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vaceltic last won the day on July 16 2011

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About vaceltic

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    Richmond, VA

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  1. vaceltic

    Richmond's Suburban Developments

    Cool proposal! Looks like the retail component of regency will be almost entirely removed and replaced with entertainment and food options.
  2. vaceltic

    New Richmond Arena

    Another example that the city can’t get out it’s own way, Richmond could have had a headquarters hotel for the convention center in 2005, according to this Style Weekly article from 2007. At the Blues Armory, no less! “The need for hotel rooms next to the convention center isn't lost on P.C. Amin, the Richmond area's largest hotel operator with 18 hotels in his local portfolio and another seven on the way.Amin says he's been looking to build an upscale hotel in downtown Richmond for about five years, but hasn't been able to find a suitable location. Most recently, he'd hoped to build a Hilton Garden Inn in Jackson Ward. The Richmond Redevelopment & Housing Authority opted to sell the land — which sits between First and Third streets, just a couple of blocks away from the convention center — to another developer. Trammell Crow Co. is planning to develop the site, which will be called Jackson Place, into a mixed-use residential community. According to the plans it will include a hotel. The project is scheduled for completion in 2010.Amin was also interested in putting a full-service, upscale hotel just east of the Richmond Coliseum, replacing the Sixth Street food court, but preserving the old Blues Armory. But that plan was also rejected by the city.Amin recently ran into Mayor Doug Wilder at the groundbreaking ceremony for his new full-service, 250-room Hilton Conference Center and Spa in Short Pump, expected to open in summer of 2008. He says the mayor asked him when he was going to build a similar hotel in Richmond. "I said I've been trying to do this for years," Amin says, with a chuckle. City officials told him they were only interested in a full-service hotel in Jackson Ward, and the Hilton Garden Inn — a lower-tier Hilton brand — didn't qualify.So it unnerved Amin when he discovered, via a legal notice from Hilton last spring, that the developers of the Miller & Rhoads hotel were building a Hilton Garden Inn across the street from the convention center. Because Amin owns Hiltons in the Richmond market, Hilton must notify him of any new franchises coming to the market where he operates.Many people thought the developers of the Miller & Rhoads were planning the same kind of upscale Hilton that Amin is building in Short Pump. That appears not to be the case, according to the notice sent to Amin. The developers, ECI Development Services and Historic Restorations Inc., out of New Orleans, have refused to discuss the subbrand of their Hilton, saying only that it will be full-service. It is scheduled to be completed by fall 2008, says Michael Laing, managing officer of ECI. Amin says he doesn't want to be seen as being critical of the city, or the Miller & Rhoads developers, but simply wants the opportunity to build an upscale hotel in Richmond. Ironically, the city spent years trying to find a developer who would develop the Miller & Rhoads site into a hotel. It was the primary reason former City Manager Calvin Jamison and city business leaders recruited Chicago developer Gary Beller. He established ECI Development Services in Richmond, which was awarded more than $2.18 million in fees to issue the bonds and manage the improvements and streetscapes on Broad Street. Beller, in exchange for managing the contract work, would invest his own capital into the former Miller & Rhoads."I'm a Richmonder. I've always desired to do something downtown," says Amin, who recently bought the Quality Inn at Second and Cary streets, which he's turning into a Holiday Inn Express. He says he recently offered $6 million to buy less than an acre between Eighth and Ninth streets, at Canal and Cary, but the landowner, Dominion Resources, declined his offer. If Amin had been approached by city leaders five years ago, an upscale Hilton downtown would be up and running by now, says Chip Markow, a commercial real estate agent who represents Amin. "It would be a flagship, something that his company and Richmond could be proud of," Markow says. "He wouldn't have any reservations about making it one of the finest hotels that anyone could venture into."”
  3. vaceltic

    New Richmond Arena

    Also raising questions about the “market analysis” this whole sham is based on....and why I fully support a commission separate from the Stoney administration’s projections: The Coliseum already hosts more annual events (92) than all other comparable Virginia arenas combined. Even more than DCs arena! WOW! Now, we all know this is patently false, which basically renders the entire Hunden Partners Analysis a dumpster fire.
  4. It’s stretched up and down. The resizing scale isn’t equal on all four sides.
  5. vaceltic

    New Richmond Arena

    If Navy Hill feels hemmed in there it’s mostly because... 1) the federal government constructed a massive highway system that tore through the middle of a vibrant African-American neighborhood now in ruins. 2) After that, the (state? City?) government tore down the southern half of navy hill to construct...wait for arena (our now deplorable coliseum). 3) the City government built a giant superblock convention center with no street activity that cuts off connectivity between Jackson Ward and downtown. Has it been financially successful, as I’m sure was the argument for it to be built. Or is the Navy Hill proposal, in part, a correlating admittance that the convention center needs more financial support to keep it running? RTD needs to ask the question! 4) the city has controlled the property in Navy Hill for decades...arguing to the public it needs development because it’s a dead zone with no tax revenues. But this has been the city’s own fault since they haven’t relinquished control of the land to allow anyone else to risk their capital there! I haven’t checked the current zoning of Navy Hill, but upzoning might have encouraged private development and also restrict surface parking lots on entire blocks like you see in parts of Monroe Ward and downtown. I’m all for the city to use it’s regulatory mechanisms to increase density and make land use feasible to developers. I also might be wrong on this too, but didn’t the city deny a 14-story residential development downtown (the one south of broad st near the theater) because it had too much parking and not enough affordable housing? I thought there was an affordable housing component in there but it wasn’t considered enough to approve. Other examples of government intrusion to our detriment is the failed Granby Tower in Norfolk (30-story residential blocked by federal courts wanting rights to the land - it still sits vacant 11 years later and is an eyesore in downtown) and the Dome Site in VB (city controlled lot for 40+ years and zero development since I’ve been alive). One positive argument I thought Mayor Stoney would make about the Navy Hill proposal (maybe there isn’t a nexus at all) is to talk about how this project enables the deconcentration of Gilpin and Mosby Court housing units (other examples of government development project failures) and allow those areas to redevelop as well. Are any of Navy Hill’s units intended for families of those communities to begin the process of demolition of Richmond’s worst communities, created by the City itself? The City really needs to get out of its own way!
  6. vaceltic

    New Richmond Arena

    I'm worried that this is all coming into motion based on lofty financial projections at the height (and likely soon-to-be drop) of the longest economic expansion in US history. I don't like the idea of politicians locking in future city funding allocations for a 30-year time period that hamstring future city administrators and council members flexibility to be able to shift city priorities. Why has their been all this talk about Greater Richmond sharing the cost of a new ballpark but not the arena? What might happen if the City does nothing? Organic growth of the tax-base into new unique neighborhoods. We have very recent successful examples of this with Manchester, Scott's Addition, and Church Hill. This will become a bland corporate superblock of sameness and design that siphons tax monies to pay for an arena no one's really been asking for.
  7. vaceltic

    New Richmond Arena

    RVA Financial is a small, 2,000 member credit union. Why is this is even mentioned in the article?
  8. vaceltic

    Richmond off-topic postings

    Agreed RVA. 700 jobs lost is a minuscule amount of the 700,000 or so in HR. Instead of corporate subsidies, put taxpayer money towards workforce development, small business assistance, and city services. The gap will eventually be filled. NS must have a Norfolk presence until 2026, so at least there’s time to gameplan for their exit.
  9. vaceltic

    New Richmond Arena

    A similar proposed project is unfolding right now in Atlanta, called The Gulch. It proposes a TIF (in GA, its called a "Tax Allocation District") for an office/apartment/entertainment/affordable housing component and even the minority-contractor construction contract requirements. It too, is spearheaded by a mayor and a developer and requires city council approval. If anyone's interested in the pros or cons arguments that will likely play out here in Richmond, I'd look this one up.
  10. vaceltic

    New Richmond Arena

    Before siphoning off new property tax revenues for an arena, perhaps the city should first assess downtown commercial property in line with the rest of the city. Since 2007, the dominion tower property assessment has increased just 3%. Pretty sure this is Out of synch with surrounding neighborhoods, especially considering all the money the city has invested around downtown since 2007 (Potterfield Bridge, kanawha plaza, BRT, etc.). I’m no tax expert on commercial vs residential property assessments, but residential has increased at least 20% in only the last couple years.
  11. vaceltic

    New Richmond Arena

    Probably not if the TIF district extends to encompass most of downtown now, as reported in an RTD article today.
  12. vaceltic

    Richmond International Airport

    American is the worst. But mostly because they merged with US Scareways, the airline with the crappiest and oldest planes flying in the skies. After several in-air mishaps and ground maintenance delays, I would never fly in their planes (now American) again.
  13. vaceltic

    New State Office Building at 8th and Broad St

    great. another downtown block creating zero pedestrian activity at the ground level.
  14. vaceltic

    Richmond International Airport

    There's at least nine seats left - just tried the max number of passengers to book a reservation on the dates I go
  15. vaceltic

    Richmond International Airport

    I will be flying RIC to BNA in a few weeks and will report back. As of right now, the flight to Nashville is only half full with two weeks to go.