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Posts posted by JPN0731

  1. One of the two has to happen. Wages need to go up or leases need to go down. Once that happens, you will see a serious change on granby. Problem is, TCC is making moves on granby that others can't or willing to do right now. They will eventually lock up everything on that side of granby..

    Hmmm I think the only big changes that are going to be sweeping Granby in the next couple of years are all the "for lease" signs that will be popping up in the near future. The city leaders seem to take one step forward and then three steps back with all their choices for DT. I really wish we could get some people with a real vision (Read: people under 60 who are not stuck in a time warp of how things usta be back in the day) on city council.

    I think a big problem is that they think all military people are cheap and not interested in anything off the base, but most of them have been other places and other military towns seem to do OK (San Diego for example). Norfolk is a Navy town but never seems to be able to really embrace that fact or really exploit that market in general.

  2. Wow... maybe I am just too oblivious about VB to care but I don't see what the big deal is. I honestly never saw TC spreading west across Ind bc it is pedestrian unfriendly, traffic choked and already full of strip mall crap anyway. I would much rather see TC spread eastward to the area where B&N is now, which I think will happen eventually. Even in areas with light rail, there are these kinds of lame developments in the suburban areas, which is what this is after all. At least with this, it would be tax revenue coming in and would maybe force TC to up the ante and make the TC area a little more dense (i.e. a building over 40 stories would be nice).

  3. Also, I think there is a bit of a racist thing with walmart. You can go to the suffolk walmart, and there is staff and the store is nice and everything. But if you go to the Military Circle walmart, there is hardly anyone at the checkout lines even though there are tons of customers.

    I think I'm going to bring the issue up with Wal*Mart, and get them to staff the Military Highway location better.

    You alone are going to get WalMart to better staff its Janaf location? Seriously?

    The racism argument may work except for the fact that the Portsmouth WalMart seems to be adequately staffed and the staff there are very friendly. The Janaf WalMart is typical Norfolk: people who work there doing nothing, hiding from customers and being rude to everyone because they think they are in a big city. Basically it is the same treatment that city of Norfolk gives its residents. I avoid shopping the Military Hwy corridor bc all the stores there follow this pattern.

  4. That's true....I'm also excited about the Wal-Mart Neighboorhood Market that will open sometime this year off of Little Creek Road. It is where Winn-Dixie used to be located. So that will be 3 Wal-Marts in Norfolk...2 supercenters and one market.

    Have they done any work on that site? Last time I was in that area if town it was still up for lease.

  5. Wow, one thing I have always liked about HT in Ghent is that it is small, easy to navigate and has just about everything needed. I loathe the ginormous HT in Chesapeake because it is so unmanageable. And with them tearing the old one down, it will open up the whole huge PARKING LOT onto Colonial, YAY!!! I just LOVE looking at suburban strip mall looking projects that seems to keep popping up in Ghent. Pretty soon it will look just like VB. YES!

    From the sounds of this, I do hope there is something to keep the lot from being the focal point driving up Colonial. And also, the old folk's tower next to HT has a sky garden or something. Oh well, easy come, easy go.

  6. Norfolk and HRT is like the blind leading the blank. They obviously want to move bus riders out of downtown because poor people ride buses and are not trendy enough to see when the fine people at the Wachovia Centre look out their windows. The sad part is that many of these people work downtown cleaning the offices of the snobs who don't want to see how they get home. Now they are moved another 15 minute walk (or 120 minute shuttle ride) to the north for what reason? They could/should have moved it back to the Monticello side of Scope for the time being. As a citizen, I am pretty disgusted with the lack of vision from both entities. Further reason I have little faith that the LR system will be any better thought out. Welcome to Baltimore Jr. or Detroit III.

  7. I think the thing that strikes me about Waterside is how dark and dingy it feels (and smells). It was like that before all the lame bars came too. I could see the food court serving all the office workers across the street if it had some national chains in the mix. Starbucks, Taco Bell, etc. Some places that people have heard of.

    I don't know though. It is really not a place that I frequent and would never dream of bringing out of town friends there. It's just kind of a military/blue collar hang out spot to me and most of the people I know. If something is built there, I am sure that most people in Norfolk would flip out like they did when were going to build a hotel down there.

  8. I'm sure if push comes to shove, Norfolk will get the LR where it wants it. But the whole idea of NSU not wanting LR near the campus brings up an issue that has troubled me from the beginning. As it stands now, HRT is a complete and total nightmare. Rude drivers, inconsistent service, etc. If the Tide will work, they have to be on top of it like the DC metro. Compare that to the metro/LR systems in Philly and Baltimore and see what I mean. If the latter two are any indication, then NSU has every right to be worried.

  9. I know that the owner had said that the market opening up across the street was a concern of his.

    It's just a shame that small businesses are closing because they can't survive against the Market Giants.

    SAD -_-

    To throw my 2c in... that place has never been on my list of places to shop and I live about a ten minute walk away. Weird hours, overpriced and just dingy overall. I was really surprised that they managed to stay open as long as they did. Not trying to kick someone who is down and on the way out, but to stay in the game, you have to adapt. They have done nothing different that I can see that would draw anyone in since farm Fresh opened.

  10. True enough. I mentioned those places as examples of successfuil recreations of older buildings in response to the query above. I'm not convinced that this building is necessary, though my sister who's a member there (and, I think, a past member of the vestry) might well disagree with me. It's unfortunate that the church could not acquire Pelham Place. Replacing those apartments with this new building would have been preferable, if not practical. I understand that the owner has raised the price to unacceptable levels over the years.

    What makes Pelham Place any less deserving of standing than the Guild House? It's an old structure and actually kind of neat inside the courtyard. It needs work, but I would rather see it stand than see the wrecking ball to be replaced by a huge glass box.

    I think the bottom line is that churches are so much holier than thou that they can do whatever they want. They pay no taxes. And usually make bad neighbors if you are not a member of the congregation. It's too bad that the Guild House is gone but from the first time that I read about the church's plans, I knew that it was fait accompli.

  11. Oh wow I think the sky just fell! Or was that the US economy? Anyway, now we're all going to die because the gridlock is going to be so bad that we won't ever be able to get to the store and buy food now! And think of all the gridlocked ambulances! OMG! People may actually get out of their cars and walk somewhere!

    Seriously, what difference will it make if they build the roads in one big batch or if it takes them a million years? I have driven in LA, NYC, San Fran, Seattle and DC. All of them have traffic that is worse than our worst nightmare scenarios. All of them have much more dynamic economies than us. Traffic here is awful in a few places and I have not noticed that it has gotten worse or better over the years to be honest. It gets worse from Memorial day to Labor Day. So throw up tolls that are low for commuters ($1-2) and $3-5 for a one-time pop. Cancel the third crossing and make an extra set of reversing tubes at the HRBT/MMBT and put that tunnel linking the two and charge some toll for that. Yeah everyone hates tolls, but what options do we have?

  12. You probably confused it with another Mexican type restaurant.

    I heard that they will be remodeling the Target on Military Hwy this year it it will look like similiar to the one on First Colonial in Va Beach...so that is good. Also some restaurant with a ice cream parlor (non-chain restaurant but don't remember the name) is coming on Little Creek Road, near where it intersects Little Creek. It is where Peking Chinese restaurant used to be, across from Tread Quarters and next to a gas station.

    Or maybe it is was because we had this whole discussion when El Pollo Loco was supposed to open in August or so and have a Janaf location. Where the Citgo gas car wash is from what I recall... hence the topic being on here.

  13. I'm more than a bit skeptical, Bristol was supposed to be a catalyst down Monticello, something that certainly hasn't come close to panning out. What would be the need for a parking garage with 1000 spaces, or the benefit of adding an additional 210 apartments (on top of the rentals in Bristol, 201 at 21) in an area lacking in necessities? I dunno, while i'm all for development, this seems to be building in the wrong area. Why not partner with a developer for a mixed use development at the Kirn library site? Just seems to be barking up the wrong tree...

    Well considering how spread out we are here, this area of Monticello is not far from Colley/Princess Anne/21st Street corridors. Maybe not a nice walk at night but that is why they need a 1000 space garage. No one walks in Hampton Roads silly! Maybe with all these extra apartments (rather than extra EMPTY condos), they will have a need for more shops on 21st/22nd. They have plenty of room to expand.

    As for the library site, they are probably hoping to either keep that for themselves or develop it into something more commercial (and at a higher profit).

  14. I know of no chains that have moved in yet. The point I was trying to make is that with them jacking up rents on Granby, soon only chains will be able to afford to rent there.

    The reality is probably that the chains that want to be in dt Norfolk are there (at Waterside and Macarthur). So the stupid building owners will probably end up killing the goose that lays the golden egg by charging higher rents and chasing out businesses. Typical Norfolk mentality for you.

  15. Of course they're still in trouble. The corner they're on has nowhere near the visibility of their former location. It's a sad situation because Harry's is the type of downtown staple that makes a city unique. Oh well, guess only chain resturants can afford Granby now. :rolleyes:

    What chains are moving into Granby? The only action I am seeing there is more and more "for rent" signs in the windows. Most of the places left are unique in name if not concept.

    Drove past the "new" Pizza Hut which is actually just a take-out place in some really crappy looking mini-mall across from the U-Haul lot. The old one on 21st could be something cool considering the location.

    If Granby/Ghent were struggling to fill space when the economy was "good", I hate to think about the next few years ahead as things slow down.

  16. I just paid my tuition for next semester last week. The rates for even in state students at this school are ridiculous. Don't even talk to me about books. I'm usually behind governor Kaine but i'm a bit disappointed that this announced funding does not include any type of relief for students from spiraling costs. I expected more from him. "Student Success Center"? Give me a break. I don't even see why that's needed.

    Try doing grad school there... Let me just say I could be driving a very nice German sedan for the amount that I owe to the US government via ODU.

  17. In the latest issue of the Mace & Crown, President Runte has revealed that the Maglev is working and should be fully operational in the near future. She also discussed other projects on campus (additional student housing, parking, bookstore, Webb Center renovation, Foreman Field renovation, etc.) President Runte also discussed a private real estate development off campus (a 179 room apartment complex yet to be approved by the city), and the Farm Fresh grocery store along 41st street...

    "This [project] is still planned, but we're having trouble acquiring all the land we need to get the Farm Fresh here," said Runte. "So this is one of the projects that might take a little longer [than expected]."

    The article is not online yet at http://www.maceandcrown.com

    OK a few observances here, nothing new...

    The Village is coming along very well. Too bad Norfolk couldn't have pushed for more of this type of development before the bubble popped. This would be a good way to work retail/housing into the Fort Norfolk area.

    But... the book store is a big let down. It's small and feels like a two story Waldenbooks. Nothing that would attract non-ODU students, alumni (myself) or even students for that matter (too expensive when the cheaper one is right down the street). TCC bagged the better deal with B&N.

    Maglev is up and running soon? LOL. I won't even start to think about how long ago it was supposed to be up and running. I think that I was still an undergrad and I graduated with my master's 2.5 years ago, yikes. Well if it beats the Tide into operation, I would be shocked. On that note, has ODU thought of doing some express bus routes with HRT that meet up with light rail? Or better yet, shuttles that offer regular service to DT via Ghent that don't go through the slums and don't take 1 hour? I always wondered why they didn't do some express routes to that Silverlake (?) station in VB either. Seems like it would be cheaper than building so many garages.

    Finally, I am disappointed that the grocery will be a Farm Fresh. I stopped by a Bloom in Chesapeake and was very impressed. Farm Fresh at Harbour Heights is barely on par with that... Too bad that Bloom won't be on the west side of Norfolk but I guess that it boils down to where the Food Lions were. Farm Fresh is just tired and lame. Maybe they can back out and get another store in there.

  18. Pizza Hut wanted to demolish its current building and rebuild years ago (we're talking late 90's) but the restrictive building codes would have meant that it would have to be up to the curb and fit in with the overall design of Ghent. PH wanted more of a parking lot or something like that. The strip mall next door somehow got around that (maybe because it was a pre-existing structure being added on to?).

    I share your concerns about the empty space. 21st Street seems to be having a lot more trouble keeping businesses in the past couple of years. The new development behind The Palace Shops is still mostly vacant. I don't think that this corner will stay empty for long, but I didn't think the old Farm Fresh would still be vacant all these years later either. I like the uniqueness of Ghent, but even a few chains would be better than so many empty storefronts.

  19. What in the world makes Norfolk attractive as a retirement home? There is only one reason I know of to retire here -- that is because your kids and grandkids all live here. Other than that, there isn't any attraction to HR as a retirement home.

    I realize there is some level of hyperbole in your statement. But a little bit of stereotyping as well.

    SCM... Norfolk is a big retirement area for military and a lot of NY/NJ people. The attractions are the nicer than New England winters, cheaper (comparatively speaking) housing prices, the Atlantic Ocean (duh), etc.

    But what I meant is that the city leaders' vision for Norfolk is about as exciting as plans for the latest retirement home tend to be. They love anything colonial, bland, vanilla, etc.

    Now as for the after hours bars that are able to run, don't they run under the pretense of being a "private club" (like the Elk's Lodge, etc.)? I think in that case, you have to be sponsored by someone and you are a "member". Wow it has been years since I stepped into Bugatti's so I don't quite remember how it works. Can you also bring your own hard liquor in and store it on the premises?

  20. We will never see anything like that here. Its a shame cause Norfolk has tons of potential.

    Portland was the armpit of the west for most of the 50's-70's. As someone from the West Coast, I grew up with stories of how filthy and terrible Portland was. It took some vision and some political power to change things around. It was only in the 80's that it started looking up and only since the mid 90's has it been such a "hot spot".

    Norfolk has a great location, good climate and could reap the benefits of some of that. However, I think that our backwards looking city council/mayor who want to redevelop Norfolk in a 60's fashion (tear everything down and push everyone out) will continue to be our biggest liability. They do not want modern projects, they do not want modern solutions and they do not want a modern city. What I really suspect that they want is for Norfolk to become the world's largest retirement home.

  21. I am sure that the Farm Fresh will blossom in due time. I think it is a nice mix (but yes, the salad bar is pretty lame) of things. I am very happy that there is not a Whole Foods there as they are way overpriced. Trader Joe's owner (Aldi) is cheap and would not put a store in an area like that (high rent prices...).

    As for the Farm Fresh conspiracy theory, I am sure that it is like that wherever you go. Farm Fresh held the lease up on the building that houses Harris Teeter for YEARS (and I am talking like 6-8) to stop competition. They are owned by Richfood which is one of the top three grocers in the nation (owns Albertson's and Jewel as well). As for them being able to keep out Trader Joe's or Whole Foods, I think it is more market forces (or lack thereof) that keep these stores from locating here.

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