Author Topic: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown  (Read 67270 times)

thelakelander

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Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
« Reply #165 on: June 11, 2012, 01:31:33 AM »
A good portion of the "occupiable" storefronts at ground level in downtown actually have businesses in them.  Unfortunately, not all of them are exposed to the street as good as they can be.  New ready to move in retail in that centralized location won't sit empty long unless lease rates are above what the market can bear.  Furthermore, what type of retail are we shooting for?  That can impact retail space dimensions.  If you want something like a CVS or Walgreens, you'll need a box in the range of 10,000 square feet at a signalized intersection.  That type of space will be different than a space designed for a storefront specialty shop or deli.  If you're interested in a restaurant, you might want to incorporate a larger setback along the sidewalk for outdoor dining.  If you want to be flexible, you'd shoot for a mix of all of these.
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JeffreyS

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Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
« Reply #166 on: June 11, 2012, 07:47:41 AM »
Another worry is that if the developer does something else to "Activate" the space you will have another group that will start yelling to remove the amenities. After all someone they don't like might use them.
Lenny Smash

PeeJayEss

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Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
« Reply #167 on: June 12, 2012, 11:26:31 AM »
Oh, but STATION SQUARE is not as isolated as one might think, diagonally across Smithfield and Carson Streets is one element of the connectivity with the urban core. Pittsburgh's amazing Light Rail system.

Seen from another direction, note that the LIGHT RAIL and the BRT system, one of the oldest in the country, share a stop at STATION SQUARE.

I'm sure there is a message in this for Jacksonville, now if our leaders could just figure out what it is. It's not enough to say we want Streetcars, Skyway and BRT, we have to ACT! If we had such systems, another giant parking garage wouldn't be eating more of our public dollars.

Oh my God, I was at Station Square when it was still a station! Pittsburgh and Lake Erie Railroad, an arm of the New York Central, that became Penn Central, that became Conrail, that became CSX.

To help your point, I'd like to add that the Mon Incline ties in with Station Square, offering service to residents of Mt Washington up the hill. While it may seem gimmicky or outdated, it IS a legitimate and well-used commuter resource. Plus its just o so cool.


I will concede that Station Square is one of the better developments of those listed (behind the Seaport and Faneuil Hall), but it is more a satellite than part of the urban area. Aside from those living at the top of Mt Washington, no one lives within walking distance (including downtown, which is largely empty at night). It has a ginormous parking garage, and the T station carries more park-and-ride commuters who park in the garage or the lot and take the T into downtown than it does suburban light-rail riders. The transportation infrastructure is great, but I don't think that makes the Square urban. And it and the T line are not as successful as we might hope to believe. Station Square is more dead than the Landing on a rainy/cold winter weekday night, and that's with much more diverse amenities than the Landing (river cruise ship fleet, BRT lines, light rail, incline, parking).

I think we can learn something from the Port Authority of Allegheny County (Pittsburgh's better version of JTA), but not from Station Square (unless its about preservation of historic buildings, in which case its a good study).

One thing that I think could be implemented by JTA (I'm assuming it hasn't been) is some kind of public transportation pass for college students. In Pittsburgh, the Port Authority has partnered with the universities to simplifying bus and T-line use. All you need to get on the bus or the T is a University ID (the university charges every student a Port Authority fee, but its pretty small and unnoticeable with tuition and all the other fees). This greatly simplified using public transportation for the students. You didn't have to think about fares or much planning of efficient routes, you could just go. That lack of planning had us exploring parts of the city that we may not have intended at times, but the simplicity really encouraged our use of buses. While buses may not be ideal at capturing choice riders, having a bunch of college students riding them really helps their attractiveness (I believe). Hence, many of my friends still in the city ride the bus to their fairly high-paying jobs. There is not as significant a stigma attached to buses there.
I would think it would be fairly easy for JTA to do this with UNF, JU, FSCJ, etc. I realize some of those are more commuter schools, but for a college kid without a car, the bus should be a great option.
This is a topic for another post, but your post made me think about it, so there ya go.

JeffreyS

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Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
« Reply #168 on: June 12, 2012, 12:37:50 PM »
Has anyone heard about the scheduling of the DDRB workshop?
Lenny Smash

fieldafm

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Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
« Reply #169 on: June 12, 2012, 12:53:44 PM »
Thursday at 9AM. 

Have not gotten any notice of that personally, even though I was the only person to speak publicly on the project besides the architect and engineer.

JeffreyS

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Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
« Reply #170 on: June 12, 2012, 01:30:08 PM »
I won't make it this time hopefully others will.
Lenny Smash

thelakelander

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Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
« Reply #171 on: June 12, 2012, 01:31:49 PM »
NOTICE OF PUBLIC MEETING

THE DOWNTOWN DEVELOPMENT REVIEW BOARD (DDRB) WILL HOLD A WORKSHOP ON THURSDAY, JUNE 14, 2012 at 9:30 A.M.  This meeting is to discuss DDRB 2012-006, Parador Partners, LLC Parking Garage project.

The meeting will be held at CITY HALL AT ST. JAMES located at 117 WEST DUVAL ST. on the SECOND FLOOR in Conference Room C.

When you exit the elevator, Conference Room C will be to your right along the atrium wall.


Should you have any questions about this meeting, please contact Michelle Stephens at (904) 630-1979, or Jim Klement at (904) 630-2689.

NOTE:  Any person who anticipates an appeal of a decision made by the Board with respect to any matter considered at these meetings or who may decide to appeal such decisions will need to ensure that a verbatim record of the proceedings is made, which record includes the testimony and evidence upon which the appeal is based.
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Captain Zissou

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Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
« Reply #172 on: June 12, 2012, 03:31:05 PM »
This is starting to stink, in my opinion. With $3.5 million in city money on the line and one of the highest potential sites in downtown, it should be a very stringent design approval process.  The developer should be put trough the ringer, but I don't see that happening.

tlemans

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Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
« Reply #173 on: June 12, 2012, 04:32:13 PM »
Lakelander will you be attending this meeting and are we allowed to express our opinions in this meeting?

JeffreyS

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Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
« Reply #174 on: June 12, 2012, 04:55:48 PM »
This is starting to stink, in my opinion. With $3.5 million in city money on the line and one of the highest potential sites in downtown, it should be a very stringent design approval process.  The developer should be put trough the ringer, but I don't see that happening.
The DDRB did request that they aggressively pursue retail and make it not look like a garage at the first conceptual meeting.  We just need to stay on them to make sure they stick to their guns.  In my opinion the city has all the leverage in this case.
Lenny Smash

simms3

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Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
« Reply #175 on: June 12, 2012, 05:19:52 PM »
Also given the site a project for this site should receive no help from city other than tax incentives...and those incentives should go to contributing structures only (which exclude Parking Garages).  This site should be developed with the utmost respect when the time is right (i.e. when there is natural demand to put something great on the site).  Other projects like the Laura Trio would benefit a lot more from the $3.5M and would be constributing structures, transforming a blighted central corner of downtown to one filled with multiple uses.

The priorities of the city need to be of protecting taxpayer money and enriching the city/economic development, NOT saving their own asses and bowing down to inexperienced developers looking for free returns on crappy developments that would otherwise not stand on their own.  If the City makes poor choices and signs bad agreements, it shouldn't look to the taxpayer to unwittingly bail them out with "easy way outs".

The City should patiently wait to throw money at a development that could solve the Landing parking and provide payback on the tax rolls so that everyone wins, not just the City's elected officials and a trio of inexperienced real estate folk and a design/build firm.

And might I also contend that Mr. Sleiman is just using the City as an excuse for his own miscalculations on his investment in the Landing (if he did in fact misjudge the performance of his investment).  Should we really trust that he's going to do "big things" as soon as he gets parking solved?  I do not think so.  If he can't find a way to get people to use other garages or surface lots and stroll down the Riverwalk to his development (a hop skip and jump from anywhere within our tiny downtown), then he's not going to find a way to get people to come period.

The City should be firm and go the legal route (which I'm sure they sort of have) rather than just give in and look for a way to wash their hands of their poorly executed deal.  The legal route probably won't cost $3.5M and could most likely afford delay until the city can throw that money at a better development that suits the City's and the Landings needs as per the Agreement.
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JeffreyS

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Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
« Reply #176 on: June 12, 2012, 09:36:16 PM »
Lakelander will you be attending this meeting and are we allowed to express our opinions in this meeting?
Yes the public can talk but will not be as formal as the normal meetings. Supposed to be more of a give and take session.
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thelakelander

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Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
« Reply #177 on: June 12, 2012, 11:27:19 PM »
Lakelander will you be attending this meeting and are we allowed to express our opinions in this meeting?

At this point, I don't know.  Depends on how hot my fires at work are after working out of Orlando tomorrow.
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ronchamblin

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Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
« Reply #178 on: June 13, 2012, 02:51:12 AM »
The following might be relevant to the parking garage issue, and our often quoted “parking problem”.  There seems to be three types of parking arrangements in the downtown core.  The first is the standard street parking at a parking meter, which includes the fear of a ticket, and therefore a big negative for people thinking of visiting the city core.  The second is inside of a parking garage, like the proposed Parador Partners kind, near the Landing.  The third is the off-site parking space, perhaps miles away, with the idea that the city visitor or shopper will park there and ride a bus or future mass transit to the city core.  Of course, with a fully developed mass transit of some kind, the people could simply use the system to get to the city core. 

Because of the need or desire to visit the core for only a short while, people do not wish to use the parking garages, nor do they wish to use the off-site / mass transit option, but would rather circle a few blocks looking for a metered parking space and worry about getting a ticket.  This habit and desire is a consequence of the fact that there is not much to do in our city core, that our city core has not achieved the high level of vibrancy which will cause the visitor to wish staying in the city core for several hours, or even all day. 

It’s like a formula.  No vibrancy = nothing to do in city core = wish to stay only for .5 or 1.0 hours for project  = parking meter use/not garage use = fear of parking ticket = negative for city core = other people avoid the core = perpetual core stagnation.

It is highly probable that shoppers and visitors to the core will be more inclined to use the parking garages “and” use the off-site option once the core has reached the mega-revitalization stage we’re all striving for.  Why?  Because a highly developed and vibrant downtown core will be a place people will love to be for several hours, or all day.  They might even want to live in the city core. 
   
If there is enough to see and do in a vibrant environment, people will desire longer term parking offered in a garage or off-site facility, and will care less about how and where they park because their primary concern will be to simply “get into the area and enjoy”.   

Currently, there is not much to do downtown, that is, as compared to what it could be, and perhaps will be, and compared to other more revitalized city cores wherein there is lots and lots of things to do.  Without much to do, people want to stay downtown for only thirty minutes to an hour to do whatever they must do.  This kind of short visit means, “find a parking meter”.     
 
Achieving the vibrancy will do two things for the often quoted “parking problem”.  It will lessen the “parking ticket” horror everyone talks about simply because people will wish to stay longer downtown, a decision which will cause them to decide increasingly to use the parking garages.  Vibrancy will also lessen the impact of the often quoted panhandlers, vagrants, and homeless. 

In summary, and to repeat somewhat, the very fact of achieving vibrancy in the core will “solve” most of the parking problem because people will want to stay in the core for several hours or all day, a decision causing them to: 1) Park in a parking garage or 2) use the option of parking in an off-site parking facility and use current or future mass transit to get to the city core.

So it seems to me, any decision about new parking garages ought to consider future vibrancy.  Not doing so might delay or prevent eventual vibrancy.  Don’t we have enough parking garages now?   To build another parking garage to satisfy one venue or retail environment, such as the Landing, might solve an immediate problem for that particular environment, but it would miss the mark.  A new parking garage might solve a temporary local parking problem, but it would cause greater negatives in the long run, such as poor use of valuable city core space, and the placement in the city core of another visually unattractive parking garage.   

The ultimate and ideal solution, one which will take a little patience, will be to invest in infrastructure and incentives which will encourage vibrancy.  The achievement of vibrancy might just solve the parking problem for all environments in the city core.     
 
« Last Edit: June 13, 2012, 02:58:54 AM by ronchamblin »

thelakelander

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Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
« Reply #179 on: June 13, 2012, 07:27:28 AM »
No matter what the core use of the site or facade design is, it becomes a permanent pedestrian scale vibrancy killer in that particular area of downtown if it is designed without the potential of ground level retail on Bay, Hogan, and Independent Drive.  As far as this particular project goes, ground floor retail/leasable space or bust, IMO.
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali