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Downtown Revitalization Transition Policy Committee Report

Downtown Revitalization Transition Policy Committee Report

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Published by Timothy Gibbons

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Published by: Timothy Gibbons on Aug 08, 2011
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08/08/2011

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 Mayor-Elect Alvin BrownDowntown Revitalization Transition CommitteePresented to Mayor Brown on August 8, 2011One of the things that I believe in is Downtown. I believe we should have a vibrantDowntown, Mayor-Elect Alvin Brown. Your committee strongly agrees.All great cities of the world have a nucleus, a center, a soul. A city simply cannotprosper economically or qualitatively without a vibrant, functioning downtown. A fun,energetic and productive center is vital to every successful region, including ours.Downtown vitality has two dimensions. First, a vibrant city center delivers tangibleeconomic benefits to the entire city not just those living downtown. But beyond that,it is a symbol of community cohesion, partnership between the private and the publicsectors, quality of life, local pride, external reputation, and community history.(Northbank Redevelopment Task Force Final Report, 2011)We believe that our recommendations will help accomplish these goals.Included in this report is an Addendum that lists those individuals that madepresentations before the committee as well as the written reference material that thecommittee considered in determining its recommendations.The opportunity to work on the Downtown Revitalization Transition Committee hasbeen an honor and a challenge. We thank Mayor Brown for his confidence in thiscommittee and its membership. We look forward to future opportunities to work withMayor Brown on issues that take Jacksonville to thenext level. _____________________________________ ________________________________________ Dr. Chester Aikens, Co-Chair Robert Rhodes, Co-Chair
 
 
Mayor-Elect Alvin BrownDowntown Revitalization Transition CommitteePresented to Mayor Brown on August 8, 20111.
 
Organizationa.
 
Establish an independent entity dedicated to and responsible for revitalizingdowntown.b.
 
The independent entity’s name shall be the Downtown CommunityEmpowerment Corporation (DCEC).c.
 
Create an Advisory Board to the Downtown Community EmpowermentCorporation whose membership shall include, but not be limited to,representatives of neighborhoods adjacent to downtown, i.e. RiversideAvondale Preservation, Preserve SOS, MANIA and San Marco Preservation.d.
 
The entity's powers shall include the management of parking.e.
 
The entity shall have authority to negotiate and approve redevelopmentagreements and to use approved funding sources.f.
 
The DCEC shall establish short-term, mid-term and long-term action plans fordowntown.g.
 
The responsibilities of the DCEC shall include, but not be limited to:1.
 
Review and approve all downtown economic developmentincentive programs which shall be in concert with an updatedDowntown Master Plan and the adopted Comprehensive Plan2.
 
Focus planning and resources on the core, as defined byDowntown Vision Incorporated, and build critical mass aroundcatalyst areas such as Hemming Plaza, the old and newcourthouses, Laura Street corridor and trio of buildings and the BayStreet Entertainment District including support for small projects.3.
 
Develop a collaborative and strategic marketing campaign forDowntown to make the case for Downtown revitalization and buildawareness for current Downtown assets.4.
 
The DCEC’s powers shall include the management of specialevents.
1
 
2
2.
 
Fundinga.
 
Establish a dedicated funding source for the Downtown CommunityEmpowerment Corporation.b.
 
Require that funds (TIF, Parking, Event Revenue, etc.) that are collected indowntown be allocated to the downtown district.c.
 
Designate all Ad Valorem taxes that are collected in the downtown district, for afive-year period, be used exclusively for downtown revitalization.d.
 
Support extending Business Improvement District funding and consider applyingthe current funding source to residential property and to extending BusinessImprovement District boundaries.e.
 
Fund the Historic Trust Fund at an adequate level. The fund shall be used topurchase or for grants or loans to readapt critical and unrestored historicbuildings in the core.f.
 
The city should pay their fair share of Business Improvement District funding.3.
 
Convention Centera.
 
Create a public/private partnership to create a Convention Center in thedowntown district.b.
 
Encourage and facilitate complementary retail, restaurant and entertainmentfacilities to support convention attendees, residents and downtown employees.1.
 
Prioritize the establishment of locally owned businesses to fosterorganic growth and continue to develop a product that is uniqueto Jacksonville.c.
 
Support the Tourism Investment District legislation as a J-Bill for approval by thestate legislature next session.d.
 
Designate the convention center development as a project for near-termplanning and mid-term execution with integration to create street vibrancy andretail development.e.
 
Conduct an update to the CSL study to best determine the location, size andcost of the facility.4.
 
Encourage the Mayor and Jacksonville Transportation Authority to explore building anarrow gauge rail system (ground level) connecting the current City ConventionCenter, future Multi-Model Center, with the Landing and then the Everbank field.5.
 
Clean and Safea.
 
Create walking police patrols, and other community policing practices, in thedowntown district.b.
 
Establish a day-time Resource Center to serve the homeless.c.
 
Streets, as well as buildings, must be kept clean and eye-appealing.d.
 
Empty and/or abandoned buildings should be kept in an acceptable conditionthrough the enforcement of current building codes.

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