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Old October 11th, 2010, 08:45 AM   #1
Like an aged wine
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Jacksonville Suburbs: JTB Corridor

Photos taken in winter. As you will see, some trees (around 10-15%) here lose their leaves for about 2 months and we get a slight change of seasons. This past winter was record breaking cold.

I present to you guys one of the most comprehensive suburb threads ever on this forum. Jacksonville is a sunbelt city all the way, and growing rapidly. It is the second fastest growing metro in Florida, which I think speaks a lot. As a result we are quickly bulking up our highways, building new stack interchanges all over the place, seriously seeking federal funding for various transit systems (we have already received federal funding for BRT), and seeking a private partner to build another highway to be tolled.

What you will see today is called the JTB corridor because it runs along the highway called J. Turner Butler Blvd. I skipped our second biggest CBD at the nexus of 95 and JTB and started 1.5 miles down the highway at what is locally termed the Gate Parkway area. Gate is a local petroleum/building supply/real estate firm started by the father of Jacksonville’s current mayor. Gate is a politically powerful company in the region, employing something like 3,500 people and earning revenues of about $1.5 billion.

Showcased are four areas: Northern Gate Parkway, St. Johns Town Center, University of North Florida, and Mayo Clinic Jacksonville.

Gator City Taxi! Driving along JTB. The highway was recently widened to include up to 10 lanes across from 4 lanes across. It frequently backs up for miles even with the widening.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida. Its headquarters is in a 20 floor building downtown, but this is its corporate campus, recently expanded. It’s massive.

A new urbanist development called Tapestry Park. It features a Hotel Indigo, an Aloft Hotel, a III Forks, Jimmy Johns, other retailers, and hundreds of condos and apartments. You have to drive to it, but once you get there, the development itself is walkable and features good design elements.

Tapestry Park

Merrill Lynch’s offices. This is one of 4 large campuses across the country. There are also offices downtown like any major city has Merrill offices.

Il Vilaggio, I stayed here three summers ago with a friend. It made me feel like I was pulling up to a mansion every time I came home at night, LoL.

Typical of the area.

A new entertainment center. Dale Earnhardt Jr. has a bar here, and there are several other clubs. Now if only these could have been located in the core.

One of the bars.

Restaurant zone. What can be found on this block: Capital Grille, Mitchell’s, J. Alexander’s, Cantina Laredo, Cheesecake Factory, CPK, the Grape, PF Chang’s, Maggiano’s, Yogaberry, Bahama Breeze, and the list goes on. Name a chain, it’s here.

The new FBI building.

A retirement village. Lots of retired folks here, though less than in Boca, St. Pete, or Naples.

When I worked for a local catering company (Liz Catering if you’re from Jax), I did a job here when this hospital wing opened. It was sooo much fun, and it’s verrryyy nice. There are eventual plans to add 10-16 floors on top.

Moving on to UNF. With a student population of somewhere close to 20,000 now (maybe a little bit less), it is a fast growing university following in the footsteps of UCF and USF. It offers a different environment and different focus programs from the other universities in the state. A former mayor, John Delaney, is now president, and there is a huge backing of local philanthropists serving on the board who are extremely passionate about the institution. Half, if not most students come from Southeast FL, looking for a change of pace from life down there. They can live on campus or nearby and walk or bike to a day job at the Town Center, and they can surf at our beaches unlike many in SE FL. Most end up staying here rather than returning.

Back in the day these guys used to only be here in the winter (it was winter when this photo was taken), but now they stay and annoy everyone.

LEED silver student center. All new buildings on campus are LEED certified or built to LEED standards. It’s really quite progressive for the state.

The newest dorms/apartments on campus. A nature trail’s walk away from the main campus.

A new Sheraton.

Of course you can’t be a real FL city without having a restaurant in Don Shula’s restaurant group. He was the coach of the Miami Dolphins for those who don’t know.

Australian Pine invading our area from South Florida. This is as far north as it can survive, and is a highly invasive species. You see it all over the place in Miami.

A Foxtail Palm, also in its most northern environment. They only survive in warm microclimates here.

The elderly playing Domino’s.

More Australian Pine.

A Norfolk Island Pine. People have started planting these like crazy here.

Back to the inner core. This is a view toward Ortega.

Skyline view from my neighborhood.

We will see views from this building soon.

Stuck on the bridge.

Might as well get a view.

Passing the city’s best redevelopment opportunity.

The Florida Yacht Club, current structure built in 1927. Originally funded in part by William Astor of New York, the current location is in Ortega.

Still to come: Washington D.C. and Atlanta
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Old October 11th, 2010, 12:12 PM   #2
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Nice, interesting photos from the suburbs of Jacksonville
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Old October 11th, 2010, 04:48 PM   #3
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Interesting photos, but I doubt I'd ever want to live in such place.
I wonder what will happen to communities like these when the world runs out of oil. They're so extremely car-centred...
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Old October 12th, 2010, 03:55 AM   #4
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Gouda, Jax is a sprawling Sunbelt city, but it's also quite old and has significantly large walkable neighborhoods that once were serviced by streetcars and are seeing a renewed push to have those streetcars return. My latest other thread details part of one of these neighborhoods:

Jacksonville Neighborhoods: Avondale
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Old October 12th, 2010, 07:15 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Arrrgh View Post
Interesting photos, but I doubt I'd ever want to live in such place.
I wonder what will happen to communities like these when the world runs out of oil. They're so extremely car-centred...
That's exactly what I thought .
Neat and organized but I wouldn't like to live there .
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