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I miss RVA

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  1. Yeah - a fresh-squeezed bottle of Urban Miracle Grow!
  2. WOWWWWWWWWWW... As Arnold Horshack used to say - "Verrry impressive Mr. Kotter(ah)" Me-LIKES this building! Holy moly - is it just me or does it have a very New York kinda feel and vibe to it? Something interesting - it's got some "sneaky" height. Officially six floors - but the crown adds the equivalent of a seventh floor -and the mechanical box toward the back 2/3 of the building (and not visible from Broad Street) brings it to an equivalent of eight stories tall. Not ... bad... at... all! THIS, my friends, is exciting!
  3. Great article in today's RBS highlighting VCU's new STEM building on W. Franklin Street. The reporter who wrote the article included a small Easter egg for us to feast on, too! Alllllllllll the way in the final graf of the story, we find the following: Work has started on the Technology Operations Center at 707 W. Broad St. That project is planned to wrap up in December 2023. Mark Turner Construction is the general contractor for the project and PSH+ is the architect. YES!!! Obviously, we've seen pix of demo at the site - but I'm glad to see progress is being noted on this project by RBS. More good news, to say the least! https://richmondbizsense.com/2022/09/29/project-snapshot-construction-continues-on-new-stem-building-at-vcu-campus/
  4. New eatery coming to Westover Hills. Nice story in today's RBS. My only correction to the story is that said location is technically still in Westover Hills, not Forest Hill as the article (and headline) describe it. Forest Hill is a little farther east, closer to Forest Hill Park. There's no real 'boundary' - it's kind of a nebulous, blurry thing - but any location on Westover Hills Blvd particularly north of Bassett Avenue really is in Westover Hills. Either way - I'm SUPER glad to see this area coming back to life - it's exciting that my old stomping grounds are enjoying their own renaissance! https://richmondbizsense.com/2022/09/29/goatocado-to-expand-with-new-spot-in-forest-hill/
  5. Either something's in the water or they all bumped their heads on something and forgot who they are! This is HUGE!!! SO glad the upzoning was approved. I honestly wish the city would replace all of the B-4 zoning with this zoning throughout downtown. Note this from the RBS article re: the upzoning for City Center: Staff ultimately recommended to instead revise the existing Research Park zoning district to allow for those uses as well as hotel and school use, unlimited building height with required step-backs, unlimited density, and scale and design guidelines in accordance with the area plan. The district was also expanded to include properties beyond the biotech park. I'm jolly well amazed!!!
  6. It's gorgeous, isn't it? The kind of fire station you'd see in Baltimore or D.C. or Boston... I can't wait for it to be developed.
  7. 1.) Spanked at home AND paddled at school: OMG YES WE DID!! I'm turning 60 next week and I think I STILL have welts on my tuchus that haven't fully healed. 2.) Funny and TRUE story from my childhood: Those of us old enough will remember how television in the late '60s and even in the early '70s was not a science without flaws - and transmission problems (since there was no cable yet, much less internet) were pretty common. I can remember on more than one occasion something would get sideways with the sound or picture or signal - and the TV station would put up a station ID card and the voice-over would say: "We are currently experiencing technical difficulties. Please stand by." So I did. I stood by ... I got up... went over to the TV set... and stood by the TV. Honest to goodness truth!! I still remember one time my dad being puzzled by me getting up and going over to the TV and standing next to it. He asked me - "son - what are you doing?" I answered: "The man on the TV said they were having problems and said 'please stand by' - I'm just doing what the man on the TV said, but I don't think it's helping." My dad's response: "Sit down, son..."
  8. I'm still struck by just how large the building is. It's going to make Belvidere and Broad an amazing western gateway to downtown. At it's highest point (toward the 'back' of this rendering) it appears to reach as much as 12 stories, if my window-level counting is accurate. So it will have some very real prominence.
  9. Yep - exactly. Knowing where to go is great but only marginally helpful here. Very true - the entire Chicagoland area here is between 9 million and 10 million population - with somewhere north of 2.6 million in the city itself.
  10. To an extent, yes. However, after living here for 21 years, I know my way around the portions of Chicagoland that are pertinent to where I would need to go like the back of my hand. The level of traffic and other time-consuming elements to commuting and just traveling around here is such that the amount of time savings would be for me, at best, incremental. Good example - a few years ago when my late-father-in-law passed away, my ex-wife and I had to take care of personal things at his house. Now she is a native of Chicago - born and raised here. And with a few exceptions (including when she served in the Navy) she's lived here for most of her life. She can get around this entire metro both in her sleep AND while blindfolded. Our treks to and from her dad's house (which required us to go through downtown on Lake Shore Drive to I-90/94 -- and the trip was a little less than 90 minutes late morning (10 a.m.) to more than 2 hours on the front-end of rush hour (3 p.m.) Lake Shore Drive (which is an expressway) was a parking lot at 3 p.m. and the interstate would have been even worse.
  11. It's "Staples-Button" easy (the traffic in RVA) compared to what I've lived through in two-plus decades in the Windy City. Even "rapid" transit here on its best day takes longer to get across town (or from city to suburb) than driving takes in Richmond on RVA traffic's worst day. Eons ago, I lived in Laurel and commuted to Philip Morris - and could usually make the trek in about 45 minutes (sometimes as little as 30 minutes if I got lucky!) A comparable trek here -- even taking the plentitude of mass/rapid transit options vs driving -- has typically taken me on a GOOD day nothing less than an hour - and more commonly 90 minutes to two hours, depending on route and method of travel selected. I learned VERY quickly that while there are MULTIPLE methods and routes to get between A and B here - NONE of them are quick - NONE of them are easy - and ALL of them take about the same amount of time as would elapse watching Jack Nicklaus stand over a 4-foot putt at Augusta back in the '70s-'80s. (Any of you who are a.) golf fans and b.) older will know EXACTLY what I mean!) That ain't the case in Richmond by ANY stretch of the imagination! "Staples-Button easy" to be sure!
  12. Can't argue with you, there. Fair points, all. Thompson Street does get congested - and even though it's been more than 20 years since I was last there, I've seen the left lane become a backlog of motorists trying to get on the expressway while dodging motorists coming off the expressway. So yeah - there could be a few more bottlenecks once this apartment building goes up and fills up. But that's part and parcel with being in a city. Cities get congested and have traffic. I have to admit that after 21 years of living in Chicago, I find Richmonders' kvetching about traffic to be quite humorous. Hamilton Street has a distinct advantage that it's a full block off of the expressway and there are no on or off ramps to/from the expressway that interact with Hamilton in any way. Thompson Street, on the other hand, has two ramps that dump into it (Floyd Ave and Hanover Ave) and the on-ramp just south of Monument is just a few blocks north of the second off ramp. The weird intersection where Kensington and Patterson split add to the fun (I remember getting caught at those lights and muttering all kinds of Carlinesque words under my breath...) Still - I think these traffic points are more legit concerns than all the kvetching about the "character" and "zoning" and other garbage the NIMBY commentators on RBS are yammering on about. We talk about Hell freezing over because City Council voted unanimously to approve the selection of the Diamond District development group. You wanna know when I'll know for sure that Hell has ACTUALLY frozen over? When Richmonders finally stop making "character" the strawman argument for EVERY piece of NIMBY opposition to every damn project that comes down the pike. Then I'll be convinced that the nether regions actually have experienced their own ice age and all the little demons have strapped on skates and are playing hockey somewhere other than in the Meadowlands.
  13. Yep - this is true. How long has the area around Sun Trust Field in Atlanta been under construction? I can't remember a time watching a Braves game on TV where there wasn't at least one crane or some building skeleton in the backdrop as the area continues to be built out. And that's ATLANTA, where they don't exactly allow grass to grow underneath their tuchuses when it comes to development!
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