vdogg

Norfolk Off-Topic

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On 2/20/2017 at 11:10 AM, carolinaboy said:

The wife, kiddo and I were up in Norfolk Saturday and had the pleasure to walk around downtown a bit. It was beautiful weather and fairly lively down on the streets. Must have been some type of function down there because there were a lot of young folks (teens) walking around. Quite a few of the restaurants had good crowds and we ate at one we had never been to. The food was great, even though just sandwiches.

The Hilton is beautiful and really adds some height and density.

The vibe on Granby Street was cool, but still not as vibrant as say Asheville or Charleston, etc. I suspect in the summer it is much busier or perhaps later in the evening.

I think Norfolk needs to look into adding a few smaller or "pocket" parks around downtown. They encourage people to get out more and congregate a little. I'm not talking major, but if there is a lot or intersection or some small quirky area that needs something, small parks (i.e. grass) should be considered.

The variety of restaurants was great (especially if you live in a small place). Retail seemed to be lacking on the streets. There is some, of course, but seemed a little lacking.

I should have taken some photos but didn't.

I was there on Saturday, too, with my nephew having lunch. We noticed the uptick in pedestrian activity. The City does put up parklets from April to November on Granby and a couple other areas in downtown.

Another new business is set to open on Granby. Finally seeing some positive use of this property.

http://southsidedaily.com/2017/02/21/house-of-maya-bridal-salons-is-moving-to-downtown-norfolk/

VIRGINIA BEACH – House of Maya Bridal Salons announced on Tuesday that their Pure English Couture Bridal, Silk Social Occasion Studio, Maya Couture and Maya Couture on Main will merge into one storefront.

Set to open on March 1, the new store will be located in downtown Norfolk at 258 Granby St., owner Maya Holihan said in a news release.

The 13,000-square-foot retail space will combine the House of Maya headquarters and corporate offices on the second floor, allowing for a “more streamlined and efficient operation, increased accessibility for customers, and collaborative opportunities with downtown area businesses, institutions and organizations.”

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Lots of people downtown today and as far as I know there are no special events. It's nice to see it's getting to the point where there's normal foot traffic without anything special going on.  :)

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1 hour ago, vdogg said:

Lots of people downtown today and as far as I know there are no special events. It's nice to see it's getting to the point where there's normal foot traffic without anything special going on.  :)

That's great to hear. I think the Main and Waterside Live will only add to the atmosphere.

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I'm sure some of this is because of the MEAC tournament, and because it's a nice day, but downtown seems pretty busy for a Thursday morning. It actually feels like a real downtown. Once the Main and Waterside opens, it might really take off.

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2 hours ago, BFG said:

I'm sure some of this is because of the MEAC tournament, and because it's a nice day, but downtown seems pretty busy for a Thursday morning. It actually feels like a real downtown. Once the Main and Waterside opens, it might really take off.

And the added ADP workers milling about (hopefully) around lunch time and the residents of the re-purposed Bank of America tower should add some activity.

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The new apartments definitely help. I think the new building off Boush and the BoA tower should bring the numbers to more than 6,000, maybe even 7,000 downtown.

Edited by BFG
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13 minutes ago, BFG said:

The new apartments definitely help. I think the new building off Boush and the BoA tower should bring the numbers to more than 6,000, maybe even 7,000 downtown.

I am certain that I read in a recent article that the population of downtown Norfolk has already exceeded 6,000. I will attempt to find and link it. I think that downtown is finally starting to achieve a critical mass which will stimulate further growth.

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That makes sense...the last number I saw (~5,600) was around end of 2015, so I'm sure several new apartments have hit the market in roughly the year and a half since.

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I was over near Military Circle and got a few pictures of Movement Mortgage (the old JCPenney). With the city's long term goal of creating a mixed-use development, this could be a great start. 

20170324_122425.jpg

20170324_122456.jpg

20170324_122527.jpg

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I really wish the city could do something with the MIlitary Circle area. Keep the businesses on the edge of the property. Most of them seem to be doing okay. Keep the theatres, rehab the motel, tear down the rest of the mall (unless they can find someone to take over the former anchor stores), and put the entire area on a grid system, as the circle part of Military Circle really serves no purpose anymore. Try to turn MIlitary Circle into something like Town Center: a mix of retail, residential, and entertainment.

Edited by jeffconn

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Ever since I went to Peninsula Town Center for the first time years ago, I said Military Circle should follow that route. Although their main anchors no longer exist, keep the former Sears or Macy's property around for something like a Best Buy, or another large company like Movement Mortgage. Keep the theater and hotel (apartments or condos), tear down the rest and rebuild. You have plenty of prime land there.

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3 hours ago, BFG said:

Ever since I went to Peninsula Town Center for the first time years ago, I said Military Circle should follow that route. Although their main anchors no longer exist, keep the former Sears or Macy's property around for something like a Best Buy, or another large company like Movement Mortgage. Keep the theater and hotel (apartments or condos), tear down the rest and rebuild. You have plenty of prime land there.

Norfolk Premium Outlets likely  killed any hope of new national retail at Military Circle. Heck, some true insiders fear NPO will partially cannibalize MacArthur & even TCVB.

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23 hours ago, BFG said:

Ever since I went to Peninsula Town Center for the first time years ago, I said Military Circle should follow that route. Although their main anchors no longer exist, keep the former Sears or Macy's property around for something like a Best Buy, or another large company like Movement Mortgage. Keep the theater and hotel (apartments or condos), tear down the rest and rebuild. You have plenty of prime land there.

I think the movie theater makes the development an odd ball. To destroy it would be like throwing good money out the window. Its the newest part of that structure. I would be ok with the old hotel becoming upscale apts. A hotel would work, however, I do not think its enough of a draw in its current form to draw anyone there considering a remodel would be an average approach. If they do turn it into apts, I think they would need to add a parking structure. I do not think too many people would be ok with a flat open lot, I know i wouldn't.

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From looking at some of the plans for Military Circle it looks like the city is planning to turn the area into a town center and create a grid system of streets. 

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12 hours ago, brikkman said:

I think the movie theater makes the development an odd ball. To destroy it would be like throwing good money out the window. Its the newest part of that structure. I would be ok with the old hotel becoming upscale apts. A hotel would work, however, I do not think its enough of a draw in its current form to draw anyone there considering a remodel would be an average approach. If they do turn it into apts, I think they would need to add a parking structure. I do not think too many people would be ok with a flat open lot, I know i wouldn't.

Parking garages would be ideal. Heck, a parking garage would work for both the hotel and the movie multiplex. They're close enough to each other. One of the things i like about Town Center is they introduced parking garages early in the planning stages. People now don't think twice about using the garages when going to an event in TC. BTW, you look at the movie theatre from the inside of the mall, and it looks like it would be easy to seperate it from the rest of the mall. It was added on well after the main mall was built, if i recall correctly.

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yeah the movie theater was added i want to say not too long ago.

It was latmens/latmiers or something like that, might have been leggett, i know it wasn't Belk though. But they demo-ed that to build the theater, this was when it was somewhat still thriving. Call me old, but Military circle hasn't been hitting since pickadilly (sp*) moved out, lol. Me and my mom use to love that place, especially their rolls. When they merged with Morrison's and moved across the street, the food was never the same, especially the rolls, lol. Most of it will have to go, but it would be old now that the mortgage company is there. I'm just not a fan of people sticking things places because someone was willing to do it. You can't shape an area the way you want it when you choose that way of thinking. This is in part why clubs fail in DT. The mix is just off.

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This came across my youtube thread this morning, dated yesterday 3/30, though i'm not sure why. Very interesting video promoting Norfolk. Some could argue it may have been a overdone.
But hey, decent promo if you are not from the area: 

Title, Norfolk is the place to be: 

 

 

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Yesterday on Facebook, a discussion came up about the mermaids campaign. It was a big deal about 10 years ago, and I've heard Norfolk unofficially referred to as the "Mermaid City". But, if they really want to market themselves and take advantage of the publicity they're receiving, they should really consider making the mermaids a part of their national branding. Same goes for branding the USS Wisconsin as a landmark and tourist destination.

I think "The Mermaid City" has a nice little ring to it...a little cheesy, but no more than "Queen City" or "Emerald City" for Charlotte and Seattle.

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On 3/31/2017 at 11:36 AM, BFG said:

Yesterday on Facebook, a discussion came up about the mermaids campaign. It was a big deal about 10 years ago, and I've heard Norfolk unofficially referred to as the "Mermaid City". But, if they really want to market themselves and take advantage of the publicity they're receiving, they should really consider making the mermaids a part of their national branding. Same goes for branding the USS Wisconsin as a landmark and tourist destination.

I think "The Mermaid City" has a nice little ring to it...a little cheesy, but no more than "Queen City" or "Emerald City" for Charlotte and Seattle.

I'm not mad with it. Charm City (bmore) is even worst in my opinion. At least you can draw some kind of distinction from "Mermaid City". On another note, I would like to see another museum in DT. I wrote Norfolk Southern a few years back asking why they didn't consider a full museum in DT.  Needless to say i never got a response. Seems like it would be appropriate. If not downtown, somewhere in the city.

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Two things regarding the previous two posts. 

1. The Main Hilton features a huge mermaid tail which is part of the decor of Saltine, the seafood bar on the corner. (BTW, it's a great bar with like 30 foot ceiling, and a pewter bartop. I had a black-and-bleu burger on Fri. and it wag really good.)

2. The people renovating the old Royster Bldg. into a Marriot Botique Hotel are including a fine art, glass museum to be located in the building next door.

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9 hours ago, brikkman said:

On another note, I would like to see another museum in DT. I wrote Norfolk Southern a few years back asking why they didn't consider a full museum in DT.  Needless to say i never got a response. Seems like it would be appropriate. If not downtown, somewhere in the city.

I've been to the Norfolk Southern museum once. And once is all you need. It's a 15 minute museum, and that is if you're a railroad buff. I think Norfolk is doing rather well in the museum department. The Chrysler, Nauticus, the Naval Museum/Wisconsin, MacArthur Memorial, d'Art Center, plus the little satellite museums and historic houses. If the little museums would actually open more, and maybe coordinate opening times, it would be nice. (The police museum is only open one afternoon a week, and the historic houses are only open on Saturday and Sunday. The Norfolk Southern museum is only open Monday-Friday during business hours and never on holidays.)

Edited by jeffconn

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Do we have a museum that features Norfolk's (or even HR's) history? Things like it's beginnings of a Colonial town, and how it grew over the years? A downtown/Granby exhibit would be very fascinating to me, esp. if you did before/after pictures of the area.

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I took a tour of Ft. Norfolk (right next to the Army Corps of Engineers Bldg.) about half a year ago. It is the only one of the seven original Forts ordered built by George Washington to fortify major east coast ports. The free tour is given by volunteers of the Norfolk Historical Society, and is only offered on the weekends, IIRC. The place could use some work (not a lot) and the tour itself could be a bit more antimated, but there is a lot to work with there.

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2 hours ago, jeffconn said:

I've been to the Norfolk Southern museum once. And once is all you need. It's a 15 minute museum, and that is if you're a railroad buff. I think Norfolk is doing rather well in the museum department. The Chrysler, Nauticus, the Naval Museum/Wisconsin, MacArthur Memorial, d'Art Center, plus the little satellite museums and historic houses. If the little museums would actually open more, and maybe coordinate opening times, it would be nice. (The police museum is only open one afternoon a week, and the historic houses are only open on Saturday and Sunday. The Norfolk Southern museum is only open Monday-Friday during business hours and never on holidays.)

The one here in Bmore (B&O museum) is pretty substantial. I was shocked. They even have a full size thomas train to take a short little trip for the kids. The new African American Museum in DC has a Norfolk Southern Car in one of their displays.  Just weird to me how we do not showcase what Norfolk southern is and has meant to the region.

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