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bobliocatt, June 3, 2004 in Jacksonville
Good. The development authority needs to keep pressuring.
I hope they stop wasting time and start building! This really needs to be finished before February. But I really hope they don't go through with the one-way crap. It should be a two-wat street.
They need to get the projects completed soon. We have eight months!!!
I hope this project is completed before the Super Bowl, but it looks like everyone is dragging their feet. However, the Finance Committe is right to question converting the entire road to one way traffice. IMO, the best option for Bay Street and its nightlife atmosphere is two open the road to two-way traffic, with wide sidewalks and parallel parking on both sides. People partying and drinking won't mix well with the street being a one-way speedway.
Council approves Bay Street project
by J. Brooks Terry
Though amended and scrutinized, the City Council approved a bill Tuesday night, authorizing approximately $700,000 in improvements to Bay Street.
Less than half of that money was originally allocated for business incentives along the future entertainment strip, though it has been shifted to help cover other project expenses.
With its passing, project planners say phase one of the Bay Street Town Center project, which includes landscaping, road refurbishment and on-street parking between Newnan and Liberty streets, should be completed in time for the Super Bowl in February.
Some Council members were skeptical of that time frame.
Good. They need to start as soon as possible!
Well, we'll get to keep our two-way street for a little bit. Hopefully, they'll see that two-way streets can work, and they'll rethink their plans on changing it.
THE NETWORK: Holmes building getting makeover
Drive or walk along Bay Street downtown and you'll notice sidewalk and street improvements and tree replacements, not to mention the growing number of buildings being redeveloped.
The Holmes Block Building is among the latest construction projects. The city approved the redevelopment project early this month. Auld & White Constructors has removed windows and cleared out the interior.
Glen Trotter, project manager with the ownership group, said the almost 100-year-old structure should be renovated for tenants before Christmas.
"It's always good to see construction work commence," Trotter said last week.
The 16,230-square-foot building has two floors of space under renovation. Protokore Inc., the owner, is considering two or three restaurant and retail tenants on the ground floor and two or so office tenants on the top floor.
Each 8,115-square-foot floor could accommodate a single tenant if a business needed that space.
"We have talked to a number of people," Trotter said. He said companies seeking Super Bowl venues also have approached him.
There also is a courtyard area behind the building near the Florida Theatre. Trotter said in April that an alleyway could be converted into entertainment space and that he would work with other property owners.
"That is still planned," he said last week.
The city approved $1.14 million in renovations to the building, whose address is 107-117 E. Bay St., Trotter said the building was constructed for architect George Holmes in 1905.
Trotter said owners are interested in assistance from the city's Historic Preservation Trust Fund. Steven E. Hutchins Architects is the project architect for the renovation.
Trotter said the Holmes renovations are "extensive." The city's simultaneous Bay Street improvements "added to the challenges, but we are pleased to see that, too," he said
The Bay Street Town Center corridor from Ocean to Liberty streets is targeted for redevelopment into restaurants, clubs, retail stores and other venues that would generate more visitors to the area.
The city recently approved site clearing for the first phase of "streetscape" improvements for Bay Street Town Center. That work, at a construction cost of $1 million, is taking place on the north side of Bay Street between Ocean and Liberty streets.
The city also is improving Bay Street from A. Philip Randolph Boulevard to Liberty Street.
I can't wait to see who moves into the Holmes Block building. I really like the idea of an "entertainment alley". It would be a great way for different businesses to work together, between buildings. I think the tiny alleys are one of the coolest things about urban design.
The area of Holmes Block will really boost downtown if major entertainment venues come there. We will see and keep our fingers crossed.
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