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Ghentite's Achievements


Whistle-Stop (3/14)



  1. I think there's still a bit of hope for this. These properties we're seeing being filled aren't far off from what was originally planned and flank the boundaries (especially the coffee shop). The meat of the property (the entertainment/brewery/eatery portion) is that middle section that stretches west. At this point, no tenants have been locked up yet for that space, but I hear they're trying.
  2. Agreed. This is the sort of project the city needs to continue shooting for even if it takes longer to happen. If they want to "expand downtown," mixed use is going to be essential, otherwise nobody will go there. If they go with primarily residential (as we've been seeing) for St. Paul's, it's basically creating a border of residential and isolates current downtown.
  3. And let's be honest, the demand is not there yet. Filling commercial space has been an issue downtown even at the lowest/cheapest level for years. The city needs to incentivize, if it's going to compete with other cities. Then you figure, you bring in a new tower with the finest amenities, who can afford that kind of office space? Developers know that. I don't see us bringing in a new office tower for years. It's a much safer bet to fill space by going small.
  4. Nothing vertical yet. Still prepping the land.
  5. Ghentite

    New Arena

    Take this for what it's worth, but I have heard some prefer the MacArthur Mall as a potential spot downtown. Would be a major overhaul and seems unrealistic but I've heard it's at least been brought up.
  6. Site work is ramping up. They've been clearing the land. Not sure if they'll re purpose the pilings that have been there for years or not. Wish it had a retail component.
  7. This is how I understand it as well. It's more that she's calling a process foul on the city rather than fighting the actual development. She just wants more transparency and if you follow the Downtown Norfolk Civic League meetings regarding this, there hasn't been much from the city. Most of the residents' questions are either unanswered or vague, yet the city is rushing it through the process.
  8. I don't know why this is such a surprise. We've been talking about this for a few weeks that Star Hill is basically a beer kiosk in the middle of a glorified food court. That said, I run down there at night and the riverfront is already activated by this place with tons of people walking around (and it's not even officially open yet). So while we all know they're not going with what they sold us, it looks to be doing its job and will most likely be profitable.
  9. Not really sure. The demand is from retirees and assisted living patients so that's a specific demographic. Part of the demand isn't all on location either. It's the amenities and treatment and lack of retirement communities in nfk that is drawing people there.
  10. Hearing the groundbreaking will be in the fall. Demand is high, they've sold out of units, and there is actually a lengthy waitlist to secure one. Pretty confident this project will be green-lit and shouldn't have any issues.
  11. From what I understand, Starr hill is basically just a large kiosk in the middle of the market, a glorified beer stand. It's not the brewery that was initially advertised. That is turning out to be the case with most of the establishments announced.
  12. Checked out a few of the new places recently: Jack Brown's burger joint: Small space but was packed on a Sunday night. Great beer selection and delicious and reasonably priced burgers. Solid addition to Granby. Will absolutely go back. Didn't realize it wasn't really a chain. There are two in Harrisonburg and one in Richmond. Concept developed by two JMU grads I believe. Benny Damato's Pizza: Another solid addition to Granby. Really small space but they serve the huge slices you get up in DC that takes two paper plates to hold. Shold take care of the late night crowd. Also didn't realize that it wasn't a national chain. They claim to be home of the VA slice with other shops located throughout the state. Brick Anchor Brew House: Decent beer selection and really nice on the inside as they did a good job of trying to get away from the Jack Quinn's look and made it their own. Food and service (and they were nearly empty but took forever with many of the wait staff standing around) wasn't that great though.
  13. It's not the best option in a downtown area. First floor commercial space instantly activates the block and increases pedestrian traffic. Otherwise, you're basically killing the flow of foot traffic. Granby Street is a model for this as all of the buildings all have commercial space on the ground level. The more they do this in other parts of the city, the more likely the downtown area is going to expand. That's the major issue with the residential development in St. Paul's. It's basically a huge block of ground level units which creates a wall in the middle of quadrant to be developed (if they were to build mixed use on either side of it). You almost always want mixed-use in any project.
  14. Yeah, at some point there were negotiations with CVS to go on the corner spot but I haven't heard anything on that in about a year so I'm assuming that was washed from the plan.
  15. Learned a little more about this project this weekend. Buddy just bought the Royster building and will renovate it, which is where he'll be moving the existing tenants (who want to go there, there are some tenants who may move to Wells Fargo). There is an idea for a second tower near BOA (possibly on the green space near the ATMs) but that is far from set in stone and may not come years down the line. His primary focus as of now is renovations in the two buildings.
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