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bobliocatt

Downtown Super Bowl Update

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I spent most of the morning walking around in downtown today. Our core is now a full blown construction zone, in preparation for the big game. A most of the things I saw, will be here to last, well after the Super Bowl comes and goes. Here's a list of some of the visual improvements I noticed today.

1. The Landing

There are two new restaurants being constructed there. The Jacksonville Beach Seafoo Kitchen will take the place of Ruby Tuesday and The Twisted Martini, a Tapa restaurant & martini bar looks like it will be completed soon, just in time for the big game. There's also a couple of new shops inside the mall area.

2. The Strand/Peninsula site

There's tall crane on the construction site now and The Strand's first floor columns are about 20ft high now. They also have large renderings of both towers for Riverwalk visitors to see.

3. Riverwalks

The Northbank riverwalk is basically completed, from the CSX building to Riverside. Today it was full of landscaping crews laying grass and planting trees.

The Southbank riverwalk is recieving new railings, paint and repairs. It beginning to look like it was just built. There's also a barge, digging a deeper hole in the river adjacent to the Hilton Hotel. I'm assuming a large ship may be docking there.

4. Bay Street Town Center

The streetscape is just about complete. The Holmes Block is in full construction mode, but the buildings don't look like they will be ready for the game. There's also a sign for an Irish Pub called "O'Doul's" where Farah's Deli now sits (on the corner of Bay & Liberty. I don't know if this will be a permanent thing or not.

5. The Carlington/20 Adams

The Carlington's garage is now going up, but other than that these two buildings don't look like they will be finished anytime soon, especially at street level.

6. New Library

It doesn't look like it will be finished either, but Duval Street is now open and the storefronts facing it (street level of parking garage) are just about complete.

7. The Burrito Gallery

Its pretty far along now and it looks like it will be completed in a couple of weeks. However, I noticed that the building, between The Burrito Gallery and the old fire station is also having remodeling work done to its interior. Does anyone have an idea of what's going in there?

8. General public improvements

Most of downtown's streets are being repaved and the sidewalks are being repaired, if needed. New super bowl banners are also going up on the new historic street lights.

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I'm glad to hear that the Riverwalks are looking better. It's too bad alot of these projects in the core aren't going to be finished, but oh well. The construction sites look cool anyways. Check these Super Bowl tidbits out:

Super Bowl sidelines: Stolen merchandise ends up in the strangest places. A banner advertising Super Bowl volunteer opportunities disappeared a while back. It

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Awesome developments that are going on in downtown. It is a shame that the new library will not be completed but kudos to JMOMA for filling in the spot for the parties. We can pull this off! We just have to believe.

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You guys are gonna make the best hosts :thumbsup:

steelers.gif

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4. Bay Street Town Center

The streetscape is just about complete.  The Holmes Block is in full construction mode, but the buildings don't look like they will be ready for the game.  There's also a sign for an Irish Pub called "O'Doul's" where Farah's Deli now sits (on the corner of Bay & Liberty.  I don't know if this will be a permanent thing or not.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

My mistake, the O'Doul's sign was nothing more than a big beer advertisment of Farah's Deli for the big weekend. However, owners of the Holmes block have recieved a building permit for tenant improvements, so i wonder whats going in there.

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You guys are gonna make the best hosts :thumbsup:

steelers.gif

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I have no problems seeing the city swarmed in a sea of black and yellow, especially since you guys will be spending money here like crazy. However, Indy looks tough and I wonder how your rookie OB is going to hold up late in the playoffs.

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^^ gonna be an exciting road to Jacksonville for sure, lots of football fireworks, I'm looking forward to it!

Hopefully I'll be among those fans not thinking how much I'm spending that first week of Feb. :lol:

PS It's black and GOLD, but yeah its technically yellow.

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I found this site http://www.getoutofjax.com/ in the Daily Record today.It wants to cater to the folks in Jax that want to get away from town during the Super Bowl.I thought it amusing and innovative.

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I found this site  http://www.getoutofjax.com/  in the Daily Record today.It wants to cater to the folks in Jax that want to get away from town during the Super Bowl.I thought it amusing and innovative.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Clever name. And I guess I'm ok with the thought of people who do want to get out of town to go ahead and get, but I'm trying to get everyone and their family to come downtown. We've got more free fun stuff than ever. I hope people are more interested in being a part of it than not. JTA has good park and ride options. Concerts are everywhere, most free, and lot of businesses (not talking about tents) who are ready to play host and need the community support before and after the tents are gone.

Think of it as a eventful vacation and you already have a place to stay!

stayinjax.org ;)

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I'll be here and I'll be playing the host to many of my old classmates who are coming to enjoy the Super Bowl experience. All I have to do now, is figure out what sports bar we'll try to attempt to watch the game at.

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lol, if I lived in Jax, I'd love to be downtown, in the midst of all that excitement! I might try and go visit with family during that weekend, and maybe Park & Ride to go explore downtown. Does anyone know what the situation will be for the Kings Avenue Garage? Will they open up the entire garage for non-JTA-monthly-pass-holders?

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I'll say this Jacksonville has never seen anything like whats coming the first sunday in Feb. :thumbsup: Gonna be a banner day for NE Florida!

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I found this site  http://www.getoutofjax.com/  in the Daily Record today.It wants to cater to the folks in Jax that want to get away from town during the Super Bowl.I thought it amusing and innovative.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I would not think of missing this event in Jacksonville's history.There is always a small contengent of negative folks who whine of traffic and mobs of people.Some did the same in Atlanta at the Olympics and I don't remember that being such a big problem there.I hope everyone will enjoy this event as much as I am.I'm pretty excited about being so close by.The bicycle & Skyway will be my transportation of choice.

Hey UrbanCore,when is a good night to test one of those burrittos from the BG.LOL

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I would not think of missing this event in Jacksonville's history.There is always a small contengent of negative folks who whine of traffic and mobs of people.Some did the same in Atlanta at the Olympics and I don't remember that being such a big problem there.I hope everyone will enjoy this event as much as I am.I'm pretty excited about being so close by.The bicycle & Skyway will be my transportation of choice.

Hey UrbanCore,when is a good night to test one of those burrittos from the BG.LOL

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Best time would be during the happy hour friday, or during the day on sat. We have private parties lined up for Fri and Sat night. All subject to change, but we're close. We're gonna hose everything off and have a real Grand Opening sometime in a couple months. Do it right. But you can definitely get a taste on the week of the game. ooh yeah, we may have burritos going on art walk on the big Feb 2 event. Not 100% sure of that yet, but I'll let the board know fo sho.

best- TUC

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I'm pretty involved with the host committee, and I'd HIGHLY recommend parking at either Kings Ave., or the Convention Center.

Less than a month to go!!!

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Go to; http://www.coj.net/Super+Bowl/default.htm

Then click on the pdf version that's highlighted

Went to the City/SB Commitee public forum last night a La Villa School.Very informative and we seem to be very ready as a city to make this happen.They had hard copies of the pdf version at the meeting and I found them very informative with dates,times,places and seemingly everything you would need to know.Thought I would share this if you have not seen this yet.

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Some Super Bowl Updates with Pics!

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Hemming Plaza Royce Morris and a dozen other workers can be seen installing new seating in Hemming Plaza this week. The older tables and chairs in the historic park have been on the way out for some time. Added with the heavy pedestrian traffic expected to be downtown for the game, the need for something newer, studier and more permanent was obvious. Morris said work installing the new outdoor furniture

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If the Steelers (and its looking that way) make it all the way . . . and if its the Eagles on the other side of the ball, hope Jax has some tailgate room, theres always about 1/4 to 1/3 of Steeler fans that just arrive to tailgate for 3 hours, and with it being the Superbowl it might be closer to 1/2 the Steeler fans just there to tailgate outside the stadium. Been about a decade since we've been to the big game so I believe the NFL doesn't frown on that at the SB and the host city is making money during it. Anybody have and specifics on the tailgate room and tailgate policies (what # would constitute overcrowding lol).

If the Eagles make it too JPD better put a few dozen more officers on overtime ;) Not saying they'll be any property damage but trust me this state has a east coast/west rivers rivalry and with the IronCity and RollingRock flowing we can say some thngs to our instate brethren that we wouldn't otherwise. :thumbsup:

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Talleyrand puts on a new T-shirt

City tries to make industrial area presentable for Super Bowl guests.

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By JORDAN RODACK

The Times-Union

Jacksonville Mayor John Peyton once said making Talleyrand look nice for Super Bowl visitors would be like putting lipstick on a pig.

Now, city officials are hoping new rye grass, some paint and yards of fence screening in the heavily industrial corridor will provide enough smoke and mirrors to impress an expected 3,500 visitors staying in the area on cruise ships during Super Bowl week.

Jacksonville is putting up about $400,000 so visitors will have a nicer view as they travel through the area to downtown's festivities and back again. The goal was to make the area, which is lined with old warehouses, recycling plants and cargo holds, as clean and as presentable as possible, said Adam Hollingsworth, Peyton's chief of staff.

"Our goal is not to hide Talleyrand, but to celebrate the work that goes on there," Hollingsworth said.

The city has already planted new grass, cut overgrowth, fixed sidewalks and curbs, and removed debris that once lined the corridor, Hollingsworth said. The grass is brownish still, but looking much better than it was just a week ago, he added. Roads also have been repaved as part of the Better Jacksonville Plan.

The repairs, planting and cleanup will cost $240,000, which will come out the Public Works Department budget for repairs, Hollingsworth said.

He added, however, that Talleyrand hasn't been transformed, just touched up.

"It's hard to really appreciate because it's almost subtle improvements," Hollingsworth said. "Unless you get to see before and after pictures, you really won't appreciate the work that has been done."

Although Talleyrand itself won't look like a port-of-call paradise, the Jacksonville Port Authority is spending about $250,000 on its own to spruce up the terminal based there for three cruise ships, said Robert Peek, spokesman for the authority.

The plan to beautify the port area includes stacking large, metal containers to separate the cargo area and cruise ship areas. The port authority also will put up its own screening and signs to promote itself, as well as plant foliage and string lights throughout the area and docks. Spotlights will light up towering cargo cranes at night.

"It's going to be very dramatic," Peek said. "When people come to the terminal, it will be really transformed. It won't look anything like it does today.

"We have one chance to make a good impression and we want people to come to Talleyrand and to enjoy this experience and feel like they're in a pleasant environment," Peek said.

Other agencies, such as the Florida Department of Transportation, also have contributed funds for the cleanup.

Despite the efforts, a recent tour through the area shows it still reflects a hard hat decor. Barbed-wire fences line the street and guard buildings that have seen better days. Loose litter blows with the wind. Officials acknowledge there's still work to be done.

Hollingsworth said work crews will continue to clean up and maintain the area through the Super Bowl by tending to the recently planted grass and picking up litter. The city will also install more than 17,000 linear feet of green screening to cover the fences that line the area, he said.

About 400 signs, most of which will be placed in the Talleyrand area, have also been ordered and will feature the city's new slogan, "Jacksonville: Where Florida Begins," as well as other signs that promote Talleyrand in general. The banners and screening will cost between $100,000 and $200,000 out of the city's General Fund, Hollingsworth said.

Knowing Talleyrand is not the most attractive port for the cruise ships, city officials are trying to pump visiting VIPs with positive messages. Many of those who will stay aboard the ships are influential decision makers for large companies, which the city hopes to someday attract to Jacksonville.

"One of the opportunities we have in hosting the Super Bowl is to introduce Jacksonville to a set of decision makers that we hope will come back to Jacksonville after the game," Hollingsworth said.

They'll be reminded along the way about the benefits of the port area. Signs that will read: "Jacksonville's three port terminals employ more than 20,000 people ... occupy over 1,500 acres and generate $1.3 billion in annual economic impact ... and we've got room for your business too!"

"It's a not so subtle sign that we want them to think about coming here," he said.

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^^That sounds like a great idea. The signs pointing out the actual numbers the port puts up is a good touch as well. I like the fact that the Port is putting up the 250k itself I applaud their efforts and their self reliance. Those string lights will look nice at night too!

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It's disheartening to hear there's a Web site helping people leave the city for the big show. Glad to say I'm not leaving! In fact, I'll be moving in to my new apartment in Springfield at the end of this month. Just in time to bicycle around the Northbank and photograph all the pomp and circumstance. ^_^

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It's disheartening to hear there's a Web site helping people leave the city for the big show. Glad to say I'm not leaving! In fact, I'll be moving in to my new apartment in Springfield at the end of this month. Just in time to bicycle around the Northbank and photograph all the pomp and circumstance.  ^_^

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Welcome to the Hood Newzgrrl.I plan on a little photo action myself. :D

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'Super' tenants can fill buildings

By ALISON TRINIDAD

The Times-Union

Like several property owners in downtown Jacksonville, John McManus is banking on the Super Bowl to fill some empty storefronts.

McManus' building at 121 E. Bay St. has been vacant for about a year. He sub-leased the first floor this month to an official NFL merchandise retailer, one of more than a hundred retail outlets that will open in the city specifically for the big game.

Building permits also were issued early this month, according to city records, to prepare four units of the Holmes Block building on East Bay Street for Super Bowl tenants. These tenants would be the first tenants to occupy the building since historic renovations began last summer. The Holmes Block building -- next to the McManus property -- is owned by Protokore Inc. Glen Trotter, the project manager for the Holmes Block site, would not divulge the tenant or tenants.

Owners of both buildings, which are not far from Alltel Stadium, are looking for permanent tenants, but temporary ones are good, too, McManus said.

"Ideally, we want one tenant in the entire building," McManus said. "We would like to find someone in line with ... [the retail and restaurant industries, but] my situation is that I need to get it rented, so I'm trying to get someone in there," McManus said.

Steve Cohen, an Atlanta-based real estate broker for National Game Day Inc., said the area surrounding Bay Street and the Main Street bridge will overflow with people in the next few weeks -- making those locations prime spots for souvenir shops and other vendors.

Though all locations for Reebok outlets, the exclusive manufacturer and vendor of National Football League merchandise, have been assigned, Cohen said there's plenty of space still available for local businesses and artisans who do not normally do business downtown.

"It turns out we have more nooks and crannies on Bay Street than we have Reebok people," Cohen said. "We have the nuts and bolts of the Super Bowl, but there's space for flavor -- as many local artists as you can bring, we can find them space to work."

Cohen said the downtown area needs businesses that showcase Jacksonville, not the NFL, during the Super Bowl.

"If we do this correctly, it will go a long way to establishing The [Jacksonville] Landing, Bay Street, the core of the city," he said.

Cohen, who has has helped retailers find places to open temporary stores for six Super Bowl cities, said Jacksonville is unique because there is more space available for temporary tenants.

Jon Brovold of J.E.B. Enterprises Inc. in Andover, Minn., has leased 16 retail spaces throughout Jacksonville for Super Bowl merchandise -- the most spaces his company has committed to in any Super Bowl city.

"When you're in our kind of business, when you lease for a week or two, you get what you can get," Brovold said. "This year just happened to be a better set up."

Brovold said his stores, which have been working with area churches to find employees, should be open by the weekend.

"I haven't been to a Super Bowl [city] this early, but everything has been hospitable. It's a big city, small time feel, and it's been a fun time being here," Brovold said.

alison.trinidadjacksonville.com, (904) 359-4268

This story can be found on Jacksonville.com at http://www.jacksonville.com/tu-online/stor..._17713677.shtml.

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The Landing is Gearing up for the Super Bowl

1/20/2005 6:30am report

By Angela Spears

First Coast News

JACKSONVILLE, FL -- More stars, more parties, more entertainment are coming to the First Coast for Super Bowl XXXIX. The Jacksonville Landing is getting into the act. There will be a big announcement today from management at The Landing.

Rachel Kaltenbach, Director of Public Relations for The Landing, says the facility will be a hot spot the week before the game. She and owner Toney Sleiman plan to make an official statement Thursday afternoon about the line up and activities that will be featured when thousand converge on the First Coast.

First Coast News has the exclusive sneak peek. There will be 16 bands and two stages in the courtyard the Monday before the game up until Super Bowl Sunday. A pretty big name, especially in this area, will be performing. Molly Hatchet will be the headliner at The Landing Super Bowl day from 4 p.m. until kick off. Other bands on the list to perform include Big Al and the Kaholics, the Turning Point Band and Sugar Bear. Another addition,

"The Best Damn Sports Show Period" with host Tom Arnold will set up shop there. The crew will tape several segments and air a show live. This will be open to the public. Kaltenbach says she's getting word the sports show will turn the courtyard into a stage area where audience members can sit.

The Landing has been preparing for the big game for 18 months. Kaltenbach says "We know this is a one time opportunity to show the world why we love Jacksonville, why we live, work and play here. And The Landing is and has been an icon for 17 years."

The staff is used to big crowds and big events. For the Georgia/Florida game about 35,000 people frequent The Jacksonville Landing from open to close. The city of Jacksonville is expecting 100,000 visitors, a few thousand will probably stop by The Landing.

Kaltenbach says the staff has been preparing for the upcoming week by painting stairs and columns and replacing tile inside the mall area. They replaced 3,660 light bulbs, put in 74 new pots for plants and used 122 gallons of paint.

Sleiman has spent $250,000 sprucing up The Landing for the Super Bowl. That's money that won't be used for future renovations. Plans are still in the works. Kaltenbach says Sleiman continues to talk with the city about a loan for renovations (renovations he plans to start after the Super Bowl). The renovations call for an expansion of 126,000 square feet to over a million square feet. The Landing will go up and out.

Another component of the proposed package plan with the city of Jacksonville includes Sleiman buying the land his building sits on from the city. There is also an incentive package to entice new businesses and national restaurants to The Jacksonville Landing.

The Landing has been under ownership for the past year and a half. Things are changing. Some stores and restaurants have come and gone over time. But during the week leading up to the Super Bowl, every store will be occupied. Kaltenbach says there are short term and long reasons some shops have been empty. She says in the short term, some have been rented in anticipation of the game.

Business owners will set up shop to sell official Super Bowl merchandise. Other stores have been empty because of the future renovation plans. Some stores may have to relocate when things change at The Landing.

For now, Kaltenbach hopes people enjoy the activities for the biggest event ever to come to the River City. Most events will be free and open to the public. But some restaurants will be closed for private parties. Kaltenbach anticipates some stars will drop by.

In fact, The Landing will hold an event it is calling "Meet the Stars." If you don't have tickets to the game, you can get autographs from former football players and cheerleaders during halftime.

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I hope this extravaganza will be a big morale booster for the Landing. It always seems....kinda dead. But if Sleiman could get these renovations in started, it would be alot better.

Look at this! The Super Bowl will be using an expanded water taxi service. I don't know if these taxi stops will remain after the game, but we'll see....

• Two new water taxi boarding stations are going in thanks to a federal grant. The one at the Friendship Fountain is complete, and the one between the Adams Mark and Berkman Plaza is near completion.

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