The Jaxson

Jacksonville by Neighborhood => Downtown => Topic started by: thelakelander on February 19, 2021, 11:36:00 AM

Title: Mayor, local leaders to discuss improvements in Downtown Jacksonville
Post by: thelakelander on February 19, 2021, 11:36:00 AM
Quote
MAYOR TO MEET WITH PRIVATE BUSINESS OWNERS AND LOCAL LEADERS TO DICSUSS IMPROVEMENTS IN DOWNTOWN JACKSONVILLE

JACKSONVILLE, Fla., Feb. 19, 2021 — Mayor Lenny Curry and six Jacksonville business owners and local leaders with vested interest in Downtown Jacksonville will meet Monday to openly discuss ways to improve the urban core. This meeting is open to the public and media.

*** Masks are required


WHEN:       

Monday, Feb. 22

9 a.m.

 

WHERE:     

Jacksonville Main Public Library

Multi-purpose Room 1

303 N Laura St., Jacksonville, FL 32202

(Enter at the Main Street entrance)

 

WHO:         

Mayor Lenny Curry – City of Jacksonville

John Rood, Chairman – The Vestcor Companies

Gary Norcross, Chairman, President & CEO – FIS

Aundra Wallace, President – JAXUSA

Nat Ford, CEO – Jacksonville Transportation Authority

Jack Hanania, Founder & CEO – Hanania Automotive Group

Ed Burr, Founder & CEO – GreenPoint Holdings LLC

COJ Press Release
Title: Re: Mayor, local leaders to discuss improvements in Downtown Jacksonville
Post by: Charles Hunter on February 19, 2021, 11:50:09 AM
No Ennis Davis or anyone else from here?
I assume this is a public meeting - will the public be allowed to speak?
Title: Re: Mayor, local leaders to discuss improvements in Downtown Jacksonville
Post by: jaxlongtimer on February 19, 2021, 11:54:08 AM
No Ennis Davis or anyone else from here?
I assume this is a public meeting - will the public be allowed to speak?

Agreed.  This looks like a circular firing squad.  Many of these people have been "influencing" City leaders and Downtown "development" for years and we have nothing to show for it.  It's time to bring in all-new fresh blood with ideas not yet being considered or prioritized.  Maybe people who don't have a personal "vested interest" (i.e. motivation to only do what lines their pockets) but what is best for the vested interests of the entire community.

Nice that they are willing to start a conversation but this isn't necessarily the way forward with that.
Title: Re: Mayor, local leaders to discuss improvements in Downtown Jacksonville
Post by: vicupstate on February 19, 2021, 12:40:14 PM
What about someone from VyStar?  Hello?!

Or JWB or whatever the company is that is buying up properties and actually doing something with them around City Hall/JWJ Park?
Title: Re: Mayor, local leaders to discuss improvements in Downtown Jacksonville
Post by: marcuscnelson on February 19, 2021, 12:59:53 PM
This looks to me like Curry desperately seeking purpose after seeing three of his signature initiatives collapse in little more than a year.  It doesn't do him a whole lot of good to have little to show for eight years in office except pensions. At this point Davis might actually accomplish more in one term, and that isn't saying much.

I wonder if the meeting is being streamed for people who can't just show up at the library at 9am on a Monday.

Also, one very important typo. GreenPoint Holdings LLC is a marijuana company. GreenPointe Holdings LLC is a developer. Their Quay Sarasota (https://quaysarasota.com) (the only large mixed-use urban development in their portfolio) is actually larger than Lot J.
Title: Re: Mayor, local leaders to discuss improvements in Downtown Jacksonville
Post by: thelakelander on February 19, 2021, 01:15:51 PM
I don't know why Ed Burr is listed but I'm aware of the others recently making significant investments in various areas of the DT CRA. I remember Burr involved with the old LandMar plan to redevelop the Shipyards. That project blew up when the real estate bubble burst back around 2007-08.
Title: Re: Mayor, local leaders to discuss improvements in Downtown Jacksonville
Post by: marcuscnelson on February 19, 2021, 02:53:21 PM
Daily Record Article.

https://www.jaxdailyrecord.com/article/city-meetings-focus-on-downtown-riverfront

There's also going to be a DIA workshop on riverfront development on Tuesday at noon. That will have a Zoom option.

Quote
The Downtown Investment Authority will discuss public park and private commercial development along the St. Johns riverfront Feb. 23 in a joint workshop with City Council and the Downtown Development Review Board.

DIA is working on a riverfront development strategy with the Jessie Ball duPont Fund.

DIA CEO Lori Boyer said Feb. 17 the nonprofit will make a presentation along with the Jacksonville Museum of Science and History, which plans to move its facility to the Shipyards property on the Downtown Northbank by 2024.

The meeting also will include time for community comments, Boyer said.

The noon workshop will be in the Jacksonville Main Public Library at 303 N. Laura Street.

The DIA workshop will have a virtual attendance option on Zoom:

Join Zoom Meeting

https://zoom.us/j/98520909500?pwd=S2YvbEdvdXRMSHVLVlJWZE0xbzZLdz09

Meeting ID: 985 2090 9500

Passcode: 237408
Title: Re: Mayor, local leaders to discuss improvements in Downtown Jacksonville
Post by: jaxlongtimer on February 19, 2021, 02:54:48 PM
Yes, where is Brian Wolfburg from Vystar?

And, what about Riverfront Parks Now and Kay Ehas from the Emerald Trail?

Or people from the Urban Land Institute or others, along with Ennis, who are city planners?

How about some cutting edge architects or transportation experts with existing successful/proven projects?

How about residents living in the urban core?  And rank and file employees there?

What about small business owners?

Representatives of the surrounding areas that might support Downtown as the closest audience to interact with it?

Any reps from the cultural arts?

Leaders from successful urban areas around the country (or the world)?

With all due respect, Burr's company, Vestcor, JTA, DIA and the Chamber have not done anything notable to advance downtown beyond their own self-interests.  Aside from their campus (which is in Brooklyn, not the heart of Downtown), what has FIS done?  Hanania is a newcomer who makes his living in the burbs so not sure he is ready to offer heavy duty experiences.

In the end, more people are missing than present.  This approach is typical of our past and why we are where we are (or are not!) today.
Title: Re: Mayor, local leaders to discuss improvements in Downtown Jacksonville
Post by: heights unknown on February 19, 2021, 03:22:19 PM
Here we go again. How many times have we heard these baseless words? Ya da ya da ya da ya da ya da! They really need to shut up their pie hole unless they are going to back up their words with staunch and concrete action(s).
Title: Re: Mayor, local leaders to discuss improvements in Downtown Jacksonville
Post by: marcuscnelson on February 19, 2021, 04:39:26 PM
Again, the point of this isn't a substantive, community-based solution. It's Curry desperately seeking purpose, and reaching out to his buddies for help. I wonder, if you look up his PACs, what the odds are that everyone on that list (except for maybe Wallace and Ford) is a donor.

Also, is it strange at all that Wallace from JAXUSA is attending, but not Daniel Davis, who runs the Chamber that JAXUSA is a subsidiary to?

If Carlucci was doing more outward campaigning right now, it'd be nice to see him pulling together an alternate meeting of some kind, with some of the figures y'all have mentioned.
Title: Re: Mayor, local leaders to discuss improvements in Downtown Jacksonville
Post by: thelakelander on February 19, 2021, 05:04:34 PM
Wallace is the former DIA CEO.
Title: Re: Mayor, local leaders to discuss improvements in Downtown Jacksonville
Post by: landfall on February 19, 2021, 05:35:55 PM
All thats missing is Lamping and some renderings.
Title: Re: Mayor, local leaders to discuss improvements in Downtown Jacksonville
Post by: fsu813 on February 19, 2021, 06:07:18 PM
Meeting for Monday morning, in-person only, announced on Friday.

Almost like they don't want people to actually attend/participate.
Title: Re: Mayor, local leaders to discuss improvements in Downtown Jacksonville
Post by: jaxlongtimer on February 19, 2021, 06:53:31 PM
I don't know why Ed Burr is listed but I'm aware of the others recently making significant investments in various areas of the DT CRA. I remember Burr involved with the old LandMar plan to redevelop the Shipyards. That project blew up when the real estate bubble burst back around 2007-08.

The most important thing every single one of the individuals on this list have in common is that they and/or their companies have donated to Curry's last campaign and/or PAC.  If you didn't give, apparently you are not entitled to input on the future of Downtown.

I verified this at the City's election site for campaign contributions:

https://www.duvalelections.com/Candidates-And-Committees/Search-Local-Contributions-And-Expenditures (https://www.duvalelections.com/Candidates-And-Committees/Search-Local-Contributions-And-Expenditures)

This is the place to go if you want to best understand Jacksonville politics and who pulls the strings.
Title: Re: Mayor, local leaders to discuss improvements in Downtown Jacksonville
Post by: marcuscnelson on February 19, 2021, 07:10:29 PM
I don't know why Ed Burr is listed but I'm aware of the others recently making significant investments in various areas of the DT CRA. I remember Burr involved with the old LandMar plan to redevelop the Shipyards. That project blew up when the real estate bubble burst back around 2007-08.

The most important thing every single one of the individuals on this list have in common is that they and/or their companies have donated to Curry's last campaign and/or PAC.  If you didn't give, apparently you are not entitled to input on the future of Downtown.

I verified this at the City's election site for campaign contributions:

https://www.duvalelections.com/Candidates-And-Committees/Search-Local-Contributions-And-Expenditures (https://www.duvalelections.com/Candidates-And-Committees/Search-Local-Contributions-And-Expenditures)

This is the place to go if you want to best understand Jacksonville politics and who pulls the strings.

Well, I'll be. Wallace and Ford are also donors to Curry. In a way that's not surprising, but it also is, I thought they'd be at least kinda… impartial, or something.

But yeah. Every single one.

Meeting for Monday morning, in-person only, announced on Friday.

Almost like they don't want people to actually attend/participate.

(https://i.pinimg.com/originals/0e/dd/53/0edd53dd2110147b786329c2e24fb1d0.gif)
Title: Re: Mayor, local leaders to discuss improvements in Downtown Jacksonville
Post by: marcuscnelson on February 22, 2021, 12:21:20 PM
Was anyone able to attend today's meeting?
Title: Re: Mayor, local leaders to discuss improvements in Downtown Jacksonville
Post by: thelakelander on February 22, 2021, 12:52:40 PM
Unfortunately not. Would have if it were virtual. Otherwise, in general there wasn't enough notice for inclusive participation from a public involvement and community outreach perspective.
Title: Re: Mayor, local leaders to discuss improvements in Downtown Jacksonville
Post by: Steve on February 22, 2021, 01:05:10 PM
This whole thing felt like Window Dressing to be honest. No local retail/restaurant small business owners (I don't count Hanania) and if you're going to make it big businesses, how do you exclude Brian Wolfburg (VyStar CEO).
Title: Re: Mayor, local leaders to discuss improvements in Downtown Jacksonville
Post by: thelakelander on February 22, 2021, 01:05:39 PM
Looking at twitter:

Quote
Mayor
@lennycurry
: says he committed to the city that you would not recognize downtown Jax by the time he left office.

-Lists new HQ for FIS, JTA, JEA

-Says the successful revitalization of the urban core is not only about big, flashy things but also details

https://twitter.com/RenataFCNews/status/1363851784532463617

Title: Re: Mayor, local leaders to discuss improvements in Downtown Jacksonville
Post by: jaxlongtimer on February 22, 2021, 01:10:01 PM
Unfortunately not. Would have if it were virtual. Otherwise, in general there wasn't enough notice for inclusive participation from a public involvement and community outreach perspective.

Don't feel bad.  If you didn't donate to Curry's campaign, he had no interest in hearing from you.  And, based on past history, even if you did donate, he probably didn't want to hear from you.

By the way, this was an interesting letter to the T-U about Lori Boyer:

Quote
What happened to Lori Boyer?

As a San Marco resident I was always pleased with Lori Boyer’s representation of our district on the City Council. She seemed attuned to the needs of the area and advocated on our behalf. I was also impressed by her recognition of the importance of the St Johns River to the identity and livability of the city. She made efforts to increase access to the river and make it the centerpiece of activity in the urban core.

After becoming CEO of the Downtown Investment Authority (DIA) though, she seems to have succumbed to the groupthink that has guided city leaders and planners for years. That is, add more concrete and pavement to the downtown area and people will want to live there. A mindset where livability and visual appeal appear to be foreign concepts. She also seems to concur with the thinking that any downtown area with soil, grass, and natural elements is a wasted opportunity for development and a drag on the tax roll.

I am surprised by this because I thought she would bring a fresh perspective to the DIA and take steps to increase the livability of the downtown area. What she has done, though, is perpetuated the notion that greenspace is nothing more than another opportunity for a new structure or parking lot. This is a shame because there is now greenspace in the urban core and along the river that could be converted to an interconnected park system that would be the envy of other cities and make the urban core a desirable place to live.

Such parks would also serve as a resilient, natural barrier to river overflow. If she and other city planners were not under the spell of a stale urban planning philosophy, they might realize the once in a lifetime opportunity they have. Lori, please return to your roots and break the shackles of the dated school of thought that guided many failed downtown ventures of the past. Please don’t miss this one-time opportunity!

Logan Cross, San Marco

https://www.jacksonville.com/story/opinion/2021/02/20/letters-readers-when-america-great/4512008001/ (https://www.jacksonville.com/story/opinion/2021/02/20/letters-readers-when-america-great/4512008001/)
Title: Re: Mayor, local leaders to discuss improvements in Downtown Jacksonville
Post by: thelakelander on February 22, 2021, 05:55:20 PM
Reading this article, looking up the make up of this group and the poor level of community outreach and public involvement, I don't have high hopes of anything good coming out of this. Part of me would rather these guys support what's already happening in downtown, get out of the way and let the next administration deal with some of the lawns and dead spaces that have been created over the last few years.

Quote
What is the future of development in downtown Jacksonville? This group will help decide

Mayor Curry rejects reputation as “Tear Down Mayor”

There are new questions this week about the future of downtown Jacksonville.

The mayor put a group of business leaders together to determine what’s next. The new group is hoping to overcome some hurdles like the Lot J plan that didn’t pass.

Two years ago when the city blew up old City Hall, it was supposed to be a catalyst of major downtown development. Now it’s just an open field still waiting for development. The same thing where the old courthouse stood — just a grassy field.

Then a year ago, The Jacksonville Landing came down. That resulted in another big grassy field downtown and there are no concrete plans for what’s going to take its place.

While talks are in the works on both sites, there are other projects that also have been left in the dust such as the rejected Lot J development.

The sting of projects has left Curry with the reputation as the “Tear Down Mayor.”

“I resent that premise,” Curry said. “Things have happened downtown.”

Full article: https://www.news4jax.com/news/local/2021/02/22/what-is-the-future-of-downtown-jacksonville-this-group-will-help-decide/
Title: Re: Mayor, local leaders to discuss improvements in Downtown Jacksonville
Post by: jcjohnpaint on February 22, 2021, 06:59:44 PM
Sit this crew down and make them read the last 10 years of MJ and Jaxon articles and there might be hope.
Title: Re: Mayor, local leaders to discuss improvements in Downtown Jacksonville
Post by: Charles Hunter on February 22, 2021, 07:31:16 PM
I saw the WJXT report on their noon news. Although the "tear-down mayor" appellation is correct, I think Jim Piggot was trying to score "aggressive reporter points" by asking about that.  That is the only question of his shown on WJXT, so if it wasn't his only question, the folks at WJXT deemed it the most important. He could have even alluded to past failed attempts by Curry and his predecessors by asking "How will things be different this time?"  Less confrontational.  C'mon Jim, you've been here for decades, you ain't going to the network or a primo market like Atlanta.

I haven't seen any other newscasts, but here is a quote from First Coast News
Quote
First Coast News wanted to know what makes this time talking about downtown revitalization different. Rood says it's a combination of things.

"A combination of the mayor wanting to finish his downtown efforts and make it look a little bit better than it looks," he said. "And people in the city realizing a great city needs a great downtown and employers realizing that their employees want to live downtown. Let's give them the product that they want."
https://www.firstcoastnews.com/article/news/local/jacksonville-mayor-discusses-downtown-improvements/77-68afb46a-0b6e-4722-87a4-16b17d471f6d

Action News focused on homelessness - https://www.actionnewsjax.com/news/local/newly-formed-mayors-taskforce-focus-revitalizing-downtown-jacksonville/XJIL3VRLLBCHRPGS2ZJRUTWLRM/
Title: Re: Mayor, local leaders to discuss improvements in Downtown Jacksonville
Post by: fsu813 on February 22, 2021, 08:22:25 PM

I haven't seen any other

Action News focused on homelessness - https://www.actionnewsjax.com/news/local/newly-formed-mayors-taskforce-focus-revitalizing-downtown-jacksonville/XJIL3VRLLBCHRPGS2ZJRUTWLRM/

“We’ve got to address the possible decentralization of homeless assistance ecocenter within our Downtown Northbank,” - Wallace

I've been telling people this (including on this forum) for years.

It'd be MUCH faster to incentivize the relocation of, say, Trinity Recue Mission and City Rescue Mission, the two true night by night shelters and the worst offenders regarding blight, to less problematic locations, than to wait for organic vibrancy to occur, by adding 10, 15, 20k residents in Downtown, which has often been cited as the solution to homeless nuisances (add more vibrancy, you won't notice the homeless as much).

Waiting for 15-20k new residents & organic vibrancy will take a decade or more, while moving a couple shelters could take a 2-3 years.
Title: Re: Mayor, local leaders to discuss improvements in Downtown Jacksonville
Post by: acme54321 on February 22, 2021, 08:27:09 PM
Yep, the homeless problem has gotten out of control down there.
Title: Re: Mayor, local leaders to discuss improvements in Downtown Jacksonville
Post by: jaxlongtimer on February 22, 2021, 11:08:38 PM
Ennis & Co., prepare for disappointment here!

They are talking quicker code enforcement, better lighting, cleaner streets.  All great but, other than the homeless concerns, they don't appear to be addressing clustering, transportation (2 way streets, pedestrian aspects, mass transit, etc.), zoning, green space/parks, street activities/facings, small business development, retail, infrastructure investments (notice the multiplying potholes & poorly designed/kept sidewalks Downtown - and all over for that matter), landscaping, public art, interaction with the river, events, increased policing, etc.

By the way, pre-COVID, there was nothing more frustrating than to wait for traffic lights to let theater/arena traffic out (especially to the river crossings) based on mid-day traffic counts.  Unlike the Jags, there is no one around to facilitate a couple of hours of inbound and outbound theater/downtown event goers.  Just adds to the headaches of going Downtown.

Curry & Co. just don't get it. (P.S. I see Downtown Vision is also not on the invite list.  Guess they failed to donate to Curry too.)

From the T-U:
Quote
.....“We’re not proposing a convention center," Rood said. "We’re just proposing things that can be acted upon quickly."

He said the presence of homeless people in downtown would be the "most challenging" of the issues discussed during the meeting.

Other issues could be faster fixes in terms of stepping up code enforcement of property violations, increasing the brightness of nighttime lighting, and general clean-up....

https://www.jacksonville.com/story/news/local/2021/02/22/new-working-group-recommend-downtown-jacksonville-improvements/4538285001/ (https://www.jacksonville.com/story/news/local/2021/02/22/new-working-group-recommend-downtown-jacksonville-improvements/4538285001/)
Title: Re: Mayor, local leaders to discuss improvements in Downtown Jacksonville
Post by: thelakelander on February 23, 2021, 07:19:45 AM
I'm actually not disappointed in this group investing in the routine maintenance of downtown. These are no-brainer things that should have been apparent six years ago. These are things that help the development that's currently taking place in the Northbank. I'm actually happier with cleaning up the place (assuming they don't go start bulldozing historically significant buildings.....especially in LaVilla and Brooklyn) and them not trying to force through big ticket items like building a new convention center.
Title: Re: Mayor, local leaders to discuss improvements in Downtown Jacksonville
Post by: bl8jaxnative on February 23, 2021, 07:45:29 AM

First step, clean your room.
Title: Re: Mayor, local leaders to discuss improvements in Downtown Jacksonville
Post by: vicupstate on February 23, 2021, 08:39:29 AM
When I hear/read 'cleaning up' in Jacksonville, that always seems to mean tearing down buildings. That may not be the ONLY thing involved, but it unusually is a component and a larger one at that. 
Title: Re: Mayor, local leaders to discuss improvements in Downtown Jacksonville
Post by: heights unknown on February 23, 2021, 09:43:51 AM
So.....WTH took Curry so long to realize all of this? Playing with Shad Khan in the toy box, or looking to put more money in his pocket somehow? I just wonder...I just wonder.
Title: Re: Mayor, local leaders to discuss improvements in Downtown Jacksonville
Post by: jaxlongtimer on February 23, 2021, 11:19:02 AM
I'm actually not disappointed in this group investing in the routine maintenance of downtown. These are no-brainer things that should have been apparent six years ago. These are things that help the development that's currently taking place in the Northbank. I'm actually happier with cleaning up the place (assuming they don't go start bulldozing historically significant buildings.....especially in LaVilla and Brooklyn) and them not trying to force through big ticket items like building a new convention center.

I was thinking this was more along "rearranging the chairs on the deck of the Titantic."  I guess we shall see if it leads to more worthwhile steps in time.  Not holding my breath.

By the way, not off to a good start when 2 members didn't make it and one sent a representative.  That's about half of the invitees.

Quote
...The panel at the Jacksonville Main Library included JAXUSA President Aundra Wallace, Jacksonville Transportation Authority CEO Nathaniel Ford, Downtown Investment Authority CEO Lori Boyer and Fidelity National Information Services Inc. Senior Vice President and Chief of Staff Amy Mergen.

Curry also named Hanania Automotive Group CEO Jack Hanania and GreenPointe Holdings LLC CEO Ed Burr to the working group, but the mayor said they were unable to attend Feb. 22....

https://www.jaxdailyrecord.com/article/mayoral-panel-to-recommend-deliverable-downtown-improvements (https://www.jaxdailyrecord.com/article/mayoral-panel-to-recommend-deliverable-downtown-improvements)
Title: Re: Mayor, local leaders to discuss improvements in Downtown Jacksonville
Post by: marcuscnelson on February 23, 2021, 12:30:32 PM
Nate Monroe's thoughts (https://twitter.com/natemonroetu/status/1364263269641371652?s=21) on today's DIA meeting.

Reminder, you can join this one on Zoom:

Quote
The Downtown Investment Authority will discuss public park and private commercial development along the St. Johns riverfront Feb. 23 in a joint workshop with City Council and the Downtown Development Review Board.

DIA is working on a riverfront development strategy with the Jessie Ball duPont Fund.

DIA CEO Lori Boyer said Feb. 17 the nonprofit will make a presentation along with the Jacksonville Museum of Science and History, which plans to move its facility to the Shipyards property on the Downtown Northbank by 2024.

The meeting also will include time for community comments, Boyer said.

The noon workshop will be in the Jacksonville Main Public Library at 303 N. Laura Street.

The DIA workshop will have a virtual attendance option on Zoom:

Join Zoom Meeting

https://zoom.us/j/98520909500?pwd=S2YvbEdvdXRMSHVLVlJWZE0xbzZLdz09

Meeting ID: 985 2090 9500

Passcode: 237408
Title: Re: Mayor, local leaders to discuss improvements in Downtown Jacksonville
Post by: thelakelander on February 23, 2021, 12:46:28 PM
Good, informative presentations so far. I'd push back on one thing said though. Lori Boyer mentioned the 2015 CRA plan as being a "master plan". I'd argue that it is not or if it is, it's a bad one. A master plan should not determine what takes place on private property (I agree with her here), however, it should certainly state and show the community intention and vision for publicly owned properties. For example, if there's going to be a convention center, show the site, include how it will be funded and when it will be constructed. The same could be applied for the train station. Do we envision passenger rail returning? If so, when and how much will it be estimated to cost. Until we get there with many of our key catalytic public sites, we're somewhat in the dark, when it comes to leveraging the private sector, public support and encouraging certain types of uses in key locations.
Title: Re: Mayor, local leaders to discuss improvements in Downtown Jacksonville
Post by: jaxlongtimer on February 23, 2021, 06:52:11 PM
Business Journal coverage of today's DIA meeting.  Note the "update" to the Downtown plan.  How extensive is that likely to be and how transparent is the process with how much public input?

Quote
Riverfront development workshop: 'St. Johns River is our lifeblood'

Pushing back against the narrative that the city does not have a real plan for the future of the Jacksonville riverfront, public officials and stakeholders came together Tuesday to share their vision for the "asset and treasure."

In an effort to address a variety of questions and concerns, the Downtown Investment Authority hosted a public workshop regarding development plans along the St. Johns riverfront.

“We have repeatedly heard from members of the public and in the media that there is no masterplan for downtown, and we’re simply looking at projects piecemeal — in fact there is one that was adopted in 2015,” said DIA CEO Lori Boyer. “After more than 40 public meetings with extensive public and stakeholder input, we want to focus on that plan today, in particular respect to riverfront development and how it continues to guide us.”

DIA board members and representatives of organizations and developers with a vested interest in the riverfront discussed a variety of proposed and plan projects, including the Shipyards and the Museum of Science and History’s proposed relocation.

Boyer said the DIA is currently engaged in the obligatory process of updating the city’s downtown development masterplan, something the DIA is required to do every five years.


The masterplan, a more than 300-page document, entails a variety of details on the city’s and the DIA’s plans for downtown as a whole, including the riverfront.

“Our plan is a collection of goals and strategies that specifically come together and integrate to talk about how we develop the downtown riverfront,” Boyer said. “The concept is to celebrate the river, through design, access, connectivity and placemaking. There are specific strategic objectives that relate to each of those that we have been continuing to implement from a design standpoint.”

Boyer outlined several strategic objectives, such as ensuring that the riverfront is physically and visually accessible, enforcing a 50-foot minimum building setback from the river, formalizing guidelines for the design and orientation of buildings, prioritizing beautification via Florida-friendly landscaping and encouraging public river access.

Jessie Ball duPont Fund


Mari Kuraishi, president of the Jessie Ball duPont Fund, followed Boyer’s presentation and said the fund would be commissioning research focused on the riverfront.

The research’s objective will be to “identify broad-based principles and preferences of Jacksonville stakeholders that will inform how we plan and design for public and private waterfront spaces for maximum prosperity, inclusion and benefit.”

“We are, like everyone else in this room, convinced that the St. Johns River is our lifeblood, asset and treasure, and there is a huge amount of potential to be leveraged from this river for the public,” Kuraishi said.

Kuraishi said his organization has already spoken with city council members, as well as MOSH and other organizations directly engaged in riverfront development.

MOSH


Christian Harden, managing partner at NAI Hallmark and chair for MOSH’s Board of Trustees, spoke about MOSH’s plans to relocate to the Northbank on what’s known as “Lot X,” located immediately east of the Hogans Creek basin.

“We see our location as some place that patrons would come for a Jumbo Shrimp game and come to MOSH or go to a Jaguars game or to Daily’s Place or the arena, etc.,” Harden said. “Really, it’s a full-day event location and destination place.”

Harden added that the developing Sports District and the connection to the Emerald Trail would also benefit MOSH’s relocation to the space.

Shipyards


Likewise, Jacksonville Jaguars President Mark Lamping spoke during the workshop, recapping Iguana Investment’s plans to redevelop the Shipyards parcel to include a 180-room Four Seasons Hotel, 26 units of Four Seasons-branded residences and an Orthopedic Center of Excellence.

“We prefer that the hotel and residences are located near public parks and other cultural institutions. We think that’s a key part of the plan,” Lamping said. “We’re working hand in hand with the staff on putting the puzzle together, but we’re not there yet.”

https://www.bizjournals.com/jacksonville/news/2021/02/23/dia-talks-riverfront-development-workshop.html?utm_source=st&utm_medium=en&utm_campaign=ae&utm_content=ja&ana=&j=23026171 (https://www.bizjournals.com/jacksonville/news/2021/02/23/dia-talks-riverfront-development-workshop.html?utm_source=st&utm_medium=en&utm_campaign=ae&utm_content=ja&ana=&j=23026171)
Title: Re: Mayor, local leaders to discuss improvements in Downtown Jacksonville
Post by: tufsu1 on February 24, 2021, 10:37:18 AM
Business Journal coverage of today's DIA meeting.  Note the "update" to the Downtown plan.  How extensive is that likely to be and how transparent is the process with how much public input?

The consultant contract is for something like $600,000 - so hopefully that includes a robust engagement effort. Note that the effort includes a heavy dose of economic analysis, so its more than a typical master plan.
Title: Re: Mayor, local leaders to discuss improvements in Downtown Jacksonville
Post by: thelakelander on February 24, 2021, 11:21:41 AM
A draft is supposed to be completed by summer, so that it can be adopted before September.
Title: Re: Mayor, local leaders to discuss improvements in Downtown Jacksonville
Post by: CityLife on February 24, 2021, 11:22:08 AM
Business Journal coverage of today's DIA meeting.  Note the "update" to the Downtown plan.  How extensive is that likely to be and how transparent is the process with how much public input?

The consultant contract is for something like $600,000 - so hopefully that includes a robust engagement effort. Note that the effort includes a heavy dose of economic analysis, so its more than a typical master plan.
Is the DuPont fund already working on that, or has it not yet been awarded?
Title: Re: Mayor, local leaders to discuss improvements in Downtown Jacksonville
Post by: thelakelander on February 24, 2021, 12:10:10 PM
^This has already been awarded. It was given to GAI.
Title: Re: Mayor, local leaders to discuss improvements in Downtown Jacksonville
Post by: Charles Hunter on February 24, 2021, 12:23:32 PM
Running in parallel is the City's Adaption Action Area workshop series, looking at the coming impacts of sea and river level rise, increased rainfall, and other changes leading to more widespread flooding.  Four of the six workshops have been held - including one this morning. The remaining two are Friday morning, at 10:00 AM, and Monday evening at 6:00 PM, they run between 90 minutes and 2 hours.

Here is the project website https://gather.cdmsmith.com/v/Xw1Lx9X21L8

The Adaption Area (in purple) covers much of downtown, notably including pretty much the entire stadium area (sorry, I can't seem to embed this image)
https://gather.cdmsmith.com/v/5VjYlOyJzob
Title: Re: Mayor, local leaders to discuss improvements in Downtown Jacksonville
Post by: marcuscnelson on February 24, 2021, 12:27:21 PM
A draft is supposed to be completed by summer, so that it can be adopted before September.

6 months? That should be enough time for a few engagement events over the spring and summer. Hard to do so with the pandemic still going on and everything, but it should be doable, right?
Title: Re: Mayor, local leaders to discuss improvements in Downtown Jacksonville
Post by: jaxlongtimer on February 24, 2021, 12:33:34 PM
^This has already been awarded. It was given to GAI.

I am wondering how this sausage gets made.  There are thousands of permutations on a master plan.  How is the process narrowed down to one and whose perspective counts the most?
Title: Re: Mayor, local leaders to discuss improvements in Downtown Jacksonville
Post by: thelakelander on February 24, 2021, 12:39:47 PM
Running in parallel is the City's Adaption Action Area workshop series, looking at the coming impacts of sea and river level rise, increased rainfall, and other changes leading to more widespread flooding.  Four of the six workshops have been held - including one this morning. The remaining two are Friday morning, at 10:00 AM, and Monday evening at 6:00 PM, they run between 90 minutes and 2 hours.

Here is the project website https://gather.cdmsmith.com/v/Xw1Lx9X21L8

The Adaption Area (in purple) covers much of downtown, notably including pretty much the entire stadium area (sorry, I can't seem to embed this image)
https://gather.cdmsmith.com/v/5VjYlOyJzob

I caught the one on Monday about the Urban Core and Social Vulnerability. I plan to listen to another next week about Historic Resources.
Title: Re: Mayor, local leaders to discuss improvements in Downtown Jacksonville
Post by: thelakelander on February 24, 2021, 12:41:54 PM
^This has already been awarded. It was given to GAI.

I am wondering how this sausage gets made.  There are thousands of permutations on a master plan.  How is the process narrowed down to one and whose perspective counts the most?

They've been working on this since last year. Basically, the DIA issued a Request for Proposals (RFP/RFQ) for qualified consulting firms to perform a scope of services, identifying what they'd like completed. A certain number of firms responded with proposals and GAI was selected.
Title: Re: Mayor, local leaders to discuss improvements in Downtown Jacksonville
Post by: jaxlongtimer on February 24, 2021, 01:18:01 PM
^ I wasn't referring to selection of the consultant but the process of producing the updated master plan  8).
Title: Re: Mayor, local leaders to discuss improvements in Downtown Jacksonville
Post by: thelakelander on February 24, 2021, 01:54:10 PM
^The DIA prepared a scope of services that defines the process they want. Later, I'll convert it to jpegs and upload to this thread.
Title: Re: Mayor, local leaders to discuss improvements in Downtown Jacksonville
Post by: landfall on February 24, 2021, 02:21:59 PM
All thats missing is Lamping and some renderings.
Although I made this comment in jest, of course Lamping actually there in the end blowing a load of hot air. These Downtown meetings are almost beyond parody. The same crowd and the same predictable shit time and time again.
Title: Re: Mayor, local leaders to discuss improvements in Downtown Jacksonville
Post by: thelakelander on February 24, 2021, 02:30:39 PM
^Lol are you saying you weren't impressed by the prospects of a 180 room Four Seasons Hotel on the grave of Kids Kampus?!
Title: Re: Mayor, local leaders to discuss improvements in Downtown Jacksonville
Post by: landfall on February 24, 2021, 02:41:59 PM
The Four Seasons WITH Lot J was bold, without it is utter lunacy IMO. If they still want to do something on that shipyards/met park property without Lot J they need a total rethink. Whats the odds on a shovel ever going in the ground for this anyway? Slim I'd say.
Title: Re: Mayor, local leaders to discuss improvements in Downtown Jacksonville
Post by: jaxlongtimer on February 25, 2021, 07:20:27 PM
Nate Monroe hammers home that Downtown planning is adrift as is often stated on the threads herein.

https://www.jacksonville.com/story/news/columns/nate-monroe/2021/02/24/nate-monroe-downtown-jacksonville-rhetoric-reality-clash-revitalization/4539103001/ (https://www.jacksonville.com/story/news/columns/nate-monroe/2021/02/24/nate-monroe-downtown-jacksonville-rhetoric-reality-clash-revitalization/4539103001/)

Quote
....It's not clear, in other words, who actually is in charge of downtown development — Mayor Lenny Curry? Jaguars owner Shad Khan? The City Council? But it's perfectly clear who isn't. That problem, among a few others, is why discussions about downtown revitalization in recent years have taken on a performative and almost alternate-reality quality....
Title: Re: Mayor, local leaders to discuss improvements in Downtown Jacksonville
Post by: thelakelander on February 26, 2021, 09:37:58 AM
^I agree with much of what Nate has posted in this editorial. That meeting really illustrated why we need a real master plan. It came off as the city not really having an idea of what it really wants on its properties and where. No idea if the Kids Kampus space will remain or shift elsewhere. No idea of where the Fire Museum will end up. No idea of when or where a convention center location will end up. No idea of what will happen to the Jacksonville Terminal when that move happens. The claims of a 2015 CRA plan being a master plan fall short as well when we haven't even followed much of the stuff in it either. For example, that CRA plan didn't push for the demolition of the Landing, City Hall Annex and Courthouse sites. If we followed that thing, there are several projects that should be underway be know, that are not. At best, what we have is very ambiguous, which is the opposite of what a good master plan should be.
Title: Re: Mayor, local leaders to discuss improvements in Downtown Jacksonville
Post by: vicupstate on February 26, 2021, 10:18:15 AM
Other than the snippet in jaxlongtimer's post, I have not read any of this column, because I am not a paid subscriber. But I can 'predict' this much. Pretty much everything in it would have been just as true if it had been written in 2018, 2016, 2014, 2009, 2005 or any other year in this century.  Am I right? 
Title: Re: Mayor, local leaders to discuss improvements in Downtown Jacksonville
Post by: bl8jaxnative on February 26, 2021, 11:15:43 AM


The mayor is in charge of the city.  That includes downtown.

The city council is in charge of budget + ordinances.

The DIA is the downtown champion + holders of the vision.
Title: Re: Mayor, local leaders to discuss improvements in Downtown Jacksonville
Post by: marcuscnelson on March 02, 2021, 11:48:58 AM
^This has already been awarded. It was given to GAI.

Just an aside, I had no idea how much work GAI had already done around here. Between a lot of local construction projects and being behind the LaVilla Master Plan, they're really looped in to the area.

And did you all know we have a Master Plan (https://investdtjax.com/wp-content/themes/dia-theme-2020/assets/pdf/riverfront-design-guidelines.pdf) for the design of all the riverfront wayfinding assets? It actually looks pretty nice, if you ask me. Which leads me to wonder why we don't seem to have ever implemented it…
Title: Re: Mayor, local leaders to discuss improvements in Downtown Jacksonville
Post by: thelakelander on March 02, 2021, 11:56:18 AM
Just an aside, I had no idea how much work GAI had already done around here. Between a lot of local construction projects and being behind the LaVilla Master Plan, they're really looped in to the area.

Yes! Let's just say that they've done a great job of positioning themselves well from a political perspective in Jax.
Title: Re: Mayor, local leaders to discuss improvements in Downtown Jacksonville
Post by: fieldafm on March 03, 2021, 05:08:42 PM
Quote
And did you all know we have a Master Plan for the design of all the riverfront wayfinding assets? It actually looks pretty nice, if you ask me. Which leads me to wonder why we don't seem to have ever implemented it…

Wayfaring signs for the Riverwalk have been installed over the last two years.

The lighting has been mostly fixed on the Southbank Riverwalk.

Creating a more uniform look on the Northbank (furnishings, lightings, pavers, etc) will take much longer as there isn't much funding for a sweeping, all-at-once makeover.  The plan has been to upgrade these features incrementally whenever new construction (IE the apartments being built next to Baptist Hospital, and the apartments just finished off Bishops Gate Lane in Riverside) or bulkhead repair work takes place.

COJ has actually added quite a bit of amenities over the last several years such as Corkscrew Park and the addition of both kayak launches and floating docks to accommodate either the river taxi or recreational boats).

The plans for Friendship Fountain and the TUPAC park are moving like a glacier.  What's even more mind-numbing about TUPAC area, is that the space could have been activated by a private operator that actually paid rent to COJ about 4 years ago... but were rebuffed as 'construction is expected to start this year'.  That clock is apparently ticking very, very slowly.  Politics...
Title: Re: Mayor, local leaders to discuss improvements in Downtown Jacksonville
Post by: marcuscnelson on March 03, 2021, 07:09:01 PM
I'm aware that signs do exist, my point is that they don't look anything like what's in that master plan. These (https://apiplus.com/projects/jacksonville-riverwalk-wayfinding/) don't look as elegant as these (https://swacdn.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/12034434/09-wayfinding.jpg). Obviously having signs at all is great, and the ones we got aren't terrible or anything, but just personally I find what was proposed a lot more elegant.
Title: Re: Mayor, local leaders to discuss improvements in Downtown Jacksonville
Post by: marcuscnelson on March 31, 2021, 06:39:48 AM
The working group made some recommendations.

https://www.jaxdailyrecord.com/article/curry-group-says-millions-needed-for-riverfront-parks-homeless-downtown

Quote
Recommended one-time spending:

• $70 million for Riverfront park, Downtown Riverwalk and marina projects over four to five years.

• $20 million to relocate Sulzbacher and for gap funding toward permanent supportive housing for the homeless.

• $12 million for Downtown events; public art; Jacksonville Jazz Festival; and Cultural Council juried art festival.

• $2.2 million for Downtown lighting survey and installation.

Recommended recurring spending:

• $3 million for supportive housing, services and housing vouchers for the homeless.

• $2 million annual for street-level beautification and maintenance.

• $2 million for Downtown activation fund for cultural events.

• $500,000 to streamline efficiency in capital projects.

•  $200,000 for support and expanding college and university-level education in the Urban Core.
Title: Re: Mayor, local leaders to discuss improvements in Downtown Jacksonville
Post by: thelakelander on March 31, 2021, 11:11:58 AM
Quote
Curry Chief of Staff Jordan Elsbury said administration officials expect property tax revenue to grow for the fiscal year 2021-22 budget, but it is unclear how much money can be put toward the group’s recommendations.

“As we look at these recommendations, they are going to be a priority of the mayor but the subject to the eligibility of funds is going to be real for us,” he said.

Hopefully, they'll find the necessary funds. Considering we can find solutions to put $378 million into the Skyway and $250 million into Lot J, it should not be impossible.
Title: Re: Mayor, local leaders to discuss improvements in Downtown Jacksonville
Post by: Steve on March 31, 2021, 12:09:13 PM
So let me get this straight - the group has stated

 - Parks and the riverfront is a worthy investment and something we should do, and the cost will be material
 - The Sulzbacher Center is a worthy institution but perhaps not in the best place
 - Events bring people downtown
 - Lighting can always be better downtown

No offense to anyone on this panel, but in reality these are all executives who have demanding jobs. NONE OF THESE CONCEPTS ARE NEW.

We really couldn't articulate these needs without pulling corporate CEOs out of their offices in order to say this?
Title: Re: Mayor, local leaders to discuss improvements in Downtown Jacksonville
Post by: thelakelander on March 31, 2021, 01:09:03 PM
Pretty much. Nothing no one has already known for +20 years.

(https://miro.medium.com/max/1024/0*TgZkMYFmunxKSFgR.png)
Title: Re: Mayor, local leaders to discuss improvements in Downtown Jacksonville
Post by: vicupstate on March 31, 2021, 03:20:25 PM
So let me get this straight - the group has stated

 - Parks and the riverfront is a worthy investment and something we should do, and the cost will be material
 - The Sulzbacher Center is a worthy institution but perhaps not in the best place
 - Events bring people downtown
 - Lighting can always be better downtown

No offense to anyone on this panel, but in reality these are all executives who have demanding jobs. NONE OF THESE CONCEPTS ARE NEW.

We really couldn't articulate these needs without pulling corporate CEOs out of their offices in order to say this?

Didn't we all know it was just window dressing to start with?  No reason to expect there would be earth-shattering revelations. A chance to raise the profile of big campaign donors certainly wasn't going to be missed either.   
Title: Re: Mayor, local leaders to discuss improvements in Downtown Jacksonville
Post by: Steve on March 31, 2021, 03:29:57 PM
Fair. I mean the CEO that I think "gets" downtown the most is Brian Wolfburg of VyStar. Not sure how you leave the guy who's company is spending 9 figures to move their HQ to the core of downtown out of this.
Title: Re: Mayor, local leaders to discuss improvements in Downtown Jacksonville
Post by: vicupstate on March 31, 2021, 04:24:00 PM
Fair. I mean the CEO that I think "gets" downtown the most is Brian Wolfburg of VyStar. Not sure how you leave the guy who's company is spending 9 figures to move their HQ to the core of downtown out of this.

Indeed. The same thing can be said for JWB's Alex Sifakis. That was my first comment when the project was announced.   
Title: Re: Mayor, local leaders to discuss improvements in Downtown Jacksonville
Post by: jaxlongtimer on March 31, 2021, 04:54:03 PM
Fair. I mean the CEO that I think "gets" downtown the most is Brian Wolfburg of VyStar. Not sure how you leave the guy who's company is spending 9 figures to move their HQ to the core of downtown out of this.

Indeed. The same thing can be said for JWB's Alex Sifakis. That was my first comment when the project was announced.

I am guessing these gentlemen did not donate sufficient funds to Curry's campaign to get on his Xmas card list.  Pay to play with Curry is his MO.  Those with other qualifications need not apply.

On the other hand, maybe these persons were asked and didn't want to associate with someone who has already demonstrated multiple incompetencies (to put it nicely) and also might be the subject of a Federal investigation that could lead to some very negative results, i.e. rats jumping off a sinking ship.
Title: Re: Mayor, local leaders to discuss improvements in Downtown Jacksonville
Post by: acme54321 on March 31, 2021, 10:22:26 PM
I'd say there are a couple of others that need to be relocated before, or at least with, Sulzbacher...
Title: Re: Mayor, local leaders to discuss improvements in Downtown Jacksonville
Post by: Alex Sifakis on April 01, 2021, 12:09:26 AM
Really surprised at any negative reactions to this... this is a proposal to spend an additional 100MM+ downtown, with an additional 8MM+ annually.  While the idea of spending money on these things might not be revolutionary, actually getting this approved and funded would be completely transformative... especially when you add on the effect of the DPRP program on getting Northbank adaptive reuse projects started.  And since the mayor put this committee together, and his chief of staff was sitting there and commenting favorably while the committee released their recommendations, I am pretty optimistic that the majority of it will get funded. The mayor catches a lot of flak on here, I hope that he will get some credit for things like this if they happen.  Just my two cents!

The working group made some recommendations.

https://www.jaxdailyrecord.com/article/curry-group-says-millions-needed-for-riverfront-parks-homeless-downtown

Quote
Recommended one-time spending:

• $70 million for Riverfront park, Downtown Riverwalk and marina projects over four to five years.

• $20 million to relocate Sulzbacher and for gap funding toward permanent supportive housing for the homeless.

• $12 million for Downtown events; public art; Jacksonville Jazz Festival; and Cultural Council juried art festival.

• $2.2 million for Downtown lighting survey and installation.

Recommended recurring spending:

• $3 million for supportive housing, services and housing vouchers for the homeless.

• $2 million annual for street-level beautification and maintenance.

• $2 million for Downtown activation fund for cultural events.

• $500,000 to streamline efficiency in capital projects.

•  $200,000 for support and expanding college and university-level education in the Urban Core.
Title: Re: Mayor, local leaders to discuss improvements in Downtown Jacksonville
Post by: Steve on April 01, 2021, 10:03:00 AM
Really surprised at any negative reactions to this... this is a proposal to spend an additional 100MM+ downtown, with an additional 8MM+ annually.  While the idea of spending money on these things might not be revolutionary, actually getting this approved and funded would be completely transformative... especially when you add on the effect of the DPRP program on getting Northbank adaptive reuse projects started.  And since the mayor put this committee together, and his chief of staff was sitting there and commenting favorably while the committee released their recommendations, I am pretty optimistic that the majority of it will get funded. The mayor catches a lot of flak on here, I hope that he will get some credit for things like this if they happen.  Just my two cents!

To be clear (at least from me): I have no negativity towards the plans discussed. I agree with them all......and have agreed with them for the last decade when these exact things were all discussed.

My frustration isn't with the plans, it's the process and the fact that we could have done all of this years ago. Literally we're repeating the FedEx commercial from 15 years ago:

https://www.youtube.com/embed/zNCrMEOqHpc

Additionally, this process has made it clearer than ever that nobody is in charge of Development. We have the DIA, but this process is separate from the DIA. Deals like the failed Lot J were negotiated by the Mayor's office (separate from the DIA). How can we ever hope for a plan when we have all of these shadow "DIAs" functioning?

Another example is the Main Street Bridge ramp teardown (in a separate thread). To be clear - it's the right move. But, as written the plan cuts off Ped/Bike access to the bridge from the most common route Peds/Bikes take to cross the bridge. I'm sure it could be restored as part of a larger plan for the riverfront and maybe that will happen. But to that point, why not wait on the demo until we have a concrete plan for the site? There are three national design firms bidding on the space - surely they can imagine the space without the ramp.

Finally, just as a callout - your development plans for downtown are stellar. Thank you for taking interest in downtown and I can't wait to see them come to fruition.
Title: Re: Mayor, local leaders to discuss improvements in Downtown Jacksonville
Post by: thelakelander on April 01, 2021, 11:36:51 AM
Really surprised at any negative reactions to this... this is a proposal to spend an additional 100MM+ downtown, with an additional 8MM+ annually.  While the idea of spending money on these things might not be revolutionary, actually getting this approved and funded would be completely transformative... especially when you add on the effect of the DPRP program on getting Northbank adaptive reuse projects started.  And since the mayor put this committee together, and his chief of staff was sitting there and commenting favorably while the committee released their recommendations, I am pretty optimistic that the majority of it will get funded. The mayor catches a lot of flak on here, I hope that he will get some credit for things like this if they happen.  Just my two cents!

While the administration has made some puzzling decisions that ended up hurting downtown businesses in recent years, it will certainly get some credit if it finds a way to dump $100MM in to downtown, before another administration moves in. The same applies to the gas tax proposal. While the U2C seems like fool's gold to the transportation planner in me, I'm still very supportive of a gas tax and wish this proposal had come through back when Mike Blaylock was around at JTA:

https://www.thejaxsonmag.com/article/is-a-gas-tax-increase-a-solution-to-jaxs-funding-woes/

Title: Re: Mayor, local leaders to discuss improvements in Downtown Jacksonville
Post by: jaxlongtimer on April 01, 2021, 01:01:06 PM
Really surprised at any negative reactions to this... this is a proposal to spend an additional 100MM+ downtown, with an additional 8MM+ annually.  While the idea of spending money on these things might not be revolutionary, actually getting this approved and funded would be completely transformative... especially when you add on the effect of the DPRP program on getting Northbank adaptive reuse projects started.  And since the mayor put this committee together, and his chief of staff was sitting there and commenting favorably while the committee released their recommendations, I am pretty optimistic that the majority of it will get funded. The mayor catches a lot of flak on here, I hope that he will get some credit for things like this if they happen.  Just my two cents!

Alex, as noted by others, the frustration is with the Mayor's management style.  He only listens to a small group of well connected supporters, is not transparent or collaborative, bullies those who see things differently and seems to often have hidden and ulterior motives in mind that are not beneficial to the citizens who elected him.  This leads to well deserved cynicism regarding anything he puts forward.  After Lot J, JEA, etc. I would hope you can appreciate this viewpoint.

I fully support riverfront parks and public lands.  I also support the gas tax raise if the Skyway portion is removed and replaced with the Emerald Trial or similar projects.  As a Downtown developer, I would hope you would support these substitutions as benefiting Downtown far more than anything involving the Skyway.  His thoughtful and sincere leanings in these directions would have my full support.  But, I have to see it to believe it that it's not ultimately a scheme to give away the bank to the likes of Shad Khan, Petway or his other developer friends. 

Time will tell.
Title: Re: Mayor, local leaders to discuss improvements in Downtown Jacksonville
Post by: CityLife on April 03, 2021, 10:22:46 AM
In all likelihood, this working group was brought in to give cover to a Mayor (that does not currently have a lot of political capital) on initiatives he and his administration already know they want to push for (post Lot J failure). This explains why Curry brought in people he knows well, not the myriad of other people that also could have provided valuable input.

Political strategy aside, these look like good asks that will push downtown forward. Whether you like him or not, at least he's trying....
Title: Re: Mayor, local leaders to discuss improvements in Downtown Jacksonville
Post by: tufsu1 on April 04, 2021, 08:54:05 PM
Fair. I mean the CEO that I think "gets" downtown the most is Brian Wolfburg of VyStar. Not sure how you leave the guy who's company is spending 9 figures to move their HQ to the core of downtown out of this.

what - you don't think Ed Burr is a downtown savant?

and to CityLife's comment above - exactly!
Title: Re: Mayor, local leaders to discuss improvements in Downtown Jacksonville
Post by: landfall on April 11, 2021, 07:28:19 PM
The working group made some recommendations.

https://www.jaxdailyrecord.com/article/curry-group-says-millions-needed-for-riverfront-parks-homeless-downtown

Quote
Recommended one-time spending:

• $70 million for Riverfront park, Downtown Riverwalk and marina projects over four to five years.

• $20 million to relocate Sulzbacher and for gap funding toward permanent supportive housing for the homeless.

• $12 million for Downtown events; public art; Jacksonville Jazz Festival; and Cultural Council juried art festival.

• $2.2 million for Downtown lighting survey and installation.

Recommended recurring spending:

• $3 million for supportive housing, services and housing vouchers for the homeless.

• $2 million annual for street-level beautification and maintenance.

• $2 million for Downtown activation fund for cultural events.

• $500,000 to streamline efficiency in capital projects.

•  $200,000 for support and expanding college and university-level education in the Urban Core.

I'd really like to see the old JEA building transfer over to a college or university. I don't think the brutalist type architecture really translates well to residential use.

Perhaps an FSU/UF presence in Jax or is FSCJ in expansion mode still? UNF and JU still seem to be digesting their satellite facilities they've opened in the last few years in other buildings.
Title: Re: Mayor, local leaders to discuss improvements in Downtown Jacksonville
Post by: Ken_FSU on June 23, 2021, 07:58:10 PM
Quote
Sulzbacher Homeless Center may move to formerly contaminated site

JACKSONVILLE, FLa. — Action News Jax Ben Becker has learned the Sulzbacher Homeless Center in downtown Jacksonville is exploring moving and a member of the city council says they believe it’s going to a formerly contaminated site in their district.

The possible location is the former Fairfax Street Wood Treaters plant which was an Environmental Protection Agency Superfund Site on the Northside. It was polluted for decades before it was finally cleaned up in 2020.

Full article: https://www.actionnewsjax.com/news/investigates/investigates-sulzbacher-homeless-center-may-move-formerly-contaminated-site/HYWQOHHHK5E2LNBDKQYGFYJCEI/
Title: Re: Mayor, local leaders to discuss improvements in Downtown Jacksonville
Post by: heights unknown on June 23, 2021, 09:06:55 PM
So move the homeless and those in need to a hazardous contaminated site to kill off the homeless and needy, and the people that work everyday to support and care for them. Very smart. I'm not kidding. If it looks like an apple I'll call it that, and even eat it. And that's what this looks like.
Title: Re: Mayor, local leaders to discuss improvements in Downtown Jacksonville
Post by: thelakelander on June 23, 2021, 09:30:12 PM
That's pretty bad taste if the selected site is really in the middle of a historic Black neighborhood in NW Jacksonville. The optics are pretty bad. Honestly, I'm a huge downtown advocate if the choice is between keeping it where it is verses sticking it in the middle of disenfranchised minority community, I'd choose leaving it in downtown behind the jail.
Title: Re: Mayor, local leaders to discuss improvements in Downtown Jacksonville
Post by: fsu813 on June 23, 2021, 09:31:55 PM
Quote
Sulzbacher Homeless Center may move to formerly contaminated site

JACKSONVILLE, FLa. — Action News Jax Ben Becker has learned the Sulzbacher Homeless Center in downtown Jacksonville is exploring moving and a member of the city council says they believe it’s going to a formerly contaminated site in their district.

The possible location is the former Fairfax Street Wood Treaters plant which was an Environmental Protection Agency Superfund Site on the Northside. It was polluted for decades before it was finally cleaned up in 2020.

Full article: https://www.actionnewsjax.com/news/investigates/investigates-sulzbacher-homeless-center-may-move-formerly-contaminated-site/HYWQOHHHK5E2LNBDKQYGFYJCEI/

The Sulzbacher Center, as most know it now, is not what the Sulzbacher of the future sees for itself. Wherever they move, it's known they'll try and replicate (with tweaks) the Sulzbacher Village development on the Northside/Brentwood - that's basically affordable housing with some transitional housing mixed in, and wrap around services on site. Not a traditional shelter a la City Rescue Mission or Trinity Rescue Mission. Today, the Urban Rest Stop is actually the draw for a lot of the nerdowells that linger near Sulzbacher Center, which is on their campus, not actually programs/services that Sulzbacher directly offers.

As with many things, it's a layered issue.
Title: Re: Mayor, local leaders to discuss improvements in Downtown Jacksonville
Post by: thelakelander on June 23, 2021, 10:51:44 PM
They should stick it in Queens Harbor. The biggest problem here is that decisions are being made with little to no regard for community engagement and input. There were a lot of things that were discussed that the surrounding community would have liked to see on the Fairfax property. This particular use wasn't among that list.
Title: Re: Mayor, local leaders to discuss improvements in Downtown Jacksonville
Post by: heights unknown on June 24, 2021, 06:18:34 PM
Quote
Sulzbacher Homeless Center may move to formerly contaminated site

JACKSONVILLE, FLa. — Action News Jax Ben Becker has learned the Sulzbacher Homeless Center in downtown Jacksonville is exploring moving and a member of the city council says they believe it’s going to a formerly contaminated site in their district.

The possible location is the former Fairfax Street Wood Treaters plant which was an Environmental Protection Agency Superfund Site on the Northside. It was polluted for decades before it was finally cleaned up in 2020.

Full article: https://www.actionnewsjax.com/news/investigates/investigates-sulzbacher-homeless-center-may-move-formerly-contaminated-site/HYWQOHHHK5E2LNBDKQYGFYJCEI/

The Sulzbacher Center, as most know it now, is not what the Sulzbacher of the future sees for itself. Wherever they move, it's known they'll try and replicate (with tweaks) the Sulzbacher Village development on the Northside/Brentwood - that's basically affordable housing with some transitional housing mixed in, and wrap around services on site. Not a traditional shelter a la City Rescue Mission or Trinity Rescue Mission. Today, the Urban Rest Stop is actually the draw for a lot of the nerdowells that linger near Sulzbacher Center, which is on their campus, not actually programs/services that Sulzbacher directly offers.

As with many things, it's a layered issue.
That's fine, or, wherever the heck they move it; but don't put it on a contaminated site, and, I am sure, if they do the right and legitimate thing, they will do tests, clean it up, etc. But I would never build it on any site that was previously contaminated.
Title: Re: Mayor, local leaders to discuss improvements in Downtown Jacksonville
Post by: BridgeTroll on June 25, 2021, 06:34:37 AM
It's is no longer contaminated but I agree with Lake that moving it there without input and approval of the neighborhood is not acceptable. Optics or not... it is not the way to do things like this...