Tuesday, October 30, 2007

coming, going, and here to stay

as the history of 5 points has shown, some shops of 5 points can be a bit fickle. here one day, gone the next. now, in it’s resurgence period (as i like to call it) we are seeing more changes every day! but, 5 points, aside from the commerce of downtown, was jacksonville’s ORIGINAL town center.

urbane has completely closed it’s location here and moved to a place with much more character, the corner of phillips/baymeadows... ha ha! keith, the owner just thinks that’s more of a draw for people since scan design (a modern furniture store) is also in that shopping center.

this business has been passed down in the family and the current owner is just ready to throw in the towel and retire. his building is for sale and clearing out his inventory from now through the end of the year. then they will be closing their doors for ever.

so, this is my open call to all aspiring entrepreneurs... open your business here!!! 5 points is bursting with opportunity if your are willing to work for it! instead of focusing on the closing businesses, take a look at all the success stories... EDGE CITY has been opened 30+ years, NICOTINE has been around over 10, ALOHA PARADISE is in their 8th year, Wolfgang has been a staple here for over 7, although VIOLET has changed hands a few times the reinvention of the store is celebrating it’s 1 year anniversary, ANOMALY is pushing 2 ½ years, MIDNIGHT SUN has a huge following, and GRASSROOTS market is always crowded when i go in! plus, there are many many others i could name but don’t want to bore you! the 1661 riverside condos open down the street now, all the other housing around here, the businesses located in the renovated 5 points theater building, all the large corporations with offices on riverside avenue and the close proximity to downtown, 5 POINTS is the perfect urban environment!

this area desperately needs 1)a clean and consistent vegan/vegetarian/raw foods restaurant 2) same as #1 but a coffee shop 3) a “grotto-esque” wine/beer bar 4) a tasty neighborhood restaurant that is NOT Mexican, pizza or asian (unless we’re talking THAI food...) i have tons more ideas but can’t keep giving all my ideas away unless there is a consulting fee involved... money talks! 

5 points isn’t the only place with changes happening. i heard that the ‘san marco south’ development is going under and now the developers are giving people their deposits back. again, this is not a confirmation, but something I heard through the grapevine, so please let me know if you know the facts or have heard differently.

signing off till next time...


Jennifer McCharen said...

The current decay of 5 points is a terrible shame...what can we do? What can RADO do? I'm new to development issues, investor issues, etc. But we're supposed to be a community development corporation, and this is a serious problem in Riverside.

Any suggestions on how to recruit entrepreneurs or connect them with investors? I know a ton of people with awesome ideas and integrity but zero capital...Want to get coffee and talk about it? It makes me feel really on edge to see so many empty storefronts!

Jennifer McCharen said...

Is there a 5 points merchants association? When are the meetings? Let me know...

5 points said...

i don't consider 5 points to be decaying... it's still a wonderful shopping district with eclectic shops and delicious restaurants! it's more more like transitioning... loosing the stores that have just barely been hanging on and making room for fresh businesses.

Jennifer McCharen said...

like...the GAP?

5 points said...

hopefully not the gap... i would like to see more young entrepreneurs open up dining/shopping establishments with a modern, fresh approach.

Jennifer McCharen said...

Absolutely! Me too. I'm wondering if there's a good way to help connect good tenants with these spaces. We know what we need. I agree with the wish list posted in the blog. But by what venue does one seek out the entrepreneur that's on the other side of this problem, scratching her head wondering WHERE in this town she can open her vegan coffeeshop/wine bar!

Small business center at the Chamber of Commerce perhaps?

5 points said...

i will have to investigate this further. i actually have a meeting w/ someone later on this week to discuss a possible tennant in a location... if i know someone with money and an itch to open a business, i'm trying to get him/her to 5 points!

Jennifer McCharen said...

wonderful! But seriously, if you think of any way I can help, please let me know (promotion, connecting folks with the small business center...?). My position with RADO is funded by AmeriCorps, so I'm paid to work on stuff that benefits Riverside...and I'm basically searching for a good problem to solve. I'm looking for ways RADO can move beyond just building more-affordable homes. At this point I've got a little extra time at work, and this is definitely something we should help with, or at least be attentive to. But as I said, I'm a neophyte.

Violet Fall Preview

Join Texie @ Violet for an opening of Tonya Lee's work. Also that night, view handmade jewelry from April Aultman and new products by Jill Bliss! Friday, October 5th, 6-9P.

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