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Metro242

Bay Street Town Center

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I was just doing a little reading on the proposed ideas for turning the Bay Street area into an entertainment district of sorts, with the city putting a lot of money into renovations on the street and trying to lure dining and retail into that area. I was just wondering if anyone knew how this was coming along, and if any companies have signed any leases to move into the area yet? Just curious, as anyone can provide an update that would be awesome!

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Well ... it was a pretty half-baked idea to begin with ...

For one thing, there are only about three disconnected blocks anyway. The rest of Bay street is taken up by institutional uses and buildings that turn their backs to the street. So no amount of landscaping or brick pavers will ever turn Bay into any kind of entertainment district. It's really amazing how few buildings are involved in this project.

I was complaining several years ago that this "entertainment district" was going to fail. As it turns out, I was right. There is exactly one struggling night club and an upscale mens clothier. That's it.

However, just because the project failed to create an entertainment district, doesn't mean the project was a failure in the grand scheme of things. Maybe all that talk of creating an "entertainment district" was really just smoke and mirrors to speed up the historic rehabs. In that sense, the project was a complete success. Basically, every single surviving historic structure on Bay has been rehabbed, or will soon be. Those rehabbed buildings might never contain trendy clubs and bars ... but at least they have been renovated. Many of Jax's historic buildings are slowly crumbling or being torn down. These have been saved.

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I think the idea of an entertainment district downtown is a great one.... it almost just seems like a basic idea. But, how can you create something like that on Bay Street... if the Landing can't even keep Ruby Tuesday as a destination? I'm hoping Twisted Martini lasts. I can't wait for the day when downtown is truely a destination. I loved being down there during the super bowl.

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i think that maybe we are killing the project even before it had a chance to take a breath. once again i am amazed at how quickly everyone on the forum is ready to complain about people taking some intiative. why is this a failure? when you have Berkman on the same street? you have 11East a couple of blocks away and soon the carling? i think the major reason it would fail is that people do not have the vision to put the money where their mouth is and do something!!! the landing>>> let's teared down this tired vestment of an era gone by! let's give restaurants and nightclubs the incentive to move to Bay Street>>> 4am liquor and some of the other ridiculous laws that the "morally right" city council has imposed on us. and yes some of the old buildings are breing rehab, just to sit empty and quickly go right back to being a run down hulk >>> so enjoy Jacksonville>> because whose fault is it if it fails, our own!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Adams Street is the street that's set up to become more entertainment oriented. Its more centralized, has more housing units, is more pedestrian friendly, has direct access to the skyway and there's already a number of restaurants and bars operating on the four block stretch between Julia and Ocean streets.

Its also going to recieve huge boosts from the new library, the Haydon Burns redevelopment, The Barnett, The Carling, 20 West, the city's relocation to the Ed Ball Building and the Laura Trio's renovation.

On the other hand, Bay Street will suffer from the city's inability to relocate the county courthouse (which effectively kills one side of the entire district), Berkman not facing the street, the police station and the jail and the city's inability to get deals done (ex. Churchwell lofts needing parking).

Another problem that it must overcome is its split in half, by the office building and parking lot sitting between Newnan and Market Streets.

Can it overcome these obstacles......sure, but it will take several years, if not at least a decade to do so, and that's if everything that needs to happen falls in to place overnight.

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Lakelander - I agree, Adams street is a much better street for entertainment uses. Even if every current retail space in Bay street becomes occupied, it won't match what Adams steet can become, because Bay lacks the continuous street-wall and is marred by institutional uses. That doesn't mean Bay street won't be a success in its own way ... but we shouldn't expect it to ever become the "entertainment district" that some people claim.

Cuban - Let me get this straight - you are suggesting that the city purchase the Landing and tear it down, in order to make Bay street more attractive to retail? Correct me if I misread, but I think that's what you said.

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I wish they had fixed up the sidewalks, lighting, landscaping on Adams Street instead. It's already full of great stores and cafes. I think one portion of the Adams sidewalk will get redone, and that's in front of the Carling. Hopefully they'll have some nice brick, plants, lighting.

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I wish they had fixed up the sidewalks, lighting, landscaping on Adams Street instead.  It's already full of great stores and cafes.  I think one portion of the Adams sidewalk will get redone, and that's in front of the Carling.  Hopefully they'll have some nice brick, plants, lighting.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

^^ Hey Legend, delete that post. Otherwise, the city will remove the parking on Adams, put up ugly Palm trees and turn it into a one way street!!!!!!!

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Cuban - Let me get this straight - you are suggesting that the city purchase the Landing and tear it down, in order to make Bay street more attractive to retail? Correct me if I misread, but I think that's what you said.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

why should the city buy the landing??? that is not what i am suggesting... if this was a perfect world (which is what the Urban Planet is based on, theory and hypothesis)... whoever owns the Landing would tear it down. look, we can all dream about the landing becoming some wonderful center, and to do that you are going to cut about 40% of the building right down the middle, hell>>> at that point why not get rid of the rest of it and start with a fresh palette, i am pretty sure no one is looking for historic preservation on the building (although nothing would surprise me!). and i don't think that demo-ing the landing will help with Bay Street, the only thing that will help bay street, is everybody in Jacksonville.

look, i don't get it>>> we all want the downtown area to thrive and be the happening place in Jacksonville, but the minute the city does anything to try and push this forward, everyone starts complaining... money wasted? poor sidewalk improvements. hey look, folks>>> they tried, it may have been the wrong approach and the circumsatnces not the best, but they gave it a shot>>> yeah, i agree that the Adams corridor is on its way to become the entertainment zone, but what, the city to small for two? and everybody is about parking ... parking parking!! hey consider this, you might have to park a block or two away from where you want to go, scary i know... but REALITY??? look at most of the downtown parking garages after 6pm.. empty doesn't even begin to mention their state?? yeah, you might have to pay?? but that's an URBAN environment!

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I think tearing down the Landing is VERY interesting. I hope they read this site.

By the way, to the Bay Street Town Center, I've heard of not one, but two new "entertainment" businesses/bars heading there. They are very different from eachother and I think may be what the BSTC needs. Has anyone shopped the clothier?

also- just sent a spam. If you are not on my email list, here it is:

Arty Friends,

Please feel free to pass on this exciting spam to all of your friends who read books and listen to jazz records (and to those who don

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I agree that Bay St needs help, but think of this:

The town center stretches to Ocean. Hopefully, someone will come up with uses for the two god awful parking garages on Bay St. Once that is done, we can continue it to Laura St. When that is complete (hopefully by then the retail market will look up), we will have an nice connection between the landing and Bay St (maybe Capital Partners can come up with some outside opening shops...

In all, I think it will work, However we need to get rid of the Courthouse. I think it would be cool if Adams St. turned into the Restaraunt Corridor, and Bay St turned into the after dinner corridor, with little places on the side streets connecting the two.

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