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jjoshjl

Tipping the balance

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With the Owners of the Stand saying they are possibly looking into future developments (see "The Peninsula" Thread) it made me think.

Has Jackosnville finally reach a criticle point where Downtown is now self propagating.

Here is my Logic.

Barring nothing stupid occurs, could we now be at the point were all these residental units going up spawns more downtown activity, because ofthis increased activity, more business both retail and office begin to go up. At first it will be just in the availible space, however, as more jobs/retail becomes availible, more will want to move, as more want to move to DT, more offices/retail buildings go up.. a natural cycle begins to devlope of residental growth, then commercial, then residential, so on and so forth. Just whats currently in the pipeline to actualy being constructed, that adds about 1000 units. if an average of 2 people per unit go into the various developements, thats atleast 2000 extra people that need things to do... Some are projecting 10,000 total by 2010. Could we now be at the tipping point then where we no long need gov. perks to cause a sustainable and steady growth.

Add to that Jax is a non tourist town and downtown becomes a pretty nice alternative to live because the jobs downtown are white collar in general and not low paying service jobs.

Just a thought...

Cheers

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It always hard to tell if you are at the point of no return. This is something that is hard to judge. Are the builders saying that they are building more towers to artiificially drive up demand for the ones that they have? Are they building condo towers because people want to live there or are they building them becuase the speculators need something to buy. Who knows. In the short term, there are a lot of buildings being built to house people, do we'll see what happens.

As far as not needing government perks, they may not be needed, but they will still be asked for and they will still be given out. Somethings will never change.

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This is actually a hard question for me to consider. I have very mixed feelings.

On one hand, I want to say that: "Yes, we are already at the tipping point!" After all, we have 3 residential skyscrapers under construction, at least a dozen seriously proposed, plus a new fortune 500 company building a couple of office buildings. All this seems amazing compared to 2000, when downtown hadn't had a significant new building in 7 years and the official population was under 1,000 by most estimates. By that measure, things are looking great.

However, on the other hand, now my expectations are raised. What really is the tipping point, after all? Just when developers opperate without incentives? Or when they build good urban projects without incentives? Or is it something else?

In my opinion, downtown will have truly reached a "tipping point" once the surface parking lots start to go. Especially once larger landowners start subdividing-off their existing surface parking in order to sell it to developers. Right now, the surface parking is still considered the highest and best use by most landowners. But what if the property owners at Baptist, Duval Center, FCCJ, or even Central Parking start to realize that the value of their land is so high that it's irrational to keep it as surface parking? That would be a stunning indication of when downtown has gone beyond the tipping point.

Also, I think the city's goal of 10,000 people by 2010 is a very reasonable goal. If anything, we will probably come up several thousand short. However, in the big picture, 10,000 is far too meager a goal. Downtown Jax has considerable land area. Having 40,000+ residents would not be unreasonable or too crowded. Downtown will reach a tipping point once the 10k figure has been left in the dust, and a goal more like 40k+ is on our minds.

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Here are my qualifications for a tipping point

1) Downtown Living is a viable option when people are looking for new place to live either as an apt or condo. ( for the longest time it has been left to slums and homeless)

2) Business see downtown as a more attractive option to locate to than the suburbs. I have no problem with JTB growth, but I would rather see it grow in a style similar to Buckhead area. Sorta a second downtown in a way.

3) One to two new mid/highrises being constructed at any given time. Not on the boards, but actually being built.

4) this is the real key... New construction begets even more new construction. However, it is not a boom and then it falls silent for 20 years, but it is a steady growth that form that point forward, never realy stops. It may be slower a times, but never revert like ti did in the 70's.

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2) Business see downtown as a more attractive option to locate to than the suburbs. I have no problem with JTB growth, but I would rather see it grow in a style similar to Buckhead area. Sorta a second downtown in a way.

I would love to see JTB behave more like a buckhead, and less like a weirdo suburban behemoth where large pieces of land are used for nothing. Big example for me is the part of deer lake drive that runs near identical to southside and then butler, on the other side of that fence. blech.

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I would hope that our city government could keep up, once downtown development is fueling itself. Is it just me, or do projects in Jax take an unusually long time to get down the pipeline?

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I would hope that our city government could keep up, once downtown development is fueling itself.  Is it just me, or do projects in Jax take an unusually long time to get down the pipeline?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

No, it's pretty typical. Developing skyscrapers takes a long long time. It just seems worse because we follow the Jacksonville news closely, and we are aware of the projects from the very first article. Sometimes we know about a "project" before its even a serious proposal (i.e. those apartments at main & union) so that doesn't help our perception.

If you look closely at most other cities, they have the same issues of multi-year delays, unbuilt seconds phases, and dead projects.

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No, it's pretty typical. Developing skyscrapers takes a long long time. It just seems worse because we follow the Jacksonville news closely, and we are aware of the projects from the very first article. Sometimes we know about a "project" before its even a serious proposal (i.e. those apartments at main & union) so that doesn't help our perception.

If you look closely at most other cities, they have the same issues of multi-year delays, unbuilt seconds phases, and dead projects.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

All true. One other thing to remember with a residential highrise is that at least 50% of the units have to sell before financing can be obtained. You have to find buyers that will make a major financial commitment off of renderings, something many are hesistant to do.

If someone wants to build a 250-home subdivision they can build one street, put up one house and sell the others off of that one. Not a lot of money involved. However, you can't build just one unit of the Strand. The closest you can do is a model of the interior of one or two rooms.

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