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Posts posted by JPN0731

  1. This is very "if you build it, they will come" type thinking which is not gonna happen at $2.4billion a pop. There are airports that are small and dismal for the amount of traffic they handle and they are totally overcrowded (think Newark, LAX, JFK). ORF has capacity to spare and I don't see that building an airport in the middle of nowhere is going to make our region more attractive. Norfolk-VB is a small market located within a 4 hour drive to two massive international airports (IAD and BWI to a lesser extent). The study done 15 years ago was also done before airports changed how the operate. 

    Instead of wasting money on a study about building an airport that is unusable to everyone, I'd like to see that money go to maybe getting some more airlines into ORF, even if for a seasonal service. Spirit sucks but might bring down prices. Maybe even something off the wall like Norwegian Air flights to the Caribbean or second tier European cities or Frontier to the west coast. 

  2. 17 hours ago, ntheo said:


    When there were some initial renderings of the VB part of the project a few years back, it looked like a Wegman's. And it may still be being as they are not referring to it as "unique to the area" now. An outlet mall and a Wegman's is a big yawn in my book though. I work in nova over the summer and Wegman's is the closest store to where I live but I am not sold on it. It's great but very expensive and overwhelming for my tastes.

  3. I went to the new Nordtsrom Rack and it was quite busy. This is the first weekend so that is to be expected but I would be surprised if the Norfolk Nordstrom lasts beyond its initial 20 year lease (next spring!) in this region. Maybe Macy's will take over the MacArthur spot? It would be a better fit anyway. The Sears has been reduced to basically nothing and again, I would be shocked if it is there in a couple of years. The shape is odd. I wonder if they could sell it to Ross or maybe Off Saks 5th Ave when they go out of business. REI looks nice and the Fresh Market is an odd location but I am sure it will work. I don't get having one shoe store on one side and a very similar shoe store on the other but we'll see. Overall it's nice to see the Pembroke Mall getting more stores but it would also be nice to see them focus on getting the interior spots filled (maybe by making it open air?). 

  4. On 2/18/2016 at 7:42 PM, ORF flyer said:

    Any hearsay on any supermarkets coming to downtown Norfolk??? I heard 2 interested party's visited the old Farm Fresh location in Harbor Heights this week.  Downtown so needs this to happen. 

    I really hope it is would not turn out to be something lame. I was sorely disappointed with the FF that was there- it was very overpriced and I barely ever shopped there. It would be great to have a Trader Joe's on one side and an Aldi on the other but... I guess we shall see. 

  5. While driving down Kempsville near Indian River, I noticed the Golden Corral was closed (miracles do happen) and it is being replaced by an Aldi (coming soon signage) which I did not see nor did I hear about. I've shopped at the one in Portsmouth and I was really surprised. I had been to some in both Germany and up the East Coast and in the mid 90's they were very dumpy and run down. Product choices were awful. Now they seem to have a better variety of food and products. I have to say that each time I have been there, the parking lot has been full and because they only have like 3 people on staff at a time- that says something.

  6. No details yet, supposed to be phase 2 of Sifen's development across the street. Look at the image on page 11 on bottom left corner. Need to do some research to see how serious this is.


    I know that a lot of VB city employees have been emptied out of "Pembroke 6" and the surrounding buildings as they are going to be torn down to make way for condos/apartments etc. 

  7. I was looking at the October Planning Commission agenda and there's some interesting items on it.

    The first item, which has been deferred, is for MGP Retail Consulting for a site next to the Kmart on General Booth.  Looked them up and they are affiliated with Lidl, a European grocer that is Aldi's biggest competition and they recently announced that they would be locating their American HQ in Virginia and expanding retail locations rapidly.

    The tenth item is for Aldi (NC) LLC for a site next the the Walmart on Nimmo.  Looked them up just to make sure it's the same Aldi and found documents for a distribution center in NC under the same LLC.  Its looks like we're about to see an influx of European grocers in the market.

    A couple of other items included a bounce house next to Dave & Busters and a Ynot at Landsdown Commons.

    There is an Aldi going up in Churchland, Portsmouth right now that should open this fall. I would assume that we will be seeing a lot of them to pre-empt Lidl's arrival in the region (and US). I'd like to see Aldi go into some areas that are not well served by grocery stores in the local area as they are cheap and have a relatively decent selection. Much better than Sav-a-lot. 

  8. While I don't know the exact address, the Aldi is going in the shopping center on the corner of High St and Tyre Neck. It's the same shopping center in which Kroger used to be (but to my understanding, not the same parcel).

    I drove through the other day and it's going to be next to the CVS. It's a free standing building.

  9. I'd be surprised if Nordstrom stays with McArthur after they open a Rack 5 miles away. I think the writing is on the wall and hopefully Norfolk can read it. What might be nice is a Macy's move to downtown (maybe in the Nordstrom building, maybe in a new 3rd anchor space) and maybe another retailer like Off 5th sets up shop here in the area either at Pembroke or McArthur. It would be very bad if Nordstrom pulls out and then there are no other anchors in MacArthur besides Dillards. Even a Belk might be an ok fit... it would be better than an empty shell.  

    Does anyone know where the WF is going to set up shop? Most of this new stuff seems like outparcel so I wonder if the PM is planning to get more stores inside. I go to the Target there (over Military Hwy) but never actually walk through the mall itself because it is still a dead zone inside. 

  10. Apartments are doing much better than condos. The Wainwright is leased out while Harbor Heights is a bleak (and at night a very dark) reminder of how condos have not yet rebounded. With apartments, there is more flexibility because they can suck people in with free month's rent or lower rental rates and then jack them up once people are in and don't want to move or don't have first and deposit handy so they pay the extra rent.

  11. There's now a website that provides a detailed description of the outlet project as well as an adjacent mixed use development in the works that acts in conjunction with the site. It seems pretty intriguing.



    I'm kind of curious because when looking at the site plan, there is a big spot where an "anchor tenant" is supposed to go (I would assume on the VB side of things). It looks like an upscale Super Walmart in the renderings but I am thinking I read something about how the second phase would have some big, unique to Hampton Roads type store. So I am wondering if this would mean Wegman's or an IKEA in that spot? 

    Also, I was thinking that VB could have a reason to complain that Norfolk is taking all the tax revenue and leaving them with a parking lot and water retention pond but from the rendering, they are getting a substantial piece of the development in the form of this new anchor and assorted outparcels. Now it just seems like they are being petty for no good reason. I will say that I think Norfolk needs to improve road access (Miller Store Road) to the back of that property to link it to the Military Hwy interchange (AKA the secret airport exit) because it will get backed up with people trying to avoid Northampton. 

  12. It's sad that Military Circle has come to this. It used to be nicer. In the early 00's, Janaf was in steep decline but if you will remember, this is when they started doing all that road work on Military from VB Blvd to 264. Total nightmare for 3 years or so. Janaf has blossomed because the owners got a bunch of new places in there as well as spill off from when the Walmart converted to a Supercenter. Circuit City went out at Janaf and in no time, they had someone else in there. The Gallery at Military looks like The Dixie Square Mall. It would make a great spot for an arena or an IKEA/outlet mall like a mini-Potomac Mills. 

  13. I think it's foolish to situate the drive-thru the way they are... The building should front Monticello and the drive through should be completely on the back side, even if the ordering radio had to be at the back of the parking lot. That area will eventually be pedestrian friendly again and new construction should take advantage of that.

    I'm curious to know what's going to happen to the old HRT bldg just south. Personally I think it would have been better to make a Target on the old HRT site and the lot where CFA is going but that is my wishful thinking. I think the drive through around the front is tacky too but at least it looks like it will be hidden by shrubs. Of the two, I like this design better because at least the parking is moved to the back.

  14. Do the ODU/NOB route along the w side of the city and you increase ridership to about 20k+ trips a day.

    I think saying it could "go around" West Ghent is a colossal mistake. Tellingly out of touch and typical of Fraim. It would be a better bet for the city to split the line at Monticello, sending that line up Monticello to about 20th then have it zig zag around the IHOP, follow 22nd Street and then jump over those tracks somewhere, meet up with Hampton Boulevard where it is five/six lanes/has a median and then go up from there.

    The only way I can imagine it going around West Ghent means up the Elizabeth River Trail which is a highly used bicycle trail and a neighborhood with a fierce civic league or over the water. Both of which would mean no stops in areas that are desirable. I don't see a point in it going all the way up Granby unless there was a street car type link to go and do a loop down like 35th to ODU and 38th back?

    And speaking of... it would be cool if Norfolk and even VB would start looking at streetcar links to the line that would have their own right of way as streetcars are much cheaper and possibly more likely to get federal funding.

  15. "They" being Norfolk State University. The original plans for the NSU station was to have the stairs and elevators on the NSU side of the bridge over Brambleton. NSU insisted that they change it because they felt light-rail would adversely affect security at the campus. Something about the NSU station would provide easy access to the criminal element that rides light rail. HRT paid almost $7 million to accommodate NSU's demands and brought frogger to Brambleton Blvd. Here's an article.

    This is where the city should have put down their foot and said no. The NSU station will probably be mostly NSU students going downtown or coming in who now have to walk across a very busy road to get to the campus. And it is bad for the local community (which NSU hates anyway). Seriously, criminals are not going to rob someone and then run over to the LRT station and wait 15 minutes for a train. Oh well, maybe they will develop something on that lot that the station is on.

    Overall, the tide is nice. I have to admit I was doom and gloom to start with but in researching other transit systems (and public road systems) it is basically the same story: everything will cost 2-3 times more than they say it will. I have been on it most days but have yet to see them start checking for tickets. I guess they are trying to play nice to get rider numbers up? Lots of people on bikes and bus riders on it as well so looks like it could be the backbone to a better transit system overall.

  16. Well technically that isn't completely true, and yet still true. Sure it is economic, but engineering is economic, more piles isn't cheap, therefore if weak soil causes the price to rise drastically, then engineering does effect the economics. Also reinforcement laws are not actually the same in every city. Yes, there is a basis that is identical in this country, but Norfolk doesn't have to worry about earthquakes, but Portland doesn't have to worry about hurricanes. Here in Portland there is a magic number where the building requires extra reinforcement when it is crossed which makes the cost of a building jump, which is why a large number of our buildings stop just under that magic number.

    I thought a big part of Portland's buildings' height also has to do with the severe negative reaction to the (now named) Wells Fargo Center and the other major factor we don't have here: the specter of a massive subduction quake. I want to say that there is a magic number that no building can be taller than which is why the US Bank Building (Big Pink) is the only other really tall building downtown.

  17. Looks like the "for lease" signs up at the old Blockbuster are gone so that was quick. Anyone know something?

    As for the awful & horrible (sarcasm intended) news about Sam's vs. Chipotle I could care less. I heard the bar will still exist in some form and the real reason Sam's is going down had something to do with the owners splitting their business.

    If the Ghentites crying about Chipotle boycott then it will go belly up. Somehow I doubt that and it's all part of the great circle of commerce. Now if someone could get all the empty storefronts in Ghent leased out to any business, chain or not, it would be a real blessing.

  18. My friend said they laid off ~30 people in the past two weeks.

    They now have an LA office with like 100 people and a DC office with perhaps the same number. I don't remember the numbers exactly but it was pretty high. Both of those offices are new. The LA one is so they can be near their major donors and all of that, the DC one is their lobbyists.

    They are keeping some operations stuff here.

    Friend said they are getting all corporate and it's not the same.

    So when you say "all corporate" does that mean paying staff with college degrees more than 22K a year?

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