Author Topic: Abandoned Times Union building status?  (Read 2955 times)

duvaltilidie

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Abandoned Times Union building status?
« on: January 21, 2020, 08:07:38 AM »
First and foremost, if there is a thread explaining recent news pertaining to the status of the building, feel free to share.

I frequent the Riverwalk out on rides often and have been wondering what’s going to happen to the abandoned Times Union building? Anything in the works? With the recent YMCA building having gone in just East of the property and a new FIS building in the works, close to where the old firehouse sits, it would seem as if perhaps something would start coming to fruition?

MusicMan

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Re: Abandoned Times Union building status?
« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2020, 08:27:32 AM »
In a normal Florida city that might make sense. BUT this is Jacksonville. and here, prime waterfront properties are actually cursed. Therefore, it's gonna be several years before anything 'good' happens to this site.  It's sitting behind a whole bunch of other prime waterfront properties (many vacant) in the pecking order. Check back in 3 to 5 years.


This is from 3 and a half years ago!

https://www.jacksonville.com/article/20160604/NEWS/801249100
« Last Edit: January 21, 2020, 08:40:07 AM by MusicMan »

Kerry

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Re: Abandoned Times Union building status?
« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2020, 09:24:11 AM »
Reserving the land between Riverside Ave and the River for corporations didn't help.  Putting corporations before people has been Jacksonville's biggest obsticle to getting the urban core redeveloped.
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thelakelander

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Re: Abandoned Times Union building status?
« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2020, 09:31:42 AM »
^I'm not sure it actually played out that way. Brooklyn was a platted and developed community by the time it was annexed into Jax.  The block between Commercial Street (Riverside Avenue) and the river had always been either residential, commercial or industrial use.  Other than the city never buying blocks of riverfront from private landowners, I'm not sure it "reserved" the land for corporations. The better scenario is that it didn't do anything and the market ended up dictating the outcome.
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fieldafm

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Re: Abandoned Times Union building status?
« Reply #4 on: January 21, 2020, 10:38:25 AM »
Reserving the land between Riverside Ave and the River for corporations didn't help.  Putting corporations before people has been Jacksonville's biggest obsticle to getting the urban core redeveloped.

Sounds more like you have an argument that's just waiting for a conversation.






Historically, pretty much everything Northeast of Roselle was commercial/industrial along the waterfront since the late 1800's. South or West of Roselle (whichever orientation fits you) was where the only residential structures stood along the waterfront until the 19-teens.

As can be seen on the above aerials, much of where the Fidelity, TIAA Bank, Dupont, Raymond James/old St Joe, Haskell and Times Union Buildings sit are on significant amounts of fill.

The reality is, during the Delaney administration, all of the commercial users along the riverfront allowed for easements and partially (and in cases like Fidelity, significantly) funded the extension of the Northbank Riverwalk and the construction of what is now the Riverside Arts Market.

Those corporate boogeyman you describe were actually the catalyst for creating public space along the riverfront in Brooklyn.

fieldafm

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Re: Abandoned Times Union building status?
« Reply #5 on: January 21, 2020, 10:47:05 AM »
First and foremost, if there is a thread explaining recent news pertaining to the status of the building, feel free to share.

I frequent the Riverwalk out on rides often and have been wondering what’s going to happen to the abandoned Times Union building? Anything in the works? With the recent YMCA building having gone in just East of the property and a new FIS building in the works, close to where the old firehouse sits, it would seem as if perhaps something would start coming to fruition?

There is no news to report at this time.

That site has many challenges where a rapid redevelopment is not likely.

A good chunk of the property is an industrial building that likely has no real use in today's world, the actual TU office building has suffered from a lack of maintenance, it has a relatively small footprint and sits atop a wholly substandard parking structure. Furthermore, you have both a likely environmental remediation and a still-as-yet-determined McCoys Creek watershed restoration to deal with (that runs down the middle of the property... I believe the Morris family sought or has been seeking some injunctive relief to keep their air rights intact).  All of this means that the entire site will be razed and future environmental remediation will be likely before vertical construction (with whatever mix of uses still to be determined by an actual user/developer) can take place.

Its not exactly shovel-ready, so any redevelopment is likely a decades-long endeavor at this point. I haven't heard any rumblings of any seriously interested parties up until this point.

vicupstate

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Re: Abandoned Times Union building status?
« Reply #6 on: January 21, 2020, 11:49:04 AM »
^^ So it is another Shipyards.  Can't say I am surprised given the history of the site. It is likely to stay vacant of demoed and the land stay vacant for a long time.
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thelakelander

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Re: Abandoned Times Union building status?
« Reply #7 on: January 21, 2020, 12:04:33 PM »
^I'd rather see it leased out to an industrial user or a waterfront flea market than having another vacant waterfront lawn for another decade plus.
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vicupstate

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Re: Abandoned Times Union building status?
« Reply #8 on: January 21, 2020, 12:24:27 PM »
^I'd rather see it leased out to an industrial user or a waterfront flea market than having another vacant waterfront lawn for another decade plus.

If Ft. Lauderdale can make a name for itself with canals, maybe JAX can do the same with vacant waterfront lots?  Get this and Berkman 2 down and we would have quite a collection.
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thelakelander

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Re: Abandoned Times Union building status?
« Reply #9 on: January 21, 2020, 12:30:56 PM »
^LOL, my thoughts with the Times Union site are the same I've always had about the the Shipyards. Would rather see it on the tax rolls as a scrapyard yard or a cold storage warehouse than sit vacant and empty for 20 years.
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Tacachale

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Re: Abandoned Times Union building status?
« Reply #10 on: January 21, 2020, 02:14:18 PM »
I don't see why the office building would need to be demolished. If it was usable until a few months ago it should be usable still.
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Peter Griffin

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Re: Abandoned Times Union building status?
« Reply #11 on: January 21, 2020, 03:09:25 PM »
This building will need to be demolished to daylight McCoy's Creek which currently runs beneath the parking lot.

Despite the loud noises made on this website about demolishing buildings, bringing McCoy's Creek back to life is well worth it, especially since this building/warehouse combo doesn't really lend itself to a quality adaptive reuse as anything other than a dated office building.

duvaltilidie

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Re: Abandoned Times Union building status?
« Reply #12 on: January 21, 2020, 04:55:18 PM »
Whew.. that’s a lot to digest. So the consensus is that, unless a reuse idea comes along to both renovate & create a future use for the building, then demo is the only option with vertical construction in the future? With the Riverside Avenue overpass, the train tracks and the Acosta so close, what would be the ideal remedy? Appreciate all your insights, it’s been awkward seeing it sit empty for so long and I haven’t been able to find anything through a google search.

thelakelander

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Re: Abandoned Times Union building status?
« Reply #13 on: January 21, 2020, 05:11:53 PM »
Has it been empty for a year? The Shipyards site is going on 28 years of being vacant now. I get the impression that the TU site will be sitting empty for a while.
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jaxlongtimer

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Re: Abandoned Times Union building status?
« Reply #14 on: January 22, 2020, 02:35:53 AM »
It didn't help that the City sold the turn about through May/Lelila Streets across Riverside Avenue that gave access to this property with a stop light from Acosta Bridge ramp traffic to a strip center developer.  Another short sighted move by our City leaders.  Morris Family was asleep at the wheel to let that go through.

Also, looking a the Google aerials, I believe the office building part of the complex does not sit directly above McCoy's Creek.  It looks like it is the connector from that building to the printing plant that covers the creek along with some grade level greenery.  However, they want to widen McCoy's Creek when they open it up so the office building would surely have to go at that point as it appears to run very close to the edge of the current waterway.

Along with the McCoy's Creek restoration through the middle of the property and the Riverside Avenue access issue, I understand there are are also complexities arising from dealing with the Riverwalk, submerged land use on the river side of the Riverwalk and the adjacent railroad making this site a bit trickier than most to plan out.  No idea if there are any environmental issues to layer on top of those.  But, being in "hot" Brooklyn and privately owned, I bet it gets developed before most or all of the riverfront on the Downtown Northbank that is owned by the world's most incompetent developer, the City of Jacksonville.