Author Topic: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million  (Read 27574 times)

thelakelander

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Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
« Reply #105 on: January 04, 2018, 04:15:24 PM »
Sort of how Central Florida views itself regionally as a place with more than 7 million residents. That's fine and should be done. However, it's not going to have much, if any, impact of downtown's market demand to the private sector.
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Steve

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Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
« Reply #106 on: January 04, 2018, 04:40:20 PM »
Downtown development groups like the DIA and old DIA are good, but onl as effective as the administration calling the shots. Downtown might benefit from a more empowered neighborhood org like RAP, but it doesn’t have the population yet. There just aren’t enough people living there.

I couldn't agree more, but they don't need to live there. A business association could be just as effective if not more so. A non-profit, probably membership driven from people anywhere, could do great things as well.

if the people lead, the leaders will follow.     

Perhaps the DIA can evolve to that. RAP naturally works because of people's passions in the neighborhoods that they raise their families in. My thought is the structure of the DIA isn't bad. It seems like Aundra Wallace is the most successful person I've seen yet in that role, and the DIA has made more progress than the 1,238,264 versions before it. I do think the DIA board should potentially be expanded. Right now, you have 9 people:

Jim Bailey (Chair) - former owner of the Daily Record
Jack Meeks (VC) - CPA, lives in Springfield I believe
Craig Gibbs - Lawyer, office on the Southbank
Oliver Barakat - Real Estate, does a good amount of business downtown
Dane Grey - In the Parking Business. I don't know his views, but we've botched parking downtown so long that this concerns me
Braxton Gillam - Lawyer, office on Bay St.
Marc Padgett - CEO of Summit Contracting Group (1000 Riverside). Not technically downtown but about as close as you can be without being in the border
Brenna Durden - Lawyer, office in Brooklyn. Not sure if that office is the HQ as the firm has 4 Florida offices.
Ron Moody - Real Estate appraiser, office on the Southbank.

They're missing a few things here:

 - Not one in retail. I know a CPA office is small business, but a CPA doesn't depend on foot traffic. No one walks by a CPA office and says off the cuff, "Let me stop in and do my taxes." I'm not sure who I'd nominate here.
 - No one in the restaurant industry. The needs here are different than retail shops. I'd nominate Allan DeVault here (Partner in Bellwether/Black Sheep/Orsay)
 - Curious if any of these folks live downtown full time (I don't mean have a condo they rent out). If not, that's a HUGE miss.
 - Dare I say it, but they should have one representative from JTA. I can't believe I'm saying this about an organization that was led by Michael Blaylock for about 15 years but they're doing really good things with better leadership.

There's probably other useful people here. I'm not saying throw anyone off because I don't know who's doing a good job or not - though a board of 1/3 attorney's strikes me as odd. Maybe expand the board because there are critical voices from industries that aren't here.

I do think that Consolidation has hurt downtown in some ways. While they may have been mitigated with better leadership, there are definitely negatives to it. There's no incentive to live in the city, as services and incentives are offered to everyone in the county. Now to be clear - I'm not saying given where Jacksonville was in the 1960s it was the wrong move. There was a lot of crap in the 60s that consolidation fixed very quickly.

Some leaders have had incentive programs that direct funds north and west of the city, including the Northbank. Delaney had one that Peyton quickly trashed (shocker). I don't remember how successful it was.

The DDA/DIA agencies had/have their function and for the most part have done ok. Historically speaking Frank Nero and Paul Krutko did great work as Exe. Directors and the work they did was interrupted for a significant period unfortunately.

However, the DIA will never be able to do for Downtown what RAP does for it's 'client'. It will always carry water for the city, and by extension for the incumbent Mayor, first and foremost. The city pays the bills and has it's own priorities (like budget pressures) to consider.   The better model for what I am talking about would be the 5 Points and San Marco Merchants Associations.  A private entity that has the ability and the 'charge' to make sure that DT interests are protected.   

Independence is necessary because sometimes it is the city itself that requires the pushback. An example of that would be holding the line on design guidelines (ie Brooklyn GATE station, Parador garage across from the Landing). Other examples would be lobbying to put funding into the Historic Rehab fund or not diverting funding from the TIFs that are suppose to be dedicated to the Northbank and Southbank respectively.  They could also lobby the city to bring its parking meters out of the 1950s and do more street sweeping and cleanup. They could also be an independent but impacted arbitar over troublesome issues like Hemming Plaza and the never-ending Landing fiasco.   

The retailiers, restuaranteurs, etc. that you mentioned would be a fit perfect to govern such a organization.   

Like anything else in life, Rome won't be built in a day, but this element would bring some much needed focus and CONTIGUITY (which I think we all agreee has been missing) to DT redevelopment.         
   

I agree in concept and yes, the DIA is ultimately controlled by the Mayor/Council.

The challenge is that RAP is largely made up of residents. Those residents have sway with their City Council person because RAP members are all VERY likely voters in an election, and RAP can cast influence in the neighborhood. With the current (and past) districts, it's very unlikely to win District 14 without RAPs support. This is why their influence is strong.

Downtown on the other hand isn't like that. Lately, it's basically 1 or 2 precincts in whatever district they feel like putting Downtown in (was 4 for a long time, now 7). When George Banks ran for Suzanne Jenkins' seat she was leaving in 2007, he referred to Downtown as, "A precinct I can win." Now, the statement was in reference to something in the context of the conversation we were having. However, if you think about it, someone running for District 7 can lose downtown and yet easily win the district. This is why today is not the time for a powerful Downtown Merchants/Residents association.

My feeling is that regardless of the fact that the DIA is technically government, we need to have people who have more of a Vested Personal Interest in downtown on the DIA. I don't know all of the people, but having 1/3 of the board be attorneys who's offices are downtown doesn't necessarily scream, "Vested Personal Interest." Many attorneys are downtown because they either need to be close to the courthouse, or need to be close to clients who may be located there. That's very different from a Restaurateur who deals with his customers getting parking tickets or harassed by a homeless person.

Steve

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Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
« Reply #107 on: January 04, 2018, 05:07:20 PM »
Yea....Jacksonville tried that. The Plaza was developed by Cameron Kuhn. You'll find renderings of RiverWatch at CityCenter on this site - it was his Jacksonville version. That died when he went Kuhn when the proverbial ATM stopped spitting free money out.

The challenge with concrete highrises is the cost of construction versus what you can sell things for. Take Apartments as an example - they challenge has been building a high-rise apartment building without incentives and being able to pay for it in rent. Downtown struggles to generate the rent that would be needed to cover it. One of the differences in Real Estate prices here versus many cities is in Jacksonville, the building is usually worth more than the dirt it's on. In many other cities, it's the opposite. The difference is that you can charge enough rent to make it work based purely on location. Here, it's a challenge.

Personally, I'd rather mid-rise construction and street level vibrancy than another EverBank Center that's dead at night. I know they built that with a "mall" inside. That doesn't count.

The problem is the land just isn't valuable enough for highrises as you said above.  There is too much vacant land and a developer could make the same money from a much smaller investment building a 5 floor apartment/condo building, than building a 25 floor apartment/condo.  They could build 225 units in several small buildings for much cheaper than in one highrise, and because our land is so plentiful, thats exactly what they do.  In cities like Seattle, they would never build a 5 floor apartment downtown because they just paid 45 million for a half block.  It would never pencil out, so they are forced to build a tower. 

Yes, and in Downtown Seattle they can charge $868/SqFt so the investment is returned. (seriously, that's the average according to this site: https://seattle.curbed.com/2017/5/4/15546302/seattle-home-prices-square-foot)

In Jacksonville, I couldn't find a reliable average number, likely due to not enough sample size. Doing a quick search, it looks to be between $175 and $225 per square foot. That makes it REALLY tough to turn a profit for a developer.

Now, Seattle is a bit of an outlier. Take Charlotte. In 2016, their average Price/SqFt in "Uptown" (they have to be different and call their downtown Uptown), is $260. That isn't otherworldly higher than Jacksonville like Seattle is, but significantly higher. In 2012 Charlotte was $220. If we could legit average $225-$240 here it would change the conversation dramatically.

Simple math: At $190/SqFt a 1,200 SqFt place is $228k. If a building had 150 of those units, selling out a building would get the developer a gross number of $34.2M.

Now, if a developer can get even $225/SqFt for that exact same building, the developer would get a gross of $40.5M - almost a 20% increase.

In short, let's get some stick buildings built, fill the ground level with retail/restaurants/etc, and get downtown to the point that people want to live there.

Going on another tangent (like this thread doesn't have enough already), this is where a Convention Center can come into play. You have a thousand room hotel that struggles. With a convention center, Jacksonville all of a sudden is a cheap place to host a convention for a lot of people. Not everyone is going to eat at the hotel restaurant, and business travelers on expense accounts like to drink. Downtown bars and restaurants have historically struggled with traffic Monday-Wednesday nights to the point it doesn't make sense to open. This is where the business travelers can fill the gap. That then raises the demand for food/drink places downtown, which raises downtown's appeal, which allows a developer to charge more for a residential unit, which then makes these high rises more profitable.

Okay, leaving the office now.

thelakelander

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Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
« Reply #108 on: January 04, 2018, 05:18:08 PM »
Steve for mayor!
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vicupstate

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Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
« Reply #109 on: January 04, 2018, 06:38:50 PM »
Quote
I agree in concept and yes, the DIA is ultimately controlled by the Mayor/Council.

The challenge is that RAP is largely made up of residents. Those residents have sway with their City Council person because RAP members are all VERY likely voters in an election, and RAP can cast influence in the neighborhood. With the current (and past) districts, it's very unlikely to win District 14 without RAPs support. This is why their influence is strong.

Downtown on the other hand isn't like that. Lately, it's basically 1 or 2 precincts in whatever district they feel like putting Downtown in (was 4 for a long time, now 7). When George Banks ran for Suzanne Jenkins' seat she was leaving in 2007, he referred to Downtown as, "A precinct I can win." Now, the statement was in reference to something in the context of the conversation we were having. However, if you think about it, someone running for District 7 can lose downtown and yet easily win the district. This is why today is not the time for a powerful Downtown Merchants/Residents association.

My feeling is that regardless of the fact that the DIA is technically government, we need to have people who have more of a Vested Personal Interest in downtown on the DIA. I don't know all of the people, but having 1/3 of the board be attorneys who's offices are downtown doesn't necessarily scream, "Vested Personal Interest." Many attorneys are downtown because they either need to be close to the courthouse, or need to be close to clients who may be located there. That's very different from a Restaurateur who deals with his customers getting parking tickets or harassed by a homeless person.

I just think you are putting up a barrier where none need exist.  You keep saying 'residents' but how many 5 Points and San Marco Merchants Association members are residents of those areas?  All you need is interested parties, be they residents, merchants or just concerned citizens.   RAP might be very powerful in District 14, but I would say they sway extends far beyond just that council member.  That is because they have staff who's job it is to make sure they are listened to and that their side of the story is communicated.   

What is to keep every DT business, every DT resident and every poster on this site from creating an association that exists soley to advocate on behalf of DT?  If you have every dealt with government on any level, you know that the sqeaky wheel gets the grease. That is what RAP is for Riverside-Avondale, SPAR is for Springfield, 5 Points Merchants Association is for 5 Points and San Marco Merchants Association is for San Marco Square.   

       
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jaxnyc79

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Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
« Reply #110 on: January 04, 2018, 06:40:32 PM »
Steve for Core City Manager! :)

jaxrox

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Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
« Reply #111 on: January 05, 2018, 02:12:29 AM »
Sure, why not?

Lostwave

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Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
« Reply #112 on: January 05, 2018, 09:18:43 AM »
Yes, and in Downtown Seattle they can charge $868/SqFt so the investment is returned. (seriously, that's the average according to this site: https://seattle.curbed.com/2017/5/4/15546302/seattle-home-prices-square-foot)

In Jacksonville, I couldn't find a reliable average number, likely due to not enough sample size. Doing a quick search, it looks to be between $175 and $225 per square foot. That makes it REALLY tough to turn a profit for a developer.

Now, Seattle is a bit of an outlier. Take Charlotte. In 2016, their average Price/SqFt in "Uptown" (they have to be different and call their downtown Uptown), is $260. That isn't otherworldly higher than Jacksonville like Seattle is, but significantly higher. In 2012 Charlotte was $220. If we could legit average $225-$240 here it would change the conversation dramatically.

Simple math: At $190/SqFt a 1,200 SqFt place is $228k. If a building had 150 of those units, selling out a building would get the developer a gross number of $34.2M.

Now, if a developer can get even $225/SqFt for that exact same building, the developer would get a gross of $40.5M - almost a 20% increase.

In short, let's get some stick buildings built, fill the ground level with retail/restaurants/etc, and get downtown to the point that people want to live there.

Going on another tangent (like this thread doesn't have enough already), this is where a Convention Center can come into play. You have a thousand room hotel that struggles. With a convention center, Jacksonville all of a sudden is a cheap place to host a convention for a lot of people. Not everyone is going to eat at the hotel restaurant, and business travelers on expense accounts like to drink. Downtown bars and restaurants have historically struggled with traffic Monday-Wednesday nights to the point it doesn't make sense to open. This is where the business travelers can fill the gap. That then raises the demand for food/drink places downtown, which raises downtown's appeal, which allows a developer to charge more for a residential unit, which then makes these high rises more profitable.

Okay, leaving the office now.

Strongly agree to every point you made here.

Tacachale

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Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
« Reply #113 on: January 05, 2018, 01:03:44 PM »
Downtown development groups like the DIA and old DIA are good, but onl as effective as the administration calling the shots. Downtown might benefit from a more empowered neighborhood org like RAP, but it doesn’t have the population yet. There just aren’t enough people living there.

I couldn't agree more, but they don't need to live there. A business association could be just as effective if not more so. A non-profit, probably membership driven from people anywhere, could do great things as well.

if the people lead, the leaders will follow.     

Perhaps the DIA can evolve to that. RAP naturally works because of people's passions in the neighborhoods that they raise their families in. My thought is the structure of the DIA isn't bad. It seems like Aundra Wallace is the most successful person I've seen yet in that role, and the DIA has made more progress than the 1,238,264 versions before it. I do think the DIA board should potentially be expanded. Right now, you have 9 people:

Jim Bailey (Chair) - former owner of the Daily Record
Jack Meeks (VC) - CPA, lives in Springfield I believe
Craig Gibbs - Lawyer, office on the Southbank
Oliver Barakat - Real Estate, does a good amount of business downtown
Dane Grey - In the Parking Business. I don't know his views, but we've botched parking downtown so long that this concerns me
Braxton Gillam - Lawyer, office on Bay St.
Marc Padgett - CEO of Summit Contracting Group (1000 Riverside). Not technically downtown but about as close as you can be without being in the border
Brenna Durden - Lawyer, office in Brooklyn. Not sure if that office is the HQ as the firm has 4 Florida offices.
Ron Moody - Real Estate appraiser, office on the Southbank.

They're missing a few things here:

 - Not one in retail. I know a CPA office is small business, but a CPA doesn't depend on foot traffic. No one walks by a CPA office and says off the cuff, "Let me stop in and do my taxes." I'm not sure who I'd nominate here.
 - No one in the restaurant industry. The needs here are different than retail shops. I'd nominate Allan DeVault here (Partner in Bellwether/Black Sheep/Orsay)
 - Curious if any of these folks live downtown full time (I don't mean have a condo they rent out). If not, that's a HUGE miss.
 - Dare I say it, but they should have one representative from JTA. I can't believe I'm saying this about an organization that was led by Michael Blaylock for about 15 years but they're doing really good things with better leadership.

There's probably other useful people here. I'm not saying throw anyone off because I don't know who's doing a good job or not - though a board of 1/3 attorney's strikes me as odd. Maybe expand the board because there are critical voices from industries that aren't here.


The board doesn't need to be expanded. Too many cooks in the kitchen. It could probably benefit from a more diverse makeup, it just happens that lawyers are overrepresented among downtown businesspeople/workers. A knowledgeable retail/restaurant person would be a good add, as it's underrepresented on the board.
Do you believe that when the blue jay or another bird sings and the body is trembling, that is a signal that people are coming or something important is about to happen?

Steve

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Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
« Reply #114 on: January 05, 2018, 01:55:11 PM »
Downtown development groups like the DIA and old DIA are good, but onl as effective as the administration calling the shots. Downtown might benefit from a more empowered neighborhood org like RAP, but it doesn’t have the population yet. There just aren’t enough people living there.

I couldn't agree more, but they don't need to live there. A business association could be just as effective if not more so. A non-profit, probably membership driven from people anywhere, could do great things as well.

if the people lead, the leaders will follow.     

Perhaps the DIA can evolve to that. RAP naturally works because of people's passions in the neighborhoods that they raise their families in. My thought is the structure of the DIA isn't bad. It seems like Aundra Wallace is the most successful person I've seen yet in that role, and the DIA has made more progress than the 1,238,264 versions before it. I do think the DIA board should potentially be expanded. Right now, you have 9 people:

Jim Bailey (Chair) - former owner of the Daily Record
Jack Meeks (VC) - CPA, lives in Springfield I believe
Craig Gibbs - Lawyer, office on the Southbank
Oliver Barakat - Real Estate, does a good amount of business downtown
Dane Grey - In the Parking Business. I don't know his views, but we've botched parking downtown so long that this concerns me
Braxton Gillam - Lawyer, office on Bay St.
Marc Padgett - CEO of Summit Contracting Group (1000 Riverside). Not technically downtown but about as close as you can be without being in the border
Brenna Durden - Lawyer, office in Brooklyn. Not sure if that office is the HQ as the firm has 4 Florida offices.
Ron Moody - Real Estate appraiser, office on the Southbank.

They're missing a few things here:

 - Not one in retail. I know a CPA office is small business, but a CPA doesn't depend on foot traffic. No one walks by a CPA office and says off the cuff, "Let me stop in and do my taxes." I'm not sure who I'd nominate here.
 - No one in the restaurant industry. The needs here are different than retail shops. I'd nominate Allan DeVault here (Partner in Bellwether/Black Sheep/Orsay)
 - Curious if any of these folks live downtown full time (I don't mean have a condo they rent out). If not, that's a HUGE miss.
 - Dare I say it, but they should have one representative from JTA. I can't believe I'm saying this about an organization that was led by Michael Blaylock for about 15 years but they're doing really good things with better leadership.

There's probably other useful people here. I'm not saying throw anyone off because I don't know who's doing a good job or not - though a board of 1/3 attorney's strikes me as odd. Maybe expand the board because there are critical voices from industries that aren't here.


The board doesn't need to be expanded. Too many cooks in the kitchen. It could probably benefit from a more diverse makeup, it just happens that lawyers are overrepresented among downtown businesspeople/workers. A knowledgeable retail/restaurant person would be a good add, as it's underrepresented on the board.

Fine with me.

RattlerGator

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Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
« Reply #115 on: January 05, 2018, 07:45:06 PM »
Flint ? ? ?

Sweet Jesus, Ennis, that's laughably absurd. Genesee County, Michigan -- Flint's county -- hasn't had any population growth for 50 freaking years. Not the damn city core of Flint, and not just the whole city. No! The whole damn county! But hey, that city is only X square miles and has lost massive population and guess what? The Jax old city core is only X square miles and has lost massive population. Shazam, man, they're similar !!!

Ennis has a hard time seeing and understanding Jacksonville's uniqueness. In that, he's not alone, and that has been a primary problem for the city and our leaders. Much bigger, though, has been an unavoidable problem: all of that [1] available and [2] desirable land outside of the city core -- much of it along a big, beautiful river or out at the Intracoastal and the Beaches.

Hasn't been much discussion in this rambling thread about the Beaches but that's the number one reason our downtown is the way it is.

Mayor Curry and Shad Khan may be about to change all of that. Of course, the density crowd will surely have serious issues with the upcoming Sports and Entertainment District proposal because . . . reasons.

A sports and entertainment district, by the way, that will likely be unmatched in the State of Florida. But . . . density, density, density !!!

thelakelander

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Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
« Reply #116 on: January 05, 2018, 07:50:51 PM »
lol slow down and read RG! I made the post saying Flint hadn't grown in 50 or 60 years. Prior to that, it and Jax were in the same ballpark.  However, you are right about me not understanding Jax's uniqueness.  There's nothing unique about the city's development patterns or the things that will stimulate revitalization faster. It's just like every place else. The faster we realize, the less money we'll burn.

Hasn't been much discussion in this rambling thread about the Beaches but that's the number one reason our downtown is the way it is.

Definitely not buying this poor excuse. Last time I checked, there's thousands of miles of beach along the Atlantic, Pacific and Gulf in this country. There's also tons of coastal cities with vibrant beaches and urban cores.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2018, 07:56:25 PM by thelakelander »
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jaxnyc79

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Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
« Reply #117 on: January 06, 2018, 11:17:11 AM »
lol slow down and read RG! I made the post saying Flint hadn't grown in 50 or 60 years. Prior to that, it and Jax were in the same ballpark.  However, you are right about me not understanding Jax's uniqueness.  There's nothing unique about the city's development patterns or the things that will stimulate revitalization faster. It's just like every place else. The faster we realize, the less money we'll burn.

Hasn't been much discussion in this rambling thread about the Beaches but that's the number one reason our downtown is the way it is.

Definitely not buying this poor excuse. Last time I checked, there's thousands of miles of beach along the Atlantic, Pacific and Gulf in this country. There's also tons of coastal cities with vibrant beaches and urban cores.

Hmm, what are the cities with both vibrant cores and beach communities, separated by 20 miles?  RG may have a point in that only after the Beaches are totally built out and cost-prohibitive, will the demographic that might be interested in dense, walkable, mixed use living will start to consider the urban core.  Right now, the perception of many outsiders (at least near-millennials) is that the Beaches are the best thing Jax has going for it, to be honest.

thelakelander

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Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
« Reply #118 on: January 06, 2018, 11:25:02 AM »
^Nothing wrong with perception from a tourist but that has nothing to do with market. Downtown and the beaches are mutually exclusive of one another.  As for a few places with vibrant beaches and downtowns (at least better than Jax's) that list includes Miami, Fort Lauderdale, St. Petersburg, Norfolk/Virginia Beach (Hampton Roads) and San Diego, LA.  This stuff really isn't rocket science. The only reason DT Jax is what it is today is because of ourselves.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2018, 11:27:59 AM by thelakelander »
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jaxnyc79

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Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
« Reply #119 on: January 06, 2018, 12:04:02 PM »
^Nothing wrong with perception from a tourist but that has nothing to do with market. Downtown and the beaches are mutually exclusive of one another.  As for a few places with vibrant beaches and downtowns (at least better than Jax's) that list includes Miami, Fort Lauderdale, St. Petersburg, Norfolk/Virginia Beach (Hampton Roads) and San Diego, LA.  This stuff really isn't rocket science. The only reason DT Jax is what it is today is because of ourselves.

While few things are rocket science, I do think downtown revitalization in many cities, and especially in Jax, is a complex issue that brings together a diversity of philosophical drivers and issues: the role of government, property rights, race relations, land use, demographic trends.

I also think general perception has a lot to do with market outcomes.  In jax, I think it’s totally reasonable to explore the idea that the beaches and downtown are competing for a certain residential demographic that could bring both wealth and vibrancy to either neighborhood, and the beaches is winning out.  It’s no reason for Jax to throw its hands up in surrender, but Jax must have a full accounting of the obstacles.  \

Everyone says Jax should have kept doing what it did in the late ‘90s, and I’m no Jax historian, but the carcass of Berkman II still sits idle, the Adams Mark which is now the Hyatt is fairly unimpressive, the Carling and 11E were historic building renovations.  If downtown weren’t contending with the beach and with horrible land use planning that has allowed St. John’s Town Center to become the retail hub of the region, would the projects of the late 90s have catalyzed the kind of downtown we all want?