Author Topic: Mixed-Use Infill Proposed For Cathedral District  (Read 2867 times)

thelakelander

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Mixed-Use Infill Proposed For Cathedral District
« on: June 24, 2019, 08:11:56 AM »
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One the Cathedral District's last complete rows of dense housing developed after the Great Fire of 1901 could be going away soon. Replacing it would be an infill, mixed-use project called 527 Duval Street, featuring 45 multi-family units and 27,000 square feet of art gallery space, art studios and classrooms.

Read More: https://www.thejaxsonmag.com/article/mixed-use-infill-proposed-for-cathedral-district/
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Lostwave

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Re: Mixed-Use Infill Proposed For Cathedral District
« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2019, 09:38:29 AM »
While this looks like a decent (albeit ugly as hell) project, why knock down some of the few remaining buildings to build it when we have so much vacant land?  Seems a shame to knock down these houses instead of building somewhere else.

Charles Hunter

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Re: Mixed-Use Infill Proposed For Cathedral District
« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2019, 09:42:13 AM »
^ This.

Tacachale

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Re: Mixed-Use Infill Proposed For Cathedral District
« Reply #3 on: June 24, 2019, 09:46:10 AM »
While this looks like a decent (albeit ugly as hell) project, why knock down some of the few remaining buildings to build it when we have so much vacant land?  Seems a shame to knock down these houses instead of building somewhere else.

It's hard to tell here, but much of that block is vacant. There aren't many in the Cathedral District that wouldn't involve demolishing at least some buildings. And even fewer that have vacant lots that aren't actively used for parking.
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?

Charles Hunter

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Re: Mixed-Use Infill Proposed For Cathedral District
« Reply #4 on: June 24, 2019, 10:01:54 AM »
Without a site plan showing the project's relation to the block, it is impossible to tell if the project involves just the row of houses on Duval, or if it also includes the vacant parcels on the north and east sides of the block. I suppose it probably does, given the apparent size, but can't say for sure.  The block to the south (between Duval and Monroe) seems to have fewer existing houses, that may not even be 'in the way'.

thelakelander

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Re: Mixed-Use Infill Proposed For Cathedral District
« Reply #5 on: June 24, 2019, 10:07:56 AM »
From these two slides and looking at Google Earth, it includes the row on Duval and one property on Washington:

https://www.google.com/maps/@30.3281281,-81.6501828,101m/data=!3m1!1e3



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Tacachale

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Re: Mixed-Use Infill Proposed For Cathedral District
« Reply #6 on: June 24, 2019, 10:32:48 AM »
From these two slides and looking at Google Earth, it includes the row on Duval and one property on Washington:

https://www.google.com/maps/@30.3281281,-81.6501828,101m/data=!3m1!1e3





Lol, so it's completely missing the part of the block that's a lot and taking out a bunch of extant buildings.
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?

fieldafm

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Re: Mixed-Use Infill Proposed For Cathedral District
« Reply #7 on: June 24, 2019, 10:38:09 AM »
I'm more curious if this is actually a viable product. They've already had to go back to DIA once to renew expired vesting rights on this property over the last 2+ years.


Generally try to reserve judgement on aesthetics. On one hand, these renderings seem to go back to my first concern. It looks like they've value engineered this thing to be constructed as cheap as possible. On the other hand, the idea behind the concept reminds me of something we wrote about in Chattanooga several years ago:

https://www.moderncities.com/article/2016-mar-the-best-weekly-markets-in-the-southeast-page-3


sandyshoes

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Re: Mixed-Use Infill Proposed For Cathedral District
« Reply #8 on: June 24, 2019, 02:09:50 PM »
I totally agree with Lostwave.  It hurts my heart that Jacksonville wants to tear down some of the last vestiges of its history that we can see, touch, privately own (homes) and hopefully preserve.  These last remaining areas ARE Jacksonville's history - how miraculous that they are still here from 118 years ago.  When I would drive thru downtown on the way home from work, I would notice the area of Washington Street, and see some huge old homes and want to know more about them.  I was never able to pinpoint any of them to look up, but I'm comforted to know that they, and others, remain.  For now. 

MusicMan

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Re: Mixed-Use Infill Proposed For Cathedral District
« Reply #9 on: June 24, 2019, 02:41:40 PM »
At some point don't we have to accommodate the actual market of people who want to take action? I am intimately familiar with this property.
It sat FOR YEARS "FOR SALE" yet none of the "lovers of old historic housing stock" ever stepped forward to embrace it, part with their own hard earned money to buy it and preserve it for future generations!  It was and has been for decades the absolute lowest rung on the totem pole of housing options, which is the most difficult to manage. It sits completely isolated with a highway off ramp in it's front yard.  The owner of the rest of the block has been approached several times and has no interest in doing anything at all with his parcel except provide parking for the police evidence station across the street. Unlike The Landing where there is absolutely no plan in place to do anything after knocking it down, this developer has, behind the scenes, offered the buildings to local people interested in historic preservation. He has offered them up free and will help coordinate the move to another block or property for anyone who wants them.  The proposal may "look cheap" but two major components, steel and glass, are quite expensive. It offers street level studios for rent : pedestrian scale and pedestrian friendly which seems to be one of the principal requirements for small scale developments in the downtown we all want, correct? It offer 1 and 2 bedroom apartments which perfectly fits the need of downtown, small affordable units.
I have seen all the materials for the presentation and it's one hell of a clever use of a small piece of real estate. I back ARKEST LLC on this and hope you will be at the presentation. He is taking a huge risk to try and bring something utterly new to a downtown that desperately needs some new fresh approach to what everyone says they want.

vicupstate

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Re: Mixed-Use Infill Proposed For Cathedral District
« Reply #10 on: June 24, 2019, 02:56:41 PM »
I can't comment on these specific homes, but in the past I have seen these or very similar homes in the area on the market, but at pretty high prices for their condition (and the conditon of the surroundings).

If he is offering to give these homes free to someone that will move them, then by all means get the word out on that.  There are certainly vacant lots nearby, albeit some are owned by the city, which ought to make it easier but not in this case.     
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fieldafm

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Re: Mixed-Use Infill Proposed For Cathedral District
« Reply #11 on: June 24, 2019, 03:33:58 PM »
I can't comment on these specific homes, but in the past I have seen these or very similar homes in the area on the market, but at pretty high prices for their condition (and the conditon of the surroundings).

I agree that they were on the market for many years, and severely overvalued.

Rafael Caldera (aka Arkest) and his investors assembled the properties in 2016 for a little over $1.3mm. God bless them, as that's an extraordinary cost basis (considering location) to have to build a workable proforma from.

Caldera is an architect/general contractor currently serving on DDRB, and put forth this proposal last year on what will become JEA's new HQ site by 2022/2023:
https://www.thejaxsonmag.com/article/mini-arts-district-proposed-for-downtown/

You can hear Caldera's thoughts on preservation here:
https://www.thejaxsonmag.com/article/forgotten-spaces-places-reimagined-panel-video/

Personally, I've found him to be generally a good guy and appreciate his forward thinking views on some of the things that have come before DDRB's review over the last several years.
« Last Edit: June 24, 2019, 03:36:29 PM by fieldafm »

MusicMan

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Re: Mixed-Use Infill Proposed For Cathedral District
« Reply #12 on: June 24, 2019, 03:49:31 PM »
The part of the block that he owns he got a relatively good deal on. And he has approached several other owners in the immediate vicinity to partner on other projects with the goal of revitalizing this area (its pretty damn blighted for what it's worth...). Most are not interested. He also owns a small warehouse very close by, that could be part of new development in the future. You will find very few people with as many visionary ideas as Caldera. He has traveled all over the world and gets inspiration from many places. He is very passionate about art, music and architecture and loves many different types!
« Last Edit: June 24, 2019, 04:15:34 PM by MusicMan »

sandyshoes

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Re: Mixed-Use Infill Proposed For Cathedral District
« Reply #13 on: June 24, 2019, 05:20:12 PM »
From the photograph at the beginning of this thread, I perhaps incorrectly assumed that these homes were being lived in by some of the people who owned the cars parked out front.  Probably another incorrect assumption on my part.  Why are some 'historic' areas more valuable than others, if each represents an important era in our city?  Someone chose to write about this area and this issue, I chose to express my agreement with someone else and got my hindquarters kicked for it, once again.  Did somebody have a bad Monday, Music Man?

MusicMan

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Re: Mixed-Use Infill Proposed For Cathedral District
« Reply #14 on: June 24, 2019, 07:22:04 PM »
Not me. I defend your right to put whatever you believe on here. Always will. I don't want to see The Landing demolished at all, and definitely not without a plan to replace it with a meaningful project. ARKEST HAS A PLAN. A DAMN GOOD ONE IN MY OPINION. So I support the REMOVAL OF THE HOUSES. If they were historically important (beyond just being old) or architecturally significant (and I believe they ARE NOT) then I might have a different opinion. However ARKEST wants to replace it with a modern concept that for the most part fits exactly what everyone here is asking for. SO I want him to succeed.