Author Topic: Denver Union Station: A successful example for the JRTC  (Read 2964 times)

Kerry

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Re: Denver Union Station: A successful example for the JRTC
« Reply #15 on: January 07, 2020, 03:38:36 PM »
Well Jax is never going to build anything like Denver's so I suggest finding something a little more realistic - like Chattanooga, Salt Lake City, Kansas City, or Omaha.
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thelakelander

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Re: Denver Union Station: A successful example for the JRTC
« Reply #16 on: January 07, 2020, 03:44:12 PM »
I've only been in Chattanooga's (no rail component anymore) and Kansas City's (good example for museum adaptive reuse like Cincinnati's). Nevertheless, if they have things like a rail component, retail, dining, etc. inside of a large space formerly 100% occupied by rail, them then they all are like Denver's, regardless of scale or cost.
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Kerry

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Re: Denver Union Station: A successful example for the JRTC
« Reply #17 on: January 07, 2020, 04:01:54 PM »
Maybe I misinterpreted the meaning of this topic.  I thought you looked out over the national landscape of renovated train stations and picked Denver out of that list and said THIS is what Jax needs to emulate.  When I look at Denver's station I see about half the stuff would be over-kill or useless in Jax (i.e. a bus station since a new one is being built across the street or a lightrail station since Jax doesn't even have lightrail).  There are dozens of other examples around the country that actually would be a near perfect 'lift and shift' to Jacksonville.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2020, 04:20:49 PM by Kerry »
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thelakelander

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Re: Denver Union Station: A successful example for the JRTC
« Reply #18 on: January 07, 2020, 04:34:44 PM »
Yes, a misinterpretation. I'm not a big believer in emluating anything from other places if one is simply talking about copying the finished project from a visual design, scale perspective or cost perspective. Those are things that will always vary depending on size of community, budget, market, climate and a host of other factors. My focus is generally on implementing tried and true applications from other places, in terms of planning people oriented spaces and implementation processes.

Throw budget and the size of the city aside and then take a look at the railroad stations in Denver, Kansas City, Cincinnati, Jax, etc. What they all have in common is that they were grand early 20th century railroad hubs that have survived demolition, yet overbuilt for the amount of rail traffic they receive today. Excluding Jax, the other three are good examples of still active railroad stations where remaining space has been filled with a mix of new uses that still complement the original use. As such, they have remained destinations that are active seven days a week. On the other hand, the Prime Osborn has not, making it an existing downtown anchor asset (one Atlanta, Charlotte, Orlando, Birmingham, etc. could not create even if they wanted too) not properly being utilized.
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Kerry

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Re: Denver Union Station: A successful example for the JRTC
« Reply #19 on: January 07, 2020, 04:57:25 PM »
Thanks for clarifying.  I think the scenario I put together earlier would be Jax's biggest bang for the buck and solves multiple problems simultaneously.  Now, is there any way to actually make this happen?
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thelakelander

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Re: Denver Union Station: A successful example for the JRTC
« Reply #20 on: January 07, 2020, 05:19:24 PM »
This is how I'd speed up the scenario.

How about this:

Move the Convention Center events to other venues like the Hyatt and VyStar Arena,

Just build a new exhibition hall box next to the Hyatt, not a full brand new convention center. Don't even worry about building another parking garage. Instead maximize the amount of existing parking already located within a one-to-four block radius. This solves a major problem by turning the Hyatt into a hotel/convention center complex in the heart of the city for a fraction of the cost. It also eliminates a black hole in the heart of the city, since city hall annex has been destroyed.



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Move MOSH and their $80 million expansion to Jacksonville Terminals,
Move Friendship Fountain and it's multimillion upgrade to the former Landing site,

TBD - Not sold totally on the expense of moving either but get the point.


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Sell all the park land of the current MOSH and Friendship Fountain at market price to private parties,

Skip the MOSH/Friendship Fountain moves (don't spend millions on the fountain either....that's a waste). Take the 2015 publicly vetted Sleiman plan for the Landing site that taxpayers already paid for. Instead of doing a study, RFP the pads, sell them for private development, take the money and construct the public component of the Landing site that was drawn conceptually in 2015.



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Use the funds from that sale to do a streetscape make-over of the CBD to include 2-way streets, wider sidewalks, bike lanes, street furniture, parking upgrade, and lighting,

Two-way streets aren't a major expense in the grand scheme of things. We don't need to wait on these other things to accomplish this. Get it done by instructing public works to do so. Also coordinate implementation with on-going street resurfacing budgets.

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and finally do a realistic RFP for a moderate convention center in the 200,000 sq ft range.


This would already be resolved by building an new modern exhibition hall next to the Hyatt.

« Last Edit: January 07, 2020, 05:23:08 PM by thelakelander »
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Kerry

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Re: Denver Union Station: A successful example for the JRTC
« Reply #21 on: January 07, 2020, 06:15:23 PM »
The plan you outlined leaves the train station empty.  Selling the Friendship Fountain land is the revenue stream for everything else (assuming MOSH continues with their fundraising efforts).

Project 180 in OKC cost nearly $200 million to return streets to two-way.  Now granted a lot of that cost included putting down all new concrete streets but it turns out a lot of cost also involved utility movement to make the sidewalks wider and add bike lanes.

https://www.okc.gov/departments/public-works/project-updates
« Last Edit: January 07, 2020, 06:20:15 PM by Kerry »
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marcuscnelson

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Re: Denver Union Station: A successful example for the JRTC
« Reply #22 on: January 07, 2020, 06:40:46 PM »
The plan you outlined leaves the train station empty.  Selling the Friendship Fountain land is the revenue stream for everything else (assuming MOSH continues with their fundraising efforts).

The station doesn't have to be empty. Get Amtrak back in the terminal, focus on clustering some TOD nearby in Lavilla, and honestly, I'd be willing to wait and see if Virgin looks enticed enough by the size of that land next to the terminal to make any moves. I would be surprised if they wouldn't be interested at that point. By the time you spend the money demolishing and reconstructing Friendship Fountain and paying MOSH to move, there's no way you're going to net a quarter billion dollars to play around with anyway. Might as well find the most affordable way to reactivate things that still works while setting up some long-term planning. Virgin is no Lot J, there's no need to think of it like pie in the sky.

Kerry

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Re: Denver Union Station: A successful example for the JRTC
« Reply #23 on: January 07, 2020, 06:43:53 PM »
Has anyone a VT ever said anything about coming to Jacksonville?
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thelakelander

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Re: Denver Union Station: A successful example for the JRTC
« Reply #24 on: January 07, 2020, 07:39:53 PM »
The plan you outlined leaves the train station empty.

I'd recommend turning it back into what it was built for in the first place.....a train station (see Denver Union Station article) or this one ( https://www.masstransitmag.com/rail/news/21119987/fl-virgin-trains-expands-in-florida-will-it-ever-reach-jacksonville?fbclid=IwAR0nOdEfkHP9fKCYTlxgigjeMzyYOPO2GVkukbn5zAmFs-Fv3i7abXH1bqQ ).

It's a rail station, it's next to a $60 million local intermodal center, next to FEC's railroad tracks that Virgin already has the rights to operate passenger rail on and we just won a grant to fix the rail infrastructure problem there that has delayed the return on Amtrak.

Like Denver and the Kansas City model you mentioned earlier, the old terminal's grand lobby and concourse would be filled with either rail support uses or retail, dining, office, etc. The outdoor entrance area along Lee and Bay would become an outdoor public area, similar to Denver's. Overall, that railroad terminal and former rail platform area (the Prime Osborn exhibition hall and big surface parking lot in the back) would be a big TOD carrot for the likes of Virgin Trains. Last thing I'd recommend is quickly piecemealing it off for the low density stuff that Vestcor has been putting up in the vicinity.

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Selling the Friendship Fountain land is the revenue stream for everything else (assuming MOSH continues with their fundraising efforts).

How much do we really expect selling Friendship Fountain to bring in? One thing COJ has in abundance is land and buildings in downtown that it doesn't need and totally underutilizes. I'm betting the house that whatever Friendship Fountain's property is worth can be made 10 to 20 times over by RFPing and selling other downtown properties owned by COJ, including the building pads eventually planned for a portion of the Landing site. The other benefit of this is that these underutilized Northbank properties are then put back into use, helping to activate additional areas of the actual downtown core. Friendship Fountain and that park can stay. But we definitely don't need to spend the type of money Boyer wants to on that fountain because it's still not going to attract people on a consistent basis and will most likely break again due to poor maintenance.

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Project 180 in OKC cost nearly $200 million to return streets to two-way.  Now granted a lot of that cost included putting down all new concrete streets but it turns out a lot of cost also involved utility movement to make the sidewalks wider and add bike lanes.

https://www.okc.gov/departments/public-works/project-updates

The majority of those costs aren't due to bike lanes and wider sidewalks. A concrete road is one of the most expensive types of transportation infrastructure out there. As a transportation planner, these are the types of projects I'm involved with on a daily basis in more progressive areas of the state. I can promise you that two-waying, lane elimination, adding cycle tracks, etc. can be done pretty easy and without breaking the bank. In addition, if coordinated with other agencies, they can be implemented incrementally through existing federal, state, local and private funding sources that don't take away from other DT projects. The key I've noticed in the field is not to work in silos when it comes to implementation and funding. For example, a great resource in getting ahead of resurfacing projects, where things like this can be included, is to start reading pavement condition surveys and requesting candidate resurfacing lists. For Central Florida, I'm expecting to get the FY24 (construction takes place in 2024) candidate list for resurfacing projects on Friday. That gives us the next few months to possibly get various multimodal improvements across several counties and cities into the technical scoping packages for future funded resurfacing projects before they get too far down the road.
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thelakelander

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Re: Denver Union Station: A successful example for the JRTC
« Reply #25 on: January 07, 2020, 07:54:07 PM »
Has anyone a VT ever said anything about coming to Jacksonville?

Yes, here is a link the easement agreement allowing for eventual expansion up the FEC to Jax:

https://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1737516/000114036118043289/s002218x4_ex10-48.htm

However, the system will need to be successful with its Orlando link before any other expansion possibilities throughout the state. As for Jax, it should be getting its transportation house in order with the Prime Osborn regardless of it Virgin makes it here or it its simply moving Amtrak back to a site where transferring between different mass transit modes becomes more end user friendly. From a ridership perspective that benefits all modes. From a downtown perspective, the core becomes easily accessible to the outside world without the reliance on the car.
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Kerry

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Re: Denver Union Station: A successful example for the JRTC
« Reply #26 on: January 07, 2020, 09:32:26 PM »
That was one boring read but didn't it say that the Cocoa- Jacksonville segment would only be used for freight?  I'm not an attorney and I don't play one on the internet but I didn't read anything where AAF said they were planning to run passenger traffic north of Cocoa.  In fact, they said their northern terminus was Orlando.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2020, 09:38:09 PM by Kerry »
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Ocklawaha

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Re: Denver Union Station: A successful example for the JRTC
« Reply #27 on: January 07, 2020, 09:49:35 PM »
Virgin Rail and SunRail coming to Jax are so far into the future planning for them now at the expense of other uses is useless.  Might as well say we shouldn't build anything in LaVilla so we have room for the SpacePort.

While I don't see SunRail coming to Jax (especially when locals are going to have to foot the bill soon), a new convention center or MOSH getting $80 million are both pipe dreams. Virgin will totally be dependent on what happens after Orlando opens in two years. We already have Amtrak. If we want it back downtown, that's something that can happen much easier than spending $80 on MOSH or +$100 million on a convention center.

I expect the traffic on I-4, coupled with the States rabid growth rate will adjust the ‘who pay’s’ game. Florida cannot sustain the unlimited growth of Lane-Miles and already the Bay Area is asking for Sunrail service. It doesn’t that much imagination to figure that Florida will follow North Carolina/California into extending commuter rail into regional rail. I’d guess by 2030 M/L. We could probably buy the A-Line from DeLand to Jacksonville Terminal for less than the startup cost of an independent JTA RAIL SERVICE. Consider 8 trains a day connect Raleigh and Charlotte on a route just 80 or so miles shorter than JAX-ORL-TPA, and with ½ of our JAX-TAMPA corridor population.

The worst case for our Station and downtown would be Amtrak access to Orlando International Airport Multimodal Station. Imagine Amtrak ties to Virgin at MCO and curtails it’s Florida trains beyond there. Passengers are handed off to Virgin for Cocoa, West Palm, Ft Lauderdale, Miami, Lakeland and Tampa. Virgin no longer feels it needs Jacksonville in the mix and St Augustine as well as Daytona go down with us. By doing something soon, we’d avoid such an apocalyptic vision.

thelakelander

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Re: Denver Union Station: A successful example for the JRTC
« Reply #28 on: January 07, 2020, 09:52:05 PM »
Sorry wrong link. Here you go!

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Court documents filed last week by All Aboard Florida and a newly formed related company point to the passenger rail’s possible extension of its service on the Florida East Coast Railway tracks north to Jacksonville.

The new company, AAF Jacksonville Segment, LLC, which was registered May 29 in Delaware, penned a June 11 agreement with All Aboard Florida that gives it the easement rights to shuttle passengers on the lines from Cocoa to Jacksonville. The agreement was filed June 18 in St. Johns County.

Attention on All Aboard Florida’s express passenger service has so far focused on its 235-mile Miami to Orlando segment, which will include stations in Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach, but has seen opposition from some residents who are concerned about the impact of an additional 32 trains per day.

Richard Radcliffe, executive director of the Palm Beach County League of Cities, said he’s heard no official public discussion about extending All Aboard Florida express rail service to Jacksonville.

But Kim DeLaney, strategic development coordinator of the Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council, said it was mentioned in 2012 as a future option when All Aboard Florida first began to advertise the $2.5 billion Miami to Orlando project. Also, company officials, as recently as October, were gently lobbied during a Florida Senate Committee on Commerce and Tourism to extend the passenger service to Jacksonville.

“For some reason my presentation doesn’t include Jacksonville. Where do I get an updated version or is that phase 2?” asked an enthusiastic Sen. Aaron Bean, R-Fernandina Beach, during the Oct. 7 meeting.

Rusty Roberts, vice president for All Aboard Florida’s parent company, Florida East Coast Industries, told the committee that Jacksonville and Tampa are possible connections once the Miami to Orlando route, which he called the “moneymaker system,” is successful.

https://www.palmbeachpost.com/business/jacksonville-next-stop-for-all-aboard-florida/1jC7awnU2klhjurDOBzu2J/
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thelakelander

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Re: Denver Union Station: A successful example for the JRTC
« Reply #29 on: January 07, 2020, 09:58:02 PM »
Here was one of the early maps showing the Miami-Orlando segment and potential extensions to Tampa and Jax. Jax has always been a part of the plan but it isn't the highest priority. Linking Miami with Orlando is. Once that's up and running (2022), depending on how things go, additional expansion could be possible.

"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali