The Jaxson

Jacksonville by Neighborhood => Downtown => Topic started by: thelakelander on January 23, 2020, 01:59:33 PM

Title: Will 10K residents really revitalize Downtown Jax?
Post by: thelakelander on January 23, 2020, 01:59:33 PM
Quote
(https://photos.moderncities.com/Cities/Jacksonville/Development/UCU01192020/i-9xtDTQP/0/c0d18b25/L/20200118_095457-L.jpg)

Advocates have long used a population of 10,000 as the benchmark Downtown Jacksonville must reach to achieve vibrancy. However, this figure leaves out the importance of population density - Downtown Jax is so massive that even 10,000 people won't provide the density needed for true vibrancy.

Read More: https://www.thejaxsonmag.com/article/will-10k-residents-really-revitalize-downtown-jax/
Title: Re: Will 10K residents really revitalize Downtown Jax?
Post by: JeffreyS on January 23, 2020, 02:13:34 PM
I really wish they could get the Brooklyn sky way station open.  Connecting LaVilla and the DT core to grocery and some of the restaurant chains people have elsewhere in the city.  Also it would further connect new growing residential population of Brooklyn to the amenities of DT.  I feel like Lavilla is the big opportunity right now to keep linking the chain.
Title: Re: Will 10K residents really revitalize Downtown Jax?
Post by: Peter Griffin on January 23, 2020, 02:35:25 PM
I really wish they could get the Brooklyn sky way station open.  Connecting LaVilla and the DT core to grocery and some of the restaurant chains people have elsewhere in the city.  Also it would further connect new growing residential population of Brooklyn to the amenities of DT.  I feel like Lavilla is the big opportunity right now to keep linking the chain.

This is a great wish, and I share it with you. This would allow DT residents to shop at Fresh Market easily, and would allow Brooklyn residents to walk (and ride) to visit DT attractions.
Title: Re: Will 10K residents really revitalize Downtown Jax?
Post by: J Random Sucker on January 23, 2020, 04:03:54 PM
Quote
Advocates have long used a population of 10,000 as the benchmark Downtown Jacksonville must reach to achieve vibrancy.

Anybody have current DT population figures?
Title: Re: Will 10K residents really revitalize Downtown Jax?
Post by: Steve on January 23, 2020, 04:14:45 PM
This is an issue that most readers here know, but this REALLY articulates the point well. Nice job.
Title: Re: Will 10K residents really revitalize Downtown Jax?
Post by: Captain Zissou on January 23, 2020, 05:18:58 PM
Quote
Advocates have long used a population of 10,000 as the benchmark Downtown Jacksonville must reach to achieve vibrancy.

Anybody have current DT population figures?

It's stated many times in the article... 4,800.  Did you read the article?
Title: Re: Will 10K residents really revitalize Downtown Jax?
Post by: jcjohnpaint on January 23, 2020, 05:39:38 PM
Skyway ridership has improved a lot.  Every time I drive past their cars always have people in them now. 
Title: Re: Will 10K residents really revitalize Downtown Jax?
Post by: J Random Sucker on January 23, 2020, 05:53:17 PM

It's stated many times in the article... 4,800.  Did you read the article?

Um... guilty, as charged.

Somehow I skipped right over the link; just noticed the picture and "10,000" figure  in the quote block.

I'll do better, next time.
Title: Re: Will 10K residents really revitalize Downtown Jax?
Post by: MusicMan on January 23, 2020, 08:55:35 PM
My humble opinion....it matters what the next 5,200 residents earn.  If they earn north of $50,000 that will help a lot. If they earn $35,000 (or less) then not so much.  IMO if they have disposable income to spend downtown that makes all the difference. If they don't then the restaurant initiative Lori Boyer is hoping for (along with other economic growth) will come along a lot slower....
Title: Re: Will 10K residents really revitalize Downtown Jax?
Post by: Bativac on January 23, 2020, 09:38:24 PM
As the article mentions, Greenville really did this right. Their downtown feels like the downtown of a much bigger city.

Jax isn't going to have much luck unless and until they are able to turn downtown into more of a destination. My friends who live "in" Greenville actually live outside the city but drive into DT Greenville on Friday nights and weekends.

As this site has said many times, the idea of some giant mega-development being a catalyst just isn't it. It's expensive (given the incentives the city offers); the big ideas almost never pan out; and you never want all your eggs in one basket.

Yeah, it matters what the residents earn. But it matters more that there are things downtown drawing people there, and the kind of folks with the time and desire to be out having a good time, walking or Skyway-ing from place to place. Doesn't seem difficult but Jax doesn't seem to get it.
Title: Re: Will 10K residents really revitalize Downtown Jax?
Post by: thelakelander on January 23, 2020, 10:36:24 PM
My humble opinion....it matters what the next 5,200 residents earn.  If they earn north of $50,000 that will help a lot. If they earn $35,000 (or less) then not so much.  IMO if they have disposable income to spend downtown that makes all the difference. If they don't then the restaurant initiative Lori Boyer is hoping for (along with other economic growth) will come along a lot slower....

Density would still play a role on the built environment. If that 5,200 is spread out evenly over 4 square miles, they'll drive and those trips will likely take them to neighborhoods outside of downtown just as much as they will to another spot 3 miles away on the other side of downtown. If that 5,200 is concentrated, they'll likely be surrounded by multiple businesses within walking distance. If it's concentrated and that critical mass is established, it will pull people from surrounding areas the same way that Riverside and San Marco's cluster of businesses do today. What the residents earn would play a real strong role in the type of businesses. You'll either get a Dollar General or DGX.
Title: Re: Will 10K residents really revitalize Downtown Jax?
Post by: bill on January 24, 2020, 12:05:42 AM
How would you propose density?
Title: Re: Will 10K residents really revitalize Downtown Jax?
Post by: thelakelander on January 24, 2020, 07:06:43 AM
Probably similar to how the rest of the cities have done it.

1. Develop a master plan for upgrading parks, public infrastructure, pumping activity into city owned catalytic sites (including RFPing them), modifying zoning, coordinating with other agencies, etc. and start implementing it.

2. Use incentives to address adaptive reuse/infill at key catalytic sites. What Lori Boyer is doing with the restaurant program is an example for clustering small businesses.

3. Pounce on private sector opportunities to strengthen the area when they present themselves. Reuse of the Landing, getting Brumos Collection downtown, VyStar coming downtown, JEA building a new headquarters, etc. are all examples of opportunities that have presented themselves over the last year or two. Some we've succeeded on or have dropped in our laps. Others, we missed and struck out on.

4. When projects do take place, ensure that they follow pedestrian friendly design guidelines.

Much of this isn't difficult with political support. Part of this means understanding that the finished product will be developed incrementally.
Title: Re: Will 10K residents really revitalize Downtown Jax?
Post by: vicupstate on January 24, 2020, 11:14:52 AM
Quote
Downtown Greenville Size: 1.84 square miles: Population: 2,257 Population density: 1,254 people per square mile

I realize this figure is sourced, but it must be pretty out of date just the same.

As of now, there are just under 2,600 apartment UNITS. Obviously each unit has at least one person and probably 40-60% have two or more.  That number is only including 'complexes' with between 22 and 365 units apiece. It doesn't include 2nd, 3rd, etc. floor units that are over retail stores. Nor does it include ownership units which would probably add another 1,000 residents give or take.

All that said, the permanent residents are only a fraction of the people that are down here day or night. Most people travel in for business or leisure. 
Title: Re: Will 10K residents really revitalize Downtown Jax?
Post by: vicupstate on January 24, 2020, 11:18:23 AM
My humble opinion....it matters what the next 5,200 residents earn.  If they earn north of $50,000 that will help a lot. If they earn $35,000 (or less) then not so much.  IMO if they have disposable income to spend downtown that makes all the difference. If they don't then the restaurant initiative Lori Boyer is hoping for (along with other economic growth) will come along a lot slower....

I agree. A lot of the residents that are already in DT Jax are residents of the Cathedral projects. Their disposal income is low and their presence does not give much incentive for businesses to come in.
Title: Re: Will 10K residents really revitalize Downtown Jax?
Post by: thelakelander on January 24, 2020, 11:28:00 AM
^I'd be surprised if the Cathedral residents are more than 1,000. They at least have a Harvey's, Family Dollar, McDonald's and 7-Eleven within walking distance. The Northbank's number of residents hasn't really changed much since Metropolitan Lofts came online in the early 2000s. I actually can't think of one residential project in the Northbank that has been completed within the last decade. All of downtown's residential recent growth (2000s since the real estate crash) has been in either Brooklyn, LaVilla or the Southbank.
Title: Re: Will 10K residents really revitalize Downtown Jax?
Post by: fieldafm on January 24, 2020, 12:52:16 PM
^I'd be surprised if the Cathedral residents are more than 1,000. They at least have a Harvey's, Family Dollar, McDonald's and 7-Eleven within walking distance. The Northbank's number of residents hasn't really changed much since Metropolitan Lofts came online in the early 2000s. I actually can't think of one residential project in the Northbank that has been completed within the last decade. All of downtown's residential recent growth (2000s since the real estate crash) has been in either Brooklyn, LaVilla or the Southbank.

Cathedral District residential count is much lower than 1k.

The only new residential units that have come online in the Northbank since 2006, have been from the Barnett Bank building rehab (107 market rate units) and the former Lerner Building rehab (58 college student communal suites configured in 3 and 4 bedroom layouts).

My humble opinion....it matters what the next 5,200 residents earn. 


Affordable housing is not the boogeyman many fear. In fact, Downtown Jax worked A LOT better when it was surrounded by true affordable housing options.

Businesses need labor of all skill and income levels. It's very difficult for a restaurant (or fill in any other business here) to find good and reliable employees if they have to take an hour and a half bus ride to come to work every day, or are spending 20% of their daily wages filling up their cars to drive 30 minutes each way just to get to work... and Lord help you if you get off work at night when bus schedules are limited.

In 2017, after returning from the annual Jax Chamber trip to Toronto, everyone came away moved by Toronto officials emphasizing how much they wished they could have went back 5-10 years and did a much better job with providing affordable housing in their downtown. It was the catalyst for DIA doing so many set asides for affordable housing over the last few years.

“We can no longer not engage in the conversation about affordable and workforce housing, being on the sidelines. ‘That’s their job.’ No, that is our job if we want to survive as economic development specialists.” -Aundra Wallace

"Toronto’s city leaders and developers lamented moving so fast on downtown development that they had to go back to add workforce housing because people were priced out of downtown. We took note and Jacksonville has continued on its path of building a mix of residential options. City and state leaders helped secure $8 million this legislative session for more affordable units Downtown."  -Daniel Davis

I love it when people bemoan these Chamber trips for 'not applying lessons learned'... but only if those lessons don't fit into their pre-conceived notions.
Title: Re: Will 10K residents really revitalize Downtown Jax?
Post by: thelakelander on January 24, 2020, 01:26:52 PM
^I'd be surprised if the Cathedral residents are more than 1,000. They at least have a Harvey's, Family Dollar, McDonald's and 7-Eleven within walking distance. The Northbank's number of residents hasn't really changed much since Metropolitan Lofts came online in the early 2000s. I actually can't think of one residential project in the Northbank that has been completed within the last decade. All of downtown's residential recent growth (2000s since the real estate crash) has been in either Brooklyn, LaVilla or the Southbank.

Cathedral District residential count is much lower than 1k.

The only new residential units that have come online in the Northbank since 2006, have been from the Barnett Bank building rehab (107 market rate units) and the former Lerner Building rehab (58 college student communal suites configured in 3 and 4 bedroom layouts).

Can't believe I forget about those, since they both happened within the last year or so. It's kind of crazy when you think about it. The economy has been booming for a decade and during that time, the Northbank added less than 200 new residential units?!
Title: Re: Will 10K residents really revitalize Downtown Jax?
Post by: jaxlongtimer on January 24, 2020, 10:24:15 PM
Lake, sorry to be a party pooper, but, unless I am missing something, when I multiply density by square miles, I should get population.

Might want to re-check Ft. Lauderdale:

1.6 sq. mi. x 8,250 density yields a population of 13,200 vs. 5,936 shown.  In reverse, 5,926/1.6 sq. mi. yields 3,703 density vs. 8,250 shown.

Quote
Downtown Fort Lauderdale

    Size: 1.6 square miles
    Population: 5,936
    Population density: 8,250 people per square mile
    Source
Title: Re: Will 10K residents really revitalize Downtown Jax?
Post by: thelakelander on January 25, 2020, 08:28:26 AM
Feel free being a party pooper! If there's a mistake in the writer's numbers, we'll get them corrected. Thanks for pointing that out.
Title: Re: Will 10K residents really revitalize Downtown Jax?
Post by: Tacachale on January 25, 2020, 09:03:25 AM
My error, thanks for the catch. I’ve updated the article.
Title: Re: Will 10K residents really revitalize Downtown Jax?
Post by: Kerry on January 25, 2020, 09:40:45 AM
One thing not mentioned here is the number of hotel rooms available in these other cities compared to Jax.  In cities with lots of downtown hotel rooms it can add thousands of people everyday to the local population.  While Jax does have a small number of downtown hotels, they are spread out and very suburban in design for the most part.
Title: Re: Will 10K residents really revitalize Downtown Jax?
Post by: heights unknown on January 25, 2020, 09:47:38 AM
Quote
Advocates have long used a population of 10,000 as the benchmark Downtown Jacksonville must reach to achieve vibrancy.

Anybody have current DT population figures?

I think I saw, or heard it was a little over 4.8K.
Title: Re: Will 10K residents really revitalize Downtown Jax?
Post by: heights unknown on January 25, 2020, 09:56:10 AM
OK, I think I get it. The bottom line is, we need more people downtown yes, but that's not the common denominator. We need more density in concentrated areas of town, mainly in the urban core and surrounding areas on the northbank, and, accumulating that density would require it being concentrated throughout all of our huge downtown areas, not just the traditional core. I saw the comparison to other cities, and some of their downtowns barely have 2 square miles or more, but with insane population amounts (not really insane but extremely dense). Our leaders in city government, who really need to start earning their pay, need to figure our more innovative ways of not only getting more people to live downtown, but to concentrate those people in areas that would support and encourage more dining, shopping centers, malls, movie theaters, entertainment, bars, etc. Excellent thread/postings by the way.
Title: Re: Will 10K residents really revitalize Downtown Jax?
Post by: heights unknown on January 25, 2020, 10:02:48 AM
As the article mentions, Greenville really did this right. Their downtown feels like the downtown of a much bigger city.

Jax isn't going to have much luck unless and until they are able to turn downtown into more of a destination. My friends who live "in" Greenville actually live outside the city but drive into DT Greenville on Friday nights and weekends.

As this site has said many times, the idea of some giant mega-development being a catalyst just isn't it. It's expensive (given the incentives the city offers); the big ideas almost never pan out; and you never want all your eggs in one basket.

Yeah, it matters what the residents earn. But it matters more that there are things downtown drawing people there, and the kind of folks with the time and desire to be out having a good time, walking or Skyway-ing from place to place. Doesn't seem difficult but Jax doesn't seem to get it.
I agree wholeheartedly. And since we are building all of these residential developments downtown (doesn't matter where), city leaders really need to pay attention and start luring in gas stations, bars, supermarkets, entertainment, shopping, etc., to support these people. I hope someone is monitoring the population and demographics in that regard very closely so that we can keep these people downtown and lure even more. I was in Jax a couple of months ago, and downtown seems a bit better than when I was a staunch citizen of Jax, but its still 9 to 5, and then nothing; and I would imagine since the Landing is now gone, it's a little worse.
Title: Re: Will 10K residents really revitalize Downtown Jax?
Post by: heights unknown on January 25, 2020, 10:13:52 AM
BTW, I am sure a lot of businesses, both large and small, are keeping tabs on downtown population increase and growth; city leaders though should do the same to entice and lure all type business into downtown to support a population increase.
Title: Re: Will 10K residents really revitalize Downtown Jax?
Post by: Kerry on January 25, 2020, 12:07:58 PM
BTW, I am sure a lot of businesses, both large and small, are keeping tabs on downtown population increase and growth; city leaders though should do the same to entice and lure all type business into downtown to support a population increase.

It isn't hard to do but Jax leadership seems to be stuck in 1990.  Instead of getting the little things right that are in 100% control of the City, they opt for the giant magic projects that are going to transform the City in one fell swoop.  It doesn't work that way and it NEVER worked that way.  If anyone comes to the city with an urban mixed-use project north of $100 million they should be laughed at, told No, and shown the door.  Jax is nowhere near ready for that type of project and anyone proposing it is a fraud.  There isn't a sane person on the planet with $100 million that would invest it in downtown Jax right now - and that includes Brightline/Virgin Trains.
Title: Re: Will 10K residents really revitalize Downtown Jax?
Post by: thelakelander on January 25, 2020, 09:51:51 PM
Brightline/Virgin Trains doesn't have a proposal on the table to spend $100 million in Jax and won't have any type of proposal prior to finishing the Orlando segment and seeing how successful it is. Right now that's 2022 at the earliest.

The only two talking about dropping +100 million are Lot J and The District.  I wouldn't hold my breath on it materializing but Lenny and the Jags claim they're ready to spend $700 million (mostly your money) at Lot J. That's seven times your number.
Title: Re: Will 10K residents really revitalize Downtown Jax?
Post by: Kerry on January 25, 2020, 09:59:08 PM
Yep - and Khan is a fraud.
Title: Re: Will 10K residents really revitalize Downtown Jax?
Post by: heights unknown on January 26, 2020, 10:05:26 AM
Yep - and Khan is a fraud.
Yep, I'm slowly beginning to believe that...didn't want to, don't want to, but a cat digging in a litter box full of poop is just that...a cat digging in a litter box full of poop!
Title: Re: Will 10K residents really revitalize Downtown Jax?
Post by: thelakelander on January 26, 2020, 10:22:42 AM
Yep - and Khan is a fraud.

He's just a businessman looking to maximize investment profits. Hard to blame him for making a mockery of the mayor's team's negotiating skills.
Title: Re: Will 10K residents really revitalize Downtown Jax?
Post by: bl8jaxnative on January 26, 2020, 12:07:07 PM
Skyway ridership has improved a lot.  Every time I drive past their cars always have people in them now.

When it's cold, a lot of homeless people use it to warm up.
Title: Re: Will 10K residents really revitalize Downtown Jax?
Post by: bl8jaxnative on January 26, 2020, 12:49:42 PM
If it's concentrated and that critical mass is established, it will pull people from surrounding areas the same way that Riverside and San Marco's cluster of businesses do today. What the residents earn would play a real strong role in the type of businesses. You'll either get a Dollar General or DGX.

As a side note, don't underestimate Dollar General's push to sell to higher income households.  Their biggest area of growth right now in zips with household incomes above $80K.

Anywhooooooo.......... Riverside and Marco are great examples.  When you stop and look-look at San Marco, there isn't really a lot there.  NOthing is really big.  There's no anchor tennant of stores pulling people in.  There's a mix of things with a focus on food.  It works well.


It may be counter intuitive to some.  This old piece works really well for explaining the need for clustering.   The chess store owner thought a new chess store across the street would cut into his sales.  It didn't.  It grew them.

https://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=121304873

"
JOFFE-WALT: Well, it was that way. And then one day, Laurence Nash, the owner, says one of his employees, actually a protege of his, stabbed him in the back. He set up a shop right across the street.
"

"
JOFFE-WALT: The fancy term for this is economies of agglomeration. It means that sellers make this basic calculation.

DAVIDSON: Sure, you lose a lot of customers to the chess store across the street, but getting more traffic evens things out. Village Chess is no longer one specialty shop on its own, it's now part of New York's chess district.

JOFFE-WALT: New York has a lighting district, a plants district, a kitchen supply district, an Indian restaurant district and then there is this.
"
Title: Re: Will 10K residents really revitalize Downtown Jax?
Post by: tufsu1 on January 27, 2020, 09:24:13 AM
The only new residential units that have come online in the Northbank since 2006, have been from the Barnett Bank building rehab (107 market rate units) and the former Lerner Building rehab (58 college student communal suites configured in 3 and 4 bedroom layouts).

in the Northbank core, yes - but there are the buildings in LaVilla
Title: Re: Will 10K residents really revitalize Downtown Jax?
Post by: thelakelander on January 27, 2020, 09:48:29 AM
Yeah, I wouldn't count LaVilla as being a part of the Northbank core.
Title: Re: Will 10K residents really revitalize Downtown Jax?
Post by: Tacachale on January 27, 2020, 09:55:47 AM
Yeah, I wouldn't count LaVilla as being a part of the Northbank core.

Yes, that's part of the point of the article. That said, LaVilla is much closer and better connected to the Northbank core than the other neighborhoods.
Title: Re: Will 10K residents really revitalize Downtown Jax?
Post by: tufsu1 on January 27, 2020, 11:01:01 AM
^ agreed - was just noting that fieldafm seemed to be talking about the Northbank as a whole - it is clear that the units in LaVilla have done very little so far to enhance downtown vibrancy
Title: Re: Will 10K residents really revitalize Downtown Jax?
Post by: Steve on January 27, 2020, 11:31:30 AM
^ agreed - was just noting that fieldafm seemed to be talking about the Northbank as a whole - it is clear that the units in LaVilla have done very little so far to enhance downtown vibrancy

Yep. I think the issue is that even if those folks wanted to grab dinner at Bellwether or something, it's a long walk. Those people would just drive.
Title: Re: Will 10K residents really revitalize Downtown Jax?
Post by: thelakelander on January 27, 2020, 12:53:55 PM
Yeah, if considering Hemming Park as the center of the Northbank, everything in LaVilla falls outside of the 1/4 mile pedestrian walkshed. This basically means people are more likely to drive than walk between the two since there's nothing worth walking to in the gap between them.

(https://photos.smugmug.com/Cities/Jacksonville/Development/Hemming-14-Mile-Walk-Radius/i-zxSvHfG/0/05e48b68/XL/Jacksonville-Chamber-1000%20Feet%20-%20Developments-XL.jpg)



Title: Re: Will 10K residents really revitalize Downtown Jax?
Post by: Tacachale on January 27, 2020, 01:53:47 PM
This is an area where more specific data on the individual neighborhoods would be helpful. Right now, there's no way to know how many people live in the Northbank core vs. LaVilla vs. Brooklyn, etc., or whether the individual units are clustered or walkable within those areas. I suspect that LaVilla doesn't have nearly enough people, let alone people in close distance, to have an impact on the Northbank.
Title: Re: Will 10K residents really revitalize Downtown Jax?
Post by: Non-RedNeck Westsider on January 27, 2020, 02:18:13 PM
If only there was an alternative transit option to get all of those Lavilla residents into the core or to a grocery store or...
Title: Re: Will 10K residents really revitalize Downtown Jax?
Post by: Peter Griffin on January 27, 2020, 02:21:02 PM
If only there was an alternative transit option to get all of those Lavilla residents into the core or to a grocery store or...

Yeah, all the sudden the Skyway doesn't exist? People on the forum seem to think walking or driving are the only two methods of transit. Skyway, bus, car, Uber, the closer the better no matter which method of transit you're using, and LaVilla does well to capitalize on that and put lots of people in very close proximity to all of Jax's best neighborhoods and the core of Downtown.
Title: Re: Will 10K residents really revitalize Downtown Jax?
Post by: Non-RedNeck Westsider on January 27, 2020, 02:53:35 PM
TBF, it will take riders to Hemming, but without a spur into Brooklyn's Fres Market, theres still no connectivity with a true grocery store.   And unless things have changed, it doesn't operate after 8pm or on weekends. 

JTA basically waited for residential to be built in proximity of a station before essentially scrapping the entire thing while moving forward with an untested UTC option.

My comment was more TiC than anything.
Title: Re: Will 10K residents really revitalize Downtown Jax?
Post by: Peter Griffin on January 27, 2020, 02:59:42 PM
theres still no connectivity with a true grocery store.   And unless things have changed, it doesn't operate after 8pm or on weekends. 

Those are good points I forgot about