Author Topic: City to host March 6 community meeting about DT Jacksonville public projects  (Read 10526 times)

CityLife

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^Ouch!

Another thing that is ABSOLUTELY insane is that the stretch of the Riverwalk between the Fuller Warren and Acosta is poorly maintained and has nothing interesting going on. I was in town in late January for a soccer tournament for my daughter. We had a break one day and scooped up Bearded Pig with a few teammates/parents and ate on the Riverwalk by the Y.

It was a beautiful sunny winter day and there were a decent amount of walkers/bikers on the Riverwalk. The setting is great there, but the Riverwalk itself was meh at best. The area between the Riverwalk and the rip rap (rocks) was mostly dirt with sporadic grass. Even the portion adjacent to Haskell was in pretty bad shape. It's kind of ridiculous that a design build company with over a billion dollars in annual revenue has such a mediocre frontage along the Riverwalk. The only portion that was decent was the stretch by the new Fidelity building, where you had some nice grasses between the Riverwalk and rip rap, but I'm sure the City will allow that to fade over time.

In general the people we were with all thought the view was nice, but couldn't understand why there was nothing to do and nothing going on. I asked the girls what was needed and they said an ice cream/dessert or drink stand. The parents couldn't understand why there wasn't a place to get a drink on the water. Having been away from Jax for a few years, I was shocked to see how run down the Riverwalk looked.

IT.IS.INSANE to try and build a "world class" waterfront parks system throughout downtown, while allowing the portion that should be the most heavily used to be completely average. It's really low hanging fruit too. The Riverwalk just needs some ornamental grasses by the rip rap, refreshed landscaping, and better street furniture. Since there is a total lack of waterfront dining downtown, why not at least throw something like this up at Gefen Park and next to Friendship Fountain immediately?



Even better, throw some outdoor seating waterward of the Riverwalk (Riverwalk can be shifted west if needed) and create an amazing place for people to grab a drink or a quick bite. If Smith and Wollensky can do it while having a popular waterfront path going through it in Miami Beach, I'm sure it can be done in Jax.



But no, let's try and create a food hall that is miles away from the core of downtown and residents.....

WarDamJagFan

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Have been screaming this for as long as I can remember. The entire city knows how s***ty our management of water front property downtown has been for the last umpteen decades. Everyone knows it except City Hall.

Fallen Buckeye

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Couple thoughts and ideas.

#1 - Should DIA be restructured into a few competing neighborhood groups?
I understand the convenience of a one stop shop for downtown development, but as mentioned the efforts have been scattershot over a large area. Maybe introducing some competition would spur results. I'm thinking semi-independent groups for Northbank core, LaVilla, Brooklyn, Sports District, and the Southbank. Set some KPIs and the working groups that bring results get the money.

#2 - Food trucks on the Riverwalk
I'm not typically there during midday, so maybe this already happens, but do we have food trucks on the Riverwalk regularly? Seems like an easy way to bring some dining there.

#3 - Improve accommodations for ebikes & scooters.
The scooters a pretty fun and quick way to get around downtown, but I personally feel unsafe using them on the road. If you set aside a few corridors with dedicated bike/scooter lanes it would make the experience a lot nicer and it'd be a nice little mobility boost for cheap.

CityLife

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Couple thoughts and ideas.

#1 - Should DIA be restructured into a few competing neighborhood groups?
I understand the convenience of a one stop shop for downtown development, but as mentioned the efforts have been scattershot over a large area. Maybe introducing some competition would spur results. I'm thinking semi-independent groups for Northbank core, LaVilla, Brooklyn, Sports District, and the Southbank. Set some KPIs and the working groups that bring results get the money.

Good idea in theory, but it becomes extremely difficult to staff and fund. You lose a lot of economies of scale of having everything under one umbrella.  Under this idea you would need five CEO/Executive Directors, each making well north of $100k. Then you have to staff each one with competent people. You could have sub-committees focused on each distinct neighborhood. Ultimately though, you still have the problem of spreading redevelopment efforts across a big area. Introducing neighborhood focused groups would just further push the DIA to focus their efforts all over the place to appease each group.

The best solution imo, is to do what most well run cities do in you know, actual City Planning. We have an adopted Master Plan with short, intermediate, and long term priorities. Then there is a yearly Strategic Plan that generally coincides with adoption of the yearly budget/CIP. The City Council selects strategic priorities to accomplish over the fiscal year and ranks them in order of priority. These then get adopted into the Strategic Plan. This sets a very clear expectation of where energy should be focused and what needs to be delivered. If a City Manager or Department Head doesn't deliver to expectations, they are often let go.

I could be wrong, but I don't believe the DIA does this on a yearly basis. Heck, the DIA Master Plan has nothing that ranks priorities of projects or has anything about the expected timing of completion. It basically says, "here are some cool ideas, have fun". It's no wonder everything takes forever Downtown and is not being done strategically.

DIA Master Plan:

https://coj365-my.sharepoint.com/personal/andersone_coj_net/_layouts/15/onedrive.aspx?id=%2Fpersonal%2Fandersone%5Fcoj%5Fnet%2FDocuments%2F20230621%5FMaster%20Plan%20summary%2FDIA%20Master%20Plan%20Executive%20Summary%5FPages%2Epdf&parent=%2Fpersonal%2Fandersone%5Fcoj%5Fnet%2FDocuments%2F20230621%5FMaster%20Plan%20summary&ga=1
« Last Edit: March 08, 2024, 12:57:31 PM by CityLife »

Charles Hunter

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A couple of initial thoughts

Is the two-way conversion of Forsyth and Adams "under construction" as slide 27 says?

Is the "St. Johns River Park Restaurant" (slide 60) now a DIA/Public Works project to replace the restaurant torn down to make way for a possible future apartment development that was going to include a developer-built restaurant?

Zac T

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Another meeting planned for April 17th regarding future plans for Metro Park

Quote
The city announced April 15 there will be an open house for the planned rejuvenation of Metropolitan Park on April 17.

The event is 3-7 p.m. Downtown in the Jacksonville Main Library lounge at 303 N. Laura St.

Metropolitan Park is at 4110 Gator Bowl Blvd. south of  EverBank Stadium along the St. Johns River.

https://www.jaxdailyrecord.com/news/2024/apr/15/city-to-hold-open-house-april-17-on-metropolitan-park-rejuvenation/

Ken_FSU

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^We’ve really got to stop announcing pivotal public input meetings for our parks two day in advance during working hours.

https://www.jaxdailyrecord.com/news/2024/apr/22/denver-based-firm-civitas-hired-to-redesign-metropolitan-park/

Florida Power And Light

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I first step foot on Jacksonville Downtown Property in 1979.
Having been born at Miami Beach 1956 and introduced to Downtown Jacksonville in 1979 by my parents, I was so impressed by The River City Downtown Potential. Witnessed the Concept and Implementation of The Landing. As an area Boating IndustryPerson....well... yea...Involved.Kayaked McCoys and Hogans. Blueway.....BIG BOATS at the Landing......Jacksonville Waterways Coordinator, Commission...Yikes!.... I am becomoming Seasick!.... Baaaaarff! (and many Dead End visits with Noone....Ha!.... Paddle On!....)
Florida Theatre! Et Al.
Even had local family relations working at DIA. ("et Al")
So now.......Fast Forward....... decades of supporting and anticipating "Potential".
There must be a medical cause and condition related to living under the Guise of Unrealized Potential/Accepting far different outcome.
« Last Edit: April 22, 2024, 08:40:39 PM by Florida Power And Light »

heights unknown

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I first step foot on Jacksonville Downtown Property in 1979.
Having been born at Miami Beach 1956 and introduced to Downtown Jacksonville in 1979 by my parents, I was so impressed by The River City Downtown Potential. Witnessed the Concept and Implementation of The Landing. As an area Boating IndustryPerson....well... yea...Involved.Kayaked McCoys and Hogans. Blueway.....BIG BOATS at the Landing......Jacksonville Waterways Coordinator, Commission...Yikes!.... I am becomoming Seasick!.... Baaaaarff! (and many Dead End visits with Noone....Ha!.... Paddle On!....)
Florida Theatre! Et Al.
Even had local family relations working at DIA. ("et Al")
So now.......Fast Forward....... decades of supporting and anticipating "Potential".
There must be a medical cause and condition related to living under the Guise of Unrealized Potential/Accepting far different outcome.

Yeah. They need to quit popping qualudes at City Hall. If that's not the problem, then it's obvious something is terribly wrong if we can't get this thing together. Befuddles me how Tampa, Orlando, Fort Lauderdale, Miami (especially), their downtowns and urban cores/centers are exploding (still), and nothing happening in DT Jax. WTF? Come on Man!!!
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Ken_FSU

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Survey has been opened for those who couldn't attend.

Would urge everyone to review and complete.

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/MetParkSurvey1

Ken_FSU

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P.S. Does anyone know how we picked design firms for Metro Park and Shipyards West?

For Riverfront Plaza, there was a very public RFP process, with the three finalists all sharing designs for public feedback.

Was there a bid process for design work at the other riverfront parks?