Originally Posted by BigBird9
Speaking of buildings and downtown, why is it that we have almost no high rises downtown?
Yeah it is pretty frustrating being a skyscraper fan who has lived in P'cola all his life, ha ha. It's sorta sad that I have to live vicariously thru Mobile and Atlanta to get my fix. I think I've heard when the San Carlos was built it was the tallest/largest hotel in the south. Along that time I'd have to think Pensacola was on pace to be one of the taller/denser downtowns around (of course Escambia County was like top 3 in population in the state of Florida back then). But things obviously change.
I'm not sure how to assign all the reasons. One is just the natural flow of people to South Florida for decades. Another that all towns dealt with (but seems to have hit P'cola really hard) was the car-centric sprawl with flight of practically all business out of the core. Especially retail. Then there is really no business headquarters of any size in the area with the need for that kind of office space. All you really have are banks (but not HQ's), lawyers and health care stuff that need piles of office space. The health care part is obviously spread all over town where the customers are, leaving only banks and lawyers who found DT still an attractive place to call home.
But the trump card is poor leadership/vision throughout that time (citizens fault as much as the leaders they elected) that I think was satisfied that the Navy would be around forever propping up everything and they could just not bother to attract, and in fact run off economic opportunities for decades so they could continue to hold the DT power and play good ole boy games. Shockingly to me though is, for such a supposed economically conservative base of voters, they seem to have always been happy running off any economic development/progress which seems to fly in the face of their stated free market beliefs. So I will blame us citizens for the leaders that have brought us to the almost dead, inner-circle downtown of modern times.
I wish some of those projects listed on the first page woulda got out of the ground (successfully) before the collapse. But, in keeping with usual, we caught on at the tail end of the boom and now it would be surprising to see any of them rise. Will something take off here at the beginning of the next boom? Or will we miss that one too?