Author Topic: The District wants $26 million in public incentives  (Read 33504 times)

sanmarcomatt

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« Last Edit: January 11, 2018, 09:35:13 PM by sanmarcomatt »

Tacachale

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Re: The District wants $26 million in public incentives
« Reply #46 on: January 11, 2018, 11:25:36 PM »
I don't know or remember, but what type of money did the COJ give to the developer of The Peninsula?  San Marco Place? The Strand?

I honestly can't remember, but all three towers were built during the pre-recession condo boom, so I'd be shocked if any major incentives were handed out. That said, all three condos should benefit from publicly subsidized infrastructure work being done in the area in the form of the $4 million Riverplace "road diet" funded by the Southbank TID, which is incidentally only $465k less than what the District proposes to take from the TID over the next 20 years (25% of the $18.6 million loan repayment to JEA = $4.65 million), interest excluded.

They received substantial incentives. None to this level (I can find some links tomorrow). They also increased the downtown population by several times, and the deals were also a lot more straight forward.
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jaxlongtimer

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Re: The District wants $26 million in public incentives
« Reply #47 on: January 12, 2018, 12:53:51 AM »
I would not be sad to see this project go away.  It's not that I object to the vision (though I am unhappy about the taxpayer subsidies), I just think this land should become an urban park for the next few centuries along with the Shipyards property.  Every successful urban core I have ever visited of any reasonably sized city, and many smaller ones, has significant green space to support urban residential development.  Downtown Jax has almost none.

I am talking about decent acreage (dozens to hundreds), enough to support bike/jogging paths, volleyball and playing fields, maybe a water feature (fishing/lilly pond, swimming pool, fountains, etc.), dog walks, public boat launch/docks/piers, gardens and other outdoor recreation and activities.  I don't know why anyone would want to live downtown without such amenities and would suggest this is one big reason more people are not living downtown now.

Don't think the above is important?  Then why does every major master planned development today put such amenities front and center in their developments and marketing materials?

By the way, if we ever want to host a future Super Bowl or other major events, where are we going to congregate some 250K to 500K+ people downtown?  Guess what was used for our Super Bowl?  The Shipyards and the District properties!

thelakelander

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Re: The District wants $26 million in public incentives
« Reply #48 on: January 12, 2018, 03:10:47 AM »
^Don't get me wrong, I totally see where you're coming from, and it's a sound argument, but I'd counter that even though the public ask is multiple times more than the Trio, or Edward Waters, or Cowford, the potential economic impact is magnitudes higher. If Elements is contractually committed to - as they should be before full public investment is potentially made - building out 1,200 residential units, a 200 room hotel, a 125-slip marina, 200,000 square feet of office space, and 285,000 square feet of retail, including restaurants new to the market, a movie theater, a supermarket, a drug store, etc, then of course the incentives would be higher than a single restaurant, or a community field/dorm.

You can't contractually force them to build all of that if the market can't support it. Like the Shipyards, that master plan is a pipe dream that will take decades to develop.

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We're talking hundreds more residential units than the Laura Street Trio, Lavilla Lofts, Lofts at Monroe, Houston Manor, the Carling, the Strand, 11E, and the Peninsula COMBINED. A short walk from the southern terminus of the Skyway. Connected to the riverwalk with large areas of public greenspace. And a river taxi across from the sports district. No, it's not in the central business district, but it's on the Southbank riverfront, and would all but certainly have positive externalities on the downtown region.

There would be a greater impact on downtown by adding a fraction of that in the Northbank. Don't discount the economic benefit that density brings.

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More positive impact than any of the other projects vying for public dollars? That's up to those in charge to decide

It should be vetted thoroughly by council, that's a good thing.

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But personally, I don't think the ask is out of line with the scale of what Elements is proposing.

It appears to the naked eye to be pretty shady and has the potential to be a big failure that sucks away the TIF for a fringe development site for decades. The lack of transparency to this point should be a major concern.
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jaxnyc79

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Re: The District wants $26 million in public incentives
« Reply #49 on: January 12, 2018, 06:50:36 AM »
I would not be sad to see this project go away.  It's not that I object to the vision (though I am unhappy about the taxpayer subsidies), I just think this land should become an urban park for the next few centuries along with the Shipyards property.  Every successful urban core I have ever visited of any reasonably sized city, and many smaller ones, has significant green space to support urban residential development.  Downtown Jax has almost none.

I am talking about decent acreage (dozens to hundreds), enough to support bike/jogging paths, volleyball and playing fields, maybe a water feature (fishing/lilly pond, swimming pool, fountains, etc.), dog walks, public boat launch/docks/piers, gardens and other outdoor recreation and activities.  I don't know why anyone would want to live downtown without such amenities and would suggest this is one big reason more people are not living downtown now.

Don't think the above is important?  Then why does every major master planned development today put such amenities front and center in their developments and marketing materials?

By the way, if we ever want to host a future Super Bowl or other major events, where are we going to congregate some 250K to 500K+ people downtown?  Guess what was used for our Super Bowl?  The Shipyards and the District properties!

I really like your idea of a sprawling riverfront park.  Are the remediation requirements far lower if we turn the Shipyards into a park instead of other uses for the time being?  They’d have to carefully manage the homeless problem because that freaks out a ton of people in the region.  I was just thinking, if Jax makes it to the Super Bowl, and the city wanted to do something like a “community-wide pep rally,” where would that occur?  Certainly not in Hemming Plaza. 

thelakelander

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Re: The District wants $26 million in public incentives
« Reply #50 on: January 12, 2018, 07:42:57 AM »
To be honest, we don't maintain the downtown parks with these facilities already. Restore the green spaces along McCoys and Hogans creeks and we'll have a downtown park system that's a lot better than any isolated park on the edge of the urban core could be. They'd not only energize DT, but Brooklyn, Mixon Town, Springfield, Eastside and Sugar Hill too. Green space should be included at the Shipyards and JEA sites but it should be integrated with a mix of other uses. With no mix of uses, we'd be making a regional suburban designed park that won't effectively be integrated with the downtown core.
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jaxnyc79

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Re: The District wants $26 million in public incentives
« Reply #51 on: January 12, 2018, 08:35:53 AM »
To be honest, we don't maintain the downtown parks with these facilities already. Restore the green spaces along McCoys and Hogans creeks and we'll have a downtown park system that's a lot better than any isolated park on the edge of the urban core could be. They'd not only energize DT, but Brooklyn, Mixon Town, Springfield, Eastside and Sugar Hill too. Green space should be included at the Shipyards and JEA sites but it should be integrated with a mix of other uses. With no mix of uses, we'd be making a regional suburban designed park that won't effectively be integrated with the downtown core.

No one is undermining the idea of cleaning up creeks, just that a large riverfront green space in the midst of what will someday be the "critical mass" part of downtown, serving as a regional civic gathering place, could be catalytic.   

Lostwave

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Re: The District wants $26 million in public incentives
« Reply #52 on: January 12, 2018, 09:14:41 AM »
Don't both the Shipyards and District proposals include huge swaths land on the waterfront that are completely public?  Isn't that partly what the city investment in the District is for?

Steve

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Re: The District wants $26 million in public incentives
« Reply #53 on: January 12, 2018, 09:34:59 AM »
I don't know or remember, but what type of money did the COJ give to the developer of The Peninsula?  San Marco Place? The Strand?

There definitely were incentives given for these three. Peninsula and the Strand are the save developer, San Marco Place was a different group.

However, that's a little different situation. This was vertical high-rise construction of residential when ZERO existed. When you're the first, some money is available.

My concerns here with the money is not the amount per se, but I'm not sure I see land on the outskirts of the Southbank of Downtown being a huge economic driver.

This isn't a historic rehab - that is a one of a kind building unique to Jacksonville. This is vacant land!

I'd say this: if they want COJ to pay for roads that would be public road and have public benefits (like connecting to parks, shops, etc.), I'm open to that. But to subsidize mid-rise construction? I'm not feeling it

(This is all with the caveat that I need to take time and really understand the ask here).

Steve

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Re: The District wants $26 million in public incentives
« Reply #54 on: January 12, 2018, 09:38:42 AM »
http://jacksonville.com/news/metro/2018-01-11/special-council-committee-will-scrutinize-development-deal-district

Elements not pleased with the committee. That's a shame.

Well....I'll say this: Brosche nominating Shellenberg to lead the committee is a little......biased. Clearly Shellenberg already has his mind made up. Now, Shellenberg could be crazy or he could be dead on in his reasoning - I don't know. But, having someone who has already publicly blasted this thing doesn't scream of impropriety.

thelakelander

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Re: The District wants $26 million in public incentives
« Reply #55 on: January 12, 2018, 10:09:49 AM »
Don't both the Shipyards and District proposals include huge swaths land on the waterfront that are completely public?  Isn't that partly what the city investment in the District is for?
Yes, they both do.
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jaxnyc79

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Re: The District wants $26 million in public incentives
« Reply #56 on: January 12, 2018, 10:37:46 AM »
Don't both the Shipyards and District proposals include huge swaths land on the waterfront that are completely public?  Isn't that partly what the city investment in the District is for?

Huge is a relative term.  Louisville Waterfront Park is 85-acres.  I think the reference was to waterfront green-space that would be as iconic and compelling as what's in Louisville.  Not just a heavily landscaped front yard for a complex.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2018, 10:58:48 AM by jaxnyc79 »

thelakelander

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Re: The District wants $26 million in public incentives
« Reply #57 on: January 12, 2018, 11:25:09 AM »
To be honest, we don't maintain the downtown parks with these facilities already. Restore the green spaces along McCoys and Hogans creeks and we'll have a downtown park system that's a lot better than any isolated park on the edge of the urban core could be. They'd not only energize DT, but Brooklyn, Mixon Town, Springfield, Eastside and Sugar Hill too. Green space should be included at the Shipyards and JEA sites but it should be integrated with a mix of other uses. With no mix of uses, we'd be making a regional suburban designed park that won't effectively be integrated with the downtown core.

No one is undermining the idea of cleaning up creeks, just that a large riverfront green space in the midst of what will someday be the "critical mass" part of downtown, serving as a regional civic gathering place, could be catalytic.   
Neither will be in the middle of anything. They're both on the edge of downtown.
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thelakelander

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Re: The District wants $26 million in public incentives
« Reply #58 on: January 12, 2018, 11:29:45 AM »
Don't both the Shipyards and District proposals include huge swaths land on the waterfront that are completely public?  Isn't that partly what the city investment in the District is for?

Huge is a relative term.  Louisville Waterfront Park is 85-acres.  I think the reference was to waterfront green-space that would be as iconic and compelling as what's in Louisville.  Not just a heavily landscaped front yard for a complex.
Springfield Park, downtown's largest public space, is a mile long and covers around 40-acres currently. Tying it in with the riverwalk, the green spaces along McCoys and the spaces proposed with the Shipyards project would trump what Louisville has. However, it involves dusting off what we don't use and ignore.
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jaxnyc79

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Re: The District wants $26 million in public incentives
« Reply #59 on: January 12, 2018, 12:19:59 PM »
To be honest, we don't maintain the downtown parks with these facilities already. Restore the green spaces along McCoys and Hogans creeks and we'll have a downtown park system that's a lot better than any isolated park on the edge of the urban core could be. They'd not only energize DT, but Brooklyn, Mixon Town, Springfield, Eastside and Sugar Hill too. Green space should be included at the Shipyards and JEA sites but it should be integrated with a mix of other uses. With no mix of uses, we'd be making a regional suburban designed park that won't effectively be integrated with the downtown core.

No one is undermining the idea of cleaning up creeks, just that a large riverfront green space in the midst of what will someday be the "critical mass" part of downtown, serving as a regional civic gathering place, could be catalytic.   
Neither will be in the middle of anything. They're both on the edge of downtown.

I said "what will someday be critical mass."  It's not as though we can supplant the old Barnett buildings with a 70-acre park, but the Shipyards is close enough, and if it ends up as a 70-acre riverfront park, a critical mass could potentially develop fairly proximal to it.