have to be updated constantly. In the end, they decided to focus on the things the city could knock out of the park, so a lot of the resources that could've gone to an aquarium went to the Jacksonville Zoo. The result is that we've now got a first class zoo that gets better every year, instead of what could have been a fairly middling aquarium. It was a case of building on our own assets and finding our strengths rather than just throwing stuff out there to see if it works.

Has the site ever done a post-mortem on the Better Jax Plan?  In the final analysis, the Better Jax Plan was, at best, of little to no impact on downtown's fortunes, and at worst, a downtown detractor.  Interesting to think how the Plan could have been designed and implemented differently to achieve a better result for Downtown.  Would the city have gotten away with making the public works projects mixed use?  For example, a main library with residential?

I don’t know if the site published anything, but the BJP was great for Downtown. It would’ve been better yet if the city had stuck with the projects and built off of it.

What downtown projects were abandoned after passage?  I was under the impression that BJP only offered a new main library, arena, baseball stadium, and courthouse for downtown.

That was over $400 million in investment, not counting the courthouse overruns. There was also money dedicated to rapid transit and ROW acquisition that was re-appropriated toward other projects. Other than the BRT lines we're still waiting on serious transit investment.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: jaxnyc79 on August 13, 2018, 07:23:52 PM
During the Better Jacksonville plan, the city seriously considered building an aquarium. They determined that the things are very expensive to do well, and they have to be updated constantly. In the end, they decided to focus on the things the city could knock out of the park, so a lot of the resources that could've gone to an aquarium went to the Jacksonville Zoo. The result is that we've now got a first class zoo that gets better every year, instead of what could have been a fairly middling aquarium. It was a case of building on our own assets and finding our strengths rather than just throwing stuff out there to see if it works.

Has the site ever done a post-mortem on the Better Jax Plan?  In the final analysis, the Better Jax Plan was, at best, of little to no impact on downtown's fortunes, and at worst, a downtown detractor.  Interesting to think how the Plan could have been designed and implemented differently to achieve a better result for Downtown.  Would the city have gotten away with making the public works projects mixed use?  For example, a main library with residential?

I don’t know if the site published anything, but the BJP was great for Downtown. It would’ve been better yet if the city had stuck with the projects and built off of it.

What downtown projects were abandoned after passage?  I was under the impression that BJP only offered a new main library, arena, baseball stadium, and courthouse for downtown.

That was over $400 million in investment, not counting the courthouse overruns. There was also money dedicated to rapid transit and ROW acquisition that was re-appropriated toward other projects. Other than the BRT lines we're still waiting on serious transit investment.

Do you think that was the best use of $400 million in investment downtown?  Those projects, and as designed?  Perhaps that list of investments was the only thing that could've passed, but just asking the question.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: sanmarcomatt on August 13, 2018, 07:45:30 PM

 I was under the impression that BJP only offered a new main library, arena, baseball stadium, and courthouse for downtown. 

Don't forget the amazing parking garage deals. I am pretty sure they were part of the better taxonville plan,too. My favorite part of the plan(the courthouse gets its own special place of course) was when it was being sold, it was floated that the tax would end earlier then expected. So close.

Give city government a massive slush fund to play with. What could go wrong?
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: Non-RedNeck Westsider on August 13, 2018, 08:22:30 PM
Give city government a massive slush fund to play with. What could go wrong?

Man... think of all the possibilities if every RFP wasn't written to prioritize Haskell designs and Gate concrete....  {hint of sarcasm}
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: sanmarcomatt on August 13, 2018, 08:32:14 PM
Give city government a massive slush fund to play with. What could go wrong?

Man... think of all the possibilities if every RFP wasn't written to prioritize Haskell designs and Gate concrete....  {hint of sarcasm}

Didn't Auchter make out pretty good too? I always thought the BJP paid for their fancy new HQ on Kernan. Guess it wasn't enough :)
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: KenFSU on August 13, 2018, 09:52:02 PM

 I was under the impression that BJP only offered a new main library, arena, baseball stadium, and courthouse for downtown. 

Don't forget the amazing parking garage deals. I am pretty sure they were part of the better taxonville plan,too. My favorite part of the plan(the courthouse gets its own special place of course) was when it was being sold, it was floated that the tax would end earlier then expected. So close.

Give city government a massive slush fund to play with. What could go wrong?

The tax will end sooner than expected. Around three years early, per latest projections.

There's no universe where the BJP didn't radically change the city, including downtown, for the better.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: Tacachale on August 13, 2018, 10:13:35 PM
During the Better Jacksonville plan, the city seriously considered building an aquarium. They determined that the things are very expensive to do well, and they have to be updated constantly. In the end, they decided to focus on the things the city could knock out of the park, so a lot of the resources that could've gone to an aquarium went to the Jacksonville Zoo. The result is that we've now got a first class zoo that gets better every year, instead of what could have been a fairly middling aquarium. It was a case of building on our own assets and finding our strengths rather than just throwing stuff out there to see if it works.

Has the site ever done a post-mortem on the Better Jax Plan?  In the final analysis, the Better Jax Plan was, at best, of little to no impact on downtown's fortunes, and at worst, a downtown detractor.  Interesting to think how the Plan could have been designed and implemented differently to achieve a better result for Downtown.  Would the city have gotten away with making the public works projects mixed use?  For example, a main library with residential?

I don’t know if the site published anything, but the BJP was great for Downtown. It would’ve been better yet if the city had stuck with the projects and built off of it.

What downtown projects were abandoned after passage?  I was under the impression that BJP only offered a new main library, arena, baseball stadium, and courthouse for downtown.

That was over $400 million in investment, not counting the courthouse overruns. There was also money dedicated to rapid transit and ROW acquisition that was re-appropriated toward other projects. Other than the BRT lines we're still waiting on serious transit investment.

Do you think that was the best use of $400 million in investment downtown?  Those projects, and as designed?  Perhaps that list of investments was the only thing that could've passed, but just asking the question.

What I'd say is that Downtown is better for these projects. Any project could be better, but they replaced obsolete facilities with modern ones, and the positive impact on Downtown has been huge. What we missed out on has been followthrough. Rather than building on our own progress, we've restarted so many times that now it feels like we're starting from scratch again. That impacts discussions like the Convention Center. We tend to look at things in isolation, instead of building a vision of what we want Downtown to be, and planning major investments to serve it. It sounds like that's the way the convention talk is going.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: sanmarcomatt on August 14, 2018, 08:10:41 AM

 I was under the impression that BJP only offered a new main library, arena, baseball stadium, and courthouse for downtown. 

Don't forget the amazing parking garage deals. I am pretty sure they were part of the better taxonville plan,too. My favorite part of the plan(the courthouse gets its own special place of course) was when it was being sold, it was floated that the tax would end earlier then expected. So close.

Give city government a massive slush fund to play with. What could go wrong?

The tax will end sooner than expected. Around three years early, per latest projections.


Great news! (I will not concern myself with the accuracy of previous "projections".) I have a question, though.

So how will this work after 2027? Does the pension funding start 3 years earlier and does the BJP tax projections get factored into the pension projections(which have been spot on as well)?
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: vicupstate on August 14, 2018, 08:20:59 AM
During the Better Jacksonville plan, the city seriously considered building an aquarium. They determined that the things are very expensive to do well, and they have to be updated constantly. In the end, they decided to focus on the things the city could knock out of the park, so a lot of the resources that could've gone to an aquarium went to the Jacksonville Zoo. The result is that we've now got a first class zoo that gets better every year, instead of what could have been a fairly middling aquarium. It was a case of building on our own assets and finding our strengths rather than just throwing stuff out there to see if it works.

Has the site ever done a post-mortem on the Better Jax Plan?  In the final analysis, the Better Jax Plan was, at best, of little to no impact on downtown's fortunes, and at worst, a downtown detractor.  Interesting to think how the Plan could have been designed and implemented differently to achieve a better result for Downtown.  Would the city have gotten away with making the public works projects mixed use?  For example, a main library with residential?

I don’t know if the site published anything, but the BJP was great for Downtown. It would’ve been better yet if the city had stuck with the projects and built off of it.

What downtown projects were abandoned after passage?  I was under the impression that BJP only offered a new main library, arena, baseball stadium, and courthouse for downtown.

That was over $400 million in investment, not counting the courthouse overruns. There was also money dedicated to rapid transit and ROW acquisition that was re-appropriated toward other projects. Other than the BRT lines we're still waiting on serious transit investment.

Do you think that was the best use of $400 million in investment downtown?  Those projects, and as designed?  Perhaps that list of investments was the only thing that could've passed, but just asking the question.

What I'd say is that Downtown is better for these projects. Any project could be better, but they replaced obsolete facilities with modern ones, and the positive impact on Downtown has been huge. What we missed out on has been followthrough. Rather than building on our own progress, we've restarted so many times that now it feels like we're starting from scratch again. That impacts discussions like the Convention Center. We tend to look at things in isolation, instead of building a vision of what we want Downtown to be, and planning major investments to serve it. It sounds like that's the way the convention talk is going.

I agree 100%. Everything in the BJP was much needed. The facilities that got replaced were downright embarrassing. It is too bad the timing was such that a recession occurred right after everything got built. If the building had occurred during the recession, everything would have been cheaper and it would have softened the blow.

The Transit shift should not have occurred and was breaking faith with the vote IMO.

What other projects in the plan did any not get done besides the transit? I seem to remember that (transit) was around $100 mm. 

I also agree that every poroject seems to be in isolation with no overall plan. That is very much needed. There needs to be a plan that states where a CC should go, what will be done with the old CC at that time, what will happen to the jail when it is finally replaced, where JEA should locate, etc.   
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: fieldafm on August 14, 2018, 08:40:03 AM
Would the city have gotten away with making the public works projects mixed use?  For example, a main library with residential?

The City leased one of the retail spaces in the Library to a successful coffee shop operator.... and would not give them any outdoor signage, outdoor seating and ability to be open during non-Library hours (seriously, a coffee shop that doesn't open until 9 in the morning??). The operator eventually closed, and the two retail spaces have been empty since (I don't consider giving free rent to Hemming Park and a free makerspace to be 'occupied'). Right across the street, the city-owned Snyder Memorial building has been empty for decades (still no RFP issued to reuse that space). A few blocks to the east, office space within the City-owned Florida Theater building sits empty. A few blocks to the south, the City is suing the owner of the Jacksonville Landing- where the City leases the land to a private operator who owns the buildings (all while the City purposely does not maintain the property- despite the requirements within their lease).  A few blocks to the West, empty lots owned by the City adjacent to the Courthouse have yet to be offered up for redevelopment opportunities. One block West of that, a City-owned building sits empty and falling in on itself, while the City refused to sell because the 'price was too low' yet after 15 years the City has not put one dime into maintaining the building. Two blocks to the east of that, the City-owned 'Lee and Cates' building (empty for 15+ years) is slowly being sold to a bonafide developer who has tried to buy the building for at least 8 years (while the building is falling down). A few blocks further West, the (COJ-owned) renovated Brewster Hospital building sits unoccupied while the City wrangles with a non-profit seeking to lease space in the building. A few blocks to the north of that, the COJ-owned 'Sax Seafood' building sits empty 15 years after the City built it.

Point is... the City is an AWFUL landlord. Quite frankly, COJ is not equipped to be in that business. So, no COJ should not be in the business of using taxpayer money to build, own and lease residential buildings.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: KenFSU on August 14, 2018, 09:48:53 AM
So how will this work after 2027? Does the pension funding start 3 years earlier and does the BJP tax projections get factored into the pension projections(which have been spot on as well)?

Correct.

As soon as BJP is paid off, the pension tax kicks in.

2048 is when Curry's people forecasted the pension debt to be paid off, later revised to 2052.

The private actuary we hired to crunch the numbers was like, "Nah bro, 2060, if you're lucky."
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: sanmarcomatt on August 14, 2018, 10:28:14 AM
So how will this work after 2027? Does the pension funding start 3 years earlier and does the BJP tax projections get factored into the pension projections(which have been spot on as well)?

Correct.

As soon as BJP is paid off, the pension tax kicks in.

2048 is when Curry's people forecasted the pension debt to be paid off, later revised to 2052.

The private actuary we hired to crunch the numbers was like, "Nah bro, 2060, if you're lucky."

I was actually being 'slightly' sarcastic but thanks for the info!

I like those Curry numbers as they match up nicely with the original BJP (13-19 years original forecast? 2017?)Shockingly, the "projections' were adjusted. Last I knew(well...since I stopped paying attention) 2024 was the latest before your 2027. I will make a bold prediction, and say that number gets pushed back. Bold prediction for a bold city!





Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: sanmarcomatt on August 14, 2018, 11:07:19 AM

The private actuary we hired to crunch the numbers was like, "Nah bro, 2060, if you're lucky."

Sorry, missed this the first time. Private actuary? Why was one hired? Worried the team Curry put together was as legitimate as Delaney did for the "30 year agreement" ?
And, considering the less than optimistic opinion provided, was anything specific mentioned? Investment returns are a no brainer but am wondering about the future sales tax piece and if anything looks 'suspiciously optimistic' with other actuarial assumptions?

I am rather curious, as for back ground, when I first started looking at the pension in depth years ago using the pension provided annual reports  and city payrolls, there was no way the amount of reported underfunding looked correct based upon actual cash flows even using the BS assumed interest rate and playing with payroll growth rates. Subsequently, there were adjustments made to other actuarial assumptions that shockingly resulted in more tax payer money needed.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: Charles Hunter on August 14, 2018, 04:00:02 PM
Regarding BJP projects not done, there were several grade-separated intersections in the BJP that did not get built.  Also, some road widenings that were deferred to a subsequent gas tax backed bond - for example Collins, Kernan, Girvin, and San Pablo Roads.  JTA is working on all of them now.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: jaxnyc79 on August 14, 2018, 05:06:51 PM
Would the city have gotten away with making the public works projects mixed use?  For example, a main library with residential?

The City leased one of the retail spaces in the Library to a successful coffee shop operator.... and would not give them any outdoor signage, outdoor seating and ability to be open during non-Library hours (seriously, a coffee shop that doesn't open until 9 in the morning??). The operator eventually closed, and the two retail spaces have been empty since (I don't consider giving free rent to Hemming Park and a free makerspace to be 'occupied'). Right across the street, the city-owned Snyder Memorial building has been empty for decades (still no RFP issued to reuse that space). A few blocks to the east, office space within the City-owned Florida Theater building sits empty. A few blocks to the south, the City is suing the owner of the Jacksonville Landing- where the City leases the land to a private operator who owns the buildings (all while the City purposely does not maintain the property- despite the requirements within their lease).  A few blocks to the West, empty lots owned by the City adjacent to the Courthouse have yet to be offered up for redevelopment opportunities. One block West of that, a City-owned building sits empty and falling in on itself, while the City refused to sell because the 'price was too low' yet after 15 years the City has not put one dime into maintaining the building. Two blocks to the east of that, the City-owned 'Lee and Cates' building (empty for 15+ years) is slowly being sold to a bonafide developer who has tried to buy the building for at least 8 years (while the building is falling down). A few blocks further West, the (COJ-owned) renovated Brewster Hospital building sits unoccupied while the City wrangles with a non-profit seeking to lease space in the building. A few blocks to the north of that, the COJ-owned 'Sax Seafood' building sits empty 15 years after the City built it.

Point is... the City is an AWFUL landlord. Quite frankly, COJ is not equipped to be in that business. So, no COJ should not be in the business of using taxpayer money to build, own and lease residential buildings.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: jaxnyc79 on August 14, 2018, 05:07:18 PM
Would the city have gotten away with making the public works projects mixed use?  For example, a main library with residential?

The City leased one of the retail spaces in the Library to a successful coffee shop operator.... and would not give them any outdoor signage, outdoor seating and ability to be open during non-Library hours (seriously, a coffee shop that doesn't open until 9 in the morning??). The operator eventually closed, and the two retail spaces have been empty since (I don't consider giving free rent to Hemming Park and a free makerspace to be 'occupied'). Right across the street, the city-owned Snyder Memorial building has been empty for decades (still no RFP issued to reuse that space). A few blocks to the east, office space within the City-owned Florida Theater building sits empty. A few blocks to the south, the City is suing the owner of the Jacksonville Landing- where the City leases the land to a private operator who owns the buildings (all while the City purposely does not maintain the property- despite the requirements within their lease).  A few blocks to the West, empty lots owned by the City adjacent to the Courthouse have yet to be offered up for redevelopment opportunities. One block West of that, a City-owned building sits empty and falling in on itself, while the City refused to sell because the 'price was too low' yet after 15 years the City has not put one dime into maintaining the building. Two blocks to the east of that, the City-owned 'Lee and Cates' building (empty for 15+ years) is slowly being sold to a bonafide developer who has tried to buy the building for at least 8 years (while the building is falling down). A few blocks further West, the (COJ-owned) renovated Brewster Hospital building sits unoccupied while the City wrangles with a non-profit seeking to lease space in the building. A few blocks to the north of that, the COJ-owned 'Sax Seafood' building sits empty 15 years after the City built it.

Point is... the City is an AWFUL landlord. Quite frankly, COJ is not equipped to be in that business. So, no COJ should not be in the business of using taxpayer money to build, own and lease residential buildings.

Sax Seafood should never have been built - the design is prosaic and even the restaurant name is cringe-worthy. 
Point taken on funding residential, although doesn't the city already do that?
I agree - the city is a horrible property manager, and should probably contractually delegate property management, be it commercial/retail/residential to a third party with expertise and depth in management.
I was merely stating that in the future, if the city wants to undertake massive capital projects downtown, some sort of public-private partnership to shift away from single-use projects to mixed-use, would be nice.   
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: KenFSU on August 16, 2018, 10:44:10 AM
Wow, things are heating up.

Iguana/Rimrock/DeBartolo just submitted a revised proposal that includes BOTH the Shipyards and the Old Courthouse site.

In addition to partnering with Iguana for the convention center at the Shipyards, Rimrock would build an additional mixed-use development called Riverwalk Place at the old courthouse site, which would include a 347-unit luxury apartment complex, an additional 150-room hotel, 10,000 square feet of restaurant space and a 468 parking space parking garage.

https://www.bizjournals.com/jacksonville/news/2018/08/16/developers-sweeten-shipyards-convention-center-bid.html

Interesting twist.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: downtownbrown on August 16, 2018, 11:09:16 AM
Sign the deal!!!!
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: Kiva on August 16, 2018, 11:21:17 AM
One paragraph from the article says: "The city is not bound to decide on one of the responses to the RFP, two of which came from companies based in Texas. There potentially could be legal issues, however, if that request for proposals wasn't made in good faith."

More litigation? Just what we need!
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: Dolph1975 on August 16, 2018, 11:47:25 AM
Here's an article with new renderings...

https://www.jaxdailyrecord.com/article/riverwalk-place-would-bring-housing-hotel-and-restaurants-to-bay-street
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: Captain Zissou on August 16, 2018, 11:48:33 AM
I do think the best spot for the convention center is the courthouse site, but I really like the way that development looks and embraces the waterfront.

Edit: After seeing the site plan, I don't like the parking and the garage entrance that front bay street.  Bay and the water should have maximum street/water interaction and all utilities should be accessed from Liberty & Newnan.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: itsfantastic1 on August 16, 2018, 11:55:39 AM
They must've been spying on this forum as the waterfront venue is a food hall...
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: KenFSU on August 16, 2018, 12:08:49 PM
I actually prefer mixed use at the Courthouse site versus a Convention Center.

It's a great spot that I'd prefer belong to the people rather than the conventioneers.

To CZ's point above, I'm not wild about the design and it's very much Landing 2.0 in the way that it turns its back to downtown.

Would also love to see that 100 space surface parking lot folded into the garage.

This could get pretty ugly though.

For this particular project to happen, the city would have to make good with the other two firms who submitted bids so we don't get sued, then re-RFP the Courthouse site for mixed use.

The fact that nobody is paying any attention to the actual RFP process is hilariously Jacksonville.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: Captain Zissou on August 16, 2018, 12:35:59 PM
I actually prefer mixed use at the Courthouse site versus a Convention Center.

It's a great spot that I'd prefer belong to the people rather than the conventioneers.
I do like the idea of one parking garage to rule them all out by the stadium so that the core isn't riddled with 500 space garages on every block.  The master lot J garage for Football, Daily's, the new arena venue, the convention center, the new hotels, the Doro District, Intuition, baseball...etc. I like how St Augustine built one monster garage on the periphery to keep the historic area intact.  That said, I want to make sure that we effectively bring conventioneers into the core to support local businesses and restaurants and make sure they are experiencing authentic Jacksonville.  I don't want them stuck out in the lot J area at some contrived Jacksonville nightlife like splitsville, howl at the moon, chili's and yardhouse.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: KenFSU on August 16, 2018, 12:53:44 PM
What's most amazing to me about this whole thing is that Rimrock DeBartolo went through all the trouble and cost of submitting a bid for a convention center at the old courthouse site, only to turn around less than two weeks later to say that the "We believe the Shipyards is the optimal location for the Convention Center and hotel because of its riverfront location, ability to expand if needed, and synergies gained from its proximity to the existing sports venues and other development activities planned in the immediate aftermath."

They effectively shredded their convention center proposal.

You can't make this stuff up.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: Steve on August 16, 2018, 12:55:05 PM
The hotel site seems suburban to me. I also don't like the superblock created by closing Newnan. Though, I'm guessing most convention center proposals would do that too.

Also, lift the ting up and do a floor of retail vs. ground floor residential over there.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: Downtown Osprey on August 16, 2018, 12:58:34 PM
I actually prefer mixed use at the Courthouse site versus a Convention Center.

It's a great spot that I'd prefer belong to the people rather than the conventioneers.
I do like the idea of one parking garage to rule them all out by the stadium so that the core isn't riddled with 500 space garages on every block.  The master lot J garage for Football, Daily's, the new arena venue, the convention center, the new hotels, the Doro District, Intuition, baseball...etc. I like how St Augustine built one monster garage on the periphery to keep the historic area intact.  That said, I want to make sure that we effectively bring conventioneers into the core to support local businesses and restaurants and make sure they are experiencing authentic Jacksonville.  I don't want them stuck out in the lot J area at some contrived Jacksonville nightlife like splitsville, howl at the moon, chili's and yardhouse.

Speaking of the Doro Distrct....What has been the news (if any) on that? The last I remember was plans for possible apartments, bowling alley and more. I loved the idea when I first read about it.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: vicupstate on August 16, 2018, 01:04:52 PM
Doesn't the Hyatt have Right of First Refusal on the city hall annex/courthouse site? If so, why would they agree to having a competitor built next door, especially if the CC isn't part of the deal?

If you are going to put a hotel or apartments behind the Hyatt, why not just convert the building that is already there?

Ground floor apartments on Bay st. is not ideal. Should be retail level on the ground.

Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: thelakelander on August 16, 2018, 01:18:40 PM
The hotel site seems suburban to me. I also don't like the superblock created by closing Newnan. Though, I'm guessing most convention center proposals would do that too.

Also, lift the ting up and do a floor of retail vs. ground floor residential over there.

It will be interesting to see if they get the same push back Sleiman got when he wanted to build over Hogan Street.  Also, revamping the old City Hall into a hotel would be way more impressive than the little thing with the big surface lot in the heart of DT.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: ProjectMaximus on August 16, 2018, 01:20:30 PM
I do like the idea of one parking garage to rule them all out by the stadium so that the core isn't riddled with 500 space garages on every block.  The master lot J garage for Football, Daily's, the new arena venue, the convention center, the new hotels, the Doro District, Intuition, baseball...etc. I like how St Augustine built one monster garage on the periphery to keep the historic area intact.  That said, I want to make sure that we effectively bring conventioneers into the core to support local businesses and restaurants and make sure they are experiencing authentic Jacksonville.  I don't want them stuck out in the lot J area at some contrived Jacksonville nightlife like splitsville, howl at the moon, chili's and yardhouse.

You forgot Coyote Ugly. But I completely agree.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: thelakelander on August 16, 2018, 01:30:10 PM
Other than that the food hall component, I find the rest of it pretty underwhelming. Bay Street should be lined with commercial space on both blocks and the hotel site is about as suburban as something one can stick in the middle of the Northbank. If we don't use this site for a convention center, I'd hope we can find a way to maximize the property with more density.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: Jagsdrew on August 16, 2018, 01:40:17 PM
Totally agree with Lake. Pretty underwhelming outside the food hall. Wish they would get rid of Market St and Courthouse drive. No sense in including vehicles through that area. 
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: KenFSU on August 16, 2018, 01:45:19 PM
Silver lining:

There's absolutely no way that we can legally agree to this anyway.

The Courthouse property was RFP'd for a convention center, not mixed used.

Even if we picked the Shipyards for a convention center, we'd still need to re-RFP the Courthouse site for mixed use.

There's at least one more interested party in mixed use at the Courthouse site.

Hyatt's right of first refusal doesn't give them the right to turn down an idea for the property, it just gives them the right to match whatever offer comes in for it.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: Steve on August 16, 2018, 02:48:55 PM
Totally agree with Lake. Pretty underwhelming outside the food hall. Wish they would get rid of Market St and Courthouse drive. No sense in including vehicles through that area. 

Ingress and Egress for the Hyatt, it’s 1,000 hotel rooms and 120,00 SqFt of exhibit space. They aren’t going anywhere.

Case in point why the site should be a convention center.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: thelakelander on August 16, 2018, 03:02:13 PM
Considering the Hyatt, it doesn't make sense. They expect trucks to make all those tight turns to get to the Hyatt's loading docks on Market Street?
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: Steve on August 16, 2018, 03:42:48 PM
Considering the Hyatt, it doesn't make sense. They expect trucks to make all those tight turns to get to the Hyatt's loading docks on Market Street?

These renderings look like they come from a company that is used to doing suburban design where you just have to figure out wetland mitigation and how many trees to cut down. Doesn’t look like typical urban design.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: downtownbrown on August 16, 2018, 04:05:47 PM
Big difference between "Food Hall" and Restaurants.  Food Hall is what you find on the second floor of the Landing.  No thanks.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: thelakelander on August 16, 2018, 04:18:12 PM
Not true. What's in the Landing is a food court. Food courts and food halls are two completely different things. The driving principles behind the modern food hall are authenticity, quality and celebration of food culture. These principles tend to be the complete opposite of the traditional American food court, which focus on fast-food mantras of familiarity, predictability and mass production. The most successful food halls also tend to contain interactive layouts by hosting live entertainment and social events, which allows consumers to experience the space in a variety of ways. Many food halls actually have sit-down restaurant's and bars in them as well.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: jagsonville on August 16, 2018, 05:05:08 PM
Winter Garden has a nice little food hall anchored by crooked can brewing if you are looking for an example pretty close to home. I think this development is ok, not the best but it’s also not a pie in the sky development. I just find it odd that it was released with an ongoing rfp for a convention center still unsealed to the public. Let the lawsuits commence! Lol
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: thelakelander on August 16, 2018, 05:18:13 PM
Here's a few pics of Winter Garden's Plant Street Market that I took a few months back. It's 12,000 square feet.

(https://photos.smugmug.com/Cities/Winter-Garden-December-2017/i-3G5CHL4/0/7da4c632/L/20171226_154048-L.jpg)

(https://photos.smugmug.com/Cities/Winter-Garden-December-2017/i-35QmQhq/0/354d5eb1/L/20171226_154126-L.jpg)

(https://photos.smugmug.com/Cities/Winter-Garden-December-2017/i-H26Mx8g/0/35686685/L/20171226_154132-L.jpg)

(https://photos.smugmug.com/Cities/Winter-Garden-December-2017/i-Zs8zxW7/0/f4288bbd/L/20171226_154155-L.jpg)

(https://photos.smugmug.com/Cities/Winter-Garden-December-2017/i-GrCt8m2/0/4b03b18d/L/20171226_154313-L.jpg)

(https://photos.smugmug.com/Cities/Winter-Garden-December-2017/i-V8dT8p2/0/b1f54cd5/L/20171226_154003-L.jpg)
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: Kiva on August 16, 2018, 06:08:59 PM
It looks a lot more busy than the Landing!
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: KenFSU on August 16, 2018, 07:17:16 PM
DIA's sticking to the rules, selecting a winner from the three bids originally submitted, and then figuring the rest out with the city later.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: jaxnyc79 on August 17, 2018, 07:53:16 AM
Other than that the food hall component, I find the rest of it pretty underwhelming. Bay Street should be lined with commercial space on both blocks and the hotel site is about as suburban as something one can stick in the middle of the Northbank. If we don't use this site for a convention center, I'd hope we can find a way to maximize the property with more density.

Great - Yet Another Rendering from Iguana and its Partners.
Why is this all so difficult?  Is there 3-D software to simulate these developments at street-level so that planners and approvers have a clearer sense of just how dead downtown will remain if these developments without streetscape activation continue to persist?  My God, a surface parking lot right on the waterfront (next to hotel)?  It's a no-brainer.  The buildings should all abut a wide sidewalk, Bay Street should take on a dense, walkable, commercially-clustered corridor as it does wind through high-rises.  Put commercial/retail on the ground floor, with the apartments above that, and right on the sidewalk.  Same thing with the hotel!  It should abut the side walk, and restaurant or convenience store uses should be at ground level. 

Why is Jax so afraid of the cluster? 
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: thelakelander on August 17, 2018, 09:34:27 AM
Pretty unfortunate. We're lighting millions on fire to de-densify. How anyone believes this type of strategy leads to pedestrian scale vibrancy is beyond my understanding. I know there's a segment of the population that believes these buildings are ugly and should go. However, from a ROI perspective, I wonder why we never attempted to RFP before deciding to demo. It's little things like that that make many question if we really have a coordinated plan to achieve a long term goal or is every little project being planned and funded in total isolation.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: downtownbrown on August 17, 2018, 10:14:09 AM
Not true. What's in the Landing is a food court. Food courts and food halls are two completely different things. The driving principles behind the modern food hall are authenticity, quality and celebration of food culture. These principles tend to be the complete opposite of the traditional American food court, which focus on fast-food mantras of familiarity, predictability and mass production. The most successful food halls also tend to contain interactive layouts by hosting live entertainment and social events, which allows consumers to experience the space in a variety of ways. Many food halls actually have sit-down restaurant's and bars in them as well.


Thank God.  That outdoor seating will be brutal on that side of the river, but I's sure they'll figure that out.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: KenFSU on August 17, 2018, 10:57:19 AM
^And if we do demo, it should at least be an improvement on what's already there.

Rimrock's plan for the old courthouse site creates a ton of dead space along Bay Street and hides its best feature (and the river) from downtown, but at least it's adding bodies and restaurants downtown.

But there's no universe where a parking lot and a sad limited-service hotel is a suitable replacement for the Annex property:

(https://www.jaxdailyrecord.com/sites/default/files/192354_standard.jpeg)

I know we've got a fetish for RFPing large swaths of riverfront property as a package, but perhaps one way to encourage denser, more compact use would be to RFP the two properties separately, rather than jointly.

It might cost a little more, but there's no reason that Rimrock couldn't fit everything proposed in that two-block plan onto the old Courthouse site.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: jaxnyc79 on August 17, 2018, 11:56:13 AM
^And if we do demo, it should at least be an improvement on what's already there.

Rimrock's plan for the old courthouse site creates a ton of dead space along Bay Street and hides its best feature (and the river) from downtown, but at least it's adding bodies and restaurants downtown.

But there's no universe where a parking lot and a sad limited-service hotel is a suitable replacement for the Annex property:

(https://www.jaxdailyrecord.com/sites/default/files/192354_standard.jpeg)

I know we've got a fetish for RFPing large swaths of riverfront property as a package, but perhaps one way to encourage denser, more compact use would be to RFP the two properties separately, rather than jointly.

It might cost a little more, but there's no reason that Rimrock couldn't fit everything proposed in that two-block plan onto the old Courthouse site.

Amen to that.  Small is beautiful.  I wish we could divvy up spaces along the riverfront into mini-blocks with narrow streets with mostly clustered 2 and 3 story mixed use structures, creating a waterfront village feel with max pedestrian scale and tenor
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: thelakelander on August 17, 2018, 12:18:24 PM
I agree with carving up properties into smaller RFPs. It increases density, the playing field, and encourages more diversity in development participation. With this plan, I'm still not understanding the need to close Market Street for a sprawling five-story stick built apartment complex more suitable for Gate Parkway and East Baymeadows than it is for the Northbank. Still interesting to see no one crying about view corridors. Sleiman was tar and feathered over his plan to block Hogan Street. Perhaps it is more about the man and not the project.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: KenFSU on August 17, 2018, 12:25:43 PM
I agree with carving up properties into smaller RFPs. It increases density, the playing field, and encourages more diversity in development participation.

Unless, of course, we don't want to broaden the playing field and encourage more diversity in development participation because it makes it harder to rig the outcome.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: jaxnyc79 on August 17, 2018, 12:27:28 PM
Would Audra Wallace’s replacement be the one to influence these conceptual plans before diving into deal-making?  Small RFPs is exactly what there should be more of, especially along our immediate waterfront.  No more behemoths on the water, especially in core downtown.  If one has access to funding right now for a 3-story middle housing structure in downtown, how easy is that to get done?
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: Tacachale on August 17, 2018, 12:30:39 PM
I agree with carving up properties into smaller RFPs. It increases density, the playing field, and encourages more diversity in development participation. With this plan, I'm still not understanding the need to close Market Street for a sprawling five-story stick built apartment complex more suitable for Gate Parkway and East Baymeadows than it is for the Northbank. Still interesting to see no one crying about view corridors. Sleiman was tar and feathered over his plan to block Hogan Street. Perhaps it is more about the man and not the project.

The whole plan is just a consolation prize for the site not getting to be a convention center. There's no need to close Market Street and create a super block for this boring design. With a design like this, we'd have been far better off keeping and adapting City Hall.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: Bill Hoff on August 17, 2018, 12:44:36 PM
Why is Jax so afraid of the cluster?

Because the right people aren't making money from it.

Khan just cares about Khan's property. Clustering be damned.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: jaxnyc79 on August 17, 2018, 01:49:49 PM
Walking through the south street seaport today in manhattan. A version of a seaport village from landing to courthouse site would be nice.  Buildings small, clustered, cobblestone streets, no more than 4 stories tall for the most part.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: howfam on August 18, 2018, 07:45:02 AM
^And if we do demo, it should at least be an improvement on what's already there.

Rimrock's plan for the old courthouse site creates a ton of dead space along Bay Street and hides its best feature (and the river) from downtown, but at least it's adding bodies and restaurants downtown.

But there's no universe where a parking lot and a sad limited-service hotel is a suitable replacement for the Annex property:

(https://www.jaxdailyrecord.com/sites/default/files/192354_standard.jpeg)

I know we've got a fetish for RFPing large swaths of riverfront property as a package, but perhaps one way to encourage denser, more compact use would be to RFP the two properties separately, rather than jointly.

It might cost a little more, but there's no reason that Rimrock couldn't fit everything proposed in that two-block plan onto the old Courthouse site.

Amen to that.  Small is beautiful.  I wish we could divvy up spaces along the riverfront into mini-blocks with narrow streets with mostly clustered 2 and 3 story mixed use structures, creating a waterfront village feel with max pedestrian scale and tenor



No!!! None of that Jax Beach mess in our downtown with 3 story structures on the waterfront. This is an urban setting and high rise buildings are appropriate, even on the river. Stop trying to downsize this city by denying the opportunity for high-rise construction like any big city should have. NO MORE STICK-FRAME BUILDINGS DOWNTOWN!!!!!
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: marcuscnelson on August 18, 2018, 10:09:45 AM
^^^

Small can be beautiful, but we don't need a "waterfront village" in what's supposed to be an urban center. Downtown Jacksonville should look like a city, not a village.

It's totally possible to have pedestrian scale on the ground floor of an urban building, other cities do it all the time. You don't need to limit the size of buildings in order to do that. Manhattan can get away with something like South Street Seaport because it's Manhattan and we aren't. There's plenty of room for villages in other areas, but it shouldn't be on the riverfront we're trying to activate.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: jaxnyc79 on August 18, 2018, 11:40:18 AM
This fetish for monstrous buildings right on the riverfront is ill-advised and insane, haha.  Jax is NOT Manhattan, nor should it be.  Plenty of major, international cities, protect their immediate waterfronts from too much verticality by keeping structures low-rise and a "breathable" feel where there's riverfront access.  You can have as many massive buildings as you want just a block or two off the river, although Jax really has no need for soaring skyscrapers at this point because there's just not that much demand for space and it's really not space-constrained.  But that's no reason to stop development and to fill in the city with density and clustered growth.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: thelakelander on August 18, 2018, 01:43:50 PM
Jax is no Manhattan or even Miami but in this particular location (which is a mega block from the river channel) there's no need to de-densify the little density we do have.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: jaxnyc79 on August 18, 2018, 02:10:32 PM
Jax is no Manhattan or even Miami but in this particular location (which is a mega block from the river channel) there's no need to de-densify the little density we do have.

In my view, the imperative isn't so much density with verticality, but a clustering and diversity of buildings with a range of uses all of which directly open up to the sidewalk to maximize pedestrian access and pedestrian engagement at as many points as possible.  Out of curiosity, who on this thread currently lives in core Downtown Jax, or in a Downtown period?
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: thelakelander on August 18, 2018, 08:37:52 PM
In my view, in the case of this site, adaptive reuse should considered over demolition in order to make room for less pedestrian friendly redevelopment.

I have a downtown office in the old Atlantic National Bank Building. I looked long and hard at 11 East and the Carling when I moved to town. Back then, they were the only residential units available. I also looked at 220 Riverside. In all cases I felt they were overpriced for an urban environment that would have required me to do a reverse commute to access things I wanted in a walkable setting.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: RattlerGator on August 20, 2018, 12:43:35 PM
Jax is no Manhattan or even Miami but in this particular location (which is a mega block from the river channel) there's no need to de-densify the little density we do have.

Good grief. Somehow I knew this thread would not disappoint and it certainly hasn't. Thank you, jaxnyc79, for this:

"In my view, the imperative isn't so much density with verticality, but a clustering and diversity of buildings with a range of uses all of which directly open up to the sidewalk to maximize pedestrian access and pedestrian engagement at as many points as possible."

To hell with density, density, density. I remember y'all bitching and moaning about the Gate Gas Station in Brooklyn; that freaking space is always busy, provides a great service, and is obviously valued by a wide range of people downtown.

I'll tell you something else; to hell with this strong desire to dictate, dictate, dictate. Just get the hell out of the way. And, while you're at it, hire a damn third party with expertise in property management to handle city-owned properties in the core.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: thelakelander on August 20, 2018, 02:59:20 PM
Quote
To hell with density, density, density. I remember y'all bitching and moaning about the Gate Gas Station in Brooklyn; that freaking space is always busy, provides a great service, and is obviously valued by a wide range of people downtown.

Hopefully, downtown advocates aren't really saying to hell with density. If so, let's stop subsidizing it and let autocentric policies take a hold of the area like they have throughout the rest of the city.

For the record, I don't think anyone said Gate would not do good business. If I recall, the complaints were focused on them coming to the table with a more pedestrian friendly site design. With that said, there aren't many people walking around that area now, so the point of it not being pedestrian friendly or contributing to a future walkable district has been proven.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: fieldafm on August 20, 2018, 03:09:22 PM
Jax is no Manhattan or even Miami but in this particular location (which is a mega block from the river channel) there's no need to de-densify the little density we do have.

Good grief. Somehow I knew this thread would not disappoint and it certainly hasn't. Thank you, jaxnyc79, for this:

"In my view, the imperative isn't so much density with verticality, but a clustering and diversity of buildings with a range of uses all of which directly open up to the sidewalk to maximize pedestrian access and pedestrian engagement at as many points as possible."

To hell with density, density, density. I remember y'all bitching and moaning about the Gate Gas Station in Brooklyn; that freaking space is always busy, provides a great service, and is obviously valued by a wide range of people downtown.

I'll tell you something else; to hell with this strong desire to dictate, dictate, dictate. Just get the hell out of the way. And, while you're at it, hire a damn third party with expertise in property management to handle city-owned properties in the core.

You forgot "Make America Great Again"
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: KenFSU on September 05, 2018, 10:47:32 AM
https://www.bizjournals.com/jacksonville/news/2018/09/05/convention-center-proposals-vary-widely-on.html

Sorry, it's probably behind a paywall and I'm on mobile, but the JBJ has released details of the three other convention center bids.

Preston Hollow is probably a better deal for the city, while Jacobs would work in tandem with the Hyatt.

Rimrock seems like they'll probably be cut quickly, if they haven't been already for revising their proposal and calling the Shipyards a better location.

My kneejerk reaction is that both the Preston Hollow and Jacobs bids are SIGNIFICANTLY better than what the Jags are proposing.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: thelakelander on September 05, 2018, 11:22:15 AM
I wonder how the city will wiggle out of this. Two of the proposals seem like they have viable teams, although I can't imagine the COJ giving $229 million in incentives to Preston Hollow.

On the surface, Jacobs sounds the most feasible from a market and development perspective but the devil is in the details to what the city would have to pay back over time. Like what exactly is involved in what the city would be on the hook for paying back? Just the convention center and it's support facilities or the additional commercial and residential development, Skyway extension, etc?

It will be interesting to see the concept plans for each, to be able to compare with what Khan has proposed at the Shipyards. Will Iguana release how much public money they want, so a true comparison can take place?
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: Tacachale on September 05, 2018, 11:38:19 AM

It will be interesting to see the concept plans for each, to be able to compare with what Khan has proposed at the Shipyards. Will Iguana release how much public money they want, so a true comparison can take place?

I think we know the answer to that.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: thelakelander on September 05, 2018, 12:06:10 PM
Rimrock
(https://media.bizj.us/view/img/11035173/screen-shot-2018-09-04-at-54408-pm*750xx648-864-24-0.png)

Jacobs
(https://media.bizj.us/view/img/11035172/screen-shot-2018-09-04-at-54849-pm*750xx924-520-0-148.png)
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: Steve on September 05, 2018, 12:15:21 PM
Looking at the Rimrock one....they plan on filling in the river where they are removing the old Courthouse Parking lot? huh.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: downtownbrown on September 05, 2018, 03:13:42 PM
good catch.  Looks like about half way, which will get them to deep enough water for bigger boats. 
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: Steve on September 05, 2018, 03:26:16 PM
good catch.  Looks like about half way, which will get them to deep enough water for bigger boats. 

Looks like all the way - it's forward of the riverfront face of the Hyatt, which is only separated from the river by the dropoff, Coastline Drive, and the Riverwalk. Construction crews are literally tearing out that site which is currently a parking lot (which was really a bridge over the river) right now.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: heights unknown on September 05, 2018, 03:29:09 PM
I like the Jacobs rendering better, but either would be ok. A little "verticality" as someone said...25 stories plus?
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: downtownbrown on September 05, 2018, 03:36:55 PM
^^yeah, could be a total fill in.  That is a game changer since it at least doubles the footprint, reroutes the state approved roadways, and basically is a complete do-over for the city planners. 
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: icarus on September 05, 2018, 03:46:43 PM
Preston Hollow's ask on the incentives is way out of the ballpark.  Rimrock's design looks great but is a non-starter from an environmental and permitting perspective ( the likelihood of filling in that section of St. John's River is nil).  Jacobs proposal is interesting but if the all the convention space is elevated ... the logistics alone would kill a lot of potential conventions.  Maybe, its just me but I feel all three proposals missed the mark significantly.

If Berkman II is being converted to hotel space, having the convention center near the stadium and the potential for additional exhibition space at amphitheater and stadium makes more sense.  Plus, the backers for Khan proposal bring a lot of experience and deeper pockets to the table.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: Steve on September 05, 2018, 03:54:06 PM
Jacobs proposal is interesting but if the all the convention space is elevated ... the logistics alone would kill a lot of potential conventions.

Construction costs aside, it depends on the exact layouts. Many convention centers are multi-story, though most have dock doors at the level of the main exhibit hall.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: Steve on September 05, 2018, 04:03:54 PM
Jacobs proposal is interesting but if the all the convention space is elevated ... the logistics alone would kill a lot of potential conventions.

Construction costs aside, it depends on the exact layouts. Many convention centers are multi-story, though most have dock doors at the level of the main exhibit hall.

Looking again at the rendering....there aren't going to be dock doors that high as it looks like the main exhibit hall is on level 8. It just means that they would need to plan for a bunch of freight elevators. Again, not unheard of but it certainly adds some complexity. For example, I'm pretty sure the Javits Center in New York only has their dock doors on floor 1, but the main exhibit halls are on floors 1 and 3.

Then again...it's New York.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: thelakelander on September 05, 2018, 04:38:35 PM
Jacobs proposal is interesting but if the all the convention space is elevated ... the logistics alone would kill a lot of potential conventions.

Construction costs aside, it depends on the exact layouts. Many convention centers are multi-story, though most have dock doors at the level of the main exhibit hall.

Yeah, I think it's way too early to say they all miss the mark. I'd like to see and learn about each concept in greater detail. As for Berkman II, I wouldn't base anything convention center related on something being billed as Dave & Busters on steroids.  I'd also like to see some transparency from Iguana so a real comparative evaluation of what's needed from the public can be made.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: KenFSU on September 05, 2018, 04:49:05 PM
Looking at the Rimrock one....they plan on filling in the river where they are removing the old Courthouse Parking lot? huh.

For what it's worth, in the lead-up to the RFP, the city specifically mentioned re-building the Coastline deck as an option for a new convention center.

That said, if I'm the city, I throw Rimrock's proposal for the site in the trash.

I wouldn't want anyone leading this project who has gone on record as saying it would be a mistake to build a convention center on the Courthouse site.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: jaxnyc79 on September 05, 2018, 05:16:22 PM
Without seeing the full proposal, I like that the Jacobs summary referenced private sources of capital - perhaps they're connected with a network of private equity and other shadow banking lenders with dry powder to burn on a lending arrangement for something like this.  Payback should be revenue sharing; no new out-of-pocket financial obligations for the city. 

I really loathe the idea of these mammoth parking garages on this property so close to the waterfront.  Can this stretch of waterfront be pedestrian-only...walker-centric.  These plans (and frankly the RFP) reference what appears to be an over-abundance of front door parking for what is supposed to be a CBD Center.  Is it too much to ask conventioneers to walk a couple blocks - frankly, most of them will probably take a ride share over anyway?

Personally, I don't think any one of these plans will get done, and in 2028, this message board will still be debating the merits of a new convention center.  I'd much rather use the incentive money to fund Atkins' mixed-use, innovation corridor for JEA deeper into the heart of Downtown.  My view is we should figure out how to make downtown a routine and differentiated draw for the region's denizens, independent of some big and expensive box in the CBD, and once we figure that out, I'll be on board with a Convention Center Investment.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: KenFSU on September 06, 2018, 02:23:29 PM
Per the JBJ, the decision about whether to build at the Courthouse or at the Shipyards is going to ultimately lie with Curry.

Looks like the Preston Hollow proposal also involves rebuilding that desk over Coastline as well:

(https://snag.gy/xKkzBv.jpg)

This whole thing is going to be really interesting to follow.

The Jacobs plan is obscenely expensive ($700 million+, versus ~$450 million for the three other options). From the scant details available, it also sounds like the proposal that would require the most public contribution.

The Preston Hollow and Rimrock plans will involve sitework that would make that portion of the Shipyards property blush, between demolishing the Courthouse and Annex and then rebuilding the bridge/deck off Coastline.

Everything else held constant, the Courthouse site is the better location.

But if it means having to rebuild the deck, add another 1,800 space garage on/near the river, and carry another $100-$200 million in debt, it gets a little murkier. Particularly when there's a guaranteed offer on the table to develop much-needed (if flawed in its current iteration) mixed use on the Courthouse site if the Shipyards location is chosen.

Throw in the pressure of appeasing the Jags, and Curry's going to have a tough decision to make.

With Curry's stated goal of redeveloping the riverfront from the Courthouse to the stadium though, my money's on him going with Iguana. Guarantees two new developments and keeps the Jags happy.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: jaxnyc79 on September 06, 2018, 02:32:06 PM
Per the JBJ, the decision about whether to build at the Courthouse or at the Shipyards is going to ultimately lie with Curry.

Looks like the Preston Hollow proposal also involves rebuilding that desk over Coastline as well:

(https://snag.gy/xKkzBv.jpg)

This whole thing is going to be really interesting to follow.

The Jacobs plan is obscenely expensive ($700 million+, versus ~$450 million for the three other options). From the scant details available, it also sounds like the proposal that would require the most public contribution.

The Preston Hollow and Rimrock plans will involve sitework that would make that portion of the Shipyards property blush, between demolishing the Courthouse and Annex and then rebuilding the bridge/deck off Coastline.

Everything else held constant, the Courthouse site is the better location.

But if it means having to rebuild the deck, add another 1,800 space garage on/near the river, and carry another $100-$200 million in debt, it gets a little murkier. Particularly when there's a guaranteed offer on the table to develop much-needed (if flawed in its current iteration) mixed use on the Courthouse site if the Shipyards location is chosen.

Throw in the pressure of appeasing the Jags, and Curry's going to have a tough decision to make.

With Curry's stated goal of redeveloping the riverfront from the Courthouse to the stadium though, my money's on him going with Iguana. Guarantees two new developments and keeps the Jags happy.

I pretty much agree with this assessment.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: thelakelander on September 06, 2018, 03:13:17 PM
There's no offer from Iguana other than the taxpayers funding their dream as well. I've requested a copy of the proposals to better understand the differences and post for all to see.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: thelakelander on September 06, 2018, 05:29:37 PM
I have all three proposals now. All three put some money in to produce these responses. Jacobs is the only one that doesn't completely fill back in the portion of the river being exposed. Hyatt is also a partner in the proposal. I'll try to scan and post renderings and numbers for all three over the next day or two.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: thelakelander on September 07, 2018, 06:52:50 AM
Renderings from Jacksonville's Convention Center War

(https://photos.smugmug.com/Cities/Jacksonville/Development/Convention-Centers/i-xXHZLDr/0/88a80163/X2/1965_001-6-X2.jpg)

Shad Khan, Iguana and the Jacksonville Jaguars aren't the only party interested in building a convention center in downtown. On August 1, 2018, three development teams responded to the Downtown Investment Authority's Request for Proposals for a convention center, hotel, and parking garage. Here's a brief look at the proposals submitted by Jacobs, Jacksonville Convention Center Partners and Rimrock Devlin - DeBartolo Development, LLC.

Full article: https://www.thejaxsonmag.com/article/renderings-from-jacksonvilles-convention-center-war
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: Dapperdan on September 07, 2018, 08:51:10 AM
Question, If Iguana is chosen, what would you do with the former courthouse space? Maybe an Aquarium or attraction of that type? Jacksonville Eye? Lol.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: thelakelander on September 07, 2018, 09:18:02 AM
It's too late, but I'd keep the old city hall annex and courthouse still standing until there is a clear decision on the convention center issue. IMO, there's nothing structurally wrong with these buildings. Thus, I'd consider issuing a RFP that would be creative enough to consider adaptive reuse. Just looking at the convention center responses, they're night and day between the three responses, despite all working within limited design parameters. Broaden the playing field and there's no telling what type of interesting concepts for mixed-use could materialize that are currently beyond our traditional comprehension.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: Bill Hoff on September 07, 2018, 09:26:00 AM
Question, If Iguana is chosen, what would you do with the former courthouse space? Maybe an Aquarium or attraction of that type? Jacksonville Eye? Lol.

I have trouble finding a parking spot directly in front the place I visit in Downtown sometimes. Thus, I suggest building a parking lot in that location.

Or a new park!

Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: Steve on September 07, 2018, 09:49:42 AM
To me Jacobs is clearly the best of the three. There are aspects I don't like, but to me it's the most creative rendering.

I don't understand the dock situation in Jacobs though....the rendering isn't clear on that but considering that's one of the first requirements of building a convention center I'm willing at this state to push the "I Believe" button.

But the devil's in the details....in this case the financing details. The $705M number seems logical considering the building, but on let's say a 25 year packback with 0% interest (which isn't going to happen), that's still $28M a year. I'm still of the mindset we need to do it; just not sure where it comes from.

Part of me thinks it's better off that the hotel is privately owned, and then the convention center is a PPP between multiple parties.

I feel like if you drop the hotel, and do the Jacobs plan as a PPP with the Hyatt ownership, it actually can become cleaner.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: thelakelander on September 07, 2018, 10:09:18 AM
The dock situation and the elevators indicate that the building goes over Market Street to connect with the garage and the Hyatt Hotel.

Jacobs is clearly more creative and detailed than the other two proposals. The proposal mentions in the first three years, payments would be somewhere between $4 and $4.5 million annually. I didn't dive too deep into it but I wonder if they're implying the city only pays to purchase the convention center and not the other components of the development? Like, why would the city purchase a hotel or a garage with 350 residential units on top of it?

Given the financing strategy, I also wonder if it would make sense to streamline the design requirements, which would drop the costs. Perhaps an expensive element like the hotel can become a future addition when the market can support one.  I'd question Rimrock based on the unsolicited proposals made in the following weeks and the numbers needed from the public are vague. With Preston Hollow, I just don't see COJ coming up with $229 million worth of upfront incentives. It's a struggle to get something like the Trio funded. Everyone in city hall would get tar and feathered handing out that much upfront cash for this.

When a top proposal is selected, I hope it can be compared apples to apples with Iguana's proposal. This would be mean an open and upfront conversation about how much public money is really needed (how much, when and in what form) to make that project feasible.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: ProjectMaximus on September 07, 2018, 10:11:37 AM
I am disappointed by all the proposals. Where is the out-of-the-box thinking and creativity...like a replica of Noah's ark?
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: vicupstate on September 07, 2018, 10:43:19 AM
So

JCCP: $229 mm upfront.
Jacobs: $4 mm per month for 3 years [144 million] plus an unspecified amount for the next 22 years.  Total could easy reach $1 billion.
Rimrock: Unspecified 

None of these are going to happen.

The whole pretext of this is to eliminate this option so that Iguana gets the deal. All they have to do is come up with some slightly less outrageous figure and that is the justification for them to get the deal.   
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: Charles Hunter on September 07, 2018, 11:07:49 AM
What are the chances of the various agencies approving filling in that section of the river?
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: Steve on September 07, 2018, 11:20:39 AM
So

JCCP: $229 mm upfront.
Jacobs: $4 mm per month for 3 years [144 million] plus an unspecified amount for the next 22 years.  Total could easy reach $1 billion.
Rimrock: Unspecified 

None of these are going to happen.

The whole pretext of this is to eliminate this option so that Iguana gets the deal. All they have to do is come up with some slightly less outrageous figure and that is the justification for them to get the deal.   

Perhaps, but Iguana's isn't going to be free either.

Of the three, I think the framework of the Jacobs proposal is the best. But, I'm not sure the City should kick in for the hotel. The hotel should be able to make it on it's own (or drop the hotel and let the market dictate).
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: thelakelander on September 07, 2018, 11:26:17 AM
Well with Iguana, at a minimum you know you got an environmental cleanup, expressway demolition and ground level highway reconstruction involved. So you're well over a $100 million in public money before we can talk convention center subsidies.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: vicupstate on September 07, 2018, 11:33:32 AM
So

JCCP: $229 mm upfront.
Jacobs: $4 mm per month for 3 years [144 million] plus an unspecified amount for the next 22 years.  Total could easy reach $1 billion.
Rimrock: Unspecified 

None of these are going to happen.

The whole pretext of this is to eliminate this option so that Iguana gets the deal. All they have to do is come up with some slightly less outrageous figure and that is the justification for them to get the deal.   

Perhaps, but Iguana's isn't going to be free either.


I stated as much but they only have to under bid the others by a small difference to look 'reasonable' by comparison.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: vicupstate on September 07, 2018, 11:35:10 AM
Well with Iguana, at a minimum you know you got an environmental cleanup, expressway demolition and ground level highway reconstruction involved. So you're well over a $100 million in public money before we can talk convention center subsidies.

The last two are pretty much being fast-tracked now. 
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: itsfantastic1 on September 07, 2018, 02:23:20 PM
I am disappointed by all the proposals. Where is the out-of-the-box thinking and creativity...like a replica of Noah's ark?

It's in front of the Fuddruckers
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: KenFSU on September 07, 2018, 02:29:16 PM
I am disappointed by all the proposals. Where is the out-of-the-box thinking and creativity...like a replica of Noah's ark?

It's in front of the Fuddruckers

Two of every hamburger on the ark.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: itsfantastic1 on September 07, 2018, 02:38:17 PM
In all seriousness, I think the Jacobs proposal has the best shot of getting through and I plan on letting the Mayor and my council members know as such, however like some have said; we don't need to be paying for yet another private waterfront hotel to compete with the last public funded private waterfront hotel right next door.

I'd like more information on the financing breakdown as well as a few more renderings, but since it doesn't wall off Bay St. and instead has retail and open space, I feel like that is the winner from a development perspective.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: KenFSU on September 07, 2018, 02:53:44 PM
^Agreed.

Of the four proposals including Iguana's that we've seen, assuming financing isn't wildly different than the others, Jacobs seems like the best choice.

Love how it opens Bay Street up to the river, love that it looks to include more retail and restaurant than others, and with how Florida weather has been trending and with what happened to the Hyatt next door after Irma, I think the elevation probably protects it from the elements over the next 30-40 years better than something at ground-level.

Also can't discount what a big advantage Jacobs has with their proposal by having Hyatt as an ally, rather than a potential roadblock.

What's weird to me is that the court of public opinion, at least from the local media and the casual Jacksonville citizen, seems to favor Iguana, even with the limited information available. I hear a lot of well educated people saying things like "it's Khan's to lose," and "it will be very difficult for anyone to compete with Shad Khan."

Obviously far from scientific, and a smallish sample size thus far, but here's the JBJ's poll.

(https://snag.gy/TLMPBE.jpg)

A new convention center is one of the largest, most strategically important investments the city will make in the coming decades, and I really hope the general public takes the time to educate themselves on the finer details of the financing and potential locations.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: icarus on September 07, 2018, 03:35:17 PM
I agree that the Jacob's proposal is the most enticing of the three but it still requires filling in a portion of the demolished parking 'dock.'

Even a partial fill-in of land area in the St. John's is going to require approval from:

Army Corp.
DEP
St. Johns River Water Mngmt.

not to mention its tidal property so lets bring in submerged land leases issues, eminent domain, etc.

The Iguana site proposal requires the take down of the hart bridge ramps and environmental clean-up of the site with or without convention center so ..... we are dealing with apples and oranges. 

In my mind's eye, we end up with something akin to Tampa by utilizing old courthouse site ... a nice convention center and attached hotel ... geographically removed from a thriving night life and entertainment area (harbor town).  Not to mention, I would rather see residential development at old courthouse/city hall site to feed retail in core and customers for a Landing 2.0.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: thelakelander on September 07, 2018, 04:04:43 PM
Umm....Iguana's site fills in a portion of the river too. That tower's footprint is currently water right now. There's also a pier or linear plaza extending out a couple of hundred feet into the river that's not currently there:

(http://mediad.publicbroadcasting.net/p/wjct/files/styles/x_large/public/201808/convention_center_image_book_08-02-18_page_2.jpg)

All those courthouse concepts are forced to fill in that basin because of being forced to accommodate a massive parking garage on the site. The unsolicited Iguana concept includes a massive garage north of Bay/Gator Bowl Boulevard. I still question if Jax needs this much convention and hotel space....now and in the future. As far as the tilt to Khan and the Jags, it's not surprising the general public would favor them. Name recognition, the city's only major sports franchise, a rockstar billionaire owner. However, the devil is always in the details with these projects. Anyway, I wonder if Iguana would be willing to agree to a similar financing strategy?
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: heights unknown on September 07, 2018, 06:42:05 PM
Jacobs might be the best choice, but outside of Iguana, and not withstanding cost, etc. to all 3, RDD seems to catch my eye and I like what I see. Iguana I like over them all.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: KenFSU on September 07, 2018, 08:16:38 PM
Well with Iguana, at a minimum you know you got an environmental cleanup, expressway demolition and ground level highway reconstruction involved. So you're well over a $100 million in public money before we can talk convention center subsidies.

And this is assuming the Iguana convention center exists in a vaccuum. The hidden cost comes from paying Cordish hundreds of millions of dollars to build a faux downtown in the surrounding lots to support an isolated convention center. Crazy that we're even considering basing such an important decision on a hypothetical entertainment complex, on polluted land, for which no economic development agreement exists. A convention center on that Shipyards parcel in the absence of a dense, vibrant, thriving, billion dollar development at Lot J would be suicide. Prime Osborne in a less interesting building.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: thelakelander on September 08, 2018, 08:25:20 AM
Yes, there's a ton of unknowns and hidden costs with Iguana's proposals. If JEA jumps to that location, it can be argued even their move is a double dipping of public money that actually relocates an institutional anchor out of the downtown core to strengthen uses that will compete head to head with existing businesses. One can only hope some real vetting takes place with all of these proposals to best protect the taxpayer from getting fleeced.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: tufsu1 on September 08, 2018, 11:29:36 AM
Jacobs might be the best choice, but outside of Iguana, and not withstanding cost, etc. to all 3, RDD seems to catch my eye and I like what I see. Iguana I like over them all.

the problem is RDD all but pulled a few days later, when they submitted as part of the Iguana proposal - they then revised their old courthouse site proposal to something akin to more downtown residential
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: icarus on September 09, 2018, 11:18:27 AM
Umm....Iguana's site fills in a portion of the river too. That tower's footprint is currently water right now. There's also a pier or linear plaza extending out a couple of hundred feet into the river that's not currently there ...

All those courthouse concepts are forced to fill in that basin because of being forced to accommodate a massive parking garage on the site. The unsolicited Iguana concept includes a massive garage north of Bay/Gator Bowl Boulevard. I still question if Jax needs this much convention and hotel space....now and in the future. As far as the tilt to Khan and the Jags, it's not surprising the general public would favor them. Name recognition, the city's only major sports franchise, a rockstar billionaire owner. However, the devil is always in the details with these projects. Anyway, I wonder if Iguana would be willing to agree to a similar financing strategy?

The pier and the proposed marina are in the general vicinity of the docks and marina that exist currently.   I didn't realize Iguana was filling in a portion of the shoreline as well.

If we were not going to develop the shipyards site, I still think Jacobs is the best of the three.  Convention traffic is ephemeral.  Any entertainment, food venues in the area of the old courthouse would be better served with commercial and residential development.  Grouping like with like by locating the convention center in the stadium district makes sense on that point and with its proximity to the hart bridge and I95 via the hart bridge expresssway.

But, as you said, the devil is in the details and it seems everything is far from clear.

Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: thelakelander on September 09, 2018, 11:32:05 AM
Looking at the Jacobs plan, it combines commercial and residential with the convention center and hotel requirements specified by the city. Out of all the proposals, Shipyards included, it clusters the most in a compact setting. Numbers and architecture aside, it's the type of density integration that Downtown needs. New uses complement and strengthen existing uses and businesses as opposed to competing with them.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: howfam on September 09, 2018, 05:25:39 PM
Looking at the Jacobs plan, it combines commercial and residential with the convention center and hotel requirements specified by the city. Out of all the proposals, Shipyards included, it clusters the most in a compact setting. Numbers and architecture aside, it's the type of density integration that Downtown needs. New uses complement and strengthen existing uses and businesses as opposed to competing with them.


I like both the Jacobs concept and RDD plan. The Jacobs concept handles the site better as it interfaces with the waterfront showing boat slips and palm trees, more appropriate for a waterfront Florida location such as this. RDD's building looks better with its curvilinear roof lines and taller hotel building, more befitting the urban context. But RDD's plan loses on aesthetic appeal trying to force "oak"- looking trees on a waterfront site that's supposed to appeal to tourists and other visitors. Bring the Palm trees please!!!!i










Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: KenFSU on September 11, 2018, 08:26:40 PM
http://www.jacksonville.com/news/20180911/new-convention-center-complex-could-cost-city-up-to-12-billion
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: Charles Hunter on September 11, 2018, 09:43:03 PM
Glad I read the article, the URL makes it look like the CC will cost Twelve Billion Dollars - when it is One Point Two Billion - can't put a decimal in the middle of a URL.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: Lostwave on September 12, 2018, 09:32:34 AM
Obviously far from scientific, and a smallish sample size thus far, but here's the JBJ's poll.

(https://snag.gy/TLMPBE.jpg)
 the financing and potential locations.

This has changed a lot since you snagged this image.

85% - Iguana Investments' proposal to build the facility at the Shipyards
6% - Jacobs Engineering's 1.6 million square foot development
5% - Rimrock Devlin and DeBartolo Development's 500,000-square-foot convention center
4% - Preston Hollow Capital's convention center and 19-story hotel

Total number of responses: 282
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: Captain Zissou on September 12, 2018, 10:40:01 AM
Glad I read the article, the URL makes it look like the CC will cost Twelve Billion Dollars - when it is One Point Two Billion - can't put a decimal in the middle of a URL.

To cover the estimated $40M a year, you'd need an additional 10,000 occupants a night in jacksonville hotels to generate sufficient bed tax revenue.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: heights unknown on September 12, 2018, 09:05:08 PM
Glad I read the article, the URL makes it look like the CC will cost Twelve Billion Dollars - when it is One Point Two Billion - can't put a decimal in the middle of a URL.

To cover the estimated $40M a year, you'd need an additional 10,000 occupants a night in jacksonville hotels to generate sufficient bed tax revenue.
I just don't see that (it) happening in and/or FOR Jacksonville; love me some Jax, but we are not that big or big minded,  don't think to "make it happen;" but we shall see.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: thelakelander on September 12, 2018, 11:19:24 PM
(https://photos.smugmug.com/Cities/West-Palm-Beach-September-2018/i-jHVrd5K/0/3f50eca7/L/20180912_084750-L.jpg)

I'm sitting at West Palm Beach's new convention center for the APA Florida conference this week. The convention center opened in 2003 and includes a 100,000 square foot exhibition center. The convention center cost $83 million to construct. I'll admit, this place is nice and the Prime Osborn is a pure joke to compare. In 2016, a $110 million, 400-room Hilton was added next door. About a year or two ago, $45 million, 2,650 space, 9-level parking garage was added. In 2017, the convention center turned its first profit (+$118,404) after 14 straight years of being in the red.  Palm Beach County is home to 1.47 million residents and tons of tourist. On the other hand, Duval is home to 937k residents and less tourist.

(https://photos.smugmug.com/Cities/West-Palm-Beach-September-2018/i-nTkQqmN/0/338347be/L/20180912_140524-L.jpg)

I mention all of this to say, do we really need 200,000 square feet of exhibition space? Do we need to lump a +$100 million hotel into this as opposed to working with the over-sized hotel next door we already subsidized? How did we end up with minimum requirements for a convention center that twice the size as a recently built, well done convention center in a county with 500,000 more citizens and a larger tourism base?

(https://photos.smugmug.com/Cities/West-Palm-Beach-September-2018/i-x9HCWKN/0/3fe8a217/L/20180912_140843-L.jpg)

To me, it seems the requirements for these proposals are more than what Jacksonville can support and should invest in. Building something twice the size of what we can get away with only makes all the proposals cost twice as much. It also makes all of them financially unfeasible. Cut this thing down 50% and utilize the hotel we already have, and the numbers drop significantly enough to actually get something decent done.

(https://photos.smugmug.com/Cities/West-Palm-Beach-September-2018/i-MSNqnv3/0/68fb81a1/L/20180912_140637-L.jpg)
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: JaGoaT on September 13, 2018, 01:11:30 AM
I THINK SOMETHING BIG IS COMING TO THE CITY SO THEY ARE PREPARING THEMSELVES FOR FUTURE GROWTH (YES MY CAPS LOCK IS BROKEN)
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: thelakelander on September 13, 2018, 06:36:35 AM
Something big that's unconfirmed is a bad reason to spend said funds on a product and market that is more dependent on outside forces than anything happening locally.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: Charles Hunter on September 13, 2018, 08:51:24 AM
Damn, Lake, your proposal makes too much sense to be considered seriously.  Our Powers That Be would rather shoot for Mars (never mind the Moon), have the rocket explode on launch, and complain they don't have enough financial incentives (that is, tax dollars).
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: downtownbrown on September 13, 2018, 09:07:55 AM
https://www.jaxdailyrecord.com/article/a-date-with-dynamite-timeline-set-to-implode-city-hall-annex

Looks like this s is getting real. 
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: vicupstate on September 13, 2018, 09:41:58 AM
This was interesting from the article:

 The full DIA board is scheduled to meet Wednesday to review the evaluation committee’s scores and begin discussions on how to proceed, including whether the Bay Street site is the ideal location for a new convention center.

I thought the RPF was to be decided strictly on its own, without consideration for the other site option. 
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: Papa33 on September 13, 2018, 10:47:55 AM
Well if that's the case and it's decided that Bay Street site is not the best location, then it appears they have to RFP it once again.  I agree with all, though, that neither the courthouse or annex should be razed until something concrete is decided with that site (although its probably too late for that).
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: KenFSU on September 13, 2018, 11:12:50 AM
Well if that's the case and it's decided that Bay Street site is not the best location, then it appears they have to RFP it once again.  I agree with all, though, that neither the courthouse or annex should be razed until something concrete is decided with that site (although its probably too late for that).


Sadly, I think it is too late.

Interior demo has been ongoing for several months.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: downtownbrown on September 13, 2018, 11:22:38 AM
Way too late.  Who would have standing to get an injunction?  I'm glad they are getting on with it.  We need more cranes in the air.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: Tacachale on September 13, 2018, 11:25:20 AM
This is very likely to prove to be a dumb move by the city, regardless of what happens with the convention center.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: downtownbrown on September 13, 2018, 11:52:13 AM
Curious as to why razing two buildings with no historic or aesthetic appeal would be a mistake. Isn't it better to remove the asbestos filled boxes with something fresh that maximizes the riverfront.  I'll be glad to see them go.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: Tacachale on September 13, 2018, 12:06:14 PM
Curious as to why razing two buildings with no historic or aesthetic appeal would be a mistake. Isn't it better to remove the asbestos filled boxes with something fresh that maximizes the riverfront.  I'll be glad to see them go.

With the City Hall building, at least, the cost to turn it into offices or apartments is going to be way less than tearing it down and building something new. Especially if the convention center is never built, which looks like a serious possibility right now. Aesthetic appeal is subjective. I'd much rather have the distinctive midcentury City Hall building than more stick-built hurricane bait made of chintzy Chinese materials like we've been getting.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: Papa33 on September 13, 2018, 12:14:27 PM
Lynyrd Curry will get what he wants by hook or crook.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: vicupstate on September 13, 2018, 12:23:32 PM
Curious as to why razing two buildings with no historic or aesthetic appeal would be a mistake. Isn't it better to remove the asbestos filled boxes with something fresh that maximizes the riverfront.  I'll be glad to see them go.

The likelihood that it sits empty is far greater than it will be developed. As long as it is standing there is always the possibility of working with what is there. With demolition, you never get that option back. 

The City Hall annex in particular has a lot of potential for something else. Condos, Apartments, hotel, etc.  Anything new built there would probably be considerably less floors too.

 
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: Kiva on September 13, 2018, 06:02:46 PM
Damn, Lake, your proposal makes too much sense to be considered seriously.  Our Powers That Be would rather shoot for Mars (never mind the Moon), have the rocket explode on launch, and complain they don't have enough financial incentives (that is, tax dollars).
True!
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: KenFSU on September 14, 2018, 12:22:34 PM
The likelihood that it sits empty is far greater than it will be developed.

Disagree.

Convention center or no convention center, keep an eye on both that site and the surrounding area in the coming months.

Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: thelakelander on September 14, 2018, 12:28:32 PM
The likelihood is that they'll sit empty for at least a decade if the market blows up in the next year or two. If developed, the product will be a lot less density on the site than what's there today.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: KenFSU on September 14, 2018, 01:06:19 PM
If developed, the product will be a lot less density on the site than what's there today.

I"m sure you're right, but at this point, the damage is done.

Ceilings, floors, utilities, etc. are being yanked out with full demolition coming in 90 days.

Annex in particular could have made a great retrofit, but that ship has sailed.

If we go with a convention center at the sports complex, god help us, I hope we RFP the Annex and Courthouse properties separately to hopefully create a little more density.

There's interest in the area from multiple parties.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: thelakelander on September 14, 2018, 02:33:53 PM
^Yeah, the damage has been done but I still believe it's very likely we end up looking at a vacant lot or two for a while. The market will control this site's outcome moreso than COJ's wheeling and dealing will.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: Elwood on September 15, 2018, 08:13:54 AM
https://www.news4jax.com/news/local/jacksonville/city-prepares-to-implode-16-story-downtown-tower-in-january
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: thelakelander on September 19, 2018, 06:12:27 PM
The Jacobs proposal was ranked the highest.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: KenFSU on September 19, 2018, 06:59:14 PM
Brian Hughes, Curry's Chief of Staff, announced as new interim CEO of the DIA.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: Kiva on September 19, 2018, 07:05:10 PM
The Jacobs proposal was ranked the highest.
https://www.bizjournals.com/jacksonville/news/2018/09/19/dia-awards-jacobs-engineering-highest-score-for.html (https://www.bizjournals.com/jacksonville/news/2018/09/19/dia-awards-jacobs-engineering-highest-score-for.html)
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: heights unknown on September 20, 2018, 11:41:34 AM
Alrighty then. Make a damn choice and let's get this thing moving.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: ralpho37 on September 20, 2018, 03:12:41 PM
"Process Forward in Limbo"

Official tagline of Downtown Jacksonville!
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: KenFSU on September 20, 2018, 04:03:00 PM
^One of the most important intentions of the RFP, if not the most important, was to test the waters and see what type of private investment, if any, that companies were willing to make in a Jacksonville convention center. As the DIA stated bluntly yesterday, the RFP plainly demonstrated that no one was going to come in and build a convention center for us.

Most of us would definitely agree that Jacksonville needs a new convention center, but the real question is, do we need it $1.4 billion bad? This is why the DIA is referring to the convention center as a generational decision.

Opportunity cost is enormous when you think of what else we could do with that money.

This is one decision we definitely don't need to rush into.

And to the point Ennis has made a few times, it's a situation where we need much more detailed information from the Jags about what they are proposing at the Shipyards.

Taking cost off the table, the Courthouse site makes a lot more sense from a downtown redevelopment perspective. But if the Jags agree to a 50/50 split on their $450 million proposal like they have in the past with other projects, versus the city fully funding and paying 30-year interest on a $780 million facility themselves, we're potentially looking at an $800 million+ cost savings by building at the Shipyards.

That money could do a ton of good supporting other downtown projects as well.

The smart play from the city would be to fully vet Iguana's proposal, figure out what the development agreement for Lot J might look like, put out a separate RFP for the Courthouse and Annex properties to see what type of mixed-use interest might exist, conduct enough environmental research to figure out exactly how much remediation of the proposed Shipyards site would cost, confirm if and when the Hart Bridge ramps can come down safely, and then make a fully informed decision.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: Lunican on September 20, 2018, 04:34:12 PM
Quote
Mousa said the properties will be graded and landscaped with grass.

Back to reality.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: thelakelander on September 20, 2018, 04:51:57 PM
^One of the most important intentions of the RFP, if not the most important, was to test the waters and see what type of private investment, if any, that companies were willing to make in a Jacksonville convention center. As the DIA stated bluntly yesterday, the RFP plainly demonstrated that no one was going to come in and build a convention center for us.

Most of us would definitely agree that Jacksonville needs a new convention center, but the real question is, do we need it $1.4 billion bad? This is why the DIA is referring to the convention center as a generational decision.

No one builds convention centers for anyone. We didn't need to go through an RFP to figure that one out. I also don't like the narrative of bloated criteria resulting in the solution costing over one billion. Scrap the extras and combine with what we already have in the Hyatt and the dollar figure easily drops more than 60%. Get a realistic no frills solution on the table and go from there. In such a scenario, we would actually be in position to get something done.

Playing with the crazy numbers will only end up with us burning more money with Iguana than we have to for something that's highly questionable on if this market can support at such a scale.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: thelakelander on September 20, 2018, 04:57:39 PM
Quote
Mousa said the properties will be graded and landscaped with grass.

Back to reality.
Lol so true, so true
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: vicupstate on September 21, 2018, 10:47:32 PM
^One of the most important intentions of the RFP, if not the most important, was to test the waters and see what type of private investment, if any, that companies were willing to make in a Jacksonville convention center. As the DIA stated bluntly yesterday, the RFP plainly demonstrated that no one was going to come in and build a convention center for us.

Most of us would definitely agree that Jacksonville needs a new convention center, but the real question is, do we need it $1.4 billion bad? This is why the DIA is referring to the convention center as a generational decision.

No one builds convention centers for anyone. We didn't need to go through an RFP to figure that one out. I also don't like the narrative of bloated criteria resulting in the solution costing over one billion. Scrap the extras and combine with what we already have in the Hyatt and the dollar figure easily drops more than 60%. Get a realistic no frills solution on the table and go from there. In such a scenario, we would actually be in position to get something done.

Playing with the crazy numbers will only end up with us burning more money with Iguana than we have to for something that's highly questionable on if this market can support at such a scale.


The whole point of this RPF process was to eliminate the courthouse option, so that Iguana is in the driver's seat. With Curry's man in at DIA, that process will no doubt proceed at a slightlu faster pace now.   
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: itsfantastic1 on October 03, 2018, 12:10:37 PM
Other than "We've referred it to Mayor Curry," is there any movement or timetable for a decision on this? Does the council get a say in the matter? Or do we just expect another surprise set of modified Shipyard renderings with an announcement from the Mayor's Office and the former Chief of Staff DIA CEO that the Shipyards have been chosen?
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: bl8jaxnative on October 03, 2018, 04:44:17 PM
The glut of convention space has been long known and documented.  JAX should avoid putting much of anything into one.  The city should focus on it's strengths. 

https://www.brookings.edu/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/20050117_conventioncenters.pdf
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: Kerry on October 24, 2018, 04:35:43 PM
You have to change the location.  Here is a site plan for the OKC Convention Center currently under construction for around $250 million.  Where in downtown Jax are you going put loading bays for 16 semis?

http://www.okctalk.com/showthread.php?t=26179&page=180
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: thelakelander on October 24, 2018, 08:34:35 PM
Pretty cheap in comparison to the numbers we've seen locally. What's the size of the exhibition hall?
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: Kerry on October 24, 2018, 09:08:40 PM
https://www.okc.gov/Home/Components/News/News/2717/18

The MAPS 3 Convention Center’s total project budget of $288 million, including land acquisition and other related expenses, is the biggest in City history for a single project. The construction contract is $168.2 million, $20 million under budget.

The state-of-the art building will be located east of Scissortail Park along Robinson Boulevard between SW 4th and SW 7th streets. Like the park and many other important landmarks downtown, it will be served by the OKC Streetcar.

The convention center’s sleek and modern design features sweeping downtown views, and materials designed for energy efficiency and resiliency against the weather.

The 200,000-square-foot exhibit hall will dominate the ground floor, featuring three operable walls to divide it in up to four flexible spaces. About 45,000 square feet of meeting spaces are on all levels of the building, and many also have operable walls to make the spaces flexible. The rooms can be configured to provide up to 27 individual meeting spaces.

A 30,000-square-foot ballroom is the main space on the fourth level, complemented by 10,000 square feet of pre-function space and a 4,000-square-foot balcony.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: fieldafm on October 25, 2018, 08:20:35 AM
https://www.okc.gov/Home/Components/News/News/2717/18

The MAPS 3 Convention Center’s total project budget of $288 million, including land acquisition and other related expenses, is the biggest in City history for a single project. The construction contract is $168.2 million, $20 million under budget.

The state-of-the art building will be located east of Scissortail Park along Robinson Boulevard between SW 4th and SW 7th streets. Like the park and many other important landmarks downtown, it will be served by the OKC Streetcar.

The convention center’s sleek and modern design features sweeping downtown views, and materials designed for energy efficiency and resiliency against the weather.

The 200,000-square-foot exhibit hall will dominate the ground floor, featuring three operable walls to divide it in up to four flexible spaces. About 45,000 square feet of meeting spaces are on all levels of the building, and many also have operable walls to make the spaces flexible. The rooms can be configured to provide up to 27 individual meeting spaces.

A 30,000-square-foot ballroom is the main space on the fourth level, complemented by 10,000 square feet of pre-function space and a 4,000-square-foot balcony.

45,000 square ft floor plates seem to be the definition of having a 'low bar for expectations' and 'dawdling along'. Coming from someone that used to put together events in convention halls across the US... having large swaths of contiguous space along one floor is the difference between being a true player in the convention center business, or being a second rate cousin.  But OKC is great at everything, so...

That is the exact response I was expecting and is the reason Jax is moving in slow motion.  We have a population with such a low bar for expectations that the City can just dawdle along - so it does. 
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: Kerry on October 25, 2018, 09:51:57 AM
You might want to read it again.  The main exhibit hall is 200,000 sq feet.  Then on top of that are 2 more floors containing 45,000 sq feet of event space each.  Total of 290,000 sq feet.  The 4th floor has an additional 30,000 sq ft ballroom and 10,000 sq ft outside patio.

What isn't in the article I posted is the 17 story attached hotel under construction and the approx 300 apartments that are going to wrap the building.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: fieldafm on October 25, 2018, 10:57:27 AM
You might want to read it again.  The main exhibit hall is 200,000 sq feet.  Then on top of that are 2 more floors containing 45,000 sq feet of event space each.  Total of 290,000 sq feet.  The 4th floor has an additional 30,000 sq ft ballroom and 10,000 sq ft outside patio.

What isn't in the article I posted is the 17 story attached hotel under construction and the approx 300 apartments that are going to wrap the building.

Then, yes. I did read that wrong. Do you have a copy of the floor plan? Could not find online.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: Kerry on October 25, 2018, 11:01:25 AM
Let me see if I can find a link to it.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: Kerry on October 25, 2018, 11:45:07 AM
I can't find a link that points directly to the floor plans but I have seen them.  They are somewhere in this link.

http://www.okctalk.com/showthread.php?t=26179

One correction from my previous comment - the apartments are going to wrap the parking garage and not the convention center itself.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: KenFSU on November 09, 2018, 12:08:49 PM
Courthouse and Annex demo permits are in.

January is looking like the month.

https://www.jaxdailyrecord.com/article/demolition-permits-sought-for-bay-street-government-buildings

Though it wouldn't be my first pick, 100% of my money remains on an Iguana convention center, possibly as part of a larger redevelopment agreement inclusive of Lot J. There's too much pressure with Wembley falling through. Wouldn't be at all surprised to see a mega-development announced by early next year inclusive of the Jacksonville Live entertainment complex, office (potentially JEA), residential, convention center, hotel, parking garage, and removal of the Hart Bridge ramps. I think Curry pushes it as the most cost-effective option due to the partnership with the Jags on the project, and also angles it as a two-for-one with Rimrock offering to redevelop the Courthouse site as suburban apartments/hotel.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: downtownbrown on November 09, 2018, 01:52:03 PM
makes sense.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: 120North on November 14, 2018, 10:43:52 AM
Hearing project might get shelved.  Heaven forbid if someone else wants what Shad wants....
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: billy on November 14, 2018, 11:04:17 AM
they should have done an rfp to renovate/repurpose  courthouse annex
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: KenFSU on November 14, 2018, 12:06:55 PM
Hearing project might get shelved.  Heaven forbid if someone else wants what Shad wants....

Courthouse site never stood a chance after Khan's power play the day after the RFP closed.

Not sure paying $1.2 billion over 25 years for the Jacobs convention center was the right choice either (funny that outlandish requirements in the RFP result in an outlandish project cost), but it'll be a big missed opportunity to not have the convention center in the CBD.

I just hope that:

1) Whenever a convention center agreement is reached, the Jags agree to front a significant portion of the project cost. If we can get a $450 million convention center and hotel for $225 million in local contributions (plus $10 mil in remediation costs), and use the ~$700 million 25-year difference to stand up urban projects like the Emerald Necklace, Veteran's Park, Landing improvements, historic building credits, transit, environmental remediation, the decision would be a little easier to swallow.

2) We don't gift Rimrock Devlin the Courthouse property as part of the deal. There's a lot of interest in that property outside of convention use. I think we can do much better than what was proposed by RRD. If it's not going to be a convention center, we need to put something there that will add equal vibrancy to the surrounding area.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: thelakelander on November 14, 2018, 12:47:13 PM
Hopefully, the whole thing will go on ice and we can reconsider when Curry's out of office. Would hate to blow millions on something we end up discovering that we don't need at such a significant scale and at a location that doesn't really benefit the downtown core.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: downtownbrown on November 14, 2018, 01:10:45 PM
hope it doesn't go on ice.  In Jacksonville, once things freeze up they never thaw.  What the hell does it take to get cranes in the air in this town?  Shad was right about Jacksonville and Mojo.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: KenFSU on November 14, 2018, 01:14:13 PM
Hopefully, the whole thing will go on ice and we can reconsider when Curry's out of office. Would hate to blow millions on something we end up discovering that we don't need at such a significant scale and at a location that doesn't really benefit the downtown core.

The strawman game is strong.

"We can't afford to build a sixty-story, $1.2 billion mega-center directly atop the St. Johns River in the CBD. I guess we have no choice but to go with the Shipyards instead..."

If it isn't included in the economic development agreement for Lot J, it'll probably get iced until 2020.

Have zero doubt a handshake agreement is in place, though.

Leads to the question though - if we ice a public decision on the convention center for the foreseeable future, what do we do with the Courthouse property? Keep it on hold for a potential convention center? RFP it for other purposes?
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: Kerry on November 14, 2018, 01:21:38 PM
hope it doesn't go on ice.  In Jacksonville, once things freeze up they never thaw.  What the hell does it take to get cranes in the air in this town?  Shad was right about Jacksonville and Mojo.

Don't expect to see Jax on this list any time soon.

(https://i0.wp.com/bostonrealestatetimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/Crane-Index.jpg?fit=640%2C415&ssl=1)
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: KenFSU on November 14, 2018, 01:51:32 PM
hope it doesn't go on ice.  In Jacksonville, once things freeze up they never thaw.  What the hell does it take to get cranes in the air in this town?  Shad was right about Jacksonville and Mojo.

Don't expect to see Jax on this list any time soon.

(https://i0.wp.com/bostonrealestatetimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/Crane-Index.jpg?fit=640%2C415&ssl=1)

Wait, Jacksonville doesn't have as many cranes in absolute terms as MSA's up to 13 times our size?

It's kind of a misleading map in terms of relative growth.

Cranes-per-capita, now there's a stat I can get behind.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: downtownbrown on November 14, 2018, 02:08:47 PM
that would be good.  Let's see, Jax has around a million people in the greater metro area.  And there is a crane on top of the Trio.  Not the most comforting ratio.  But perhaps I missed two or three others.  And I'm not counting the cranes being used for demolition.  But maybe every demolition crane should be subtracted by the construction cranes....
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: thelakelander on November 14, 2018, 02:12:57 PM
Hopefully, the whole thing will go on ice and we can reconsider when Curry's out of office. Would hate to blow millions on something we end up discovering that we don't need at such a significant scale and at a location that doesn't really benefit the downtown core.

The strawman game is strong.

"We can't afford to build a sixty-story, $1.2 billion mega-center directly atop the St. Johns River in the CBD. I guess we have no choice but to go with the Shipyards instead..."

If it isn't included in the economic development agreement for Lot J, it'll probably get iced until 2020.

Have zero doubt a handshake agreement is in place, though.

Leads to the question though - if we ice a public decision on the convention center for the foreseeable future, what do we do with the Courthouse property? Keep it on hold for a potential convention center? RFP it for other purposes?

We're going to be looking at an overgrown grass lot. We've had over a decade to figure out what to do with that site and we didn't even bother to issue a RFP to see if there would be any private sector interest in the existing buildings. Then to tilt things towards TIAA Bank Field, we developed a bloated list of criteria in a convention center to result in a bloated price. We have no clue what we're doing. Also, no matter what we do, does Hyatt still have first dibs on the property?
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: thelakelander on November 14, 2018, 02:16:18 PM
hope it doesn't go on ice.  In Jacksonville, once things freeze up they never thaw.  What the hell does it take to get cranes in the air in this town?  Shad was right about Jacksonville and Mojo.

Don't expect to see Jax on this list any time soon.

(https://i0.wp.com/bostonrealestatetimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/Crane-Index.jpg?fit=640%2C415&ssl=1)

Wait, Jacksonville doesn't have as many cranes in absolute terms as MSA's up to 13 times our size?

It's kind of a misleading map in terms of relative growth.

Cranes-per-capita, now there's a stat I can get behind.

It's a pretty inaccurate list. Miami has more cranes than the majority of places on the list and it's not even mentioned.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: downtownbrown on November 14, 2018, 03:29:15 PM
neither is Nashville.  Cranes everywhere.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: JBTripper on November 14, 2018, 03:36:30 PM
hope it doesn't go on ice.  In Jacksonville, once things freeze up they never thaw.  What the hell does it take to get cranes in the air in this town?  Shad was right about Jacksonville and Mojo.

Don't expect to see Jax on this list any time soon.

(https://i0.wp.com/bostonrealestatetimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/Crane-Index.jpg?fit=640%2C415&ssl=1)

I guess Alabama and Georgia sorted out their dispute over the Chattahoochee by merging into one state?
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: 120North on November 14, 2018, 03:51:53 PM
Mayor kicked it back to DIA to reconsider the selection.  Jacobs was 1.2B all in (deferred until year 4 of operation) while RRD was close to $1B (with huge money up front).  Jacobs was much larger SF so actual SF cost is less than the RDD shipyards version.  We all know shipyards will take $$$ to become a viable site that is not included in cost.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: Kerry on November 15, 2018, 07:11:27 AM
I think they only count tower cranes, not the little mobile ones.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: KenFSU on November 15, 2018, 08:18:27 AM
https://www.bizjournals.com/jacksonville/news/2018/11/15/after-a-year-of-work-jacksonvilleconvention-center.html

I think this, along with the recent rezoning, can pretty clearly be read as Curry saying, "we're giving the money to Khan's Lot J/Shipyards project instead."

Also implies that a very large ask is likely incoming on that front, and that we're likely prepared to meet it.

Still think "on hold" is going to end up equaling "on hold until 2020 when the ramps start to come down."
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: thelakelander on November 15, 2018, 08:27:57 AM
I think they only count tower cranes, not the little mobile ones.

Or maybe they only count cranes in the cities they do business in? I was in Miami three weeks ago. Here's a few random pictures with cranes in them:

(https://photos.smugmug.com/Cities/Miami/Miami-October-2018/i-dqxRkXW/0/fa69fcba/L/DSCF5132-L.jpg)

(https://photos.smugmug.com/Cities/Miami/Miami-October-2018/i-CtQ3tdn/0/67e57e0b/L/DSCF5154-L.jpg)

(https://photos.smugmug.com/Cities/Miami/Miami-October-2018/i-87qbVB4/0/885397f8/L/20181025_154351-L.jpg)

(https://photos.smugmug.com/Cities/Miami/Miami-October-2018/i-ptfPrmM/0/befffd7c/X3/20181025_164252-X3.jpg)

(https://photos.smugmug.com/Cities/Miami/Miami-October-2018/i-xBCcrbW/0/81be62b9/L/20181025_165622-L.jpg)

(https://photos.smugmug.com/Cities/Miami/Miami-October-2018/i-zrLQNG2/0/8133ee37/L/20181025_170153-L.jpg)

(https://photos.smugmug.com/Cities/Miami/Miami-October-2018/i-mLr36ZQ/0/3d97308a/L/20181025_170945-L.jpg)

(https://photos.smugmug.com/Cities/Miami/Miami-October-2018/i-Mfcfjwv/0/a6c5e7bf/L/20181025_171556-L.jpg)

(https://photos.smugmug.com/Cities/Miami/Miami-October-2018/i-t98dgWb/0/16e9f015/L/20181025_180509-L.jpg)

(https://photos.smugmug.com/Cities/Miami/Miami-October-2018/i-T7DbNTt/0/ba5ab7f7/L/20181026_085655-L.jpg)

(https://photos.smugmug.com/Cities/Miami/Miami-October-2018/i-q9SMZSX/0/a8820cef/L/20181026_103737-L.jpg)
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: thelakelander on November 15, 2018, 08:35:04 AM
https://www.bizjournals.com/jacksonville/news/2018/11/15/after-a-year-of-work-jacksonvilleconvention-center.html

I think this, along with the recent rezoning, can pretty clearly be read as Curry saying, "we're giving the money to Khan's Lot J/Shipyards project instead."

Also implies that a very large ask is likely incoming on that front, and that we're likely prepared to meet it.

Still think "on hold" is going to end up equaling "on hold until 2020 when the ramps start to come down."

2020 is right around the corner and it's still not a given those ramps will come down then. The only real thing we can 100% book on coming in is a huge request for incentives from Iguana.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: downtownbrown on November 15, 2018, 09:01:33 AM
https://www.bizjournals.com/jacksonville/news/2018/11/15/after-a-year-of-work-jacksonvilleconvention-center.html?ana=e_me_set1&s=newsletter&ed=2018-11-15&u=WlI%2BuS2dnrpUQEXzA1dC%2FQ0a72b012&t=1542290419&j=85039991

As to the original question in this string, we don't know who will win the convention center war, but I think we now know who loses.

Us. 
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: thelakelander on November 15, 2018, 09:21:06 AM
Is there a war between these two? I've always assumed Curry and Khan were on the same side. The war to me would be to make sure that these big subsidized projects a mile outside of the real downtown core will benefit the "core" and not compete or pull economic opportunities from it? With that in mind, we (the public) are losing. Lot J, convention center stuff, recruitment of JEA from the heart of the city, are all things that don't build upon our assets.......instead they simply relocate them.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: KenFSU on November 15, 2018, 09:57:28 AM
https://www.bizjournals.com/jacksonville/news/2018/11/15/after-a-year-of-work-jacksonvilleconvention-center.html

I think this, along with the recent rezoning, can pretty clearly be read as Curry saying, "we're giving the money to Khan's Lot J/Shipyards project instead."

Also implies that a very large ask is likely incoming on that front, and that we're likely prepared to meet it.

Still think "on hold" is going to end up equaling "on hold until 2020 when the ramps start to come down."

2020 is right around the corner and it's still not a given those ramps will come down then. The only real thing we can 100% book on coming in is a huge request for incentives from Iguana.

Zero chance they're down by 2020 - late-2020 is the city's new projection for ramp removal to begin, pending the awarding of federal grants next month - but as soon as the first bolt comes off, I think Khan starts pushing for a convention center at the Shipyards again.

Taking Curry's decision to place the project on hold at face value, I totally agree with it.

As the 2014 study pointed out, an expensive new convention center is dead in the water in Jacksonville until we have more infrastructure in place to support it. We shouldn't be spending hundreds of millions of dollars on any center until we're sure our downtown is vibrant enough that event planners actually want to return a second time.

Personally, I think we've got bigger needs in the short-term.

But again, this begs the most obvious question, what the hell are we doing at the old Courthouse site? Putting the decision on where to locate a convention center on hold is going to cost us millions either way with that property. If we decide to build a convention center at the Shipyards, we've prioritized tens of millions of dollars needlessly rushing to demolish the Courthouse and Annex only to change our mind about the property. And if we build at the Courthouse site, per the responses, we're likely going to have to rebuild a large portion of the deck that we're currently removing, and the riverwalk extension that we're building around the inlet is liking going to be built right over as well.

As a taxpayer, everything about that property irritates me.

Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: Kerry on November 15, 2018, 10:47:47 AM
I think they only count tower cranes, not the little mobile ones.

Or maybe they only count cranes in the cities they do business in? I was in Miami three weeks ago. Here's a few random pictures with cranes in them:

Good point and that must be it.  I thought Phoenix having 4 and being on the list seemed odd.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: thelakelander on November 15, 2018, 11:20:38 AM
Zero chance they're down by 2020 - late-2020 is the city's new projection for ramp removal to begin, pending the awarding of federal grants next month - but as soon as the first bolt comes off, I think Khan starts pushing for a convention center at the Shipyards again.

I think Khan is likely to change his renderings again two years from now, depending on where the economy will be headed. I'm also concerned about the process and vision of the viaduct removal. When first proposed, I envisioned something like San Francisco's Embarcadero. Now I'm realizing we could easily end up with nothing more than a repaved Gator Bowl Boulevard and at best, another Riverside Avenue. In other words, it doesn't sound like there's a collective vision or end game that all these projects are being designed to help create.

Quote
Taking Curry's decision to place the project on hold at face value, I totally agree with it.

At face value, I agree.....if we're talking about the hack job of a RFP that resulted in a bloated center and budget. Under no circumstances should we fund $1 billion for a convention center at any location in the city.

Quote
As the 2014 study pointed out, an expensive new convention center is dead in the water in Jacksonville until we have more infrastructure in place to support it. We shouldn't be spending hundreds of millions of dollars on any center until we're sure our downtown is vibrant enough that event planners actually want to return a second time.

This is a false narrative and one of the things I hate about Jax's revitalization talk. We don't need a hundreds of millions of dollars center. We already invested $20 million in a convention center hotel that has existing ballroom and meeting facilities. What we lack is an exhibition hall of decent size. If we address that particular issue by combining it with what we already have, I believe we could easily relocate the center from the Prime Osborn now and move on to other things, without tossing hundreds of millions of more public money into this thing.

Quote
Personally, I think we've got bigger needs in the short-term.

We do. However, the bigger, short-term needs aren't necessarily money related IMO. They're a mix of resolving political battles, investing in public infrastructure and spaces and modifying policy to make it easier for organic growth and inclusive economic opportunity to take place. There's a reason the Rail Yard District, Murray Hill, Springfield, etc. appear to be getting cool projects and businesses without the use of significant tax incentives. Maybe we should consider taking our hands out of the downtown redevelopment cookie jar and letting the market play a larger role in the process?  That process may sink a Shipyards or District type of project in the short term but it would possibly result in a higher ROI for the community and more fast-paced visual change in the public image and perception towards downtown.

Quote
But again, this begs the most obvious question, what the hell are we doing at the old Courthouse site? Putting the decision on where to locate a convention center on hold is going to cost us millions either way with that property. If we decide to build a convention center at the Shipyards, we've prioritized tens of millions of dollars needlessly rushing to demolish the Courthouse and Annex only to change our mind about the property. And if we build at the Courthouse site, per the responses, we're likely going to have to rebuild a large portion of the deck that we're currently removing, and the riverwalk extension that we're building around the inlet is liking going to be built right over as well.

As a taxpayer, everything about that property irritates me.

I agree. I can only accept that it means our political leaders don't have a clue. I still see it as extremely crazy that we didn't solicit a RFP for these buildings before using public funds to demolish them. We'll be looking at $8 million grass parking lots for the foreseeable future and some people actually believe that's an improvement! It's like we're reliving the failed redevelopment strategies of the 1990s and expecting things to turn out differently this time.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: RiversideRambler on November 15, 2018, 11:42:15 AM
Looking at this from my layman's perspective, a big convention center seems a lot like a professional sports team. Great for the tourism brochure, expensive for the taxpayers. Why not simply work with Hyatt to build a real exhibit hall on the courtyard property? It seems like the most cost effective method.

I think Jacksonville has a lot to offer but it's not even a second tier city for meeting planners and no convention center will change that.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: KenFSU on November 15, 2018, 11:47:42 AM
Is there a war between these two? I've always assumed Curry and Khan were on the same side. The war to me would be to make sure that these big subsidized projects a mile outside of the real downtown core will benefit the "core" and not compete or pull economic opportunities from it? With that in mind, we (the public) are losing. Lot J, convention center stuff, recruitment of JEA from the heart of the city, are all things that don't build upon our assets.......instead they simply relocate them.

They're 100% on the same side, though Khan's clearly got the leverage.

Everything changed after that secretive trip that Curry took with Khan and Lamping to meet with Cordish and tour the KC, Baltimore, and St. Louis developments.

Curry started aggressively petitioning the state and federal government for money to bring down the Hart Bridge ramps.

He started ratcheting up the pressure on Sleiman to surrender the Landing.

We started to hear about this "dumb bell" approach to revitalizing downtown.

JEA's relocation plans were upended.

Personally, I don't envy Curry. He's doing some really good things in and around the urban core, and he clearly wants to leave a legacy as the mayor who revitalized downtown. But the Jags lease comes up in a decade, no mayor wants to lose a sports franchise (or additional home games) on his watch, and agreeing to play ball in the stadium district could realistically be the difference between rooting the franchise here for another 20 years or driving them off.

He's ultimately serving two different masters "downtown," the public and the Jags, which don't necessarily have the same interests.

Also, I wonder how much of the letter about how daunting the project is and how we're putting it on hold has to do with avoiding a lawsuit from the firms who put together very expensive proposals for the Courthouse site?
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: thelakelander on November 15, 2018, 12:06:25 PM
Quote
Personally, I don't envy Curry. He's doing some really good things in and around the urban core, and he clearly wants to leave a legacy as the mayor who revitalized downtown. But the Jags lease comes up in a decade, no mayor wants to lose a sports franchise (or additional home games) on his watch, and agreeing to play ball in the stadium district could realistically be the difference between rooting the franchise here for another 20 years or driving them off.

He's ultimately serving two different masters "downtown," the public and the Jags, which don't necessarily have the same interests.

There's no reason downtown revitalization and working with the Jags can't co-exist. However, to truly co-exist, it does mean there needs to be a high level of understanding simple urban revitalization principles and techniques included to ensure projects complement rather than compete. Transit connectivity is an easy way to start the process of pulling together things. However, it doesn't even appear that there's seamless coordination and visioning with JTA, who appears to have their own dream that appears to conflict to a degree.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: Steve on November 15, 2018, 12:07:34 PM
Looking at this from my layman's perspective, a big convention center seems a lot like a professional sports team. Great for the tourism brochure, expensive for the taxpayers. Why not simply work with Hyatt to build a real exhibit hall on the courtyard property? It seems like the most cost effective method.

I think Jacksonville has a lot to offer but it's not even a second tier city for meeting planners and no convention center will change that.

Here's my reason for wanting the convention center: It helps retail/restaurant businesses in the core, particularly early in the week. Most bars wouldn't have a problem filling the place Thursday/Friday/Saturday. The problem is the business has to pay rent every day of the week. Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday are popular days for business conventions....you know the ones where business travelers have an expense account and don't mind staying out late because the wife and kids are out of town and they don't REALLY have work the next day.

This is one of the biggest things boosting San Diego's Gaslamp District.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: thelakelander on November 15, 2018, 12:09:19 PM
Also....what is this "dumb bell" approach to revitalization?  If it's some concept of development in Brooklyn and the Sports District first and that spilling over into the downtown core, then that's one of the most craziest things I've heard. I can't think of one peer city that has successfully revitalized their downtown with such an approach.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: thelakelander on November 15, 2018, 12:11:44 PM
Looking at this from my layman's perspective, a big convention center seems a lot like a professional sports team. Great for the tourism brochure, expensive for the taxpayers. Why not simply work with Hyatt to build a real exhibit hall on the courtyard property? It seems like the most cost effective method.

I think Jacksonville has a lot to offer but it's not even a second tier city for meeting planners and no convention center will change that.

Here's my reason for wanting the convention center: It helps retail/restaurant businesses in the core, particularly early in the week. Most bars wouldn't have a problem filling the place Thursday/Friday/Saturday. The problem is the business has to pay rent every day of the week. Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday are popular days for business conventions....you know the ones where business travelers have an expense account and don't mind staying out late because the wife and kids are out of town and they don't REALLY have work the next day.

This is one of the biggest things boosting San Diego's Gaslamp District.
I believe we could easily add a no-frills exhibition hall to the Hyatt and accomplish this for a fraction of the costs and amount of minimal criteria for the convention center RFP.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: Steve on November 15, 2018, 12:25:33 PM
Looking at this from my layman's perspective, a big convention center seems a lot like a professional sports team. Great for the tourism brochure, expensive for the taxpayers. Why not simply work with Hyatt to build a real exhibit hall on the courtyard property? It seems like the most cost effective method.

I think Jacksonville has a lot to offer but it's not even a second tier city for meeting planners and no convention center will change that.

Here's my reason for wanting the convention center: It helps retail/restaurant businesses in the core, particularly early in the week. Most bars wouldn't have a problem filling the place Thursday/Friday/Saturday. The problem is the business has to pay rent every day of the week. Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday are popular days for business conventions....you know the ones where business travelers have an expense account and don't mind staying out late because the wife and kids are out of town and they don't REALLY have work the next day.

This is one of the biggest things boosting San Diego's Gaslamp District.
I believe we could easily add a no-frills exhibition hall to the Hyatt and accomplish this for a fraction of the costs and amount of minimal criteria for the convention center RFP.

No argument there. Stick the thing on the back of the Hyatt, leave room for ground level retail on Bay Street, and call it a day. If you take both blocks of the old Courthouse and City Hall, I bet you get 250k SqFt, which is kind of the magic number.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: Charles Hunter on November 15, 2018, 12:29:15 PM
Taking down the Hart Ramps will remove the visual barrier between the stadium area, and Lot J, and the Metro Park/Shipyards/River area.  But, it will make the pedestrian barrier worse.  To handle traffic to/from the Hart Bridge, existing stadium area activities, and the proposed development in the area, Gator Bowl Boulevard will need six lanes for auto and truck traffic (remember, it is a critical link to Talleyrand, per the failed infrastructure grant proposal), plus a center left-turn lane, plus bike lanes (hopefully buffered).  It might be a State Road, as it will provide the link for SR 228 between downtown and the Hart Bridge.  It is possible it could qualify for 11 foot (instead of 12') lanes; so 7 times 11 is 77 feet. Buffered bike lanes are 7 feet wide, so add 14 feet = 91 feet.  The current GB Blvd. is five lanes, assuming 12' lanes, with no bike lanes = 60 feet. 

If there were no new development around the stadium/Met Park, 4 lanes might be enough. But with the intensity of development Khan is proposing, 6 travel lanes will be needed.

I purposely left out any benefit from JTA's autonomous shuttles.  I don't think they will be able to operate in mixed traffic for several years. So, if they are going to provide service, add 2 more lanes - another 16 feet (assuming they can operate in eight-foot lanes).
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: thelakelander on November 15, 2018, 01:15:09 PM
One positive of delay on this is the potential coordination of whatever JTA is planning along with what Curry and Khan may be dreaming up. Quite frankly, if the bridge is going to come down, the street level boulevard should not end up looking like a standard FDOT facility. The concept shown in the past looks pretty basic and not totally ideal for a C6 context classification, which is what the area would be if the stuff drawn on those renderings comes to fruition. IMO, the sidewalks should be much wider, bike facilities should be physically separated from travel lanes and transit should have dedicated lanes. With that said, you're right....the result is a much wider at-grade arterial roadway that increases the amount of conflict points between pedestrians and motorized traffic. Oh...and I still don't see what freight has to do with any of this. There's already a ramp to Talleyrand and it's not exactly swamped to max capacity.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: Charles Hunter on November 15, 2018, 01:38:03 PM
Lake, I agree with you, and definitely on the wider sidewalks and a separated cycle track.  My comment about freight was somewhat facetious.  But, determining the truck percentage will be important in determining the potential lane widths.  If the percentages are low, it may be possible for at least some of the lanes to be 10'.  That sort of detail (truck %) should come out of the PD&E Study that should be done before any work is done.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: KenFSU on November 15, 2018, 01:47:43 PM
Also....what is this "dumb bell" approach to revitalization?  If it's some concept of development in Brooklyn and the Sports District first and that spilling over into the downtown core, then that's one of the most craziest things I've heard. I can't think of one peer city that has successfully revitalized their downtown with such an approach.

Unfortunately, you are correct, Lake :D

Lamping and Curry both use the term, Lamping in particular starting at last year's State of the Franchise event.

The way it's positioned is that Brooklyn is one "end" of the dumbbell, the stadium district is the other "end," and by building a strong "weight" on each side, connectivity between them should naturally develop.

Lavilla is used as proof that the Brooklyn end is spurring linear growth down the "bar."

It's fully as silly as it seems.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: KenFSU on November 15, 2018, 01:51:35 PM
One positive of delay on this is the potential coordination of whatever JTA is planning along with what Curry and Khan may be dreaming up. Quite frankly, if the bridge is going to come down, the street level boulevard should not end up looking like a standard FDOT facility. The concept shown in the past looks pretty basic and not totally ideal for a C6 context classification, which is what the area would be if the stuff drawn on those renderings comes to fruition. IMO, the sidewalks should be much wider, bike facilities should be physically separated from travel lanes and transit should have dedicated lanes. With that said, you're right....the result is a much wider at-grade arterial roadway that increases the amount of conflict points between pedestrians and motorized traffic. Oh...and I still don't see what freight has to do with any of this. There's already a ramp to Talleyrand and it's not exactly swamped to max capacity.

Here's what's being discussed:

(https://snag.gy/5fA2db.jpg)

(https://snag.gy/Nf7CY2.jpg)
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: KenFSU on November 15, 2018, 01:56:50 PM
P.S. Hmmm, the same week that the Courthouse convention center is put on hold, the city issues an RFQ for Hart Bridge Ramp Removal.

https://www.jaxdailyrecord.com/article/the-cawton-report-city-takes-step-to-remove-hart-bridge-ramps-moratorium-on-internet-cafes
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: thelakelander on November 15, 2018, 02:22:00 PM
Also....what is this "dumb bell" approach to revitalization?  If it's some concept of development in Brooklyn and the Sports District first and that spilling over into the downtown core, then that's one of the most craziest things I've heard. I can't think of one peer city that has successfully revitalized their downtown with such an approach.

Unfortunately, you are correct, Lake :D

Lamping and Curry both use the term, Lamping in particular starting at last year's State of the Franchise event.

The way it's positioned is that Brooklyn is one "end" of the dumbbell, the stadium district is the other "end," and by building a strong "weight" on each side, connectivity between them should naturally develop.

Lavilla is used as proof that the Brooklyn end is spurring linear growth down the "bar."

It's fully as silly as it seems.

It sounds pretty self serving. It also ignores the dense amount of projects popping up between Main and Julia streets in the heart of the city. Vystar's purchase (after being recruited to TIAA Bank Field), Hotel Indigo, JEA's plans for a new headquarters, the Ambassador, Jones Brothers, 20 West Adams, Barnett, Trio, etc. The momentum is already there.

For a fraction of the costs being invested into these fringe projects, they could kick short-term Northbank redevelopment into overdrive by simply targeting a few key sites and working with existing office tower owners to revamp their structures at street level. If the politics were placed aside with the Landing, even that site could easily help anchor what's already taking place around it.

When you see what's playing out with the Landing/Lot J, JEA's recruitment, Vystar's failed recruitment, the CC location debate, etc. it seems like they're trying to take the natural momentum of activity already happening in the Northbank and tilt that market to the Shipyards. That's not a dumbell approach. That's robbing Peter to pay Paul.

Another problem with that type of strategy is that it places too much focus on big gimmick one-trick-pony type projects that don't align with the true market, as opposed to a more organic approach of investing less money and modifying restrictive policies to spur several smaller projects within a compact setting. For example, why only rezone the Shipyards? Perhaps zoning should be modified in the entire CBD to encourage redevelopment. Why is the sports district included as an Opportunity Zone but the Northbank is not?
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: thelakelander on November 15, 2018, 02:38:54 PM

Here's what's being discussed:

(https://snag.gy/5fA2db.jpg)

(https://snag.gy/Nf7CY2.jpg)

Btw, this looks like your typical arterial highway. Where are the mid block crossings or street grid that's been illustrated in Iguana's plans? Also, an expressway ramp at A. Philip Randolph means eastbound traffic will be coming at a pretty swift speed, increasing pedestrian safety issues between A. Philip Randolph and the Hart Bridge. Hopefully, some more work will be done. It would suck to spend $50 million to get Beach Boulevard as opposed to a true multimodal friendly street.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: acme54321 on November 15, 2018, 02:55:22 PM
Right, this looks just as bad as what's there today for pedestrians.   I imagine right now all they care about is getting those ramps down and this is the cheapest plan they could come up with.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: Kerry on November 15, 2018, 03:18:58 PM
For the first time in my life - I am genuinely speechless.  The only thing keeping me from laughing out loud in frustration is knowing that none of this ever going to happen.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: downtownbrown on November 15, 2018, 03:40:42 PM
ever the optimist!  But I agree.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: vicupstate on November 15, 2018, 04:02:26 PM
This never was about improving the core. This has always been about improving the Sports district, primarily for the benefit of Khan.

That RPF for the courthouse was a ruse from the start. It was to take that site OFF THE TABLE as an option to LOT J.

PAY NO ATTENTION to the the man behind the curtain!!
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: tufsu1 on November 15, 2018, 09:23:15 PM
Here's my reason for wanting the convention center: It helps retail/restaurant businesses in the core, particularly early in the week. Most bars wouldn't have a problem filling the place Thursday/Friday/Saturday. The problem is the business has to pay rent every day of the week.

exactly....this argument that there aren't enough dining and entertainment options downtown for a convention center is just stupid...of course there aren't...but does anyone think that those wouldn't open up if we actually started building a convention center. Its not like the center would open overnight...it would likely take 24+ months to build...plenty of time for the private market to step up. But right now they have no incentive.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: KenFSU on November 15, 2018, 10:17:30 PM
Taken yesterday, via a Reddit user.

Seems appropriate.

(https://i.imgur.com/Q2BOfma.jpg)
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: heights unknown on November 16, 2018, 09:15:26 AM
https://www.bizjournals.com/jacksonville/news/2018/11/15/after-a-year-of-work-jacksonvilleconvention-center.html

I think this, along with the recent rezoning, can pretty clearly be read as Curry saying, "we're giving the money to Khan's Lot J/Shipyards project instead."

Also implies that a very large ask is likely incoming on that front, and that we're likely prepared to meet it.

Still think "on hold" is going to end up equaling "on hold until 2020 when the ramps start to come down."
I agree with what Curry is saying. If we build a convention center, and there is almost nothing downtown or in the urban core to lure or justify people choosing Jax as a destination for conventions, then we really shouldn't put the cart before the horse (as we've done in the past). 2nd thing, does Shad Khan have to have DIA's or the Mayor's approval to build a convention center? Could he just make the decision to build one on his own and his own property across from the stadium if he chooses? I am not at all frustrated or disagree with Mayor's concern; it is astutely justifiable and he has every reason to be cautious; we've made too many mistakes in this regard in the past, or knee jerk decisions without thinking which has led to failure for those decisions and nothing in return for downtown, the urban core or our city as a whole.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: dp8541 on November 16, 2018, 09:30:33 AM
Kahn does not own the property around the stadium, but I am sure the city would allow him to build a convention center in the stadium district, problem is he is not going to do that without financial help from the city.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: Captain Zissou on November 16, 2018, 09:36:06 AM
Here's my reason for wanting the convention center: It helps retail/restaurant businesses in the core, particularly early in the week. Most bars wouldn't have a problem filling the place Thursday/Friday/Saturday. The problem is the business has to pay rent every day of the week.

exactly....this argument that there aren't enough dining and entertainment options downtown for a convention center is just stupid...of course there aren't...but does anyone think that those wouldn't open up if we actually started building a convention center. Its not like the center would open overnight...it would likely take 24+ months to build...plenty of time for the private market to step up. But right now they have no incentive.
How many dining and entertainment options are currently in the stadium district...?

I was at Cowford on wednesday and it did pretty solid business.  It wasn't 100% full, but everyone in my group was surprised how busy it was.  Last week I tried to eat at Olio for lunch on Wednesday and the area was SWAMPED with convention attendees.  I ended up having to eat at cowford (which I prefer, dinner was too expensive for what we got).  My gf works over there and she says events at the Hyatt regularly overwhelm the area during mealtime.  Why would we kill an economic driver for that area that is already in place?  Imagine how well the Bay Street District could do with a proper convention center?  More restaurants and bars, maybe an additional hotel nearby, more people outside. This is my #1 pick for the convention site, but I feel like the mayor's mind is already made up.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: itsfantastic1 on November 16, 2018, 03:26:37 PM
Also, as for there being nothing near the courthouse site; aren't there bars and restaurants on Bay St.? On Forsyth, isn't there the Florida Theater and a couple more bars? Isn't within walking distance of the city branded Elbow entertainment district? I'm not saying it's a Gaslamp district by any means, but that area seems to be the best in terms of space for  a convention center with surrounding entertainment.

Plus the surrounding area near the courthouse needs no subsidy, unlike the Shipyards. Nothing exists out at the stadium, it will literally repeat the mistakes of the Prime Osbourn by "if we build the convention center in the middle of nowhere; we will build other things after to support it." I'm not saying the 1 billion dollar option makes any sense, but that was due to a dumb RFP. The location is ideal.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: heights unknown on November 16, 2018, 04:04:58 PM
Here's my reason for wanting the convention center: It helps retail/restaurant businesses in the core, particularly early in the week. Most bars wouldn't have a problem filling the place Thursday/Friday/Saturday. The problem is the business has to pay rent every day of the week.

exactly....this argument that there aren't enough dining and entertainment options downtown for a convention center is just stupid...of course there aren't...but does anyone think that those wouldn't open up if we actually started building a convention center. Its not like the center would open overnight...it would likely take 24+ months to build...plenty of time for the private market to step up. But right now they have no incentive.
How many dining and entertainment options are currently in the stadium district...?

I was at Cowford on wednesday and it did pretty solid business.  It wasn't 100% full, but everyone in my group was surprised how busy it was.  Last week I tried to eat at Olio for lunch on Wednesday and the area was SWAMPED with convention attendees.  I ended up having to eat at cowford (which I prefer, dinner was too expensive for what we got).  My gf works over there and she says events at the Hyatt regularly overwhelm the area during mealtime.  Why would we kill an economic driver for that area that is already in place?  Imagine how well the Bay Street District could do with a proper convention center?  More restaurants and bars, maybe an additional hotel nearby, more people outside. This is my #1 pick for the convention site, but I feel like the mayor's mind is already made up.
Then please educate me...what exactly is the Mayor's rationale for freezing up (though I agree with him) on progressing toward building and completing a convention center. WHAT, pray tell, would possibly be an ulterior motive behind him halting work on a convention center until all of the pieces are in place first. Please, someone, explain.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: vicupstate on November 16, 2018, 04:23:44 PM
^^
He isn't killing the idea of a Convention Center, only putting one at the courthouse location. He is trying to eliminate that location from contention to allow his and Khan' plans to go forward to put it on Lot J.     
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: KenFSU on November 16, 2018, 04:31:24 PM
^Totally agree on the location. At the Courthouse site, you'd be within easy walking distance of Cowford, Bellwether, Bold City, 1904, Dos Gatos, Volstead, Olio, Indochine, Burrito Gallery, Bizarro Candy Apple, Breezys, Spliffs, Mathers Social, Joysticks, Bullbriar, proposed rooftop bars at Hotel Indigo and the Trio Courtyard, etc. Easy stroll to the Landing, and Vagabond, and Chamblins, and Sweet Pete's, and Hemming Park, and so many others. Plus, whatever ends up happening with the Berkman Hard Rock/arcade/ferris wheel and the USS Adams. It's also an easy walk to and across the Main Street Bridge and down toward Friendship Fountain. You've got Florida Theater and the Times-Union Performing Arts center right there as well.

All of the amenities listed above help contribute toward what makes Jacksonville unique.

Can't wrap my head around why you'd spend hundreds of millions of dollars subsidizing dozens of projects intended to create a more vibrant downtown, only to dump visitors a mile and a half away in the sports district so they can spend all their money at Chili's.

What's even crazier to me is the Jags' desire to develop, but insistence to do it at the sports complex. Yes, building an entertainment complex in the stadium district provides the Jags with a captive audience on game and concert days. But it also isolates them from the downtown workforce and residential community on every other day.

If Iguana built the proposed Cordish entertainment complex on the riverfront on the western edge of the Shipyards, adjacent to the Berkman and USS Adams, and the same Convention Center at the Courthouse property (at a lower cost to the city than any of the other bidders), and then provided a reliable transportation connection to the stadium, I think everybody wins. Downtown wins by proxy of keeping that $1 billiion+ investment within the central core. The taxpayers win by having the convention center and Cordish development complement, rather than cannibalize, all of the other publicly subsidized projects. Tourism wins, as conventioneers get the best of both worlds (authentic Jacksonville + big box entertainment). The project gets done faster and cheaper, there's not the urgency to chop down the Hart Bridge ramps and remediate a parking lot, and there's plenty of room along the riverfront for residential/hotel/office development going toward the stadium to happen organically.

Just kills me that we spend all this money on a 2014 study which suggests that we need to add more entertainment and amenities in order to be a successful convention city, and our solution is basically to just start over a mile down the road.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: Kerry on November 16, 2018, 04:38:49 PM
Convention Center = silver bullet.  Except for the top 10 to 12 convention centers in the US, the vast majority of convention centers are primarily used by local residents for local events.  I don't mind having a new convention center because as a resident who attends various events at the current convention center I don't mind having nice things and civic building that people can be proud of, but anyone who thinks a convention center is going to be a catalyst that spurs adjacent economic development - you will be sorely disappointed.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: KenFSU on November 16, 2018, 04:52:33 PM
Here's my reason for wanting the convention center: It helps retail/restaurant businesses in the core, particularly early in the week. Most bars wouldn't have a problem filling the place Thursday/Friday/Saturday. The problem is the business has to pay rent every day of the week.

exactly....this argument that there aren't enough dining and entertainment options downtown for a convention center is just stupid...of course there aren't...but does anyone think that those wouldn't open up if we actually started building a convention center. Its not like the center would open overnight...it would likely take 24+ months to build...plenty of time for the private market to step up. But right now they have no incentive.
How many dining and entertainment options are currently in the stadium district...?

I was at Cowford on wednesday and it did pretty solid business.  It wasn't 100% full, but everyone in my group was surprised how busy it was.  Last week I tried to eat at Olio for lunch on Wednesday and the area was SWAMPED with convention attendees.  I ended up having to eat at cowford (which I prefer, dinner was too expensive for what we got).  My gf works over there and she says events at the Hyatt regularly overwhelm the area during mealtime.  Why would we kill an economic driver for that area that is already in place?  Imagine how well the Bay Street District could do with a proper convention center?  More restaurants and bars, maybe an additional hotel nearby, more people outside. This is my #1 pick for the convention site, but I feel like the mayor's mind is already made up.
Then please educate me...what exactly is the Mayor's rationale for freezing up (though I agree with him) on progressing toward building and completing a convention center. WHAT, pray tell, would possibly be an ulterior motive behind him halting work on a convention center until all of the pieces are in place first. Please, someone, explain.

1. Earlier this year, the DIA (not COJ) issued an RFP for a Convention Center at the old Courthouse site.
2. Part of the intent of issuing the RFP was to gauge how much private interest there was in building a convention center in Jacksonville.
3. Three firms placed bids by the deadline, and all three clearly demonstrated that the private sector wasn't going to build a convention center for us, and that the cost of building what was required in the RFP (a massive complex with hotel and parking garage) was going to be astronomical.
4. Right after the Courthouse RFP closed, Shad Khan/Iguana sent in an unsolicited proposal for their own convention center, containing the same specs, but located on the Shipyards property near the stadium, rather than at the old Courthouse site. One of the firms who bid on the Courthouse site, Rimrock Devlin, reversed course suddenly, partnering with Khan on his proposal instead and insisting that the Shipyards is a better location.
5. In one of his last acts as CEO of the DIA, Aundra Wallace worked with the DIA to select a winner for the bid for the Courthouse site, which was Jacobs. Wallace said it was up to the city to ultimately decide where to build a convention center.
6. Wallace leaves the DIA for JAXUSA, and Curry's Chief of Staff takes over as interim CEO of the DIA.
7. Shad Khan's bid to buy Wembley stadium falls through, and the Jags start publicly talking about the need to find more revenue sources in Jacksonville to be viable here in the long-term; the convention center is specifically mentioned.
8. Some rumblings begin about the firms who bid on the Courthouse property potentially suing the city/DIA for acting in bad faith if they flip and go with a Shipyards convention center.
9. Concurrently, the Jaguars are also negotiating a potentially massive economic development agree with the City and Cordish for Lot J.
10) Curry tables the convention center conversation for the time being to focus on other public/private partnerships.

Taking everything at face value, Curry's decision was quite rational.

Issuing an RFP with such massive demands in the first place? Maybe you can justify it if the city thought that someone was going to come in and offer to build it for them with private dollars. Why not swing for the fences?

Knocking down the Courthouse and Annex without a definite decision on the property? Totally irrational.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: vicupstate on November 17, 2018, 07:43:59 AM
Issuing an RFP when you already had two things telling you it was a pipe dream to expect anything other than massively subsidized proposals was irrational as well.

Those two things were 1) the 2014 study and 2) common sense.

The firms that submitted bids should have their expenses reimbursed because there was never the expectation nor the intention that any proposal would actually be accepted.

I can't help but think the city's credibility has not been tarnished by this whole charade, but then again, I can't imagine that the city has much credibility anyway.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: thelakelander on November 17, 2018, 11:08:19 AM
The 2014 study didn't mean much if it was framed in "new" convention center talk instead of moving the exhibition hall out of the old train station. We're already in the business. Been in it since 1985. The conversation and analysis needs to be reframed to Jax's reality vs the unachievable and unrealistic dreams. For the amount of subsidies being dished out to projects like Berkman and the District, we can figure out a viable solution that maximizes our existing investments.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: FlaBoy on November 19, 2018, 01:15:03 PM
With the indecision here now, is there anyway to push the pause button in demolishing the Annex building with its history and density?
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: Kerry on November 19, 2018, 01:22:46 PM
The side facing the river already has truck size holes in it.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: thelakelander on November 19, 2018, 01:32:10 PM
Yeah, they're coming down. Whoever got that demo contract is getting their money whether it makes sense for the taxpayers or not.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: vicupstate on November 20, 2018, 09:51:45 AM
If you ask me, the only reason these buildings are coming down is because someone (Curry or Khan, most likely) think they are ugly.   
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: Kerry on November 20, 2018, 10:04:02 AM
If you ask me, the only reason these buildings are coming down is because someone (Curry or Khan, most likely) think they are ugly.

Sadly, they are mentally stuck in 1970 thinking the best way to redevelop land is to clear it first.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: billy on November 20, 2018, 12:18:20 PM
Would the City listen to an offer from a viable buyer at this point?
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: Steve on November 20, 2018, 12:34:32 PM
Would the City listen to an offer from a viable buyer at this point?

Likely yes, but someone with legit $$$ would need to act quickly.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: Charles Hunter on November 20, 2018, 01:58:56 PM
Would the City listen to an offer from a viable buyer at this point?

Hasn't the demo contract been awarded?  Would have to figure a way around that, perhaps with this hypothetical deep pockets paying the contractor a bonus over the contract price?
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: billy on November 20, 2018, 03:21:48 PM
Didn’t the public spaces have terrazzo flooring?
The interior demo and prep have probably trashed that them.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: minder on November 20, 2018, 03:27:08 PM
I definitely think a riverfront convention center in a district anchored by an NFL stadium makes it much more attractive than the current offering and to more than just small local gatherings. In addition, theres a lot of secondary attractions in that area. The arena, the baseball grounds, the fairgrounds, Daily's Place now.

Organic growth on its own is not enough and if the city wants to attract major events like Superbowls, College Football matches, potentially major conventions, and other events it needs to cater to visitors. There needs to be more hotel rooms and places to eat and drink, and additionally, its very important to me that the city keeps its only major sports team as I feel the Jaguars put the city on the map worldwide. I have no problem with public money contributing to this. How many areas of the size of Jacksonville have someone as wealthy as Khan willing to invest in it? I don't get the suspicion and paranoia over his intentions from some or the notion that if we get rid of a sports team suddenly there will be a big pot of money for the city to end poverty, crime and pot holes forever



Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: thelakelander on November 20, 2018, 03:32:48 PM
Would the City listen to an offer from a viable buyer at this point?

Hasn't the demo contract been awarded?  Would have to figure a way around that, perhaps with this hypothetical deep pockets paying the contractor a bonus over the contract price?

Yes the demo contract was awarded months ago. It's too late for them.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: thelakelander on November 20, 2018, 03:46:51 PM
I definitely think a riverfront convention center in a district anchored by an NFL stadium makes it much more attractive than the current offering and to more than just small local gatherings. In addition, theres a lot of secondary attractions in that area. The arena, the baseball grounds, the fairgrounds, Daily's Place now.

Much of this "district" is a pipe dream that only exists in pretty renderings. The type of uses discussed aren't going to make a convention center stand out here moreso than any where else to the outside world. This is something we need to seriously consider before lighting public money on fire. Our convention center issue doesn't need to be a multi-billion dollar fleecing of public funds. We can do a lot more with that type of money being invested elsewhere.

Quote
Organic growth on its own is not enough and if the city wants to attract major events like Superbowls, College Football matches, potentially major conventions, and other events it needs to cater to visitors. There needs to be more hotel rooms and places to eat and drink, and additionally, its very important to me that the city keeps its only major sports team as I feel the Jaguars put the city on the map worldwide.

These things are happening right now. Hyatt Place, Hotel Indigo, Courtyard by Marriott, Residence Inn by Marriott, Ambassador Hotel, etc. are all real projects taking place right now that will add hotel rooms and places to eat and drink.....all over a mile east of the stadium. If we really want to take advantage of that organic growth, we'd make major public investments within walking distance of them to kick the synergy into overdrive. Right now, it appears we're creating a situation where downtown subdistricts are competing for the same things as opposed to complementing each other, which will ultimately hurt the entire area.

Quote
I have no problem with public money contributing to this. How many areas of the size of Jacksonville have someone as wealthy as Khan willing to invest in it? I don't get the suspicion and paranoia over his intentions from some or the notion that if we get rid of a sports team suddenly there will be a big pot of money for the city to end poverty, crime and pot holes forever.

I don't have a problem investing public money on projects that make sense for the taxpayer. I'm actually glad Khan is here. However, that doesn't mean I'd be willing to hand over money to him just because he is who he is. If he's asking for public dollars, his feet need to be held to fire just like any other developer would.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: thelakelander on November 20, 2018, 04:00:08 PM
Sorry, I missed this line....

I definitely think a riverfront convention center in a district anchored by an NFL stadium makes it much more attractive than the current offering and to more than just small local gatherings. In addition, theres a lot of secondary attractions in that area. The arena, the baseball grounds, the fairgrounds, Daily's Place now.

Organic growth on its own is not enough and if the city wants to attract major events like Superbowls, College Football matches, potentially major conventions, and other events it needs to cater to visitors. There needs to be more hotel rooms and places to eat and drink, and additionally, its very important to me that the city keeps its only major sports team as I feel the Jaguars put the city on the map worldwide. I have no problem with public money contributing to this. How many areas of the size of Jacksonville have someone as wealthy as Khan willing to invest in it? I don't get the suspicion and paranoia over his intentions from some or the notion that if we get rid of a sports team suddenly there will be a big pot of money for the city to end poverty, crime and pot holes forever.

If fear of the Jags leaving town becomes the primary driver of how we invest in downtown, the area is screwed. Even a prostitute has boundaries. Is there a point where we'd say no?
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: minder on November 20, 2018, 05:17:03 PM
They may be a pipedream at the moment because of mere renderings, but I'm in the midwest and can visibly see the benefit that these Cordish major venue anchored projects have had in downtown KC/STL, and infact have moved into the latter phases. These were places that since suburban flight have severely suffered but are now alive with activity on a regular basis. The Cowboys and the Rangers also have a joint project between their stadiums in Arlington. If its good enough for them its good enough for Jacksonville in my eyes. I don't see what development would take place in that part of Downtown without the Jags. The shipyards have laid empty for years with prime riverfront space, we've got half built abandoned condos as well. Khan is the first man with the pockets and the intent to make stuff seriously happen in that area of town and has my full support, because as a small market NFL team, the organisation can't just rely on 10 games a year to make money.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: thelakelander on November 20, 2018, 07:23:02 PM
They may be a pipedream at the moment because of mere renderings, but I'm in the midwest and can visibly see the benefit that these Cordish major venue anchored projects have had in downtown KC/STL, and infact have moved into the latter phases. These were places that since suburban flight have severely suffered but are now alive with activity on a regular basis.

I'm familiar with KC/STL. I don't mind Cordish coming to town but to be honest, Cordish isn't the driver of their downtown revitalization efforts. Both of those places have dense urban cores and do a great job of promoting their local culture. The Cordish developments also aren't a mile away from everything. They're in the middle of scenes that were already on the comeback.

In St. Louis, MetroLink LRT (1993), Citygarden (2009), Washington Avenue, etc. are all great spaces and investments that came on the scene before Ballpark Village opened in 2014. St. Louis also built their convention center (1977) literally in the heart of the city. Busch Stadium (2006) and Ballpark Village (2014) were also built within two blocks of the Old Courthouse. If we followed the St. Louis model, we'd have moved TIAA Bank Field closer to the core and all the additional development would simply bring more people into an area that was already organically making a comeback. The same thing applies to Kansas City. The Kansas City Convention Center (1976) and the Power & Light District (2007) are both in the heart of the city as opposed to Arrowhead Stadium. Now there's a street car the further ties these urban destinations together with other districts surrounding that city's downtown. If we followed the Kansas City example, we'd be building these things west of Hogans Creek.

Quote
The Cowboys and the Rangers also have a joint project between their stadiums in Arlington. If its good enough for them its good enough for Jacksonville in my eyes. I don't see what development would take place in that part of Downtown without the Jags.

Context is everything when it comes to understanding what makes infill development work and don't work. With that said, I'm definitely not against the Jags developing infill around TIAA Bank Field. It really boils down to simply making sure we aren't subsidizing their profits at the expense of everyone else. In other words, we need to make sure what the public subsidizes complements the investments already being made.

Quote
The shipyards have laid empty for years with prime riverfront space, we've got half built abandoned condos as well.

The Shipyards have laid empty because of the incompetence of the City of Jacksonville. Nothing more and nothing less. Berkman 2 is a special situation due to the collapse, years of lawsuits and a recession. However, it isn't unique. There's buildings like that in places like Miami and Houston as well.  Here's shots I took in both of their downtowns over the last month:

A dead project one block west of Miami's Brightline Station
(https://photos.smugmug.com/Cities/Miami/Miami-October-2018/i-b4p72c5/0/cc2b9932/L/20181025_171133-L.jpg)


Vacant shell in Downtown Houston
(https://photos.smugmug.com/Cities/Houston-November-2018/i-VhFHnvP/0/319e6c23/L/20181117_140438-L.jpg)

The two cities mentioned above are the two most cosmopolitan cities in the South. Both are also rapidly outgrowing Jax. Despite that growth, there are still projects that have failed in their downtowns for various reasons. I mention this because sometimes we get too fixated on sites we think are problems to vibrancy that really aren't. The Shipyards, Berkman and the JEA sites aren't the reason downtown struggles with obtaining pedestrian scale vibrancy. Because of their location and distance by foot from the core of the city, building them out won't resolve that particular issue either.

Quote
Khan is the first man with the pockets and the intent to make stuff seriously happen in that area of town and has my full support, because as a small market NFL team, the organisation can't just rely on 10 games a year to make money.

They aren't making money off a convention center unless we're building it for them. It's well proven that convention Centers tend to be money losers. The benefit they bring is when clustered with existing complementing development (hotels, restaurants, retail, etc.), they help support those businesses. For Lot J to ultimately work, we could use a hell of a lot more permanent residents. So mixed use should be something definitely pushed in the Sports District. Connecting the area to the downtown core with some real reliable mass transit (yeah the U2C thing isn't going to do it) would also help the Jags big time.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: KenFSU on November 21, 2018, 12:32:38 AM
They may be a pipedream at the moment because of mere renderings, but I'm in the midwest and can visibly see the benefit that these Cordish major venue anchored projects have had in downtown KC/STL, and infact have moved into the latter phases. These were places that since suburban flight have severely suffered but are now alive with activity on a regular basis.

But at what expense? Kansas City is $1.5 billion in debt, but they're on the hook for almost $20 million annually from their general fund just for debt service on the Power and Light District. A full 2 percent of their annual city budget goes to Cordish.

Additionally, Cordish has a provision in the agreement where they can build virtually unlimited residential, and the city is forced to provide parking and subsidies. For A HUNDRED YEARS. We'll be dead, our kids will be dead, and KC will still be on the hook.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: landfall on November 21, 2018, 05:00:20 AM
NYC, Chicago, Philadelphia are some of the most debt ridden cities in the country, they aren't exactly struggling though. Subsidising public-private partnerships for long term gain isn't unique to Kansas City. There is absolutely no one in any industry who is building anything here of significance without some element of public support.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: thelakelander on November 21, 2018, 07:58:25 AM
The Landing, Hyatt and Bay Street (Elbow) are all results of public-private partnerships. If we want to get to the point where we can reduce the amount of incentives tossed around for these projects, at some point, we have to start clustering things together. As for the KC/Cordish/Lot J thing (well basically all P3s), we'll need to figure out at what number does a P3 make sense and at what number does it not.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: Steve on November 23, 2018, 11:07:27 AM
Yea, these buildings are coming down:

https://www.jaxdailyrecord.com/article/city-approves-permits-for-former-annex-courthouse-demolition

Strangely, while I think it's stupid to bring them down before a plan for the site is arranged, I feel much stronger about the Hogan Street demo for Fire Rescue. I just didn't see a scenario where whatever this site is, these buildings being a part of it.

Maybe I'm wrong.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: thelakelander on November 23, 2018, 12:49:23 PM
I could see a scenario where City Hall Annex could have been a hotel or workforce housing. However, we never put a RFP out for reuse to see what might have been possible. Instead, we let them sit empty for years and then decided they needed to be torn down and that razing them was equal to progress. It was like we've learned nothing from our bad decisions of the 70s, 80s and 90s.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: downtownbrown on December 06, 2018, 02:48:58 PM
so now that DIA has scrapped the convention center at the old courthouse and rejected the RFP altogether, does that mean Khan gets to build his hotel there?
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: Captain Zissou on December 06, 2018, 03:20:46 PM
so now that DIA has scrapped the convention center at the old courthouse and rejected the RFP altogether, does that mean Khan gets to build his hotel there?

If we are scrapping the convention center at this site, I want to see that Rimrock Devlin multi-family project moving forward tomorrow.  Chances are that whole project was just smoke and mirrors though. 
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: KenFSU on December 06, 2018, 05:18:49 PM
so now that DIA has scrapped the convention center at the old courthouse and rejected the RFP altogether, does that mean Khan gets to build his hotel there?

Khan/Iguana never proposed a hotel at the old Courthouse site.

There were some early rumblings that Iguana might make a bid on a convention center at the Courthouse site, but ultimately, it's clear that they want all of their eggs in one basket out by the sports complex. Hence why, the day after the Courthouse RFP closed, Iguana submitted their own unsolicited proposal for a convention center on the eastern edge of the Shipyards.

In an effort to sweeten their own bid for a Shipyards convention center, Iguana's partner on the proposal - Rimrock Devlin - offered to also create a mixed-use development on the Courthouse site, consisting of low-rise apartments, a suburban style hotel, lots of surface parking, and just enough restaurant, retail, and marina space to look flashy on paper without competing with the Lot J plans.

(http://rimrockdevlin.com/wp-content/uploads/Alt-Development-Plans-Old-Courthouse-1.jpg)

This wasn't a separate thing, but rather an add-on the group agreed to develop if the city played ball on a Shipyards convention center.

A couple of problems here:

1) Iguana has exclusive development rights over the Shipyards, but not over the Courthouse site. We're not in a legal position to give that land to anyone, at least not without issuing another public RFP for all uses.

2) Hyatt technically still has right of first refusal on that property, giving them the right to match any offer for it.

To me, this week's developments are another clear signal that the convention center is ultimately going to the Shipyards.

The city and DIA aren't putting convention center talks on the backburner for the old Courthouse site, they're cancelling the RFP outright and rejecting the proposals from all three firms, including the winner, Jacobs. In essence, they're abandoning the grand Courthouse convention center plan outright for the foreseeable future.

I suppose there's always the chance that they re-RFP the Courthouse property for a smaller, more reasonably scaled convention center, but there sure does seem to be a lot of back-slapping going on between the mayor and the Jags today on getting the rest of that Hart Bridge ramp removal funding in place and moving forward as quickly as possible on bringing the ramps down (the city claims construction will be under way in 10-months, though that seems very optimistic).

Lamping has said multiple times that when the ramps come down, the Jags want to begin work on a Shipyards convention center.

2020 sounds about right for those negotiations to begin.

Hell, even the Innovation Corridor BUILD application references a Shipyards convention center.

Unfortunately, the most likely scenario is that the city grasses over the Courthouse site, Shipyards style, and sits on it for a few years while they figure everything else out.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: 120North on December 07, 2018, 09:44:32 AM
To me the cancellation of the RFP is a bad thing for JAX overall.  It seems like we have officially thrown all of our eggs into the iguana basket with respect to North Bank public development.  Viable developers are being told no.  Jacobs is a Fortune 200 company, with private financing for the CC project.  The city would have had nothing out of pocket until the center had completed construction. The CC would have been ready to roll in 5 years.  How much ancillary development around that site happens in that 5 years and in the couple of years afterwards in anticipation of the opening?  Likely more than enough to support the CC.  Instead, we cancel that deal for more Iguana development that is dependent on waiting for multi-year dominoes (Har Bridge Ramps) to fall before anything gets done.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: thelakelander on December 07, 2018, 10:05:44 AM
I think it's bad in that it was all based off faulty information. That RFP was bloated with criteria we don't need at that site or Metropolitan Park. I do believe a realistic solution could have been done with Jacobs or someone else for a fraction of what we're going to be on the hook for, for much of the stuff being talked about east of Liberty Street. The other negative is wasting the resources of credible development teams. It takes a lot of time and money to respond to RFPs. Don't burn business money for the sake of burning it. Have a plan and be ready to implement before playing games with the private sector. Now we've burned $8 million in demo money to look at another two blocks of vacant land for the foreseeable future.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: KenFSU on December 07, 2018, 10:40:25 AM
The other negative is wasting the resources of credible development teams. It takes a lot of time and money to respond to RFPs. Don't burn business money for the sake of burning it. Have a plan and be ready to implement before playing games with the private sector.

Can you imagine?

We fund a study that concludes that Jacksonville doesn't have the infrastructure to support a large convention center at this time.

We proceed to ignore the findings and issue an RFP for a massive convention center anyway, requiring every bell and whistle.

Jacobs spends three months and likely hundreds of thousands of dollars preparing a thoughtful, 257-page response to the RFP.

They bring in 35 people to present the plan to the DIA.

Jacobs scores a 93 on their proposal - 13 points higher than the other firms - and wins the bid.

A month later - after someone else has put in an unsolicited bid for a convention center at a totally different location - the city tells Jacobs, "Nevermind, we've got this study that says none of this was a good idea to begin with. Plus, we can't afford what we listed in the RFP. Whoops. We're rejecting your bid."

Plus, you can't discount the fact that we really did Hyatt dirty as well by dangling this convention center carrot on a string. They've been a good partner to the city through all the construction, they worked very closely with Jacobs on their bid, and we're ultimately going to need their blessing on anything we do with that property. Can't imagine we haven't wrecked some goodwill with Hyatt as well.

Jacksonville has historically had a hard time getting bids on RFPs from the private sector to begin with (Noah's Ark at the Shipyards doesn't count), you've gotta think that private developers will take notice of how the city is treating companies like Jacobs, Hyatt, and Sleiman Enterprises.

Still don't understand what the harm is in telling Jacobs and Hyatt, "Hey, we love what you guys came up with, but we can't afford the terms of the financing. What do you think you could do as a phase one for $XXX million?"
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: 120North on December 07, 2018, 10:43:29 AM
I think it's bad in that it was all based off faulty information. That RFP was bloated with criteria we don't need at that site or Metropolitan Park. I do believe a realistic solution could have been done with Jacobs or someone else for a fraction of what we're going to be on the hook for, for much of the stuff being talked about east of Liberty Street. The other negative is wasting the resources of credible development teams. It takes a lot of time and money to respond to RFPs. Don't burn business money for the sake of burning it. Have a plan and be ready to implement before playing games with the private sector. Now we've burned $8 million in demo money to look at another two blocks of vacant land for the foreseeable future.
I have no doubt that a reasonable project with the size/features that made sense could have easily been negotiated with Jacobs at the courthouse site.  That's usually how it works.  Developers from outside of JAX seem to get the short end of the stick so to speak.  JAX is developing that kind of reputation.
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: KenFSU on December 07, 2018, 11:43:09 AM
I'm sure Jacobs (and Shad Khan) will love this quote:

Quote
The DIA Strategic Implementation Committee comprises Craig Gibbs, Braxton Gillam, Ron Moody and Marc Padgett.

All agreed it was time to table the discussion. “I think it’s probably wise to wait,” Padgett said.

Gillam said he thought the board moved too quickly over the summer by issuing a request for proposals and allowing firms to present their visions.

He said the East Bay Street location isn’t the best fit.

“I never thought the proposed location was a good one for a convention center,” said Gillam. He said the 8.4-acre property restricted the possible scope of a convention center.


full article: https://www.jaxdailyrecord.com/article/dia-committee-recommends-halting-plans-for-bay-street-convention-center
Title: Re: Convention Center Wars
Post by: thelakelander on December 07, 2018, 12:34:45 PM
(https://photos.smugmug.com/Cities/West-Palm-Beach-September-2018/i-x9HCWKN/0/3fe8a217/L/20180912_140843-L.jpg)

West Palm Beach's convention center was built for $83 million in 2004. It has a 100,000 square foot exhibition hall and a 25,000 square foot ballroom. It's across the street from CityPlace, a mixed-use retail, dining and entertainment complex that opened in 2000. Palm Beach County had an estimated 1,471,150 residents in 2017. Duval had 937,934.

The Palm Beach County Convention Center did not turn a profit until 2017. To do that, it took the addition of a $110 million, 400-room Hilton Hotel that opened in 2016. I don't think anyone here is crazy enough to argue that we get more tourist than South Florida or that our convention pull is stronger.

(https://photos.smugmug.com/Cities/West-Palm-Beach-September-2018/i-MSNqnv3/0/68fb81a1/L/20180912_140637-L.jpg)

When I see this, I wonder why we need a center twice the size for something that already barely makes end's meat in a much larger market?

I also wonder what in the world is someone like Gillam thinking when he says the convention center scope is restricted at the courthouse site? Whatever it is, it sure can't be based on market reality. The scope should be shrunk.....in half at a minimum and if the courthouse is evaluated, a hotel (which costs more than the convention center itself) shouldn't be in it. If you really want to see what you can do with the courthouse site, set your parameters to the basics and make respondents come up with a $100 to $150 million plan with the option of taking advantage of what's already in place. If you want to realistically compare that site with another one that lacks the supportive infrastructure, no problem. Just make sure the other site includes the numbers for the rest. Then you'll have some apples to apples numbers to play with in your decision making.