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Old February 3rd, 2017, 06:23 PM   #1281
hpal3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lakelander View Post
As a kid visiting from Central Florida, I remember Jax being called the Armpit of Florida back in those days. The mill on Talleyrand and the plant in Norwood used to put a hurting on people's nostrils as they passed through town. However, the bridges...and tolls on I-95...always stood out to me. Back in those days, when visiting, we rarely came downtown. Visiting my parent's friends on the Northside, I have vivid memories of a vibrant Gateway Mall and eating at Morrison's. I also recall Springfield being pretty dangerous, the crazy McCoys Creek Blvd exit off I-95 and the Rhodes Furniture building's sign being seen for miles, when heading southbound on Main Street. I also thought the Landing was pretty cool when it opened in 1987. That's about the only thing I remember about downtown (and the skyway opening), outside of just passing through.
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Originally Posted by Dale View Post
I'm older than you. I do remember a distinct smell. It was probably the smell of industry. There was no Riverwalks. But every square inch of riverfront was dedicated to loading docks. There were virtually no surface parking lots. And you went downtown to do your shopping. For a smalltown kid, it might as well have been NYC.
You could not go anywhere near the north side and not smell that plant. Fortunately, I lived in O.P., which is far enough away to put up with the odor.
As to springfield, it is nowhere near as bad today, as it was back then.
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Old February 3rd, 2017, 07:40 PM   #1282
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Originally Posted by hpal3 View Post
You could not go anywhere near the north side and not smell that plant. Fortunately, I lived in O.P., which is far enough away to put up with the odor.
As to springfield, it is nowhere near as bad today, as it was back then.
Therein lies the paradox. Little downtown residential back then, ramshackle houses surrounding the core ... but the core was tons more vibrant.
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Old February 4th, 2017, 05:58 PM   #1283
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Jax is a unique animal when compared with Florida's other major cities. It's unique in that its much older and was built around 19th/early 20th century industry and technology that has moved on.

Much of the city's history, the core has served a much larger population than Jax. It was the epicenter of Florida's rail network, home to port activity and thousands were employed in the various shipyards on both sides of the river. In addition, the neighborhoods surrounding downtown were dominated with dense shotgun housing. Shotguns are essentially the South's version of the North's rowhouses. Thus, it was pretty large for a city of Jax's size.

Much of DT's steady decline in prominence were the results of things outside of the city's control. Shipping containers changed the way ports operate, taking that industry and thousands of people right out of downtown. Air travel eventually overtook rail travel and the loss of the largest passenger rail station south of DC took thousands right out of downtown too. Mergers in the banking and insurance industries hit DT hard too, sending corporate jobs in downtown to cities like Charlotte and Houston in the 1980s and 1990s. To make matters worse, the american shipbuilding industry is nothing like it once was. Today, we're down to one shipyard left in downtown.

One that was the city's fault was the intentional removal of the dense black neighborhoods surrounding downtown. Whether people debate whats blight or not, having thousands of people living within walking distance of downtown helped support many of the businesses there.

The gradual removal of all of downtown's traditional economic anchors led to the gradual decline of the supporting retail and hotel sectors. That's a hell of a lot to overcome and I still haven't mentioned the negative impact of suburban sprawl.
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Old February 4th, 2017, 07:30 PM   #1284
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Originally Posted by Lakelander View Post
Jax is a unique animal when compared with Florida's other major cities. It's unique in that its much older and was built around 19th/early 20th century industry and technology that has moved on.

Much of the city's history, the core has served a much larger population than Jax. It was the epicenter of Florida's rail network, home to port activity and thousands were employed in the various shipyards on both sides of the river. In addition, the neighborhoods surrounding downtown were dominated with dense shotgun housing. Shotguns are essentially the South's version of the North's rowhouses. Thus, it was pretty large for a city of Jax's size.

Much of DT's steady decline in prominence were the results of things outside of the city's control. Shipping containers changed the way ports operate, taking that industry and thousands of people right out of downtown. Air travel eventually overtook rail travel and the loss of the largest passenger rail station south of DC took thousands right out of downtown too. Mergers in the banking and insurance industries hit DT hard too, sending corporate jobs in downtown to cities like Charlotte and Houston in the 1980s and 1990s. To make matters worse, the american shipbuilding industry is nothing like it once was. Today, we're down to one shipyard left in downtown.

One that was the city's fault was the intentional removal of the dense black neighborhoods surrounding downtown. Whether people debate whats blight or not, having thousands of people living within walking distance of downtown helped support many of the businesses there.

The gradual removal of all of downtown's traditional economic anchors led to the gradual decline of the supporting retail and hotel sectors. That's a hell of a lot to overcome and I still haven't mentioned the negative impact of suburban sprawl.
Whereas there may have been natural forces, the article I posted suggests that city government killed downtown.
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Old February 6th, 2017, 10:27 PM   #1285
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^I wrote that article. It details the economic and job loss from the mergers of the banks and insurance companies that built much of Jax's skyline.

There's not much the city could have done to keep ANB and FNB from being gobbled up by First Union or Nations Bank from acquiring Barnett. Charter was a special company but a helicopter crash that took out most of its executives led to its downfall. Then Hurricane Andrew sent Independent Life down the tubes. These five companies were largely responsible for most of Jax's Northbank skyline. From the 1910s through the early 1990s, they keep building taller towers and abandoning the smaller ones as they needed more space to accommodate their growth. Uptown Charlotte is now benefiting from all these lost regional banks that now make up BOA and Wells Fargo.

For the last 20 years, older regional banking centers like Jacksonville and Birmingham have been trying to fill all that lost headquarter office space. It's the reason we won't see any new office towers built in downtown anytime soon.

With that said, we got some good news today. CSX is moving 550 employees from various Southside office buildings to the Bank of America Tower.

Quote:
Letters show CSX’s interest in moving 550 employees to Bank of America Tower Downtown

By Karen Brune Mathis, Managing Editor

CSX confirms in letters to the Downtown Investment Authority that it wants to bring 550 employees Downtown to the Bank of America Tower, if the DIA can work with the landlord to make the move from Southside work financially.
That gap as of Jan. 6 is $1.9 million over the seven-year lease term, down from $2.7 million in a November request.

CSX said with an arrangement, it is prepared to enter into a lease for 120,000 square feet of space over multiple floors at the tower in the city’s urban core.
Full article: http://www.jaxdailyrecord.com/showst...tory_id=549291
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Old February 6th, 2017, 10:48 PM   #1286
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^I wonder how much more is needed to justify Novare building a Skyhouse in DT Jax.
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Old February 7th, 2017, 07:22 AM   #1287
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Agreed on office buildings. Any new towers will be residential, or hospitality and those types will probably average 10-20 stories in height. I for one, support conversion of abandon buildings first, then new units will follow. That said, I could see some office included in a future mixed use development.
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Old February 7th, 2017, 08:47 PM   #1288
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Actually, I'm wrong. There's always the chance of a highrise or midrise being built for a specific use. Baptist has a cancer center under construction now and they have a medical office tower proposed. Both of those are in the Southbank.

Of interest to the Northbank would be JEA. JEA wants to build a new tower for their administrative offices. However, they have not decided on the tower's location. It will possibly be near the new Duval County Courthouse (my preference) or on the site of their current building (Universal Marion Bldg), which they would raze for the replacement.

Quote:
Study recommends JEA demolish, rebuild headquarters at $57 million to $64 million

JEA is moving closer to a decision on whether to renovate the utility’s aging 19-story headquarters downtown or tear it down....

Requirements for a future building, according to the board presentation, include: being located downtown, accommodating 800 employees and parking spaces, about 220,000 square feet of space, full backup power, no parking garage under the building, state of the art emergency operations center, board room/auditorium for 300 people, parking for customers, and parking facility for JEA vehicles and equipment....

The cons for building at what is now a JEA chilled water site included the public image of vacating a downtown building. The pros included designing “an appropriate corporate headquarters” and “build exactly what is needed.”...
http://jacksonville.com/news/2017-01...ion-64-million
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Old February 7th, 2017, 08:49 PM   #1289
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Another cool project:

Quote:
Doro could add bowling alley, bar and retail near EverBank Field

By Karen Brune Mathis, Managing Editor



When buyers of the George Doro Fixture Co. property in the Stadium District bought the site almost a year ago, they talked about their vision for the property.
They saw food-related uses, offices and residences at the former manufacturing site that would tie in with the neighboring former Noland Building they own that is occupied by Intuition Ale Works and Manifest Distilling.

Talk could be turning into action.

Iconic Real Estate Investments LLC wants to redevelop the Doro site and encompass the former Noland Building into a project called the Doro District.

“We want to redesign and reimagine that area that’s been dormant,” said Iconic Investments president Farley Grainger.

The Downtown Development Review Board is slated to look at a conceptual plan next week to redevelop the Doro site.
http://www.jaxdailyrecord.com/showst...tory_id=549301
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Old March 11th, 2017, 09:25 PM   #1290
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The Lofts at Monroe will be a 108-unit apartment complex with some street level retail.



It will be located at the intersection of Monroe and Davis Streets in Lavilla.

Full article: http://www.moderncities.com/article/...ed-for-lavilla
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Old March 13th, 2017, 03:37 PM   #1291
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^Good project
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Old April 19th, 2017, 08:14 PM   #1292
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Quote:
Khan's Iguana investments selected for Shipyards, Met Park redevelopment
Apr 19, 2017, 8:26am EDT Updated Apr 19, 2017, 9:42am EDT

Derek Gilliam
Reporter
Jacksonville Business Journal

The Downtown Investment Authority selected Iguana Investments as the developer for 70-acres of riverfront property where Metropolitan Park and the long-vacant Jacksonville Shipyards are located.

This isn't the first go-around for NFL owner Shad Khan for a massive development that could see hundreds of millions of his dollars invested into the land now owned by the city. The DIA picked Iguana Investments to develop The Shipyards property in 2015. The DIA stopped negotiations with Iguana in December when it sent back out a request for proposals that enlarged the scope of development to include Metropolitan Park.
more here

http://www.bizjournals.com/jacksonvi...shipyards.html
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Old April 21st, 2017, 11:59 AM   #1293
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Here's the conceptual layout of Khan's proposed plans:

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Old April 21st, 2017, 10:57 PM   #1294
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Looks good to me. Hope it happens.

On another note, they really need to get rid of that Commodore on-ramp that goes over the creek. That thing is a pain in the butt and really cuts Downtown up. This plan looks to turn much of it into a surface road, so I hope the city would just delete the whole ramp at that point.
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Old April 22nd, 2017, 08:36 AM   #1295
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It would be nice to see some mid rises go up in the Shipyards development.
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Old April 22nd, 2017, 09:22 PM   #1296
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^Seems like the floor count of this will top out around 8 stories. They should leave a pad or two for later private development that could be towers.
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Old April 24th, 2017, 12:29 PM   #1297
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Two more projects...

San Marco Apartments Home Street (Downtown Southbank)


More renderings and images: http://www.moderncities.com/article/...-for-southbank


Burlock and Barrel Whiskey Distillery (Brooklyn)

More renderings and images: http://www.moderncities.com/article/...plans-revealed
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Old April 24th, 2017, 12:30 PM   #1298
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Some weekend construction pictures of various downtown projects:

Baptist MD Anderson







Lofts at LaVilla Apartments



Houston Street Manor Apartments



Broadstone Riverhouse Apartments



FSCJ Downtown campus dormitory and FSCJ Culinary School restaurant



Daily's Place
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Old April 24th, 2017, 01:30 PM   #1299
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Of the 3 proposals for The Shipyards Development, I preferred the Sea Glass plan the most, since it would have included a 1,000-foot Sea Glass tower, an aquarium, fine arts museum, retail, residential, office space, as well as space for a public park.
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Old April 24th, 2017, 10:08 PM   #1300
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Seaglass was unrealistic. It was a retread from a pie-in-the-sky proposal from a few years back. So pie-in-the-sky, the same old renderings of than George Jetsons 1960s era observation deck were used again.

If I were COJ, I'd clean up the site and build my own public park in the location I'd want it. Then parcel off the remaining land and allow multiple development groups to do a mix of projects and uses on it, as opposed to having one master developer in charge. Knowing how COJ works, that wasn't going to ever happen, so hopefully Khan's group can have great success.
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