JPN0731

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About JPN0731

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  1. So after the grand tour of the new Lidl in VB, I have to say it was kind of... disappointing. Here are my takeaways: Lidl is suggesting it is somewhere between Trader Joe's and Harris Teeter. I'd say this is definitely not the case. Although it is much bigger than a TJ or Aldi, most of what it has is really just too "American". It feels more like a cross between the IKEA cafeteria and a Walmart NM. TJ especially and even Aldi have quirky stuff that is fun to try. Here everything just seemed like the off brand of every boring thing you can already buy everywhere else. EXCEPT that the wine section was huge and... did not seem to have the best prices so there's that. And I guess what I like about Aldi is the selection is basic. TJ has a lot more stuff but the store is still small. Lidl is not big but is not an easy in and out place. It's a weird size that feels too small and too big for what its trying to accomplish if that makes any sense. I'll probably bypass it for the Hilltop which will have an Aldi, TJ, WF and Target all close to each other. Even a Kroger (although the only thing I ever get at that one is gas) and Walmart too. I think the biggest competitors will be Food Lion, Walmart NM and maybe Farm Fresh. I don't see it as huge competition for TJ or WF though. Not really even Aldi.
  2. The Icon at CityWalk Progress

    I would honestly be shocked if they were actually getting the full asking price. From my experience, rents are very negotiable. This is a signature building but I would assume that the rents listed are a starting point and depending on how badly they want to fill the place, they will offer all kinds of incentives. However once your first lease is up... so are the prices.
  3. A quick question about the state of grocery retail in VB and HR in general. Aldi recently opened one store and has 3-4 more in the works. Each time I have been, it has been fairly crowded. Lidl is humming right along with its Norfolk and Hampton locations (have not been past the Indian River Rd/Providence site lately); they are rumored to open in the summer Wegmans is coming soonish to Town Center Publix is rumored to be coming soon (Publix in VB?) With so many new grocers opening and some fairly new concepts to HR that have opened recently (Kroger Marketplace, Walmart Neighborhood Grocery- yes I know there has been one in Norfolk for many years but the vast majority have opened in the past 2) does anyone know the state of the grocery retail market? I wonder how much pain this is causing some of the more traditional and established players (Food Lion and Farm Fresh to be precise). I have never been a fan of Farm Fresh and would actually not shed one tear to see it be taken over by Publix or some other brand. Its parent company is in bad shape. Food Lion is pretty sad as well but now that they have merged with Giant, I think they are safe for now. I just don't understand how all these new places can open and the ones that are here can survive. Harris Teeter still seems to be thriving in the almost luxury grocer niche. Anyone have any inside scoops?
  4. Virginia Beach Light Rail and Transit

    A couple things to understand about this area. In the 1950's people began moving en masse from Norfolk to Princess Anne County. For various reasons but a biggie was to avoid desegregation. PAC was worried because Norfolk City began gobbling up its areas on the border (e.g. the areas close to Newtown Road) so they merged with the small city of Virginia Beach (what we now call "The Oceanfront") and thus stopped the spread of Norfolk. Added into this mix is a large number of military people. This area has a lot of people from all over the nation but large numbers of them were from small conservative towns and these people bring their views with them. So Norfolk is a "big scary city" and they avoid it like the plague. My spouse's family went to Norfolk maybe once or twice a year as a family. So the bottom line is that they don't want Norfolk coming to them. They don't want to be urban. They are not urban at heart. Many are from small towns or the children of people from small towns. They see light rail as bringing in the "Norfolk element" (I will leave that up to your interpretation as to what their coded words actually mean) and costing too much money. And although Trump won VB, it was by a smaller margin than the light rail lost so it's not 100% a democrat vs. republican thing. Had the city council not dragged its heels for the past 4 years after voters approved it, we would be in a different place. Maybe Norfolk can get some other city on board like Chesapeake but I doubt it will expand anytime in the near future.
  5. American Cigar Company Garden Apartments

    That's too bad. I was hoping to open this and see some progress being made. Looks like it may be the end of the line for that old building.
  6. Virginia Beach Light Rail and Transit

    I don't quite get how a monorail would work from Newtown Road to Town Center or better yet, why? Most monorail systems I have been on were either looped tracks or a very short distance like Disney World or an airport. The problem is that Norfolk took a big (and arguably stupid) gamble with LR. It built it on the assumption that VB would jump on board once it was up and running. That has not happened. I live near a LR station and have used it often. It is good for extending bike runs and for avoiding traffic when I want to meet my husband after work. But honestly, it is almost always empty, it goes nowhere that I would be interested in stopping that I cannot walk/bike to, it took large amounts of funding away from the already cash deprived transit system and lastly, where is the TOD? Newtown Road area around the station is still underdeveloped and even Ruby Tuesday's can't stay in business over there. I like LR, I am one of the very few people I know who use it and I would really like it if it went to Town Center BUT if it gets voted down by VB city council, I wonder if Norfolk might want to consider an exit strategy or if it is even possible.
  7. The Icon at CityWalk Progress

    I'm sure he does not care. He has done some great things for Norfolk but getting a tax abatement for that former storefront is beyond "a stretch". It's more like "sketch". Buddy has lots of buddies in high places so I would not waste time worrying on his behalf.
  8. Meh. The food on the website does not even look good. The menu is way too many pages and way too many different cuisines. Unique as in "slightly lower budget Cheesecake Factory? I do hope this is not what boabas is referring to below, especially since I don't think this is the most requested place in our area.
  9. Well that is good to hear. I see on their website that they are doing a hard push to expand in Southern CA as well so I was thinking that would put the quash on us getting one. The food is very good and the prices are aligned with Chiptloe. If you haven't been, check it out!
  10. Rivers Edge at Berkeley

    This looks similar to the density that they have over at the places at the foot of the Granby Street bridge. Personally, I would love to see something at least this dense in Fort Norfolk because all it is now is a few buildings and tons of parking lots. I have a feeling not too much will change over there in the next 5-10 years either.
  11. Ah... maybe Shake Shack or something along those lines? Personally, there are a lot of fast-casual chains in DC that would work well here. Cava Grill, Nando's and La Madeleine to name my top three wish list (being as we are getting Bonchon in Norfolk).
  12. Rivers Edge at Berkeley

    Maybe it doesn't seem like it because the rendering has each building at 5 stories. It's not super amazing but it is in a bizarre location that is not Norfolk's most desirable neighborhood.
  13. Norfolk Stores and Retail and Resturants

    So I was in the MacArthur Center not too long ago and saw the Lidl ads that are hanging up. And there was the inevitable write up in the pilot: http://pilotonline.com/business/consumer/german-grocer-lidl-picks-military-highway-site-in-norfolk/article_3a4da689-357b-5ad4-b33f-1d2028ee5a3f.html As usual, there is a description of the plans bit no link to them. This is public info, right? Anyway I have been to Lidl in Europe and in general they are pretty awful stores. However, they are also stepping up their game and improving. If they look more like these pics: http://www.retail-week.com/sectors/grocery/lidl-unveils-store-of-the-future-amid-15bn-property-investment/7002025.fullarticle than the grocery equivalent of Olli's or this: https://www.kamppi.fi/en/retailer/lidl , they may have a better shot in the US. I think if they go full Dollar Tree with their stores, they will bomb. Now I know that VB is supposed to be getting at least two Aldi stores (Kempsville and somewhere down near the south of Oceana). The article says two in Chesapeake. Any in Norfolk? The Portsmouth one is OK- I have shopped there a few times and was surprised at the quality levels. Anyone know the scoop?
  14. IKEA to open in Norfolk!

    Yes, you're right- all I wanted to know was what "Recreation Island" was. Thanks.
  15. IKEA to open in Norfolk!

    Not to the SE across 64. North West (upper left) from the wooded lot.