Author Topic: The DIA and Lori Boyer Are Doing a Phenomenal Job  (Read 28464 times)

jaxlongtimer

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Re: The DIA and Lori Boyer Are Doing a Phenomenal Job
« Reply #90 on: April 10, 2024, 05:03:46 PM »
I think Nate says what most are thinking.  Boyer is like the coach that is well liked and popular with the players but just doesn't have teams that can build a winning record over time.  Such coaches are forced out all the time as forward progress is the job standard. 

Boyer has overseen record low financing rates, a booming economy and unparalleled growth in the City at large and yet Downtown (specifically, the North Core) has little to show for it other than a long string of broken promises, deal fall-throughs and unbuilt renderings.

I would suggest DIA's biggest mistake is not focusing more on the details of infrastructure (green spaces/parks, streetscapes, urban mass transit, river access and uses, lighting, security, land use/zoning, etc.) and culture (architectural design standards, historic preservation, history, events, museums, theaters, tourist attractions and promotions, etc.) that motivate people to want to invest, personally or otherwise, in Downtown.

Jacksonville always is chasing the big whale... an NFL team, bigger and better stadium, floating nuclear power plants, an auto plant, a tower downtown, the Four Seasons, an aircraft carrier, the Skyway/U2C, etc.... while overlooking all the smaller projects that both serve as the catalyst for the bigger ones and also create a more sustainable base for the long term.  There are dozens or more small towns in the U.S. that are tourist meccas and desirable places to locate without any of the big projects Jacksonville throws money at. 

Quality of life counts and should be #1 always.  That is what people want and what they will put their money on.
« Last Edit: April 10, 2024, 06:07:44 PM by jaxlongtimer »

Joey Mackey

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Re: The DIA and Lori Boyer Are Doing a Phenomenal Job
« Reply #91 on: April 10, 2024, 05:34:02 PM »
Steve Atkins is not pulling his punches ;D

"To imagine that the city could do a more effective job of development of this site by focusing solely on rehabbing the historic buildings or by isolating one of the uses, without more (uses), is interesting, considering the amount of time, effort and resources the city deployed in mustering water features at the water fountain on the Southbank, a magnificent development indeed considering everything else that's gone vertical in the area over the years besides squirts of water," Atkins wrote in an April 3 email to DIA CEO Lori Boyer."

Full article here - https://www.jacksonville.com/story/news/local/2024/04/10/jacksonville-seeks-new-approach-on-historic-laura-street-trio/73251746007/

jaxlongtimer

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Re: The DIA and Lori Boyer Are Doing a Phenomenal Job
« Reply #92 on: April 10, 2024, 06:31:38 PM »
^ Reading this article, I can see both sides of this coin.  The underlying question is what are the economics of the project.  This obviously dictates investment and financing.  If Atkins can only get financing with a City guarantee, that isn't exactly a vote of confidence in the economic viability of his vision.  It is hard to believe that if the City is contributing tens of millions otherwise to the project that he can't make this work economically.  Has Adkins been totally transparent on project costs (same issue as Lot J had)?  Maybe he is just being too greedy?

On the other hand, I would think if he could find better financing terms by now he would have done so.  Rising interest rates are not helping.  Banks have become far more cautious with lending lately and he may be lucky to even have one offer.  He is likely looking at what the City is doing for Khan on the Four Seasons and stadium and thinking his project is to Downtown of greater impact and he is only putting the City at risk for a fraction of the largess thrown at Khan, a multi billionaire that really doesn't need money from anyone else.  Could the City sell tax free bonds to finance the project?  That might reduce the financing costs quite a bit.  Will the City be doing that for Khan?  If so, why not here?  If the City did guarantee the Capital One loan and had to follow through, I would imagine the City would be entitled to take ownership of the project.  What value could the City get by flipping it at that point, especially if it triggered a resurgent Downtown?  Could the State or Feds contribute a substantial historic preservation grant to the project?

Some entrenched parties and tough calls.  Sadly, we all lose if these treasured buildings are not preserved soon.


Tacachale

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Re: The DIA and Lori Boyer Are Doing a Phenomenal Job
« Reply #93 on: April 10, 2024, 11:33:25 PM »
Steve Atkins is not pulling his punches ;D

"To imagine that the city could do a more effective job of development of this site by focusing solely on rehabbing the historic buildings or by isolating one of the uses, without more (uses), is interesting, considering the amount of time, effort and resources the city deployed in mustering water features at the water fountain on the Southbank, a magnificent development indeed considering everything else that's gone vertical in the area over the years besides squirts of water," Atkins wrote in an April 3 email to DIA CEO Lori Boyer."

Full article here - https://www.jacksonville.com/story/news/local/2024/04/10/jacksonville-seeks-new-approach-on-historic-laura-street-trio/73251746007/

Quote

Mayor Donna Deegan said DIA presented "three very good options" to Atkins and the clock is ticking on getting the Trio restored.


"The reason we wanted to be very intentional about presenting those options to Mr. Atkins was to say look, this is our best final effort to get this in a place where we can get it done," Deegan said. "And from here, if we cannot get it done (with Atkins), we're going to move quickly to whatever our next options are because time is really crucial when it comes to these buildings."


Do you believe that when the blue jay or another bird sings and the body is trembling, that is a signal that people are coming or something important is about to happen?

Charles Hunter

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Re: The DIA and Lori Boyer Are Doing a Phenomenal Job
« Reply #94 on: April 11, 2024, 09:23:03 AM »
The part of the story I'd like to hear more about is this

Quote
Atkins said in his letter to Boyer that his legal team disagrees with the interpretation by the Office of General Counsel and is "candidly perplexed" there hasn't been an opportunity to meet directly with the city attorneys and their outside bond counsel to go through the details of the financing plan.

"While you are reading a shorthand account from a term sheet with regard to an 'unconditional guarantee,' there are numerous ways to structure the city-developer-lender arrangement to avoid what you deem 'fatal' flaws," Atkins wrote.

Did Atkins request a meeting with the City's lawyers? If so, who denied that opportunity, and why?

Ken_FSU

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Re: The DIA and Lori Boyer Are Doing a Phenomenal Job
« Reply #95 on: April 11, 2024, 11:12:53 AM »
Will just say that suspect DIA leadership does not make Atkins less of a clown.

To me, it boils down to this:

In the original (read: third) proposal that the DIA "bunted on," Southeast asked the city for a "$22 million loan guarantee," which essentially put $22 million in initial public money into a reserve that Capital One could draw from if Southeast failed to make their payments, while also leaving the city ultimately liable for everything (up to $250 million by some estimates). It was wildly irresponsible, risky to our municipal credit rating, and ultimately, unconstitutional. You just can't use public money to guarantee loans for private developers.

To get to the same place, with a similar $22 million incentive while also protecting our public interests, the DIA came back with three options, all of which focused our public dollars on restoration of the historic buildings versus writing blank checks for the new construction aspects (something I've long pushed for as a rational alternative):

1) The city buys the Trio at market value, and spends $56 million to privately restore the buildings. Upon completion, Atkins would be given the first right of refusal to buy them back.

2) The city would float Southeast $56 million in historic grants, paid out in stages at key project milestones. Once complete, Atkins would pay back half ($28 million) of the grants.

3) The city would acquire the land and buildings and lease them back to Southeast, or buy and lease the land to them while letting Southeast retain ownership of the building. The city would then provide Atkins and Southeast a $26 million-plus historic preservation grant upfront.

Are these solutions perfect? I don't know. Are at least one or two of them solid enough options to talk through in order to finally get some dirt turning? I think they are.

From my understanding, instead of playing ball when the city came to him with $26-$28 million in hand, Atkins immediately shot down #1 and #3, and instead came back with a barely modified version of the original package that included the city guaranteeing his private loans.

Guy just doesn't seem willing to budge, the General Counsel was clear in their belief that the proposal was too risky and unconstitutional, and I don't blame anyone for not wanting to piss away their limited time listening to Southeast's lawyers argue why they think it is constitutional for the taxpayers to back their private loan.

Just like the definition of insanity is letting the current DIA leadership continue to spin their wheels while expecting progress downtown, the definition of insanity is also letting Southeast continue to waste everyone's time on this project. The group clearly doesn't have the financing in place to complete the project. They offloaded the garage to VyStar, tried some shady workarounds with the housing authority, and now are trying to find creative ways to pass liability for their project off on the city. There's just never been enough real skin in the game to take what's been proposed, and re-proposed, and re-proposed, and now re-proposed seriously. These are key buildings on a key block, but no one is entitled to write their own demands.

We desperately need to get this project done, but unfortunately, it clearly isn't going to be with this group.

Can't say I blame the city for this one, and I'm glad the mayor and Jimmy Peluso are clearly willing to support escalation if necessary. Guy's had a 11 years to clean up his property, and his inability to develop a blighted block is handicapping all of the other surrounding investments we're making on the periphery. I'm sick of looking at it every day. Get him out. He's had his chance, he's run out of other people to blame for inaction, and at this point, he's just holding the Trio hostage. It ain't fair to the city and to all of the other businesses trying to play ball in the CBD.
« Last Edit: April 11, 2024, 11:16:12 AM by Ken_FSU »

Florida Power And Light

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Re: The DIA and Lori Boyer Are Doing a Phenomenal Job
« Reply #96 on: April 15, 2024, 08:38:54 PM »
DIA / Lori a Phenomenal Job in the face of Implosion.
School Bus / Hogan  Creek “ news” today simply a brief footnote. Personally, I will never ever again kayak downtown interior waterways or  even enter Downtown Blueways…. As a matter of experiences, discernment. Shucks, Cassatt Avenue / Lowe’s and 103 Street corridor have @ Changed”.

I have an In-law related family person that was employed by DIA. Endless Loop Goop. Far reaching political/influence tentacles...what once appeared as Clearly Supported Directive ends up as simply a pile of Loop Goo(P) on the Platter Of Consequences.
My Mother in Law's family on my Wife's side had a Bakery at Five Points. She married a man that would become the City Of Jacksonville Chief General Counsel.....upon Consolidation.
Fascinating insights,stories, interviews. And certain stuff simply and easily (mostly)  Sworn To Secrecey/Non News.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2024, 06:18:04 PM by Florida Power And Light »

jaxlongtimer

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Re: The DIA and Lori Boyer Are Doing a Phenomenal Job
« Reply #97 on: April 18, 2024, 01:42:32 PM »
Looks like someone is happy with Boyer's results...  8).  Two more years max, apparently.
Quote
DIA could extend Boyer's contract

The Downtown Investment Authority may seek to extend its CEO's contract for another two years.

Lori Boyer took the helm of the DIA in 2019 with a five-year contract, which is set to expire in June.

On Wednesday, board Chair Jim Citrano signaled his desire to extend Boyer’s contract for another two years. The board is expected to vote on a resolution regarding the CEO’s contract at its next meeting, on May 15....

....But there’s been an indication both from the mayor’s office and the DIA board that they want her to stay, and she is willing to sign on for another two years, but that’s the maximum.

When the board wants to start looking for her replacement, she will help transition and train that individual, whether it be someone on staff or from an outside search, she said...

https://www.bizjournals.com/jacksonville/news/2024/04/18/dia-ceo-contract.html?utm_source=st&utm_medium=en&utm_campaign=me&utm_content=JA&ana=e_JA_me&j=35076812&senddate=2024-04-18&empos=p4

marcuscnelson

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marcuscnelson

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thelakelander

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Re: The DIA and Lori Boyer Are Doing a Phenomenal Job
« Reply #100 on: May 20, 2024, 09:11:59 PM »
Where has a Family Dollar been built in the Downtown CRA this century?  I know of one on State Street that's open but its located outside of the DIA's boundaries.
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AdamsOnAdams

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Re: The DIA and Lori Boyer Are Doing a Phenomenal Job
« Reply #101 on: May 20, 2024, 09:36:37 PM »
My mistake. I misread the JDR article. The now closed Family Dollar mentioned by Boyer was done well before her time at the DIA. She mentioned it as an example of how things have improved downtown since she began as CEO in 2019. I still don’t think progress downtown warrants giving her a 2-year extension and definitely don’t think she needs to be “training” her successor.

heights unknown

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Re: The DIA and Lori Boyer Are Doing a Phenomenal Job
« Reply #102 on: May 21, 2024, 04:58:26 AM »
Even small, poor downtown Lake City has a Family Dollar; also even a Dollar General. Small towns can have these but not downtown Jax? Lori needs to find another job. They want people to live (and of course work) in downtown Jax but don't want to bring in grocery stores, retailers, gas stations/convenience stores, etc.? It just doesn't equate; and, I think the planning is to bring even more people downtown. So I think that justifies luring in Family Dollars and other businesses to support the people living and working downtown.
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Tacachale

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Re: The DIA and Lori Boyer Are Doing a Phenomenal Job
« Reply #103 on: May 21, 2024, 11:23:46 PM »
Even small, poor downtown Lake City has a Family Dollar; also even a Dollar General. Small towns can have these but not downtown Jax? Lori needs to find another job. They want people to live (and of course work) in downtown Jax but don't want to bring in grocery stores, retailers, gas stations/convenience stores, etc.? It just doesn't equate; and, I think the planning is to bring even more people downtown. So I think that justifies luring in Family Dollars and other businesses to support the people living and working downtown.

There is literally a Family Dollar on State Street one block from the Downtown CRA boundaries. There are also multiple grocery stores, gas stations and convenience stores *within* the boundaries, and more are in the works. No need to lure them, give them site plan exemptions or any of the things we used to do just to say we have such-and-such business in our Downtown.
Do you believe that when the blue jay or another bird sings and the body is trembling, that is a signal that people are coming or something important is about to happen?

Charles Hunter

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Re: The DIA and Lori Boyer Are Doing a Phenomenal Job
« Reply #104 on: May 21, 2024, 11:26:47 PM »
Not one on State Street much longer

From the Daily Record
Quote
The Downtown Family Dollar at 233 E. State St. and the East Arlington store at 1556 Monument Road are among the latest to post closure signs.

The Downtown store is closing at 7 p.m. May 25, a store clerk said. He said the closure was because of slow sales and that workers would be moved to other stores. Most of the merchandise in the store was gone May 20. Items were up to 75% off.