Author Topic: Urban Projects Struggle To Stay Alive  (Read 16293 times)

Metro Jacksonville

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Urban Projects Struggle To Stay Alive
« on: January 10, 2008, 04:00:00 AM »
Urban Projects Struggle To Stay Alive



Downtown will never be the same again.  Well maybe it will be.  Here's a brief list of urban projects that died or were indefinately delayed in 2007.

Full Article
http://www.metrojacksonville.com/content/view/689

jaxlore

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Re: Urban Projects Struggle To Stay Alive
« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2008, 08:02:26 AM »
that sucks.

fsujax

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Re: Urban Projects Struggle To Stay Alive
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2008, 08:11:19 AM »
depressing :'(

second_pancake

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Re: Urban Projects Struggle To Stay Alive
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2008, 08:31:02 AM »
It really does suck.  And the worst part is these projects more than likely aren't going to pick back up until the real-estate market does which won't be for at least 2 more years :(  They never even broke ground on the Oak Street project....just a vacant lot with a sign and a fence.
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Re: Urban Projects Struggle To Stay Alive
« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2008, 08:34:20 AM »
A long list of housing projects.  But lets face the urban core does not need more housing anyway.  The place is empty.  There is a huge excess of housing even without all these projects. All the people live on the southside.

If the downtown ever comes back, the city (or whoever is investing in the city with these housing projects) needs to understand that investments need to be made in the following ways:

1) safety (visible police presence in the evenings....you don't have to remove the homeless....I see homeless in NYC all the time but it never prevents me from going there...I feel safe because there are lots of people around...and police here and there)

2) something open  (maybe open a shop or two past 3pm.....not just the Landing....the Landing has such a firm control on the downtown social scene, but it really is isolated from the rest of the downtown....so it does not inspire any movement from the Landing to downtown or vice versa....it is just "Lets go to the Landing" as if it is more than Twisted Martinis, Hooters, and a few closed at 8 (or whatever early time they close) fast food places)

3) something going on (build a park or amphitheater in the downtown,  bring people there for concerts surround it with businesses, have events there everyday whether big name concerts or just local artists, guys that juggle flaming torches, whatever......have something going on). I guess they could use Hemming Plaza now.  Expand the Art Walk to Wed and Fri's.....1st and last.

4) End the depression (I frequently try to go to the core with friends for happy hour, food, latenight, etc. and most of the time the places we go to are almost empty....this is depressing...also I have talked to people who live downtown and their only words are "its kind of boring"....kind of?....of course no one is there after 5pm....the place is deserted...because there is nothing to do)

Don't give me this bullshit that I should be dissappointed that these "housing projects failed."  Good I am glad.  These outside investors did some paperwork and said lets invest in condos in Jacksonville.  They probably do not live here because if they did they would realize that more housing is the last thing downtown needs.  The place is empty already.  Empty.

Stop investing in condos.  Invest in restaurants, entertainment, parks, anti-depression, ethnic celebrations, ethnic parades, nightlife, techno coffee shops, libraries.  


Empty.



Pavers

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Re: Urban Projects Struggle To Stay Alive
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2008, 08:47:06 AM »
The silver lining is that I'd rather have a long laundry-list or proposed but delayed/cancelled projects than a short one.  Rome was not built in a day and neither will be a resurgent downtown.  I

t's a matter of time (and admittedly it could be as much as a few years) for the real estate market to settle before many of these developers dust of their plans, make some tweaks, and begin to build again.  Things are headed in the right direction.  The core fundamentals that caused these developers to propose these projects aren't going to go away - the real estate market did however, but it will back.

vicupstate

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Re: Urban Projects Struggle To Stay Alive
« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2008, 09:03:45 AM »
A long list of housing projects.  But lets face the urban core does not need more housing anyway.  The place is empty.  There is a huge excess of housing even without all these projects. All the people live on the southside.

If the downtown ever comes back, the city (or whoever is investing in the city with these housing projects) needs to understand that investments need to be made in the following ways:

1) safety (visible police presence in the evenings....you don't have to remove the homeless....I see homeless in NYC all the time but it never prevents me from going there...I feel safe because there are lots of people around...and police here and there)

2) something open  (maybe open a shop or two past 3pm.....not just the Landing....the Landing has such a firm control on the downtown social scene, but it really is isolated from the rest of the downtown....so it does not inspire any movement from the Landing to downtown or vice versa....it is just "Lets go to the Landing" as if it is more than Twisted Martinis, Hooters, and a few closed at 8 (or whatever early time they close) fast food places)

3) something going on (build a park or amphitheater in the downtown,  bring people there for concerts surround it with businesses, have events there everyday whether big name concerts or just local artists, guys that juggle flaming torches, whatever......have something going on). I guess they could use Hemming Plaza now.  Expand the Art Walk to Wed and Fri's.....1st and last.

4) End the depression (I frequently try to go to the core with friends for happy hour, food, latenight, etc. and most of the time the places we go to are almost empty....this is depressing...also I have talked to people who live downtown and their only words are "its kind of boring"....kind of?....of course no one is there after 5pm....the place is deserted...because there is nothing to do)

Don't give me this bullshit that I should be dissappointed that these "housing projects failed."  Good I am glad.  These outside investors did some paperwork and said lets invest in condos in Jacksonville.  They probably do not live here because if they did they would realize that more housing is the last thing downtown needs.  The place is empty already.  Empty.

Stop investing in condos.  Invest in restaurants, entertainment, parks, anti-depression, ethnic celebrations, ethnic parades, nightlife, techno coffee shops, libraries.  


Empty.




I agree with nearly everything you said, but no rooftops, no retail.  Simple as that. The artists/bohemenians/pioneers have to move in first before the coffee shops, restaurants, entertainment will have a customer base.  The problem is the prices have already exceeded what the artists/bohemenians/pioneers can afford.  Catch-22 stalemate.
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thelakelander

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Re: Urban Projects Struggle To Stay Alive
« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2008, 09:06:11 AM »
It really does suck.  And the worst part is these projects more than likely aren't going to pick back up until the real-estate market does which won't be for at least 2 more years :(  They never even broke ground on the Oak Street project....just a vacant lot with a sign and a fence.

The Oak Street project isn't delayed.....its dead.
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copperfiend

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Re: Urban Projects Struggle To Stay Alive
« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2008, 09:17:43 AM »
Fuddruckers? I had forgotten all about that. Do they stil have the "Coming Soon" sign on the front of that space?

thelakelander

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Re: Urban Projects Struggle To Stay Alive
« Reply #9 on: January 10, 2008, 09:21:35 AM »
A long list of housing projects.  But lets face the urban core does not need more housing anyway.  The place is empty.  There is a huge excess of housing even without all these projects. All the people live on the southside.

If the downtown ever comes back, the city (or whoever is investing in the city with these housing projects) needs to understand that investments need to be made in the following ways:

1) safety (visible police presence in the evenings....you don't have to remove the homeless....I see homeless in NYC all the time but it never prevents me from going there...I feel safe because there are lots of people around...and police here and there)

2) something open  (maybe open a shop or two past 3pm.....not just the Landing....the Landing has such a firm control on the downtown social scene, but it really is isolated from the rest of the downtown....so it does not inspire any movement from the Landing to downtown or vice versa....it is just "Lets go to the Landing" as if it is more than Twisted Martinis, Hooters, and a few closed at 8 (or whatever early time they close) fast food places)

3) something going on (build a park or amphitheater in the downtown,  bring people there for concerts surround it with businesses, have events there everyday whether big name concerts or just local artists, guys that juggle flaming torches, whatever......have something going on). I guess they could use Hemming Plaza now.  Expand the Art Walk to Wed and Fri's.....1st and last.

4) End the depression (I frequently try to go to the core with friends for happy hour, food, latenight, etc. and most of the time the places we go to are almost empty....this is depressing...also I have talked to people who live downtown and their only words are "its kind of boring"....kind of?....of course no one is there after 5pm....the place is deserted...because there is nothing to do)

Don't give me this bullshit that I should be dissappointed that these "housing projects failed."  Good I am glad.  These outside investors did some paperwork and said lets invest in condos in Jacksonville.  They probably do not live here because if they did they would realize that more housing is the last thing downtown needs.  The place is empty already.  Empty.

Stop investing in condos.  Invest in restaurants, entertainment, parks, anti-depression, ethnic celebrations, ethnic parades, nightlife, techno coffee shops, libraries.  


Empty.




I agree with nearly everything you said, but no rooftops, no retail.  Simple as that. The artists/bohemenians/pioneers have to move in first before the coffee shops, restaurants, entertainment will have a customer base.  The problem is the prices have already exceeded what the artists/bohemenians/pioneers can afford.  Catch-22 stalemate.

This is why its a bad thing to continue to demolish historic buildings.  Its much easier for an artist/bohemian or urban pioneer to afford to fix up a small old building then to buy a downtown lot and build a new modern structure on it.
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

thelakelander

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Re: Urban Projects Struggle To Stay Alive
« Reply #10 on: January 10, 2008, 09:22:37 AM »
Fuddruckers? I had forgotten all about that. Do they stil have the "Coming Soon" sign on the front of that space?

I don't know about the interior wall, but its been removed from the outdoor courtyard windows.
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downtownparks

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Re: Urban Projects Struggle To Stay Alive
« Reply #11 on: January 10, 2008, 09:23:33 AM »
I think a lot of these died because they were based in the incentives the city was offering, and not in a real interest to revive downtown.

Until the growth of downtown is more organic and natural, its not likely to take solid hold.

There are tons of ways to make this happen, but the city has to want it.

second_pancake

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Re: Urban Projects Struggle To Stay Alive
« Reply #12 on: January 10, 2008, 09:24:27 AM »
It is a catch-22.  Like vic's point (and correct me if I misunderstood), the developer's were building on the premise that just the act of putting in homes would increase interest which would cause them to sell.  More people living in downtown = more people shopping, eating, playing in downtown, so the businesses would readily stay open past 5pm or 8pm because the people living there would ultimately require it.

The businesses in downtown can't afford to stay open past peak hours right now.  They would most certainly fail with one or two people coming in from Springfield or down the street to grab a burger.  They have increased prices just to make ends meet as it is.  Business men will pay $10 for a burger at lunch, so that offsets what they could've made if they were in a large residential area like Southside staying open til 9pm and selling burgers for half the cost.

I disagree with the "artists/bohemians" theory though.  These residences were not built with them in mind.  They were built with the wealthy young business person in mind...even the ones from other states.  We're talking about not just rebuilding a downtown but just short of creating one from scratch.  In order to do that, it requires money...money that folks from Southside or Orange Park and especially the "artists/bohemians", just don't have, to be able to sell their homes, pack up the family and move downtown.  If those condo developments draw people with money from other states that see just how empty downtown is, they'll come here with investment and vision on their minds.  They'll move here, buy retail/business space, set up shop and start generating some revenue by people who already live in downtown and the surrounding areas.  That opens the doors for the artists who scraped all they had together to open an art-gallery, coffee shop, or record store, to start turning profit.  You need money to make money.  That's the catch-22.

NJ:  We DO have an amphitheatre as well as a HUGE and very expensive collesium that rarely get used.  I can't tell you when the last major recording artist was here (and I'm talking the Elton John's, Rolling Stones, and U2's of the world).  They all go to Orlando, Miami or Atlanta.  The city doesn't even do a decent job of booking the stadium.  There is never anything going on down there when games aren't in full force.

I don't know how we can ever expect to fill the developments or generate any money into our city when we do little to draw anyone here.  And no, one freakin SuperBowl does not make up for all the poor-planning and lack of foresight, lol.
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Jason

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Re: Urban Projects Struggle To Stay Alive
« Reply #13 on: January 10, 2008, 09:31:33 AM »
The silver lining is that I'd rather have a long laundry-list or proposed but delayed/cancelled projects than a short one.  Rome was not built in a day and neither will be a resurgent downtown.  I

t's a matter of time (and admittedly it could be as much as a few years) for the real estate market to settle before many of these developers dust of their plans, make some tweaks, and begin to build again.  Things are headed in the right direction.  The core fundamentals that caused these developers to propose these projects aren't going to go away - the real estate market did however, but it will back.

My thoughts exactly, Pavers.  That list says to me that Jacksonville is an up and comming city full of potential and those developers recognized it.  The market slump is the sole reason for their pull-out IMO and when things get back to normal they'll be returning with renewed vigor.  Let's just hope the city is ready for them this time and the approval process streamlined, as well as the master plan well implemented.

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Re: Urban Projects Struggle To Stay Alive
« Reply #14 on: January 10, 2008, 09:40:48 AM »
A few ideas to get people downtown (other than for the art walk):

Homeless roller "show off" at Hemming Plaza

Give the homeless some roller skates, set up a sound system to play disco/techno/hip hop music, and let them skate around with wireless mics.  They can "sound off" as they skate around.  You can have just freestyle skating where the homestyle just entertain on their skates with the music and the micorphones, or you can have races, or both. We do need an outdoor roller rink to be built though. A great investment opportunity.  Free admission, but sell hot dogs, beer, etc.  Pay the homeless some of the proceeds from the beer, hot dogs, etc.

Saturday afternoon Monkey Painting at Hemming Plaza

Put down some cloth. Set up big 2'x10' matboards.  Give a few monkeys some paintbrushes and paint cans and lets see what they can do.  Again sell cotton candy, soda, hot dogs.  Proceeds go to the monkeys (just kidding).  Display the results at the Landing.  "Look what these monkeys can do!"

Some more ideas:
Guys that Juggle flaming torches
Drum concerts
Ethnic celebrations
BBQ Cook Offs

I do think that there needs to be more going on downtown.  Something at Hemming Plaza, something at the Landing, something on East Bay St., something at the Times Union.....all at once...at least every weekend.  The downtown needs to bring people in.  More events....more advertising...there is an investment.

And these events need to be complimented by cafes/restaurants/etc that have outdoor seating.  Art shops/clothing stores/ lounges etc. that are visible before people walk from the event to their cars.  They need to be close to the entertainment centers.

The ideas are endless.  Implementation is lacking.  Who is in charge here?  What is their purpose/goal for downtown?  That is the real question.  A nobody like myself can post ideas on this blog all day and nothing happens unless the guys in charge have the same drive/opinions that I do.