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virginia pe

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virginia pe last won the day on July 15 2010

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About virginia pe

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    Whistle-Stop
  • Birthday 02/23/1956

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    Virginia Beach, VA

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  1. I have to go with Baobabs on this one. Looking at it in the context of the 1980s when MacArthur was developed, it was the right call. Yes, downtown would have developed without the mall, but when? The mall site was cleared as part of the demolition frenzy of the 1960s. For over 20 years, it was a vacant 17-acre parking lot. Yes, there was a street grid, but the streets only served to separate the parking lot in one block from the parking lot on the next. The city and NRHA tried to interest developers to develop the site, either as one megaproject for the entire 17 acres, or as individual projects. There was some interest, but nothing ever progressed enough to put a shovel in the ground. Then Taubmann came to town and said they would build an upscale shopping mall and put those 17 acres back on the tax rolls. It was hard to argue “downtown will develop on its own without the mall” after 20+years of frustration.
  2. The land near the ground surface cannot support a high-rise building. All of the major high-rise buildings downtown are supported on piles. They piles are about 80 feet deep, and bear on a rock strata called the Yorktown formation. The Yorktown formation is probably capable of supporting a high-rise hotel tower.
  3. Most elevators have a penthouse where the motors and the control equipment is located. It is much smaller than the overall building footprint, and does not count as a floor. There might be some HVAC equipment in the penthouse as well.
  4. Interesting. The elevations and renderings show a few retail spaces, but the ground floor plan appears to show parking at that location.
  5. I moved to Virginia Beach in 1985. I recall going to Granby Mall occasionally on my lunch hour. Even in the middle of the day, it was like a ghost town. One of the reasons for the failure of Granby Mall was that, while they built an attractive pedestrian space, the improvements stopped at the threshold of the business there. They upgraded the mall, but they did not upgrade the businesses along the mall. It seemed like every other business along Granby Mall was a seedy bookstore. Walking the mall felt creepy (and lonely. No one else was there.) The department stores along the mall - Smith & Welton (now TCC Martin Building), Woolworth's (now TCC Stanley Walker Building), and Rices Nachman's (now Norfolk Utilities) - all withered away for lack of auto traffic. Keep in mind, there was not a lot of reason to go downtown if you did not want to go to Granby Mall. There was no TCC, no MacArthur Mall (it was just a vacant 17-acre parking lot), and the Hilton and Mariott weren't built yet either. On the other hand. Waterside had decent activity during the day, and a lot of activity in the evenings, especially in the summer.
  6. It's hard to tell what's happening here, especially since north is to the right instead of the normal orientation with north pointing up. Comparing this map with Google Maps, it looks like they are re-creating more of an orthogonal grid. Freemason Street will extend to the east across St. Paul's Blvd, and Church street will be extended to the south, ending at St. Mary's Basilica, which is almost all the way to the ramp from the Berkeley Bridge.
  7. I don't mean to be to picky, but just to keep the terminology straight, the vertical members are columns. Girders are the horizontal members that go between the columns, and then beams frame between the girders. The columns are probably two stories tall.
  8. virginia pe

    New Arena

    Virginia Beach Blvd at Monticello may not be shovel-ready. I read somewhere that the site is badly contaminated. There used to be a coal tar to gas manufacturing plant there, and the waste products were poured out onto the ground. Somewhere in the past they covered the site with a clay cap to form an impervious barrier to keep rain water from running through the soil and leeching the contaminants into the ground water. That is why the site is elevated. I could not find definite documentation that the site is contaminated, but this website has good information on manufactured gas plants and the contamination they cause: http://www.hatheway.net/index.html
  9. And it was. Before the mall was built, the land where MacArthur Mall sits was a 17-acre parking lot. That's how it was referred to in the paper and in City Hall - "the 17 acres". And it was like that for years and years, maybe decades. The city tried hard to find a developer to develop that parking lot without success, until Taubman came along with the mall proposal. Despite its shortcomings today, back then it was the only option for the city, and it did turn the city around.
  10. Craney Island is too important to the Port of Virginia to ever develop it for anything else. Most of the material dredged from the Hampton Roads harbor goes to Craney Island until it is dried out and can be safely trucked away. Dredging is nearly a continuing operation to maintain the depth required for commercial shipping. Getting the regulatory permits to dispose of all that material offshore or anywhere else would eat up a lot of time and cost a ton of money. https://www.nao.usace.army.mil/About/Projects/Craney-Island/ The Hampton Roads Executive Airport is adjacent to the Great Dismal Swamp. If an airplane taking off to toward the south had mechanical problems, it would have to make an emergency landing in the swamp. It would take forever to get rescue crews to the crash site.
  11. I agree that nor'easters are fairly common, but not nor'easters that would flood Waterside Drive, let alone Main Street, which is even higher. I cannot recall Waterside Drive being closed due to flooding.
  12. They have been asking the questions. Here are some of the questions: What will the economic impact be on current downtown restaurants, hotels and entertainment establishments? People visiting the casino are not likely to leave the casino to visit other downtown restaurants or hotels. The casino will pay no taxes on meals/beverages, spa services, lodging or entertainment, only on the net gaming receipts. Does this give the casino an unfair advantage over other restaurants and hotels? The city is funding an economic impact study to consider the additional taxes from a new downtown arena to replace Scope. What negative impact will the casino have on a future arena? Could it kill the chance of a new arena? The city hopes to attract $1 Billion in investment in the St. Paul’s Quadrant? How will the casino impact the development of St. Paul’s Quadrant? What does Norfolk State think about having a casino less than a mile from its campus? Many studies have shown that property values of houses in proximity to casinos decline as a result of a casino opening. Norfolk is investing $112 million in the Ohio Creek Basin to create the “coastal community of the future”. How will the casino affect Chesterfield Heights? Studies show that there is an increase in crime when casinos enter a neighborhood. It is likely that there will be a significant cost to police, fire and emergency services. What is this cost? Why has a risk assessment not been completed to understand the increased costs of public safety as a result of this casino? Has Norfolk’s public safety leadership weighed in on the effects of a casino on potential increase in public safety costs? No, these are not my questions. This is a recap of some of the questions Councilwoman Andria McClellan posted on Facebook back in September. Her FB post was copied onto this site on September 22 .
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