The Jaxson

Jacksonville by Neighborhood => Downtown => Topic started by: Ken_FSU on July 12, 2019, 09:04:26 AM

Title: Curry, Boyer offer Updates on Downtown Projects
Post by: Ken_FSU on July 12, 2019, 09:04:26 AM
https://www.jaxdailyrecord.com/article/not-just-the-landing-mayor-new-dia-ceo-offer-updates-on-downtown-projects
Title: Re: Curry, Boyer offer Updates on Downtown Projects
Post by: sanmarcomatt on July 12, 2019, 09:40:49 AM
Now why did they have to bring up development for River City Brewing and get my hopes up? Interesting wager...what happens first, new development of the site or expiration of the 99 year lease?
I guess we might need a study on the impact of the city losing the massive revenues from the lease first.
Title: Re: Curry, Boyer offer Updates on Downtown Projects
Post by: Captain Zissou on July 12, 2019, 09:44:39 AM
Old Courthouse:  So we're just abandoning the convention center idea?  How much money did we waste on the RFP?

Everything else: I'll believe it when I see it, but it seems like he's leveling everything to the ground and just hoping that someone comes along.

Hotels:  I'm hopeful for these, but I don't think we'll get all 7.

 

Title: Re: Curry, Boyer offer Updates on Downtown Projects
Post by: Wacca Pilatka on July 12, 2019, 10:08:56 AM
It's super cool that Lori Boyer says that the former City Hall site hopefully can support high rise residential development.  If only there had been a high rise on that site that could easily have been retrofitted to become a residential property...

(Yes, that's sarcasm) (No, I don't know how to do a sarcasm font)
Title: Re: Curry, Boyer offer Updates on Downtown Projects
Post by: Steve on July 12, 2019, 10:20:15 AM
Old Courthouse: They mentioned a "city owned parcel east of the Hyatt". Is that the Landing East lot or the small parking lot on Bay Street next to the Main St Bridge Ramp? Also, doesn't the Hyatt owner have an option on it? What's to stop them from responding with a P3 on a Exhibition Hall?

Landing: Whatever. So stupid to kick everyone out then RFP the thing. I'll believe it when I see it in terms of development.

JEA: I suppose good that Curry "thinks" JEA goes forward with the Ryan plan. But I won't celebrate until I see a tower crane on the site.

Hotels: My Guess:

• AC Hotel By Marriott: Downtown Southbank, The District (Will happen enventually)

• Courtyard By Marriott: Laura Street Trio (As soon as it can, will likely happen as Barnett is wrapping up and the Garage is coming)

• Hyatt Place: Hogan Street and Independent Drive (sounds like permits applied)

• La Quinta: Ambassador Hotel (shockingly, I think this just might happen)

• Residence Inn by Marriott: Brooklyn (happening now effectively. Stupid design)

• Unnamed hotel: Lot J  (may happen as I get the feeling COJ will effectively be paying for it and it would be a deal no one could turn down)

• Unnamed hotel: The Shipyards (not holding my breath)

River City Brewing Co.: This land is so underutilized I can't believe someone hasn't responded up to this point. But, I've heard about those "unnamed developers" before....so....let me know when there is something to talk about. If I were the city I'd push for something to happen here as it could be a cool area.

Berkman Plaza II: lol. Shocking that the Wally-world thing didn't work out.

Duval County Jail: Nothing to report and not going to happen during Curry's admin which we all knew but now he's saying it, which is actually good (rather than than total BS about moving it within the next 4 years) No need to spend this money unless there's an urgent need to expand as there's WAY cheaper low hanging fruit.

Greyhound parking lot: This was a paragraph that said nothing.
Title: Re: Curry, Boyer offer Updates on Downtown Projects
Post by: thelakelander on July 12, 2019, 10:30:43 AM
Definitely don't get the point of wasting money and time hiring a firm to do a highest and best use study for the Landing or city hall annex sites. But also don't/didn't see a need to spend money on demolition of either site before issuing a RFP. As we said in the past, you'd have to issue a RFP for them at some point anyway. Get on with it.
Title: Re: Curry, Boyer offer Updates on Downtown Projects
Post by: Wacca Pilatka on July 12, 2019, 10:43:22 AM
Hopefully any development on the River City site, in conjunction with the planned reworking of MOSH, will help to create better Riverwalk access and more interaction and connectivity.
Title: Re: Curry, Boyer offer Updates on Downtown Projects
Post by: Tacachale on July 12, 2019, 10:51:57 AM
Definitely don't get the point of wasting money and time hiring a firm to do a highest and best use study for the Landing or city hall annex sites. But also don't/didn't see a need to spend money on demolition of either site before issuing a RFP. As we said in the past, you'd have to issue a RFP for them at some point anyway. Get on with it.

Yeah, Jesus can this group spend money.
Title: Re: Curry, Boyer offer Updates on Downtown Projects
Post by: thelakelander on July 12, 2019, 10:58:44 AM
I'd be surprised to see something go up on the River City Brewing site anytime soon...other than the place being demolished. Reading that article, probably 50% of the projects mentioned are the type of fluff we heard from the JEDC back in the day when they were justifying their push for the main street pocket park (i.e. someone called about building a hotel six months ago). Focus on the projects that are close to actually breaking ground or applying for permits and how to activate the properties and public realm immediately surrounding them.
Title: Re: Curry, Boyer offer Updates on Downtown Projects
Post by: thelakelander on July 12, 2019, 11:05:29 AM
Definitely don't get the point of wasting money and time hiring a firm to do a highest and best use study for the Landing or city hall annex sites. But also don't/didn't see a need to spend money on demolition of either site before issuing a RFP. As we said in the past, you'd have to issue a RFP for them at some point anyway. Get on with it.

Yeah, Jesus can this group spend money.

The only thing the current process guarantees is that more tax money will be spent and it will take more time (years) to reactivate these sites. Seriously, after all that's been done, discussed and spent on the city hall annex/courthouse site, the next step is to market it with the direction for infill to include something that activates foot traffic on Bay Street? We've known that for nearly 20 years now.
Title: Re: Curry, Boyer offer Updates on Downtown Projects
Post by: KenFSU on July 12, 2019, 11:28:06 AM
Sleiman: "Here's my proposal for a new Landing."

City: "It needs some tweaks. Let's commission Wakefield Beasly for help on a redesign."

Sleimain: "I love their plan! Let's partner on it! You operate the public spaces, I'll leverage my unparalled local expertise to operate the restaurant and retail."

City: "Naw, we're gonna bulldoze the Landing and buy you out instead."

Sleiman: "..."

Wrecking ball: "BOOM!BOOM!BOOM!"

City: "Wait, maybe we do the Wakefield Beasley plan?"

---

The Courthouse/Annex RFP is baffling to me.

I'm all for seeing it developed, but I don't understand why we identifed that space as the best strategic location for a convention center, put out a ridiculous RFP for a billion dollar facility, balked at the price tag, and then completely eliminated a more reasonably sized convention center from the discussion about the property.

Obvious answer is that someone decided that we'd rather have it at the sports complex down the line, leveraging Lot J's parking and entertainment infrastructure, but if that's the case, just come out and say it so we can publicly have that discussion.
Title: Re: Curry, Boyer offer Updates on Downtown Projects
Post by: Charles Hunter on July 12, 2019, 11:42:49 AM
About that throw-away paragraph at the end, about the Greyhound lot
Quote
Nikki Kimbleton, the city’s director of public affairs, said the parking lot owner has been fined for the unauthorized paving and is in negotiations with city code enforcement officials about what’s next for that use.

“Right now we’re in the process of communicating with them,” Kimbleton said. “You can’t take it back. The damage is done.”

The property owner illegally paved the lot, is "in negotiations" about fines, and continues to make money while all this goes on.  Since the lot is illegal, put some nice big city padlocks on the gates.  Why should the owner make money from an illegal action?
Title: Re: Curry, Boyer offer Updates on Downtown Projects
Post by: Steve on July 12, 2019, 11:51:07 AM
Obvious answer is that someone decided that we'd rather have it at the sports complex down the line, leveraging Lot J's parking and entertainment infrastructure, but if that's the case, just come out and say it so we can publicly have that discussion.

Amazing to me that we built the Prime Osborne, realized it didn't work because it's disconnected from the core, so we're deciding to build it at the sports complex, which is equally disconnected the other direction.
Title: Re: Curry, Boyer offer Updates on Downtown Projects
Post by: thelakelander on July 12, 2019, 12:11:47 PM
^The problem is "we" didn't decide. That was a closed door decision made by those who likely don't even know or comprehend the full history, cause and effect of why and how we got to this point today. Because of that ignorance, even well intended dreams can be destined to follow the same path of failure as the generations before them. Unfortunately, groups like the civic council, who gave their public opinion on everything Alvin Brown proposed downtown, have been silent on the current issues.
Title: Re: Curry, Boyer offer Updates on Downtown Projects
Post by: thelakelander on July 12, 2019, 12:26:43 PM
My take....

Old Courthouse: They mentioned a "city owned parcel east of the Hyatt". Is that the Landing East lot or the small parking lot on Bay Street next to the Main St Bridge Ramp? Also, doesn't the Hyatt owner have an option on it? What's to stop them from responding with a P3 on a Exhibition Hall?

Time continues to tick. We're into the mayor's second term now and all we have to show for it is a vacant site, +$8 million in tax money spent, with a goal of being able to put it on the market eventually. In the meantime, it's a vacant hole of blight and inactivity.

Quote
Landing: Whatever. So stupid to kick everyone out then RFP the thing. I'll believe it when I see it in terms of development.

The plan is to basically do the same thing we did with the former courthouse site...waste more tax money on demolition and doing another study to tell us what we already know. Then we'll get around to putting it on the market. Sorry, that's not a redevelopment plan. Press pieces and fluff aside, in short, we're looking a a dead space of inactivity for the next few years, just like the former courthouse site.


Quote
JEA: I suppose good that Curry "thinks" JEA goes forward with the Ryan plan. But I won't celebrate until I see a tower crane on the site.

I expect them to move forward. I also hope, but doubt, that the DDRB will be able to get them to include street retail/dining facing Adams Street. However, I also expect the old JEA Tower will be sold and not be demolished since its not in COJ's hands.

Quote
Hotels: My Guess:

• AC Hotel By Marriott: Downtown Southbank, The District (Will happen enventually)
I'd like to see the District actually break ground and make some progress on the infrastructure before speculating about the individual projects that may or may not happen in the future.

Quote
• Courtyard By Marriott: Laura Street Trio (As soon as it can, will likely happen as Barnett is wrapping up and the Garage is coming)
- I believe this one will happen

Quote
• Hyatt Place: Hogan Street and Independent Drive (sounds like permits applied)
I believe this one will happen

Quote
• La Quinta: Ambassador Hotel (shockingly, I think this just might happen)
I believe this one will happen although I suspect they'll have to get DDRB approval at some point if they're going to do anything with the facade, parking, etc.

Quote
• Residence Inn by Marriott: Brooklyn (happening now effectively. Stupid design)
I believe this one will happen

Quote
• Unnamed hotel: Lot J  (may happen as I get the feeling COJ will effectively be paying for it and it would be a deal no one could turn down)
This one will happen but probably won't open before Curry's second term is up.

Quote
• Unnamed hotel: The Shipyards (not holding my breath)
Hahahaha

Quote
River City Brewing Co.: This land is so underutilized I can't believe someone hasn't responded up to this point. But, I've heard about those "unnamed developers" before....so....let me know when there is something to talk about. If I were the city I'd push for something to happen here as it could be a cool area.
Not a project. I'll get back on this one when there is an actual proposal.

Quote
Berkman Plaza II: lol. Shocking that the Wally-world thing didn't work out.
Something will get done or it will be blown up before Curry leaves office.

Quote
Duval County Jail: Nothing to report and not going to happen during Curry's admin which we all knew but now he's saying it, which is actually good (rather than than total BS about moving it within the next 4 years) No need to spend this money unless there's an urgent need to expand as there's WAY cheaper low hanging fruit.

I don't see anything happening here. However, it isn't essential to the redevelopment of downtown at the stage of revitalization that we're currently in.

Quote
Greyhound parking lot: This was a paragraph that said nothing.

It will be a parking lot for years.
Title: Re: Curry, Boyer offer Updates on Downtown Projects
Post by: Steve on July 12, 2019, 12:27:05 PM
^The problem is "we" didn't decide. That was a closed door decision made by those who likely don't even know or comprehend the full history, cause and effect of why and how we got to this point today. Because of that ignorance, even well intended dreams can be destined to follow the same path of failure as the generations before them. Unfortunately, groups like the civic council, who gave their public opinion on everything Alvin Brown proposed downtown, have been silent on the current issues.

True. And yes, the Civic Council has been very tight lipped.

I guess the one positive to the 1980's Convention Center decision is it likely saved the Train Station. Further, if they didn't demo everything in a four block radius around it, perhaps a cool area could have developed.
Title: Re: Curry, Boyer offer Updates on Downtown Projects
Post by: thelakelander on July 12, 2019, 12:45:52 PM
True. And yes, the Civic Council has been very tight lipped.

Because of this, they've lost credibility with me when it comes to their concerns about the school board's master plan (which I do believe could be improved to where the neighborhoods surrounding school sites also could economically benefit).
Title: Re: Curry, Boyer offer Updates on Downtown Projects
Post by: acme54321 on July 12, 2019, 01:53:03 PM
Old Courthouse: They mentioned a "city owned parcel east of the Hyatt". Is that the Landing East lot or the small parking lot on Bay Street next to the Main St Bridge Ramp? Also, doesn't the Hyatt owner have an option on it? What's to stop them from responding with a P3 on a Exhibition Hall?

Those are all west of the Hyatt.

The parcel that is being referred to is the submerged land where the courthouse parking lot used to be.
Title: Re: Curry, Boyer offer Updates on Downtown Projects
Post by: Steve on July 12, 2019, 02:27:56 PM
Old Courthouse: They mentioned a "city owned parcel east of the Hyatt". Is that the Landing East lot or the small parking lot on Bay Street next to the Main St Bridge Ramp? Also, doesn't the Hyatt owner have an option on it? What's to stop them from responding with a P3 on a Exhibition Hall?

Those are all west of the Hyatt.

The parcel that is being referred to is the submerged land where the courthouse parking lot used to be.

Oh. Wow, fail on geography. Why the heck would they spend all that time and money on rebuilding the whole thing only to fill it in!?

All the more reason they should have issued this RFP as the buildings were preparing to be vacant. You knew this day was coming when you broke ground on the Courthouse.
Title: Re: Curry, Boyer offer Updates on Downtown Projects
Post by: acme54321 on July 12, 2019, 03:12:14 PM
I don't think anyone is suggesting to fill it in.  The old structure was failing which is why it had to be removed.  They are just presenting the option to build over the water again.  I personally think it would be really cool to restore it back to a natural salt marsh area as part of the riverwalk.
Title: Re: Curry, Boyer offer Updates on Downtown Projects
Post by: Steve on July 12, 2019, 03:23:57 PM
I don't think anyone is suggesting to fill it in.  The old structure was failing which is why it had to be removed.  They are just presenting the option to build over the water again.  I personally think it would be really cool to restore it back to a natural salt marsh area as part of the riverwalk.

That would be cool, and I guess including that land would also cover things like a marina, etc. I suppose that part of the RFP isn't so dumb:)

I still feel like a Convention Center adjacent to the Hyatt would be an excellent use, and you can build in retail on the Bay Street side, as well as come up with ways to activate it on the river side (Convention Centers do have the downside that after 7PM-ish they can be dead areas). Too bad we had to issue such an overblown RFP.
Title: Re: Curry, Boyer offer Updates on Downtown Projects
Post by: thelakelander on July 12, 2019, 04:07:12 PM
Still think it would be pretty dumb not to include the possibility of a mixed use exhibition hall on the old city hall site. Also, I like the idea of a marsh mixed in some way.
Title: Re: Curry, Boyer offer Updates on Downtown Projects
Post by: Kerry on July 13, 2019, 07:22:12 PM
If the City thinks they are going to build over the river again in this day and age they are as stupid as I think they are.
Title: Re: Curry, Boyer offer Updates on Downtown Projects
Post by: heights unknown on July 14, 2019, 06:41:16 PM
I was in Jax yesterday, 7/13/19. All I gotta say is, they'd better do something quick and fast. Upon cruising around downtown last night, all I can say is bleak, sad, dreary, downtown felt like a coffin buried six feet under with no body in it; no soul, no spirit, nothing; there were pockets of action around bay street, Monroe, etc., but all in all, what a disgrace. Something akin or similar to the Landing needs to either be built in its place and a tad better than the Landing, or keep the Landing and upgrade it and make it better...that end of downtown needs an intense shot in the arm. I live in Sarasota, a city of 60,000  south of Tampa, and Sarasota is popping not just on the weekend, but also on the weekdays! Monday is the bleakest day of all, but even on that day, there are people gracing the bars, restaurants, sidewalk cafe's and restaurants, and other venues. I just don't get it with our leaders in Jax (yes, Jax is my city...I have to be down here for my Mom who is now in her 80's). I hope it changes soon, and changes fast.
Title: Re: Curry, Boyer offer Updates on Downtown Projects
Post by: acme54321 on July 14, 2019, 07:46:18 PM
If the City thinks they are going to build over the river again in this day and age they are as stupid as I think they are.

If they own the submerged land there's nothing stopping them.  No onebis going to easily get away with dredge and fill these days but if whoever ends up with that land wants to put something pile supported back on the site I don't think they'll have much of a problem.
Title: Re: Curry, Boyer offer Updates on Downtown Projects
Post by: KenFSU on July 14, 2019, 08:44:12 PM
Something akin or similar to the Landing needs to either be built in its place and a tad better than the Landing, or keep the Landing and upgrade it and make it better...that end of downtown needs an intense shot in the arm. I live in Sarasota, a city of 60,000  south of Tampa, and Sarasota is popping not just on the weekend, but also on the weekdays! Monday is the bleakest day of all, but even on that day, there are people gracing the bars, restaurants, sidewalk cafe's and restaurants, and other venues. I just don't get it with our leaders in Jax (yes, Jax is my city...I have to be down here for my Mom who is now in her 80's). I hope it changes soon, and changes fast.

Having spent a lot of time in Sarasota, and seen similar downtown revitalization in my hometown of Fort Myers 80 miles to the south, I know exactly what you're talking about, with the restaurants, bars, and sidewalk cafes lining the streets for blocks.

What's a little troubling to me is that, even as kid walking around the central business districts of those two cities, I could visualize what the bustle used to be like before the suburban flight, and street after street of largely uninterrupted storefronts were still standing, ready to be brought back to life via smart master planning.

For the area of downtown that you're describing - the northbank central business district - with so much demolition taking place in the last few decades, it's getting harder and harder to even imagine what critical mass could even look like. You walk down the streets and there are just so many surface lots, dead stretches of retail-less parking garage walls, 9-to-5 government and office buildings with no street interaction, First Baptist properties, etc. that it feels like the infrastructure itself severely limits the ability to cluster complementing uses in a compact setting, as Ennis always says.

Is there an example of a city doing this much damage to its urban fabric and bouncing back? Can our downtown actually be more than the isolated pockets of activity you mention and become a more vibrant whole with so much of the connective tissue being demolished or turned into dead space? The optimist is me says yes, it's possible. The pessimist says it's going to take decades to undo the damage that has already been done.

Title: Re: Curry, Boyer offer Updates on Downtown Projects
Post by: heights unknown on July 14, 2019, 09:31:04 PM
Thanks Ken; at least I know I am not the only one seeing this...at least I now know I am not going crazy. I was in Jax in February, but didn't really get to downtown in the evening. But what I saw yesterday was so depressing. Dark, dreary, empty. When I was living in Jax in the early 90's, a German friend of mine came to visit (again this was in the early 90's). When he saw the skyline he was so excited, and then when we got into downtown, the urban core, he was very disappointed because there wasn't much to do, not many bars or restaurants, and back then the Landing was basically the only game in town. I looked at the disappointment in his face as he was taking pictures and I asked him what was wrong; he told me, "ALL THOSE TALL BUILDINGS AND NOTHING HAPPENING." And that is so true of Jax, and many other cities around the nation...however, a lot of them are still light years ahead of Jacksonville. I hope we get it together soon in the form of some type of explosion...yes, me the optimist, and it can happen!
Title: Re: Curry, Boyer offer Updates on Downtown Projects
Post by: thelakelander on July 14, 2019, 10:18:41 PM
Toledo and Rochester are two cities I've visited in the last decade that seemed to be DT Jax's siblings with what not to do. However, the both had the excuse of a declining population. I haven't been to either in a few years, so I don't know if they've changed.
Title: Re: Curry, Boyer offer Updates on Downtown Projects
Post by: Steve on July 15, 2019, 08:38:04 AM
If the City thinks they are going to build over the river again in this day and age they are as stupid as I think they are.

If they own the submerged land there's nothing stopping them.  No onebis going to easily get away with dredge and fill these days but if whoever ends up with that land wants to put something pile supported back on the site I don't think they'll have much of a problem.

Agreed. My first reaction was filling it in, which yea, would be stupid. But if someone wants to do something with pilings then that could make sense. It could also allow for something like a small pier/kayak launch/etc.

Once I wrapped my head around it (and remembered which way “east” was) it actually makes sense to offer that up as an option.
Title: Re: Curry, Boyer offer Updates on Downtown Projects
Post by: heights unknown on July 15, 2019, 02:31:44 PM
Toledo and Rochester are two cities I've visited in the last decade that seemed to be DT Jax's siblings with what not to do. However, the both had the excuse of a declining population. I haven't been to either in a few years, so I don't know if they've changed.
Wow; not too familiar with those two cities, but Jax is gaining in population so there shouldn't be an excuse. However, that population gain could be illusory owing to consolidation (whole county being Jax except for a few towns that opted out); i.e., the old city limits, boundaries, and the immediate areas in and around downtown are wholly not doing so well, so it could explain why those areas in and around the urban core are not doing well and just not responding (owe it also to our inept government leaders and administration). Curry seems to think we're doing just fine; I don't think so. We soon shall see, if we're not nuked, a few years from now. Hope the economy and/or a major recession doesn't take hold anytime soon.
Title: Re: Curry, Boyer offer Updates on Downtown Projects
Post by: vicupstate on July 15, 2019, 03:18:45 PM
Quote
Is there an example of a city doing this much damage to its urban fabric and bouncing back?

Charlotte.

There are pictures from the '70's that make DT look like a desert.

They reversed course from 'demolish it and they will come' decades back though.  In 2000, they weren't much better than JAX except they did have more skyscrapers.  Totally differnt now though. It is bustling night and day, weekday and weekend.

 
Title: Re: Curry, Boyer offer Updates on Downtown Projects
Post by: Steve on July 15, 2019, 04:52:35 PM
Quote
Is there an example of a city doing this much damage to its urban fabric and bouncing back?

Charlotte.

There are pictures from the '70's that make DT look like a desert.

They reversed course from 'demolish it and they will come' decades back though.  In 2000, they weren't much better than JAX except they did have more skyscrapers.  Totally differnt now though. It is bustling night and day, weekday and weekend.

 

I don't have firsthand knowledge, but my understanding is downtown San Diego in the late 1970's was a disaster as well.
Title: Re: Curry, Boyer offer Updates on Downtown Projects
Post by: Kerry on July 15, 2019, 06:10:23 PM
In the 60's and 70's Oklahoma City tore down almost 90% of all buildings, including skyscrapers.  The lots sat vacant for nearly 40 years.
Title: Re: Curry, Boyer offer Updates on Downtown Projects
Post by: Fallen Buckeye on July 15, 2019, 09:47:50 PM
Quote
Is there an example of a city doing this much damage to its urban fabric and bouncing back?

Charlotte.

There are pictures from the '70's that make DT look like a desert.

They reversed course from 'demolish it and they will come' decades back though.  In 2000, they weren't much better than JAX except they did have more skyscrapers.  Totally differnt now though. It is bustling night and day, weekday and weekend.

 

I don't have firsthand knowledge, but my understanding is downtown San Diego in the late 1970's was a disaster as well.

I watched a historically accurate movie about the television business in 1970's San Diego that would beg to differ. I think it was called Anchorman.
Title: Re: Curry, Boyer offer Updates on Downtown Projects
Post by: Peter Griffin on July 16, 2019, 06:56:41 AM
Aah, San Diago. German for "a whale's vag!na" you know...
Title: Re: Curry, Boyer offer Updates on Downtown Projects
Post by: thelakelander on July 16, 2019, 07:46:18 AM
Toledo and Rochester are two cities I've visited in the last decade that seemed to be DT Jax's siblings with what not to do. However, the both had the excuse of a declining population. I haven't been to either in a few years, so I don't know if they've changed.
Wow; not too familiar with those two cities, but Jax is gaining in population so there shouldn't be an excuse. However, that population gain could be illusory owing to consolidation (whole county being Jax except for a few towns that opted out); i.e., the old city limits, boundaries, and the immediate areas in and around downtown are wholly not doing so well, so it could explain why those areas in and around the urban core are not doing well and just not responding (owe it also to our inept government leaders and administration). Curry seems to think we're doing just fine; I don't think so. We soon shall see, if we're not nuked, a few years from now. Hope the economy and/or a major recession doesn't take hold anytime soon.

The old city limits have declined by 50% since 1950. So, yes, without consolidation, it would be a rust belt city style decline. A challenge locally is that "any" development is seen as a great success, despite economic conditions that should easily stimulate three times as much redevelopment as we're currently witnessing. In addition, since there is no vision of what true urban vibrancy is or even how to get there, we're overlooking the importance of small "glue type" public realm projects that help cluster, complementing developments together at a compact pedestrian scale level. These are the things that can quickly change the overall image and generate consistent foot traffic in a more efficient manner.

Here is an example:

Before - 2009 Giralda Plaza in Coral Gables
(https://photos.moderncities.com/Cities/Miami/Coral-Gables-Giralda-Plaza/i-3F9B8XN/0/ecea87f9/L/Giralda-Before-1-L.jpg)

After - 2019 Giralda Plaza in Coral Gables
(https://photos.moderncities.com/Cities/Miami/Miami-March-2019/i-s9NWSrX/0/e21fb475/L/20190330_121625-L.jpg)

Full article: https://www.thejaxsonmag.com/article/rethinking-adams-street-the-makeover-of-giralda-plaza/