The Jaxson

Jacksonville by Neighborhood => Downtown => Topic started by: KenFSU on June 07, 2019, 01:48:33 PM

Title: Vystar CEO Personally Investing in Downtown
Post by: KenFSU on June 07, 2019, 01:48:33 PM
https://www.jaxdailyrecord.com/article/vystar-ceo-brian-wolfburg-personally-investing-in-downtown-property

This is more exciting to me than anything going on at the stadium.
Title: Re: Vystar CEO Personally Investing in Downtown
Post by: Steve on June 07, 2019, 02:18:35 PM
Awesome!

Now, I'm surprised how you'd get 5-6 apartments in this building (there's two windows in the front and let's assume two in the back), but that's another matter
Title: Re: Vystar CEO Personally Investing in Downtown
Post by: thelakelander on June 07, 2019, 02:41:27 PM
Pretty cool. It would be interesting to see what the investments in Buffalo have been to get a better read on what he could be trying to accomplish with his plans here.
Title: Re: Vystar CEO Personally Investing in Downtown
Post by: Jagsdrew on June 07, 2019, 03:10:05 PM
Pretty cool. It would be interesting to see what the investments in Buffalo have been to get a better read on what he could be trying to accomplish with his plans here.

I thought the mayor was going to demo that building for a scenic grass lot to attract the hundreds of thousands living in greater Jacksonville metropolitan area to downtown? But now we got people wanting to invest and redevelop existing property. Sheesh!

<Insert heavy sarcasm>
Title: Re: Vystar CEO Personally Investing in Downtown
Post by: DrQue on June 07, 2019, 03:34:59 PM
I'd love to see more patient capital at work in downtown. Over time small projects like this add up.
Title: Re: Vystar CEO Personally Investing in Downtown
Post by: Steve on June 07, 2019, 03:46:06 PM
I'd love to see more patient capital at work in downtown. Over time small projects like this add up.

And likely will have more impact than a Lot J.
Title: Re: Vystar CEO Personally Investing in Downtown
Post by: thelakelander on June 07, 2019, 04:36:11 PM
I'd love to see more patient capital at work in downtown. Over time small projects like this add up.

And likely will have more impact than a Lot J.

Fixed...
Title: Re: Vystar CEO Personally Investing in Downtown
Post by: Snaketoz on June 07, 2019, 08:17:14 PM
Pretty cool. It would be interesting to see what the investments in Buffalo have been to get a better read on what he could be trying to accomplish with his plans here.
Surely, Jacksonville can be a better investment than Buffalo.  Buffalo is shrinking, we're growing.
Title: Re: Vystar CEO Personally Investing in Downtown
Post by: thelakelander on June 07, 2019, 09:38:53 PM
Detroit as a whole is shrinking but its downtown is growing leaps and bounds. In Jax, we've just witnessed a net loss of nearly 30 downtown businesses within the past month. I haven't been to Buffalo in a decade but I'd assume he's not investing in keeping buildings boarded up. It would be interesting to see what they've done.
Title: Re: Vystar CEO Personally Investing in Downtown
Post by: heights unknown on June 07, 2019, 10:55:11 PM
https://www.jaxdailyrecord.com/article/vystar-ceo-brian-wolfburg-personally-investing-in-downtown-property

This is more exciting to me than anything going on at the stadium.
I like what I am reading here. I just hope he continues with his vision and momentum in integrating Vystar into helping downtown to prosper and move to the next level.
Title: Re: Vystar CEO Personally Investing in Downtown
Post by: ProjectMaximus on June 08, 2019, 12:06:06 AM
Wolfburg is leading the Chamber's trip to Buffalo this summer:

https://www.myjaxchamber.com/index.php?src=sba&srctype=geteventdetails&cale_id=6230

Detroit as a whole is shrinking but its downtown is growing leaps and bounds. In Jax, we've just witnessed a net loss of nearly 30 downtown businesses within the past month. I haven't been to Buffalo in a decade but I'd assume he's not investing in keeping buildings boarded up. It would be interesting to see what they've done.

I was in Buffalo summer of 2017, only for one night, but it was a very lively scene along the waterfront. I believe it was a weeknight too when I was there.
Title: Re: Vystar CEO Personally Investing in Downtown
Post by: KenFSU on June 08, 2019, 12:16:01 AM
^Lovely city.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/28/travel/what-to-do-in-buffalo-ny.amp.html
Title: Re: Vystar CEO Personally Investing in Downtown
Post by: thelakelander on June 08, 2019, 08:21:54 AM
 I don't think a lot of local people realize how dead the Northbank is in comparison with the downtowns of other major US cities. I was last in Buffalo back in 2008. It wasn't Boston but it wasn't Jax either. Even then, there were some spots with a lot of activity. For example, you could find options for food even on a Sunday morning. Elmwood Avenue was also pretty impressive and the architecture and Olmsted parks were great as well.
Title: Re: Vystar CEO Personally Investing in Downtown
Post by: Snaketoz on June 08, 2019, 08:32:08 AM
https://www.bestplaces.net/compare-cities/buffalo_ny/jacksonville_fl/overview
I was surprised that the median age in Buffalo is younger than Jacksonville.
Title: Re: Vystar CEO Personally Investing in Downtown
Post by: jaxjags on June 08, 2019, 03:04:18 PM
I don't think a lot of local people realize how dead the Northbank is in comparison with the downtowns of other major US cities. I was last in Buffalo back in 2008. It wasn't Boston but it wasn't Jax either. Even then, there were some spots with a lot of activity. For example, you could find options for food even on a Sunday morning. Elmwood Avenue was also pretty impressive and the architecture and Olmsted parks were great as well.

I totally agree that the city and DIA have huge problems making DT better. As a general observation, I know Buffalo has Lake Erie, but neither Buffalo nor Oklahoma City have miles of ocean beaches to compete with DT.

My opinion is city and JEA need to unload all of their DT properties at low costs if not free to developers of all types with one stipulation. No surface parking lot. Let's see what DT looks like 10 years from now.
Title: Re: Vystar CEO Personally Investing in Downtown
Post by: thelakelander on June 08, 2019, 04:32:11 PM
I can't even seriously consider the beaches as an excuse. If that were the case, St. Petersburg, Tampa, Miami, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, Sarasota, Pensacola, Houston, Savannah, Charleston, Wilmington, Norfolk, San Diego, LA, etc. would be in similar or worse position. I truly believe DT Jax's largest challenge and obstacle to overcome has been shortsightedness coming out of city hall.
Title: Re: Vystar CEO Personally Investing in Downtown
Post by: Kiva on June 08, 2019, 06:56:27 PM

I totally agree that the city and DIA have huge problems making DT better. As a general observation, I know Buffalo has Lake Erie, but neither Buffalo nor Oklahoma City have miles of ocean beaches to compete with DT.

My opinion is city and JEA need to unload all of their DT properties at low costs if not free to developers of all types with one stipulation. No surface parking lot. Let's see what DT looks like 10 years from now.
That is way too sensible an idea. The city council would never do that. Better to keep city properties indefinitely and wait for them to fall apart!
Title: Re: Vystar CEO Personally Investing in Downtown
Post by: bl8jaxnative on June 10, 2019, 11:25:52 AM
I can't even seriously consider the beaches as an excuse. If that were the case, St. Petersburg, Tampa, Miami, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, Sarasota, Pensacola, Houston, Savannah, Charleston, Wilmington, Norfolk, San Diego, LA, etc. would be in similar or worse position. I truly believe DT Jax's largest challenge and obstacle to overcome has been shortsightedness coming out of city hall.

I'd take downtown Jacksonville over downtown LA any day.
Title: Re: Vystar CEO Personally Investing in Downtown
Post by: thelakelander on June 10, 2019, 11:56:22 AM
Not if vibrancy is important to you. DT LA is pretty vibrant for a US city. One of the best in the country, IMO. Definitely underrated. Some pictures I took from last year:

(https://photos.smugmug.com/Cities/Los-Angeles-March-2018/i-hZkmMpT/0/ce1f37a1/XL/20180322_165357-XL.jpg)

(https://photos.smugmug.com/Cities/Los-Angeles-March-2018/i-N6nr6n9/0/8e098bd4/XL/20180322_174904-XL.jpg)

(https://photos.smugmug.com/Cities/Los-Angeles-March-2018/i-PrXxWmQ/0/6f5fec70/XL/20180323_121220-XL.jpg)

(https://photos.smugmug.com/Cities/Los-Angeles-March-2018/i-wVqjpKW/0/5e0bdad7/XL/20180323_122124-XL.jpg)

(https://photos.smugmug.com/Cities/Los-Angeles-March-2018/i-3ScJXz9/0/bde583bd/XL/20180323_133429-XL.jpg)

(https://photos.smugmug.com/Cities/Los-Angeles-March-2018/i-L3wrBnD/0/8dff766f/XL/20180323_150444-XL.jpg)

(https://photos.smugmug.com/Cities/Los-Angeles-March-2018/i-hF5Drw2/0/e9099219/XL/20180323_162408-XL.jpg)

(https://photos.smugmug.com/Cities/Los-Angeles-March-2018/i-d7Xm9X2/0/80c8cd0c/XL/20180323_153513-XL.jpg)
Title: Re: Vystar CEO Personally Investing in Downtown
Post by: Kerry on June 10, 2019, 05:42:26 PM
All the street scenes of Seinfeld were filmed in downtown LA.  Most people thought it was NYC.
Title: Re: Vystar CEO Personally Investing in Downtown
Post by: blizz01 on June 10, 2019, 06:05:12 PM
Not all. I can think of Tom's Restaurant in particular.  And whatever the  Soup Nazi place was called. 
Title: Re: Vystar CEO Personally Investing in Downtown
Post by: Steve on June 10, 2019, 07:13:46 PM
All the street scenes of Seinfeld were filmed in downtown LA.  Most people thought it was NYC.

That is mostly true (about 99%). There were some specific places that were filmed in NY, but most of what was New York was establishing exterior shots. Monk's (which is really Tom's at 112th and Broadway) exterior is New York, but the interior is a set in LA. The Soup Nazi place was LA (though based on a NY place). Most of the New York stuff also was shot with doubles (there's a classic scene with Kramer outrunning the Cable Guy. All of the New York shots were shot from Kramer's back because it wasn't actually Michael Richards.

Anyway....lol
Title: Re: Vystar CEO Personally Investing in Downtown
Post by: pierre on June 11, 2019, 07:46:12 AM
I can't even seriously consider the beaches as an excuse. If that were the case, St. Petersburg, Tampa, Miami, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, Sarasota, Pensacola, Houston, Savannah, Charleston, Wilmington, Norfolk, San Diego, LA, etc. would be in similar or worse position. I truly believe DT Jax's largest challenge and obstacle to overcome has been shortsightedness coming out of city hall.

That is 100% true. And the people making the terrible decisions keep getting elected and re-elected.
Title: Re: Vystar CEO Personally Investing in Downtown
Post by: jaxlore on June 11, 2019, 01:46:28 PM
I was in Detroit two weeks ago and they are moving at the speed of light compared to us. Downtown and surrounding areas like Ferndale and Royal Oak really putting jax to shame.
Title: Re: Vystar CEO Personally Investing in Downtown
Post by: thelakelander on June 11, 2019, 01:59:50 PM
^Yeah it is insane how much we've missed the urban redevelopment boom of the last 10 years in comparison with most major cities across the country. Sometimes you'll get tagged with being a pessimist but people really do need to wake up and see what's been taking place outside of Duval County in recent years. After all, one can only be a cheerleader up to a point before that same cheerleading turns into an economic negative. Hopefully, more exposure of what other places are accomplishing will help us get over the hump.
Title: Re: Vystar CEO Personally Investing in Downtown
Post by: RiversideRambler on June 11, 2019, 02:05:38 PM
I don't think a lot of local people realize how dead the Northbank is in comparison with the downtowns of other major US cities.

Does the geography of Jacksonville contribute to this? If there wasn't a river between San Marco and Downtown, would more people go downtown after work hours? Second to "there's nothing to do downtown", I think people believe it's difficult to get there. We talk about the river as an asset but does it, combined with the highways, isolate downtown?

Just thinking out loud...
Title: Re: Vystar CEO Personally Investing in Downtown
Post by: thelakelander on June 11, 2019, 02:38:41 PM
I don't think a lot of local people realize how dead the Northbank is in comparison with the downtowns of other major US cities.

Does the geography of Jacksonville contribute to this?

I don't personally believe so. Or else places like Cincinnati, Norfolk, Louisville, St. Louis, Grand Rapids, etc. would have similar struggles. I truly believe that DT Jax's biggest problem has been city hall embracing policies and weird redevelopment gimmicks that make the revitalization effort difficult.

Quote
If there wasn't a river between San Marco and Downtown, would more people go downtown after work hours? Second to "there's nothing to do downtown",

The question we general fail to ask is why? Decades of continuously destroying buildings for parking lots hamper the possibility of a critical mass of small complimenting projects being able to proceed naturally. Blowing down surrounding neighborhoods of high density and replacing them with less density hurts as well.  Then, failing to invest in the little necessary things, in favor of attempting to swing for the fences with dreams of home run projects also hurts.

Quote
I think people believe it's difficult to get there.

In reality, most of downtown's issues are self inflicted. It is difficult when we keep doing the same things since the 1960s and expecting a different result. Turning things around, simply means doing what works for a change, even if it goes against traditional local practices and familiarity.

Quote
We talk about the river as an asset but does it, combined with the highways, isolate downtown?

Just thinking out loud...

The river is simply water. We can't really maximize its potential without first paying high attention to the breathing life into sick urban area that extends several blocks north of it.
Title: Re: Vystar CEO Personally Investing in Downtown
Post by: pierre on June 11, 2019, 03:03:07 PM
^Yeah it is insane how much we've missed the urban redevelopment boom of the last 10 years in comparison with most major cities across the country. Sometimes you'll get tagged with being a pessimist but people really do need to wake up and see what's been taking place outside of Duval County in recent years. After all, one can only be a cheerleader up to a point before that same cheerleading turns into an economic negative. Hopefully, more exposure of what other places are accomplishing will help us get over the hump.

I travel a lot for work and pleasure. It is outright stunning how far behind other cities we are. And I am not just talking about big metros. Similar size cities, and smaller cities. We are decades behind. It is actually very depressing to travel and come back here.
Title: Re: Vystar CEO Personally Investing in Downtown
Post by: MusicMan on June 11, 2019, 03:24:13 PM
I am a big fan of VyStar. They are a critical supporter of the Symphony, and are making their presence known downtown.  I've also used them to buy 3 cars. The last one I was able to refi over the phone, in 30 minutes,and never left my office chair..... knocked my payment down by over $100.

I'll keep using them, and recommend you guys do it as well. When a company starts doing what you want to see happen in your community, then support them!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

VyStar Center for Performing Arts??? I like the sound of that.

Just came back from a 2 day trip to Atlanta. Had not realized how impressive it is as a city these days. Spent time in Inman Park, a well known neighborhood. I loved the juxtapostion of new modern architecture with the older homes. IMO they complement one another and gives customers choice! 

Stayed at Aloft near Centennial Park. It was great!

By the way the asking price for the 325 W Forsyth bldg was $625,000.
Title: Re: Vystar CEO Personally Investing in Downtown
Post by: Kerry on June 11, 2019, 05:16:29 PM
Careful...you guys are treading into Kerry territory.
Title: Re: Vystar CEO Personally Investing in Downtown
Post by: KenFSU on June 12, 2019, 01:44:04 PM
More quotes from VyStar's CEO, via the JBJ:

Quote
The downtown campus will elevate the initiative, Wolfburg said, and the credit union is spending top dollar to make the campus an inviting place to work. VyStar is commissioning public sculptures, bringing in modified shipping containers for pop-up stores, dedicating the first floor of 100 West Bay for retailers, exploring options for a farmers' market and more.

Design plans include illuminating the profiles of both downtown towers and allowing for a rooftop bar on top of 100 West Bay. The credit union further plans to develop the alleyway between the two buildings and invest in the food truck court adjacent to its campus. This will include some form of permanent structure for the food trucks and an expansion of their hours, Wolfburg explained.

Beyond amenities for employees, Wolfburg wants the campus to be a part of revitalizing downtown. He has been careful to avoid making any plans that would stymie other downtown projects, he told the Friday morning crowd, and he is working to develop flexible lease structures to support pioneer retailers coming downtown.

"We're being very flexible with tenants to make sure it makes sense for them to be on the tip of the spear coming downtown," he said.

Further retail space may come available in the first floor of the VyStar tower, and Wolfburg wants restaurateurs within the campus that will offer breakfast, lunch and dinner service.

Coming downtown was also a way for VyStar to show a commitment to and help along downtown's growth, Wolfburg said.

"Without downtown Jacksonville, there is no Northeast Florida," he said. "It needs to be vibrant, close to jobs
Title: Re: Vystar CEO Personally Investing in Downtown
Post by: Kerry on June 12, 2019, 02:07:25 PM
Quote
Beyond amenities for employees, Wolfburg wants the campus to be a part of revitalizing downtown. He has been careful to avoid making any plans that would stymie other downtown projects, he told the Friday morning crowd, and he is working to develop flexible lease structures to support pioneer retailers coming downtown.

Maybe like tearing down the Landing and throwing tax dollars at Lot J?

I wonder if IKEA was concerned that they might stymie other developments around the Town Center.
Title: Re: Vystar CEO Personally Investing in Downtown
Post by: vicupstate on June 12, 2019, 02:21:40 PM
That CEO needs to be the next mayor. He clearly gets it. 
Title: Re: Vystar CEO Personally Investing in Downtown
Post by: Houseboat Mike on June 17, 2019, 04:12:20 PM
dear god please let there be a Taco Bell in the future.... :D
Title: Re: Vystar CEO Personally Investing in Downtown
Post by: Kerry on June 17, 2019, 06:13:13 PM
dear god please let there be a Taco Bell in the future.... :D

Not sure if this is sarcasm, but just my kids and me could have kept a downtown Taco Bell profitable.