Author Topic: The Decline and Fall of the Jacksonville Downtown  (Read 16145 times)

thelakelander

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Re: The Decline and Fall of the Jacksonville Downtown
« Reply #15 on: September 28, 2013, 09:33:35 PM »
One thing most downtown advocates and officials continue to overlook is that residents are already in the core. Upwards of an additional 80,000 or so outside of the 4,000 specifically staying in downtown.  We need to do a much better job of connecting them to downtown and the surrounding neighborhoods to create the type of urban synergy that stimulates market rate business and additional residential infill opportunities.  With that in mind, I do believe we need to get more aggressive with our incentive offerings.  Not just for downtown but for core walkable neighborhoods like New Town, Springfield and the Eastside.  Something dramatic like paying to move to certain areas (Detroit and Cincinnati do this) or a core wide 10-year tax abatement program (Philly did this) is worth considering, IMO.
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jcjohnpaint

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Re: The Decline and Fall of the Jacksonville Downtown
« Reply #16 on: September 28, 2013, 10:33:10 PM »
I believe Cleveland has a 15 year tax abatement program. 

ronchamblin

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Re: The Decline and Fall of the Jacksonville Downtown
« Reply #17 on: September 29, 2013, 01:42:11 AM »
Nothing happens until residents move into the core.

Nothing happens until businesses move into the core. 
 
The current less than favorable conditions in the core... the stagnation in the core.... will not burst by itself to vibrancy and infill.  Observe the stagnation over decades.  Only when the short sighted political mediocrities we’ve voted into office force or encourage the taxpayer base to fund incentives to encourage residents and businesses into the core, will we see significant strides toward full vibrancy and infill.  Once a certain threshold of core population and activity has been achieved, we will see residents, businesses, and visitors "competing" to enter the core.

Apparently none of the short sighted political mediocrities have found it within their vision and ability to convey to their constituents that a vibrant city core will benefit the suburban population too. 

The mediocrities we’ve had for decades in our conservative establishment continue to feed upon the comforts of religion and the good old boy culture.  Comfort and complacency precludes one’s searching the far distances for challenges and much needed goals.  Too many of our mediocrities in office have no vision toward worthy goals for the core... and therefore perform no action to it.  Observe ..... stagnation over decades.  Shameful.   
 

One thing most downtown advocates and officials continue to overlook is that residents are already in the core. Upwards of an additional 80,000 or so outside of the 4,000 specifically staying in downtown.  We need to do a much better job of connecting them to downtown and the surrounding neighborhoods to create the type of urban synergy that stimulates market rate business and additional residential infill opportunities.  With that in mind, I do believe we need to get more aggressive with our incentive offerings.  Not just for downtown but for core walkable neighborhoods like New Town, Springfield and the Eastside.  Something dramatic like paying to move to certain areas (Detroit and Cincinnati do this) or a core wide 10-year tax abatement program (Philly did this) is worth considering, IMO.


The “connection” objective between the core and the adjacent growing centers makes good sense, as has been advocated by Ock and others over the years.  Connecting via interesting transit methods ... anything other than standard buses and gas powered trolley cars on rubber tires.... will make increasingly more sense as the core resident and business population increases.  Of course the transit projects requires money, as does the incentives. 

If the plans and objectives about incentives and measured transit make good sense, I expect that most concerned and enlightened citizens will agree to small and measured tax increases.  I sense that part of the area’s stagnation is due to the lack of adequate funding to accomplish the goals necessary for a first rate city -- the accomplishment of which will provide more jobs for its citizens.... especially in and around the core.

thelakelander

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Re: The Decline and Fall of the Jacksonville Downtown
« Reply #18 on: September 29, 2013, 07:17:25 AM »
The “connection” objective between the core and the adjacent growing centers makes good sense, as has been advocated by Ock and others over the years.  Connecting via interesting transit methods ... anything other than standard buses and gas powered trolley cars on rubber tires.... will make increasingly more sense as the core resident and business population increases.  Of course the transit projects requires money, as does the incentives.

Getting your transit connectivity right will cost you a lot less than adding the amount of infill needed for DT to become vibrant on its own.  Just look at the Trio project. It will be a cool decade by the time it goes from concept to opening day.  It will also cost $40 million to construct.  Same goes for 220 Riverside. Less than 300 units and it's taken a decade to get it off the ground.  If we think infill residential is the ultimate key to adding life to downtown, then given our annual absorption rate, expect it to be a few decades before we reach that 10,000 mark, so many people like to toss out.

Also, when talking about incentives for development, there's different funding pots out there.  Many of which, don't involve physically giving away cash.

Quote
If the plans and objectives about incentives and measured transit make good sense, I expect that most concerned and enlightened citizens will agree to small and measured tax increases.

You don't need tax increases to have a more reliable transit system here.  Again, we can take advantage of funding mechanisms already in place, as well as do better with what we already have coming in.

Quote
I sense that part of the area’s stagnation is due to the lack of adequate funding to accomplish the goals necessary for a first rate city -- the accomplishment of which will provide more jobs for its citizens.... especially in and around the core.

I believe the area's stagnation is more related to us foolishly demoing most of the existing building stock.  We've literally killed the chance for urban pioneers to lead the way in downtown revitalization, like they've done with Five Points and King Street.  We've forced ourselves to rely on expensive, infill projects and the market hasn't reached the point where these things are viable without public incentives.
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If_I_Loved_you

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Re: The Decline and Fall of the Jacksonville Downtown
« Reply #19 on: September 29, 2013, 09:38:07 AM »
The “connection” objective between the core and the adjacent growing centers makes good sense, as has been advocated by Ock and others over the years.  Connecting via interesting transit methods ... anything other than standard buses and gas powered trolley cars on rubber tires.... will make increasingly more sense as the core resident and business population increases.  Of course the transit projects requires money, as does the incentives.

Getting your transit connectivity right will cost you a lot less than adding the amount of infill needed for DT to become vibrant on its own.  Just look at the Trio project. It will be a cool decade by the time it goes from concept to opening day.  It will also cost $40 million to construct.  Same goes for 220 Riverside. Less than 300 units and it's taken a decade to get it off the ground.  If we think infill residential is the ultimate key to adding life to downtown, then given our annual absorption rate, expect it to be a few decades before we reach that 10,000 mark, so many people like to toss out.

Also, when talking about incentives for development, there's different funding pots out there.  Many of which, don't involve physically giving away cash.

Quote
If the plans and objectives about incentives and measured transit make good sense, I expect that most concerned and enlightened citizens will agree to small and measured tax increases.

You don't need tax increases to have a more reliable transit system here.  Again, we can take advantage of funding mechanisms already in place, as well as do better with what we already have coming in.

Quote
I sense that part of the area’s stagnation is due to the lack of adequate funding to accomplish the goals necessary for a first rate city -- the accomplishment of which will provide more jobs for its citizens.... especially in and around the core.

I believe the area's stagnation is more related to us foolishly demoing most of the existing building stock.  We've literally killed the chance for urban pioneers to lead the way in downtown revitalization, like they've done with Five Points and King Street.  We've forced ourselves to rely on expensive, infill projects and the market hasn't reached the point where these things are viable without public incentives.
Smart thought out comment! +1000

ronchamblin

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Re: The Decline and Fall of the Jacksonville Downtown
« Reply #20 on: September 29, 2013, 10:34:04 AM »
Good comments Lake.   

All the right moves should and can be made simultaneously.  Incentives for resident/business infill so that we can creep toward the threshold of activity needed to create a strong “desire” to enter the core.... establishing creative transit connectivity ..... better use of existing funding assets, while entertaining measured tax increases if necessary.... better vision - more determined and focused decisions regarding the core...... promoting a mood of temporary sacrifice, thereby counteracting the pressure of complacency and comfort as lived by the religious/GOB conservatives (everybody.. get off your asses attitude -- kill the enemy, which is stagnation).... excepting the consequences of the horrible demos, and establishing a strong army against additional.

rutabaga

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Re: The Decline and Fall of the Jacksonville Downtown
« Reply #21 on: December 08, 2013, 04:12:14 PM »
Good comments Lake.   

All the right moves should and can be made simultaneously.  Incentives for resident/business infill so that we can creep toward the threshold of activity needed to create a strong “desire” to enter the core.... establishing creative transit connectivity ..... better use of existing funding assets, while entertaining measured tax increases if necessary.... better vision - more determined and focused decisions regarding the core...... promoting a mood of temporary sacrifice, thereby counteracting the pressure of complacency and comfort as lived by the religious/GOB conservatives (everybody.. get off your asses attitude -- kill the enemy, which is stagnation).... excepting the consequences of the horrible demos, and establishing a strong army against additional.

"promoting a mood of temporary sacrifice, thereby counteracting the pressure of complacency and comfort as lived by the religious/GOB conservatives"

I take this as a little jab at religion ronchamblin?  Are you by chance related to the Bookmine stores?

JaGoaT

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Re: The Decline and Fall of the Jacksonville Downtown
« Reply #22 on: August 31, 2016, 05:35:37 PM »
I believe Cleveland has a 15 year tax abatement program.
Cleveland has done a great job with their urban core they have revitalized old warehouses and made them into apartment they have filled many old buildings and are beginning build upwards into their skyline they have done all the right things

rls929

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Re: The Decline and Fall of the Jacksonville Downtown
« Reply #23 on: January 17, 2017, 12:56:46 AM »
One thing most downtown advocates and officials continue to overlook is that residents are already in the core. Upwards of an additional 80,000 or so outside of the 4,000 specifically staying in downtown.
 

What about encouraging a downtown branch of the University of North Florida or Jacksonville University, as an urban campus?  Other cities have done this, including San Antonio, Texas, with University of Texas San Antonio. Richmond, Virginia is slightly smaller in metro population than Jacksonville, but Virginia Commonwealth University adds greatly to the synergy of their downtown area, giving it the feel of a much larger city.  Same with Savannah and SCAD.  We could do a lot better in this area.

We need to do a much better job of connecting them to downtown and the surrounding neighborhoods to create the type of urban synergy that stimulates market rate business and additional residential infill opportunities.
 

The Riverside neighborhood needs to be better connected to downtown, via pedestrian, bicycle, and transit options.  It doesn't help the walkability factor that much of downtown consists of vacant lots used for car parking, and urban blight.  Also, there needs to be more diversity of housing in the immediate downtown area.  Besides the Carling, Berkman Plaza, 11 East, and a few others, which are priced out of the range of most working people and students, there aren't many options available.  There are many buildings in the immediate downtown area whose upper floors could easily be converted to housing, but they remain empty. 

thelakelander

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Re: The Decline and Fall of the Jacksonville Downtown
« Reply #24 on: January 17, 2017, 05:45:29 AM »
FSCJ, JU (http://www.jaxdailyrecord.com/showstory.php?Story_id=548937) and UNF (http://jacksonville.com/news/2016-12-15/jacksonville-bringing-college-life-back-downtown) are all investing in DT but none of them will have the impact of a VCU or SCAD anytime soon. SCAD has close to 10k undergraduates since its founding in 1978. VCU has been around since 1838 and has more than 30k undergraduates. Both Savannah's and Richmond's cores feel larger because they are. Those cities where largely developed during an era when cities were built to be walkable. On the other hand, much of Jax's growth since 1950 has been outside of its core, which has declined during the same time period. With that said, out of the local schools investing in DT, I believe FSCJ has the greatest opportunity for large scale change. Their main campus is already downtown and they're renovating long abandoned historic buildings into student housing.

http://jacksonville.com/business/2017-01-17/permit-issued-downtown-dorms-fscj
« Last Edit: January 17, 2017, 06:29:52 AM by thelakelander »
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FlaBoy

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Re: The Decline and Fall of the Jacksonville Downtown
« Reply #25 on: January 17, 2017, 09:32:05 AM »
FSCJ, JU (http://www.jaxdailyrecord.com/showstory.php?Story_id=548937) and UNF (http://jacksonville.com/news/2016-12-15/jacksonville-bringing-college-life-back-downtown) are all investing in DT but none of them will have the impact of a VCU or SCAD anytime soon. SCAD has close to 10k undergraduates since its founding in 1978. VCU has been around since 1838 and has more than 30k undergraduates. Both Savannah's and Richmond's cores feel larger because they are. Those cities where largely developed during an era when cities were built to be walkable. On the other hand, much of Jax's growth since 1950 has been outside of its core, which has declined during the same time period. With that said, out of the local schools investing in DT, I believe FSCJ has the greatest opportunity for large scale change. Their main campus is already downtown and they're renovating long abandoned historic buildings into student housing.

http://jacksonville.com/business/2017-01-17/permit-issued-downtown-dorms-fscj

I agree to a point. There is going to be a time in the near future when UNF is going to have to keep growing due to the lack of space at UCF, USF, FIU, and FAU. Delaney has attempted to keep enrollment down in order to build a better base of students academically. This has seen mixed results since the UNF graduation rate is still abysmal but aspects like requiring first year students to live on campus have been fruitful. Nevertheless, for the size of the Jacksonville market, UNF has stayed very small with 16,000 students in comparison to UCF with 63,000 and USF with 45,000. FSU and UF both have 30,000+ undergrad populations. FIU has an undergrad population of 40,000.

I think UNF should end up around 25,000-26,000 undergraduate students in the next 20 years by necessity and be comparable in size to what FAU is currently. The interesting thing will be to see where that growth occurs. It may be down in the Town Center area at the current campus but we will get to watch UCF and USF create their downtown campuses in the meantime. We have an advantage with UF's Medical School already in the urban core and I believe UF will invest in Jacksonville a lot more in the near future as UF Health expands to its limits in Gainesville. USF is moving all its health related fields to downtown Tampa. Could there one day be a partnership between UNF undergrad and nursing graduate programs and UF Health? Likewise, seeing the downtown Orlando partnership between UCF and Valencia will be fascinating for us.

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/features/education/os-valencia-downtown-campus-20160622-story.html

I know I am talking a lot of partnerships, and it is complicated, but with the FSCJ campus already downtown with UF Health, there is real potential for synergy in this area and our health care destination (especially with MD Andersen/Baptist and Florida Blue downtown, and even just the Mayo name in town).

thelakelander

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Re: The Decline and Fall of the Jacksonville Downtown
« Reply #26 on: January 17, 2017, 10:11:11 AM »
Tacachale can provide better insight on UNF's plans but from what I understand, we should expect the lion's share of their future growth to be happening at their main campus.
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JHAT76

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Re: The Decline and Fall of the Jacksonville Downtown
« Reply #27 on: January 17, 2017, 10:16:18 AM »

 This has seen mixed results since the UNF graduation rate is still abysmal but aspects like requiring first year students to live on campus have been fruitful.

UNF is changing that housing requirement for Freshmen in Fall 2017

Per UNF website:
For these reasons, UNF encourages, but does not require, freshmen to live on campus.

Tacachale

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Re: The Decline and Fall of the Jacksonville Downtown
« Reply #28 on: January 17, 2017, 11:15:05 AM »
FSCJ, JU (http://www.jaxdailyrecord.com/showstory.php?Story_id=548937) and UNF (http://jacksonville.com/news/2016-12-15/jacksonville-bringing-college-life-back-downtown) are all investing in DT but none of them will have the impact of a VCU or SCAD anytime soon. SCAD has close to 10k undergraduates since its founding in 1978. VCU has been around since 1838 and has more than 30k undergraduates. Both Savannah's and Richmond's cores feel larger because they are. Those cities where largely developed during an era when cities were built to be walkable. On the other hand, much of Jax's growth since 1950 has been outside of its core, which has declined during the same time period. With that said, out of the local schools investing in DT, I believe FSCJ has the greatest opportunity for large scale change. Their main campus is already downtown and they're renovating long abandoned historic buildings into student housing.

http://jacksonville.com/business/2017-01-17/permit-issued-downtown-dorms-fscj

I agree to a point. There is going to be a time in the near future when UNF is going to have to keep growing due to the lack of space at UCF, USF, FIU, and FAU. Delaney has attempted to keep enrollment down in order to build a better base of students academically. This has seen mixed results since the UNF graduation rate is still abysmal but aspects like requiring first year students to live on campus have been fruitful. Nevertheless, for the size of the Jacksonville market, UNF has stayed very small with 16,000 students in comparison to UCF with 63,000 and USF with 45,000. FSU and UF both have 30,000+ undergrad populations. FIU has an undergrad population of 40,000.

I think UNF should end up around 25,000-26,000 undergraduate students in the next 20 years by necessity and be comparable in size to what FAU is currently. The interesting thing will be to see where that growth occurs. It may be down in the Town Center area at the current campus but we will get to watch UCF and USF create their downtown campuses in the meantime. We have an advantage with UF's Medical School already in the urban core and I believe UF will invest in Jacksonville a lot more in the near future as UF Health expands to its limits in Gainesville. USF is moving all its health related fields to downtown Tampa. Could there one day be a partnership between UNF undergrad and nursing graduate programs and UF Health? Likewise, seeing the downtown Orlando partnership between UCF and Valencia will be fascinating for us.

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/features/education/os-valencia-downtown-campus-20160622-story.html

I know I am talking a lot of partnerships, and it is complicated, but with the FSCJ campus already downtown with UF Health, there is real potential for synergy in this area and our health care destination (especially with MD Andersen/Baptist and Florida Blue downtown, and even just the Mayo name in town).

Partially correct and partially incorrect. UNF will grow eventually, probably to around 25k students, but the current plan is not to do so until there are sufficient facilities and resources, and it can be done without lowering the enrollment standards. Hopefully this doesn't change, as the small class size and interaction with professors is one of UNF's biggest draws and something that sets us apart from the other SUS institutions. 16k students is not "small" by any objective standard, except in Florida where almost all the schools have followed the "get real big and have football" model.

You are wrong that the low enrollment has seen "mixed results" in terms of the academic profile. Our academic profile has grown exponentially in the last 10 to 15 years. The on-campus housing requirement for freshmen was actually one area that didn't work out, which is the main reason it was dropped this year. The four-year and six-year graduation rate are still an issue, but that's not likely to change simply by adding students (especially if we have to lower admissions standards to accept them).

Growth certainly shouldn't happen based on what the other schools are doing. UCF was one of the biggest universities in the country when it hit 40,000, and that didn't stop it from growing to 50,000 and 60,000. Most of those schools see those huge population gains not on their main campus, but on satellite campuses and online (in my opinion, this is in large part just a way to make money off students who pay fees but don't get the full benefit from them on the main campus, but I digress). UNF doesn't have any real satellite campuses, other than perhaps MOCA Jax, and there aren't any current plans that I'm aware of.

However, there's interest in having a bigger downtown presence, but not at the expense of building out the main campus and continuing to grow the academic profile. Long range, what I'd expect to see would be a space where they could host some specific classes to serve people around the urban core. For example MBA courses for downtown workers who can't easily make it to the main campus for 6 pm classes, etc. That'll have to be the next administration's project.
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