Author Topic: Florida Times-Union property under contract; $250 million project planned  (Read 20686 times)

jaxjags

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How does the daylighting and relocation of McCoys Creek and the demolition of the TU complex come into play? Neither the RCB or San Marco projects had these factors included in the redevelopment plan.

Not sure Lake. The article is not clear, but as city is buying the park land sounds as the daylighting may be done by the city. Even then is that portion $50 million? Regardless, my question is how are these REV Grants determined. Does the city rely on the developers costs?

bl8jaxnative

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The uses and density are fine but the site layout can be better with a few changes such as shifting the retail space and grocery store to front the entrance road and move the street level parking to the back of those buildings. Considering that any chances of Brooklyn becoming an actual urban, pedestrian friendly neighborhood again went down the drain years ago, the project is okay and beneficial to the area.

Not this developers fault but I think it's a shame how disconnected Brooklyn feels from Downtown, Riverside, and the surrounding neighborhoods if you don't have a car. Aside from the Riverwalk, there's no easy way to get to Brooklyn without feeling that your life is in danger crossing the massive roads and parking lots. Hopefully we hold future developments to stricter urban, design standards

The creek and the RR create that disconnect.

One can easily + safely walk from downtown to, let's say The Fresh Market.   Any perception of a lack of safety is an error on your part.

thelakelander

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The Brooklyn Skyway station should help with the connection. It will be a one stop hop between this Brooklyn location and Central Station well before this development is completed.
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Zac T

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The uses and density are fine but the site layout can be better with a few changes such as shifting the retail space and grocery store to front the entrance road and move the street level parking to the back of those buildings. Considering that any chances of Brooklyn becoming an actual urban, pedestrian friendly neighborhood again went down the drain years ago, the project is okay and beneficial to the area.

Not this developers fault but I think it's a shame how disconnected Brooklyn feels from Downtown, Riverside, and the surrounding neighborhoods if you don't have a car. Aside from the Riverwalk, there's no easy way to get to Brooklyn without feeling that your life is in danger crossing the massive roads and parking lots. Hopefully we hold future developments to stricter urban, design standards

The creek and the RR create that disconnect.

One can easily + safely walk from downtown to, let's say The Fresh Market.   Any perception of a lack of safety is an error on your part.

It's a lot of fun watching people cross Riverside Ave and try to dodge 6 lanes of traffic or cross the Riverside Ave, Acosta Bridge, Water St intersection or the countless times I have to help people who get lost trying to walk from Brooklyn to the Omni or vice-versa. Yeah sure it's a walk that a capable person could do but let's not kid ourselves into believing that it's easy or safe. Riverside Ave and Forest St were built to get cars through Brooklyn as quickly as possible and that's exactly how people drive through there. And developments with massive parking lots like the Fresh Market worsen the situation for pedestrians.

Charles Hunter

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With the opening of McCoys Creek and its associated park, would that improve the pedestrian connection between the existing Brooklyn commercial areas - and Skyway Station - and the new development and riverwalk?

acme54321

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With the opening of McCoys Creek and its associated park, would that improve the pedestrian connection between the existing Brooklyn commercial areas - and Skyway Station - and the new development and riverwalk?

Yes, the McCoys Creek portion of the emerald trail is supposed to connect to the riverwalk.

jcjohnpaint

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Why would the DIA approve this with such an ambiguous design? This is an approval to be reviewed? Even looking at this, there are some easy adjustments that could be made to make it more pedestrian friendly.

« Last Edit: August 16, 2021, 08:18:48 PM by jcjohnpaint »

Des

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Why would the DIA approve this with such an ambiguous design? This is an approval to be reviewed? Even looking at this, there are some easy adjustments that could be made to make it more pedestrian friendly.

They're currently only looking at the numbers on a spreadsheet. They will still need to go through a conceptual, then final design review.

jaxjags

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I've gotten myself confused several times about this also. The DIA is mainly looking at the financials and determining if they meet city requirements and how much should be approved. The DDRB (DT Development Review Board) will look at the actual design of the site and architectural details. See article about Jags performance center. All those comments came from DDRB. This is my interpretation, so I could be wrong.

jaxjags

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How does the daylighting and relocation of McCoys Creek and the demolition of the TU complex come into play? Neither the RCB or San Marco projects had these factors included in the redevelopment plan.

Not sure Lake. The article is not clear, but as city is buying the park land sounds as the daylighting may be done by the city. Even then is that portion $50 million? Regardless, my question is how are these REV Grants determined. Does the city rely on the developers costs?

JBJ article today states the city is responsible for the McCoy's Creek/Park part of this project. So again I just don't get the $180 million especially as it appears the plan is for low rise wood buildings. Maybe as the details are released it will become obvious.

jcjohnpaint

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Thanks all!

landfall

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People can snub their noses at these projects but the end of the day they will probably bring valuable amenities that greatly benefits any DT resident. If that means chains like Starbucks or Firehouse so be it.

Canton in Baltimore is very similar to Brooklyn and has this vibe. There's a retail area called Canton Crossing which has a Chick fil A, Harris Teeter, Target and a lot of other amenity type places in amongst new waterfront apartments and its been very successful.

Charles Hunter

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"Speedbump" due to concern over the timing of a restaurant along the Riverwalk. 
From the Jacksonville Business Journal - https://www.bizjournals.com/jacksonville/news/2021/08/19/fuqua-redevelopment-of-times-union-hits-dia-speed.html?utm_source=st&utm_medium=en&utm_campaign=me&utm_content=ja&ana=e_ja_me&j=24789029&senddate=2021-08-19

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The city is being asked to incentivize the project, but the DIA is loath to do so without it including a component that will activate the waterfront.

Fuqua's plans calls for a riverfront eatery in phase two of the development, which could be a minimum of five years away.

That's too long, some DIA board members said.

“We don’t have opportunity to do retail anywhere else along this stretch (of the river near Brooklyn,)” said DIA member Oliver Barakat. “We have to have this.”

...

The DIA voted 5-3 to table a resolution to approve incentives for the project so that those points can be hammered out at a special meeting to consider the resolution and other topics. That meeting is expected to be held Sept. 2.

...

Work on phase two would have to wait on a separate project that would be done by the city, which would see it uncover and relocate McCoy’s Creek a bit further to the east from its current spot. Fuqua’s phase two, which would include more apartment units and restaurant space on the river, couldn’t begin until the creek project was finished.

Ultimately, that’s an uncertain time period that all parties involved seemed uncomfortable with, especially since the time seems ripe right now to activate the riverfront with a new restaurant.

Good for the DIA.

Zac T

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Re: Florida Times-Union property under contract; $250 million project planned
« Reply #58 on: September 03, 2021, 10:10:09 AM »
The DIA unanimously approved incentives for the Fuqua development which will now include a riverfront restaurant in the first phase. Apparently there was decent public comment at the meeting and most people expressed a desire for an engaging project with better design.

https://www.bizjournals.com/jacksonville/news/2021/09/03/t-u-redevelopment-gets-dia-green-light.html

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There will be a riverfront restaurant in the Brooklyn area of Jacksonville, now that developers and the city have come to an agreement — one that will see the city help pay for the eatery.

The Downtown Investment Authority voted 7-0 Thursday to approve nearly $30 million in incentives for Fuqua Development's plan to redevelop the former Florida Times-Union property. That includes splitting the cost of building a restaurant, which the city agency has argued is needed for riverfront activation.

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A couple of public comments before the meeting began Thursday asked the DIA to ensure that if public money is incentivizing this development, to make sure the project will have excellent design and engages the public.

DIA board chair Braxton Gillam pointed out that Fuqua's project will turn the site from unused and blighted into a property that not only includes mixed-uses, but even a new public park.

Another public comment called the proposed buildings ugly.

DIA board members pointed out that there aren't renderings for the buildings yet and the plan is still conceptual, and that design is the purview of the DDRB.

thelakelander

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Re: Florida Times-Union property under contract; $250 million project planned
« Reply #59 on: September 03, 2021, 11:05:01 AM »
This part scares me:

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Barakat, board member Carol Worsham and Chair Braxton Gillam agreed that architectural quality is important for a Downtown riverfront development but said it is too early to judge Fuqua’s plans.

The developer has not released renderings for One Riverside Avenue.

Worsham and Boyer noted the design quality will be reviewed when the project moves to the Downtown Development Review Board.

“We see a site plan that is probably not final, it’s very conceptual, and those of us as designers or architects or engineers or landscape architects look at that and think, ‘I want more.’ I think the devil is in the details,” Worsham said.

Barakat said he agrees that what Fuqua presented “feels like a high-density suburban site plan” but said the site comes with constraints like necessary riverview corridors and McCoys Creek.

Gillam said he was frustrated by the public’s criticism of a “design that’s yet to occur.”

I believe the site plan is the most important element to get right at the conceptual stage. If you screw up here, from a pedestrian scale perspective, the architectural design of the building facades won't be able to overcome poor land planning. So when I read the DIA comments above and see the "conceptual" plan below, I see a Phase 1 site plan that is way past the conceptual stage. The apartment structures actually have individual units fairly designed already. This plan is in the engineering phase. Phase II, around the proposed park is conceptual.



With the passage of this incentives package, we've basically locked ourselves into a Phase I site plan with surface parking at the entrance of the grocery store (I believe that could have been flipped from the entrance). We've also lost an opportunity to integrate the retail/dining into a "central street/view corridor" (sort of like Tapestry Park or the Downtown Dadeland photo below) that could have connected Riverside Avenue with the Riverwalk. Instead, we'll probably end up with a random riverwalk restaurant location at the helipad, which will not be seen from Riverside Avenue and an isolated/disconnected strip mall shops pushed in the top corner of the site. The lack of visibility and connectivity with the rest of the retail and Riverside Avenue will possibly create an additional challenge to the viability of the restaurant space from a feasibility perspective.


« Last Edit: September 03, 2021, 11:46:36 AM by thelakelander »
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali