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jacksonvillian

Specifics on "Ocean Square Proposal"

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Some additional information was released yesterday in a planning meeting I attended regarding the Ocean Square development proposal for the Haydon Burns Library RFP.

Ocean Square would consist of approximately 220,000 total square feet, made up of 70 condo units ranging from 1500 square feet to 3300 square feet. Pricing would range from 239k and up to 1M for penthouses. Condo amenities would include a private club with riverviews and a outdoor terrace at the third floor.

As for the retail elements, there is a total of 17500 square feet of retail "store" space that would be most likely a large national book seller or music/media outlet (Barnes & Noble, Borders, Virgin, or Tower Records) however the developer indicated that they were still open to the possibility of a boutique market/grocery vendor if the market demand remained following the southbank introduction of Publix, etc.

In addition to the retail, there would another 10,000 square feet of restaurant & movie theater. The restaurant would an upscale/nightclub-like environment that is connected to the outdoor plaza that is slightly elevated, but still accessable from street levels fronting Forsyth and Ocean Streets. The theater would be modeled after a classic "movie palace" with a modern twist, the interior would be three stories high with a massive screen.. possibly Imax compatible??, 600 seats with integrated tables for orders from the restaurant and bar. Apparently the restaurant and movie theater combo is a done deal!

Here's the best part for you high-rise lovers, 175 feet high of living space and 190 total feet to the top of the structure. That's 10 feet shy of 11E next door. Apparently the original rendering was a bust as far a color, scale & design elements... the facade of the building is modeled after a chicago-style design utilizing a blended color brick and limestone cladding, architectural freizes and high-performance glass... none of that mediterranean look the original rendering hinted at. A new rendering is in the works and may be released before the decision on the 17th of June.

As for parking, its mostly underground garage, but there would be some surface parking and service area off-street between the building and the 11E garage just west of the site.

I don't know about anybody else... but this all sounds great to me!!

Jvillian

:D

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sounds like a nice proposal, upscale restaurant and a movie theater downtown, not bad, and a book/music store could become a cultural gathering point.

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That is awesome! :silly:

If they build a Barnes and Noble downtown, I will never have to leave Riverside/downtown again. I think I want to get in immediately and buy a 2/2. Any idea on what this would cost pre-construction?? City, please do the right thing and approve this one.

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Whoa, someone has vision. I can't wait to see the renderings later this month.

"The restaurant would an upscale/nightclub-like environment that is connected to the outdoor plaza that is slightly elevated, but still accessable from street levels fronting Forsyth and Ocean Streets."

^beautiful.

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I don't know about anybody else... but this all sounds great to me!!

Jvillian

:D

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

This is exactly what I was hoping for with this site. A significant addition of housing units, and a strong mix of uses. Underground parking too. Sounds like a great addition to the skyline as well.

The city needs to approve this, while at the same time, trying to locate the other proposals to other sites in the downtown area. Put the chocalote factory either on Bay Street or the Landing, and put the grocer in a new building where the ugly parking garge is between Bay and Forsyth.

The condo prices are pretty reasonable, and unlike the units that will come online during the condo conversion of 11 E. Forsyth and the Carling, they are all a decent size. I would be interested in selling my unit at the Parks and getting one of these myself.

If this goes through, it will be an excellent test of the Northbank off-the-river condo market. This will be the first for-sale project that is not on the river on the Northbank since the Parks.

Thanks very much for the inside scoop Jacksonvillian!!!!

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It sounds like this could be the start of some night life/entertainment downtown. Between this, the Landing, and other stuff (couldn't think of anything specific), downtown might become the entertainment destination it needs to be.

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It sounds like this could be the start of some night life/entertainment downtown. Between this, the Landing, and other stuff (couldn't think of anything specific), downtown might become the entertainment destination it needs to be.

I agree. Barnes and Noble would draw crowds downtown. I currently have to drive to Arlington, SJTC or Mandarin to buy books. If this goes through, I would stay downtown. And, of course, a movie theater would draw people. This would draw more people than the other proposals, in my opinion. And, it has its own residents.

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As for the retail elements, there is a total of 17500 square feet of retail "store" space that would be most likely a large national book seller or music/media outlet (Barnes & Noble, Borders, Virgin, or Tower Records) however the developer indicated that they were still open to the possibility of a boutique market/grocery vendor if the market demand remained following the southbank introduction of Publix, etc.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

A Publix in San Marco or in the Southbank is still a few years (2 or 3) away. If Ocean Square is chosen, what's their schedule for construction on the site?

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^Imo, out of the five proposals, Vestcor doesn't have a chance. Outside of that, i'm just hoping that the city doesn't end up handing it over to Peterbrooke, or worse, The Fund.

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Great! I give up on the city if they are not smart enough to pick this one. Sure the Main LLC proposal was ok, but this one is the icing on the cake.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I respectfully disagree. I still think Main LLC is better for the library site. I like the Ocean proposal very much ... but again, why not build Ocean's on some other piece of city property, and let Main take the library?

For example:

- The library site is city-owned, .95 acres, and would give river views. Ocean LLC will spend tons of money on demolition, and clearly won't use all .95 acres according to their rendering. BUT

- There is a surface parking lot west of Bay & Ocean, city-owned (chamber of commerce) .61 acres, also with a river view. OR

- There is a one-story cooling plant/parking lot east of Bay& Ocean, city-owned (JEA) .9 acres, and also with a river view. Smaller demo costs, or they could just build on top of the JEA structure.

Of course, there are dozens of other sites that could accomodate Ocean's proposal - but the above two are significant because they are city-owned, and already so close (in geographic distance and character) to the library site. They also have the added bonus of being in the "Bay Street Town Center" for whatever that's worth.

A truly visionary city leadership would recognize two good propsals when they see them ... and find a way to make BOTH projects work for the city. Not to mention destroying another unsightly parking lot in the process. But God-forbid we lose a few surface parking spaces, right? ;)

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As an aside - I can't believe that I'm advocating the preservation of such an ugly 50's mostrosity ... but, oh well. I really do think that if someone is actually willing to preserve an old structure, that should beat out similar new construction.

If Ocean were proposing a 600 ft, 400 unit condo, with a 6-screen first-run multiplex, that would be one thing. But as it stands, the two projects are not THAT different in size/density.

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A Publix in San Marco or in the Southbank is still a few years (2 or 3) away.  If Ocean Square is chosen, what's their schedule for construction on the site?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

The developer has said that if selected they will target January/February 2006 for the commencement of demolition.

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I can't believe that I'm advocating the preservation of such an ugly 50's mostrosity

I too am surprised at you, Captain. :)

I think that, even if you add street interaction to the design of the old library, it is still a ghastly building and I would be happy to push the demolition button myself. I do think that, even without the preservation argument, the Ocean Square proposal is the best b/c it adds a multi-use building with ground floor retail (including hopefully a Barnes and Noble or similar) and adds many more residential units than any other proposal (except perhaps the mysterious Vestcor proposal). It also includes elements (movie and bookstore) which promise to attract more visitors downtown. This, along with the better styling, is why I now support Ocean Square.

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Captain, you make some great points... and I think that the City should consider both proposals, however the Ocean Sqaure proposal is a much higher and better use of the site, not to mention the difference in purchase price from the City ($5M for Ocean, 3.5 for Main).

70 condo high-rise vs. Maybe 20 low-mid rise?

17500sq retail, movie theater and restaurant, vs. a small grocery store.

Taylor Harwick has even come out since the release of proposals and said he would rather see the building torn down for newer construction than to "modify" his library design.. not to mention that he says the two stories that Main LLC wants to build on top won't even work.

But bottom line, with all due respect to Mr. Hardwick, its a design that has out-lived its use. Downtown Jacksonville deserves the treatment of a real mixed-use development that will really inject life into the area.. I just don't see a modification of that building and a small grocery store doing that.

I say, give Haydon Burns to Ocean Square, and help Tony and Main LLC develop one of the other sites nearby into a more accomidating upscale boutique grocery/market.

Just my thoughts. :blush:

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IMO, Hardwick needs to can it. He's an architect, not a developer. If he likes that building so much, he should buy it and do whatever with it. I'd really like to see it go.

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As much as I like the way the Ocean proposal sounds, Ild bet large sums of cash that the Fund will get it. The land will sit there for 10 years, finally, the library will demolish itself due to no maintainance.

I have little faith in our city anymore to pick the right developer to do anything. Developement should for the most part be MARKET DRIVEN. Most developers are smart enough not to destroy thefeel created by the surronding environment. Ocean is a good example of this. No one ha dyet said anything concretly about integrating a building into its surroundings, but that is exaclty what it sounds like they are doing.

For the City to stick itself in development SO DEEP that it argues things down to the color of the paint, we have a problem.

Why then do I think the Fund will get it,

1) <Sniff> "we deserve to get that building because you wont pay us x dollars"

2) the most I see the fund ever doing is renovating it, and then turning it into a 2 story office complex. THUS, limiting the need for design review because it will be the same design.

I have other reasons why I think the fund will get it, but most are illogical and based solely on my growing venom towards our elustriouse JEDC...

That said...

wohoo.. a B&N

Cheers

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Captain, you make some great points... and I think that the City should consider both proposals, however the Ocean Sqaure proposal is a much higher and better use of the site, not to mention the difference in purchase price from the City ($5M for Ocean, 3.5 for Main).

70 condo high-rise vs. Maybe 20 low-mid rise?

17500sq retail, movie theater and restaurant, vs. a small grocery store.

Taylor Harwick has even come out since the release of proposals and said he would rather see the building torn down for newer construction than to "modify" his library design.. not to mention that he says the two stories that Main LLC wants to build on top won't even work.

But bottom line, with all due respect to Mr. Hardwick, its a design that has out-lived its use. Downtown Jacksonville deserves the treatment of a real mixed-use development that will really inject life into the area.. I just don't see a modification of that building and a small grocery store doing that.

I say, give Haydon Burns to Ocean Square, and help Tony and Main LLC develop one of the other sites nearby into a more accomidating upscale boutique grocery/market.

Just my thoughts.

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Josh: You are probably right. Because the Ocean Square is by far the best proposal and the Police Fund is by far the worst proposal, I expect the current idiots in city "leadership" to go with the Fund. I am sorry to be so pessimistic, but there has been so much incompetence from City Hall the past 2 years it is hard not to be.

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Josh:  You are probably right.  Because the Ocean Square is by far the best proposal and the Police Fund is by far the worst proposal, I expect the current idiots in city "leadership" to go with the Fund.  I am sorry to be so pessimistic, but there has been so much incompetence from City Hall the past 2 years it is hard not to be.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

If they bypass the Main Street and Ocean Square proposals for the Pension Fund, then we should pass the hat for a hit man. I really don't see the Fund getting it. The JEDC can't be that stupid.

The taxes paid on a $42 million project would cover the $1.5 million difference between the Fund's buying price and the Ocean Square price, in like 5 years or less. And that doesn't even include the taxes that the school district would receive. Every single year after that is gravy.

Besides, the Fund only wants to put offices in the building, when there is 25% vacancy on the Northbank. Also, the Fund would alter the building, which Hardwick supposedly opposes more than a simple demolition. Plus the Ocean Square and Main Street proposals will add residents downtown. Ocean Square's units are much closer to affordable than nearly all for-sale units built downtown thus far. Main Street's units would probably be even more so.

If the JEDC doesn't see that, and picks the Pension Fund, they should all be tarred and feathered.

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Well, like I've said before ... I don't have a problem with Ocean square at all. I think the proposal is nice.

But, quite frankly, I am a bit surprised that people keep gushing about this proposed movie theater. Ocean LLC has never promised that it will be first-run movies, let alone an IMAX. All we know is that the developer wants to build a single-screen 600 seat theater. How does anyone know that they won't just play old movies and special events like the Florida theater or 9th and Main already do?

Again, there's nothing wrong with that niche at all. Any new venues are good for downtown ... but I think some people are clearly jumping to conclusions and guilty of a little wishful thinking about this movie theater proposal.

Though, if I'm ever bold enough to start developing property myself - now I know that I need to vaguely promise a fancy movie theater in order to garner public support for my re-zoning requests ;)

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