Author Topic: DIA CEO working on incentives plan to bring restaurants Downtown  (Read 2368 times)

Steve

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DIA CEO working on incentives plan to bring restaurants Downtown
« on: November 05, 2019, 11:27:31 AM »
From the Daily Record:
Quote
In early 2020, the Downtown Investment Authority could begin a program to promote a dense corridor of restaurants in vacant ground-floor spaces in the Northbank core.

DIA CEO Lori Boyer says she’s working on a plan that will either modify the authority’s existing Retail Enhancement Grant Program or create an initiative to provide financial assistance targeting restaurants and businesses with higher build-out costs.

https://www.jaxdailyrecord.com/article/dia-ceo-working-on-incentives-plan-to-bring-restaurants-downtown

Steve

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Re: DIA CEO working on incentives plan to bring restaurants Downtown
« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2019, 11:35:14 AM »
Some interesting tidbits here:

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She said locating a restaurant inside a high-rise like the Bank of America Tower or Wells Fargo Center “does nothing for the street life.”

She's not wrong at present, but what about trying to work with these buildings to flip the retail spaces outward? I know in today's day and age everyone cites security so that's an obstacle (whether real or perceived).

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“The challenge is, they (one-way streets) do a good job of getting everyone out of Downtown but are unfriendly for pedestrians. They’re unfriendly for retail merchants for a whole host of reasons,” Boyer said.

“Two-way streets, coupled with on-street parking and street trees tend to work together to slow automobile travel speeds, thereby creating a more walkable, pedestrian-friendly environment,” the report states.

No argument that two ways are better for retail, but I'd personally flip the priority and do the north-south streets first (they list Hogan, Julia, and Pearl) before the east-west streets (they list Forsyth, Adams, and Monroe). If you can do them all then great, but if you only have a limited amount of money the North-South streets are more inconsistent than the east-west ones, leading to more confusion. Plus, if you want to do this great restaurant push on Hogan, let's do the giant public works project first.

thelakelander

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Re: DIA CEO working on incentives plan to bring restaurants Downtown
« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2019, 11:36:47 AM »
In general, she makes sense. Especially in the area between Hemming and what was formerly known as the Jacksonville Landing. There are some easy-to-do stretches like Hogan, Adams and Laura where there are vacant storefronts mixed with a cluster of existing businesses. However, from an implementation priority perspective, it may need to drill down to a target block or two. The vibe of five new businesses on a block with five existing businesses is completely different that five new businesses spread out over a 10 block area.
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thelakelander

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Re: DIA CEO working on incentives plan to bring restaurants Downtown
« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2019, 11:40:51 AM »
Some interesting tidbits here:

Quote
She said locating a restaurant inside a high-rise like the Bank of America Tower or Wells Fargo Center “does nothing for the street life.”

She's not wrong at present, but what about trying to work with these buildings to flip the retail spaces outward? I know in today's day and age everyone cites security so that's an obstacle (whether real or perceived).

Bingo! As for as the BOA, Wells Fargo Center buildings, etc. go, there are already restaurants there. So it makes the comment a non-starter. Now the discussion should focus on what can we do to make these existing buildings/businesses have an impact on street life? This should actually be an easier thing to accomplish since we're now talking about things that can be as simple as the addition of exterior signage, seating or storefront openings as opposed to commercial kitchen build-outs.  The way I look at it, enhancing the existing businesses are the easy, more affordable wins that can change the image at block level overnight.  Another component not mentioned is programming the hell out of a particular area to stimulate consistent foot traffic where none currently exists. When combined, your vibrancy image can change fairly quickly.
« Last Edit: November 05, 2019, 11:44:29 AM by thelakelander »
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Kerry

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Re: DIA CEO working on incentives plan to bring restaurants Downtown
« Reply #4 on: November 05, 2019, 12:55:51 PM »
Every retail spot downtown should have a door to the sidewalk.  That is just Urban Retail 101.  You would have to have a serious downtown population to make interior retail work, and usually not even then.  Furthermore, all downtown retail space should come under a single leasing agency as many retailers want to cluster stores that attract similar customers.  Could you imagine if the 100+ retails sites at the Town Center had 50 different property owners all doing their own thing?
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Charles Hunter

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Re: DIA CEO working on incentives plan to bring restaurants Downtown
« Reply #5 on: November 05, 2019, 01:00:11 PM »
How would making Hogan 2-way work with the plan to place a cycle track along Hogan, leaving only one lane for cars, plus on-street parking?

Charles Hunter

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Re: DIA CEO working on incentives plan to bring restaurants Downtown
« Reply #6 on: November 05, 2019, 01:02:01 PM »
Every retail spot downtown should have a door to the sidewalk.  That is just Urban Retail 101.  You would have to have a serious downtown population to make interior retail work, and usually not even then.  Furthermore, all downtown retail space should come under a single leasing agency as many retailers want to cluster stores that attract similar customers.  Could you imagine if the 100+ retails sites at the Town Center had 50 different property owners all doing their own thing?

How does that work when there are currently so many different property owners?  Town Center has the advantage of a single owner.  Are there examples in other cities where there is an umbrella leasing agent working with multiple property owners?

Steve

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Re: DIA CEO working on incentives plan to bring restaurants Downtown
« Reply #7 on: November 05, 2019, 01:46:56 PM »
Every retail spot downtown should have a door to the sidewalk.  That is just Urban Retail 101.  You would have to have a serious downtown population to make interior retail work, and usually not even then.  Furthermore, all downtown retail space should come under a single leasing agency as many retailers want to cluster stores that attract similar customers.  Could you imagine if the 100+ retails sites at the Town Center had 50 different property owners all doing their own thing?

How does that work when there are currently so many different property owners?  Town Center has the advantage of a single owner.  Are there examples in other cities where there is an umbrella leasing agent working with multiple property owners?

I can't come up with that (aside from an area where a single company owns multiple blocks).

But, I think another key is a better catalog of retail spaces, and this is where DVI/DIA (not sure who should do this one, but I trust Boyer much more than Gordon to do this) should have an easy to use catalog of spaces, whether or not they are for rent, amenities, potential uses, if they're a kitchen installed, etc. so someone can look at all of their options if they're interested in leasing downtown. DVI/DIA would then be independent in the leasing process; just bringing leads.

Kerry

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Re: DIA CEO working on incentives plan to bring restaurants Downtown
« Reply #8 on: November 05, 2019, 03:19:16 PM »
Every retail spot downtown should have a door to the sidewalk.  That is just Urban Retail 101.  You would have to have a serious downtown population to make interior retail work, and usually not even then.  Furthermore, all downtown retail space should come under a single leasing agency as many retailers want to cluster stores that attract similar customers.  Could you imagine if the 100+ retails sites at the Town Center had 50 different property owners all doing their own thing?

How does that work when there are currently so many different property owners?  Town Center has the advantage of a single owner.  Are there examples in other cities where there is an umbrella leasing agent working with multiple property owners?

It is really pretty easy.  It would run essentially like any shopping center that has multiple investors.  Figure out what each investor is contributing (sq ft and quality of space) and payout accordingly.
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Captain Zissou

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Re: DIA CEO working on incentives plan to bring restaurants Downtown
« Reply #9 on: November 05, 2019, 04:31:20 PM »
It is really pretty easy.  It would run essentially like any shopping center that has multiple investors.  Figure out what each investor is contributing (sq ft and quality of space) and payout accordingly.

Yeah this is way wrong.  Coordinated leasing and a concentration of complementing uses would be good, but running downtown retail as one JV partnership would be a nightmare for all involved.

Kerry

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Re: DIA CEO working on incentives plan to bring restaurants Downtown
« Reply #10 on: November 05, 2019, 05:37:21 PM »
It is really pretty easy.  It would run essentially like any shopping center that has multiple investors.  Figure out what each investor is contributing (sq ft and quality of space) and payout accordingly.

Yeah this is way wrong.  Coordinated leasing and a concentration of complementing uses would be good, but running downtown retail as one JV partnership would be a nightmare for all involved.

Give me an example of why you don't think it will work.
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Re: DIA CEO working on incentives plan to bring restaurants Downtown
« Reply #11 on: November 05, 2019, 07:38:27 PM »
I think it will work; however, it will take Jax residents time to get used to it (it's kind of un-southern); and I think they should work to have these restaurants not just in those two areas, but in a square around the core of downtown (and any other area that might enjoin and be successful). It would be nice to get rid of those empty stores and fill them not only with restaurants, but other businesses as well; yes go with the restaurant thing, but don't focus solely on just restaurants...we need to bring as much business as we can back to downtown and the urban core.
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Kerry

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Re: DIA CEO working on incentives plan to bring restaurants Downtown
« Reply #12 on: November 05, 2019, 09:39:27 PM »
NYC is considering a vacancy tax for retail space.  It sort follows the LVT model.  Lease the space out to some one or pay more than it cost to keep it occupied.  If nothing else Jax could collect a lot of revenue this way.
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Steve

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Re: DIA CEO working on incentives plan to bring restaurants Downtown
« Reply #13 on: November 06, 2019, 09:00:12 AM »
It is really pretty easy.  It would run essentially like any shopping center that has multiple investors.  Figure out what each investor is contributing (sq ft and quality of space) and payout accordingly.

Yeah this is way wrong.  Coordinated leasing and a concentration of complementing uses would be good, but running downtown retail as one JV partnership would be a nightmare for all involved.

Give me an example of why you don't think it will work.

For the tenants, the challenge would be competition. Make no mistake, St John's Town Center is not one landlord. The "mall" (from Capital Grille to Ted's) and "power center" (the big box area like Target) are all managed by Simon, but everything else is not. This keeps Simon honest and if Simon gets too greedy, someone can relocate to be near Best Buy or something like that.

For the Landlords, well, there's the challenge of getting everyone to agree on one person.