Author Topic: Gateway Jax - $500 million for Downtown Project?  (Read 14142 times)

thelakelander

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Re: Gateway Jax - $500 million for Downtown Project?
« Reply #45 on: September 22, 2023, 11:12:48 AM »
While at FAMU, students could also ride the bus system for free. Most who did not have cars, took advantage of that opportunity.

My son is enrolled in a small private university in Atlanta. He does not have a car. During his freshman year, he and his friends would walk or take uber/lyft to get to the grocery store, restaurants, entertainment, etc. off-campus.

I recently spoke to students at EWU and asked them similar questions, thinking that there is an opportunity for New Town and Kings Road to be much more than what they are today economically. Those students mentioned that since the school doesn't have enough dorm space, the school had contracted with a hotel near the airport and provides bus service to connect them with the campus to attend classes. They also mentioned a need for businesses along the Kings Road corridor that could cater to the student population and critical mass of people that EWU draws into that area. Other than Popeye's Chicken and Checkers, many of those students also find ways to get to other areas of town like Town Center, for entertainment, dining, services, etc. Overall, it seems that kids do get off campus, regardless of if they have their own transportation or not.

LOL, you didn't date your friend just so she would clean your clothes?!  Did she cook for you too  ;D?

LOL, while that was certainly a benefit, I wasn't that shallow. I spent plenty money on gas, driving her around and paying for food, movies, etc.
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Fallen Buckeye

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Re: Gateway Jax - $500 million for Downtown Project?
« Reply #46 on: September 22, 2023, 05:20:11 PM »
I like FSCJ for the UF campus. We like to go on about clustering complementing uses in a compact site on this forum, and that could be achieved nicely when paired with Gateway Jax. You'd have Gateway Jax between to two people magnets in a UF campus and the courthouse district, so that really sets up any public investments we make in Gateway Jax up for success. That in turn makes the UF campus more attractive to prospective students. Then you would also have close access to the Skyway at Rosa Parks (for now) to move students throughout the urban core, too. Plus, it's closer to Shands and the CBD and the emerald necklace.

If that's not reason enough, it also changes the image of one of the major entry points into downtown to combat the overall perception of downtown as a dirty and dangerous place. To top it off it has easy highway access for those commuter students.

Locating UF at the fairgrounds would be ok, but the FSCJ location is a slam dunk. I just finished my master's from UF five years ago, and I can tell you that's location I'd want as a student, too.

marcuscnelson

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Re: Gateway Jax - $500 million for Downtown Project?
« Reply #47 on: September 22, 2023, 05:59:09 PM »
I recently spoke to students at EWU and asked them similar questions, thinking that there is an opportunity for New Town and Kings Road to be much more than what they are today economically. Those students mentioned that since the school doesn't have enough dorm space, the school had contracted with a hotel near the airport and provides bus service to connect them with the campus to attend classes. They also mentioned a need for businesses along the Kings Road corridor that could cater to the student population and critical mass of people that EWU draws into that area. Other than Popeye's Chicken and Checkers, many of those students also find ways to get to other areas of town like Town Center, for entertainment, dining, services, etc. Overall, it seems that kids do get off campus, regardless of if they have their own transportation or not.

I remember hearing about that and I'm still just astounded to hear it. Looking at the Property Map it seems like the school does have land, so I'm wondering what's preventing them from infilling the campus with more student housing, or at least finding a closer space to shuttle them from. Is this potentially a zoning issue, or a lack of city support for the uni's plans?
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thelakelander

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Re: Gateway Jax - $500 million for Downtown Project?
« Reply #48 on: September 23, 2023, 08:05:17 PM »
^I don't know what's totally up with Edward Waters. It would seem that they have the potential to anchor supporting commercial uses on Kings and a need for dormitory expansion. I can only assume that they don't have the capital to expand. If funds are an issue, then that is something I do believe that it would be useful to explore various public incentives to do so.
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jaxlongtimer

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Re: Gateway Jax - $500 million for Downtown Project?
« Reply #49 on: September 23, 2023, 08:49:19 PM »
^ EWU received a chunk of change, as I recall, during the Curry administration, and it was used for the football stadium.  I wonder if it would been better to invest in dorms and other projects that promote better student life.  Same choices Jax is facing in money for the stadium vs. City projects that impact citizen's quality of life otherwise.

Sports are great but maybe should take a back seat to some other investments when resources are so strained.

thelakelander

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Re: Gateway Jax - $500 million for Downtown Project?
« Reply #50 on: September 23, 2023, 09:20:59 PM »
They need a lot of investment on and around that campus. I don't know if you've had a chance to watch a game at the new on-campus stadium, but it is a huge improvement for better student life. I know they have possession of the former James Weldon Johnson school next door to the stadium and utilize its locker rooms. It would be good to assist the school in expansion about better utilization of that educational facility as well. Nevertheless, without a doubt, more student housing on-campus appears to be a need that would be good for on-campus life, as well as the surrounding New Town community. All of these things (including a better Student Union) help create a critical mass that can result in more commercial and small business growth along Kings Road. In their current state, that student life money is flowing right out of Durkeeville/New Town and right into Town Center and River City Marketplace.
« Last Edit: September 23, 2023, 09:23:00 PM by thelakelander »
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thelakelander

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Re: Gateway Jax - $500 million for Downtown Project?
« Reply #51 on: September 24, 2023, 01:33:47 PM »
There is a link in this article to EWU's 2025 strategic plan:

https://www.ew.edu/edward-waters-receives-sacscoc-approval-to-offer-eight-new-high-demand-academic-programs/

It mentions the development of a new $21 million on-campus 300-bed living, learning & community center.
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marcuscnelson

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Re: Gateway Jax - $500 million for Downtown Project?
« Reply #52 on: September 24, 2023, 03:09:49 PM »
They need a lot of investment on and around that campus. I don't know if you've had a chance to watch a game at the new on-campus stadium, but it is a huge improvement for better student life. I know they have possession of the former James Weldon Johnson school next door to the stadium and utilize its locker rooms. It would be good to assist the school in expansion about better utilization of that educational facility as well. Nevertheless, without a doubt, more student housing on-campus appears to be a need that would be good for on-campus life, as well as the surrounding New Town community. All of these things (including a better Student Union) help create a critical mass that can result in more commercial and small business growth along Kings Road. In their current state, that student life money is flowing right out of Durkeeville/New Town and right into Town Center and River City Marketplace.

I notice that EWU doesn't appear to have a CRA, while JU (at least the area around it) does. Is there a reason for that? It certainly strikes me that developing the college would be great for giving the neighborhood around it a core of its own, especially if that's paired with things like improving walkability and traffic calming on Kings Rd. It's part of why I'm a little unhappy about how they chose to fence off the campus, especially when they did it while mostly keeping sidewalks to what looks like their minimum 5-foot size. I respect the need for security but it feels like there was a better way to go about it.

There is a link in this article to EWU's 2025 strategic plan:

https://www.ew.edu/edward-waters-receives-sacscoc-approval-to-offer-eight-new-high-demand-academic-programs/

It mentions the development of a new $21 million on-campus 300-bed living, learning & community center.

I'm curious where the LLCC (L2C2?) would go on campus. If it wasn't for the likely parking need the part with the Popeyes between the performing arts area and stadium looks like a decently sized area. Wherever it goes, I hope they take the time to really think through building it in a way that makes it part of the community.
So, to the young people fighting in this movement for change, here is my charge: march in the streets, protest, run for school committee or city council or the state legislature. And win. - Ed Markey

landfall

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Re: Gateway Jax - $500 million for Downtown Project?
« Reply #53 on: September 24, 2023, 07:30:08 PM »
Would echo the views of others that this generally looks promising.

Compare this to the Trio project which really is a disgrace at this point.

Jax_Developer

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Re: Gateway Jax - $500 million for Downtown Project?
« Reply #54 on: September 24, 2023, 10:55:43 PM »
They need a lot of investment on and around that campus. I don't know if you've had a chance to watch a game at the new on-campus stadium, but it is a huge improvement for better student life. I know they have possession of the former James Weldon Johnson school next door to the stadium and utilize its locker rooms. It would be good to assist the school in expansion about better utilization of that educational facility as well. Nevertheless, without a doubt, more student housing on-campus appears to be a need that would be good for on-campus life, as well as the surrounding New Town community. All of these things (including a better Student Union) help create a critical mass that can result in more commercial and small business growth along Kings Road. In their current state, that student life money is flowing right out of Durkeeville/New Town and right into Town Center and River City Marketplace.

I notice that EWU doesn't appear to have a CRA, while JU (at least the area around it) does. Is there a reason for that? It certainly strikes me that developing the college would be great for giving the neighborhood around it a core of its own, especially if that's paired with things like improving walkability and traffic calming on Kings Rd. It's part of why I'm a little unhappy about how they chose to fence off the campus, especially when they did it while mostly keeping sidewalks to what looks like their minimum 5-foot size. I respect the need for security but it feels like there was a better way to go about it.


The CRA's are intended for commercial redevelopment primarily. Arlington's CRA zone applies (mainly) to the commercial property abutting very particular high visibility streets.

The area around EWU is very residential, with a good amount of public & industrial use as well. The area has very limited commercial zoning. I suppose with a master plan of what they want to do, a CRA would be justified. Nonetheless, it would be tiny compared to the Arlington CRA.

With the closure of the JIA CRA, I do think the COJ needs to consider a few smaller CRA's in response. EWU, Lake Shore, and the Eastside/Phoenix areas come to mind.

marcuscnelson

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Re: Gateway Jax - $500 million for Downtown Project?
« Reply #55 on: September 25, 2023, 06:23:06 PM »
The CRA's are intended for commercial redevelopment primarily. Arlington's CRA zone applies (mainly) to the commercial property abutting very particular high visibility streets.

The area around EWU is very residential, with a good amount of public & industrial use as well. The area has very limited commercial zoning. I suppose with a master plan of what they want to do, a CRA would be justified. Nonetheless, it would be tiny compared to the Arlington CRA.

With the closure of the JIA CRA, I do think the COJ needs to consider a few smaller CRA's in response. EWU, Lake Shore, and the Eastside/Phoenix areas come to mind.

Odd, I think I disagree with that concept. The JIA CRA seems to simply encompass a general area which makes a lot more sense, and it should absolutely be part of a CRA's purview to consider and support residential uses in redevelopment. I do agree on creating more CRAs in general though.
So, to the young people fighting in this movement for change, here is my charge: march in the streets, protest, run for school committee or city council or the state legislature. And win. - Ed Markey

Charles Hunter

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Re: Gateway Jax - $500 million for Downtown Project?
« Reply #56 on: September 25, 2023, 08:06:15 PM »
Actually,  the Florida CRA statute focuses on residential needs, and not commercial.  Following are the key definitions  that must be cited when a city or county  declares the "need" for a CRA. From the Florida Community Redevelopment Act.

Quote
163.340 Definitions
(7) “Slum area” means an area having physical or economic conditions conducive to disease, infant mortality, juvenile delinquency, poverty, or crime because there is a predominance of buildings or improvements, whether residential or nonresidential, which are impaired by reason of dilapidation, deterioration, age, or obsolescence, and exhibiting one or more of the following factors:
(a) Inadequate provision for ventilation, light, air, sanitation, or open spaces;
(b) High density of population, compared to the population density of adjacent areas within the county or municipality; and overcrowding, as indicated by government-maintained statistics or other studies and the requirements of the Florida Building Code; or
(c) The existence of conditions that endanger life or property by fire or other causes.
(8) “Blighted area” means an area in which there are a substantial number of deteriorated or deteriorating structures; in which conditions, as indicated by government-maintained statistics or other studies, endanger life or property or are leading to economic distress; and in which two or more of the following factors are present:
(a) Predominance of defective or inadequate street layout, parking facilities, roadways, bridges, or public transportation facilities.
(b) Aggregate assessed values of real property in the area for ad valorem tax purposes have failed to show any appreciable increase over the 5 years prior to the finding of such conditions.
(c) Faulty lot layout in relation to size, adequacy, accessibility, or usefulness.
(d) Unsanitary or unsafe conditions.
(e) Deterioration of site or other improvements.
(f) Inadequate and outdated building density patterns.
(g) Falling lease rates per square foot of office, commercial, or industrial space compared to the remainder of the county or municipality.
(h) Tax or special assessment delinquency exceeding the fair value of the land.
(i) Residential and commercial vacancy rates higher in the area than in the remainder of the county or municipality.
(j) Incidence of crime in the area higher than in the remainder of the county or municipality.
(k) Fire and emergency medical service calls to the area proportionately higher than in the remainder of the county or municipality.
(l) A greater number of violations of the Florida Building Code in the area than the number of violations recorded in the remainder of the county or municipality.
(m) Diversity of ownership or defective or unusual conditions of title which prevent the free alienability of land within the deteriorated or hazardous area.
(n) Governmentally owned property with adverse environmental conditions caused by a public or private entity.
(o) A substantial number or percentage of properties damaged by sinkhole activity which have not been adequately repaired or stabilized.

163.355 Finding of necessity by county or municipality.—No county or municipality shall exercise the community redevelopment authority conferred by this part until after the governing body has adopted a resolution, supported by data and analysis, which makes a legislative finding that the conditions in the area meet the criteria described in s. 163.340(7) or (8). The resolution must state that:
(1) One or more slum or blighted areas, or one or more areas in which there is a shortage of housing affordable to residents of low or moderate income, including the elderly, exist in such county or municipality; and
(2) The rehabilitation, conservation, or redevelopment, or a combination thereof, of such area or areas, including, if appropriate, the development of housing which residents of low or moderate income, including the elderly, can afford, is necessary in the interest of the public health, safety, morals, or welfare of the residents of such county or municipality.

fsu813

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Re: Gateway Jax - $500 million for Downtown Project?
« Reply #57 on: September 25, 2023, 08:09:37 PM »
They need a lot of investment on and around that campus. I don't know if you've had a chance to watch a game at the new on-campus stadium, but it is a huge improvement for better student life. I know they have possession of the former James Weldon Johnson school next door to the stadium and utilize its locker rooms. It would be good to assist the school in expansion about better utilization of that educational facility as well. Nevertheless, without a doubt, more student housing on-campus appears to be a need that would be good for on-campus life, as well as the surrounding New Town community. All of these things (including a better Student Union) help create a critical mass that can result in more commercial and small business growth along Kings Road. In their current state, that student life money is flowing right out of Durkeeville/New Town and right into Town Center and River City Marketplace.

I notice that EWU doesn't appear to have a CRA, while JU (at least the area around it) does. Is there a reason for that? It certainly strikes me that developing the college would be great for giving the neighborhood around it a core of its own, especially if that's paired with things like improving walkability and traffic calming on Kings Rd. It's part of why I'm a little unhappy about how they chose to fence off the campus, especially when they did it while mostly keeping sidewalks to what looks like their minimum 5-foot size. I respect the need for security but it feels like there was a better way to go about it.

There is a link in this article to EWU's 2025 strategic plan:

https://www.ew.edu/edward-waters-receives-sacscoc-approval-to-offer-eight-new-high-demand-academic-programs/

It mentions the development of a new $21 million on-campus 300-bed living, learning & community center.

I'm curious where the LLCC (L2C2?) would go on campus. If it wasn't for the likely parking need the part with the Popeyes between the performing arts area and stadium looks like a decently sized area. Wherever it goes, I hope they take the time to really think through building it in a way that makes it part of the community.

I believe the Florida legislature has effectively banned new CRA's from being implemented.

Charles Hunter

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Re: Gateway Jax - $500 million for Downtown Project?
« Reply #58 on: September 25, 2023, 09:08:49 PM »
Here's the section added to Slap Mickey Mouse.  It clearly sunsets CRAs in existence in 2019, but doesn't appear to repeal the creation sections. (But I haven't read the whole thing)
Quote
163.3755 Termination of community redevelopment agencies.—
(1) A community redevelopment agency in existence on October 1, 2019, shall terminate on the expiration date provided in the agency’s charter on October 1, 2019, or on September 30, 2039, whichever is earlier, unless the governing body of the county or municipality that created the community redevelopment agency approves its continued existence by a majority vote of the members of the governing body.
(2)(a) If the governing body of the county or municipality that created the community redevelopment agency does not approve its continued existence by a majority vote of the governing body members, a community redevelopment agency with outstanding bonds as of October 1, 2019, that do not mature until after the termination date of the agency or September 30, 2039, whichever is earlier, remains in existence until the date the bonds mature.
(b) A community redevelopment agency operating under this subsection on or after September 30, 2039, may not extend the maturity date of any outstanding bonds.
(c) The county or municipality that created the community redevelopment agency must issue a new finding of necessity limited to timely meeting the remaining bond obligations of the community redevelopment agency.

Jax_Developer

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Re: Gateway Jax - $500 million for Downtown Project?
« Reply #59 on: September 25, 2023, 09:10:32 PM »
Good info FSU. Didn't know that.

But yes, CRA's were intended for residential benefit. That was done through primarily commercial revitalization here in Jacksonville. We don't have high-density residential real estate outside of a few very small areas. The JIA CRA was very old, and massive.. intended to help development in that general area. They got rid of it because it's purpose had been fulfilled for quite some time.

Look at the Arlington or New Soutel CRA. They primarily encompass commercial spaces, with a small % being residential. The thought being, commercial revitalization will impact residential. Both of those CRA's were crafted with this principal in mind. The only other CRA that I know of, was downtown. And although we love our residential projects downtown, there are a far greater range of benefits for commercial uses than any other use currently.. that isn't a mistake. The thoughts for those benefits came from somewhere. If anything, the residential benefits are a "add-on."
« Last Edit: September 25, 2023, 09:16:01 PM by Jax_Developer »