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Downtown parking garage will be built on schedule

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by Bradley Parsons

Staff Writer

Plans to build the Duval County Courthouse by 2007 may be on hold, but its parking garage will be built on schedule, developers assured the City.

Metropolitan Parking Solutions

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Do we know if this will have ground floor retail? I really hope so, since a block of bulky concrete car-park will be horrible. Wasn't the city making sure all new garages had retail? I like the library's garage, it's aesthetically pleasing and has retail, and it doesn't have that crosswalk thing.

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17049_400.jpg

This is one parking garage that I can't wait to see go up. I love the design. Its 10 stories, it fills up a block that's currently surface parking and it will have street level retail. Imo, this is one great infill project, even if it is a parking garage.

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^I like that design too. But it seems to complement the Cannon design, with the decorative recesses and column-ish things. But it is a nice design, and we're lucky to get well-thought garages, unlike those of the 80's. I still have nightmares from them. The garage with the Kinko's on the ground floor gets the award for ugliest, with its weird yellow mesh design.

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I'm glad that the garage is not going to wait on the construction of the new courthouse, since parking is definitely needed. Hopefully, that will make the surrounding properties (like the Furchgott's building, Ed Ball building, Old Barnett building, etc) more marketable.

I am leary of this deal though. A guaranteed profit? The city SHARING in the profit or loss? The city loses $10mm by do it alone, but makes an $18mm profit but SPLITTING the profit? I have to say, this has all the makings of another fiasco a la Shipyards/Courthouse. If that happens, Peyton couldn't blame it on the last administration either.

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does it seem to anyone that jacksonville is becoming the city of parking garages? i mean i look at the new library and the gi-normous parking garage next to it an think to myself, "do they really expect that many people to visit the library?? i mean the homeless don't have a need to park? i know that there is a mandate that every building has to have a certain amount of parking, and maybe that's the problem with d-town jax? and as for the design of the new courthosue garage, there are so many things that can be down with a faceless building that isn't applying faux columns and motifs of a gone-by era. With the advent of technology in materials and lighting, i think that the "skin" of a garage can be so much more>>> of course if some one puts some thought into>>> examples: Machado Silvetti at Princeton University, Frank gehry at Santa Monica Place. the possibilities are out there, its just someone having the guts to build it.

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does it seem to anyone that jacksonville is becoming the city of parking garages?  i mean i look at the new library and the gi-normous parking garage next to it an think to myself, "do they really expect that many people to visit the library??  i mean the homeless don't have a need to park?  i know that there is a mandate that every building has to have a certain amount of parking, and maybe that's the problem with d-town jax?  and as for the design of the new courthosue garage, there are so many things that can be down with a faceless building that isn't applying faux columns and motifs of a gone-by era.  With the advent of technology in materials and lighting, i think that the "skin" of a garage can be so much more>>>  of course if some one puts some thought into>>>  examples: Machado Silvetti at Princeton University, Frank gehry at Santa Monica Place.  the possibilities are out there, its just someone having the guts to build it.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I whole heartedly agree crazy cuban. Look around downtown, all it is is a sea of parking grages and land lot parking, with the exception of the occasional bail bondsman's office. The city has undoubtedly come a long way and many good things are beginning to happen, I just hate to see a brand spanking new structure try and mimic something that it is not with all sort of faux detailing which is essentially "polishing a terd", cover it up all you want... crap is crap. With the exception of a few buildings (JSA in LaVilla, the ne Baptist Hospital Addition just to name a couple) no one has had the "nuts" , to coin a poker term, to do some good out-of-the-box architecture in this city. Yes our downtown has a fantastic building stock with a very Sullivan-esque feel. Now is the time, during this rebirth of downtown and the urban fabric, to push the envelope a little and introduce a new layer to our downtown.

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I agree with you Merlin and Crazy Cuban, about the aesthetics of the courthouse garage. I do not know why the City would continue with the style of a poor mimic when there is nothing left to mimic. (maybe it is intended to mimic the Chiller Plant two blocks north)

If parking garages are done well, with retail and commercial on the street level, they do not need to be an eyesore.

It would be nice to see someone push the limits.

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The garage is designed to match the building it is intended to primarily serve, the original Cannon design courthouse. Given that fact, there is nothing inappropriate about it's design, IMO. The garage shouldn't overpower the presence of the building it serves.

However, now that the courthouse design is going back to the drawing board, the garage design might need to change as well.

Personally, I prefer a garage to be underground or largely hidden. When that is not possible, the floors of the garage should not appear from the outside to be "slanted" as that gives a disjointed look. Of course, retail or at least offices on the ground level is a must.

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does it seem to anyone that jacksonville is becoming the city of parking garages?  i mean i look at the new library and the gi-normous parking garage next to it an think to myself, "do they really expect that many people to visit the library??  i mean the homeless don't have a need to park?  i know that there is a mandate that every building has to have a certain amount of parking, and maybe that's the problem with d-town jax?  and as for the design of the new courthosue garage, there are so many things that can be down with a faceless building that isn't applying faux columns and motifs of a gone-by era.  With the advent of technology in materials and lighting, i think that the "skin" of a garage can be so much more>>>  of course if some one puts some thought into>>>  examples: Machado Silvetti at Princeton University, Frank gehry at Santa Monica Place.  the possibilities are out there, its just someone having the guts to build it.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I agree with that its time for architects and developers in this city to push the architectural envelope. Its also a good idea to redo the exterior facade of this parking garage since the courthouse has gone down the tubes.

However, although our downtown is a shell of its former self and its littered with surface parking lots, I still think the city needs to invest in about 3 large centralized garages. The existing surface lots could be used for infill development. For example, a large garage is needed for the redevelopment of the Laura Place Trio and The Barnett, as well as parking for the Landing. I think the city should look to construct about three centralized garages at a minimum of 10 stories each, with street level retail included, instead of every new development constructing smaller garages on every other corner. With these the city could waive its downtown parking requirements.

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Also, developers can use townhomes to cover up like 4 floors of a garage, so that you wouldn't even know it's there. Of course, the courthouse garage wouldn't use townhomes, (lol, I can see it: "Justice Place") but other garages could.

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Would it be too farfetched for a grocery chain(Publix,W-D.) to be the major tenant on the street level of a downtown garage.When all the Northbank development comes online(Carlington and the rest) it sure would be nice to have a grocer near by.Springfield would come i'm sure.I hate that Premeir store we have.San Marco may even venture across the river to shop.Downtown workers could grab their groceries while the traffic died down,of course the ice cream may not make it back to the beach or Mandarin,but,you get the idea.Even the Riverside sized Publix would work for me :rolleyes:

Plus I hate surface parking in downtown,it is just a waste of perfectly good space

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Would it be too farfetched for a grocery chain(Publix,W-D.) to be the major tenant on the street level of a downtown garage.When all the Northbank development comes online(Carlington and the rest) it sure would be nice to have a grocer near by.Springfield would come i'm sure.I hate that Premeir store we have.San Marco may even venture across the river to shop.Downtown workers could grab their groceries while the traffic died down,of course the ice cream may not make it back to the beach or Mandarin,but,you get the idea.Even the Riverside sized Publix would work for me :rolleyes:

  Plus I hate surface parking in downtown,it is just a waste of perfectly good  space

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not at all 93sportie. Take Roslyn in Arlington Virginia (across the river from DC) for example, there is a full scale grocery store in the basement of one of the towers, with plenty of parking as well. As crazy cuban mentioned in another post, that is exactly the infrastructure that is currently missing in downtown. If we are expecting the so called "urban condition" downtown to be successful and thrive, we have to make it so people do not need to leave the downtown district. Other stores like CVS or Walgreens would be a welcome tenant as well. I can't tell you how many days this past year I needed to get some cold medicine or something and had to drive to riverside or san marco on my lunch hour to get it. I too agree that surface parking is a waste of valuable downtown real estate. and real estate anywhere for that matter.

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Will this be another Parking Garage that looks beautiful but has no direction or purpose? Will this be another garage that sits empty hoping that people park in it or that a building or skyscraper is built near it to give it a purpose?

In my opinion, parking garages should not be built unless there is a firm, concrete purpose for their existence....i.e., that there is enough populace around them to ensure that they fulfill their purpose and not just sit.

Florida Skyrise

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Will this be another Parking Garage that looks beautiful but has no direction or purpose?  Will this be another garage that sits empty hoping that people park in it or that a building or skyscraper is built near it to give it a purpose? 

In my opinion, parking garages should  not be built unless there is a firm, concrete purpose for their existence....i.e., that there is enough populace around them to ensure that they fulfill their purpose and not just sit.

Florida Skyrise

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Florida Skyrise,

you must have driven by the Kings Avenue parking garage for the skyway express. It is one of those wonderful city projects that got built with the belief that people would completely change their habits and park there and ride the train downtown and alieviate the parking probelm. But what it is, is a hulking empty box by the interstate. there has been talk of placing retail at the base of it, way from the road and behind more parking... well, it seems that only organization that benefitted from that one is the Haskell Company.

i agree, let's build parking garages if they are truly necessary... not just the way for someone to make alot of money at the city and taxpayer's expense>>> being someone who works downtown, most of the garages are 25% empty??? do we really need more?

thanks

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This parking garage does have a purpose. It's going to accompany the new courthose, even though that won''t be built until 2009. So until then, it might seem isolated and wasted, but once the courthose opens up, it'll get alot of usage.

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This parking garage does have a purpose.  It's going to accompany the new courthose, even though that won''t be built until 2009.  So until then, it might seem isolated and wasted, but once the courthose opens up, it'll get alot of usage.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

then why don't we build it in 2009??? with the new courthouse, and hell... we don't know what is going to happen to the courthouse. it may go from 4 blocks to two blocks and smaller than curerntly planned if the satelite courthouse scheme goes on. so why would we build the saddle before the horse (sorry, kind of rusty on my anologies.).>> so if this is the logic, what is the purpose of the Kings avenue garage and when are the throngs of parkers going to fill that up???

thanks

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Great point UrbanCrazy; so you know where I am coming from. And I like your phrase "cart before horse" which has been the norm in Jacksonville for years; build it and we hope they will come.

I agree; wait until at least a year or more before the new courthouse is built, or until we know the courthouse will be built before building the garages and possible wasting the taxpayers money, before building these buildings without a purpose.

Florida Skyrise

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Well, how about taking the money for this garage and immediately building a large garage at the Landing site or in one of those surface parking lots near the Barnett and the Laura Street Trio? If any place could use more parking, with street retail, its the Adams/Laura Street area and the Landing.

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On the same page, what is going next to the Lerner building? A garage that streches thru to Forsyth St. would be great there (as long as it is big)

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Here's a related article:

JTA ready to help with downtown parking needs

by Bradley Parsons

Staff Writer

If construction delays on the new Duval County Courthouse force the City to reconsider its plan to build an adjacent parking garage, the Jacksonville Transportation Authority wants the mayor

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