Author Topic: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown  (Read 67278 times)

fsujax

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Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
« Reply #180 on: June 13, 2012, 08:00:58 AM »
well, i would suggest people start emailing members of DDRB or show up to the meetings and voice their concerns. If only more people were as vocal about stuff like this like they are about other things.

tlemans

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Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
« Reply #181 on: June 13, 2012, 11:36:09 AM »
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.

Thanks Lakelander. I understand my work situation will determine if I am able to attend. I have been following development on that site for a while here in Jacksonville. I have had my hopes up so many times only to be let down. I guess the economy is to blame. I hope and pray that the parking garage goes thru this time with retail at the ground level. I wonder what impact this will have on the Landing? What do you guys and girls think will happen to the Landing if this is built?

simms3

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Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
« Reply #182 on: June 13, 2012, 12:00:28 PM »
I have had my hopes up so many times only to be let down. I guess the economy is to blame. I hope and pray that the parking garage goes thru this time with retail at the ground level. I wonder what impact this will have on the Landing? What do you guys and girls think will happen to the Landing if this is built?

I hope and pray this thing does not get passed period and it won't do jack s**t for anything or anyone, nor will the retail be leased.  A surface lot is better than a permanent garage at this point, and patience for something truly worthy of that site is my wish.  Of course in the meantime a little park, temp urban market, etc etc would be better than a dirt lot or a parking deck.  Landing suffers from crappy downtown and from lack of internal creativity, not from lack of parking.

The bad economy was now 2-5 years ago.  Jacksonville's former peers are seeing near record construction, mainly infill at this point.  I point to Nashville, Charlotte, Raleigh, Austin, Salt Lake City, Oklahoma City and others.

Raleigh may see its own record of multifamily starts this year, and probably 40-60% of that is infill...which is a huge chunk, especially for a city like Raleigh.

Nashville's skyline is in a relative boom period right now and the announcements and starts keep pouring in.

Charlotte is seeing a ton of multifamily infill right now, all concentrated along the LYNX, in Southpark, and University Center.

Austin is pulling ahead as a 2nd tier market (borderline 1st in certain investment categories).  There are more cranes up in DT Austin right now than buildings in DT Jacksonville.

Birmingham seems to be pushing forward with a few noteworthy projects, and the city is really transforming into a beautiful city filled with great parks and districts.

Again...Jacksonville has no macro excuses as to why it's not following suit...it only has itself to blame.
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dougskiles

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Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
« Reply #183 on: June 13, 2012, 12:26:37 PM »
I agree with you, simms3.  I would prefer to see nothing happen here instead of a parking garage.

I plan on attending the meeting tomorrow morning, and if given the opportunity, will share that opinion.  Projects like this work counter to a number of goals that have been repeatedly expressed for downtown.  We have plenty of parking garages downtown already AND we have an underutilized people mover system.

The solution could be simple - would they still build it if the $3.5 million subsidy disappears?  How much of a guarantee is that part of the deal?

thelakelander

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Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
« Reply #184 on: June 13, 2012, 09:30:28 PM »
I'm actually fine with a parking garage, even a cheap ugly one if it were laid out differently on the site.  For example, while working out of Orlando today, I noticed this stick built infill apartment project under construction near downtown.  It has a cheap no-frills garage but it's set back from the street.  Between the street edge and the garage are apartment units that will block the ugly structure from the project's surroundings. 







If Parador doesn't want to have any retail, I'd suggest an alternative site layout where their garage is located in the middle of the block (yes, this means they'll have to lose that surface parking lot that have next to their proposed garage.  Locating the garage in the middle of the site would allow for the possibility of several infill uses to eventually cover it up Greenville/Orlando style.

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JeffreyS

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Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
« Reply #185 on: June 13, 2012, 10:12:08 PM »
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.

I do not think it should be left as potential. There should be retail spots burning under whoever is responsible for filling them.  Parador needs the parking the city is putting up 3.5 mil. The city has all the cards just insist on what we want and Parador will build it. They may scoff for a while but it will just be a ploy.

Two things were clear in the conceptual meeting. 1. Parador wants a cheap garage kit and that is all.  2. He really needs to build the parking and the help of 3.5 mil.

Just insist this time DDRB and you will get your way.
« Last Edit: June 13, 2012, 10:14:00 PM by JeffreyS »
Lenny Smash

simms3

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Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
« Reply #186 on: June 13, 2012, 10:30:28 PM »
I'm actually fine with a parking garage, even a cheap ugly one if it were laid out differently on the site.  For example, while working out of Orlando today, I noticed this stick built infill apartment project under construction near downtown.  It has a cheap no-frills garage but it's set back from the street.  Between the street edge and the garage are apartment units that will block the ugly structure from the project's surroundings. 

You know that's just straight infill and not typical of development on a city's most prime, central block, right?  Those stick built hybrid apt communities are what is being built en masse in Raleigh, Charlotte, Nashville, Atlanta, apparently Orlando, and other cities...but not on "Main Street".  That's the kind of stuff that should go in Lavilla or Brooklyn to start until the market can support higher quality infill.
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thelakelander

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Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
« Reply #187 on: June 13, 2012, 10:40:10 PM »
^The Orlando project is located at Colonial Drive & Orange Avenue, immediately adjacent to I-4 and the Sunrail corridor.  That's the busiest street through urban Orlando and a major gateway into their downtown.  It's being developed by Atlanta-based Pollack Partners and will include a 326-unit, four-story complex with a 520-space parking deck.

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thelakelander

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Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
« Reply #188 on: June 13, 2012, 10:43:40 PM »
Here's my suggested alternative, which I think in the long run would play out better than their current layout, even with retail.



1. Shift the garage to the middle of the site.  They'll have to lose their extra surface parking lot and internal access drive but that's overkill on an urban site anyway.  Short term bank parking can be accommodated in the parking garage, just like it is in other cities with them (Ex. downtown Lakeland's Suntrust has short term parking within it's garage).

2. Shifting the garage to the middle of the site, creates significant opportunity for a variety of infill uses (hotel, retail, office, market rate multifamily, etc.) that could possibly cover up the entire garage from public view, while adding ground level life on Bay, Hogan and Independent.  Given the $3.5 million contribution, they should donate the extra land to the city so that a market rate RFP could be possibly developed.

3. Not only should Parador be more responsible for site planning here but also the city.  There are a lot of things that could be done to make Sister Cities Plaza an activity zone instead of a forgotten pass through.  That could include also using a portion of the city owned property for infill use.

This is basically the Greenville garage concept:





If it isn't something like this, I think it should include ground floor retail and be built strong enough to support a future building on top of it or not be approved at all.  In either case, as far as the look of the facade goes, I could really care less.  The important issue is how whatever goes in here integrates and activates the surrounding area at ground level.  That means more than a slick decorated facade or landscaping theme.
« Last Edit: June 13, 2012, 10:49:44 PM by thelakelander »
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simms3

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Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
« Reply #189 on: June 14, 2012, 08:11:30 AM »
^The Orlando project is located at Colonial Drive & Orange Avenue, immediately adjacent to I-4 and the Sunrail corridor.  That's the busiest street through urban Orlando and a major gateway into their downtown.  It's being developed by Atlanta-based Pollack Partners and will include a 326-unit, four-story complex with a 520-space parking deck.



Sad for Orlando if that is what is going up on their most prime spot.  I guess patience for something grand is easier to come by when you get used to choosing between some crap Novare tower or waiting for a billion dollar development, but either way something is going to happen.  I guess in Jacksonville's case beggers can't be choosers and it should just take what it can get??
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JeffreyS

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Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
« Reply #190 on: June 14, 2012, 08:43:14 AM »
Take your suggestion to meeting Lake. However with us putting in 3.5 mil I think we should get the whole shooting match up front.
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thelakelander

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Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
« Reply #191 on: June 14, 2012, 08:49:00 AM »
Don't know if I'm going to make the meeting or not.  I've got a stack of work from Orlando that has to be completed before I head out to Cincinnati tomorrow.  However, I do plan to email each DDRB member right after my morning coffee from Chamblins.
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thelakelander

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Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
« Reply #192 on: June 14, 2012, 08:55:11 AM »
Sad for Orlando if that is what is going up on their most prime spot.  I guess patience for something grand is easier to come by when you get used to choosing between some crap Novare tower or waiting for a billion dollar development, but either way something is going to happen.  I guess in Jacksonville's case beggers can't be choosers and it should just take what it can get??

Orlando, like the rest of Florida's downtowns has lots of surface lots at key intersections that can be filled.  As far as Jax goes, yes I'd take a stick built infill project on that site over what is currently being proposed.  This is Jax we're talking about.  I mean we're seriously contemplating allowing a freaking cheap and ugly no-frills parking garage with a site plan that kills the opportunity of anything else being done on that parcel.

Take your suggestion to meeting Lake. However with us putting in 3.5 mil I think we should get the whole shooting match up front.

Allowing that garage at the current location on that site means we'll need a little more than a limited amount of street retail to best utilize it.  Quite frankly, it will need to be structurally sound enough for something larger to possibly be built on top of it one day (like the original plan was).
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dougskiles

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Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
« Reply #193 on: June 14, 2012, 08:47:42 PM »
I was able to attend the meeting today, albeit a little late.  From what I heard, I mostly missed introductions.  And the acknowledgement by the design team that because a portion of the building was planned to have some element that would require sprinkling, that issue was no longer being used as a reason to not build retail.

The developer was represented by two Haskell Architects, Chris Holmes and Alan Wilson.  The plan they were showing had the front of the garage about even with the Suntrust building, and shallow retail (about 20-30' deep) along the front.  They were proposing that the additional space created by the curvature of Independent Drive could become a public plaza with opportunities for public art (they never said who actually was going to pay for that part of it - I suspect it was going to be left for the City to do at some undetermined time in the future).  I believe this was offered as a means of satisfying the concern that the building needed something "interesting" for pedestrians.  One of the DDRB members (the one who works for Haskell and recused from the voting) mentioned that he thought the plaza was a good solution and that possibly retail wouldn't be needed.

They were also proposing to having nothing more than a false storefront on the Hogan Street side to satisfy, again, that desire for pedestrians to "have something to look at".

Thankfully I could sense that the other DDRB members weren't buying into it.  The statement was made by one of them that "we are moving in the right direction but we aren't there yet".

Mark Rimmer (as a member of the public - and operator of the courthouse garage) gave good reasons why the entrance should be moved from Hogan to Bay Street.

Chris Flagg (member of DDRB) stated his opinions about it clearly.  The building should not be JUST a garage.  It should be a mixed use building that has as one element garage parking.

"The Haskell Guy" read an email that he received from an interested citizen that offered the solution of moving the garage back and allowing infill around it.  That was obviously from Lakelander.  He liked the idea.  Alan Wilson agreed that even if they didn't go that far, the garage could be set back a little further from Hogan to create a viable retail space on the ground floor.

The opportunity was then provided for others to speak, and so I stated that I think some are missing the point of the need for retail.  It isn't just for pedestrians to have something to look at.  It is about creating opportunities for commerce.  We have dozens of public plazas that are wasteland primarily because of the void of activity around them.  Any outdoor urban space has to be surrounded by complementing commercial uses to be vibrant.  People aren't going to visit the plaza just because it is there.

Several others from the community commented on the importance of maintaining e retail requirement.  Amy from DVI spoke (although was clear that she wasn't speaking on behalf if DVI - these were her personal opinions).  My favorite was Melody Bishop who told us that she intentionally wore black and white to the meeting, because she felt this was a black and white issue.  There is no gray area about the need for retail along the street.

After the meeting, I had a chance to talk more with DDRB members and the Haskell team.  The overriding sense I got from them was that this could be worked out.  HOWEVER it occurred to me as I started writing this that because the developer wasn't there, this really could have just been a smoke session.  We need to have a strong contingent at the next DDRB meeting when they will be voting on it.  Lots can happen behind the scenes between now and then.


jcjohnpaint

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Re: Retail-less parking garage proposed for Downtown
« Reply #194 on: June 14, 2012, 08:53:53 PM »
Thanks Doug!