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Old 04-23-2014, 01:26 PM
 
Location: Orange Blossom Trail
6,416 posts, read 4,830,900 times
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City needs to evolve, Jaguars owner Shad Khan says; 'A homeless guy in Detroit has more mojo than a millionaire in Jacksonville' | members.jacksonville.com

very interesting article.
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Old 04-23-2014, 04:40 PM
 
Location: 32082
190 posts, read 253,660 times
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I agree!
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Old 04-23-2014, 05:05 PM
 
Location: FLORIDA
8,964 posts, read 6,256,948 times
Reputation: 3379
What would Shad Khan know about Jax anyway? How long has he lived in Jax? Riiiight...
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Old 04-23-2014, 06:47 PM
 
Location: Amelia View
4,211 posts, read 12,556,243 times
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He also said there's been enough talk about downtown revitalization, and it's time to take all that rhetoric and turn it into action. I have to agree with that, too. I can think of a cliche about doing something on a pot or getting off it.
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Old 04-23-2014, 09:43 PM
 
Location: Jacksonville-DC
30 posts, read 33,870 times
Reputation: 45
The city does need to evolve, but smartly, and in a way that makes fiscal sense. Perhaps we could study a city like Indianapolis, which was in a similar position not too long ago and now attracts tons of convention business month after month despite not having any of the natural resources Jacksonville has. The hotels there are constantly at high occupancy with good nightly rates and restaurants are full.

They invested in a world class convention center, centrally located near their stadium, basketball and baseball grounds, wonderful children's museum, zoo and they attract world class events all year. I used to travel there for work and despite the climate that downtown was a great place to visit. We went THERE for spring break despite living here. Combine that with lots of restaurants, shopping and hotels all within walking distance and it's a recipe to make the city money. Unlike Jacksonville where downtown costs us money.

Unfortunately making something like that happen costs money on the front end and I can't imagine any leadership in Jacksonville EVER having the vision to make something like that happen or being able to convince taxpayers to cough up even one dollar, let alone the funding it would take. People are wary after having their money wasted on bloat like giant scoreboards, stadium swimming pools, and Taj Mahal courthouses while our schools crumble and other necessary items are not addressed.
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Old 04-24-2014, 07:56 AM
 
Location: Ponte Vedra Beach FL
14,628 posts, read 17,923,045 times
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Actually - the "Taj Mahal" courthouse is in Tallahassee - not JAX:

Florida Taj Mahal scandal - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

And - although the new courthouse has had its issues - it was certainly necessary (the courthouse it replaced was built in 1958):

Duval County Courthouse - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

(As most people know - I don't live in Duval County. But - when SJC moved its ancient courthouse from the Cordova Hotel location in St. Augustine to the new government complex - I think it brought us into the 21st century.)

Moreover - the courthouse is a building that is in use just about every day Monday through Friday - 52 weeks of the year. Lots of people work there and have to go there. It brings people downtown. People who can fill the streets and frequent restaurants and stores.

A courthouse is a potential magnet for many law firms. But there are so many garbage buildings in the neighborhood that refuse to disappear (for various reasons). Although there's an occasional law firm that might want to tackle a derelict building in the name of "historic preservation" - most lawyers just want newer decent technologically current not too expensive class A/B office space in no-hassle move-in condition. With good parking nearby.

So - if I were on a task force - my #1 recommendation when it comes to the legal community downtown is get rid of the old buildings (by condemnation if necessary) and provide a good climate for the construction of lower rise office buildings (like 10 stories or less) that lawyers would find attractive.

I agree with you 100% about the stadium stuff (including the swimming pool). This goes back a long way - to when the City spent a lot of money renovating what was then the Gator Bowl for a once a year event - the Florida Georgia game. And the City keeps dumping money into a place that doesn't see much use (even with the Jaguars). I don't object to the stadium stuff per se. I just think it's a very low priority.

I think my vision differs from yours. I don't see Jacksonville as being a tourist and especially a convention destination (the latter league is a tough league to play in these days). I think its best hope is to become a semi-decent place to work - and - perhaps eventually - live. And there are already some institutions downtown that could help in that process. Like the FTU Center and Veterans Memorial Arena (where there is lots of good to excellent and sometimes world class entertainment on a regular basis). The Suns stadium (there are lots more baseball games than football games - and the price point for a Suns game is much lower than the price point for a Jaguars game). The waterfront (including the Landing). Great underused location (and it will never get better until there are more people downtown on a regular basis to use it).

Then there's the south bank. Which has some good stuff. Ranging from places where people work - like Baptist Hospital and the Prudential Building. To park areas (like Friendship Fountain and Treaty Oak) to MOSH (which could stand improvements but is currently there in a reasonably up to date building). To a restaurant like River City Brewing. I'd do something about the parking. That parking lot next to River City is large and convenient - but ugly - and chops up the area. Anyway - more has to be done to integrate the south bank with "downtown". The river taxi is fun - but too slow for many. And walking across the Main Street bridge isn't a great option (especially on a hot day and especially for women wearing heels). Perhaps a regular "shuttle trolley" would work?

I think it would be easier to come up with a clear vision of the future if all the "old junk" was cleared out first. All the ugly derelict buildings. Perhaps by condemnation - building incentives - I don't know. What I do know is I've seen this ugly old building every time I've crossed over the Main Street bridge for too long:

Plans for Bostwick Building in downtown Jacksonville on hold during dispute | members.jacksonville.com

It's an eyesore - and should have been torn down years ago. Along with a lot of what's downtown.

Finally - I'll note that nothing will get done in most of JAX until it resolves its pension issues (it's one of the worst cities in the US in this problem area). Robyn
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Old 04-24-2014, 08:26 AM
 
Location: Florida
4,103 posts, read 4,272,808 times
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Jacksonville is too big for such a "small" population relatively speaking. Its really, really hard to just pick an area and say "lets revitalize it!" First of all I dont care how much you revitalize on particular area, if its a 40 minute drive for me in GOOD traffic, Im not going to go there. Pick anywhere in the City and its at least a 30 minute drive for most people if the road was clear. Also people here have formed pocket communities and prefer to stick to those communities. Also downtown is supposed to be an "urban" part of town, however most of Jax's population doesnt relate to this feel. We are a blend of redneck, backwoods, suburban, artsy/trendy, etc.....we arent Atlanta or NY. I think this is why downtown has failed and keeps failing. In Jax, downtown is where you go if you have to do something administrative, not where you go to have a nice meal or hang with friends.
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Old 04-24-2014, 08:28 AM
 
410 posts, read 467,652 times
Reputation: 353
That comment by Shad Khan is simply a dig at the old money in and around Ortega. It doesn't matter how much money Khan has, he is not getting old into the good ole boys clubs in this town. And Khan is smart guy, he knows exactly what they are saying about him behind his back. He is just firing back.
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Old 04-24-2014, 08:48 AM
 
Location: Ponte Vedra Beach FL
14,628 posts, read 17,923,045 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Giants6 View Post
That comment by Shad Khan is simply a dig at the old money in and around Ortega. It doesn't matter how much money Khan has, he is not getting old into the good ole boys clubs in this town. And Khan is smart guy, he knows exactly what they are saying about him behind his back. He is just firing back.
. Yes - the old money crowd. Many of whom are into "shabby chic". And worse things (from racism to anti-semitism*). There are fewer of them here now than 15-25-35 years ago - but they're still around. Robyn

*My most memorable incident in that regard came when Fred Levin - an old friend of mine as a result of various legal stuff we were both involved in - gave a large donation to UF and had the law school named after him. The most vigorous opposition to that naming came from the good old boy white legal community in JAX. Although anti-semitic motives were denied - a lot of Jewish lawyers in Florida - including me - thought otherwise. I think Fred accurately characterized the issue:

It makes me feel great, when their great-grandchildren go up to that stage to get the law degree, they'll know that, dadgum it, that Jew's name is up there on the damn diploma. It's just gotta eat at them.

Fred Levin - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 04-24-2014, 09:03 AM
 
Location: Ponte Vedra Beach FL
14,628 posts, read 17,923,045 times
Reputation: 6716
Quote:
Originally Posted by thatguydownsouth View Post
Jacksonville is too big for such a "small" population relatively speaking. Its really, really hard to just pick an area and say "lets revitalize it!" First of all I dont care how much you revitalize on particular area, if its a 40 minute drive for me in GOOD traffic, Im not going to go there. Pick anywhere in the City and its at least a 30 minute drive for most people if the road was clear. Also people here have formed pocket communities and prefer to stick to those communities. Also downtown is supposed to be an "urban" part of town, however most of Jax's population doesnt relate to this feel. We are a blend of redneck, backwoods, suburban, artsy/trendy, etc.....we arent Atlanta or NY. I think this is why downtown has failed and keeps failing. In Jax, downtown is where you go if you have to do something administrative, not where you go to have a nice meal or hang with friends.
I think a lot more people would go to downtown JAX if it was *urban* and had something to offer them. As opposed to pretty much being a dump. Even if it was a 30 or 40 minute drive (or even more). Jews from Mandarin go downtown to watch the lighting of the giant menorah. Black people from the panhandle go downtown to see shows like The Color Purple. Aging groupies from all over go downtown to see Cher's "final" tour. Older people living in various senior facilities go downtown in their facility buses to attend symphony concerts. Heck - people come to Costco here from south Georgia. I really believe "build it and they will come". And they'll even stick around for a while to have dinner - walk around - etc. - after the particular events they've come to attend are over if there are good fun places to eat and walk. Robyn
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