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Everything posted by spiker3

  1. urbanlife, you made a comment in the Town Point Park thread that i think should be debated, in the 60s and 70s Norfolk essentially carpet bombed downtown, destroying some historical structures like the Monticello, Armory and others leaving us with parking lots and replacing with not the greatest architectural wonders, to say the least. IMO, hindsight obviously is 20/20. But let's not forget what downtown Norfolk was like in the 60s and 70s, even up into the 80s. The "white flight" to Virginia Beach is being debated on the LR thread, but applies here as well. Monticello Hotel, as beautiful as it was, had been reduced to a slum before its destruction. Many parts of downtown were rundown, did not have plumbing or air conditioning, and the cost of rehabilitation, which was not in vogue as it is today would have been astronomical, correct? (I know we have some Norfolk lifers in here who could expound on this more) I'll be the first to say it sucks that Norfolk destroyed alot of history for the sake of 'progress', but given the climate of the time, what were the other alternatives? And for all the development we have, where's the throwback or acknowledgment from developers or the city to what we've lost? I'd love to see a hotel that incorporated some items from Monticello or materials in a building that mirrored old City Hall or the Armory...to blend the old and new in the only way we'll be able to. What are your guys' thoughts on this?
  2. Where did you hear that? Fraim said in November they forecast the line continuing past EVMS and Norfolk General around Lambert's Point, then back around to Hampton Blvd near 35 - 38th St, then up Hampton Blvd to NOB, including Ghent, ODU, and the Naval Base in the second spur of the line.
  3. That's pretty deceptive, there's nothing in the article about Town Center or extending light rail...Sessom's personal goal is to have negotiations completed to purchase the right of way in two weeks...which means nothing but having the ability to get it started...whenever light rail is officially announced of course it will go to TC and Oceanfront, but this is not an agreement on Light Rail or an official announcement...close and move to VB Light Rail...
  4. This is quoting Norfolk4Life from the Gateway Tower thread... Hate to break it to you, but every city in the area has different health code standards. The logic that I'll eat in downtown because they scored less only works if every city has identical health standards, which they do not. The city of Chesapeake is nothing like the city of Norfolk which is nothing like the city of Virginia Beach. I've worked as a restaurant manager in Chesapeake, Norfolk, Virginia Beach and now Suffolk. First, the only thing you can put stock into is REPEAT violations, which should be listed as such. Second, critical violations are the only violations that stores and health inspectors are concerned with, meaning that while any violation is 'bad' obviously, critical violations have be fixed in 24 hours while regular violations have at least 30 days (depending on your score as much as 90 days to be corrected) So to say I'll eat here because they have a 1 but not here because they have a 6 is illogical. If that's 6 repeat violations showing a legitimate record of unsanitary, fine, but to penalize a place for a single isolated incident is nearly a phobia. Also, while we're at it, health inspectors are just like everyone else, they like to be flattered, interacted with and worked with. In Norfolk, you average 'far below a 5' literally (not exaggerating!) every single health inspection visit i ever had consisted of the inspector walking into the rear of my place, talking for a while to myself or one of my managers, peeking his head around a corner, finding two items wrong (usually a dirty vent and food particles on the floor) filled out his report and left. We knew when he was coming, what he'd look for, how long he'd stay and how we'd have no problems because we had cultivated a hand-holding relationship with him. Other establishments for some reason did not do this, specifically Chili's at MacArthur, who in the same round of visits had 8 critical violations but let the inspector walk unaccompanied throughout their building and ignored him. It's all politics. So while it's commendable that you research and know health violations for various places throughout the area, and you patronize places based on said scores, 99.5% of people do not follow your example, for what i believe to be good reason. A routine health inspection is typically NOT a snapshot of a place's sanitation record. I've been a manager at places that i could not believe managed to pass an inspection (no names, haha) as well as at places that were clean as a whistle but we overlooked or missed a few number of trivial things (like the no hand soap thing, do you really believe they leave it empty all day everyday, or is it more likely it ran out and no one had seen it yet? there's a reason it's not a critical violation) As I said, in your research if you see repeat violations, particularly critical ones, then by all means stay far away, as there is a pattern of unsanitary practices. But don't penalize an establishment based of one snapshot out of 90 that found a handful of minor items wrong. [/off pedestal]
  5. The original traffic pattern of the mall on paper called for the Center Court (where the customer service area is) to be the focal point of the mall, where the most traffic would be, and sold retailers on that. That's why Kay's, Papyrus and other retailers took those lease areas. When the mall opened, it quickly became obvious that most traffic was centered around the escalators/elevators near the Monticello Ave entrance, leaving some key stores occupying space that wasn't a high traffic area. That's why Fink's moved down the second level, and also why the majority of stores that have closed are on the 'far' side of the mall. Think about it...Timberland, Discovery, Maternity, Tidewater Sports, Reed's, all stores near Nordstroms, which doesn't get nearly the same volume of traffic as Dilliards (there's more but I'm drawing a blank right now) Stores in the near side of the mall near Monticello aren't closing due to lack of traffic, it's either moving space, leases are up or bankruptcy (FYE, Waldenbooks, Sharper Image, Black House White Market) Coach just moved down to that location this year; Reed's has been in a poor volume location for nine years now, one store moving wouldn't make that much of a difference. Yes being near an entrance helps traffic, but the majority of traffic at MacArthur (not counting Nordstroms or Dilliards) comes into the Food Court and Monticello Ave.
  6. Too far away from downtown IMO, there are some small lots in downtown that would work well, as well as parts of St Paul's Quadrant. People will drive 5 - 10 miles for CFA, not a McDs or Burger King tho a downtown Chick-Fil-A will be my goal for the time being, but not attainable currently haha
  7. Reeds Jewelers had a very poor location in the mall, it was second floor in the back near Tidewater Sports and Collectibles and the former Maternity store, no surprise they packed up when their lease ended. Christian Bernard on the other hand is one of the highest traffic spots in the mall, and will be a prime location for someone to take over. I know Kay Jewelers has been looking to relocate in the mall for years now, they may take over that location... mike25, i've actually looked into opening a Chick-fil-A in downtown myself, Chick-fil-A is notoriously difficult for a) getting a franchise and b) placing a franchise. You don't go to CFA and say, i want to build one here, they tell you where your location will be; if downtown Norfolk isn't on their business plan, it's not going to happen Tel, HMSHost's contract is up for re-negotiation currently, with their lease ending in December 2010. If the mall or HMSHost declines to renew, you will see new brands in the food court. Given the economic climate and HMSHost's performance the last two years, it's 50-50 right now that things go through. Recently the management structure merged with the airport, making things that much more difficult to manage, so you never know...keep your fingers crossed.
  8. The city could ask for it, but Taubman would have to design it, approve it and pay for it...makes it less likely. I'd like to see Granby St retail turned around as well, I'm just a little skeptical, if Town Center retail is still struggling (doing better but not driving traffic by any means) Granby doesn't have the pull to make me go there except for Friday and Saturday nights as it is...
  9. The old Tides, not the new Tides. New Tides are lacking since we signed with Baltimore
  10. spiker3

    Norfolk Pictures

    Welcome to Norfolk...you're staying in the Botetourt?
  11. Regardless of our feelings, to have a project move forward in this economic climate deserves some praise. Kudos to Newby & Co for being able to get it done after the market bottom fell out.
  12. Indeed. I'm curious about the travel path along the Elizabeth River that the city has in mind for LR. It still probably makes the most sense getting to ODU and Naval Base. A little discouraging with the comment it won't happen while he is the mayor...
  13. There's alot more than just that, there's the new court building 'rendering' (hypothetical) plus the mythological Synder Lot project has a rendering in there, the Harbor Park project, i'm in heaven right now...there's even a different angle rendering of the Westin CC, that is going to be monsterous if that's to scale
  14. I'm confused now, which corner? And what is the project going into the massive vacant space on the other corner of High and Effingham, i saw there's a redevelopment sign in the window but not sure what it is?
  15. I think Sessom's argument towards Obendorf was pretty spot on. Virginia Beach has grown by leaps and bounds in the last twenty years, and while she's been a tremendous Ambassador for the city, when's the last time you heard of her pushing or controlling anything? With the rise in developments, Town Center, Convention Center and the like, it's time the mayor of VB became more of a powerful individual rather than a figurehead/spokesperson. Plus light rail coming to VB looks much brighter now. Kudos.
  16. This project is not in place of third crossing, it would be in addition to the 6 projects ear-marked as priorities by the region. This caught on recently when Fraim said he would support proposals for an expanded HRBT. Short of an additional 4 lanes, i'm not sure what good any of these would do. A bridge would help but could potentially impact the terminal traffic that is one of the life-lines of the area (fancy renderings aside obviously)
  17. Waterside Dr is already two lanes in front of Waterside, unless you're talking about removing the valet, street parking, turn lane onto Martin Lane, and opposite side turn lane. If the city tears down Waterside, they would not build another one. While i don't see it happening, they'd solicit proposals ala VB with the Dome site, and go for a Kansas City Power Light district feel in the scenario you're discussing (closing and moving roads) in my opinion
  18. LR Station Near NSU to be Moved ....adding 'only' $1.5 million to the cost...
  19. metal i was just thinking the same thing, especially with the hotel definitely going next to the convention center and the monorail being dropped last year...
  20. Regarding the Taco Bell lot, it may have mentioned before but.... As someone very familiar with the industry, the owner of Taco Bell will almost definitively sell when the right offer comes along. Why? It dawned on me the other day when i was driving past it on the way home from work...it's still the old 1990s style Taco Bell, with one of the highest volume locations in the state, in a very high profile and traffic location. Everything says this store should have been remodeled and/or retro-fitted with the newer style TB years ago (like many other less likely locations). Why not remodel? Because sooner or later there's going to be a sale. It doesn't make sense to put $1.5 - $3 million into updating, when you know you'll be selling the location. Does that make sense, lol
  21. I dont think either blows either out of the water, but they are definitely lights years beyond the current level of architecture in the area right now. While i personally favor the AH proposal as well, i think if we had to 'settle' for the Hyatt it would still be a coup for the city. It's great to see the level of competition make both companies put the best on the table. Virginia Beach will win either way
  22. Lucas Plans to Revive Conference Center Plans This farce has gone on long enough, why they're insisting on dragging it through the mud is beyond me. Portsmouth rejected it, and even if it is somehow miraculously approved on try #2, Norfolk will almost certainly reject it. Also suggesting that City Council members who have invested or received campaign contributions do not have a "conflict of interest" is a joke. I wish this project would just die already, it's not a good idea, and will never be, regardless how many people chip in $20, $50 or $100 towards it.
  23. Fixed link: 2 Story Harris Teeter One of the best points of this article is that the old store will be completely torn down, and a store built from scratch. In doing so they'll open up towards Colonial Ave, rather than having it's back to it, as is the case now. The current layout makes Colonial Ave feel very closed in for this stretch; in opening it, will go better with the feel of the neighborhood. This is a win win!
  24. While clearly vocal, the NIMBYs and detractors of this project are far far fewer than ten years ago or even a year ago. While there are some steps to get past, chief among them how will it be paid for, it is going to happen. The one quote that resonated the most was this: Combating comments on VP aren't going to sway the council one way or another. The elections this fall however will. But there's little doubt about the outcome of all of this: Light Rail is going to be a reality in Virginia Beach. Now it's just a matter of time and money.
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