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JaxInvestor

St. Augustine: Historic city can't afford its past

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I don't necessarily agree with this article. First of all, while the motel that was demolished for the Hilton had a historic past, the structure itselt was not of any architectural merit. It was an eyesore built in the 20th century. The city is better off without it. Further, if they spent three years digging on the site (its not that big, i've seen it), that certainly seems adequate.

I'd like St. Augustine to get rid of the tacky t-shirt shops as well, why not encourage more bars, lounges, cafes, etc? Be a little less Williamsburg, and maybe a bit more in tune with its own past, like in the Henry Flagler days when St. Augustine was the place to see and be seen. St George could--and actually was at one time--St Augustine's version of Bourbon St.

And why are they complaining about the college being there? At least people under the age of 60 dot the landscape now and then.

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Why can't the city do what the city of Charleston did? They have regulations that state that you can't demolish anything over 50 years old (or 100, I can't remember). I think both St. Augustine and Jax would benefit by running a commuter rail line, between the two downtowns. It could actually spur some transit oriented development that could add to the city's tax base. Maybe the city should also look at annexing some of the booming Jax suburbs popping up in Northern St. Johns County.

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Why can't the city do what the city of Charleston did?  They have regulations that state that you can't demolish anything over 50 years old (or 100, I can't remember).  I think both St. Augustine and Jax would benefit by running a commuter rail line, between the two downtowns.  It could actually spur some transit oriented development that could add to the city's tax base.  Maybe the city should also look at annexing some of the booming Jax suburbs popping up in Northern St. Johns County.

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I'm not sure about the Charleston rule, but I do agree about some sort of commuter line to St Augustine from Jax. A1A is not fun to drive on when you get behind a slow person.

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Also, if you could visit St Aug from downtown Jax via train, you could have dinner and some cocktails and not worry about driving home. Commuter rail would be great.

As for the old hotel, it was a 50s motel basically with no redeeming qualities except that Martin L. King got in trouble trying to integrate it. I dont think that is a good enough reason to save it. I agree with the demolition.

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I had seen plans for a new parking garage in downtown St. Aug, that would have retail, horse carriage bays, and a trolley stop.  Anyone hear about that?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

If I remember correctly the parking garage has been in the works for quite some time. It was shot down when it was first introduced because of several reasons. The first and probably the main reason was it's height. St. Augustine has a 35' (above elevation 9). I know there were a couple of other reasons for it's shelving or re-design but I can't remember them. I personally think a parking garage would solve many of the resident's complaints about parking. I know the college is constantly berrated with complaints about the students parking ont he streets and the headaches that causes. A garage could be a good deal for both the city and the college if they made a possible agreement that some of the garage would be utilized for paid student parking.

anways... I ramble

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