uptownliving

Jonas Federal Courthouse Renovation

204 posts in this topic


3 minutes ago, rancenc said:

Looks like a new Federal courthouse is not happening, but instead a renovation and expansion of the current facility.

http://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/business/biz-columns-blogs/development/article45344988.html

As lovely as Fed Courthouse buildings generally are, I am okay with this. It is true that when these are building they essentially create a barrier. When I lived in Cleveland, the courthouse project was amazing, got rid of this gross lot, the building looked amazing, etc....but then it was done and everyone realized, oh yeah we can't use it or really go near it at all.

Developing this land will be a HUGE win

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8 minutes ago, rancenc said:

Looks like a new Federal courthouse is not happening, but instead a renovation and expansion of the current facility.

http://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/business/biz-columns-blogs/development/article45344988.html

"GSA Administrator Denise Roth said the government is seeking funds to build an annex behind the building on what’s currently a parking lot, and the request is third in priority for federal courthouses nationwide."

That would be nice to fill in that lot.


Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/business/biz-columns-blogs/development/article45344988.html#storylink=cpy
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That article was crazy confusing because I didn’t realize they already swapped the land in 2004.  Ely should have addressed that, because it is confusing for the feds to not own their own courthouse to me who somewhat knew of the topic, but definitely for regular readers.   It should have been a paragraph about the previous plans that are scrapped, as that was the news for all of us and the reason they previously swapped in order for them to build a brand new courthouse.     

 

All that said, I am actually very happy with this outcome.  We will get much better preservation of the Jonas building remaining as a courthouse with a new annex and much better development opportunities with an entire block open to help reduce the negatives of the government district.  

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I agree. This really is the best outcome for Charlotte, and hopefully the new annex will still be large enough to add some density to that block.

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Honestly, the government buildings on Trade St are all absolutely beautiful, some breathtaking. The full length of the streetcar on Trade will be a wonderful scenic trip of some of Charlotte's best old architecture. Once new infill happens on the surface lots, it may be one of the best strip of land in the city, bar none.

Edited by SgtCampsalot
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Congress is expected to vote and approve funding for this tomorrow. $156 million total:

James C. Duff, director of the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, said the $948 million provided to the U.S. General Services Administration in the fiscal year 2016 appropriations bill for federal courthouse construction should be enough to enough to cover  remaining site, design, and construction costs for multiple courthouse projects in their order in this plan.

Those projects include at least Nashville; Toledo, Ohio; Charlotte, N.C.; Des Moines, Iowa; Greenville, S.C.; Anniston, Ala.; Savannah, Ga. and San Antonio, Texas.
 

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I'm a little confused on what could happen now. Or I'm just lost. The site where the courthouse was supposed to go is being sold to the city in exchange for the old post office (or whatever it is that Queens Univetsity was supposed to use on Trade) right? 

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7 hours ago, AirNostrumMAD said:

I'm a little confused on what could happen now. Or I'm just lost. The site where the courthouse was supposed to go is being sold to the city in exchange for the old post office (or whatever it is that Queens Univetsity was supposed to use on Trade) right? 

From what I understood: Courthouse is on city property and just leased by the USG. USG owns the other parking lot property down E Trade.  The city is going to re-roof the courthouse due the value difference and then swap the property with the USG.  The courthouse would then be fully owned by the feds and then they would build the annex.  The city would then sell the property on E. Trade for likely a sizable chunk of change.

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$167million for an "annex" is a crap ton. Thats building a 20 floor building off the back of it.

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$167million for an "annex" is a crap ton. Thats building a 20 floor building off the back of it.

RDF, do you know if a 20 story building is the plan for the annex?

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Just now, Midwoodian said:

RDF, do you know if a 20 story building is the plan for the annex?

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HAHAHA, nope. I just know what $167 million buys you these days.

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Courthouses (especially federal) tend to have very high per-square-foot construction costs compared to other projects. Courtrooms themselves have very high-end millwork, but you're also talking about high security costs (think reinforced construction), and so on. They're built to last. I would anticipate a very high-quality 5 or 6 story building. 

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11 minutes ago, tozmervo said:

Courthouses (especially federal) tend to have very high per-square-foot construction costs compared to other projects. Courtrooms themselves have very high-end millwork, but you're also talking about high security costs (think reinforced construction), and so on. They're built to last. I would anticipate a very high-quality 5 or 6 story building. 

Even that works for me! What would they do for parking?? Could some of this cost account for going underground with parking?

Edited by Jayvee

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That seems pretty likely. 

From an architecture standpoint, I have high expectations. From an urban standpoint, I'm not holding my breath. Federal facilities like this are always going to struggle from an urban standpoint because of intense security requirements (see: the federal reserve).

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Anything to replace the current surface lot is great. And from the original alternative scenario of a new court house on E Trade, this seems like a great situation.

E Trade will get a new project in an area that's lacking in them, while the Ballpark area isn't really lacking housing projects. And the courthouse will continue to be an aesthetically beautiful sight for the streetcar route, while making the surface lot behind it less of an eyesore. Plus, I like the idea of our Federal Courthouse still being that old beautiful building. Pillars galore.

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I agree that this is pretty great all around. Give the size of the lot compared to the scale of those other projects I would guess we would see something smaller in scale but that cost coming from architecture and an underground deck. 

 

When would we see plans? I would think soon if budget is approved. 

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23 hours ago, ricky_davis_fan_21 said:

HAHAHA, nope. I just know what $167 million buys you these days.

The 167 million will also include full upfit, furnishing, and all systems - every expenditure until the day the courthouse is fully open and operational. This is the case with most government projects (schools etc) so it is not an apples-to-apples comparison with commercial structure costs on a per SF basis - that generally only covers the shell with no upfit/finishes (except for common spaces such as a lobby or bathrooms)

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43 minutes ago, navigator319 said:

10 story ~200k sqft addition to the courthouse coming in 2018

http://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/politics-government/article73421032.html

So long... At least we'll have something to look forward to if development slows down. Element was a really nice project during the slow times along with Romare & BBT stadium. I feel like Embassy Suites was announced before Element was and the renderings for Embassy was released right around the time of the BBT stadium renderings. Embassy is really dragging A

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That's going to be a huge improvement over that loading bay/parking area. I hope that the building is architecturally interesting and complimentary to the neo-classical style of the courthouse. I also hope that when they talk about "redesigning the campus to make it more inviting" that they mean removing the large fence and having security be internal.

BTW, the best quote of the article is this: "The additional space should improve the flow of justice." 

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I was a juror in the Brooklyn federal court house and it's ceiling heights were huge. The courthouse on McDowell and 4th also has really really cavernous ceilings. So it should be a very tall 10 floors. 

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