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josefk's Achievements


Whistle-Stop (3/14)



  1. josefk


    First of all, welcome to UP seaty (just in case nobody else beat me to the punch). With respect to the Panera location- I haven't heard anything one way or another. It wouldn't surprise me if they were waiting to see if another tenant comes in to replace Dillard's before moving forward as it's not uncommon for commercial leases in large retail centers/malls to have provisions for smaller merchants to opt out of their leases (with proper notice and timeframes of course) in the event that a large "anchor" tenant vacates. If I were the Panera franchisee, I don't know that I'd be chomping at the bit to get into that space right now w/o the additional traffic that a replacement large anchor would generate...........
  2. I was sincerely trying to stay out of all of this in hopes that it would blow over and cooler heads would prevail, but I just can't help it..... First of all, I don't pretend to know all that was said/done by FL with respect to the site administrators and this whole moderator issue. Quite frankly, unless the rest of you were cc'd on the communications, I think it's a bit presumptuous for anyone to place blame for the situation on his ego or their actions (I feel certain that, like professional situations many of us encounter everyday, things could have probably been handled differently on both sides). I haven't been an active poster on this site for as long as some of you, but I do know that I was drawn here by the incredible content, photos, etc. that were (in large part) contributed by FL. He obviously put in a lot of time and effort, was a very active member of our group (who showed up for a group meet) and regardless of whether I always agreed with his opinions/ideas, etc., I always respected the fact that he had a sincere desire to see Tallahassee grow and develop into the sustainable, modern metro that I think most of us envision and desire. Bottom line- he had disagreements with the administrators that none of us were privy to, and he decided that he wanted/needed a change..........so rather than thanking him for making the site better for the last 3 years, we start attacking him- and not just attacks regarding his departure, but taking personal shots, making threats about contacting his employer and attempting to get him into copyright trouble (which is a non-issue from a legal perspective), etc. I know that some of you think his actions in leaving the site were "childish," but does that really justify our ceasing to act like adults? We don't always get along on here, and some of us obviously like to push buttons from time to time (which I often find amusing), but I just can't understand how or why (with our little community pushing for growth and change in local/regional development and the economy already so small) some of us are so anxious and willing to tear down FL (a like-minded member of our community) for making a decision that was personal to him. I know that it was personal to him and that there was more to it than the moderator issue b/c rather than just forming an opinion and commenting with bits and pieces of info, 2 posts from the administrators and inference from FL's own limited responses during the departure, I called him to ask what happened and to get his side of it b/c I personally found it difficult to believe that this single "moderator event" was the driving force behind the departure given the time and effort he had expended over the past 3 years and the obvious love he had for this forum. If you don't want to remain his friend/acquaintance b/c of these issues- then don't. If you don't want to visit the new site- then don't. That's fine in my book. As for the personal comments and innuendo though- I think enough of, and respect all of you enough, to have expected a little more that's all.
  3. josefk


    I don't know about the design, but the retailer in the picture would be a WONDERFUL addition......
  4. josefk


    So Florida, GG, et al, are you guys telling me that I've wasted all of this time over the past few months reading and posting here and not everyone on the board is filthy rich..............what a bunch of losers!!! Just kidding- this discussion was getting waaaayyyy to serious so I had to provide a little levity. I'm pretty sure that we all love the diversity on the board (social, economic, etc.), so let's move on and agree on two things- the new mall owners have much more money than all of us, and Tim Tebow is not human
  5. I know that some of you guys work for the City in different capacities, but anyone work or know someone who works in residential building permits? I hate to vent on the board, but I'm trying to do a residential renovation and when we submitted everything (we're working with a very good architect that did the necessary plans, etc.) we were "assured" that it could take as little as 7 days, but in no event longer than 3 weeks to review and approve. Today is our 3-week anniversary, and we got our first follow-up phone call yesterday and found out this afternoon they're still looking at a few "issues".......oh well, so much for being in by the Christmas holiday. I know things get busy over there, but in a town where some our our elected officials have given a lot of lip-service about streamlining and/or simplifying permitting, etc., should it really take an entire month to issue a permit to a property owner for a renovation to an existing building???? Do they not understand that this is costing us a lot of time and money (we even gave a one-week cushion so our contractors weren't planning on starting until the beginning of week 4, but since that apparently isn't going to happen, we now get bumped down the list again) ? I don't think it should take a month, but if it could, don't tell us (and this isn't hearsay b/c I turned the permit app in myself and heard it with my own ears) that the process won't take any longer than 3-weeks. Oh well- anyone got any tips and/or advice? At this point, anything would be appreciated.
  6. josefk


    It's difficult to express sarcasm in here, but I was just kidding about the questions flying so quickly Ask and ye shall receive- so as far as I'm concerned the volunteering to take questions and make clarifications was an opening of the floodgates..........a much appreciated opening though
  7. josefk


    Said before, but I'll say it again: a big warm welcome to the forum Mr. Darby. I think it's great that your team has taken the initiative to not only observe, but also take part in our discussions on the board. That being said- guys, ease into it or you're going to scare off our new member and/or make his head explode with all of these questions/issues right out of the gate
  8. josefk


    TJ, we're pretty much on the same page here- these items like new landscaping, upgrading the facade, renovating the food court, expanding Burlington, etc. are EXACTLY the type of $$ requests that I was talking about yesterday, and there is no way that the commission should even consider using public funds to subsidize such plans. Although I also would like some more clarification, I don't think they should receive funds to re-pave and re-stripe their parking lot either (maybe a portion at the front for new "park and ride" facilities, but by no means more than a small area), and I have no idea what to think about a subsidized new play area for kids........I say let the owner use their own money and lease some space to a gymboree if that's such a big concern. Better access and traffic signals I can live with b/c they probably are needed so I don't mind us pitching in a little. What really gets me here, is that they're trying to lump this into the Frenchtown/Southside CRA. Are they kidding? Where is that $15 million needed more- continuing improvements in Frenchtown and finally moving things along on Gaines and on the Southside where there is very little private money to be invested (notwithstanding the efforts of several local business people and builders, like in RR Square and All Saints) and the public funds are actually needed- or as a gift to a private mall owner who already has the ability to spend $30 million on a renovation project but wants an additional $15 of public money to renovate the food court and relandscape his property. Seriously? I'd much rather see us give $1 million to 15 different small business owners downtown and on Gaines in some type of partnership who actually need the money and who I'm sure would love to have better parking, nicer store-fronts and landscaping (not to mention the property tax relief that the new proposals don't do much for). I want to see Tallahassee mall improved (interior and exterior), and would love to see some new anchors, restaurants, etc. move in. But if they can't make the renovations they need to make with $30 million- an amount equal to more than 50% of what they paid for the entire property (correct me if I'm wrong, but i believe the purchase price was around $55 million), perhaps they should scale back and re-evaluate to determine which improvements are really needed, and which ones would just be part of that $15 million worth of public icing they're looking to put on their cake.
  9. josefk


    Ditto on the wanting to know more, and perhaps I should just shut up until I know exactly what the proposal calls for ..... In any event, my initial read on the article was that the owners want to do $45 million redevelopment/renovation project on their privately owned property (which will presumably result in their making a lot more $$ in the long run), but they only want to pay $30 million and then have around $15 million worth of tax revenue assistance so that someone else foots the bill for the rest at a time when we're supposed to be reducing spending and trying to lower people's tax bills. Once again, I don't know what that $15 million is supposed to go towards so I'm obviosly just thinking out loud and these thoughts are premature, but I have trouble imagining what infrastructure improvements would be necessary and/or could cost that much for the property (possibly some improved accessability from Monroe Street that might include a new light and/or some lane re-alignment, but nothing anywhere near that costly- but I don't know a lot about the hard costs associated with such so I could be totally off-base). If, in the alternative, the owner/developer is realizing that they may have paid too much for the property 2 years ago, isnt' making the kind of profit-margin they expected, and just wants to do a $45 million renovation when they only have the ability to spend somewhere around $30 million, I don't think the public should be asked to kick in the rest just so that the owner/developer can make their numbers work. Understand, I WANT this renovation to happen, but if a private owner has $55 million to buy and another $30 to renovate, they shouldn't be asking the taxpayers to foot the bill for improvements to their building, parking lot, etc., anything other than maybe improving some sidewalks, bus stops, and maybe putting up another stoplight. As for the mall and/or that parcel dying- I don't see it happening. If the current owners can't make their numbers work, that property is waaaaay to valuable (has great access from I-10, downtown and the growth to the north) for someone else not to come in and purchase, renovate, subdivide and/or redevelop the parcel (Cheesecake factory, PF Changs, and one of those anchor spaces sure could make a nice Dave & Buster's along side some new adjoining codos....lots of possibilities). I'll be quiet now until I know more
  10. josefk


    I love the idea of a renovation and am glad to see the mall owners' willingness to make such a large investment- that notwithstanding, the article in the Democrat this morning stated that the additional funds they are requesting would come from a special taxing district, not just tax breaks........obviously, I haven't seen the full extent of the proposal, but given the current tax situation in Florida and Leon County, I would prefer to see the renovations (which should result in a substantial revenue increase to the owners who seem to have difficulty keeping and/or attracting tenants with the current state of the mall) funded by the owners themselves, and if they can't find a way to make the numbers work, sell it to Simon or some other large national mall-owner that can. On a side note, I'm curious to know how much information was provided and what representations were made to Panera by the owners regarding these proposed renovations, etc. before they signed on.................
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