Author Topic: Brightline Finds Funds For Massive Florida Expansion  (Read 2040 times)

thelakelander

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Brightline Finds Funds For Massive Florida Expansion
« on: April 17, 2019, 08:42:19 AM »
Quote


Formerly known as Brightline, Virgin Trains USA's potential footprint and reach throughout Florida continues to grow. Here's a look at where things are currently heading with the state's privately owned and operated intercity passenger rail system in 2019.

Read More: https://www.thejaxsonmag.com/article/brightline-finds-funds-for-massive-florida-expansion/
« Last Edit: April 17, 2019, 12:20:46 PM by thelakelander »
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ProjectMaximus

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Re: Brightline Finds Funds For Massive Florida Expansion
« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2019, 12:08:38 PM »
I believe you meant to say Billion instead of Million in the first line of the Orlando section?

Thanks for the timely writeup and overview, Ennis!

thelakelander

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Re: Brightline Finds Funds For Massive Florida Expansion
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2019, 12:22:26 PM »
^Yes! Thanks for the catch.
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itsfantastic1

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Re: Brightline Finds Funds For Massive Florida Expansion
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2019, 02:12:13 PM »
Got all excited thinking something was coming to Jacksonville since they secured the Orlando funding, saw the Jacksonville header...then BAM! No plans. What a rollercoaster of emotions...

thelakelander

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Re: Brightline Finds Funds For Massive Florida Expansion
« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2019, 03:34:51 PM »
No plans for 2019! Lakeland and Jax are great comparisons in this story. Both were told the same thing....basically that Virgin saw potential in their cities (and would sit down at some point) but the focus right now is Orlando and Tampa. Lakeland's leaders want to instruct staff to immediately begin working on selling the city to be included earlier rather than later. In the Lakeland article, they even mention potentially tying themselves into negotiations for Virgin to gain approval to operate on I-4. In Jax, the conversation reaction was totally opposite. Nothing is happening. We can go back to waiting for the Shipyards and the District to save the day. In reality, 2019 is almost half over. Jax should be just as aggressive as some of these other cities in promoting itself and making moves to set itself up for the future and making a case where someone wants to come here.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2019, 03:36:24 PM by thelakelander »
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itsfantastic1

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Re: Brightline Finds Funds For Massive Florida Expansion
« Reply #5 on: April 17, 2019, 04:11:38 PM »
Frankly, I think it's a matter of when, and not if, Brightline (still working on accepting the new name) comes to Jacksonville. Brightline own the tracks and the rights into town, we have an existing downtown station and there is very little rail to upgrade/build compared to the West Palm/Orlando/Tampa line; which is great for our potentially lower ridership numbers. I'd be more worried, if say we were like Gainesville/Ocala/Tallahassee/Pensacola.

Also, I can forsee Mayor Curry using Brightline conversations in the next 4 years, as an impetus for a convention center move so that Brightline won't bypass us because we don't have a station. And wouldn't you know it, the only place for a convention center available "now" is the Shipyards, so we must use public money to move it. But it isn't favoritsm because it helps Brightline as well. 2 for 1! Win-win.

As long as Jacksonville/North Florida don't actively hinder the line's development under the guise of safety, has stops at Daytona, St. Augustine and Downtown Jacksonville, and has land nearby near the stations that can be developed; it's just a matter of time...provided they don't go bankrupt.

But those are just musings of a random, unconnected internet forum poster.

Tacachale

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Re: Brightline Finds Funds For Massive Florida Expansion
« Reply #6 on: April 17, 2019, 04:27:06 PM »
^It would be interesting if Mayor Curry (or the city council) got involved in the discussion. So far, JTA has been behind the eight ball.
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?

itsfantastic1

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Re: Brightline Finds Funds For Massive Florida Expansion
« Reply #7 on: April 17, 2019, 05:11:58 PM »
I imagine the city will have to be involved at some point. Either because of the Prime Osborne, right of way or funding reasons.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2019, 05:14:38 PM by itsfantastic1 »

Kerry

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Re: Brightline Finds Funds For Massive Florida Expansion
« Reply #8 on: April 17, 2019, 06:01:20 PM »
VirginTrain is a real estate development company.  Unless Jax is going to cough up 20 acres of rail-adjacent land getting to Jax will be a hard sell.  We would probably have to give them the entire convention center site, if they would even want it.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2019, 06:03:30 PM by Kerry »
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Kiva

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Re: Brightline Finds Funds For Massive Florida Expansion
« Reply #9 on: April 17, 2019, 07:29:11 PM »
Isn't there a lot of empty land in LaVilla near the new JTA hub?

thelakelander

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Re: Brightline Finds Funds For Massive Florida Expansion
« Reply #10 on: April 17, 2019, 08:29:18 PM »
Yes. The old train station complex or what people refer to as the Prime Osborn Convention Center. The old station is next to the tracks that Virgin Trains already has the rights to use for passenger service. There's also that huge parking lot behind the terminal for infill development opportunity. COJ owns all of it.
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fieldafm

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Re: Brightline Finds Funds For Massive Florida Expansion
« Reply #11 on: April 18, 2019, 04:21:02 PM »
VirginTrain is a real estate development company.  Unless Jax is going to cough up 20 acres of rail-adjacent land getting to Jax will be a hard sell.  We would probably have to give them the entire convention center site, if they would even want it.



COJ and JTA own an enormous amount of property suitable for TOD. In this image, the purple parcels are owned by COJ and the red parcels are owned by JTA. You can upzone this area with a by-right zoning district specifically tailored for TOD.... and I'd argue that this assemblage represents the largest opportunity for TOD in the entire country, if Virgin Trains made a stop in Jacksonville at what is now the Prime Osborne Convention Center. As Lakelander mentioned, Virgin Trains already has ROW access on the existing rail line fronting the Prime Osborne.

itsfantastic1

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Re: Brightline Finds Funds For Massive Florida Expansion
« Reply #12 on: April 29, 2019, 09:55:50 AM »
From the Daily Record, https://www.jaxdailyrecord.com/article/study-offers-plan-for-the-redevelopment-of-lavilla-neighborhood:

An interesting image from the study plan for La Villa that shows the potential redevelopment of the Prime Osbourne. Looks like a lot of developable land and a train station to me.


thelakelander

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Re: Brightline Finds Funds For Massive Florida Expansion
« Reply #13 on: April 29, 2019, 10:21:53 AM »
Nothing new with that sketch.  JTA proposed the train station component to bring commuter rail and Amtrak back to downtown over a decade ago. No funding is set aside for it though. Here's a rendering from back in the day....





https://www.metrojacksonville.com/article/2010-sep-are-jtas-downtown-amtrak-plans-already-outdated


We'll be best using the old terminal complex (which includes the large parking lot/former rail loading yard and platform area) to tempt an entity like Virgin Trains USA than piecemealing it off or giving it to a local developer, IMO.
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MusicMan

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Re: Brightline Finds Funds For Massive Florida Expansion
« Reply #14 on: April 29, 2019, 02:52:36 PM »
Might be prudent to change the name of this thread from 'Brightline.....' to 'Virgin Trains USA....' 

Brightline is gone.....................