The Jaxson

Jacksonville by Neighborhood => Downtown => Topic started by: thelakelander on December 11, 2019, 07:08:49 PM

Title: A new look for townhomes proposed in LaVilla
Post by: thelakelander on December 11, 2019, 07:08:49 PM
Quote
(https://photos.moderncities.com/Cities/Jacksonville/Development/Vestcor-LaVilla-Townhomes/i-tDGfRbv/0/6bd942ce/L/20191212_DDRB%20AGENDA%20PACKET_Page_052A-L.jpg)

A new look for a proposal by Jacksonville-based Vestcor Companies Inc. to develop for-sale townhomes in LaVilla has materialized. Here is a look at the developer's latest plans for infill in Downtown's historic African-American neighborhood.

Read More: https://www.thejaxsonmag.com/article/a-new-look-for-townhomes-proposed-in-lavilla/
Title: Re: A new look for townhomes proposed in LaVilla
Post by: acme54321 on December 11, 2019, 07:49:12 PM
That looks good and all, but how is this even legal???  You win the open competition, then after the fact are asked to modify your proposal to fit the area better.  So you come back with a copy of another proposal that you beat out?  Only in Jacksonville.
Title: Re: A new look for townhomes proposed in LaVilla
Post by: Kerry on December 11, 2019, 11:23:37 PM
In urban settings they should have a flat roof.
Title: Re: A new look for townhomes proposed in LaVilla
Post by: Steve on December 11, 2019, 11:32:13 PM
In urban settings they should have a flat roof.

Historically the neighborhood buildings had pitched roofs in LaVilla. If this was on Laura Street I’d agree with you.
Title: Re: A new look for townhomes proposed in LaVilla
Post by: Tacachale on December 11, 2019, 11:40:26 PM
In urban settings they should have a flat roof.

Y tho
Title: Re: A new look for townhomes proposed in LaVilla
Post by: thelakelander on December 12, 2019, 06:06:06 AM
Lol where did that idea come from? London, Paris, New Orleans, and old Jax would disagree. Architecture can take on different shapes and styles depending on the environment, climate and materials readily available.
Title: Re: A new look for townhomes proposed in LaVilla
Post by: Bill Hoff on December 12, 2019, 06:27:53 AM
That looks good and all, but how is this even legal???  You win the open competition, then after the fact are asked to modify your proposal to fit the area better.  So you come back with a copy of another proposal that you beat out?  Only in Jacksonville.

I mentioned this to Alex at JWB and he was actually very gracious about it. He said je's just happy the project is moving forward, whether it's through them or someone else.
Title: Re: A new look for townhomes proposed in LaVilla
Post by: Tacachale on December 12, 2019, 06:38:47 AM
Lol where did that idea come from? London, Paris, New Orleans, and old Jax would disagree. Architecture can take on different shapes and styles depending on the environment, climate and materials readily available.

Lol, somebody better tell Paris to turn all those mansard roofs into flat tops or they’ll lose their urban status.
Title: Re: A new look for townhomes proposed in LaVilla
Post by: Lostwave on December 12, 2019, 09:21:09 AM
Vestcor keeps building these great projects, but in doing it they way they do it, they also keep making dead, unwalkable blocks.  Where's the retail/restaurants/shops? 
Title: Re: A new look for townhomes proposed in LaVilla
Post by: acme54321 on December 12, 2019, 10:05:27 AM
Vestcor keeps building these great projects, but in doing it they way they do it, they also keep making dead, unwalkable blocks.  Where's the retail/restaurants/shops?

Yeah, Lavilla has been such a dead space for so long I think they were in a bit of a Chicken and Egg situation when they started residential development in the area.  So much of the historic building stock has been razed that there aren't too many options for a small business to go in organically either.  There are some opportunities along Forsyth where 927 events is but that's about all I can think of.
Title: Re: A new look for townhomes proposed in LaVilla
Post by: Steve on December 12, 2019, 10:26:45 AM
That looks good and all, but how is this even legal???  You win the open competition, then after the fact are asked to modify your proposal to fit the area better.  So you come back with a copy of another proposal that you beat out?  Only in Jacksonville.

I'd say JWD would be the ones to raise an issue, but my take: they are likely covered as the reasons they selected Vestcor revolved around financial resources, experience, ability to execute, etc. While I disagree with the decision as I don't think Vestcor was that much better, None of that has changed.

I'd say if the decision was made primarily on design, then I'd say Vestcor would be out of turn.
Title: Re: A new look for townhomes proposed in LaVilla
Post by: thelakelander on December 12, 2019, 10:55:03 AM
Assisting the Johnson Commons proposal, I'm the one who initially recommended a design paying homage to LaVilla's historical sense of place. This is the type of thing that should be added as a part of zoning specifically for LaVilla. This allows you to redevelop while maintaining the historical urban character and sense of place of the community. It can also be used as a tool to limit the negative impact of gentrification in areas like Brooklyn, Mixon Town and the Eastside in the future. Unfortunately, we don't have it in the books yet.

While the new Vesctor concept includes gabled roofs, it still misses the design mark on horizontal scale (sort of like the Duval County Courthouse columns being horribly misplaced). While Johnson Commons did not win, this experience is important for several reasons. These include killing the belief that LaVilla is a wasteland that no one is interested in outside of Vestcor, showing how architecture can pay homage or take away from a neighborhood's sense of place and that competition leads to a better product, regardless of who the winner is. At the end of the day, if the goal is enhanced quality of life and vibrancy, the better the product, the better outcome for the community.

As for the part about the Vestcor design changing, there's nothing to raise an issue on. It was clear as day in the RFP that once all proposals were submitted, the DIA can literally do whatever it wants with them (including taking the ideas). After the DIA selected Vestcor, the developer was instructed to improve their concept with many of the things proposed by Johnson Commons. In the end, they still did not include retail (a big miss for the DIA and community, IMO) but did increase the density and improve the architecture a bit to be more in sync with what was there before.
Title: Re: A new look for townhomes proposed in LaVilla
Post by: Wacca Pilatka on December 12, 2019, 12:38:29 PM
Lake, kudos to you for the design recommendation.  Is there any possibility that JWD will propose something for another vacant lot in LaVilla?  I loved their Johnson Commons proposal.
Title: Re: A new look for townhomes proposed in LaVilla
Post by: Alexsifakis on December 15, 2019, 08:55:12 PM
Lake was a huge help on the JC proposal, and continues to be a huge help with everything we are working on.  It should be a requirement for developers to consult him before doing a project downtown...  :)  We haven’t gone anywhere, expect some announcements in the next few months.

We have no issue with Vestcor using a similar look for their product... honestly i wish they would have copied the whole JC proposal. There are plenty of projects to go around downtown, we just want to see the right projects happen. I appreciate Vestcor for everything they are doing downtown, but that is a big miss to not put any retail in that section of Lavilla.