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BosTech

Suggestions for downtown night life

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Well,here is topic that hopefully brings some fresh ideas to introduce night life to DT Jacksonville.

My first idea is to expand hours of Landing to midnight or even 2AM,its a great place to go out and it can provide variety of fun for people of all ages...connect it to Bay and Main and you can have easily great night life in Jax.

Close Bay st after 8PM with exceptiong of having open Main St for pasthru.

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Aggressively market Bay Street to popular bar and restaurant owners. Approach existing downtown bar owners like ImprovJax and Da Real Thing Cafe about relocating to Bay Street. Encourage all existing restaurant owners to incorporate sidewalk dining.

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The landing needs to provide some sort of incentives to acquire and keep anchor tenants as well as smaller tenants. You have to have a reason to go there in order for people to go. Closing down Bay street after a certain hours is a great idea. Look at New Orleans, you can drive all through the French Quater until a certain hour, then some streets are blocked off.

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Yeah, downtown has some great spaces for nightlife, it's just they're not being used yet. I think that maybe once the Landing puts on it's Sunday Best, and opens up to Laura and adds a parking garage, it'll seem more attractive to clubs and restaurants (as if that Landing doesn't have enough restaurants already). BTW, has anyone been to the Twisted Martini? I walked by it the other evening (I'm 17....) and it looked cool. I liked the artsy design, and it appears they were smart, and left out a portion of their space, because they know that portion will be torn down when Sleiman's plans roll out.

I still want to know how that man is going to remove all that mess, while keeping a way for people to get in... That will be a mess to see.

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I have a question, how far along are the Landing renovation plans? Is there any sort of time table set up yet? I agree that Bay street should be closed at night.

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^I don't know for sure, but there was an article that said construction wouldn't start, at least for another six months. So I wouldn't expect to see anything happening until around the end of the year.

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Nothing is going to get done unless we make downwtown from a working place into a living enviroment. It is necessary to do this first, then work on establishing an extensive nightlife area.

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^Right, I wouldn't expect anything too exciting until these under-construction towers come online. Then we'll see more "residential retail", like dry cleaners, pharmacies, and grocery. And with more urbanites on the streets, taking the place of the homeless and drunks that used to roam the streets, you'll see more people come downtown for a good time. And with more people, more businesses will have that incentive to open up shop. It's a give-and-take process, but thank God we have some downtown pioneers that are willing to live there without the comforts.

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Has anybody actually done the numbers of how many people it would add to downtown/southbank if each of the towers under construction + riverpointe are closee to filled to capacity? That plus what do you guys think the criticle mass point is for people downtown before we realy start seeing a true downtown.

Basicly, where do we need to be, and where will we be at at the time of the towers completion.

Lastly, Has any body heard if there are any new office towers even in the rumor mill. I understand that they would be just that, rumors, but everything built starts off as a rumor. Businesses have to be looking more closely at downtown now that so many people are apparently wanting to move downtown, myself included. (personal prefrence is san marco place, I like their floor lay outs best)

Just some questions I though might be appropriate.

Cheers :)

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Has anybody actually done the numbers of how many people it would add to downtown/southbank if each of the towers under construction + riverpointe are closee to filled to capacity? That plus what do you guys think the criticle mass point is for people downtown before we realy start seeing a true downtown.

Basicly, where do we need to be, and where will we be at at the time of the towers completion.

Lastly, Has any body heard if there are any new office towers even in the rumor mill. I understand that they would be just that, rumors, but everything built starts off as a rumor. Businesses have to be looking more closely at downtown now that so many people are apparently wanting to move downtown, myself included. (personal prefrence is san marco place, I like their floor lay outs best)

Just some questions I though might be appropriate.

Cheers :)

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I assume the current downtown population is between 1,000 to 3,000 residents. However, they're all spread out around the district from Brooklyn to the Catedral District.

The CBD needs to have a population of about 10,000 residents to reach critical mass. At the rate we're going, I think we're still about 5 years away from reaching critical mass in downtown. Downtown currently has 789 residential units under construction. If Riverpointe, Churchwell Lofts and Berkman II get underway this year, that number will jump to 1,316.

Total, there are about 5,000 units proposed in downtown. If everything that is currently proposed is built, we'll have well over 10,000 citizens living downtown. Although its a dream, expanding the skyway less than a mile to Five Points and Atlantic Blvd, in San Marco would push the numbers much higher, as well as open hundreds of acres for Transit Oriented Development.

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I just read this entire post and I am going to reference a few things that were discussed.

You can download more stats then you ever wanted to know about downtown here: http://www.downtownjacksonville.org/content/?page_id=101

A study is currently taking place that will determine what we can actually absorb over the next few years to determine the timeline for building the 10,000 units, which is the goal.

I wholeheartedly disagree with relocating existing Downtown entertainment venues to Bay Street. Da Real Ting is fighting to stay in their location now, so that may be feasible with them, but why would someone like Improv move when they just settled where they are? Plus, Hemming is where most of the foot traffic is. IMO, Bay Street has no chance of becoming an entertainment district until the courthouse moves and we all know how fast that's going. Improv wanted to be on Bay street initially, but even with incentives, the cost was too high. Adams/ Laura/Hogan/Hemming is taking on an entertainment/evening life of its own (without city incentives). Why bust our butts to move that?

On another note- Have been to Twisted Martini and it is one of the best places in Jacksonville. If you look at the tenants that Sleiman has brought in- Koja, Mongo's, Twisted--these are really great. He is proving to know what he's doing and I am pleasantly surprised.

Yet another note- took a walk on the riverwalk from the Landing to Fidelity today and I

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Doesn't Jacksonville have this whole ordinance thing saying that you cant have a "Bar" a.k.a. night club with in so many feet of church property,.. and with a church that has as many properties in downtown Jax as the First Baptist, were can u have a Entertainment District that doesn't conflict with that ordinance.....

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Here's a sort of combo response to downtowngal and 95-souf ...

The reason the city is so heavily pushing bay street is because bay is one of the only locations downtown far enough from the churches to ensure that clubs can sell booze.

However, recently, many restaurants closer to the churches have sucessfully gotten liquor permits. However, bars and clubs might have a harder time getting those permits than restaurants.

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I wholeheartedly disagree with relocating existing Downtown entertainment venues to Bay Street. Da Real Ting is fighting to stay in their location now, so that may be feasible with them, but why would someone like Improv move when they just settled where they are? Plus, Hemming is where most of the foot traffic is. IMO, Bay Street has no chance of becoming an entertainment district until the courthouse moves and we all know how fast that's going. Improv wanted to be on Bay street initially, but even with incentives, the cost was too high. Adams/ Laura/Hogan/Hemming is taking on an entertainment/evening life of its own (without city incentives). Why bust our butts to move that?

I mentioned Da Real Thing, in particular, because unless Hudson Books locates their retail operation on the second floor, just about all of the businesses in that building will have to go. If this happens, its a great chance to get a successful and popular entertainment and dining operation moved to a strategic location. IMO, I wouldn't mind seeing some of them locate in the base of the Ed Ball Building or the vacant storefronts on Adams between Hogan and Julia Streets.

I don't think it really matters whether Adams evolves into a nightlife district or Bay becomes the spot. The most critical thing for athe establishment of a successful urban nightlife atmosphere is the locating of several dining & entertainment oriented businesses (all operating at night) within walking and viewing distance of each other. I don't know of any areas that became hopping places of activity by having these types of businesses spread around without locating near each other. The deserted feel of downtown at night will continue as long as this doesn't happen.

With that said, a part of me also doesn't think you can just make a nightlife district out of thin air. The best tend to grow on their own, with little to no help from the local government. Five Points is a great example of this. Right now Adams seems to be the spot in downtown thats evolving on its own. If city wants to help it, all it needs to do is encourage sidewalk dining and get the deals done to restore the Laura Trio and Barnett.

On another note- Have been to Twisted Martini and it is one of the best places in Jacksonville. If you look at the tenants that Sleiman has brought in- Koja, Mongo's, Twisted--these are really great. He is proving to know what he's doing and I am pleasantly surprised.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I've noticed this as well. Hopefully, this will continue and the Landing will evolve back into a first rate facility.

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The ordinance mentioned above states that you can not operate a business in which more than 50% of your revenue comes from the sale of alcohol. This is something that you can get an exception on from city council. Those in the know have meetings with the powers that be (including First Baptist) and let them know their intentions are in the best interest of downtown development and promise not to disturb the churchgoers

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In today's FTU Weekend section, it states that new owner of the Furchgott's Building (Hudson Books) has forced the closure of Pizza Italiano and Redd Cafe, by not renewing their leases. Does anyone know if these resturants are planning to relocate to other spots along Adams or in downtown?

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In today's FTU Weekend section, it states that new owner of the Furchgott's Building (Hudson Books) has forced the closure of Pizza Italiano and Redd Cafe, by not renewing their leases.  Does anyone know if these resturants are planning to relocate to other spots along Adams or in downtown?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I haven't heard anything ... but I certainly hope that they relocate. After all, downtown actually has a huge glut of retail space right now. It's not like there aren't places to move to.

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Went downtown yesterday and noticed Redd Cafe was already gone and the owners of Pizza Italiano were in the process of moving their equipment and furniture out of the door. Zodiac Grill and Da Real Thing Cafe will be staying, so I assume Hudson will use everything on the first floor, except Zodiac.

BTW, there hasn't been any work done on the Lerner Shops Building since a couple of weeks before the super bowl. Does anyone know whats going on with this?

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A lot of the clubs along Orange Ave in Orlando are restaurants during the day appealing to the business crowd and turn into bars/lounges at night. I think this would be a good idea for Hemming Plaza to help create an all day/night experience downtown.

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I had an idea fo Bay Street. You guys had mentioned closing it off at night, which I love. I also thought that some overhead streetlights would look cool, the kind of streetlights in this pic:

HK-Ph22-Street-Lights-Xmas.jpg

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At the risk of sounding like the Daily Record... rumor has it that the owners of the Furchgott's wants De Real Ting and Zodiac out as well, but they have long term leases (or options on them) that he doesn't want to buy out.

Don't know about Redd, but Pizza Italiano is not relocating downtown. I heard they were opening in another part of town, but I forget where.

Regarding Lerner, the developer has reported that they will start construction again "in a couple of weeks." He didn't mention why construction stopped.

Love the lights over the street!

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