The Jaxson

Jacksonville by Neighborhood => Downtown => Topic started by: thelakelander on June 24, 2019, 08:11:56 AM

Title: Mixed-Use Infill Proposed For Cathedral District
Post by: thelakelander on June 24, 2019, 08:11:56 AM
Quote
(https://photos.moderncities.com/Cities/Jacksonville/Development/Arkest-Cathedral-District/i-7Q76PbD/0/1a4745ec/L/20190623_164720[1]-L.jpg)

One the Cathedral District's last complete rows of dense housing developed after the Great Fire of 1901 could be going away soon. Replacing it would be an infill, mixed-use project called 527 Duval Street, featuring 45 multi-family units and 27,000 square feet of art gallery space, art studios and classrooms.

Read More: https://www.thejaxsonmag.com/article/mixed-use-infill-proposed-for-cathedral-district/
Title: Re: Mixed-Use Infill Proposed For Cathedral District
Post by: Lostwave on June 24, 2019, 09:38:29 AM
While this looks like a decent (albeit ugly as hell) project, why knock down some of the few remaining buildings to build it when we have so much vacant land?  Seems a shame to knock down these houses instead of building somewhere else.
Title: Re: Mixed-Use Infill Proposed For Cathedral District
Post by: Charles Hunter on June 24, 2019, 09:42:13 AM
^ This.
Title: Re: Mixed-Use Infill Proposed For Cathedral District
Post by: Tacachale on June 24, 2019, 09:46:10 AM
While this looks like a decent (albeit ugly as hell) project, why knock down some of the few remaining buildings to build it when we have so much vacant land?  Seems a shame to knock down these houses instead of building somewhere else.

It's hard to tell here, but much of that block is vacant. There aren't many in the Cathedral District that wouldn't involve demolishing at least some buildings. And even fewer that have vacant lots that aren't actively used for parking.
Title: Re: Mixed-Use Infill Proposed For Cathedral District
Post by: Charles Hunter on June 24, 2019, 10:01:54 AM
Without a site plan showing the project's relation to the block, it is impossible to tell if the project involves just the row of houses on Duval, or if it also includes the vacant parcels on the north and east sides of the block. I suppose it probably does, given the apparent size, but can't say for sure.  The block to the south (between Duval and Monroe) seems to have fewer existing houses, that may not even be 'in the way'.
Title: Re: Mixed-Use Infill Proposed For Cathedral District
Post by: thelakelander on June 24, 2019, 10:07:56 AM
From these two slides and looking at Google Earth, it includes the row on Duval and one property on Washington:

https://www.google.com/maps/@30.3281281,-81.6501828,101m/data=!3m1!1e3

(https://photos.moderncities.com/Cities/Jacksonville/Development/Arkest-Cathedral-District/i-Z9TrqNM/0/98680901/L/June%2026%20DDRB%20Agenda%20Packet_Page_205-L.jpg)

(https://photos.moderncities.com/Cities/Jacksonville/Development/Arkest-Cathedral-District/i-QDfnrgn/0/6229bdc5/L/June%2026%20DDRB%20Agenda%20Packet_Page_211-L.jpg)
Title: Re: Mixed-Use Infill Proposed For Cathedral District
Post by: Tacachale on June 24, 2019, 10:32:48 AM
From these two slides and looking at Google Earth, it includes the row on Duval and one property on Washington:

https://www.google.com/maps/@30.3281281,-81.6501828,101m/data=!3m1!1e3

(https://photos.moderncities.com/Cities/Jacksonville/Development/Arkest-Cathedral-District/i-Z9TrqNM/0/98680901/L/June%2026%20DDRB%20Agenda%20Packet_Page_205-L.jpg)

(https://photos.moderncities.com/Cities/Jacksonville/Development/Arkest-Cathedral-District/i-QDfnrgn/0/6229bdc5/L/June%2026%20DDRB%20Agenda%20Packet_Page_211-L.jpg)

Lol, so it's completely missing the part of the block that's a lot and taking out a bunch of extant buildings.
Title: Re: Mixed-Use Infill Proposed For Cathedral District
Post by: fieldafm on June 24, 2019, 10:38:09 AM
I'm more curious if this is actually a viable product. They've already had to go back to DIA once to renew expired vesting rights on this property over the last 2+ years.


Generally try to reserve judgement on aesthetics. On one hand, these renderings seem to go back to my first concern. It looks like they've value engineered this thing to be constructed as cheap as possible. On the other hand, the idea behind the concept reminds me of something we wrote about in Chattanooga several years ago:

https://www.moderncities.com/article/2016-mar-the-best-weekly-markets-in-the-southeast-page-3 (https://www.moderncities.com/article/2016-mar-the-best-weekly-markets-in-the-southeast-page-3)

Title: Re: Mixed-Use Infill Proposed For Cathedral District
Post by: sandyshoes on June 24, 2019, 02:09:50 PM
I totally agree with Lostwave.  It hurts my heart that Jacksonville wants to tear down some of the last vestiges of its history that we can see, touch, privately own (homes) and hopefully preserve.  These last remaining areas ARE Jacksonville's history - how miraculous that they are still here from 118 years ago.  When I would drive thru downtown on the way home from work, I would notice the area of Washington Street, and see some huge old homes and want to know more about them.  I was never able to pinpoint any of them to look up, but I'm comforted to know that they, and others, remain.  For now. 
Title: Re: Mixed-Use Infill Proposed For Cathedral District
Post by: MusicMan on June 24, 2019, 02:41:40 PM
At some point don't we have to accommodate the actual market of people who want to take action? I am intimately familiar with this property.
It sat FOR YEARS "FOR SALE" yet none of the "lovers of old historic housing stock" ever stepped forward to embrace it, part with their own hard earned money to buy it and preserve it for future generations!  It was and has been for decades the absolute lowest rung on the totem pole of housing options, which is the most difficult to manage. It sits completely isolated with a highway off ramp in it's front yard.  The owner of the rest of the block has been approached several times and has no interest in doing anything at all with his parcel except provide parking for the police evidence station across the street. Unlike The Landing where there is absolutely no plan in place to do anything after knocking it down, this developer has, behind the scenes, offered the buildings to local people interested in historic preservation. He has offered them up free and will help coordinate the move to another block or property for anyone who wants them.  The proposal may "look cheap" but two major components, steel and glass, are quite expensive. It offers street level studios for rent : pedestrian scale and pedestrian friendly which seems to be one of the principal requirements for small scale developments in the downtown we all want, correct? It offer 1 and 2 bedroom apartments which perfectly fits the need of downtown, small affordable units.
I have seen all the materials for the presentation and it's one hell of a clever use of a small piece of real estate. I back ARKEST LLC on this and hope you will be at the presentation. He is taking a huge risk to try and bring something utterly new to a downtown that desperately needs some new fresh approach to what everyone says they want.
Title: Re: Mixed-Use Infill Proposed For Cathedral District
Post by: vicupstate on June 24, 2019, 02:56:41 PM
I can't comment on these specific homes, but in the past I have seen these or very similar homes in the area on the market, but at pretty high prices for their condition (and the conditon of the surroundings).

If he is offering to give these homes free to someone that will move them, then by all means get the word out on that.  There are certainly vacant lots nearby, albeit some are owned by the city, which ought to make it easier but not in this case.     
Title: Re: Mixed-Use Infill Proposed For Cathedral District
Post by: fieldafm on June 24, 2019, 03:33:58 PM
I can't comment on these specific homes, but in the past I have seen these or very similar homes in the area on the market, but at pretty high prices for their condition (and the conditon of the surroundings).

I agree that they were on the market for many years, and severely overvalued.

Rafael Caldera (aka Arkest) and his investors assembled the properties in 2016 for a little over $1.3mm. God bless them, as that's an extraordinary cost basis (considering location) to have to build a workable proforma from.

Caldera is an architect/general contractor currently serving on DDRB, and put forth this proposal last year on what will become JEA's new HQ site by 2022/2023:
https://www.thejaxsonmag.com/article/mini-arts-district-proposed-for-downtown/ (https://www.thejaxsonmag.com/article/mini-arts-district-proposed-for-downtown/)

You can hear Caldera's thoughts on preservation here:
https://www.thejaxsonmag.com/article/forgotten-spaces-places-reimagined-panel-video/ (https://www.thejaxsonmag.com/article/forgotten-spaces-places-reimagined-panel-video/)

Personally, I've found him to be generally a good guy and appreciate his forward thinking views on some of the things that have come before DDRB's review over the last several years.
Title: Re: Mixed-Use Infill Proposed For Cathedral District
Post by: MusicMan on June 24, 2019, 03:49:31 PM
The part of the block that he owns he got a relatively good deal on. And he has approached several other owners in the immediate vicinity to partner on other projects with the goal of revitalizing this area (its pretty damn blighted for what it's worth...). Most are not interested. He also owns a small warehouse very close by, that could be part of new development in the future. You will find very few people with as many visionary ideas as Caldera. He has traveled all over the world and gets inspiration from many places. He is very passionate about art, music and architecture and loves many different types!
Title: Re: Mixed-Use Infill Proposed For Cathedral District
Post by: sandyshoes on June 24, 2019, 05:20:12 PM
From the photograph at the beginning of this thread, I perhaps incorrectly assumed that these homes were being lived in by some of the people who owned the cars parked out front.  Probably another incorrect assumption on my part.  Why are some 'historic' areas more valuable than others, if each represents an important era in our city?  Someone chose to write about this area and this issue, I chose to express my agreement with someone else and got my hindquarters kicked for it, once again.  Did somebody have a bad Monday, Music Man?
Title: Re: Mixed-Use Infill Proposed For Cathedral District
Post by: MusicMan on June 24, 2019, 07:22:04 PM
Not me. I defend your right to put whatever you believe on here. Always will. I don't want to see The Landing demolished at all, and definitely not without a plan to replace it with a meaningful project. ARKEST HAS A PLAN. A DAMN GOOD ONE IN MY OPINION. So I support the REMOVAL OF THE HOUSES. If they were historically important (beyond just being old) or architecturally significant (and I believe they ARE NOT) then I might have a different opinion. However ARKEST wants to replace it with a modern concept that for the most part fits exactly what everyone here is asking for. SO I want him to succeed.
Title: Re: Mixed-Use Infill Proposed For Cathedral District
Post by: Captain Zissou on June 25, 2019, 09:30:41 AM
Musicman is working really hard for that commission money.

I echo the sentiments above.  I like the project, but I wish it was proposed for currently vacant land.  If the homes can be moved, great.
Title: Re: Mixed-Use Infill Proposed For Cathedral District
Post by: lowlyplanner on June 25, 2019, 10:41:06 AM
How can we avoid the typical Jacksonville outcome - the houses come down but the project, because of reasons, fails to ever get built?
Title: Re: Mixed-Use Infill Proposed For Cathedral District
Post by: Adam White on June 25, 2019, 10:54:35 AM
It's hard to get a good idea of what the development will look like based on the plans in the story (well, it is for me). But to my eye, it looks like a parking garage.

In any event, it would be nice if they didn't have to tear anything down to build this (particularly if there is empty land nearby).
Title: Re: Mixed-Use Infill Proposed For Cathedral District
Post by: MusicMan on June 25, 2019, 11:36:02 AM
"Musicman is working really hard for that commission money."

I'll take that as a compliment Captain, since many Realtor's do very little for their commissions. ;D

But none are on the line here. Everyone should go and see the presentation if possible. I am out of town and saw the complete set of docs last week. I think it will look amazing when you put it all together, and I believe he will rent these spaces quickly as well. 

The houses are available FOR FREE to any interested party. But first he has to get approval for removal....
Title: Re: Mixed-Use Infill Proposed For Cathedral District
Post by: vicupstate on June 25, 2019, 11:46:01 AM
Quote
The houses are available FOR FREE to any interested party. But first he has to get approval for removal....

Maybe The JAXSON could do a story on the houses themselves. Pics of each with SF and other info. Maybe some comments from a professional mover on the ballpark expense of moving them. 
Title: Re: Mixed-Use Infill Proposed For Cathedral District
Post by: Steve on June 25, 2019, 12:16:45 PM
I'm not a fan of the house demolition. With that said, if this is given the green light, the demolition needs to be tied to actually building the new structure. I feel like a lot of times this issue is what's led to vacant lots (the buildings are demolished, the developer can't make the project work, now we have a vacant lot).
Title: Re: Mixed-Use Infill Proposed For Cathedral District
Post by: Wacca Pilatka on June 25, 2019, 01:50:10 PM
MusicMan, I appreciate what you have posted on here to help us understand the developer's motivations and the history of the property.  It would be great if those houses could be relocated to a vacant lot and restored!
Title: Re: Mixed-Use Infill Proposed For Cathedral District
Post by: Kiva on June 25, 2019, 06:21:34 PM
I'm not a fan of the house demolition. With that said, if this is given the green light, the demolition needs to be tied to actually building the new structure. I feel like a lot of times this issue is what's led to vacant lots (the buildings are demolished, the developer can't make the project work, now we have a vacant lot).
Is there a way of doing that? As far as I know, you can only specify that if the new building is not completed by a certain time the land reverts to the previous owner, but by then the houses will be gone.
Title: Re: Mixed-Use Infill Proposed For Cathedral District
Post by: vicupstate on June 26, 2019, 07:37:44 AM
I'm not a fan of the house demolition. With that said, if this is given the green light, the demolition needs to be tied to actually building the new structure. I feel like a lot of times this issue is what's led to vacant lots (the buildings are demolished, the developer can't make the project work, now we have a vacant lot).
Is there a way of doing that? As far as I know, you can only specify that if the new building is not completed by a certain time the land reverts to the previous owner, but by then the houses will be gone.

Charleston can and sometimes does require a building permit to be issued for the new 'replacement' building before issuing a demolition permit for a protected structure. Even that can't guarantee the construction will actually take place, but it does mean the applicant has a completely vetted replacement and has incurred considerable costs in getting to that point.

I have no idea if the appropriate Boards and departments in JAX have that capability.   
Title: Re: Mixed-Use Infill Proposed For Cathedral District
Post by: thelakelander on June 27, 2019, 10:36:19 AM
Update: https://www.jaxdailyrecord.com/article/cathedral-district-art-gallery-multifamily-housing-project-receives-conceptual-ddrb-approval
Title: Re: Mixed-Use Infill Proposed For Cathedral District
Post by: MusicMan on June 27, 2019, 02:38:46 PM
Great news for ARKEST and Caldera. I think for everyone!  The houses are available for anyone who wants to meet with Caldera and arrange for transport. The homes will be FREE as I understand it.  Or take them apart and re-assemble elsewhere.  There is A LONG WAY TO GO before any construction can start....
Title: Re: Mixed-Use Infill Proposed For Cathedral District
Post by: MusicMan on July 02, 2019, 08:24:44 AM
Support is building:

https://www.jacksonville.com/opinion/20190702/tuesday-editorial-bold-527-duval-street-project-is-drawing-raves



Folks, the houses are FREE. Connect with Caldera to arrange to get one.  I'm not a house mover but imagine $25,000 would be the starting point to move a house.
Title: Re: Mixed-Use Infill Proposed For Cathedral District
Post by: thelakelander on July 02, 2019, 08:46:39 AM
Would love to promote to our network and email distribution lists that the houses are free, with some background information and imagery for each one.
Title: Re: Mixed-Use Infill Proposed For Cathedral District
Post by: MusicMan on July 02, 2019, 11:57:30 AM
I will help you get that done.
Title: Re: Mixed-Use Infill Proposed For Cathedral District
Post by: MusicMan on September 26, 2019, 04:53:14 PM
Unless I am mistaken (I was not present) the HPC gave the go ahead to Caldera to remove the structures and begin planning, permitting, ,,,,  basically permission to do the project.

I would appreciate anyone who was there to provide more details. 

Also the houses are available. Move them if you like, Caldera will co-ordinate with anyone who has the resources to do it.