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bobliocatt

New courthouse plans run higher

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How can Cannon say that they can build now for 268, when they were saying 300mm and counting when the project was put on hold.  Did the price of concrete or steel go down?

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Cannon said that back in the beginning of March. Keep in mind that the costs the city is reporting includes the fees already paid to consultants and architects. ALso, Cannon reported that figure before the security breach... i forget where... but where a guy shot some people in a courthouse and ran right out the front door. Needless to say, because of that very thing, the security budget was padded very well I am sure.

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The Atlanta courthouse shooting was the result of political correctness run amok - i.e. having a 55 y.o., 5 foot tall grandmother guard a 6'2" male ex-football player. It was not caused (much) by the design of the building.

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The Atlanta courthouse shooting was the result of political correctness run amok - i.e. having a 55 y.o., 5 foot tall grandmother guard a 6'2" male ex-football player.  It was not caused (much) by the design of the building.

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true, but you can imagine that more security measures are going to be put in place because of that.

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How can Cannon say that they can build now for 268, when they were saying 300mm and counting when the project was put on hold. Did the price of concrete or steel go down?

Vic: Those cost estimates were made by the city and their hired cost people. The intelligent thing to do is hire Cannon and lock them into a contract stating the building will be built in x numbers of weeks for x price. Then, if it is not done, we sue them for damages, which of course we would win because the case would be heard in front of the very judges who will sit in the new building. That is what Delaney would have done. If Delaney were still Mayor, I am convinced that the courthouse would be on track as would the Shipyards. Peyton, I dont think, is man enough to do something like this.

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Vic:  Those cost estimates were made by the city and their hired cost people.  The intelligent thing to do is hire Cannon and lock them into a contract stating the building will be built in x numbers of weeks for x price.  Then, if it is not done, we sue them for damages, which of course we would win because the case would be heard in front of the very judges who will sit in the new building.  That is what Delaney would have done.  If Delaney were still Mayor, I am convinced that the courthouse would be on track as would the Shipyards.  Peyton, I dont think, is man enough to do something like this.

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As I remember, Peyton asked for a final price and a commitment from Cannon/Skanka et al. and the answer came back 300mm, and they wouldn't guarantee that it would not go higher. It's easy to say now, that they can meet a 268mm budget, because they don't have to "put up".

I think the building needs to be redesigned as a mid-to-high rise that covers only two blocks, (plus the old Federal courthouse and parking areas). If two full blocks (of 7 total) can be eliminated from the site plan, that land could be sold to help pay for the project cost.

Another alternative would be to find another "Ed Ball Building" to consume some of the square footage required. Existing space would be cheaper than new contruction.

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I am not opposed to a well-designed highrise, but you will have to pay a new architect, etc to plan/design it. This will add further to the cost too. By the way, I was initially opposed to the location and tearing down the old Southern Bell bldg too, but it is done.

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Another alternative would be to find another "Ed Ball Building" to consume some of the square footage required. Existing space would be cheaper than new contruction.

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Well there's definately some fairly large vacant or under utilizedbuildings in the area, that could be used as part of the new courthouse complex. One that quickly comes to mind, is the vacant 7 story Exchange Building on Adams Street, between Hogan & Julia Streets. Although its a couple of blocks away, the old Jones Furniture Building, on Hogan is available as well.

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As I remember, Peyton asked for a final price and a commitment from Cannon/Skanka et al. and the answer came back 300mm, and they wouldn't guarantee that it would not go higher.  It's easy to say now, that they can meet a 268mm budget, because they don't have to "put up".

I think the building needs to be redesigned as a mid-to-high rise that covers only two blocks, (plus the old Federal courthouse and parking areas).  If two full blocks (of 7 total) can be eliminated from the site plan, that land could be sold to help pay for the project cost. 

Another alternative would be to find another "Ed Ball Building" to consume some of the square footage required. Existing space would be cheaper than new contruction.

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My understanding is that Cannon was not responsible for the costing efforts, Skanska was, and Skanska couldn't/wouldn't agree to a GMP with the city, nevermind the architects. Cannon's letter from Gary Miller that was published in the times union stated cannon could do it for 268 based on their estimates. Skanska had no incentive to bring the cost down, they had already been paid millions of dollars up to that point.

I don't know of an architect anywhere who would sign a document saying that this porject will be built in "x" number of months - that's the CM's/Contractors deal to make.

Take a close look at the Cannon scheme - building "proper" was about 2 blocks, maybe 2.5 blocks, the rest of the site to the west was judges parking and to the east a landscaped courtyard/plaza.

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Ron Littlepage column on using the Prime Osborn Center for the new courthouse. If what he suggests is true, I say go for it.

Jax is obviously not serious about being a player in the Convention Center business. The Osborn's location is lousy for one anyway.

This way the courthouse can be built on-budget, and the Osborn building can still be fully utilized. There is plenty of room for new law offices in LaVilla, and all it's ever going to be is an office park anyway. Same thing for Brooklyn BTW.

All I ask is that a suitable piece of land be set aside (15-18 acres) for a FUTURE convention center, when a future administration realizes that one is needed.

The possibilities of seven blocks downtown to do anything with is a huge bonus to this idea.

I hope Peyton will be flexible enough to take a hard look at this.

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From Article

Kleman had been telling the council and advisory group that there was a chance to obtain bond money in about six years to pay for second phases. In the meantime, some court functions would be housed in the current courthouse until 2014 or 2015.

If some court functions stay in the building along the St. Johns River, that would stop a plan to move the government off the riverfront. Peyton said there may be no other choice.

"It may be a luxury we can't afford," Peyton said.

2015? Imo, once the numbers keep going up, they won't be leaving the riverfront completely. Unfortunately, a part of me, figured this would end up happening.

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I don't really like the location of the Prime Osborn as a courthouse, although that plan does sound feasible. If they did abandon those 7 blocks, I would hope that the city would save at least one block to use as a park.

Who knows where this will lead next....

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Littlepage is not very well-informed. The Prime Osborn, renovated, would never function well as a courthouse for numerous reasons. Part of the need for the new courthouse is the ability to deliver prisoners in a secure mode, in separate circulation from the public. This can be accomplished in a new structure, below grade.

Why did Peyton waste valuable time of his Mayor's Advisory Committee for the Courthouse, the Council Committee for the Courthouse, his paid consultant (Dan Wiley) as well as his own staff, if he is not going to listen to the recommendations?

Does he really believe shortchanging the project is the best answer for the City or is it promoting his political career?

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Amen to that RideBikes. He was the one who bumped the number up to 232 before and now he is saying it will be built for 201. Umm.. isn't he supposed some sort of business man? I don;t know what business, first of all, doesn;t listen to their clients and stays in business. Secondly agrees that something should cost more 2 years prior to agreeing to a number that is somewhat unrealistic later.

Yeah... wooohooo great guy we got in office here!! NOT

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Idea...

I am going to do this, but I recomend we all do this. Think of an idea that could help move this courthouse project along. It has been tied up in red tape for far to long. This forum has a pretty good following. Send your ideas and complaints to your council man. Let them know we are frustrated with this and want something done. if 20 of us send our complaints, ideas, that will be a pretty good number considering they probably dont hear from 20 of the constituants each year.

Anyway, i am going to send something today...

Just a thought. Let work within the system to try and get something done

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Regarding Peyton, I will NEVER vote for that little idiot again. Had I know this, I would have voted for Nat. I think he may have done a better job. At least he would have listened to his advisors. By the way, saying that Peyton is a businessman is like saying that Donald Trump's kids are real estate developers.

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Idea...

I am going to do this, but I recomend we all do this. Think of an idea that could help move this courthouse project along. It has been tied up in red tape for far to long. This forum has a pretty good following. Send your ideas and complaints to your council man. Let them know we are frustrated with this and want something done. if 20 of us send our complaints, ideas, that will be a pretty good number considering they probably dont hear from 20 of the constituants each year.

Anyway, i am going to send something today...

Just a thought. Let work within the system to try and get something done

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^ I agree with you completely. All of us need to start making a habit of contacting the city council with our concerns over the city's frequent planning blunders.

In the specific case of the courthouse, I don't know how much it would help, since it's really only Peyton who's holding things up right now. I'd bet most of the council wants to get moving on this too.

However, it would certainly be nice if there were some sort of comprehensive "urbanist" public interest group in Jacksonville. SPAR and RAP are really only neighborhood preservation groups, and all the city-wide "urban" groups are only social-service or charity based.

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I agree, once I get my info together, I'm going to send a letter to all of the councilmen, regarding the 4am drinking issue, complete with pics and examples of other cities, like Fort Walton Beach/Destin & Cleveland, where it has been successfully implemented.

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