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jacksonvillian

Hayden Burns RFP's announced today.

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The Responses were unsealed today at City Hall regarding thye Hayden Burns RFP.

Five bids were announced...

1. "Peterbrooke", as the chocolate factory of course. Modification of existing building.

2. "Ocean Square", a mixed-use development. 70 condos, restaruant/movie theater, large retail and outdoor plaza. Total demolition of existing building.

3. "Vestcor", contempory style condo tower. 80 units, some retail. Total demolition of existing building.

4. "Fire & Police Pention Fund", conversion of existing building to office space and retail.

5. "Main Branch, LLC", 20 condos atop existing library building, conversion of old building to retail.

Feature on tonight's news, local NBC and ABC, as well as in tommorrows Times Union.

If somebody knows how to insert a jpeg file, I can post.

:thumbsup:

http://firstcoastnews.com/news/local/news-...x?storyid=36645

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If somebody knows how to insert a jpeg file, I can post.

:thumbsup:

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Great news, thanks.

To add an image, type %7Boption%7Dthe image url[*/img] Only remove the *

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I'd like to see some renderings as well. Naturally, putting a movie theater in the heart of downtown appeals to me the most. I believe a theater, alone could be the catalyst for enhancing the nightlife atmosphere of downtown. However, I also like the idea of renovating the building to include a centrally located food market, to cater to downtown's growing residential base. After reading the article, the Peterbrooke proposal sounds great too, even though I'd still like to see the city work with them to take up another site in downtown.

All in all, I could live with any of these proposals, except the Fire, Police & Pension Fund. Why? Because I think they have their hands full and need to concentrate on the Laura Trio.

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Here are my preferences, based on what I know now. Ranked best to worst...

5) Main Branch LLC I wish it were taller, but it frankly does seem to be the most well-rounded and sensible proposal. The retail plan actually seems well considered, not vague or overly idealistic like other proposals.

3) Vestcor It will probably be a freaking ugly building, but they are a proven developer. If they win, their project WILL get built without hassle or delay.

1) Peterbrooke I think the chocolate factory idea is stupid too ... but if they are actually offering $4.5 million, more power to them. It's a free market, why not?

2) Ocean Square LLC - They will rank low for me until I see a rendering. A "large outdoor plaza" could be a disaster - especally next to the adjacent parking lot or garage - and the movie theater strikes me as a gimmick. We already have a one-screen theater the next block over. The Florida Theater screens old movies all the time. Unless they offer evidence of a first-run movie contract, the movie theater idea doesn't add much for me.

4) Police & Fire Pension - They are worst because they have a mediocre track record, and as already mentioned, their hands are full with other projects. Also the most vague proposal by far. I would fear a total lack of accountability.

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After reading today's FTU article, this is how I rank the bids:

1. Main Branch, LLC.- Like Captain O said earlier, this seems to be one of the more well thought out proposals. This is very strong, imo, because they also have letters of intent for a 6,000-to-12,000 sf People's Grocery Market and a 9,000sf Crush Bistro (currently in Avondale).

2. Ocean Square- It was my early number one, but until I see more, I'm not confident in a 1 screen theater being very successful in the long run. I have questions about the outdoor plaza thing, as well. I would be interested to see, have they already started to negotiate with potential tenants.

3. Vestcor- Vestcor definately has the funds to get this 20 story condo (15 condo floors & 5 parking levels) tower done. They say it will be contemporary. This could rise on my list depending on the final architectural design.

4. Peterbrooke- This has actually grown on me lately. A complex featuring an interactive chocolate museum and confectioner's school in conjunction with FCCJ has the potential to become a very unique and popular attraction. However, they are offering on $1.5 million for the land, which is far below the others.

5. Police & Fire Pension Fund- As I stated before, this is the only one, I'd hate to see this building be given too. Their track record isn't that strong, imo and the $6.5 million, they're offering, is money that the city already owes them. I believe they should take that money and apply it to the Laura Trio, which everybody knows is going to be an expensive endeavor.

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Here are my preferences, based on what I know now. Ranked best to worst...

5) Main Branch LLC I wish it were taller, but it frankly does seem to be the most well-rounded and sensible proposal. The retail plan actually seems well considered, not vague or overly idealistic like other proposals.

3) Vestcor It will probably be a freaking ugly building, but they are a proven developer. If they win, their project WILL get built without hassle or delay.

1) Peterbrooke I think the chocolate factory idea is stupid too ... but if they are actually offering $4.5 million, more power to them. It's a free market, why not?

2) Ocean Square LLC - They will rank low for me until I see a rendering. A "large outdoor plaza" could be a disaster - especally next to the adjacent parking lot or garage -  and the movie theater strikes me as a gimmick. We already have a one-screen theater the next block over. The Florida Theater screens old movies all the time. Unless they offer evidence of a first-run movie contract, the movie theater idea doesn't add much for me.

4) Police & Fire Pension - They are worst because they have a mediocre track record, and as already mentioned, their hands are full with other projects. Also the most vague proposal by far. I would fear a total lack of accountability.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

The Peterbrooke proposal looks weak to me. The 4.5mm includes renovation costs, the city will only get a paltry $1.5mm. The supposed benefit of $78mm in economic benefit sounds like pie-in-the-sky to me. It sounds like they are trying to get a new building on the cheap.

I'm open to hearing them out, but it sounds as if they are branching into new ventures that they have no experience in (culinary school, tourist attraction,etc.). Don't get me wrong, I like what they are trying to do, but there are better locations and why pass up an opportunity for something less risky, when other options are available.

Ocean Square sounds like the best to me, although I want more info. on all of these before making a decision. Downtown needs more green space. Besides, who said it would be on Forsyth Street? It could face Adams or Ocean. Also, that garage will be gone one day, hopefully soon.

As far as the theater, having two such facilities so close to each other could create some snergy. Let's hear them out before dimissing it. Maybe they will show first- run independent films.

Also, I would like to see the city and DVI help ALL of these parties (except maybe the Fire & Pension group) to fulfill each of these projects somewhere downtown. The chance to get a grocer is an opportunity that can't be missed, for example.

Main Branch LLC's proposal is the best of the ones that will preserve the building.

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Like Lakelander, I've been rethinking some of my initial thoughts on these proposals. If the movie theatre is a one-screen theatre, they might as well not build it. I'd rather see a faull, 10-20 screen theatre at the Landing or something.

And as long as Peterbrook has good street interaction, it would be fine by me. Perhaps the "factory" could be on the upper floors, on the interior, while the street-frontage is reserved for leased retail space.

Again, renderings would probably change up my opinions again.

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Taking the assumtion that all the renderings are decent and properly interact with the surronding areas....

1) Vestcor - Taller building to add to the skyline. Also provides more residents than any of the other options. Right now, I think that should be as important a goal as street level interaction. What good is street level shops/resteraunts/etc if no one is there after 5pm. Getting more people LIVING downtown will help this.

2) Ocean - Same reasons as previously mentioned. I do like that they have some concerted efforts in their plan to provide better street level interaction. But you still get back to the whole problem of lack of people.

3)Peterbrook - Dont like there offering price, but i think it is a good option to add a showcase business downtown

4) Main - As CO mentioned, it is a very well rounded pruposal

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5) Pention Fund - Cant see anything good coming of this. Their record speeks for itself. I REALY dont like them saying well, its money you (the city) owes us, therefore we deserve it. Bad for downtown, bad mentality to build a good structure... By the way, have I mentioned I realy think this is a BAD IDEA. What scares me is because they are doing the "you owe us" thing, something tells me that they will end up getting it.

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Residences are on thing, affordable residences is another. It seems everything going up just gets more expensive than the previous. If they can make it affordable then go for it, otherwise a mixed bag of retail, public, and residences is my vote for the building.

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Good point Merlin...

I guess I should add that into my assumptions... Affordable Housing. However, even if it is expensive, so long as they can fill it, (and it isnt a defacto retirement home) whats wrong with having people with money living in the heart of downtown. It will still add to the afterhours street level walking traffic. But yeh, I do agree, we need more AFFORDABLE housing, not just housing.

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If the renderings hold weight with the actual proposal. Id say that ocean square sounds like the best one. Not only does it include retail, residences, and a movie screen, it also includes an outdoor plaza. The plaza will add greatly to the pedestrian interaction in that area. An open space in the heart of the city will be a great meeting spot or hang out area. Even the name " Ocean Square" is catchy. If they add a club to the mix, this would really be the 'spot.' Cross your fingers for a IMAX theatre if its going to have only one screen. :thumbsup:

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Ocean_Square.jpg

I have a jpg file of the rendering.. but its not on a url.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Check your personal message box. If you email me the rendering, I'll upload and post it for everyone to see.

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Well, these residences may be affordable. They're not on the river, although they still have a river view....for now. But look at 11E next door, those were *relatively* affordable compared to Berkman and such, and it should be noted that 11E units seemed to sell quicker with their lower price.

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Hey, i dont know about you guys but I like it. Considering the area, I think its a nice fit, especially with the new mediterranean look of The Landing. However, that is not what i envisioned for an outdoor plaza.

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I'd like to see the design change. I'm not to fond of the beach looking stucco spanish mediterranean style, especially in the heart of the downtown . I'd like to see something more comsopolitan.

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It seems that builders and buyers alike are attracted to that look, not to mention it does give off that " Florida" feel i guess. As the years go by and developments progress, Jacksonville will have this summery, city by the sea feel...which i think this sort of architecture helps to achieve. Tourists may prefer the look as well. Either way, its alot better than Ol Ugly library.

Sorry about that. I meant to respond to your post, but I mashed the wrong button and editted it by mistake.

Lakelander

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Ocean Square would definitely look better on the river. It sounds like Vestcor may have the better proposal after seeing the Square. I agree with Lakelander, it doesn't jive well with the heart of downtown.

I can't wait to see renderings of the other proposals and a more detailed rendering of Ocean Square.

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Peterbrooke is now lower on my list, because I mistakenly assumed the wrong purchase price. Police & Fire Pension is still dead last, in my book.

As far as Ocean Square ... The rending is fine. I won't lose any sleep if the city picks it. Though, I still think Main Street LLC has a better proposal overall.

The city should give the library to Main Street LLC, and give JEA's ugly concrete bunker on Bay Street to Ocean Square. :) Just an idea.

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I'd like to see the design change.  I'm not to fond of the beach looking stucco spanish mediterranean style, especially in the heart of the downtown .  I'd like to see something more comsopolitan.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I agree. It does look too beachy. However, you have to remember that these projects change drastically between the initial announcement and the start of contruction.

The Penninsula and The Strand certainly followed that pattern. This likely would too. Plus, the DRC will have to approve it, albeit they have made some disappointing rulings.

Therefore, I think the concept and the team should be the primary focus in making a decision. The design can and almost certainly will change.

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