Our City should follow Town Center Model. It seems to draw the crowds and they didn’t use any of our money.
I’ve confirmed there were no city or state incentives for the St. Johns Town Center development in southside. The developer did it the old-fashioned way. He developed a plan, he used his own money to purchase the land, worked through the byzantine permitting process and produced a development that has been wildly successful. I am unaware of him donating any money to local politicians.
The “MMR” (make me richer) crowd needs to earn their well-deserved profits by innovation not donations to politicians.
It is time to start over with the JEA and Shipyards parcels. The City should immediately develop a large waterfront park using the Shipyards and Metropolitan Park to provide river access to our citizens. This would anchor surrounding residential, entertainment and business developments. Break up the remaining Metropolitan Park and the Shipyard property into 8-10 parcels that can be purchased and developed by different companies. Stop trying to eat the elephant in one whole bite, make it possible for multiple companies to develop properties.
The same concept should be applied to the JEA parcel on the Southbank. We have waited for many years for just the right vision and developer to come along. It’s time for the city to stop meddling and allow the free market to work.