Author Topic: Last chance to see: the Landing is quietly coming down  (Read 11120 times)

thelakelander

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Re: Last chance to see: the Landing is quietly coming down
« Reply #75 on: December 20, 2019, 08:50:39 AM »
The highest and best use is rebuilding a mix of what has been destroyed. That's something I hope we don't spend much time and money on studying because it's a big waste and simply extends the time of the site remaining dormant. Just look at the City Hall Annex site as an example. Lots of talk, media puff pieces, marking and branding but today's reality is two blocks of dead space. Quite frankly, the immediate re-use opportunity has been lost, so more priority should be given to areas where immediate placemaking can happen (ex. Adams, Laura, Hogan, Hemming Park, etc.).

Nevertheless, Curry and Hughes have been such a disaster for downtown, the area may benefit from them focusing on other issues facing the city and leaving DT's future independently in the hands of the DIA.

Last time I heard Hyatt Place will begin once the VyStar project gets further along. Right now, it appears to be using the Hyatt Place area as a staging area.
« Last Edit: December 20, 2019, 08:53:11 AM by thelakelander »
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tufsu1

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Re: Last chance to see: the Landing is quietly coming down
« Reply #76 on: December 20, 2019, 09:06:24 AM »
The best part of the Landing being demolished is there is now a wonderful view of the PWC/VyStar parking garage from the Main Street Bridge and from Friendship Fountain!

Peter Griffin

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Re: Last chance to see: the Landing is quietly coming down
« Reply #77 on: December 20, 2019, 09:19:47 AM »
rode my bike to the Landing last night on a whim. I found it to be in only a slightly different state than when I last saw it:

last time I was allowed to go in, but there was nothing that I wanted to do there

this time there was still nothing to do there, but I wasn't allowed in anyhow


made me realize that I had first been to the landing 20 years ago when the brewery and toy store were still active. I was about 10.

I maybe visited the Landing 5 more times in the following 20 years. It was dead long before it came down

vicupstate

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Re: Last chance to see: the Landing is quietly coming down
« Reply #78 on: December 20, 2019, 09:48:24 AM »
I have a hard time seeing retail working there, unless it is 10-20k SF or less, and even that is a stretch. It would be reminiscent of those little shops on the Southbank Riverwalk.  There just isn't any reason to go there for locals or tourists, and there is no permanent population in place.

I would just leave it fallow for now and work on the Laura Street corridor between there and Hemming Plaza. IF DONE RIGHT (yeah, I know this is JAX), it would be a good location for a major public park or garden, but with Lot J/Shipyards being in direct competition, I can't see that being successful either.     

 
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thelakelander

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Re: Last chance to see: the Landing is quietly coming down
« Reply #79 on: December 20, 2019, 10:32:03 AM »
I would work on other areas of need now because current leadership has proven beyond a doubt that downtown revitalization isn't a strong suit. Give the DIA some autonomy and let's see what can happen under that scenario.

When we look across the country, these types of buildings are being reused as a mix of uses that more align with today's market. More footprint oriented to locally based and themed businesses, restaurants/dining, entertainment and cultural use and less for traditional retail. However, we don't need a public study to determine these types of things. Issuing a RFP for a new operator with experience would have been fine.

Naturally we tend to focus on prospects for traditional retail, yet we also downplay the impact of the toxic public private partnership dating back to the Landing's opening and its impact on the situation. The toxic partnership appeared to end during the Brown administration and a redevelopment plan was going forward. It started again with Curry and ended with Curry getting taken to the woodshed by Sleiman at the taxpayer's expense. Nevertheless, once it was in the city's hands, the possibility of adaptive reuse to literally anything was as high as it would ever be. Businesses surviving that toxic battle illustrate there is a demand for certain types of commercial uses at the location.

The Shipyards remains a pipe dream that will die with the next recession. I'm not even confident Lot J will materialize or be successful long term. Unless we're selling JEA, I truly question how we'll come up with those types of incentives and what will suffer from diverting that much money for something that's already happening within a three block radius of Hemming Park.

Regardless of what happens over there, due to its centralized location, the Landing site will continue to have the same potential. However, even if we turned it into an 100% park, it would still need retail, dining and other uses to activate it. That's pretty consistent across the board with vibrant urban parks across the country. Especially in this case, since there's not an interactive outer square to generate consistent pedestrian foot traffic and life. Without those uses, it's no more attractive than Metropolitan Park or the grass lots where City Hall Annex and the County Courthouse once stood.

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vicupstate

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Re: Last chance to see: the Landing is quietly coming down
« Reply #80 on: December 20, 2019, 11:45:37 AM »
I agree that even a park would need to be bordered by things that would activate it.

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thelakelander

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Re: Last chance to see: the Landing is quietly coming down
« Reply #81 on: December 20, 2019, 11:53:24 AM »
rode my bike to the Landing last night on a whim. I found it to be in only a slightly different state than when I last saw it:

last time I was allowed to go in, but there was nothing that I wanted to do there

this time there was still nothing to do there, but I wasn't allowed in anyhow


made me realize that I had first been to the landing 20 years ago when the brewery and toy store were still active. I was about 10.

I maybe visited the Landing 5 more times in the following 20 years. It was dead long before it came down

Just because you personally saw no value in what was there does not mean it was empty or offered no value to others. Places like Hooters and Fionns were reliable in that they were consistently open at night for those who are downtown on a consistent basis. About 30 businesses were evicted in the process. That equates to a few million in tax dollars being used to evict businesses and hundreds of jobs lost. I can only imagine how someone staying at Hyatt or Omni feel walking around searching for something open at night or during the weekends during a stay in downtown right now. So to say it was dead long before it came down is an inaccurate assumption.
« Last Edit: December 20, 2019, 11:55:10 AM by thelakelander »
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Peter Griffin

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Re: Last chance to see: the Landing is quietly coming down
« Reply #82 on: December 20, 2019, 12:46:22 PM »
So to say it was dead long before it came down is an inaccurate assumption.

I'm stating a personal anecdote, not a factual account. Dead to me, dead as in "dead mall"

Factually, though, it WAS in severe decline. Sleiman gave up anticipating the city giving up, and they both came together to sell it off and tear it down. In the end the people who had the most vested in keeping it thriving gave up on it. Tenants can't fix that, the tenants didn't draw the activity that warranted such a space, the emptiness of the whole structure was uninviting and eerie outside of special events; there were lots of times I rode right past and wondered if the place had closed.

I think it coming down is a shame. I think the state it was in and the fact that it was WORSE 20 years after I first visited was an even bigger shame.


My overall take on the whole matter as it stands is that what is, is, and it's coming down, nearly gone. Lamenting what could have been if only we had kept the structure, or let Brown's proposal go through, or if we had sold the land to Sleiman, is completely unproductive. In its final years it was in a sad state and only declining. Living in the past or in the land of coulda woulda shoulda doesn't do me any favors.

tl;dr - Rest In Peace, Jacksonville Landing.

vicupstate

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Re: Last chance to see: the Landing is quietly coming down
« Reply #83 on: December 20, 2019, 12:53:47 PM »
Do we know what exactly the proposal during the Brown administration was, and what it was anticipated to look like? 

There have been so many plans, renderings and Hot-Dog-Cart-on-a-napkin drawings that I honestly lost track. 
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thelakelander

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Re: Last chance to see: the Landing is quietly coming down
« Reply #84 on: December 20, 2019, 12:59:52 PM »
I'm stating a personal anecdote, not a factual account. Dead to me, dead as in "dead mall"

I understand. However, from a revitalization perspective, my view is to analysis things outside of personal anecdotes in order to not keep doing the same things from the past, expecting different outcomes and lamenting when ending up in failure again.

Quote
Factually, though, it WAS in severe decline. Sleiman gave up anticipating the city giving up, and they both came together to sell it off and tear it down. In the end the people who had the most vested in keeping it thriving gave up on it.

Factually, downtown and the urban core has been in decline for a number of years. However, there are ways to turn both around.

Quote
Tenants can't fix that, the tenants didn't draw the activity that warranted such a space, the emptiness of the whole structure was uninviting and eerie outside of special events; there were lots of times I rode right past and wondered if the place had closed.

The tenants that were left should have been given awards for the crap they had to put up with. Decline had a lot less to do with the market and more to do with politics, legal battles and strategies between the two parties in ownership.

Quote
I think it coming down is a shame. I think the state it was in and the fact that it was WORSE 20 years after I first visited was an even bigger shame.

The indecision of if it and when the site was going to revamped and the following legal battle between Curry and Sleiman took its tool during the final couple of years.

Quote
My overall take on the whole matter as it stands is that what is, is, and it's coming down, nearly gone. Lamenting what could have been if only we had kept the structure, or let Brown's proposal go through, or if we had sold the land to Sleiman, is completely unproductive. In its final years it was in a sad state and only declining. Living in the past or in the land of coulda woulda shoulda doesn't do me any favors.

tl;dr - Rest In Peace, Jacksonville Landing.

My overall take is quite different. Sweeping the matter under the rug and coming up with another study and gimmick project is what we've done with most demolitions over the past 40 years. At some point, you have to keep what has failed in the forefront in order to not repeat the same mistakes at the next site down the road. At some point, you have to stop and do different.
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Peter Griffin

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Re: Last chance to see: the Landing is quietly coming down
« Reply #85 on: December 20, 2019, 01:20:21 PM »
My overall take is quite different. Sweeping the matter under the rug and coming up with another study and gimmick project is what we've done with most demolitions over the past 40 years. At some point, you have to keep what has failed in the forefront in order to not repeat the same mistakes at the next site down the road. At some point, you have to stop and do different.

I don't have to do anything, I'm an anonymous person posting on a forum. I already do my part by patronizing downtown businesses. I have absolutely no say in the revitalization of downtown or any other area in Jacksonville or anywhere else. 

Nobody else has to do anything else, either. I take umbrage with absolute language.

If the powers that be want downtown to thrive, then it may not be wise to demolish underperforming buildings without either considering adaptive reuse or having an immediate replacement plan. I think that's your entire point here, and one I agree with, but on the point of the landing it is unfortunately too late and the powers that be aren't likely to be reading this forum and being emboldened by my comments, nor discouraged by others.

I'm in the final stage of grief with the Landing, there's no need to "correct" me on that.

thelakelander

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Re: Last chance to see: the Landing is quietly coming down
« Reply #86 on: December 20, 2019, 01:24:12 PM »
Do we know what exactly the proposal during the Brown administration was, and what it was anticipated to look like? 

There have been so many plans, renderings and Hot-Dog-Cart-on-a-napkin drawings that I honestly lost track. 

Yes.  After years of not being able to work out of deal with the city to revamp parts of the existing structure and add new use infill (hotel, apartments, etc.), the agreed upon proposal would have razed the structure and replaced it with other uses that Sleiman would have developed. Essentially, restaurants, retail along the riverfront, a hotel and apartment structures with ground floor retail in both. By razing the buildings closest to the river, there would have been space for an interactive park. COJ actually paid for the design plans.



Now being a preservationist myself, I wasn't big fan of putting a smaller version of DC's National Harbor on the site under the talk of it being unique but it had a few important things going for it that we don't have now.

1. A qualified developer with experience already in ownership and on board.

2. Only $12 million in public subsidies was requested. The rest would have been from the developer.

3. Quick time line. The developer was ready to move on it and we were in the middle of great market conditions.

So regardless of whether it was an adaptive reuse or 100% tear down and rebuild as something else, it was something positive that had community input within the limits allowed and was poised to immediately move forward. By now, we'd be enjoying a lively site already and moved on to addressing the next issue/site.

In the end, a new mayor came in with a different set of priorities (still largely unknown to most in town), killed the entire plan, started a court battle the owner to wrestle 100% control of the property, overpaid for it and then lost the court battle only to raze the entire site with nothing else lined up and ready to move forward for years to come. So instead of $12 million to assist in improving and adding on to the existing tenant mix, we've spent $22 million to close businesses, lose hundreds of existing downtown jobs to have a water front pad site. We're fooling ourselves if we think the operator of this disastrous funding scenario and outcome is going to magically transform the property into a glorious park or anything else before the current 4 year term is up. We've been set back a generation on those moves. Learning means not buying in to the same old Jax talk about don't worry, big things are on the way. Understanding how lost opportunities are missed is how to make sure we take advantage of others that still remain.







Now the stuff above was what Sleiman intended to develop but at least it was real. With the building razed, if this is what the public desired at the time, the best thing we could do is issue a RFP like yesterday instead of doing more studying.

« Last Edit: December 20, 2019, 01:28:19 PM by thelakelander »
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thelakelander

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Re: Last chance to see: the Landing is quietly coming down
« Reply #87 on: December 20, 2019, 01:33:48 PM »
My overall take is quite different. Sweeping the matter under the rug and coming up with another study and gimmick project is what we've done with most demolitions over the past 40 years. At some point, you have to keep what has failed in the forefront in order to not repeat the same mistakes at the next site down the road. At some point, you have to stop and do different.

I don't have to do anything, I'm an anonymous person posting on a forum. I already do my part by patronizing downtown businesses. I have absolutely no say in the revitalization of downtown or any other area in Jacksonville or anywhere else. 

Nobody else has to do anything else, either. I take umbrage with absolute language.

If the powers that be want downtown to thrive, then it may not be wise to demolish underperforming buildings without either considering adaptive reuse or having an immediate replacement plan. I think that's your entire point here, and one I agree with, but on the point of the landing it is unfortunately too late and the powers that be aren't likely to be reading this forum and being emboldened by my comments, nor discouraged by others.

I'm in the final stage of grief with the Landing, there's no need to "correct" me on that.

I understand your take, I was just sharing mine as someone who is interested in seeing the urban core properly revitalized sooner rather than later and through methods that bring the highest ROI for tax dollars invested.
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

Kerry

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Re: Last chance to see: the Landing is quietly coming down
« Reply #88 on: December 20, 2019, 02:46:03 PM »
Could you imagine Curry running for office promising to do what he has actually done (or at least wants to do)?

Tear down the Landing (replaced by nothing)
Tear down the Courthouse Annex (replaced by nothing)
Sell JEA
Not fix Memorial Park or the Northbank Riverwalk
Third Place

thelakelander

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Re: Last chance to see: the Landing is quietly coming down
« Reply #89 on: December 20, 2019, 03:03:12 PM »
I can't imagine him successfully running for another office if things don't get turned around quick, although that's not saying much. I never imagined Trump would become president either.
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali