graysonelijah

Growth of Virginia Beach

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All this recent news has me spending hours dreaming about the future of the city. A city with under 100k residents 50 years ago has grown into a top 40 city population wise with nearly half a million residents. A city built around the automobile is moving from strip malls and drive-thrus to mixed use and high rises. Town Center is absolutely beautiful, cementing itself as the city's downtown and a place for the whole metro to enjoy an evening out. 

 

We look well on our way to the expansion of light rail to the Oceanfront. The city/governor support the arena project across from the convention center. The Dome project is gaining momentum. Laskin road is going through rapid urban change. Town Center is about to sprout a new tower. Form-based code will continue to transform the street scape of the Oceanfront.

 

The City is starting to feel different. It's extremely exciting to imagine my hometown with the amenities of cities that i've been enamored with forever. 

 

My question is, what is your view on all of this? What transformations are you most anticipating? What projects are you currently opposed to? If you had to guess, what would the population of Va Beach be in 2020? 2030? 

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I predict the city officially cracks 450K by 2020, but I don't think they hit a half million by 2030. Looking at Wiki, it went from 393K in 1990 to 425K in 2000, and now then 437K in 2010. I think the massive jump from 1990-2000 will be about as large as it gets for awhile, even with all the developing going on and people flocking to VB for the schools.

 

Although I love seeing a skyline build at Town Center, I think it has a long ways to go before it's ever a "downtown". I think developing the area on the other side of Independence Blvd. (where the old Builder's Square and flea markets sat) is the next step, as is developing the Pembroke Mall site. It's only a matter of time before those are razed. There's been talk of moving the municipal complex to TC, which makes a lot of sense, considering how annoying it is to drive all the way out Princess Anne Road just to pay a parking ticket. :P

 

The Oceanfront is a lot more popular than I thought; I didn't realize people really do come here for vacations, and that is great. A lot hinges on the NBA approval and the entertainment complex they want at the old dome site, and Sessoms realizes that. I follow friends on Twitter who aren't from here who all seem to write VB off as a viable option for an NBA team. While again I didn't realize how popular the resort is, it's hardly the sleepy town outsiders seem to think, and nowhere close to being a "beer and pretzel" town.

 

I can honestly see LRT being the official olive branch for VB and Norfolk. I'd still love to see an official merger, but I think it'll help (if not force) the two cities to work together. I'll say this much, if the NBA approves the Kings (or an expansion team) in VB, I think it'll be the first step in this area becoming another Charlotte or Atlanta (c. the 1980s). Not to say it'll be the new place for young professionals to go, but for the new age methods of how to build a city nearly from scratch.

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Plain and simple, the arena will be an absolute game changer. With it comes lightrail to the oceanfront, a fully developed 19th st entertsinment complex, and a completely redeveloped boardwalk. Not to mention a professional sports team to put our city on the map. We are $150M of state money away from a sweeping revolution of our city.

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Plain and simple, the arena will be an absolute game changer. With it comes lightrail to the oceanfront, a fully developed 19th st entertsinment complex, and a completely redeveloped boardwalk. Not to mention a professional sports team to put our city on the map. We are $150M of state money away from a sweeping revolution of our city.

 

Hopefully the governor/general assembly does the right thing. This arena will be a business boom for the entire state. We need it. Everyone wants it. 

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Pembroke will become the downtown through building booms.  There are going to be a history of waves for that area where massive complexes of towers are built at one point.  I can definitely seeing that area look radically different with a growing skyline within a 10 year span during the next building boom...the hard part is predicting the next building boom.

 

The smart thing to do will be to look to outside the region for the bigger fish and try to attract them to the downtown.

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Those outdated Pembroke numbered office towers should be torn down and consolidated into two mid-rise office towers or one 40 story tower hah.

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Those outdated Pembroke numbered office towers should be torn down and consolidated into two mid-rise office towers or one 40 story tower hah.

 

Actually I think that whole office park corner all the way out the VB Blvd should be redeveloped and turned into an urban mixed use park.  They could leave the main building and the walking corridor down the middle and then redevelop everything around it connecting buildings by parks and parkades.

 

I think there is a really good opportunity there to try something unique that creates an urban village in the middle of a bigger urban district.

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vbtc.jpg

Just been messing around tonight on Sketchup and this is something I would love to see happen with the Town Center is have the big box buildings to the east redeveloped into a 5 block project.  The block on the top left would be an office tower complex, the three block around it would be a mix of retail space along the ground floor and apartments above much like the 5 story portion of Block 11, and the block on the south end could have a mix of office and apartments, retail, and possibly a movie theater to replace the theater that sits on that block now (if that theater is even still open.)

 

Anyway, this is just a pie in the sky wishlist, but I think something like this would be a much easier expansion of downtown Virginia Beach all while increasing the urban density to the Town Center.

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Oh yeah, I remember reading that document.  I hope something close to that happens, but it will require a lot of developers to play along.  I just hope the big box stores to the east are the next to go.  I hope the Pembroke Mall begins to take steps to redevelop itself into an urban mall and extend the city block pattern throughout that area.

 

I think once all of the area around the Town Center is mostly developed and much of the Prembroke Mall site is developed it will really start feeling like a true downtown for the city.

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I am guessing the Pembroke Mall will be sticking around for a while with all the renovations that have been going on there.  I am basically expecting any expansion of downtown to happen to the east and west especially.

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I am guessing the Pembroke Mall will be sticking around for a while with all the renovations that have been going on there.  I am basically expecting any expansion of downtown to happen to the east and west especially.

 

i dont see why they couldnt build in the parking lots around the mall maybe?

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i dont see why they couldnt build in the parking lots around the mall maybe?

 

I am sure they could do that, but then it would basically be a copout with buildings that over look a suburban mall.  Not the most attractive view.  Plus building around the mall would only allow a ring of new buildings that would basically create a very big super block and go against creating an urban downtown.

 

I think at most all you guys will see is a few taller buildings popping up on the Virginia Beach side, and with the new buildings they have already built along that road, I highly doubt you will see any serious urban developments in the near future on the Pembroke Mall site.  I seriously think the near future growth will be to the east and west of the Town Center.

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I predict the city officially cracks 450K by 2020, but I don't think they hit a half million by 2030. Looking at Wiki, it went from 393K in 1990 to 425K in 2000, and now then 437K in 2010. I think the massive jump from 1990-2000 will be about as large as it gets for awhile, even with all the developing going on and people flocking to VB for the schools.

Looks like 450K may come sooner than I expected. VB was the 2nd fastest growing city in the state last year...it's now at 447K!

 

http://hamptonroads.com/2013/01/va-beach-no-2-state-population-growth

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