Author Topic: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million  (Read 25228 times)

Tacachale

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7855
Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
« Reply #120 on: January 06, 2018, 12:36:41 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?

There would be a lot more residents downtown if we’d kept incentivizing residential development after the early 00s. That alone would resolve many of the problems there. The master plan from that time also had a lot of ideas that would have helped connect downtown to the surrounding areas and built up dead blocks. So yes, we should have continued doing the things we had started in the 90s. The reasons we didn’t largely have to do with leadership and lack of priority by the public and business center, more so than anything else. If we had, we’d also be making proportionately fewer “rookie errors” like forgetting about clustering and street-front interaction.
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?

TimmyB

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 600
  • T
Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
« Reply #121 on: January 06, 2018, 01:57:56 PM »

There would be a lot more residents downtown if we’d kept incentivizing residential development after the early 00s. That alone would resolve many of the problems there. The master plan from that time also had a lot of ideas that would have helped connect downtown to the surrounding areas and built up dead blocks. So yes, we should have continued doing the things we had started in the 90s. The reasons we didn’t largely have to do with leadership and lack of priority by the public and business center, more so than anything else. If we had, we’d also be making proportionately fewer “rookie errors” like forgetting about clustering and street-front interaction.

You just made a light bulb turn on inside my head.  I may be wrong in this analogy, so please feel free to correct me, if so. 

Growing up in Michigan, I witnessed first-hand the six decades of futility of the Detroit Lions.  Six decades, all of which they were owned by the same people, the Ford family.  Every few years, they come in and fire the head coach.  Of course, the new coach comes in with all of his own people and starts "fresh" and the fans (sheep) get all excited, thinking "Now, things are going to happen!"  Then, the dreams fade after a couple of years because when you start from scratch, you must REALLY start from scratch.  That never really happens, does it?

I'm hearing the same things about DT Jax.  New mayor, new priorities, new projects announced, great fanfare, no follow-through...  Good God, are we the Lions???

thelakelander

  • The Jaxson
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 31601
    • Modern Cities
Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
« Reply #122 on: January 06, 2018, 03:47:58 PM »
^Pretty much. We're the Detroit Lions of urban revitalization!
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

thelakelander

  • The Jaxson
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 31601
    • Modern Cities
Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
« Reply #123 on: January 06, 2018, 04:29:46 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.  \

In general, I think a better look at DT Jax's history would lead to a realization that it isn't the beaches that are competing with downtown or any place else locally for vibrancy. For example, what is this "residential demographic" that downtown is losing out to the beaches or competing for?

http://jacksonville.com/news/metro/2017-09-05/downtown-jacksonville-s-8600-residents-cusp-luring-thousands-more-neighbors

Downtown has a residential occupancy rate of 95%. The office vacancy rate is less than compared to the suburbs. The hotel occupancy rate is at 65.9%. What exactly is downtown struggling against the beaches to attract from a market perspective? It certainly isn't residential, since what ever is built immediately fills up to capacity upon completion.

Quote
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.

History plays a critical role. Berkman II collapsed during construction, killing a construction worker and was tied up in court for years. It's situation has nothing to do with downtown's residential demand. Adams Mark (Hyatt) is a hotel and regardless of how it looks, its design doesn't have anything to do with downtown market demand either. Then the Carling and 11E are historic building renovations that resulted in additional housing units in downtown. They're also leased to capacity. That's a good thing and they bring a sense of character and place that a new stick built project will never have. If anything, more of DT's old vacant office buildings should be converted into housing like 11E, Carling, 20 West Adams, Metropolitan Lofts, Churchwell Lofts, the Barnett, etc. I'd argue that filling up old urban buildings like the Ambassador, Furchgott's, Old JEA, etc. would be more beneficial to DT retail and vibrancy than subsidizing something new on the fringe like the District. These things that have nothing to do with downtown demand only become a part of a problem that doesn't exist when they're casually group together in a fashion that they should not.

Quote
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?

Outside of a few major US cities (like less than 10 total), downtown's were removed as metropolitan retail hubs as far back as the 1970s and early 80s.  Another misconception is that SJTC takes away or competes against DT. It doesn't. DT retail didn't move to SJTC and what's at SJTC wouldn't have come downtown if SJCT wasn't built. They're completely different animals.  I find that over-complicating downtown's current state is typically related to believing that DT competes against suburbs for retail or that the demographic it needs to attract to be healthy is suburbanites. There's very little discussion about the importance of clustering mixes of uses and encouraging things in a relatively compact land area. These things are easy to pull off and address once we get past attempting to resolve perceived problems that aren't actually problems at all.

Anyway, here's a link to a collection of downtown reports worth checking out. It won't answer the issues you're attempting to solve but it will give a better idea of what's been taking place in downtown in recent years and what's on the way:

http://www.downtownjacksonville.org/media/publications.aspx

« Last Edit: January 06, 2018, 04:35:08 PM by thelakelander »
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

jaxnyc79

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 615
Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
« Reply #124 on: January 06, 2018, 04:51:03 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?

There would be a lot more residents downtown if we’d kept incentivizing residential development after the early 00s. That alone would resolve many of the problems there. The master plan from that time also had a lot of ideas that would have helped connect downtown to the surrounding areas and built up dead blocks. So yes, we should have continued doing the things we had started in the 90s. The reasons we didn’t largely have to do with leadership and lack of priority by the public and business center, more so than anything else. If we had, we’d also be making proportionately fewer “rookie errors” like forgetting about clustering and street-front interaction.

The demographic...segments with meaningful purchasing powerful more amenable to dense, mixed-use, walkable living than Jax natives: northern retiree transplants and young, college-educated, childless professionals.  I’ll get back to you on relative health of downtown residential and office submarkets versus downtown.  There’s tons more product coming online in other submarkets outside of downtown, and without incentives.  Yes, there was a construction accident and fatality with Berkman II, but I’d contend that a healthy submarket would’ve absorbed the tragedy and the skeleton of a building wouldn’t sit idle for half a generation.  But now for playoff games.  More later

thelakelander

  • The Jaxson
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 31601
    • Modern Cities
Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
« Reply #125 on: January 06, 2018, 04:54:27 PM »
Now here's a real problem. Although downtown residential is 95% occupied, the average leasing rate is $1.59/square foot and $150/square foot for residential sales (page 24 of link below):

https://indd.adobe.com/view/ba5d6f25-688f-4e46-85c4-763198677a10

Although you'd quickly lease or sell the units in your project (the demand is there), you'd take a loss on your investment if your asking prices are around Jax's average. Steve explained this a few posts back, but typically it will cost you more to renovate or build new. For DT residential, resolving this market gap is the problem. Not the beaches, SJTC, Tapestry Park or whatever else appears to be the successful picture of the day. We don't need to deconsolidate the city or create new agencies to overcome this issue. All these things are overcomplicating solutions that still don't address the core problem......the funding gap.

Consider a few none-sexy solutions like using incentives (tax breaks, discounts on city owned properties, etc.) on certain types of projects  (Northbank adaptive reuse, new construction on Northbank city owned lots, etc.) that eliminate the funding gap, while also strategically building the compact style of redevelopment (basically target the core Northbank) that visually changes perception (get three or 4 continuous blocks working and public perception changes), resulting in a willingness to increase the prices what the local market is willing to pay. This can be done relatively quickly. On the other hand, not prioritizing density and spreading things out like kicking an ant hill over a 90 square block area, will only result in spending a lot of money and the place still looking sparsely occupied.

"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

jaxnyc79

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 615
Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
« Reply #126 on: January 06, 2018, 05:06:55 PM »
Now here's a real problem. Although downtown residential is 95% occupied, the average leasing rate is $1.59/square foot and $150/square foot for residential sales (page 24 of link below):

https://indd.adobe.com/view/ba5d6f25-688f-4e46-85c4-763198677a10

Although you'd quickly lease or sell the units in your project (the demand is there), you'd take a loss on your investment if your asking prices are around Jax's average. Steve explained this a few posts back, but typically it will cost you more to renovate or build new. For DT residential, resolving this market gap is the problem. Not the beaches, SJTC, Tapestry Park or whatever else appears to be the successful picture of the day. We don't need to deconsolidate the city or create new agencies to overcome this issue. All these things are overcomplicating solutions that still don't address the core problem......the funding gap.

Consider a few none-sexy solutions like using incentives (tax breaks, discounts on city owned properties, etc.) on certain types of projects  (Northbank adaptive reuse, new construction on Northbank city owned lots, etc.) that eliminate the funding gap, while also strategically building the compact style of redevelopment (basically target the core Northbank) that visually changes perception (get three or 4 continuous blocks working and public perception changes), resulting in a willingness to increase the prices what the local market is willing to pay. This can be done relatively quickly. On the other hand, not prioritizing density and spreading things out like kicking an ant hill over a 90 square block area, will only result in spending a lot of money and the place still looking sparsely occupied.

I’m not arguing against a compact clustering of mixed uses to create critical mass...I’m saying that incentives to house upper middle class tenants is politically problematic, while incentives for low income housing creates a long-term branding problem.  Downtown (Northbank specifically) needs a draw to make it something special versus other living alternatives around the county , and it just doesn’t have it in my opinion.  More than the government handing out incentives to private developers, downtown needs re-branding.  Why is it sexy and special to live downtown?  Does downtown Jax living have pedigree?  When there are clear answers to those questions, I think it’ll be easier to naturally get all the other stuff.  But I agree that there should be planning and clustering!  If UNF could strategically integrate with downtown and a major corporate created a massive urban corporate campus with housing and retail included, and FCCJ downtown hadn’t been designed behind gates and grassy fields, we’d  be getting somewhere.

Just left Chelsea market here in manhattan...too bad the landing couldn’t be more like a Chelsea market or biscuit mill in capetown.  Any chance something like a riverside arts market could be somewhere downtown along city streets instead of under a bridge overpass?
« Last Edit: January 06, 2018, 05:18:00 PM by jaxnyc79 »

thelakelander

  • The Jaxson
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 31601
    • Modern Cities
Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
« Reply #127 on: January 06, 2018, 05:23:00 PM »
The demographic...segments with meaningful purchasing powerful more amenable to dense, mixed-use, walkable living than Jax natives: northern retiree transplants and young, college-educated, childless professionals.

A healthy downtown will need more than that demographic (ex. professionals with kids, people working in the service sector, etc. should be desired too) but I think you'll discover that demographic that has been filling new development in Brooklyn, the Southbank, Springfield, Riverside and San Marco.

Quote
I’ll get back to you on relative health of downtown residential and office submarkets versus downtown.  There’s tons more product coming online in other submarkets outside of downtown, and without incentives.

It's basically the same everywhere. For example, I spend most of my weeks in Orlando now and there's a ton of a lot more happening in submarkets than downtown. Plus even in places like Orlando, they still give incentives. They just happened to be a bit more targeted (ex. Publix didn't come to downtown Orlando on its own), which is what we should be doing as well. With that said, there are some areas with projects proving that there's a market without incentives. Broadstone is a great example of this.

Quote
Yes, there was a construction accident and fatality with Berkman II, but I’d contend that a healthy submarket would’ve absorbed the tragedy and the skeleton of a building wouldn’t sit idle for half a generation.  But now for playoff games.  More later

Don't target just Berkman. There are skeletons in cities all across the country for various reasons. Here are two examples where building skeletons have sat idle for years:

This one is about 10 minutes from my Orlando apartment. It's been "under construction" for 16 years:


http://www.orlandosentinel.com/classified/realestate/os-bz-altamonte-tower-20170209-story.html


This smaller Southside Jax luxury condo project sat for years like Berkman 2. Another developer eventually took it over, finishing a part and demolishing what they believe the market could not support:


https://www.jaxdailyrecord.com/article/forge-capital-partners-finish-palazzo-st-johns-condos




"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

thelakelander

  • The Jaxson
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 31601
    • Modern Cities
Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
« Reply #128 on: January 06, 2018, 05:50:41 PM »
I’m not arguing against a compact clustering of mixed uses to create critical mass...I’m saying that incentives to house upper middle class tenants is politically problematic, while incentives for low income housing creates a long-term branding problem.

I'm a big believer in social equity so IMO, any redevelopment plan only targeting a "desired" demographic is already off on the wrong foot and will most likely be a failure at the end of the day anyway.  However, that's another topic altogether. As far as incentives go, you have to start somewhere until you can build your market. In Philly, it was a citywide 10-year tax abatement program that turned Center City around in the early 2000s. That's a great example of an aggressive program that positively impacts all demographics of the community. On the other hand, we heavily incentivized development in the Southside (and still do) and it wasn't as politically problematic as it should have been.

Quote
Downtown (Northbank specifically) needs a draw to make it something special versus other living alternatives around the county , and it just doesn’t have it in my opinion.  More than the government handing out incentives to private developers, downtown needs re-branding.  Why is it sexy and special to live downtown?  Does downtown Jax living have pedigree?  When there are clear answers to those questions, I think it’ll be easier to naturally get all the other stuff.

These answers should be clear. The draw is the river and the same basics that attract people to city cores across the globe....walkability, history, sense of place, parks, convenience, etc. These basics can't be replicated anywhere else in the region. They don't have to be "sexy" because they are basic quality-of-life things that already appeal to a certain segment of the market. So the question is how to improve/enhance these amenities and public access to them, while also resolving the financing gaps that limit the pent up population already wanting to be DT, from coming in faster. As for those who desire "cool" or whatever (I assume certain types of retail, bars, entertainment, etc.), get your basics right and what naturally comes from that will resolve that issue. Nevertheless, DT needs to become an urban neighborhood again first.

Quote
But I agree that there should be planning and clustering!  If UNF could strategically integrate with downtown and a major corporate created a massive urban corporate campus with housing and retail included, and FCCJ downtown hadn’t been designed behind gates and grassy fields, we’d be getting somewhere.

That ship has sailed with UNF and I wouldn't get my hopes up with some urban corporate campus coming in. However, FSCJ wants to become DT's SCAD. That's a low hanging fruit that should be taken advantage of, in regards to better integrating an existing campus into its surroundings and utilizing their desire for on-campus housing as a solution to getting long vacant buildings filled with residences.

Quote
Just left Chelsea market here in manhattan...too bad the landing couldn’t be more like a Chelsea market or biscuit mill in capetown.  Any chance something like a riverside arts market could be somewhere downtown along city streets instead of under a bridge overpass?

Unfortunately, the Landing is tied up in court and politics. However, IMO it's only a matter of time before something like a food hall/market or two or three ends up in the urban core. That's where national retail trends are headed and even places like Jax will eventually end up getting their piece of the pie. In the meantime, enjoy the Jacksonville Farmers Market. It's as authentic as Jax gets, open 7 days a week and has been in its location since 1938. A real local treat.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2018, 05:53:39 PM by thelakelander »
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

jaxnyc79

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 615
Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
« Reply #129 on: January 06, 2018, 06:11:20 PM »
The social equity question is for a different thread.  Your point laying out downtown’s appeal is where we differ.  You seem to think the draw is adequate, and I don’t, so we can just agree to disagree.  But the general perception is out there that the best thing to do in DT Jax is drive through it, and that needs to be addressed before residential incentives.  Maybe you guys on this thread disagree and think DT is some hidden gem that only needs City incentives to flourish, but I disagree.  Downtown’s lackluster state and the lack of high-profile, non-governmental community organization and activism corroborate my position.

TimmyB

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 600
  • T
Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
« Reply #130 on: January 06, 2018, 06:13:28 PM »
This smaller Southside Jax luxury condo project sat for years like Berkman 2. Another developer eventually took it over, finishing a part and demolishing what they believe the market could not support:


https://www.jaxdailyrecord.com/article/forge-capital-partners-finish-palazzo-st-johns-condos

I had no idea about this project.  I keep getting Facebook ads for it, suggesting I take a look at it.  I guess they must have successfully finished them. (?)

thelakelander

  • The Jaxson
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 31601
    • Modern Cities
Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
« Reply #131 on: January 06, 2018, 06:27:25 PM »
^Yes, I believe they ended up finishing two condo buildings and tearing down the last one.
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

thelakelander

  • The Jaxson
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 31601
    • Modern Cities
Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
« Reply #132 on: January 06, 2018, 06:35:44 PM »
The social equity question is for a different thread.  Your point laying out downtown’s appeal is where we differ.  You seem to think the draw is adequate, and I don’t, so we can just agree to disagree.

No problem. It can't be everything to everyone.

Quote
But the general perception is out there that the best thing to do in DT Jax is drive through it, and that needs to be addressed before residential incentives.

We'll agree to disagree. That depends on what one considers "general". I try to base my thoughts on what's been tested, tried and proven true in hundreds of communities across the country over the last few decades. So I'm not opposed to strategic use of incentives to level the playing field or make things possible that would not have been without the use of them.

Quote
Maybe you guys on this thread disagree and think DT is some hidden gem that only needs City incentives to flourish, but I disagree.

Personally, I don't think it's a hidden gem. In fact, I believe it would be a lot better off it was hidden. It's been hurt by continued failed investment in big-ticket gimmick, one-trick-pony type of projects that have all ended up ultimately failing big time since the 1970s.

Quote
Downtown’s lackluster state and the lack of high-profile, non-governmental community organization and activism corroborate my position.

It only corraborates the opinion that something different needs to be done. However, that's what everybody already knows. People just have different opinions on how to address the problem (which also happens to be different for different people).
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

vicupstate

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3462
Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
« Reply #133 on: January 08, 2018, 09:04:53 AM »
Isn't a big part of the problem with high construction costs in DT JAX simply that 1) few properties are on the market and 2) what properties there are   are overpriced for where DT is and the properties condition 3) a large inventory of properties are city owned and unavailable. 

Obviously if that is the case, the city could simply put some of its properties on the market at a competitive price.
"The problem with quotes on the internet is you can never be certain they're authentic." - Abraham Lincoln

aubureck

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 138
Re: Greyhound bus station sold for $2.78 million
« Reply #134 on: January 08, 2018, 09:42:50 AM »
^Yes, I believe they ended up finishing two condo buildings and tearing down the last one.

Actually, they finished two of them and the two remaining shells still sit there with no sign of any work or demo.  I pass it everyday.
The Urban Planner