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BosTech

Is Library cursed?

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I'm guessing that Jack Shad's quotation was taken before finding out that Peterbrooke was having reservations. Assuming the possibility that both Atkins AND Peterbrooke don't want the site, the last thing Main Street should want is a new RFP, because if Peterbrooke backs out, they would automatically win. (Unless of course even Main Street wants to alter their proposal.)

But anyway, I don't think all this is a "joke" actually. In fact, I'm thrilled that all this garbage is happening NOW, as opposed to 2 years down the road once the property is in private hands and the developer backs out. It's much better to hit tons of speed bumps in the RFP process than after the fact - i.e. the Shipyards.

Anyway, I wish Tony and Jack the best of luck with their proposal (TUC, is this the same Jack Shad who used to work for the planning dept or is that his son?)

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Main Branch does not want the building to go back to RFP. Thanks Captain, keeping up the namesake. Same Jack Shad. We had a trifecta on the media coverage. I blabbered some about it on the other board. Like I said, we aren't mad though, we're just glad they're covering downtown.

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First, let me say that while I have supported Atkins from day one, the Main Branch proposal is 10,000 times better than Peterbrooke. However, I don't "read" the T-U article as Peterbrooke is surrendering all claims on the building.

According to Peterbrooke President Peter Behringer, if city officials require Peterbrooke to strictly adhere to the same proposal set down in its bid in July, the company will be much less likely to pursue the property.

In July, Peterbrooke officials proposed to purchase the Haydon Burns Library for $1.5 million and renovate it to include a chocolate factory, retail store, chocolate museum, and candy-related educational component.

Now, Peterbrooke officials no longer need the expanded manufacturing capacity set forth in their original proposal, Behringer said.

"Six months ago, everything was ready to go," Behringer said. "Today, that natural progression of business has changed things."

Mayor's Office Spokeswoman Susie Wiles said that as long as Peterbrooke officials remain consistent with the original intent of the proposal, it would be possible to make modifications during negotiations.

Jacksonville Economic Development Commission officials will request approval to terminate negotiations with Atkins from the Competitive Sealed Proposal Evaluation Committee in a meeting Thursday. CSPEC selected Atkins as the successful bidder in July. Once JEDC officials receive approval at that meeting, a recommendation will be sent to the mayor to terminate negotiations with The Atkins Group and to begin negotiations with Peterbrooke Chocolatier.

Behringer said the only contact that he has had with city officials was a fax from the JEDC announcing Atkins' decision, but that company officials have already met to begin reevaluating Peterbrooke's interest in the site.

Since the company's bid in July, officials have proceeded with a plan to sell franchises of the company and have streamlined production to lessen the need for an expanded manufacturing facility in the near future, he said.

"We have to try to figure out where we are now before deciding how to proceed," he said

While Peterbrooke clearly isn't totally gung-ho on pursuing the building, they aren't exactly throwing in the towel either. I could be wrong, but I think Peterbrooke initially started off with a 1 or 1.1mm bid and later raised it to 1.5mm. Please correct me if I got that wrong.

Does Peterbrooke think the city will renegotiate more favorable terms because the Atkins deal fell through? Do they think since they are the only "preservation approved" proposal and the next in line , that they have a strong hand?

I hope I'm wrong, but I'm not convinced that they are going to pass up the chance to buy a build for 1.5 mm that was worth at least 2+mm several months ago BEFORE Kuhn and all the other high-rise announcements of late came on the scene.

Just because they need less room for "manufacturing" doesn't mean they can't sub-lease some of it or devote more space to the other uses.

I say this only to prevent hopes being raised prematurely yet again.

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Vic, I agree with your interpretation. I don't think Peterbrooke really wants to give up the site (though I did hear a third party rumor that their interest was less now that they are focused on their franchising). But I think Peterbrooke realizes that since they don't want to build as much factory space, they would be breaking their original proposal. Therefore they can't, in good faith, take over the property unless the city doesn't mind that their factory space component is significantly different from the proposal.

That being said, the city could easily decide that it does matter. Or more than a hundred other things could go wrong. So Main Street LLC still has a chance. I'll keep my fingers crossed for them.

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Atkins and city differ on why negotiations broke down

The next chapter...

I am glad we are getting more details on this. I don't think this saga is going to be over anytime soon frankly.

ASSUMING that the city is negotiating in good faith (a bold assumption), and isn't just trying to steer the building to a new investor or Peterbrooke on purpose, the city is being unreasonable IMO.

The city seems paralyzed by the Shipyards fiasco, which is understandable to a degree, but there are a lot of differences between the Shipyards and The Burns RPF.

First, the Shipyards was NOT an RPF. TriLegacy OWNED the land to begin with. The city approached TriLegacy about a deal. TriLegacy had no experience in real estate development. The City agreed to PAY OUT funds ($36mm) to TriLegacy. The city isn't paying Atkins ANYTHING, it is RECEIVING money in this deal, more than DOUBLE the appraised value actually.

Financially, the city cannot lose, period. It Atkins doesn't pay cash at closing, they don't get the building.

Now, yes, it is possible that Atkins doesn't build the project. It is also possible that Peterbrooke gets the building, overextends itself and goes bankrupt. There are no guarantees in life and there are certainly no guarantees in business. If this is the criteria for doing deals, the city won't be doing many, and what ones they do, will only be with the giant companies like Landmar(and paying for the privilege). Doing so, will tarnish the city's image and delay downtown redevelopment substantially. Guys like Mike Langton (who built the very first residential units DT), and many others will be frozen out of the process even when they don't ask for incentives, and take the risk of breaking new ground.

I hope ATkins does build elsewhere and if they do, please remember that the city could have MADE a substantial profit on this property instead of LOSING money on it with Peterbrooke. I also think the city's stand shows that they don't REALLY believe that people actually WANT to live downtown. I said that months ago. They still have the LaVilla model in their mind.

That, or they are steering it away from Atkins to give it to a new investor, or to Peterbrooke for political reasons.

It's becoming clearer and clearer why there still is no final agreement on the Humana garage or The Landing. Like Atkins said, there are some agreements so strigent that no one will sign.

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Littlepage on Haydon Burns

I agree with everything in this column, except I don't see what the big deal is closing taking up to 10 months. Construction of the NEW library has already delayed the process that long. With contamination involved, a reasonable due diligence is to be expected. The city could have done it's own environmental report BEFORE even issuing the RPF, if it was that concerned with a quick closing. Sounds like an excuse to me.

The RPF committee meets today, I would hope they would force the JEDC back to the negotiating table, and this time be reasonable.

P.S. Well, Riverside Gator, you can't say you disagree with Littlepage about the architecture of this building. <_<

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Fund requests $5mm from city for Laura "Duo"

Take $5mm from Atkins and give it to the Fund. Save two classic buildings and eliminate an eyesore. Gain 90+ housing units (70 from Atkins and guesstimate 20 from Bisbee). Also get major retail/restaurant space and big screen theater.

Seems like a no-brainer to me.

Bisbee will be office use. I don't think they would get the $5m in time even if the deal was going through. I tip my hat to the fund for working on it. Actions speak louder than words, and on those buildings something had to be done fast. Its not for me to judge whether they should get incentives but they should be applauded for stabilizing the buildings.

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SO what was going to be residential? Just Florida Life?

What do you mean by "in time" ? The Fund has hinted that they might accept funding in future years, as long as it was in place.

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SO what was going to be residential? Just Florida Life?

What do you mean by "in time" ? The Fund has hinted that they might accept funding in future years, as long as it was in place.

I understood their plan to be only offices but I didn't know about them being ok with funding in the future so I could be wrong again. Either way I'm glad there are cranes and dumpsters out there.

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I glad the Fund is aggressively working to save these buildings. However, I don't think any office uses should be included in the two towers. I thought (making them residential) was the reason the city gave them to the Fund in the first place.

Btw, since only the Bisbee and Marble Banks will be renovated first, is the Fund still planning to build the parking garage on Adams, during the first phase?

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