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Everything posted by spiker3

  1. The court's issue was that for the state assembly to pass taxation power to someone was unconstitutional. How would included areas who voted against the authority vote for something they don't want? And as far as an elected leader, Fraim is an elected mayor, heads the board, so no go there either. I'm just baffled by the overwhelming hatred towards this. Yes, it's not perfect, but it beats nothing, which is what we're left with now. The number of cars on the road is only going to go up, even with light rail, and traffic is only going to get worse and worse. Instead of paying pennies and dollars extra a year for the benefit of the area, people want to complain and moan because taxation without representation (which is factually untrue, we elected the Assembly, they're the ones originating the tax) would rather sit in traffic and watch the region stagnate like vdogg said. Nuclear is exactly right. HR is screwed. Anyone else know where we can find $20 billion?
  2. I'm more than a bit skeptical, Bristol was supposed to be a catalyst down Monticello, something that certainly hasn't come close to panning out. What would be the need for a parking garage with 1000 spaces, or the benefit of adding an additional 210 apartments (on top of the rentals in Bristol, 201 at 21) in an area lacking in necessities? I dunno, while i'm all for development, this seems to be building in the wrong area. Why not partner with a developer for a mixed use development at the Kirn library site? Just seems to be barking up the wrong tree...
  3. Anyone have any knowledge of local visits by candidates? I heard about trying to get John McCain to the Crowne Plaza on Bonney in Va Beach but that's all so far. Anyone know anything else?
  4. there's a blurb online today about the VB X Park, but here's a link to their website, with promo video/faux newscast for the project VB X Park
  5. When Macy's bought out Hecht's that ended any chance of Macy's at MacArthur, the brand is simply too watered down and too common now for MacArthur to bring them on. They want a national anchor with a very limited or non-existent presence in Hampton Roads, and will not settle for a Macy's, Pennys, or the like.
  6. It'll stay vacant for the next year until they lose their contract, i tried getting them to consider a Chick Fil A for the spot and was told the cost of build out was too expense (bids were around 900K - $1.5 million to add hood systems, drainage, without a brand in mind) HMSHost is on the way out, hopefully the mall will bring in a traditional vendor this time around. I'm well aware of the issues in the stores since i left though.
  7. I'm beaming because my powers of deduction looked to have been proved right. Fingers are crossed but definitely great news, as well as the rise in height. Adding LTD management into the building (as residents) is good news as well, move vested interest in getting it right
  8. To add to this, Greenbrier looks to be doing horrendous as well, Pac Sun's old space, a jewelry store, DEB, Suncoast, and two or three other stores are either empty or going out of business.
  9. FatBurger is no longer a franchise in this area, Pharrell and the owner were bought out by FatBurger. Pharrell is still a partner in the company but the store does less than $500K a year (it's an awful location with no street visibility) The growth potential they saw happening didn't show up, so Chesapeake remains their only store (originally had plans to open a NoVa location and a Virginia Beach location by the end of 07)
  10. I really don't understand the purpose of the graphic at the bottom of the page comparing the two proposals. All it does (at least to me) is highlight how much more efficient and cost-beneficial the new system is. Less per mile by over half, less operating costs by $90 million, $14 million more projected earnings in fares, and that's just for the Norfolk line. I guess depending on how many NIMBYs there are in Virginia Beach this type of propoganda could be successful (i think we've come a lot longer in 8+ years) but with the feds and state chipping in some much money (what, nearly 2/3s the project?), and not having a sales tax increase to pay for the project....where's the problem? Moron
  11. Definitely won't be a Hyatt, DoubleTree or Embassy Suite. Hyatt LTD has no affiliation with, DoubleTree already exists in downtown, and DoubleTree and Embassy are too 'low-brow' for what the city wants for this. The city is envisioning this as the crown jewel hotel in downtown, three or four star full service facilities. While i think Hilton is still a possibility, why the change from the Hilton downtown to 'major hotel'? Also, keep in mind Burfoot's comment about developers wanting to bring a Westin downtown when the plans with RLJ were failing; LTD was coveted by City Council, in fact Fraim asked William Fuller specifically to attempt to partner with LTD. A W would be great, but unlikely; I think it's between Hilton and Westin, and signs are pointing towards the latter.... off topic, has anyone else staying in an aloft hotel before? Looks fantastic, and apparently LTD is opening one in Chesapeake next year
  12. In today's article in the Pilot highlighting LTD, they've hedged away from calling it the Hilton project downtown, it's now the major hotel and convention center. That would make it appear like Hilton is almost certainly out of the picture. Looking at their prefered chain portfolio and given the hotels occupying downtown already (Marriot, Sheraton, etc) i think a Westin in downtown Norfolk is looking more and more like a realistic expecation with this project. I was hoping for an inadvertent slip up in the article but no dice. They do have loose ties to Hilton (Hampton Inn and Hilton Garden Inn) but have as of now not constructed any full service Hiltons. However having just opened a Westin in Maryland, there is a chance...
  13. The only thing about this project is the City Council needs to pick a project that has regional interest as well as tourist interest. It's a waste of land to build an attraction that's only good from May through September. Wave pools, indoor ski slops and extreme parks are fine on paper, and work well in Dubai, Florida, and Bahamas where there's tourism all year round, but in order for this to be viable it needs to appeal to Virginia Beach residents first, Hampton Roads residents second and tourists third. The worst thing the city council could do right now is to award the development of some gimmicky idea that looks great on a vacation brouchere. A multi-use district, with retail, entertainment and some attraction is the only realistic way for this to be successful.
  14. You know there's a Fatburger in Chesapeake, off Battlefield, right?
  15. My point was in no way calling anyone or anything 'ghetto', it was that around the area Military Circle mall has a stigma, justified or unjustified. And while Janaf and Military explode with new development, the mall itself is going nowhere, and doesn't appear to be moving forward or able to move forward. Retailers do not give an area a stigma, in my opinion. Having worked at MacArthur, there was a huge concern two years ago about the mall's demographics shifting due to poor security, maintenance and rules. If Military Circle instituted a dress code (not code, but no hoods on, pants on your waist, ala MacArthur) kick out riff-raff and loiterers much more frequently, and increase police presence inside the mall (MacArthur always has two uniform officers on duty during non-holidays, four during holidays) the general public would be more likely to visit. As it stands, i personally only go to MC for movies, even tho there are shops in the mall i do shop at. I just personally don't like going to that particular mall.
  16. The weird thing is Janaf and the Military Highway corridor have redeveloped and blown up the last two - four years, while Military Circle is still a train wreck. Although it was renovated (long overdue) a few years ago, they still maintain the 'ghetto' stigma. Shootouts in the parking lot certainly don't help that image. It seems while everything around it is improving, the mall itself is stuck in a rut...and not likely to get better anytime soon. At this point it would almost take a complete shutdown and redevelopment of the mall to become a destination with the entire area again. There's simply too many poorly chosen tenants in the mall to make it feasible to be successfully redeveloped in its current state.
  17. Yes, it's to become part of the Hilton. It will be bolted to the exterior of the side facing Main St. The reason it's being moved is because the current location will be the service entrance (read: alley) to the hotel. But it is definitely going to be part of the building. The NPA was moving for the Beechcroft and Bull to become part of it as well, but the facade wasn't historically significant or worth the investment.
  18. I'm cautiously optimistic, they're looking at great places and seeking out some good ideas. They don't seem to take Harmon Hospitality's offer to make the DoubleTree bigger too seriously to consider it a HQ hotel, which is great news. Plus the fact that Gartraub from Dallas is still planning a big is good news as well, they're proposing a Hyatt and are still putting together a serious offer a year later. I think the best possible thing the VBCC can do is adopt two proposals, one for the land immediately next to the convention center to build a luxury/upper end hotel, as well as find a proposal to turn the Dome site into a entertainment destination, ala Hoffler's initial proposal. AH got all high and mighty and demanded exclusivity and wanted a monorail which was insane, but take those two out and you had a good idea. As dedicated as they seem to be to getting this right (they've waited over a year) i could see this coming out very well.
  19. Formerly Hilton (may or not stay Hilton) on Plume/Main (18-19 stories), Residence Inn on Boush St/Brambleton (9 stories) , Hampton Inn on Brambleton/York (15 stories). The Pilot is also counting the Extended Stay in Fort Norfolk Plaza as 'downtown' so include that off Colley and Atlantic. Those are the four we know about.
  20. Towne Place at Greenbrier is preparing to move forward with Phase III, 32K of retail with 110 condos above. Does anyone have any rendering or info on the condo development? The only site i've been able to find is kahndevelopment.com, i didnt know if the Ches City page might have anything.
  21. 24th and 25th are blocks from ODU, this currently is empty warehouses and run down auto shops. 24th St crosses Hampton Blvd and ends in the shopping center next to the old Food Lion/new Bottom Dollar, 25th crosses Hampton and then crosses Colley immediately before the railroad underpass. This area is sorely in need of any shot in the arm to boost economic impact, the relocation of 7-11 from 41st to 31st has helped, but it's still most run down industrial and low income housing.
  22. The Decker Building is the only one of the three left, and there's zero chance of it being stopped. A continual waste of time from the activists.
  23. Looking for some prestigious recommendations here guys, Monday is me and my girl's one year anniversary, and i'm looking to take her someplace upscale. Right now my front runner is Byrd & Baldwin Bros, but i'm open to other possibilities. I'd prefer steak, american or italian cuisine, doesn't necessarily have to be in downtown norfolk, could be anywhere....any recommendations? Or feedback about B&BB?
  24. Not true, Crocodile Rocks in Waterside had their alcohol license revoked because they didnt hit the 45% number. I work for a bar n grille, and the 45% is a huge deal, our percentages are put onto every daily paperwork.
  25. The primary difference between this project and DC is the definition of 'historical significance' Here in Norfolk, few buildings exist unfortunately that are historically significant. Simply because a building is old does not make it significant. The Ikon building was not significant. Nor was the Decker or B&B. Yes, they were old. But were they cutting edge architecture designs at their time? (Scope) Were they Federally used in the 1700s? (Old Library, Congressional office now) A former city hall? (MacArthur Memorial) While i certainly do not agree with a wrecking ball mentality, these three buildings have done nothing to deserve the coverage they've received from the Pilot, because they certainly didn't receive it the first 100 years they were around. If someone wants to tear down the leaning tower of Norfolk, i'll protest. The Royster, i'll protest. Scope i'll protest. Union Mission i'll protest. But simple store that opened in 1920? Depends on the reason. Oh, a city convention center and hotel. Reasonable. Again, this project has been announced for three years and it took three years for the NPA to do get discussion started. Far, far, far too late. And the 'heavy' city subsidy is $7 million, far less than Granby Tower and Fort Norfolk Plaza. In the scheme of things, not as much an issue. I'd argue that a subsidy is unnecessary when the city is donating the land and paying for the convention center, but hotel rooms are certainly in demand, so i understand to a degree the logic. And while the building may not be cutting edge or gorgeous in design, it does fit well with Norfolk and its existing skyline, it will accent rather than detract or stand out. Its what the developer wanted and is paying for. Could it be better? Certainly. But it's not a Bristol or Fort Norfolk.
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