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Everything posted by PeninsulaKiddo

  1. Good Lord, I've been away from this forum for much too long. Sorry to post here with limited new, substantive content, but between this project (totally unexpected for someone living outside the region these last two years), the really strong design of Harbors Edge 2.0, and a lot of clever, sustainable infill projects throughout the region, it's an exciting time to take stock of where Hampton Roads is and will be going in the coming years and decades. (And if it makes anyone feel better, I can't read the comments sections of any papers or news outlets in the Bay Area either, and for pretty
  2. Agreed completely. I have some hope that, even if they don't revise the plan as it is, there is the option to redevelop the parking lots at a later date. I am concerned that the shape and infrastructural design of the project makes that inherently more difficult -- but, from my newfangled San Francisco point of view, odd-shaped lots and blocks can be a blessing in terms of architectural design creativity (Keeping things a little more positive today hah!) And, on that positive note, the R&D oriented design of the "campus" section is something I am very, very interested in seeing. I al
  3. For the Tech Center, as it is called, here is the official page: http://www.vttechcenter.com/
  4. A few announcements and groundbreakings in the very near future for Newport News: First, CNU is finally replacing its old Administration Building - the oldest building on the "Great Lawn" - with a new student success center, bringing various administrative and student-related services offices under one roof. The school is also seeking proposals for the construction of a bell tower, diagonally across the Lawn, between the existing Forbes and McMurran buildings. The Daily Press discusses both projects at greater length, and includes the school's official video, here. A rendering of
  5. Agreed -- a solid 13 years growing up just across the York Co. line and I agree completely. I will say that economic pressures (massive deficits, by Poquoson scale) and the natural cap on population growth (developable land has essentially reached its limit) may finally put a fire under city leaders this time. Signage is up behind the LFCU bank branch on Wythe Creek (no pictures or renderings, though). So, perhaps, that means something is actually coming together. Only time will tell... and time moves slowly out there, hah.
  6. http://www.poquoson-va.gov/economic_development/big_woods I had no idea where else to post this since we don't exactly get frequent development news out of Poquoson. Nevertheless, it seems the city is moving forward with plans to develop a "town center" (in the traditional sense) around the existing block of retail and commercial spaces at the junction of Victory Blvd. and Wythe Creek Road. Given the location's proximity to Langley AFB and the NASA-Langley Research Center(s), I think the emphasis on a R&D-oriented development is (perhaps surprisingly) sensible. The "Village Co
  7. "Va. Beach proposes $18 million for Cavalier project" http://hamptonroads.com/2013/06/beach-could-give-18-million-cavalier-project Seems the City of Virginia Beach is set to pay off the ransom after all. Glad the Cavalier will be spared, but still infuriated about... everything else about this.
  8. Time for my semi-annual UP posting. (I've been lurking in the shadows, quietly nodding in agreement this whole time.) Agreed with the above-quoted. It's one thing to request city assistance with infrastructure or other public-accessible assets (still hotly debated, but you can guess where I fall on that one); it's another thing entirely to hold a landmark hostage and threaten to pull the trigger. Virginia Beach is known for many laudable features, but a rich architectural heritage, frankly, is not one of them. Threatening to destroy one of extraordinarily few landmark buildings is outrageo
  9. I want to state as a disclaimer that I love high-rise architecture, it's among my greatest passions, and whenever I drive around Hampton Roads I'm constantly picturing beautiful vistas with high-rises, especially in Downtown Norfolk. There is tremendous, often unseen potential in the few remaining open lots, and in some areas that are ripe for redevelopment, and the feel of the density Downtown is really something both exciting yet cozy. That said, I feel as though I must play Devil's Advocate. When I think about what makes a city great, in the context of quality of life and socio-cultur
  10. The planner-economic development employee distinction is an important one that I failed to make, but I did not make the case that it is the city's responsibility to keep struggling businesses alive; rather, I do believe it is the city's responsibility to pursue development that is responsible rather than errant, that follows a comprehensive vision rather than allows developers to run amok. I would also still argue that her words counter her job description as a city development employee; if her job is to attract businesses, jobs, and revenue-generating events to the city, I fail to see how sig
  11. http://www.dailypress.com/news/newport-news/dp-nws-jefferson-marketplace-20110709,0,3880596.story Here's my favorite (ahem...) quote from this Daily Press article about Jefferson Marketplace, a mixed-use, retail/residential development near the Newport News airport: I wrote an extensive criticism of the article -- and of the lack of a comprehensive development plan for the city -- here, but I'll replicate the upshot in a little less-verbose form. This might be the dumbest thing I've ever read from a city planner. Translation: "I'm a visionless city planner, so let the market decide
  12. Hello everybody! It's been quite a long while since I've posted, but I found something that I had to share with everyone at UP (plus my family/friends are rather indifferent at best). http://www.siemens.com/entry/cc/en/greencityindex.htm The Siemens Green City Index is very interesting, but not too surprising, particularly for present company. It ranks major cities in given regions (Europe, North America, etc.) by 9 measures of commitment to green initiatives with an extensive guide to the methodology. (All data are current through the end of 2010, where available.) Spoiler aler
  13. I saw this in the newspaper awhile back (a blurb or something, nothing overly specific). The city (as articulated by someone -- I don't recall exactly) is hoping this school will become a catalyst for further development downtown; eventually shops and restaurants will combine with apartments near the school. I don't anticipate downtown Newport News will exactly explode with development... but it can't get much worse, really, so I welcome it. Plus, the influx of all that money into the city's economy can't hurt either.
  14. http://www.dailypress.com/news/hampton/dp-nws-creative-phoebus-20100619,0,246141.story Interesting little read... I know a few people involved in the group of LGBT young professionals trying to kickstart this. Good, intelligent, and hard-working group that has great ideas; I'd love to see them come to fruition. And I've always thought that Phoebus had a lot of potential, and there are good bones in the community to build up from.
  15. BRIEFLY back to the master plan link, I loved that they're including some wetlands restoration as they expand their piers. Kudos to them for doing that!! (...As my own alma mater makes a point of systematically eradicating natural life from the campus..... ahem)
  16. Undergraduate rankings are an interesting beast. Beyond the broadest strokes (1, 2, 3, and 4 tier rankings, the private-public breakdown, liberal arts v comprehensive universities, etc.), undergraduate rankings are pretty blah. They celebrate some tangibles, such as the size of library collections, publishing frequency and quality of faculty and students, as well as the school's financial endowment (essential for special programs, scholarships and grants) -- but more often than not, rankings for undergraduate institutions emphasize one overarching factor: a name. Harvard. MIT. Stanford.
  17. Thanks for posting the Central Hampton Blvd. Plan Sky06 -- ambitious and long-term, indeed. I would argue this is perhaps the most ambitious development program to date in Hampton Roads and it serves a community that is in transition and needs it. I wish NN developers would take a cue and develop a similar plan for the corridor stretching along Warwick Blvd. near CNU; they've been working on improving the streetscape for several years now, but as far as I know, there is no comprehensive, long-term plan to redevelop the area.
  18. It has been a long time, Vdogg et al! School's kept me nauseatingly busy. Graduation two months from yesterday, though! And yea, I stopped by PTC on the 13th -- it's pretty interesting. Sort of a hybrid of Short Pump and City Center Oyster Point. The Forever 21 is the first in the area to feature a men's section (the store, for men and women, is a sight in and of itself; it opens up to both sides of the block and is enormous and design-wise quite chic). The H+M is also a pretty interesting store (divided into "rooms," all very high-end design, and features H+M kids, which is sort of
  19. Thanks for pointing that out Urbanfan -- PTC is a phased development just the same, but the first phase is the main event. After this, I've read around a bit and from what I have heard Hampton is planning on crafting a grid streetplan in Coliseum Central, especially the shopping centers to the north and east of PTC. But they're planning WAY far ahead in that regard.
  20. I don't really like either's plan for transportation that much. McDonnell supports the Third Crossing and LR extension, but he's also aligned himself with Glenn Oder (who is, ostensibly, more-moderate), who unfortunately has proposed to do away with the Hampton Roads Transit Authority. I don't know if this is in line with McDonnell's wishes, but I think devolution of our regional authorities would be disastrous. We have a hard enough time getting things off the ground as is. I mean, McDonnell's plans for transportation or urban development are the least of my complaints against him.
  21. If that's not an incentive to ride the Tide, I don't know what is! They should put that in promotional videos.
  22. Not to turn this into the Brussels Light Rail thread... but - here what they do is they run express ones during peak hours where they only stop at the endpoints and the riders must press buttons to indicate where to stop to the tram driver. Our trams here get up to 70kph on straight-aways, so 45mph seems doable. Often times, in smaller cities, the reality is that trams or trains are not much faster than street traffic; however, if there is an accident and/or backup, trams can avoid it far more easily, so in those crunch times they save, as well as (typically) during rush hour.
  23. Wow, it's been a very long time ladies and gents. I've been studying in Brussels since mid-May and had a hectic and Hellish end to my Spring semester. My time in Brussels has given me some insight into mass transit, however... http://www.eurostar4agents.com/images/brus...tro_map_big.gif The above link shows the layout of the Brussels metro system - it looks a bit complicated, especially to people not used to using mass transit (such as myself) but it's actually extremely easy to use. It's also given me a few ideas on how the HR system should be developing down the road. Ther
  24. This is nauseating drivel. I almost sarcastically got excited about Buffalo Wild Wings as an anchor, and Office Max no less! ... but no. There are a million ways this could've been scaled back, but kept urban. Stretch the grid across Indy, put up a few small buildings (still, mid-rise, so they're not ridiculously dwarfed by Westin) in the first phase along Indy, include some unique retail, maybe restaurants to pull some people across from the mall and TC. Second phase, in a few years once the market has begun to rebound, start going increasingly dense and vertical again. This would be a l
  25. Hahaha. "insightful." Yes, you could say that. Very... polite in person! But all she did was talk about NSU and it's glory and how the state owes it to NSU to keep it going with unaltered budgeting. I think that's what she was getting at. She probably doubled the 3 minute talking time (began with a 30 second quotation from "A Tale of Two Cities" - I kid you not). Spectacular haha.
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