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About ace707

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  • Birthday 11/08/1983

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    Norfolk, Virginia
  1. Hey guys its been a long while since I've posted on urbanplanet but I visit the forums once in a while. I live in Fairfax now but still frequent the Norfolk forum. Anyways, Amazon HQ2 is nearly guaranteed although as mentioned we may get half. I personally would not call it a "headquarters" should it ultimately be split but 25,000 jobs is a large influx nonetheless. Most may not realize but Amazon already has a huge presence in the area. Excluding distribution/fulfillment centers, Amazon Web Services is headquartered in Reston plus its many data centers in the area. On a much less known topic, Apple also started a search for a 3rd corporate campus similar to its Austin campus to house 20,000 around the same time Amazon announced their search. NoVA is also secretly among the top locations to land that project so its not too bad if we land half of HQ2 plus Apple. Considering the region has the highest concentration of tech employees outside of Silicon Valley, "data center city" in around Dulles International Airport being the "bulls eye of the internet" where over 70% of the country's internet goes through, Virginia's business friendly environment, and proximity to DC will hopefully land both companies by the end of the year.
  2. Hopefully something about it will be mentioned, revealed, or announced at the 2014 State of the City address
  3. Yup, my parents depart for a cruise this coming Sunday.
  4. Unfortunately the Granby mall thing failed and I don't want to get my hopes up that times have changed enough in the miinds of many people in the area to make it succeed. Sometimes the stupidity in the city council makes me want to talk to Mayor Paul Fraim's daughter (we went to school together as classmates from elementary to high school and graduated the same year) to get her to convince her dad to make this council think better for the city but I'm worried she would not want to get involved in the politics...
  5. The sad thing about the WVEC piece is that for all the attempts to hype and support the Cordish plan, they seem to only confirm that it would fail. Did anyone notice that everytime they spoke of or was showing live from the Baltimore site that there seemed to be no one patronizing the place? Furthermore, the Philly project, while it seems to be successful cannot be repeated at waterside because one of the major components to the Philly projects success was it was practically supported by that city's sports culture? I have been to Philadelphia's pro sports district and when you have an NHL, MLB, NFL, and NBA team and their respective arenas and stadiums across the street from each other, of course any food/entertainment/hospitality facility would virtually succeed when placed in the midst of an area like that. Our area teams and the facilities they play in aren't beside each other let alone pro teams thus that comparison isn't applicable.
  6. I'll admit that I've traveled at least 3 or 4 times to their Potomic Mills location and bought several things from them including a bed frame. Wish they could open a location somewhere in the region but that's like asking the Feds to build Granby Tower themselves.
  7. IKEA was never in the area much less at MacArthur Center. The furniture store that used to be there was EQ3.
  8. Panda Express is a huge coup for the mall. It is one of the fastest growing and most sought after though difficult to sign Chinese food chains. They are huge in the west coast especially in California and very popular for those who enjoy Chinese food and among asians (I'm Filipino and always ate Panda when out of town that had one). They are not easy to sign and have very strict requirements before even considering a location. These include: TRAFFIC GENERATORS Heavy retail; daytime employment; shopping centers, entertainment Going Home side of traffic Strong balance of residential and daytime activity Trade Area Residential Population > 65,000 Trade Area Day Population > 30,000 Average Daily traffic > 45,000 cars combined main and cross streets NON TRADITIONAL AND MALL SITES Mall Size: > 1,000,000 square feet # Anchors: 3+ University and College Campuses with > 14,000 population Casinos Major Airports Major Entertainment Centers Arenas and Stadiums Hospitals Visibility and Accessibility BUILDING REQUIREMENTS Food Courts: 800 – 1,000 square feet (minimum frontage 24 ft) In Line: 1,800 – 2,000 square feet (minimum frontage 35 ft) Utilities: Stubbed to space Before Norfolk, the closest location was in Short Pump in Richmond and before that was NOVA. This will actually be their second location in Norfolk and I believe there are no other plans currently to expand in the region. Their first location is at the Norfolk Navy Exchange's new food court. I work as one of the managers of the starbucks at the NEX and a little over a year ago I spoke to the Food Services Director for the NEX to try to lure Panda Express as part of their new food court revamp and she said at the time she never heard of them and that it was likely not going to succeed with the new standards and demands of the NEX. Last October on Panda's grand opening day, I said thanked her for bringing them and even better she said "no, thank you for the suggestion". I'm excited that the first location gave the company the success and confidence to expand in Norfolk and this bodes very well for MacArthur Center as they work to re-position their food court. With the exception of the Cheescake Factory Bakery Cafe, none of the other eateries closing will be missed and this represents a huge opportunity for the mall.
  9. While these pics focus on the library which in itself is great, it also shows that the Westin is clearly still a go and just waiting in the wings for its time to shine.
  10. If they decide to get waterside restarted then they should relocate hooters, outback, and Joes to Wachovia Center. Bring along Dunkin' Doughnuts and throw in a hhgregg or best buy and top it off with a return of beecroft & bull and Wachovia's issues of retail should be resolved. Then waterside will be prepared for the re-imagining it deserves
  11. I had a co-worker who bought a condo in late '06 and moved in early 2007 and she had bought furniture from Haynes and was disappointed with their service when delivering her furniture and returned it. She told me her experience and I suggested EQ3 and within a month she and her boyfriend ordered over $10,000 worth of furniture from EQ3 and she told me when they delivered that she loved it and the service was much better. She also thanked me for referring her to the store plus she liked their styles, designs, and flexibility. Just a quick story for anyone wondering if anybody has bought something at the store.
  12. Last number I heard was that the mall was averaging 12 million visitors a year. I'm not sure if that figure was for the 2006 year or the 2007. If I can, I'll try to find a source/confirmation on this.
  13. I don't think MacArthur Center is going down as much as you say. First off, Alltel isn't exactly a huge loss IMO because the mall has a bunch of cell phone shops already and of the major services, Alltel is the smallest. Bridal shop I don't think was really a sought after store before it even opened. I think that was more of a test to see if a store like that has a market at the mall which apparently it doesn't. Nine West I thought was good for the mall and I always saw alot of women shopping there. Hopefully they will find a new location in the mall. Chico's is moving to the old Coach location which doesn't make it a loss for the mall. Adding in Banana Republic I think is a much more suitable addition to the mall plus I think it will surely pull more traffic than the bridal and alltel store combined. Military is practically following Tower Mall and NewMarket Mall tracks at this rate and honestly the anchor stores, movie theater and the DoubleTree Hotel are the only places that make this mall still have some (though declining) revelance. Janaf is on a roll and I think military circle may become an archilles heel to Military Hwy's progress unless its management steps up their game and goes back to the competitive track.
  14. I've been going to San Diego once a year for since 2000. The city is great but I've come to call it Norfolk on Steroids. There are things that I don't like with it though. Areas that are at or below the poverty level are worse than what we have and there are many comercial zones in the city that I view as "slum businesses and blight". However the city's downtown and the zoo are world class jewels and I wish Norfolk could be as such one day. Sorry for being off topic. I still prefer Intercontinental or Westin before the Hilton.
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