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vladittude0583

St. John's Town Center

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I must say that the overall look & feel to the St. John's Town Center is extremely astounding, but there's some things I think they could've done better.

1) I like the idea of building Town Center Parkway linking Gate Parkway to St. John's Bluff Rd & SR9A, but I think the mall shouldn't have been located right off Town Center Parkway. I wish they would've done like a grand entrance to the SJTC filled with perhaps lakes and so forth. Everyone should check out www.jordancreektowncenter.com <this is an outdoor lifestyle center similar to SJTC but it's located in IOWA. SJTC is comprised of a lifestyle center, village center and a community center but Jordan Creek is comprised of a lake district, lifestyle center, and village center which I think is definitely awesome. Jordan Creek has P.F. Chang's & Cheesecake Factory among many others located along the lake district where people dining have a nice view of a huge lake of which all the restaurants are mainly located. They should've done something like this with SJTC, and you can imagine how nice it would be. Furthermore, I think SJTC should've had a "Main Entrance" to the outdoor shopping center similar to the Millenia Mall in Orlando and so forth. I kind of hate how you're driving along Town Center Parkway with all the different entrances and exits to the Town Center. Even though it does have a "main entrance" where the names of the major restaurants are located, I don't think it's grand enough you know? Does anyone know if there's going to be like a main entrance perhaps from State Road 9A?

2) They're building a mall somewhere in southern florida I think in Naples or something like that where they have the "main street section of the outdoor center" made with bricks as the walking areas and driving areas lined up with huge palm trees and nicer landscaping. I wish they should've done that with SJTC. They should put more shaded areas in SJTC I think.

3) It'd be nicer if they built it with a theater, but unfortunately Tinseltown is down the road so I don't think so. Interestingly enough, they originally wanted to build SJTC in the Tinseltown area but then Tinseltown came and it's too late.

4) The MAIN THING I THINK THAT WOULD MAKE SJTC NICE is if they built it near the river or ocean like some malls elsewhere in the United States. Just imagine how nice that would be? Given that we have nice beaches and a river? They should've done something like that. The Landing I don't think has the same feel as SJTC even though it's on the river.

Anybody else wanna share your comments?

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One word: SHADE!

When I went to the Town Center, I was appalled to find that there were practically no awnings nor shade trees. But I like the selection of new stores it has. :)

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1) You guys are right ... SHADE SHADE SHADE! Awnings, trees, something.

2) A parking garage with residential units on top replacing that huge surface lot in the "strip mall" section - with awnings and shade trees too ;) But that's just my silly pipe-dream idea.

But the shade thing needs to happen ... now.

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I think in time the trees will get bigger and will add shade. One thing I cannot stand about SJTC is the strip mall side where Target is... the massive sea of parking is overwhelming. Such a waste!!! A parking garage with ground floor retail, and condo/apartment/office/or hotel... something.. would really suffice there. I'm also dissapointed in the entrace to SJTC. the "lighthouse-esque" blocks, and vitamin "shoppe" are the first things you see... hopefully there will be infill that will rid the horrid view. I also wish there were more palm trees... yes, i know that they don't provide the needed shade... but there could be more. I also wish they would have made the rear of the buildings more pleasing to the eye.... with the way the parking and set up is, you always see the back of the buildings... and it just looks a bit tacky.

Don't get me wrong, I'm totally glad we finally got something along these lines. It really is fantastic... but just a few minor things... that could change with time, and with phase two...

I'm also wondering how SJTC will do during the extreme heat of the summer months. Will it be just a place to "run in the gap really quick" if you are in search of one thing... and the "make a day of it" shoppers will head to the avenues... or what. The Avenues and SJTC may compliment each other well re: weather. I'm glad the Avenues had a makeover.

I believe I have gone on long enough!

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The need some sort of transportation. Could you imagine being a little old lady who wanted to shop at Dillards and Old Navy? Are you really going to park, walk across an acre of hot asphalt go to your store, walk back out and get in your car and do it all over again.

two words - BICYCLE RICKSHAWS. I've thought about it. I wonder if SIMON would go for something that... urban. I am just too lazy to put somehing like that together. Maybe some enterprising UNF student could capatalize.

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I don't really care about shade all that much. I have been to a few similar centers on the west coast and there isn't that much shade either. This is Florida, outdoor shopping in the summer sun is something I'm looking forward to. The awnings are definitely decorative, not functional, but I don't know how they could have made a steady overhang of shade around the entire mall and still have it look as attractive as it does now. I'm more worried about the rain than the sun. A suprise storm comes while you are inside of a shop at the Town Center and you're more or less staying there for a while, which isn't all that great for consumers or retailers.

One complaint that I have about the Town Center is that I'm sure they paid a hefty sum of money to line the entire mall with those white lights on the roofs of every building, yet they NEVER turn them on. The mall looked so impressive from JTB when they had all of those lights tying the entire mall together and making it look like one massive destination, but after the grand opening they haven't been turned back on once. They are there, they should still all work, someone paid for them and they make the mall look great, does anyone have any idea why they don't bother to turn them on anymore?

Another problem I have with the Town Center is the fact that it looks like a gem in the middle of a dump right now with all of the construction going on, but of course that is a necessary evil so I am not complaining too much. The landscaping is beautiful, and I especially like the courtyard in front of Dillards with the benches, streetlights and huge trees.

I don't think that transportation is really that big of a deal for now, maybe when Phase 2 opens. If someone can walk from one side of the Regency Square Mall to the other, surely they can make it from the Power Center to the Lifestyle Center and back. Again, rain is the only issue that would really ruin things if it was pouring and you were in Hollister but were parked in front of Pet Smart.

I don't think that the location is ideal, but downtown probably wouldn't be feasible at this point and the beaches aren't really central enough. It would have been cool to put it on the Intercoastal and kind of integrate it into it like The Lighthouse Grille kind of has, but the location isn't all that bad and with 9A and JTB hooking up soon that will be a pretty focal part of town. Those pictures from the similar center in IOWA on the link posted were great. Our Town Center is a better looking center in my opinion in terms of the actual buildings, but with surroundings like that and a grand entrance it would be amazing. Phase 2 seems to be the really upscale portion, and the center is still very much a work in progress, so I'll reserve judgment for when it all comes together.

I think their sign placements are just plain weird too. There is a Town Center sign on St. John's Bluff that is literally in the middle of nowhere and not even close to any roads that lead in that direction. The one on Butler is just kind of thrown up their in the middle of nowhere and isn't big or impressive or anything. They both just look really out of place, but maybe something is being planned and those areas are going to tie into the mall.

All in all, I think they did an awesome job on it and it is WAY better than I was honestly expecting. A criticism can be made here or there, but I think they'll really blow us away with phase 2 and bring some retailers like Macy's and Tiffany's into the area while making an addition to the center that will look awesome from JTB and be even nicer than Phase 1. Good work from all involved.

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Remember, the sign on St John's Bluff will soon be on 9A - the road will be reconfigured there, so it won't quite be in the middle of nowhere

Also, simon isn't known for the best signage - look at the Avenues I-95 sign (there is one), it is nearly impossible to see from I-95

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I really wish the city would trim back all of the trees along 95.. at least the south of downtown... driving through, if you aren't paying attention, you don't really see any of the offices along the sides of highways. You would definitely never even know the Avenues was there.

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They need to add more trees to creat shade,second turn that bih parking lot in front of Target into 2 story garage parking with first story retail,that would make whole area looking even better and build Skyway from mall runing to downtown going down 9A right in middle,pleanty of space and cheap yet functional run BY alltel stadium to connect with rest of DT Skyway.....Heck I would ride Skyway just for fun if nothing.

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The only thing that SJTC has brought to Jax has been some good restaurants (PF Change, Maggiano's, Cheesecake Factory, etc) and some good boutique shopping (Bo Concept, Hold Everything, Apple Store, etc). The rest of it is a great idea that died before it got past the Design Development stages of the construction documents. Some gripes I have...

- Shade (or lack thereof): The area that needs the most shade...in the "town center"...has toothpicks in comparison to the entry and parking lots. Most of the trees in and around the town center are 2" caliper code trees while parking lot trees are 6" or greater. Don't shade the cars...shade the people.

- Architecture: Um, it's ugly and you can't fix ugly.

- Connectivity: It's great to walk around the "town center" portion, but heaven forbid you try to get to the "strip mall" section. There is a serious lack of shade and a lack of crossings. If you wish to get around that area, you must walk along the entire building edge. If you are at Crispers and you wish to go to Old Navy, you have to cross a sea of asphalt without any crosswalks (usually) or sidewalks.

- Signage & Theme: Aside from the JTB and St. Johns Bluff signage, there is no indication of "HEY...HERE I AM!". Not that the signs I am referring to are worth anyting aesthetically, but at least they are prominent; unlike the sign off of Gate Parkway...ugh! The twin towers that you pass as you enter from the West are just hideous and have a lack of scale, are disproportionate in mass and just ugly. Which is what the archeritectual theme is...ugly.

:wacko:- WTF Situation: Did someone totally miss the boat and not think to tie the building downspouts into the master storm drainage system? They have building downspouts connected to corrugated plastic piping and it is laid across the landcape areas and terminated at curbs edge. They discreetly "camouflage" this horrible detail by mounding mulch up and over it. Next time you visit SJTC, check the back of buildings for the downspouts...you will see it.

Ugh...gotta cough up a hairball... :sick:

The 'Urb

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^I think you did what I did, and got your hopes up. I was expecting a lifestyle center that had great character and proper design and land use. Oh well, guess we got our hopes up, lol.

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New marketing campaign:

Downtown--Jacksonville's original town center.

I agree with the previous posts that I read...although I didn't read them all. I believe they completely missed with boat as far as making it pedestrian friendly. I think they should have made the area with the brick pavers for pedestrians only. But since they didn't, they need to put in some kind of traffic calming measures. And walking across that damn parking lot---it's like playing frogger! If only they had consulted someone with the slightest bit of urban planning experience, but clearly they did not.

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That giant parking lot gets griddle hot in the sun. I also hate the way that the islands separate the aisles. You've got to go offroading when you are pushing a stroller across the lot.

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I like that it is close enough to work that I still have to get in the stinkin' car to get anywhere for lunch (I work just opposite JTB from Costco) and then find parking when I get there. Geez, I want to work Downtown again.

I miss the days jumping over the rolling dunes out there in sand rails. Sure, the site may have been an old strip mine but it had evolved into a great area for off-road recreation. We had something unique and now it is gone for ever.

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One thing I think they should've really done with the SJTC is to have had an actual "food-court" area. I think the round-a-bout area with Maggiano's in the center should've been the food-court region with the upscale restuarants being located in the outskirts of the mall. Although they're building Mimi's Cafe on the outskirts across from Dillards, I don't know if I consider this particular restaurant upscale. It's just that parking is really horrible in the "village section", along with the unavailability of fast-food joints especially when you're tired enough of walking around the entire place without having to wait for long lines and paying expensive prices. Luckily, they're building a Chik-Fil-A but and already have a Wendy's, Firehouse Subs, Subway, but those aren't enough not to mention you pretty much have to drive to get to them if you don't mind the walking especially in the hot Florida sun or Drizzling Rain during the summertime and not to forget during the winter when it can get cold at times.

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Given that a lot of forum members have complained regarding the huge parking lot fronting Target @ SJTC, I thought that wouldn't it have been cool if they had made it into some sort of multi-level parking garage with retail on the first floor with parking entrances throughout this multi-level garage? Just think how nice that would be. You have parking (lots of it) and also street level retail at the base of the parking garage? What do you guys think?

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It would be nice, but it's unrealistic and wouldn't make the developer any money. The real reason they didn't put any sidewalks in the parking lot is because they tried to force shoppers to walk in front of the stores, instead of taking short cuts across the sea of asphalt.

Overall, I'm fine with the way it is. If it were downtown or in Riverside or something, I'd have a problem, but its in the middle of sprawl-burbia and it looks pretty good compared to most of the other strip malls in Jax.

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Does anyone know when Phase II of SJTC is going to start? When are they going to announce the major tenants of Phase II? I must say though, that it's definitely "good" planning (I guess) that Phase II would be complete by the time the 9A would be complete, therefore making the travel around that area more feasible. Btw, does anyone know what they're doing on the land next to JTB where they've like cleared it some more? It seems like they're building a road there, but I've seen the plans for Phase II (as far as layout, not the stores coming) and it doesn't show any roads there?

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