Author Topic: The Courthouse is as Good as Dead.  (Read 27842 times)

vicupstate

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Re: The Courthouse is as Good as Dead.
« Reply #30 on: February 07, 2008, 09:45:33 AM »
If the Courthouse had been built first, when BJP monies were newly available, it would be in use now and the questioned expenditures would be whether or not we build a mammoth downtown library or the Baseball Grounds.
The administration spent BJP monies on niceties first, instead of necessities first.  They (Mousa and Delaney) knew all along that the courthouse was a $400mil  to $500 mil project and knew the subsequent mayors would have to raise taxes to build it with the Chief Judge hammering away at them about it. 
They didn't count on the Chief Judge's dirty laundry quieting his hammering racket.

They also didn't expect Peyton to discover that Delaney had picked an architectural firm (Cannon Design) that had never requested a Certificate of Authority from the Architecture Board  to function as a qualified business.  Yep, Delaney hired an unlicensed Architecture firm, despite spending $125,000 on five consultant architect's to come in and evaluate the proposals, despite all five independently rating the same firm as the best option meeting the specs, and despite that firm being a local firm (BJP was sold to citizens as a good way to stimulate the local economy), not Cannon Design!!!  Peyton had no choice but to fire Cannon Design and cancel their contract for cause.  What he should do is seek return of the monies they were paid.

Hopefully, the Grand Jury will get into this once they get the reports from the Council Auditor.  Then there's the parking garages contracts........

The original courthouse design was $325mm when Peyton pulled the plug. Please provide rational for the $400-500mm figure, had it been built at that time (and basically complete by now).  When BJP was voted on, there had not been a 9/11 or a 50% increase in the price of concrete and steel.  Delaney's only omission was not including money for a new site.  Everything else is on Peyton.  Pure and simple. 
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jerry cornwell

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Re: The Courthouse is as Good as Dead.
« Reply #31 on: February 07, 2008, 01:18:55 PM »
we should put the courthouse out in new avenues walk annex; a least a portion of it(sorry bad joke) . the loss of the courthouse spells more confirmation of the failure of the city to develop downtown, even as a center of municipal services.
the only development (economic or otherwise) will be started with residential and cultural growth. it makes sense i think many in the city know this, but i guess a few dont, and they seem to be on the top.
our city needs to come up with a strategy to acquire the vacant downtown buildings and aim them towards 18-24s artists, ect. i accept that 99% of jax has no intent on living downtown, but they're all for its cultural development, success. after which will come economic development. but not before residential development. but i think all here know this.
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thelakelander

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Re: The Courthouse is as Good as Dead.
« Reply #32 on: February 07, 2008, 01:34:25 PM »
There's a lot of potential here if we can take advantage of it.  The funny thing is the city already owns a good percentage of vacant buildings and lots in downtown. 
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

Steve

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Re: The Courthouse is as Good as Dead.
« Reply #33 on: February 07, 2008, 02:12:42 PM »
The original courthouse design was $325mm when Peyton pulled the plug. Please provide rational for the $400-500mm figure, had it been built at that time (and basically complete by now).  When BJP was voted on, there had not been a 9/11 or a 50% increase in the price of concrete and steel.  Delaney's only omission was not including money for a new site.  Everything else is on Peyton.  Pure and simple.

And actually, the idea behind paying for the move was that it would be paid for with the $21 million in contingency funds and the sale of three blocks of riverfront land to a private developer.  That make sense to me.

If I were to blame Delaney for anything, it would be the design.  This behemoth of a courthouse sprawled over four blocks (plus the parking and the old federal) was nuts.  It was also the only design that sat on top of Clay St, meaning that the utility lines would have to be relocated (that was probably the one thing that Delaney didn't factor in).

JeffreyS

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Re: The Courthouse is as Good as Dead.
« Reply #34 on: February 07, 2008, 03:19:55 PM »
Do we really need a new courthouse?  I know the current property would be a great spot for a convention center or another development but property Downtown we have.
Lenny Smash

Dapperdan

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Re: The Courthouse is as Good as Dead.
« Reply #35 on: February 07, 2008, 03:27:09 PM »
I was at the Cornerstone meeting this morning at the Hyatt, and Mayor Peyton said one of his main goals for this year was to get a courthouse built and to free up prime Real Estate on the River. He called the courthouse Jacksonville's own economic stimulus plan apart from the federal stimulus plan. He was joking of course but mentioned all the jobs it would create and would cause some more revitalization in La Villa if ever built.

JeffreyS

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Re: The Courthouse is as Good as Dead.
« Reply #36 on: February 07, 2008, 03:32:26 PM »
He could use something to hang his administration's hat on.
Lenny Smash

tufsu1

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Re: The Courthouse is as Good as Dead.
« Reply #37 on: February 07, 2008, 04:32:02 PM »
political cover speech.  thats all.

Stephen...were your "sources" on the Courthouse as good as the ones who told you Fuel had closed?

Steve

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Re: The Courthouse is as Good as Dead.
« Reply #38 on: February 07, 2008, 04:33:39 PM »
I was at the Cornerstone meeting this morning at the Hyatt, and Mayor Peyton said one of his main goals for this year was to get a courthouse built and to free up prime Real Estate on the River. He called the courthouse Jacksonville's own economic stimulus plan apart from the federal stimulus plan. He was joking of course but mentioned all the jobs it would create and would cause some more revitalization in La Villa if ever built.

Mitt Romney also said Tuesday night that they were going to press on, even after getting spanked by McCain and Huckabee

konstantconsumer

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Re: The Courthouse is as Good as Dead.
« Reply #39 on: February 07, 2008, 11:12:54 PM »
to jeffrey s: YES we need a new courthouse.  i used to work there, it it's unbearably overcrowded, dated, and insufferable. 


as far as fuel, it is closed, right?  i mean, they randomly have events there at night, usually punk shows, but that's it.  it's not like you can hop over there for a quick latte or something.


FUCK this sucks.  i'm moving after i graduate from law school then.
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fpj

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Re: The Courthouse is as Good as Dead.
« Reply #40 on: February 10, 2008, 04:02:51 PM »
I have been thinking about this on and off since the courthouse faltered due to budget increases:  convert the Prime Osborne to the Courthouse and put the convention center in the four blocks cleared for the courthouse and then when looking online, look at this, plucked from the TU:

Wednesday evening council members discussed legal questions and funding mechanisms. They then began looking at options, starting with a proposal to convert the Prime Osborn Convention Center into a courthouse instead of building Peyton's $400 million version.

The council will continue that discussion and look at other options when it next meets on the courthouse.

Here are some questions that need answers in the meantime:

A consultant hired by the city told council members that the projected cost of $200 million to convert the Prime into a courthouse was wrong and that it actually would cost $21 million more than Peyton's plan.

Those numbers need to be closely examined.

For instance, how does the consultant's price per square foot compare with the costs of recently built courthouses in other cities?

The city told the consultant that a 2-acre lot adjacent to the Prime would have to be purchased at a cost of $6 million. The current market value of that land, according to city records, is $1.8 million. Why the difference?

There may be a lot of reasons why the Prime wouldn't do as a courthouse, but the council needs to make sure the numbers aren't being inflated.


It would create the facade the judges and so forth want for a regal courthouse for sure.  Let's grab a picture from NYC, where they are eventually going to convert the post office into Pennsylvania Station:



Rip out the old crappy convention center back behind the great front and build a very simple structure to house the courtrooms and such.  You could create a great atrium like the one above between the old and new structures.  And if you wanted to keep access to the rails for future transit issues, you could as well (Both train stations and court houses need security and if you can have a mall in the Pentagon, I am sure we could figure a way to have a courthouse next to a working railway station lol).  Parking could be safely put across the street by the people mover terminal.  A smaller lot for secure parking for judges only and such could be created onsite, too, I suppose.

As for the four blocks left uptown, take a look at what was done at the Pennsylvania Convention Center (PCC) in Philadelphia at  http://www.paconvention.com/home/.  One great aspect of that center is that it straddles 12th Street which runs right through the first floor (and has an amazing kenetic neon art installation in it as well).  This might work great here in Jax and allow better traffic flow.

One other key point of the PCC is they have installed an amazing public art collection:  this idea would mesh well here with our Art in Public Spaces Project. 

This could really create a jewel that would be seen by everyone driving through on I95.

Just throwing it out there. 

FPJ



JeffreyS

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Re: The Courthouse is as Good as Dead.
« Reply #41 on: February 10, 2008, 04:15:45 PM »
I am not against a new courthouse. I do think if we a regal building let that be the convention center or transit center. The criminals can have a plain Jane building.
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fpj

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Re: The Courthouse is as Good as Dead.
« Reply #42 on: February 10, 2008, 05:59:15 PM »
I am not against a new courthouse. I do think if we a regal building let that be the convention center or transit center. The criminals can have a plain Jane building.

Exactly.  Let the courthouse have the existing regal front facade of the old train station and build a plain-jane building behind it.   Then actually build a kick-ass convention center that would really shine on those four blocks of grass and dirt up by city hall.  I just brought up the NYC picture because it's a project I was aware of that reused a great facade for good effect with a neat segue between the buildings (that atrium).

thelakelander

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Re: The Courthouse is as Good as Dead.
« Reply #43 on: February 10, 2008, 08:14:53 PM »
I'm totally against the courthouse in the Prime Osborn.

1. The courthouse should anchor and spur additional downtown development because of its user base.  This is impossible with the Prime Osborn because its bordered by I-95(west), McCoys Creek (south), JTA (north) and the Federal Reserve (east).  So we'd spend $300+ million to solve one issue (the courthouse), but fail to put the city in the position to benefit from it economic development wise.

2. Jacksonville Terminal - the entire site south of Bay was originally set up to be one thing.  A massive transportation center.  Needless to say, its location next to I-95, the railroad track and the skyway makes its original purpose the highest and best use.  We need a transportation center to, and there's no other site in downtown more ideal, than the Prime Osborn.  Converting it into a courthouse may solve the courthouse issue, but it creates a massive one on the transportation front.

Imo, to say that the Prime Osborn's conversion into a courthouse is a great idea is to only look at downtown and the city's needs through a short sighted point of view.  We have the opportunity to kill three birds with one stone, but we continue to refuse to accept it.

A. Build courthouse vertical on proposed site.  We can do that for cheaper than we can converted the Prime Osborn if we change the design to be one that serves today's needs without the crazy idea of believing it should look like structures built 100 years ago.

B. Move convention center to Bay Street site as a part of a public/private development.  A convention center's success is highly dependent on its surroundings.  At the Bay Street site, the convention center would anchor the Bay Street entertainment district, the riverwalk and be within short walking distance of the Landing's shops & restaurants and the Florida Theater.  Also, the Hyatt could serve as the convention center hotel, eliminating the need to give incentives to build one at the Prime Osborn or proposed Monroe Street courthouse site.  Also, air/waterfront rights could be sold to the private sector to bring in more compact retail, dining, cultural, entertainment and residential uses.

C. Prime Osborn goes back to its original use.  The best transportation center we could design in downtown would have greyhound, amtrak, streetcars, BRT, the skyway, commuter rail all using a facility SOUTH of Bay Street.  The close proximity of each system's stops would make for efficient transfers between systems.  The rest of JTA's land north of Bay could then be sold for mixed-use affordable housing.

In the end all issues are solved and we end up with a stronger urban core, generating more property tax dollars in the process.
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JeffreyS

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Re: The Courthouse is as Good as Dead.
« Reply #44 on: February 10, 2008, 09:13:22 PM »
Preach it Lake.

Halaujah forward thinking I feel the power take me to light amen.
Lenny Smash