I am Reality

Cool Stuff in Other Cities

Recommended Posts


A fascinating read on the utter failure of downtown Jacksonville’s “if you demolish it, they will come” strategy:

https://www.thejaxsonmag.com/article/why-preservation-not-demolition-has-worked-downtown/

From  The Jaxson

While we’ve often gone ‘round and ‘round on the wisdom of tearing down beloved structures like the Jaymont Block in favor of huge but often sterile new projects, Orlando has been pretty good at having SOMETHING to fill up blocks when old structures are felled.

There are exceptions, of course: the duPont Centre II Space sat empty for 25 years before we got a mediocreapartment complex and many of the blocks along I4 have sat empty for so long even old-timers have a hard time remembering when they were productive.

Famously, the Frederick administration used zoning to save neighborhoods like Eola Heights from such a fate (developers and land owners with $$$ in their eyes insisted an empty lot would make it easier to promote just as they have in downtown Jacksonville).

It’s also interesting to note how many of the modern condo towers downtown were abject failures initially (dare we say most?) that caused heartaches for lenders, developers and homeowners alike.

All in all, it probably reinforces the case for organic growth but, as in all things, there are certainly plenty of exceptions.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On ‎4‎/‎5‎/‎2019 at 4:20 PM, spenser1058 said:

A fascinating read on the utter failure of downtown Jacksonville’s “if you demolish it, they will come” strategy:

Jaxson and Modern Cities post some really good stuff. I don't know anyone in the other Florida metros that do their level of work.

The article you posted had some really nice success stories on the 3rd page. But from the 2nd page this quote re: walkability really shocked me... "According to a 2006 survey by Downtown Vision, 37% of Downtown visitors will only walk one or two blocks, 37% will walk three or four blocks, and only 25% will walk more than four blocks."

Now, granted, they were talking about downtown Jax in the mid 2000's- not a pretty sight- but those walking distances seem really short. I wonder how our downtowners feel about covering more area. Would people walk from CV to Orange  or Church St given that in its current state they would be passing a lot of vacant lots and abandoned buildings? Will the completion of I4 and the space underneath make this walk more likely? 

BTW, as a follow up to the article you posted, and since they have decided to level the Landing, here are a few ideas for the land use.

https://www.thejaxsonmag.com/article/10-potential-uses-for-the-jacksonville-landing/

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

James Rouse, who gave us the first enclosed mall east of the Mississippi, one of the first “new” towns, Columbia, MD and who pioneered some of the more successful festival marketplaces like Boston’s Faneuil Hall, and futurist Ray Bradbury both noted Walt Disney as one of the true visionaries of wallable spaces.

Walt believed in a series of “wienies” to attract pedestrians along their way. At Disneyland, that might take the form of Sleeping Beauty Castle, the Mark Twain riverboat or the TWA rocket ship.

One of the problems in downtowns is that from the street level it’s often difficult to see far enough ahead to be attracted to walk further.

That problem is compounded by tall buildings constructed more from a distant roadway than at ground level.

In Orlando, opening up wider vistas along Washington Street so visitors could see Lake Eola or the sculptures and light display at OPL could really help encourage walk ability.

Making some of our more interesting downtown buildings easily accessible from ground level (and making walkers aware they are welcome inside) would pull them further (some of the downtown churches are beautiful inside, but unless you’re part of the congregation, how likely are you to see the interior of St. George’s or FUMCO?)

A short boat ride across Lake Eola from Rosalind to Thornton Park would lead folks several blocks.

Heading in the other direction, Under-I will hopefully help draw folks that way. Also, more street artists and musicians could make walking downtown more interesting.

The big challenge downtown is that for 70 years we’ve thought about it more from the point of view of drivers than as pedestrians.

 

Edited by spenser1058

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Washington Post looks at what may be coming to Northern Virginia with the arrival of Amazon by asking the folks in Seattle what they think of the behemoth’s presence there.

Apparently, as in any place where a major employer has such an impact, it’s not always an unalloyed blessing.

Something to keep in mind when Orlando folks grumble about the Mouse.

(Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon, also owns the Washington Post.)

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/amazon-in-seattle-economic-godsend-or-self-centered-behemoth/2019/04/08/7d29999a-4ce3-11e9-93d0-64dbcf38ba41_story.html

Edited by spenser1058

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A British student dorm developer is entering the US market with a proposed development in the Fenway neighborhood of Boston.  With the possibility of 10k students downtown in the years to come, I think this would work well at UCF Downtown:

https://www.bostonglobe.com/business/2018/11/01/here-what-british-dorm-builder-planning-for-boston/oEEKOgKdM8Emg1jufBpvYN/story.html

On the downside, this development is replacing one of the last gay clubs in Boston (a city that had over a dozen about a decade ago).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Cross-Bay Ferry between downtown Tampa and St. Pete, which has been seasonal and intermittent over the years, is set to become permanent. 

If Tampa Bay’s cities, which have historically squabbled over transit and regularly fired shots across the waterway at each other, can make a commitment like this, surely we can get together on Lynx.

https://www.tampabay.com/transportation/after-a-two-season-tryout-the-cross-bay-ferry-is-set-to-become-a-permanent-20190415/?template=amp

From the St Pete Times 

Edited by spenser1058

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What’s in a name? It seems developers in Tampa, not unlike Orlando, have no problem taking  carte blanche in renaming neighborhoods.

This time, it’s Dale Mabry around I-275. 

Go a little further north past the stadium and you hit Carrollwood. 

Go south and you have Palma Ceia and, further on, MacDill.

The developers have now decided the area around the interstate is “Midtown Tampa”, a name with precious little history. Fascinating..

https://www.tampabay.com/business/midtown-tampa-unveils-dual-branded-element-and-aloft-hotel-20190417/?template=amp

From the St Pete Times 

 

20 PETE 20

Edited by spenser1058

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.