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Dominion Resources: New High-rise Building Planned for Downtown


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30 minutes ago, Wahoo 07 said:

This.  The City, Henrico, Chesterfield et al need to band together and market RVA.  If a corporate office/relo chooses Henrico over downtown, it's still good for the metro.  Same for a distribution center in Hanover.  It means people, jobs, and disposable income.  While political integration of Richmond and the counties is unrealistic in the near future, they need to form an alliance and think as a region, even if it is only for marketing.  Doing this will let the world know that the Richmond MSA is open for business (after all, the Commonwealth is routinely named the number one state for business).

they do, they just don't do it very well.

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1 hour ago, Wahoo 07 said:

This.  The City, Henrico, Chesterfield et al need to band together and market RVA.  If a corporate office/relo chooses Henrico over downtown, it's still good for the metro.  Same for a distribution center in Hanover.  It means people, jobs, and disposable income.  While political integration of Richmond and the counties is unrealistic in the near future, they need to form an alliance and think as a region, even if it is only for marketing.  Doing this will let the world know that the Richmond MSA is open for business (after all, the Commonwealth is routinely named the number one state for business).

THANK YOU!!! That is EXACTLY right! Sadly - for at least the last 50 years, the powers that be in city, Chesterfield and Henrico (much less so Hanover) have treated economic development and population gain/loss as a zero-sum game - every locality out for itself. That's not to say there is anything wrong with healthy 'competition' -- however -- when it is done to the detriment of the metro (and certainly to the city) in the manner that has prevailed in the RVA region in the majority of cases (yes, there are exceptions), then there is something inherently wrong with the system that is fostering this zero-sum mentality. (And I think we have generally agreed the problem is in the independent city status that was brought into being in 1871.) It is extremely difficult to build a solid business-friendly coalition of regional cooperation when every locality is entrenched and looking out only for itself. Does not a rising tide lift all boats?

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  • 7 months later...
23 minutes ago, 123fakestreet said:

I wish they would sell their other tower and the riverfront properties along Tredegar then move forward with the previously planned tower to replace those spaces.  Maybe they will make an acquisition to replace the gas one they sold off and need more space again.  But those Tredegar offices are prime riverfront that's basically inaccessible to the public. Turn it into high end condos and some restaurants and open it up for the public to be able to walk down there.

This.  That stretch is one of the last opportunities left to create an inclusively active riverfront.

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Just now, Icetera said:

This.  That stretch is one of the last opportunities left to create an inclusively active riverfront.

Echo Harbor is maybe the 2nd most thing I'm angry about with RVA development behind Navy Hill.  But hey, now we have a fallow field for perpetuity. :rolleyes:Yay city council.

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51 minutes ago, 123fakestreet said:

https://richmondbizsense.com/2022/04/18/dominion-issues-rfp-for-previously-imploded-downtown-site/

No one talking about this? RFP already issued for vacant Dominion site.

I wish they would sell their other tower and the riverfront properties along Tredegar then move forward with the previously planned tower to replace those spaces.  Maybe they will make an acquisition to replace the gas one they sold off and need more space again.  But those Tredegar offices are prime riverfront that's basically inaccessible to the public. Turn it into high end condos and some restaurants and open it up for the public to be able to walk down there.

 

Either way glad to see that site may not be empty forever.

The article is very light on details. I think we should wait to hear the scope contemplated. I'd be surprised to see them part with this.

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24 minutes ago, wrldcoupe4 said:

The article is very light on details. I think we should wait to hear the scope contemplated. I'd be surprised to see them part with this.

The fact the they are issuing an RFP implies they want to see something done with it though. Otherwise they would just list it for sale and the highest bidder can put the crappiest parking lot they want on it

 

edit: I'll add I think they want to be responsible stewards of that land and see the highest use of it for 2 reasons.

1. their super nice brand new HQ is next door. If you can control what goes on the property right next to you, you want to see something nice go there not an ugly surface lot.  Even if they let the land go slightly cheaper to get a better development, what's a few hundred K or even $1M to Dominion?  Worth it for them to keep the area surrounding the HQ nice.

2. they are a very high profile company in this city, it pays to do the right thing here and have something nice go on that land. They spend money on charities, big time partnership with Venture Richmond, they have many sponsorships - why undo all that goodwill over this land?

Edited by 123fakestreet
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20 minutes ago, wrldcoupe4 said:

The article is very light on details. I think we should wait to hear the scope contemplated. I'd be surprised to see them part with this.

Not surprised that details are so sparce, given the source. Dominion tends to be very tight-lipped when it comes to stuff like this - at least in the early innings.

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36 minutes ago, 123fakestreet said:

The fact the they are issuing an RFP implies they want to see something done with it though. Otherwise they would just list it for sale and the highest bidder can put the crappiest parking lot they want on it

 

edit: I'll add I think they want to be responsible stewards of that land and see the highest use of it for 2 reasons.

1. their super nice brand new HQ is next door. If you can control what goes on the property right next to you, you want to see something nice go there not an ugly surface lot.  Even if they let the land go slightly cheaper to get a better development, what's a few hundred K or even $1M to Dominion?  Worth it for them to keep the area surrounding the HQ nice.

2. they are a very high profile company in this city, it pays to do the right thing here and have something nice go on that land. They spend money on charities, big time partnership with Venture Richmond, they have many sponsorships - why undo all that goodwill over this land?

You’re presuming they are selling the land. All I’m saying is that isn’t confirmed in the brief BizSense article. 

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They should develop it into apartments, but not sell, and then the lucky residents can say Dominion is their landlord.

Whatever this turns into - if anything - I hope it’s worth it. Because it will cause hell in the mornings and at quitting time. 7th and 8th are such important streets in the downtown core.

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55 minutes ago, Icetera said:

In the future, developers and planners need to find a way to grab the "for the schools" narrative before the BANANAs can as it is a strong manipulation device.

AMEN and AMEN, brother!!!   THIS! ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^  ... a home run!

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3 hours ago, Icetera said:

There is a certain crowd that just needs to vilify larger corporations, especially utilities, regardless.  The vast majority of speakers against NH at the City Council meeting were VCU kids decrying DE and and trying to tie in the false narrative of RPS because "for the schools."  Had DE not been so prominent in the process, I believe we would have seen a very different result.  In the future, developers and planners need to find a way to grab the "for the schools" narrative before the BANANAs can as it is a strong manipulation device.

And that is honestly a slap in the face to RPS students because most school board officials sit on their thumbs while the infrastructure deteriorates, complaining but not achieving. Politics and personal motives (just like City Hall ) runs through and through, messing everything up no matter if they have everything they need or not for repair the school system. 
 While the city’s recent audit shows the city overspent on schools (the most requested focus from Richmond’s taxpayers) , George Whyte recently and MIRACULOUSLY  got approved for a  new school building (long time overdue).  Master planning for any downtown area weren’t mentioned at all for this; they got the money already the moment the SB voted Y or N as a collective.  Meaning, if they’re was an initiative to provide better for RPS system, they would’ve done so by now throughout the course of the years.
 

One of the initiatives SHOULD BE consistently holding Virginia General Assembly legislators accountable for funding as well as themselves for not joining their local PTA’s. Also, RVA citizens need to look at themselves closely and ask what gain do they get out of turning down bold development projects that could’ve expanded the tax base and contribute to the city as large if SCHOOLS are you main focus? Also, doesn’t VA Lottery contribute to VA public school system at large? Are their contributions properly handled their moment it falls into the RPS’s hands?

Those are the questions needed answering. 

Edited by DalWill
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7 hours ago, DalWill said:

1.) Those are the questions needed answering. 

2.) RVA citizens need to look at themselves closely and ask what gain do they get out of turning down bold development projects that could’ve expanded the tax base and contribute to the city as large if SCHOOLS are you main focus?

1.) - 100% agreed!

2.) - I've wondered about this myself for years - decades really. WHAT do these folks who oppose EVERYTHING kind of big, bold development project that comes down the pike (not just the ones for which the city would end up picking up the check) - every big, shiny tall building, every opportunity to land a big company, to expand and grow - what do they gain out of all of this? I've never been able to get my head around it. And they give such B.S. tropes as "We're Richmond. We're unique..."   "We don't need to be like _________________" (fill in the blank with SUCCESSFUL - GROWING - LARGER city of choice) -- "We have our CHARACTER..." "We DON'T WANT to be big..."  "We don't need _________________" (fill in the blank for project of choice... or an airline hub... or a bigger airport... or - you name it!) ... "But the schools!!" "But the traffic... "(as if RVA actually has REAL traffic problems - I live in effing Chicago - give me a break!)  "But the views..." "But the architecture..." "But the history..." "But the charm..." "But the tourism..."

Yada yada yada yada... ad nauseam...

And yet - they're also the first to belly up to the bar and kvetch and moan and bloviate and pontificate about how horrible the schools are or how bad crime is or how Richmond can't afford to fix sidewalks or this thing or that thing...

A bigger city with bigger commercial projects generates greater tax revenue from a bigger, expanded tax base. Greater tax revenue can be used to fix the schools... grow the schools... enhance the schools.

We can't turn RVA into some kind of ridiculous mid-19th century living history museum and lock her away under some anti-development geodesic dome that opens only to allow tourists to come in and "marvel" at our architectural "heritage" or "charm" or WHATEVER - and expect the schools to be thriving, Grade-A institutions of top-shelf education. It just flat doesn't work that way. We can't bleed away 25% of our population over the course of 30-35 years and expect to be able to afford to fix sidewalks and install new street lights or traffic signals. It just flat doesn't work that way!!

So what DO these NIMBYs and BANANAs gain by all of this? What is their end game? What do they want?

This has vexxed me my whole life. I've never - EVER - been able to get my head around it.

 

Edited by I miss RVA
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1 hour ago, I miss RVA said:

So what DO these NIMBYs and BANANAs gain by all of this? What is their end game? What do they want?

Agree so much.

It's a hobby, like rooting for a sports team. They want to feel a part of something, like they've won something. In this case rooting against development in RVA is like rooting for the Yankees.

The irony is most all of these projects, casino for example, would have next to zero impact on these people. They wouldn't even know if it had been built. But they oppose it over people who would be affected, and want it.

Edited by 123fakestreet
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Oh I would love a mixed use tower in the 500-600 foot range with retail at the base, hotel, residential, and office if the market will bear that. All that together could add up to something signature that breaks our current 449 foot top building height. Baltimore has a similar project in the queue for a surface lot right by the Inner Harbor at 300 Pratt Street, but unfortunately their downtown has a high office vacancy right so they're still struggling to lock in an office tenant so still waiting. But I think this is a good example of the type of project that could test our market and fit that site well: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/300_East_Pratt_Street  
Here's the latest article on this project from last year: https://www.bizjournals.com/baltimore/news/2021/06/03/mcb-real-estate-pratt-street-tower-on-hold.html

Actually this is the latest from two days ago: https://www.bizjournals.com/baltimore/news/2022/04/18/40-story-tower-across-from-harborplace-move-ahead.html?cx_testId=6&cx_testVariant=cx_1&cx_artPos=2#cxrecs_s

Edited by flaneur
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  • 2 weeks later...

I don’t know if this is a blazing hot take or a commonly held opinion, but the Dominion building is ugly as sin when approaching from the west. Stubby looking and the top doesn’t even look finished (yes, I know it’s just the design). I started back 5 days per week downtown a few months ago and expected it would grow on me every time I drive in on the Downtown Expressway, but it hasn’t.

From other perspectives, I will acknowledge, the building looks pretty good. But the view from the west is trash.

There, I said it.

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Agree. I'm happy in so many ways with the building, but some approaches really lack curb appeal from afar. But I can't complain as the building at street level mostly enhances the urban wall and meets the street soooooo much better than its neighbors. We really need to do something about the Cary. St. dead zone of parking entrances and also the Federal Reserve's fence (not needed; at the Atlanta Fed in the heart of midtown Atlanta you can walk right up to it and there's a park open to the public where people hang out and walk their dogs). On a random note, I'll say that the early 1970s Farmers and Merchant Bank HQ just a few blocks east, now Bank of America and designed by LA firm Welton Beckett, has really aged well.  

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  • 2 weeks later...

Admittedly, my annoyance with the 7th & 8th Street lane closures is a bit of a hobby horse of mine here, but is there any plan to open up those lanes? The reduced lanes are crazily drawn on 7th, creating morning issues, and having that second right turn lane on 8th would help after quitting time.

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