Author Topic: Convention Center Wars  (Read 19709 times)

jaxnyc79

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Re: Convention Center Wars
« Reply #30 on: August 13, 2018, 06:52:51 PM »
During the Better Jacksonville plan, the city seriously considered building an aquarium. They determined that the things are very expensive to do well, and they have to be updated constantly. In the end, they decided to focus on the things the city could knock out of the park, so a lot of the resources that could've gone to an aquarium went to the Jacksonville Zoo. The result is that we've now got a first class zoo that gets better every year, instead of what could have been a fairly middling aquarium. It was a case of building on our own assets and finding our strengths rather than just throwing stuff out there to see if it works.

Has the site ever done a post-mortem on the Better Jax Plan?  In the final analysis, the Better Jax Plan was, at best, of little to no impact on downtown's fortunes, and at worst, a downtown detractor.  Interesting to think how the Plan could have been designed and implemented differently to achieve a better result for Downtown.  Would the city have gotten away with making the public works projects mixed use?  For example, a main library with residential?

I don’t know if the site published anything, but the BJP was great for Downtown. It would’ve been better yet if the city had stuck with the projects and built off of it.

What downtown projects were abandoned after passage?  I was under the impression that BJP only offered a new main library, arena, baseball stadium, and courthouse for downtown. 

Kiva

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Re: Convention Center Wars
« Reply #31 on: August 13, 2018, 06:58:11 PM »
Well, at least the courthouse came in under budget!  ;D

Tacachale

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Re: Convention Center Wars
« Reply #32 on: August 13, 2018, 07:07:12 PM »
During the Better Jacksonville plan, the city seriously considered building an aquarium. They determined that the things are very expensive to do well, and they have to be updated constantly. In the end, they decided to focus on the things the city could knock out of the park, so a lot of the resources that could've gone to an aquarium went to the Jacksonville Zoo. The result is that we've now got a first class zoo that gets better every year, instead of what could have been a fairly middling aquarium. It was a case of building on our own assets and finding our strengths rather than just throwing stuff out there to see if it works.

Has the site ever done a post-mortem on the Better Jax Plan?  In the final analysis, the Better Jax Plan was, at best, of little to no impact on downtown's fortunes, and at worst, a downtown detractor.  Interesting to think how the Plan could have been designed and implemented differently to achieve a better result for Downtown.  Would the city have gotten away with making the public works projects mixed use?  For example, a main library with residential?

I don’t know if the site published anything, but the BJP was great for Downtown. It would’ve been better yet if the city had stuck with the projects and built off of it.

What downtown projects were abandoned after passage?  I was under the impression that BJP only offered a new main library, arena, baseball stadium, and courthouse for downtown.

That was over $400 million in investment, not counting the courthouse overruns. There was also money dedicated to rapid transit and ROW acquisition that was re-appropriated toward other projects. Other than the BRT lines we're still waiting on serious transit investment.
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?

jaxnyc79

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Re: Convention Center Wars
« Reply #33 on: August 13, 2018, 07:23:52 PM »
During the Better Jacksonville plan, the city seriously considered building an aquarium. They determined that the things are very expensive to do well, and they have to be updated constantly. In the end, they decided to focus on the things the city could knock out of the park, so a lot of the resources that could've gone to an aquarium went to the Jacksonville Zoo. The result is that we've now got a first class zoo that gets better every year, instead of what could have been a fairly middling aquarium. It was a case of building on our own assets and finding our strengths rather than just throwing stuff out there to see if it works.

Has the site ever done a post-mortem on the Better Jax Plan?  In the final analysis, the Better Jax Plan was, at best, of little to no impact on downtown's fortunes, and at worst, a downtown detractor.  Interesting to think how the Plan could have been designed and implemented differently to achieve a better result for Downtown.  Would the city have gotten away with making the public works projects mixed use?  For example, a main library with residential?

I don’t know if the site published anything, but the BJP was great for Downtown. It would’ve been better yet if the city had stuck with the projects and built off of it.

What downtown projects were abandoned after passage?  I was under the impression that BJP only offered a new main library, arena, baseball stadium, and courthouse for downtown.

That was over $400 million in investment, not counting the courthouse overruns. There was also money dedicated to rapid transit and ROW acquisition that was re-appropriated toward other projects. Other than the BRT lines we're still waiting on serious transit investment.

Do you think that was the best use of $400 million in investment downtown?  Those projects, and as designed?  Perhaps that list of investments was the only thing that could've passed, but just asking the question.

sanmarcomatt

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Re: Convention Center Wars
« Reply #34 on: August 13, 2018, 07:45:30 PM »

 I was under the impression that BJP only offered a new main library, arena, baseball stadium, and courthouse for downtown. 

Don't forget the amazing parking garage deals. I am pretty sure they were part of the better taxonville plan,too. My favorite part of the plan(the courthouse gets its own special place of course) was when it was being sold, it was floated that the tax would end earlier then expected. So close.

Give city government a massive slush fund to play with. What could go wrong?

Non-RedNeck Westsider

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Re: Convention Center Wars
« Reply #35 on: August 13, 2018, 08:22:30 PM »
Give city government a massive slush fund to play with. What could go wrong?

Man... think of all the possibilities if every RFP wasn't written to prioritize Haskell designs and Gate concrete....  {hint of sarcasm}
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sanmarcomatt

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Re: Convention Center Wars
« Reply #36 on: August 13, 2018, 08:32:14 PM »
Give city government a massive slush fund to play with. What could go wrong?

Man... think of all the possibilities if every RFP wasn't written to prioritize Haskell designs and Gate concrete....  {hint of sarcasm}

Didn't Auchter make out pretty good too? I always thought the BJP paid for their fancy new HQ on Kernan. Guess it wasn't enough :)

KenFSU

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Re: Convention Center Wars
« Reply #37 on: August 13, 2018, 09:52:02 PM »

 I was under the impression that BJP only offered a new main library, arena, baseball stadium, and courthouse for downtown. 

Don't forget the amazing parking garage deals. I am pretty sure they were part of the better taxonville plan,too. My favorite part of the plan(the courthouse gets its own special place of course) was when it was being sold, it was floated that the tax would end earlier then expected. So close.

Give city government a massive slush fund to play with. What could go wrong?

The tax will end sooner than expected. Around three years early, per latest projections.

There's no universe where the BJP didn't radically change the city, including downtown, for the better.

Tacachale

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Re: Convention Center Wars
« Reply #38 on: August 13, 2018, 10:13:35 PM »
During the Better Jacksonville plan, the city seriously considered building an aquarium. They determined that the things are very expensive to do well, and they have to be updated constantly. In the end, they decided to focus on the things the city could knock out of the park, so a lot of the resources that could've gone to an aquarium went to the Jacksonville Zoo. The result is that we've now got a first class zoo that gets better every year, instead of what could have been a fairly middling aquarium. It was a case of building on our own assets and finding our strengths rather than just throwing stuff out there to see if it works.

Has the site ever done a post-mortem on the Better Jax Plan?  In the final analysis, the Better Jax Plan was, at best, of little to no impact on downtown's fortunes, and at worst, a downtown detractor.  Interesting to think how the Plan could have been designed and implemented differently to achieve a better result for Downtown.  Would the city have gotten away with making the public works projects mixed use?  For example, a main library with residential?

I don’t know if the site published anything, but the BJP was great for Downtown. It would’ve been better yet if the city had stuck with the projects and built off of it.

What downtown projects were abandoned after passage?  I was under the impression that BJP only offered a new main library, arena, baseball stadium, and courthouse for downtown.

That was over $400 million in investment, not counting the courthouse overruns. There was also money dedicated to rapid transit and ROW acquisition that was re-appropriated toward other projects. Other than the BRT lines we're still waiting on serious transit investment.

Do you think that was the best use of $400 million in investment downtown?  Those projects, and as designed?  Perhaps that list of investments was the only thing that could've passed, but just asking the question.

What I'd say is that Downtown is better for these projects. Any project could be better, but they replaced obsolete facilities with modern ones, and the positive impact on Downtown has been huge. What we missed out on has been followthrough. Rather than building on our own progress, we've restarted so many times that now it feels like we're starting from scratch again. That impacts discussions like the Convention Center. We tend to look at things in isolation, instead of building a vision of what we want Downtown to be, and planning major investments to serve it. It sounds like that's the way the convention talk is going.
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?

sanmarcomatt

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Re: Convention Center Wars
« Reply #39 on: August 14, 2018, 08:10:41 AM »

 I was under the impression that BJP only offered a new main library, arena, baseball stadium, and courthouse for downtown. 

Don't forget the amazing parking garage deals. I am pretty sure they were part of the better taxonville plan,too. My favorite part of the plan(the courthouse gets its own special place of course) was when it was being sold, it was floated that the tax would end earlier then expected. So close.

Give city government a massive slush fund to play with. What could go wrong?

The tax will end sooner than expected. Around three years early, per latest projections.


Great news! (I will not concern myself with the accuracy of previous "projections".) I have a question, though.

So how will this work after 2027? Does the pension funding start 3 years earlier and does the BJP tax projections get factored into the pension projections(which have been spot on as well)?

vicupstate

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Re: Convention Center Wars
« Reply #40 on: August 14, 2018, 08:20:59 AM »
During the Better Jacksonville plan, the city seriously considered building an aquarium. They determined that the things are very expensive to do well, and they have to be updated constantly. In the end, they decided to focus on the things the city could knock out of the park, so a lot of the resources that could've gone to an aquarium went to the Jacksonville Zoo. The result is that we've now got a first class zoo that gets better every year, instead of what could have been a fairly middling aquarium. It was a case of building on our own assets and finding our strengths rather than just throwing stuff out there to see if it works.

Has the site ever done a post-mortem on the Better Jax Plan?  In the final analysis, the Better Jax Plan was, at best, of little to no impact on downtown's fortunes, and at worst, a downtown detractor.  Interesting to think how the Plan could have been designed and implemented differently to achieve a better result for Downtown.  Would the city have gotten away with making the public works projects mixed use?  For example, a main library with residential?

I don’t know if the site published anything, but the BJP was great for Downtown. It would’ve been better yet if the city had stuck with the projects and built off of it.

What downtown projects were abandoned after passage?  I was under the impression that BJP only offered a new main library, arena, baseball stadium, and courthouse for downtown.

That was over $400 million in investment, not counting the courthouse overruns. There was also money dedicated to rapid transit and ROW acquisition that was re-appropriated toward other projects. Other than the BRT lines we're still waiting on serious transit investment.

Do you think that was the best use of $400 million in investment downtown?  Those projects, and as designed?  Perhaps that list of investments was the only thing that could've passed, but just asking the question.

What I'd say is that Downtown is better for these projects. Any project could be better, but they replaced obsolete facilities with modern ones, and the positive impact on Downtown has been huge. What we missed out on has been followthrough. Rather than building on our own progress, we've restarted so many times that now it feels like we're starting from scratch again. That impacts discussions like the Convention Center. We tend to look at things in isolation, instead of building a vision of what we want Downtown to be, and planning major investments to serve it. It sounds like that's the way the convention talk is going.

I agree 100%. Everything in the BJP was much needed. The facilities that got replaced were downright embarrassing. It is too bad the timing was such that a recession occurred right after everything got built. If the building had occurred during the recession, everything would have been cheaper and it would have softened the blow.

The Transit shift should not have occurred and was breaking faith with the vote IMO.

What other projects in the plan did any not get done besides the transit? I seem to remember that (transit) was around $100 mm. 

I also agree that every poroject seems to be in isolation with no overall plan. That is very much needed. There needs to be a plan that states where a CC should go, what will be done with the old CC at that time, what will happen to the jail when it is finally replaced, where JEA should locate, etc.   
« Last Edit: August 14, 2018, 12:43:36 PM by vicupstate »
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fieldafm

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Re: Convention Center Wars
« Reply #41 on: August 14, 2018, 08:40:03 AM »
Would the city have gotten away with making the public works projects mixed use?  For example, a main library with residential?

The City leased one of the retail spaces in the Library to a successful coffee shop operator.... and would not give them any outdoor signage, outdoor seating and ability to be open during non-Library hours (seriously, a coffee shop that doesn't open until 9 in the morning??). The operator eventually closed, and the two retail spaces have been empty since (I don't consider giving free rent to Hemming Park and a free makerspace to be 'occupied'). Right across the street, the city-owned Snyder Memorial building has been empty for decades (still no RFP issued to reuse that space). A few blocks to the east, office space within the City-owned Florida Theater building sits empty. A few blocks to the south, the City is suing the owner of the Jacksonville Landing- where the City leases the land to a private operator who owns the buildings (all while the City purposely does not maintain the property- despite the requirements within their lease).  A few blocks to the West, empty lots owned by the City adjacent to the Courthouse have yet to be offered up for redevelopment opportunities. One block West of that, a City-owned building sits empty and falling in on itself, while the City refused to sell because the 'price was too low' yet after 15 years the City has not put one dime into maintaining the building. Two blocks to the east of that, the City-owned 'Lee and Cates' building (empty for 15+ years) is slowly being sold to a bonafide developer who has tried to buy the building for at least 8 years (while the building is falling down). A few blocks further West, the (COJ-owned) renovated Brewster Hospital building sits unoccupied while the City wrangles with a non-profit seeking to lease space in the building. A few blocks to the north of that, the COJ-owned 'Sax Seafood' building sits empty 15 years after the City built it.

Point is... the City is an AWFUL landlord. Quite frankly, COJ is not equipped to be in that business. So, no COJ should not be in the business of using taxpayer money to build, own and lease residential buildings.
« Last Edit: August 14, 2018, 08:42:12 AM by fieldafm »

KenFSU

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Re: Convention Center Wars
« Reply #42 on: August 14, 2018, 09:48:53 AM »
So how will this work after 2027? Does the pension funding start 3 years earlier and does the BJP tax projections get factored into the pension projections(which have been spot on as well)?

Correct.

As soon as BJP is paid off, the pension tax kicks in.

2048 is when Curry's people forecasted the pension debt to be paid off, later revised to 2052.

The private actuary we hired to crunch the numbers was like, "Nah bro, 2060, if you're lucky."

sanmarcomatt

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Re: Convention Center Wars
« Reply #43 on: August 14, 2018, 10:28:14 AM »
So how will this work after 2027? Does the pension funding start 3 years earlier and does the BJP tax projections get factored into the pension projections(which have been spot on as well)?

Correct.

As soon as BJP is paid off, the pension tax kicks in.

2048 is when Curry's people forecasted the pension debt to be paid off, later revised to 2052.

The private actuary we hired to crunch the numbers was like, "Nah bro, 2060, if you're lucky."

I was actually being 'slightly' sarcastic but thanks for the info!

I like those Curry numbers as they match up nicely with the original BJP (13-19 years original forecast? 2017?)Shockingly, the "projections' were adjusted. Last I knew(well...since I stopped paying attention) 2024 was the latest before your 2027. I will make a bold prediction, and say that number gets pushed back. Bold prediction for a bold city!






sanmarcomatt

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Re: Convention Center Wars
« Reply #44 on: August 14, 2018, 11:07:19 AM »

The private actuary we hired to crunch the numbers was like, "Nah bro, 2060, if you're lucky."

Sorry, missed this the first time. Private actuary? Why was one hired? Worried the team Curry put together was as legitimate as Delaney did for the "30 year agreement" ?
And, considering the less than optimistic opinion provided, was anything specific mentioned? Investment returns are a no brainer but am wondering about the future sales tax piece and if anything looks 'suspiciously optimistic' with other actuarial assumptions?

I am rather curious, as for back ground, when I first started looking at the pension in depth years ago using the pension provided annual reports  and city payrolls, there was no way the amount of reported underfunding looked correct based upon actual cash flows even using the BS assumed interest rate and playing with payroll growth rates. Subsequently, there were adjustments made to other actuarial assumptions that shockingly resulted in more tax payer money needed.