Author Topic: Make Downtown Jax Vibrant Again.  (Read 3246 times)

TimmyB

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Re: Make Downtown Jax Vibrant Again.
« Reply #15 on: December 14, 2017, 04:55:38 PM »
And, Detroit just keeps rocking.  The groundbreaking for a new 58-story tower and adjoining 12-story retail and other-use building.  Again, as I have also mentioned in other threads, it takes a LOCAL person with a lot of money to spearhead these things.  Bedrock Detroit is led by Dan Gilbert, the billionaire from Quicken Loans. 

https://www.clickondetroit.com/news/gilbert-breaks-ground-on-skyscraper-at-detroits-old-hudsons-site

thelakelander

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Re: Make Downtown Jax Vibrant Again.
« Reply #16 on: December 14, 2017, 05:20:22 PM »
Gilbert is like the biggest sugar daddy in the country. On a certain level, he makes Detroit and exception to the rule. How do local sugar daddies in cities like Louisville, Orlando, Tampa, Fort Worth, Memphis, Norfolk, etc. compare with Jax's? Another observation would be successful smaller cities like Charleston, Greenville and Chattanooga.
« Last Edit: December 14, 2017, 05:22:00 PM by thelakelander »
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Gunnar

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Re: Make Downtown Jax Vibrant Again.
« Reply #17 on: December 14, 2017, 05:44:05 PM »
How about this:

https://www.metrojacksonville.com/article/2013-apr-does-downtown-jacksonville-need-a-sugar-daddy
Quote
In case you missed this one, every city that has succeeded in redeveloping their downtown has had a sugar daddy in some form or fashion ... either a strong/long-standing mayor (Joe Riley in Charleston), a committed business leader (Hugh McColl in Charlotte), a local philanthropist (Julian Price in Asheville), or a progressive institution (SCAD in Savannah) ...

Also very interesting:
https://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2015/04/asheville-just-happened-to-turn-into-a-nice-downtown-didnt-it/391391/


Quote
Some of that pessimism was reinforced when large-scale solutions attempted by city leaders failed. A proposal was floated demolish a large part of the historic downtown and replace it with an enclosed mall. That idea was voted down but in the process local citizens became much more invested in saving and bringing back downtown. Citizen resistance was led by John Lantzius, who was already busy, with his sister, Dawn, renovating buildings, in one of the blocks slated for demolition, and providing low-cost spaces for local businesses.

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TimmyB

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Re: Make Downtown Jax Vibrant Again.
« Reply #18 on: December 14, 2017, 05:50:10 PM »
Gilbert is like the biggest sugar daddy in the country. On a certain level, he makes Detroit and exception to the rule. How do local sugar daddies in cities like Louisville, Orlando, Tampa, Fort Worth, Memphis, Norfolk, etc. compare with Jax's? Another observation would be successful smaller cities like Charleston, Greenville and Chattanooga.

I've talked before about Grand Rapids which is a MUCH smaller "big" city than Jacksonville.  Their downtown was so bleak, you could go into it after 5 PM and hit a golf ball in any direction without worrying about injuring a human being, at least not an employed one.  Then, DeVos and VanAndel started the ball rolling.  Once they had committed several millions to a key project or two, the rest of the money stepped up.  Downtown GR in 2017 absolutely crushes DT Jax, and that is a complete embarrassment.  Now, in the last 10 years, we've watched Detroit do the same thing.  Why?  Gilbert, Ilitch, and the other LOCAL, BIG-MONEY guys have made it happen.  Again, where would you rather go to have a great evening?  Downtown Jax or Downtown Detroit?  There's something VERY wrong with that picture, but it is the way it is, here.

sanmarcomatt

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Re: Make Downtown Jax Vibrant Again.
« Reply #19 on: December 14, 2017, 06:20:50 PM »
  Again, where would you rather go to have a great evening?  Downtown Jax or Downtown Detroit?

Jax. The lingering  stench of bankruptcy would get to me....

jaxjags

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Re: Make Downtown Jax Vibrant Again.
« Reply #20 on: December 14, 2017, 07:15:33 PM »
Gilbert is like the biggest sugar daddy in the country. On a certain level, he makes Detroit and exception to the rule. How do local sugar daddies in cities like Louisville, Orlando, Tampa, Fort Worth, Memphis, Norfolk, etc. compare with Jax's? Another observation would be successful smaller cities like Charleston, Greenville and Chattanooga.

I've talked before about Grand Rapids which is a MUCH smaller "big" city than Jacksonville.  Their downtown was so bleak, you could go into it after 5 PM and hit a golf ball in any direction without worrying about injuring a human being, at least not an employed one.  Then, DeVos and VanAndel started the ball rolling.  Once they had committed several millions to a key project or two, the rest of the money stepped up.  Downtown GR in 2017 absolutely crushes DT Jax, and that is a complete embarrassment.  Now, in the last 10 years, we've watched Detroit do the same thing.  Why?  Gilbert, Ilitch, and the other LOCAL, BIG-MONEY guys have made it happen.  Again, where would you rather go to have a great evening?  Downtown Jax or Downtown Detroit?  There's something VERY wrong with that picture, but it is the way it is, here.

TB, I understand your point, but one must remember JAX already has several gathering districts that compete with DT. As an example the beaches in general attract people with things to do. Fernandina and St. Augustine also. I grew up in Columbus OH. they have little "competition" to the Scioto river DT and the Short North in OSU. I believe that more people living DT and a reason to go DT(ie. LIVE Jax!) will improve the situation dramatically. If amazon and/or Shad want to light the fuse, then all bets are off.

TimmyB

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Re: Make Downtown Jax Vibrant Again.
« Reply #21 on: December 14, 2017, 08:10:57 PM »
Gilbert is like the biggest sugar daddy in the country. On a certain level, he makes Detroit and exception to the rule. How do local sugar daddies in cities like Louisville, Orlando, Tampa, Fort Worth, Memphis, Norfolk, etc. compare with Jax's? Another observation would be successful smaller cities like Charleston, Greenville and Chattanooga.

I've talked before about Grand Rapids which is a MUCH smaller "big" city than Jacksonville.  Their downtown was so bleak, you could go into it after 5 PM and hit a golf ball in any direction without worrying about injuring a human being, at least not an employed one.  Then, DeVos and VanAndel started the ball rolling.  Once they had committed several millions to a key project or two, the rest of the money stepped up.  Downtown GR in 2017 absolutely crushes DT Jax, and that is a complete embarrassment.  Now, in the last 10 years, we've watched Detroit do the same thing.  Why?  Gilbert, Ilitch, and the other LOCAL, BIG-MONEY guys have made it happen.  Again, where would you rather go to have a great evening?  Downtown Jax or Downtown Detroit?  There's something VERY wrong with that picture, but it is the way it is, here.

TB, I understand your point, but one must remember JAX already has several gathering districts that compete with DT. As an example the beaches in general attract people with things to do. Fernandina and St. Augustine also. I grew up in Columbus OH. they have little "competition" to the Scioto river DT and the Short North in OSU. I believe that more people living DT and a reason to go DT(ie. LIVE Jax!) will improve the situation dramatically. If amazon and/or Shad want to light the fuse, then all bets are off.

Hey, don't get me wrong.  I absolutely WANT our downtown to be as cool or even better than these other places!  I just truly believe that it takes a local, non-government entity to invest big $$$ into one, maybe two projects.  Then, once that happens, the confidence factor is there, and others start to invest their money.  It's a snowball, rolling downhill at that point. 

I am excited for these housing things to be happening, whether it's large apartment complexes or high-rise towers.  Totally agree with you that the more people that are there, the more demand there will be for developers to actually build things to meet their needs.

thelakelander

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Re: Make Downtown Jax Vibrant Again.
« Reply #22 on: December 14, 2017, 09:03:39 PM »
Gilbert is like the biggest sugar daddy in the country. On a certain level, he makes Detroit and exception to the rule. How do local sugar daddies in cities like Louisville, Orlando, Tampa, Fort Worth, Memphis, Norfolk, etc. compare with Jax's? Another observation would be successful smaller cities like Charleston, Greenville and Chattanooga.

I've talked before about Grand Rapids which is a MUCH smaller "big" city than Jacksonville.  Their downtown was so bleak, you could go into it after 5 PM and hit a golf ball in any direction without worrying about injuring a human being, at least not an employed one.  Then, DeVos and VanAndel started the ball rolling.  Once they had committed several millions to a key project or two, the rest of the money stepped up.  Downtown GR in 2017 absolutely crushes DT Jax, and that is a complete embarrassment.

GR isn't that much smaller. It and Jax are more comparable in size than many of the cities like Seattle, Portland, San Diego, NYC, Detroit, etc. that have been mentioned in this thread. I was last up there around 2007 or so. I felt it was more vibrant than DT Jax then. By that time, they had cleaned up the riverfront and there was some sort of entertainment district to the south of the CBD that appeared to be doing pretty well. I'm sure it's a lot better now 10 years later.

With that said, I've seen cities not wait for some big pocket individual to invest in their community to turn things around as well. Lakeland is a great example. They created a plan of upgrading all public streets and parks along with some targeted super aggressive incentive packages to lure a few anchors into their core. The private sector responded to the foundation of the revitalization that the city kicked off and committed itself too. Greenville appears to be another example of this. I guess what I'm saying is, DT revitalization doesn't necessarily come down to waiting for someone with money to feel sorry for the city and put it on their back to bring it back. Revitalization can also take place in an easier, less expensive form of public money improving infrastructure and creating policies that foster private sector investment of all shapes, culture and sizes.

Quote
Now, in the last 10 years, we've watched Detroit do the same thing.  Why?  Gilbert, Ilitch, and the other LOCAL, BIG-MONEY guys have made it happen.  Again, where would you rather go to have a great evening?  Downtown Jax or Downtown Detroit?  There's something VERY wrong with that picture, but it is the way it is, here.

To be fair, Detroit on its worse day was still more vibrant that Jax has ever been. Even with the dramatic population loss over since 1950, the metro is still five times as large and the downtown's built density is indicative of that.  I maybe one of the few who will say it, but I thought DT Detroit was ahead of Jax's as far back as the years they hosted the super bowl back to back (2005 to 2006?). Back then, even though Woodward was pretty bleak, it still had built density, Campus Martius Park (new at the time) and Greektown. Those are three things we still don't have a comparison to in the Northbank.
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thelakelander

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Re: Make Downtown Jax Vibrant Again.
« Reply #23 on: December 14, 2017, 09:05:51 PM »
  Again, where would you rather go to have a great evening?  Downtown Jax or Downtown Detroit?

Jax. The lingering  stench of bankruptcy would get to me....

We'd be bankrupt too by now if we hadn't consolidated with the county to mask the white flight. I suspect if Detroit had the opportunity to consolidate with Wayne County back in the 1960s, it would have not spiraled into bankruptcy either.
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thelakelander

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Re: Make Downtown Jax Vibrant Again.
« Reply #24 on: December 14, 2017, 09:13:39 PM »
How about this:

https://www.metrojacksonville.com/article/2013-apr-does-downtown-jacksonville-need-a-sugar-daddy
Quote
In case you missed this one, every city that has succeeded in redeveloping their downtown has had a sugar daddy in some form or fashion ... either a strong/long-standing mayor (Joe Riley in Charleston), a committed business leader (Hugh McColl in Charlotte), a local philanthropist (Julian Price in Asheville), or a progressive institution (SCAD in Savannah) ...

Also very interesting:
https://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2015/04/asheville-just-happened-to-turn-into-a-nice-downtown-didnt-it/391391/


Quote
Some of that pessimism was reinforced when large-scale solutions attempted by city leaders failed. A proposal was floated demolish a large part of the historic downtown and replace it with an enclosed mall. That idea was voted down but in the process local citizens became much more invested in saving and bringing back downtown. Citizen resistance was led by John Lantzius, who was already busy, with his sister, Dawn, renovating buildings, in one of the blocks slated for demolition, and providing low-cost spaces for local businesses.

If this is the case, there's a lot of people and entities investing in DT right now. Which one will emerge as the "sugar daddy" under these terms? FSCJ (copying SCAD's approach), Mayor Lenny Curry, Shad Khan, Vestcor? Or maybe it's driven from the bottom up and a result of several parties each doing their small part? Time will ultimately tell.
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thelakelander

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Re: Make Downtown Jax Vibrant Again.
« Reply #25 on: December 14, 2017, 09:20:18 PM »
Gilbert is like the biggest sugar daddy in the country. On a certain level, he makes Detroit and exception to the rule. How do local sugar daddies in cities like Louisville, Orlando, Tampa, Fort Worth, Memphis, Norfolk, etc. compare with Jax's? Another observation would be successful smaller cities like Charleston, Greenville and Chattanooga.

I've talked before about Grand Rapids which is a MUCH smaller "big" city than Jacksonville.  Their downtown was so bleak, you could go into it after 5 PM and hit a golf ball in any direction without worrying about injuring a human being, at least not an employed one.  Then, DeVos and VanAndel started the ball rolling.  Once they had committed several millions to a key project or two, the rest of the money stepped up.  Downtown GR in 2017 absolutely crushes DT Jax, and that is a complete embarrassment.  Now, in the last 10 years, we've watched Detroit do the same thing.  Why?  Gilbert, Ilitch, and the other LOCAL, BIG-MONEY guys have made it happen.  Again, where would you rather go to have a great evening?  Downtown Jax or Downtown Detroit?  There's something VERY wrong with that picture, but it is the way it is, here.

TB, I understand your point, but one must remember JAX already has several gathering districts that compete with DT. As an example the beaches in general attract people with things to do. Fernandina and St. Augustine also. I grew up in Columbus OH. they have little "competition" to the Scioto river DT and the Short North in OSU. I believe that more people living DT and a reason to go DT(ie. LIVE Jax!) will improve the situation dramatically. If amazon and/or Shad want to light the fuse, then all bets are off.

I don't necessarily see Jax being unique in this case. Let's take Detroit for example. It has some of the nicest suburbs I've ever seen in the US. Places like Birmingham and Royal Oak have pretty decent urban centers themselves, due to the amount of suburban residents not totally buying into going into Detroit if they don't have too. Even Windsor has a more vibrant core than Jax. There are a lot more malls than what suburban Jax brings to the table as well.  To sum it up, most US metros aren't downtown centric anymore. However, with good civic leadership the downtown core can still carve out its niche. In the past, Jax has screwed up. Hopefully, we've finally entered a period where we've learned from our past mistakes.
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thelakelander

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Re: Make Downtown Jax Vibrant Again.
« Reply #26 on: December 14, 2017, 09:26:53 PM »
Hey, don't get me wrong.  I absolutely WANT our downtown to be as cool or even better than these other places!  I just truly believe that it takes a local, non-government entity to invest big $$$ into one, maybe two projects.  Then, once that happens, the confidence factor is there, and others start to invest their money.  It's a snowball, rolling downhill at that point.

I'd argue our history has proven this to not be true. Charter, Barnett, Independent Life, Rouse, etc. all were non-government entities (three of them local) to invest big $$$ into multiple projects during the 1970s through the 1990s. Our skyline today was literally built by local entities. The place still flopped. Despite the money spent, most of the investment went to projects that weren't exactly pedestrian friendly at street level. IMO, confidence starts with the City. It's downtown's largest landowner and is responsible for most of the streets, sidewalks and parks within the core. Commit to upgrading and maintaining public spaces and facilitating deals to turn underutilized public property over to being utilized private property and things will dramatically improve for the better. Do that and we'll lure both the big and little fish to invest money in a multitude of projects.
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jaxjags

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Re: Make Downtown Jax Vibrant Again.
« Reply #27 on: December 15, 2017, 10:51:42 AM »
Gilbert is like the biggest sugar daddy in the country. On a certain level, he makes Detroit and exception to the rule. How do local sugar daddies in cities like Louisville, Orlando, Tampa, Fort Worth, Memphis, Norfolk, etc. compare with Jax's? Another observation would be successful smaller cities like Charleston, Greenville and Chattanooga.

I've talked before about Grand Rapids which is a MUCH smaller "big" city than Jacksonville.  Their downtown was so bleak, you could go into it after 5 PM and hit a golf ball in any direction without worrying about injuring a human being, at least not an employed one.  Then, DeVos and VanAndel started the ball rolling.  Once they had committed several millions to a key project or two, the rest of the money stepped up.  Downtown GR in 2017 absolutely crushes DT Jax, and that is a complete embarrassment.  Now, in the last 10 years, we've watched Detroit do the same thing.  Why?  Gilbert, Ilitch, and the other LOCAL, BIG-MONEY guys have made it happen.  Again, where would you rather go to have a great evening?  Downtown Jax or Downtown Detroit?  There's something VERY wrong with that picture, but it is the way it is, here.

TB, I understand your point, but one must remember JAX already has several gathering districts that compete with DT. As an example the beaches in general attract people with things to do. Fernandina and St. Augustine also. I grew up in Columbus OH. they have little "competition" to the Scioto river DT and the Short North in OSU. I believe that more people living DT and a reason to go DT(ie. LIVE Jax!) will improve the situation dramatically. If amazon and/or Shad want to light the fuse, then all bets are off.

I don't necessarily see Jax being unique in this case. Let's take Detroit for example. It has some of the nicest suburbs I've ever seen in the US. Places like Birmingham and Royal Oak have pretty decent urban centers themselves, due to the amount of suburban residents not totally buying into going into Detroit if they don't have too. Even Windsor has a more vibrant core than Jax. There are a lot more malls than what suburban Jax brings to the table as well.  To sum it up, most US metros aren't downtown centric anymore. However, with good civic leadership the downtown core can still carve out its niche. In the past, Jax has screwed up. Hopefully, we've finally entered a period where we've learned from our past mistakes.

I was talking more about gathering places, not necessarily suburbs. Places where do people go to eat and have fun. Jax has many of these center, several at beaches, Riverside, 5 points, Avondale, SJTC, etc. The closest to DT, and may emerge next with Live Jax, is sports complex.

thelakelander

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Re: Make Downtown Jax Vibrant Again.
« Reply #28 on: December 15, 2017, 11:15:04 AM »
They are the same "gathering" places. Jax is basically Duval County. Detriot is essentially metro Detroit's version of Jax's Northside. With that said, I didn't mention inner city areas of Detriot that are "gathering" places in their own right like Mexicantown, Eastern Market, Corktown or New Center. What DT Jax faces is really no different than most CBDs in second and third tier US cities. Some have just done a better job of revitalization while others have not.
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ProjectMaximus

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Re: Make Downtown Jax Vibrant Again.
« Reply #29 on: December 15, 2017, 11:19:08 AM »
I was talking more about gathering places, not necessarily suburbs. Places where do people go to eat and have fun. Jax has many of these center, several at beaches, Riverside, 5 points, Avondale, SJTC, etc. The closest to DT, and may emerge next with Live Jax, is sports complex.

Those suburbs are gathering places. If you are talking about something on the scale of Shoppes of Avondale as one stretch, 5 points as one, and Riverside's King St as another, then I'm pretty sure Detroit has over 30 of those within the CSA.