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JPN0731

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Everything posted by JPN0731

  1. I find it odd that we get so many Quebecois tourists down here. Out of curiosity, is there any reason that they prefer VA Beach over all the beaches they have to pass on the way down? Is VA Beach pretty well known there/have they advertised?
  2. If health concerns were as simplistic as making choices about where to eat, things would be great. However, in matters like these, it is the government's obligation to step in and protect its citizens. It is YOUR choice to eat trans-fat but not MY choice when my insurance premiums double because of the unhealthy people in this country who have the right not to be surcharged when their unhealthy lifestyle choices cause medical bills to skyrocket. Simply put, the government needs to regulate things like mercury in the water, lead in paint, asbestos, etc. It is the job of the government to protect citizens from things that are harmful.
  3. Letting the market decide in issues of safety is always a bad idea. Go to Brazil or Mexico and see how safe (unsafe) the cars are there because of the lack of government regulation. And to put the blame on the worker in an issue like this (find another job is easy to say) is absurd. People most often take jobs to financially support themselves and not for the sheer pleasure, especially jobs like waiting tables. Sure they "chose" the job, but for people who work in this field, it is usually out of necessity.
  4. OMG that will be an absolute riot! I am sure that they will be building that for 2-4 years while traffic is supposed to be moving through the area hah hah. Mercury Blvd^10. I think anything that gets the cars out of that underpass mixing bowl would be nice. However, a couple of overpass bridges that aren't linked to 264 would be good too. 264 acts like a huge wall blocking traffic on either side and splitting the city in two.
  5. Well I recently braved the crowds of Wal-Mart at Janaf (shudder) but got to driving around the new stores and realized what a good affect that Wal-Mart has had on Janaf in general. There is a new Panera, Great Clips and Qdoba (first for Norfolk and only a few in the state) on the way. There seems to be no problem filling all the new space there... so I am hoping Norfolk wakes up and starts getting the road situation there sorted out. Hopefully the new Wal-Mart on Tidewater brings that area up a little as well. I think that in small towns, Wal-Mart has a reputation of wiping out a lot of businesses, but it seems that in urban areas, they can bring it back. isn't it ironic, don't you think?
  6. I hate to be negative but... COME ON. When someone is house hunting, she/he should do the routine thing of driving around the neighborhood at day and night and if it is downtown, hanging out around the bars at 2AM. We live in a nation full of people who want to blame everyone else when many times it is their own lack of basic common sense that is at the root of the problem. You should know that there are a bunch of bars and clubs on Granby and that when there is a strip of bars and clubs, they are usually loud at 2AM on the weekends. Lord knows, Granby Street is still basically a ghost town every other time of the day so they should be happy that they are not in a real city with people who actually walk down the street and make noise at all hours of the day and night.
  7. I don't get it... there won't be any entrance from the B&N/TCC Bookstore to the mall? What about the door on the first floor? I dunno, I wish that they would work on the outside of the mall where they are NOT building anything to make it more of an entrance.
  8. Portsmouth would do better by trying to attract some new and unique things as well (IKEA would be nice hah hah). If it's another strip area with the same strip crap that we already have here, it will probably not do well. If it is something interesting and fun, they may attract some fo the people from the west side of Norfolk (which is woefully underserved by bigger retail outlets).
  9. Any Starbucks in a B&N is not a "full" Starbucks. If that was stated, that is an error. They are licensed, which is similar to the arrangement that Starbucks has with any other shared retail concept (Target, Farm Fresh, etc.) The cafe is actually run by B&N, staffed by B&N employees and only serves Starbucks coffee. They don't serve the same baked goods (those come from Cheesecake Factory). The only "full" or corporate Starbucks locations are the ones where Starbucks is the sole tennant of the store. The one anomoly to that arrangement in this area is the Lynnhaven Mall store near the service desk. It is a corporate store. I don't know how much that will affect the no-compete clause but I think that this is an easy way for Starbucks to get around that. I think that if the B&N brings in a lot more foot traffic and is located somewhere near the HMS locations, it may actually boost sales. Why would someone wait in a long line at B&N when they could walk over the HMS owned store? That is provided the prices are the same and not higher...
  10. Well folks, this could spell the end of the 3rd crossing dream for now... http://home.hamptonroads.com/stories/story...&ran=179791 I used to be all for the 3rd crossing but the price is absurd ($4billion? you know that will double-triple before the project ends). Now I just see it as a pet project that is overpriced and does not solve the real traffic woes of 64. All of 64 from HRBT to the 264 interchange is always backed up and well as 264 all the way to Lynnhaven or beyond. If we are paying the tolls/taxes and the state doesn't want to pay their share for us basically building an easy street past new ports (from which we gain no $$), then we need to worry about what is best for us as a region.
  11. Much of Park Place is still very much blighted. If Norfolk were smart, they would seriously jump on trying to get retail back into the Riverview area as well as along 35th Street. Drive through PP at night and there are still way too many people on corners and teenagers (and younger) roaming the streets well past 11PM. Because Park Place is a predominantly African-American neighborhood, I hope that some efforts are made to retain diversity as it redevelops. It would be nice to have a strong presence of middle and upper middle class African-Americans living and/or working in the area. All too often, when redevelopment comes along, out go the original residents.
  12. Whole Foods is more like Fresh Market meets a massive mark-up and a lot bigger. It's definatley the Saks/Bloomies of grocery shopping. I would imagine that it would be a better fit at Hilltop or upper Jefferson/Williamsburg. I have secretly hoped that they do not go to TC because they are overhyped and overpriced (I would rather spend my dollars at Fresh Market which is at least regionally owned) but with PETA hq here I am surprised that we don't have one at all. Again, I think that with so many other stores, the market is determined by the bean counters and not simple common sense...
  13. I don't see why they can't do direct Montreal-Norfolk flights because there are tons of Quebec plates here all summer long. As it stands now, there are too many connections and so the flight is spendy and takes too long. Although the same could be said for many Norfolk-NYC flights as well.
  14. I do hope to see that building put to better use as well. I really hope that the back lot will not be wasted on parking but will either become a freestanding building of its own or an extension of the building. Something very glass and modern (AKA Saint Luke's) would be nice. The residents could buy parking at the garage across the street. I am also happy to hear that they will have something in place (the fire station) for a small number of homeless people. Eliminating them from DT is not entirely realistic and as a consequence, many would just end up on benches and in people's yards in Freemason and Ghent.
  15. Speaking on the topic of transit related development, I find the HRT plans a little bit short-sighted. I really like all the work that was put into getting that together, don't get me wrong. It's just that a lot of the stops have A LOT of parking (as in parking lots) where a parking garage and Port Warwick style housing would seem to fit much better (and at a better profit to all involved). Just hopeful thinking, but it would be cool if they ran a line up Granby all the way to Ocean View. I don't see the huge problem with a Colley line, because they could remove all parking, run the train down the center and build a big garage (4-5 stories in similar architechture to Blair MS) across from Balir MS (on that parking lot that is already there) and another one (smaller) behind the Naro and all those buildings. In fact, there is a huge vacant lot and a lot of open space that the city could seize, use for a parking lot and have the novelty of Spotswood Ave going through the middle of the garage. It could run up Colley to the Food Lion, cut across 25th and then go up Kellam (through University Village), run it across one of the 40's Streets and meet Hampton there and go all the way up. Ambitious, yes but possible if the starter line is a success. Plus Ghent would be much better off with a LR route going through the area. Back to reality now... As for Ingelside, they could be left out and added in later. That is usually an easy fix with light rail. It seems more like someone doesn't want it and got his friends to show up at the meeting. An actual survey would be a better measure than who shows up to gripe at the civic league meeting. Finally, what about the people at the Newtown stop who lose their houses to make way for a parking lot? I am SURE that they are going to be on the news soon. How is that gonna work for all this anti-emminant domain hype that seems to have swept the nation? What would suck is if the city ends up getting property but can only put stupid parking lots on it instead of making a mixed-use development at these stops.
  16. Well Harry's is pretty well known so if they leave DT I am sure customers will follow. It will be DT's loss, not Harry's. I know what everyone says about it being dead downtown. A lot of times when I am down there, it feels like a ghost town. However, it is eons from what it was in the 90's before Mac opened that is for sure. BTW here is another rumor (or maybe it's already known). A friend of a friend tells me that the Waterside Sheraton has been sold and that his friend who works there is moving now. I have not been on the forums and so this is probably old news (sorry). But what are the plans now, keep it as is?
  17. I think that we have all heard this rumor from one person (who is usually working at Target/Pembroke Mall) or another. However, I assume that if they are tearing the building down, there is something already set to replace it. The mall's in bad enough shape as it is and leveling an anchor and leaving it undeveloped would be worse than having it sit there empty. I have my fingers crossed for Target but I thought that I had read somewhere in this thread that it was not going to happen and was basically a non-starter.
  18. Forgive me please if this is a repost, but I have been busy with work and can't read every topic here... Anyway, why did I see on a lame local commercial that the Freight Liquidators building is going to be demolished and that they are going out of business? Was this a gimmicky commercial or are they really leaving Pembroke Mall? If so, what is going in that space?
  19. This whole situation is a total gray area. It's not as easy as "ship 'em all out" because who do you think is building all the skyscrapers and projects that we so love? However, giving amnesty to all illegals yet again while bypassing those on the "right track" who have to wait 5-7 years for a green card is outrageous as well. The biggest issue is how these illegals get work. Once they are hired, employers have no obligation/responsibility to turn people in. They don't want to do it anyway because they can have cheap help with no benefits. They are WELL AWARE of who they are hiring. If the illegal is hurt on the job, oh well, call INS, have them deported and pick up a few more at the 7-11 parking lot. The people who are coming here are desperate and desperate people get exploited. It is sickening that the price of houses is so high that peopel cannot afford to buy them and the people building them might be getting paid $50 a day. What needs to be done is letting immigrants in more easily once they pass the checks and getting them on the payrolls so that they can pay taxes. I know three immigrants who have been waiting YEARS for green cards even though they have jobs. The INS takes a million years to do anything and as many of you may remember, even granted extension visas to some of the terrorists who blew up the WTC... 4 months after the fact! That was a sure sign that the INS is about as useful as VDOT. One of my friends said that if illegals are granted amnesty and she is not, she'll move to Canada or the UK because it's totally ridiculous that she has been here 6 years legally and still has no green card. I am not saying that we need to open the borders totally like in the old days. But this country needs immigration and needs realistic numbers. We need to overhaul the system and let in people based on their qualifications, noy based on their countries. We need tons of nurses and the Phillipines has tons of qualified, ENGLISH SPEAKING nurses but we don't let them in because of the quota for that country. If we have any kind of quota system, it should be based on profession and not nation of origin. That is my soapbox for the day...
  20. I was hoping that something would happen with this but it seems the way Fraim is telling it, we are looking at years and years of the current Kirn (gag). What I don't understand is why the library can't lease some space, possibly in the Signet building down the road (it seems to have 'for lease' signs up as often as the traffic signs that say 'congestion at HRBT'), move the library there for 3-5 year period, sell the Kirn's land and use that $$ to build something new. Or even sell it with a stipulaton that the first 5 or so floors be dedicated to a new library and the rest could be condos/TCC classrooms/office space. They give out incentives to everyone anyway, so sell the land cheap if the developer agrees to "host" the library. OR... build some new TCC building on that lot next to the Freemason St. Garage and convert the entire Smith and Welton building into the new TCC/Norfolk library. OR... seize the coutrhouse and throw out the feds. I know they are all long shots, but I think that Norfolk needs to act quickly to get that building torn down and that space sold off. I know we are in a good space as far as office vacancy is concerned but look at the late 80's-early 90's Norfolk. There were no new major buildings for 7-8 years, right? If the market sours, Norfolk will be stuck with the Kirn yet again. And rather than having a monumental library building, Norfolk could take the lead in building a library that is part of another building. I really think having it in a mixed-use setting with TCC would really give it more of an academic feeling and less of the Union Mission Reading Room feel that it has now.
  21. Chains are great if they are not getting huge subsidies. If they need $750K to come to DT Norfolk, maybe Norfolk needs to look at local talent a little harder... Bobbywood would make a great addition (hint, hint)
  22. Target coming to Pembroke has been the rumor for years now. The Pembroke is old and somewhat tired for a mall but I do like it. At least it has some locally owned stores and is not a clone of every other chain mall in the US. I think that a Super Target would be very cool (groceries at the mall... I have seen it in Canada and heard that they used to do it here) and would bring in more foot traffic. The remodel was nice but maybe 10 years late/overdo.
  23. I am curious to know if there is supposed to be some work done at the 64/264 interchange. I went through there this weekend and all the trees are gone. I mean totally. Are they planning on doing anything there?
  24. Actually it is next to the BackStage Cafe. I imagine that for the right price someone will come up with something for that space.
  25. Well seems like the Port City Java that was planned for Granby Street is no longer on the table. From what I heard the other night, the spot was too far gone for the franchisee to fix. I am not sure if it's still there, but there was a poster advertising its arrival in January 06. It's an old beauty parlour that is in the same block as the Backstage Cafe.
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