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Norfolk Off-Topic


vdogg

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  • 2 weeks later...

On 11/24/2021 at 9:52 AM, EJ_LEWIS said:

I understand that there has been a lot of growth in the Ocean View area.  These census numbers seem inaccurate.  

 A tract in West Ghent / Chelsea that looked mostly like MHI shipyard, railyard, and surrounding warehouses reported a 19,000 person population, that doesn't show up in the 2020 data. The only thing that could make sense of that is if a ship was at MHI for repairs in 2010 and thousands of people were registered as that being their address. That alone is enough to skew the numbers dramatically for Norfolk. I can't seem to find the actual census data at this granularity, but this could be a clue.  Second map on the page here: https://statisticalatlas.com/tract/Virginia/Norfolk-City/003800/Population

 

Screen Shot 2021-12-02 at 8.51.54 PM.png

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  • 2 weeks later...

I’ve noticed something really curious and I wonder if there’s an actual technical reason for this. When looking through the Richmond threads, it seems that all of their existing or planned office towers that are in a 20+ floor range wind up to be about 400 feet or even taller. Contrast that with Norfolk, when we build a 20+ story office tower, it is usually around 300 feet or maybe even shorter. Is there a reason for such a difference in designs were that’s happening?

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15 minutes ago, vdogg said:

I’ve noticed something really curious and I wonder if there’s an actual technical reason for this. When looking through the Richmond threads, it seems that all of their existing are current office towers that are in a 20 or so floor range wind up to be about 400 feet or even taller. Contrast that with Norfolk when we build a 20 or so story office tower it is usually around 300 or so feet or maybe even shorter. Is there a reason for such a difference in designs were that’s happening?

Im not sure what exactly it is but I call it cramming. Developers in Richmond seem to like to space out the Hight of the roofs in-between floors though in Norfolk the Roof Hight is "crammed" and not very spacious.  Why this happens, im not sure. But I figure Norfolk Can get off a little desperate for new development as opposed to Richmond where developments crawl to them. Richmond has the freedom to choose the right use for a area of land while in Norfolk we still have the same freedoms but it is usually a YES build it or a NO rejected because there are not many projects for a single piece of land. So sometimes Norfolk will basically go for anything they can get aka almost bare minimum. Developers here also seem to get away with shortening heights for buildings (to save money) without penalty. 

Its late and im tired so im sorry if that was written in strange or confusing grammar 

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You can give me the confused face all you want though its true isint it? Developers dont make buildings as tall here, The city likes if not LOVES the bare minimum from developers, and developers are free to willy-nilly shorten the building until its something completely off what we expected. Take Gate-way Tower for good example. And everything I just said seems not not happen in Richmond which is great for them but confusing to why developers seem not to want to make something big and exciting the city and area can look forward to that can change the whole small-city view on Norfolk and bring jobs, or population with it.

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30 minutes ago, mintscraft56 said:

You can give me the confused face all you want though its true isint it? Developers dont make buildings as tall here, The city likes if not LOVES the bare minimum from developers, and developers are free to willy-nilly shorten the building until its something completely off what we expected. Take Gate-way Tower for good example. And everything I just said seems not not happen in Richmond which is great for them but confusing to why developers seem not to want to make something big and exciting the city and area can look forward to that can change the whole small-city view on Norfolk and bring jobs, or population with it.

There's definitely something to it, it's definitely a thing and it may indeed come down to developer preference. I'm thinking it's likely a cost thing, just not sure "why" it's a cost thing.

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Here I always figured it was because most of our newer office towers are built on very large parking decks that although count towards floors require less height between floors. Wells Fargo and Suntrust come to mind. Where as I believe Richmond with its hilly higher elevations does some underground parking with more floors being dedicated to residential or commercial use.

Out current leadership would never stand up and put a foot down to require more. 

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5 minutes ago, Si7i said:

Here I always figured it was because most of our newer office towers are built on very large parking decks that although count towards floors require less height between floors. Wells Fargo and Suntrust come to mind. Where as I believe Richmond with its hilly higher elevations does some underground parking with more floors being dedicated to residential or commercial use.

Out current leadership would never stand up and put a foot down to require more. 

That's it. Those parking decks are expensive and floor heights short compared to office tower floor heights. Unfortunately that means we'd need at least a 30-story office tower to get to the 400 ft range here. Don't see that happening for a long time (though Harvey Lindsey tried to bring a 28-story office tower to the Waterside land and Norfolk said "nah, we'd rather have a food court...").

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And let's be honest, the demand is not there yet.  Filling commercial space has been an issue downtown even at the lowest/cheapest level for years.  The city needs to incentivize, if it's going to compete with other cities. 

Then you figure, you bring in a new tower with the finest amenities, who can afford that kind of office space?  Developers know that.  I don't see us bringing in a new office tower for years.   It's a much safer bet to fill space by going small.

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3 hours ago, Ghentite said:

And let's be honest, the demand is not there yet.  Filling commercial space has been an issue downtown even at the lowest/cheapest level for years.  The city needs to incentivize, if it's going to compete with other cities. 

Then you figure, you bring in a new tower with the finest amenities, who can afford that kind of office space?  Developers know that.  I don't see us bringing in a new office tower for years.   It's a much safer bet to fill space by going small.

Richmond seems to have no problem with it. Other cities our size are going through major office building booms right now. I agree that we have a problem filling space, but it's not due to lack of affordability. We simply haven't done enough to attract major tenants downtown. We got lucky with ADP.

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This area in general struggles immensely with jobs because they think the military is enough. I guess they're trying with more tech jobs with the fiber ring, and eventually something with flood level research, but for years the colleges were more commuter campuses or mostly for locals. No major research, law, or med schools, and no real reasons to keep locals here.

A few years ago when we got Ikea, Chip Filer mentioned how we need to focus on more jobs...when Amazon was looking for a new city, he said gaining 10 jobs with 500 employees would be just as big as getting one company with 5,000. Meanwhile, CoStar real estate just added a few thousand to RVA. Hampton Roads could use a CoStar.

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On 12/22/2021 at 8:31 AM, NFKjeff said:

I believe there are two major differences between Hampton Roads, the NC Research Triangle, and say Boston regarding hi-tech jobs creation. While ODU is on the move in research, and has reached the top level, and EVMS is a very good medical college, those other two regions have a large critical massing of multiple research institutions, and medical colleges. The other main factor holding our region back seems to be lack of adequate investment capital.

One of the key metrics to look for here is federal research dollars won. ODU can be as prestigious as it wants but if it isn't winning funds, then less research will be happening. Schools like VT and UVa bring in $500 million dollars a year in research funding. https://www.archive.vtmag.vt.edu/spring15/virginia-tech-research-funding-grows.html

The secondary part of this is an ecosystem of spinning research into the business community. Virginia Tech's Corporate Research Center is great example of this, and I'm sure there are plenty of others. 

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On 12/22/2021 at 8:31 AM, NFKjeff said:

 The other main factor holding our region back seems to be lack of adequate investment capital.

Apparently we have plenty of investment capital in the area. I would love for them to spend some of this money in their home town...

https://www.pilotonline.com/business/vp-nw-cbs-building-harbor-group-1225-20211223-6fooxhipnbetblmfvouf37uada-story.html

"A nearly 500-foot-tall Midtown Manhattan skyscraper now has Hampton Roads owners.

 

Norfolk real estate investment firm Harbor Group International purchased 51 W. 52nd St., more commonly known as the CBS Building, or Black Rock, for $760 million. For decades, the broadcasting network and entertainment company had owned and occupied the dark gray building, which has 38 stories and about 800,000 square feet of space."

^^ With $18 billion in assets, they can afford to bank roll some of these projects that fail to get off the ground *cough* Gateway *cough*. Before today, I had no idea they were as big as they are.

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1 hour ago, vdogg said:

^^ With $18 billion in assets, they can afford to bank roll some of these projects that fail to get off the ground *cough* Gateway *cough*. Before today, I had no idea they were as big as they are.

They don’t invest in development projects. They like buying apartment portfolios and selling them off individually. 

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16 hours ago, HRVA said:

They don’t invest in development projects. They like buying apartment portfolios and selling them off individually. 

I interned for Harbor Group several years ago in asset management. Yes they buy/sell properties. But like most real estate investment firms, they generally improve the buildings they acquire pretty substantially adding higher levels of finishes and amenities. Goal is to retain and improve occupancy. I am in strong agreement that I wish they would build up their downtown Norfolk portfolio

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59 minutes ago, VBIllini13 said:

I interned for Harbor Group several years ago in asset management. Yes they buy/sell properties. But like most real estate investment firms, they generally improve the buildings they acquire pretty substantially adding higher levels of finishes and amenities. Goal is to retain and improve occupancy. I am in strong agreement that I wish they would build up their downtown Norfolk portfolio

Absolutely. Mayflower is a good local example. But they don’t do ground up development. Value add renovations is the extent of their construction. 

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An article on a topic highly similar to the one we were just discussing (this one dealing with Hampton Roads Ventures). :huh:

https://www.pilotonline.com/government/local/vp-nw-hrv-nrha-mercury-pt1-20211225-3plyj72w2vadpnas5wikvpwbhi-story.html

 

Let's face it. If even the entities that we create don't want to invest here then we're screwed. It's ridiculous that they're investing more money outside the area than inside.

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