Author Topic: Suburban Infill: Atlantic Crossings  (Read 12461 times)

Metro Jacksonville

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Suburban Infill: Atlantic Crossings
« on: August 05, 2008, 05:00:00 AM »
Suburban Infill: Atlantic Crossings



Atlantic Crossings represents a style of suburban infill development that should be encouraged in Jacksonville.

Full Article
http://www.metrojacksonville.com/content/view/859

archiphreak

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Re: Suburban Infill: Atlantic Crossings
« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2008, 07:58:50 AM »
How is this development different from any other apartment complex or condo development anywhere in jacksonville?  This is not a walkable community.  it is a collection of medium density residences located in close proximity to each other.  Where is the grocery, the retail center, the movie theatre, the hospital, the dentist, the mechanic?  Where are any of the things necessary to sustain a community?
I get a little tired of everyone constantly looking for the singular shreds of decent design in this city and forgetting that good design, good urban design, needs to take into consideration the WHOLE PICTURE, not just one or two elements that could one day many years from now be included in a walkable community, if one is ever actually planned and implemented in this city (doubtful).  Let's be real here.  These new developments are nothing more than the same old s*%t being passed off as something new for the media.

Developing101

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Re: Suburban Infill: Atlantic Crossings
« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2008, 08:14:54 AM »
If this project was designed properly, there would be proper site lighting to be able to safely walk around at night time.  Take another look at the application photos and try to spot the lighting - it's like finding Waldo.  This developer went cheap and "value engineered" the lighting right out of the project - typical of a developer only looking at how to lower the cost of installation without the typical person noticing the corners that were cut.  Lighting is crutial to a residential development that sits right in the middle of a business park.  Let's check back in a year and see how many vehicles were broken into and number of 911 calls made...  Great job looking out for the occupant's safety.

Abhishek

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Re: Suburban Infill: Atlantic Crossings
« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2008, 08:19:59 AM »
This property is actiually walkable distance from Tinseltown and a few car dealerships. So if you like to eat, watch movies and buy Buicks and Hyundais, there are a lot of things you can do. Grocery store is a distance away, easy on a bicycle though. I would live there if they didnt have those faux balconys. Also those floorplans are not clever at all, very generic! I am not a big fan of kitchens with no windows.
All they have is a slightly different parking space layout. Everything is the same old s*%t...
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thelakelander

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Re: Suburban Infill: Atlantic Crossings
« Reply #4 on: August 05, 2008, 08:36:16 AM »
Great observations that point to a larger problem, one that is outside of the individual developer's control.  We, as a city have to get to the point where certain things should be a standard with all developments.  Proper site lighting, inter-connectivity (as opposed to forcing drivers to one access/exit point), limited building setbacks and rear parking should all be requirements.  As for forcing every little development to have a mix of retail/residential uses, that may be impractical.  Are there any cities out there that even require this?  If so, they would make for a great case study.  Atlantic Crossings should be recognized for its site layout.  Its a start in an area of town where most similar developments do much worse. 
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

rjp2008

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Re: Suburban Infill: Atlantic Crossings
« Reply #5 on: August 05, 2008, 09:20:19 AM »
The only "walkability requirement" I have for condo/apartment communities is a big circular lake in the center with a path around it. "Montreaux" for example - not completely, but an attempt at it.  Nothing enhances property value more, and nothing invites people to live there more, especially with a sunset exposure! You have to sacrifice space for the lake, but the return is a superior quality product.

The second thing I like to see is a big private patio on units. None of these skimpy little patches of concrete - make a real patio - this is Florida after all and we do get a lot of sunshine!

Doctor_K

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Re: Suburban Infill: Atlantic Crossings
« Reply #6 on: August 05, 2008, 09:28:49 AM »
Quote
The second thing I like to see is a big private patio on units. None of these skimpy little patches of concrete - make a real patio - this is Florida after all and we do get a lot of sunshine!
And these don't even have patios, per se.  Just a wannabe Juliet Balcony.
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Abhishek

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Re: Suburban Infill: Atlantic Crossings
« Reply #7 on: August 05, 2008, 10:15:00 AM »
What Archiphreak and I mean by a walkable community is where one can do more than walk around in circles. It would help if the neighbourhood had a good stretch to walk on to unwind and relax, but in the true sense it would be better if you could do more activities without requiring to use your car. That would make you more independent and increase human interraction leading to a better quality of life.

I think the most opposition to this post is towards the glorification of a different layout and calling it something it is not. It is also hard to expect a very walkable community in an Edge City. Walkscore.com came up with a score of 40 out of 100 for this neighbourhood making it Car-dependent. 
« Last Edit: August 05, 2008, 10:17:30 AM by Abhishek »
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cline

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Re: Suburban Infill: Atlantic Crossings
« Reply #8 on: August 05, 2008, 10:38:35 AM »
Quote
What Archiphreak and I mean by a walkable community is where one can do more than walk around in circles. It would help if the neighbourhood had a good stretch to walk on to unwind and relax, but in the true sense it would be better if you could do more activities without requiring to use your car. That would make you more independent and increase human interraction leading to a better quality of life.

Agreed.  However, it takes time to develop areas like this.  The most walkable neighborhoods in Jacksonville are also some of the oldest, most well established.  Archiphreak made reference to such services as a grocery, retail center, movie theatre, hospital, dentist, and mechanic.  A developer can't build all of these services.  I feel that  a development like this at least has the opportunity of becoming a true "walkable community" sometime in the near future, unlike many suburban subdivisions located on the fringe in which residents will be relegated to using an automobile for decades to come which has seemed to be the trend in Jacksonville.

thelakelander

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Re: Suburban Infill: Atlantic Crossings
« Reply #9 on: August 05, 2008, 10:43:06 AM »
I understand where Abhishek and Archiphreak are coming from.  However, I also believe it takes more than one individual development to turn a sprawling hell hole into a true walkable community.  Imo, you have to start somewhere.  Tapestry Park and Atlantic Crossings are stabs at it, but both also prove a larger plan is needed to convert what is already there.  For example, you could stick Atlantic Crossings next to the Parks @ Cathedral and it would fit like a glove within that landscape.  Stick it on Gate Parkway and the impact is not as strong because the other developments aren't required to follow suit.  

On the city's part, we have to stop allowing developments that place a higher priority on automobile than the pedestrian.  Jacksonville has to develop a plan and stick to its guns.  Will things change overnight? Most likely not.  But if you start now, perhaps in a decade or so, its possible to change the atmosphere.

As for Walkscore, it rated Timberlin Park (off Southside Blvd) as 51 or "somewhat walkable".  I disagree 100% with the "somewhat walkable" score, but figure they rated that high because its behind a Target and Home Depot.
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

archiphreak

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Re: Suburban Infill: Atlantic Crossings
« Reply #10 on: August 05, 2008, 11:16:33 AM »
Lake,  you and I are mostly of the same mind.  I agree that we, as a city and a community at large, need to start somewhere.  But there is a difference between an honest start at more serious urban design and putting lipstick on a pig.  It's still a pig no matter how much lipstick you put on her. 
To the comment about the walkable communities in Jax all being old: it's because they were designed that way from the start.  Riverside had it's own grocers, butchers, tailors, mechanics, hospital, dentist, eye doctor, you name it it was all right there for you.  Mind you this was in an age before the automobile blew up and became the only "sensible mode of transport".  Springfield used to stretch all the way to what we call "the north side".  there was a street car that ran the whole length into downtown.  These are old neighborhoods simply because no one has left them for the "convenience" of the suburbs.  Trying to take a development in the middle of no where on Atlantic Blvd and trying to make it "walkable" is just silly.  Someone said it was easy enough to get to a grocery by bike.  Who in their right mind would ever try to cross any street at any intersection on a bicycle east of arlington!!??  that's suicide, man!  Has no one heard about the guy that just died on a bike crossing an average intersection?! 
Until the city takes a real look at the infrastructure of our communities and pushes for real urban development we should not be praising the "attempts" of developers to make more "walkable" communities.  We should be denouncing them for what they are: very pretty, very done up, very large pigs.  It's the same s*%t on a different day.  No real change is being made in this city.  Even BRT looks like it's going to go through.  And then we'll have the same downtown we had 10 years ago.  A ghost town.

Doctor_K

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Re: Suburban Infill: Atlantic Crossings
« Reply #11 on: August 05, 2008, 11:27:39 AM »
Quote
Even BRT looks like it's going to go through.
SUCKAGE!  I thought MetroJax and community had made a big enough stink to make JTA pause and rethink BRT!?
"Imagination is more important than knowledge. For while knowledge defines all we currently know and understand, imagination points to all we might yet discover and create."  -- Albert Einstein

Abhishek

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Re: Suburban Infill: Atlantic Crossings
« Reply #12 on: August 05, 2008, 11:35:12 AM »
@ cline
I agree this is not an overnight change. There is also not much effort seen towards this change.

@ thelakelander
I think a better walkable neighbourhood in the same vicinity are the complexes on touchton (between southside and belfort). There are restaurants, mechanics and a Publix within walkable distance but there are barely any sidewalks to walk on. That road has a ditch on either side for a shoulder, so good luck riding your bicycle on it. Walkscore.com gave it a 58 which is somewhat walkable.
We do need to be much more considerate towards pedestrians and bicycle traffic in building roads and communities. Not just safe walking and bicycling paths but also proximity to businesses.

@archiphreak
I wouldnt go grocery shopping on a bicycle in Arlington too, but that particular neighbourhood isint bad for bicycle travel. I know because I live 3 miles from it and I ride to the movie theather on some weekends. I disagree with the glorification of Atlantic Crossing as a walkable neighbourhood and I am with you on that. These so called attempts should get no praises.
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thelakelander

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Re: Suburban Infill: Atlantic Crossings
« Reply #13 on: August 05, 2008, 01:11:43 PM »
Quote
Even BRT looks like it's going to go through.
SUCKAGE!  I thought MetroJax and community had made a big enough stink to make JTA pause and rethink BRT!?

We successfully kept BRT off Forsyth, Adams and Bay Streets.  There will still be bus rapid transit lanes down Jefferson and Broad, but BRT in general isn't a bad thing.  It gets bad when we attempt to use it as a replacement for rail, instead of being a complement to rail and we're willing to spend millions more for it than going with rail in the first place.  So for this angle, we saved the core from this boondoggle, but we still have our work cut out for us to stop/alter the legs stretching out of downtown.
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cline

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Re: Suburban Infill: Atlantic Crossings
« Reply #14 on: August 05, 2008, 01:13:19 PM »
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Lake,  you and I are mostly of the same mind.  I agree that we, as a city and a community at large, need to start somewhere.  But there is a difference between an honest start at more serious urban design and putting lipstick on a pig.  It's still a pig no matter how much lipstick you put on her.

It is only lipstick because of its proximity to Southside Boulevard.  Like Lake said, if you put this next to the Parks at the Cathedral or 1661 then people would love it.  BUT, what if the city decided that they wanted to take drastic measures in the Tinseltown area and reduce Southside Blvd to two lanes with large medians and sidewalks on both sides and ample crosswalks.  I know it is a long shot but these sort of changes could make the Tinseltown area into the type of walkable community you are referring to.  There are shops, jobs, housing etc. all within walking/biking distance.  It would take vision but could be done.  It less about what the residence looks like and more about placemaking.