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The Locks at 321

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25 minutes ago, eandslee said:

Below is a rendering of a current residential project going up near the Pentagon in Crystal City (I drive by it everyday).  I would think that WVS could/should redesign their short and fat monstrosity to make it look more like one of these two residential towers (each tower has about 226 apartments).  These are 20 stories by the way and just one of them would look awesome right next to Riverfront Plaza!  I'm looking at you WVS!

Just for comparison - the poorly designed box will hold 237 units and they are charging a premium for rents!  A taller glass design would just be far and away better!  Might even fetch a higher rent.

Altaire-Crystal-City.jpg

Seems line an obvious decision to me, so perhaps I am missing something.  Something like that would look great in Monroe Ward too.

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5 minutes ago, Wahoo 07 said:

Seems line an obvious decision to me, so perhaps I am missing something.  Something like that would look great in Monroe Ward too.

The only downside I can think of would be the cost of building taller, but with a nice tall building like that, you can charge more.  WVS may know their craft (residential development), but they must not know a thing about good design and making a good design work financially!  I really just don't think they tried.

Edited by eandslee

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What are rents/rent growth in crystal city? What are rents/rent growth in downtown Richmond? The answer likely explains the materials and the height. 

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When I was looking at rentals in Crystal City 10-years ago, high end rentals were starting around $2100 /month.

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Here's my thought on this - sure, rents are double in Crystal City compared to what they are in downtown Richmond, but it's also way more expensive to build up in NoVA.  It's probably is a wash.

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On 11/30/2017 at 8:26 AM, drayrichmond said:

Yeah, the RTD article said demo on the warehouse starts the 4th, really aggressive timeline. Part of me thinks that they know they have a dud of a design (especially compared to what was proposed before) so they're rushing to get it built before any sort of opposition can get organized.

Can anyone confirm the start of demo?  Should be two days in at this point. 

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On 12/5/2017 at 3:45 PM, eandslee said:

Here's my thought on this - sure, rents are double in Crystal City compared to what they are in downtown Richmond, but it's also way more expensive to build up in NoVA.  It's probably is a wash.

Besides land value why is it so much more expensive to build in NOVA? Architecture and design should be same, materials should be the same, your contractor probably probably charges around the same but okay maybe an increase for builder cost. I'd say mostly you're looking at 5-10% increase to build up there not including land. But that's a one time cost for twice the amount of rent over the life of the building. I think they are making a lot more money up there and if they weren't I don't think you'd see so much development.

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On ‎12‎/‎8‎/‎2017 at 2:39 PM, tparkerzut said:

Besides land value why is it so much more expensive to build in NOVA? Architecture and design should be same, materials should be the same, your contractor probably probably charges around the same but okay maybe an increase for builder cost. I'd say mostly you're looking at 5-10% increase to build up there not including land. But that's a one time cost for twice the amount of rent over the life of the building. I think they are making a lot more money up there and if they weren't I don't think you'd see so much development.

Builder costs have got to be huge to pay the wages of workers up here.  Materials may be about the same...maybe a little more (depending on where they get the materials).  Equipment rentals and other services for concrete, etc. will probably be higher too.  I'm not saying developers don't make money up here (they most certainly do), but developers down there make money there too (the profit margins may not be as great, but they make good money or else they wouldn't do it).

I don't know a lot about this particular developer (WVS) and I'm not privy to their financial sheets, but I'm guessing that this developer is building on the cheap to make a higher profit (that may be the nuts and bolts as to why this particular design, height, etc.).  I just wish he cared a little more about how this particular project is going to negatively impact the aesthetics of the area.  In this case, I'm sure the all mighty dollar is winning out.

Edited by eandslee

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9 minutes ago, wrldcoupe4 said:

Tparker is spot on. WVS typically does very attractive development. Rockett’s Landing is WVS. 

I was impressed with the quality of their work restoring the Cedar Works factory.

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10 minutes ago, Icetera said:

I was impressed with the quality of their work restoring the Cedar Works factory.

Well, hopefully they will improve on the design of 321 Locks.  Reading the articles published lately, WVS appeared to be a good and reputable developer.  Maybe they just dropped the ball on this one. 

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On 12/8/2017 at 3:08 PM, eandslee said:

Builder costs have got to be huge to pay the wages of workers up here.  Materials may be about the same...maybe a little more (depending on where they get the materials).  Equipment rentals and other services for concrete, etc. will probably be higher too.  I'm not saying developers don't make money up here (they most certainly do), but developers down there make money there too (the profit margins may not be as great, but they make good money or else they wouldn't do it).

I don't know a lot about this particular developer (WVS) and I'm not privy to their financial sheets, but I'm guessing that this developer is building on the cheap to make a higher profit (that may be the nuts and bolts as to why this particular design, height, etc.).  I just wish he cared a little more about how this particular project is going to negatively impact the aesthetics of the area.  In this case, I'm sure the all might dollar is winning out.

You definitely got me on labor, although I know a lot of construction jobs travel because a big project may be short term.

Either way, definitely hope it looks higher quality than the render.

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I read in the RTD this morning that the 10-story hotel planned next to the Locks has hit a snagged and will be delayed another 6 months.  Hopefully, the project doesn’t get scrapped (yikes)!

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Has anyone seen any movement yet on this 12-story Locks residential “tower?”  It seemed to me that when they announced it that they would begin construction, pretty much right away.  I haven’t heard or seen anything since. Could there be another delay?  If we’re lucky, maybe a business approached the developer about adding some office space and therefore would need a redesign (fingers crossed).  Has anyone been down there lately to know if they have noticed anything different?  Just curious.  

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8 hours ago, eandslee said:

Has anyone seen any movement yet on this 12-story Locks residential “tower?”  It seemed to me that when they announced it that they would begin construction, pretty much right away.  I haven’t heard or seen anything since. Could there be another delay?  If we’re lucky, maybe a business approached the developer about adding some office space and therefore would need a redesign (fingers crossed).  Has anyone been down there lately to know if they have noticed anything different?  Just curious.  

I was down there this weekend and nothing has changed.... no demo has started yet. I was disappointed since the last reported info indicated that demo was supposed to start around the beginning of December. 

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1 hour ago, georgeglass said:

I was down there this weekend and nothing has changed.... no demo has started yet. I was disappointed since the last reported info indicated that demo was supposed to start around the beginning of December. 

That’s what I thought.  I have a feeling that something is afoot...not sure what, but something just isn’t right (or at least going as they planned).  Really, I hope their design changes and a taller structure is in the works.  That’s my hope, but we’ll see what actually happens. 

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Demo has started. Noticed from a meeting yesterday. They have start d the demo on the eastern side of the site and are moving west. The barriers and fencing have also been installed. 

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6 minutes ago, wrldcoupe4 said:

Demo has started. Noticed from a meeting yesterday. They have start d the demo on the eastern side of the site and are moving west. The barriers and fencing have also been installed. 

Well, I guess my feeling was wrong. Thanks for the update Coupe!

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Tell you the truth, the more I look at this tower, the more it grows upon me. This tower is gonna really boost street presence in downtown. It has a lot of residences and has great street presence, plus it’s gonna add to the canal walk. It may not be the best looking building, but I think it could really impact downtown.

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34 minutes ago, blopp1234 said:

Tell you the truth, the more I look at this tower, the more it grows upon me. This tower is gonna really boost street presence in downtown. It has a lot of residences and has great street presence, plus it’s gonna add to the canal walk. It may not be the best looking building, but I think it could really impact downtown.

Totally agree.  It's not perfect, but it is a quantum leap over a derelict industrial facility.  It will increase pedestrian traffic, especially on the Canal Walk, while helping to bridge the chasm between the riverfront and downtown.  If a project on this scale works, it will demonstrate that the CBD can support high density residential buildings.  The next step would be a high rise residential building in the district.

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Okay, not that I’m easily persuaded, but after physically going down there and walking the area I will agree with you guys on your points above. The one thing I kept thinking while walking downtown yesterday was, it would be awesome if there were more people living right smack downtown in the CBD!  The area is super nice, it’s becoming so much more walkable, there are nice ships and storefronts, it close to work for those who would work downtown...it’s just the perfect place and has so much potential!  There were people walking around downtown already, but with more residents living there, downtown will be thriving (not that it’s not doing very well now). Yes, the building design is atrocious, but having all the new residents downtown will make a huge difference. Here’s to hoping this lends way to something more grandiose!

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Has anyone been down to this site lately?  I was last there 3 weeks ago and posted the pictures above, but surely there has been more progress since then.  Can anyone provide a walk/driveby update?

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