Brennen

Huge Expansion of Town Center Proposed

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http://pilotonline.com/business/consumer/m-development-planned-for-virginia-beach-town-center-shopping-area/article_de531b21-2bac-5daf-b428-047918ab8763.html

"The developer said it plans to move Regal Cinemas a block north, to the corner of Constitution Drive and Main Street. It would be built on top of a parking garage and be part of a larger structure that would include a restaurant, office space and shops.

The new theater would be completed before the old building is demolished.

A 230-unit apartment building is planned behind where the Regal Cinemas is currently located."

"

Bed Bath & Beyond would move to Independence Boulevard where Priority Infiniti is now, if the city agrees to a land swap.

In its place, the developer would build a 350-room hotel atop a parking garage that would include retail and a restaurant.

 

The two parking garages included in the proposal would be built for 1,213 cars, hinting at the additional traffic Town Center would have to accommodate."

230 apartments stop a garage and a 350 room hotel on a garage means TALL buildings folks. River Tower in Norfolk has 120 rooms and will be 27 floors with no garage underneath. Hilton downtown is 300 rooms and is 21 stories and is attached to it's garage, not on top. These two new towers could potentially be in the 30-40 story range.

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Actually, they might not be tall. The massing diagrams make the buildings look wide and midrise. That would be disappointing, the Westin looks lonely. Maybe we can at least get a tall City Hall out of this.

I'm really interested in what they have planned for block 2 now. And all those people griping about traffic in the comments should've voted for light rail. <_<

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Posted (edited)

It makes sense, if VB wants Town Center to be more like a downtown, and the municipal complex is part of an antiquated system. It was a drag having to drive out there to the courts or City Hall. 

Now if only there had been a way to connect the region's two downtowns..........

Edited by BFG

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Posted (edited)

I've been waiting for Armada Hoffler to announce a new proposal since purchasing that parcel. What's interesting is that the city would have to swap the city-owned Infiniti building in order to gain  a new city hall. I'm just not so sure.  Seems to me it could only cover a percentage of building a city hall seeing how large the municipal district is. Perhaps some city offices might remain in place for that kind of deal. Interesting too  the article did not speak of redevelopment for Barnes and Noble and the other nearby retail. I was kinda hoping for everything to go in one fell swoop. :lol: Either way let's build it already! 

Edited by urbanvb
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In the diagram there is a building sitting on top of where B&N is now. I think it's safe to say that whatever their final disposition, they will be moving from that location.

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591ddbbb63ed2.image.jpg

591ddc6f89c0e.image.jpg

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Why are they so short? I don't understand this areas fascination with stubby buildings. Smaller cities than Virginia Beach have higher skylines.

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Posted (edited)

These fat, wide buildings read way more suburbia than downtown. What the heck happened?  Years ago these developers and their property management company all preached the gospel of the almighty high-rise all the way to the current location of the Super Walmart!  Sadly, it would appear as if they've caught a bit of the "Sifenitis."

Edited by baobabs727
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Posted (edited)

10 hours ago, vdogg said:

In the diagram there is a building sitting on top of where B&N is now. I think it's safe to say that whatever their final disposition, they will be moving from that location.

Actually, though it's extremely difficult to make out on the diagram, that gray/white lowrise L-shaped building on the Boulevard is actually the FYE/ULTA/ Barnes & Noble Bldg/wing...plus the Harold's & the Cigar place, etc. So while there is no building currently planned for that space in the diagram, I'm sure there will be one before too long.

Edited by baobabs727

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Posted (edited)

https://www.google.com/amp/wtkr.com/2017/05/18/virginia-beach-town-center-could-be-growing-redeveloping/amp/

 

Additional information, discusses the phasing of this project....

"Phase one - Relocate and rebuild Bed Bath and Beyond

Phase two - Relocate and rebuild Regal Cinema, new parking deck and retail, new office building

Phase three - New City Hall, new parking deck and retail, new hotel

Phase four - New multi-family apartments"

Oct 2017-Dec 2021

 

Edited by baobabs727

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Screenshot_20170519-072247.png

Screenshot_20170519-072343.png

Screenshot_20170519-072328.png

Screenshot_20170519-071826.png

Unfortunately, there's still a lot of space left in town center. We have to start taking up some of that space in order to increase demand for high-rise development. I'm disappointed too, but I guess it is what it is.

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Rather suburban, office park/campus feel to me. Not really urban for the downtown part of Virginia Beach. Maybe the building diagrams are not to scale or not proportional?

I don't like the idea of only town hall there. I don't think various city offices/facilities should be at different places (de-centralized). Would be better to relocate all city offices here (build taller) or none at all.

 

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While it's not tall I am not really getting the suburban complaint. The buildings are dense and sit on top of parking garages. There is no sea of parking lots. The buildings are flush with the street. I'd say this is fairly urban on par with a Reston Town Center, not so much a Sifen development. I just wish they were taller.

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24 minutes ago, carolinaboy said:

Rather suburban, office park/campus feel to me. Not really urban for the downtown part of Virginia Beach. Maybe the building diagrams are not to scale or not proportional?

I don't like the idea of only town hall there. I don't think various city offices/facilities should be at different places (de-centralized). Would be better to relocate all city offices here (build taller) or none at all.

 

OK, but please no Courthouse/Jail complex! 

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If a new city hall gets built at TC, it needs to be more grand than that box pictured. LOL

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It's important to note, these massing diagrams are guidelines of their vision, and not an indication of the final product. I suspect things can and will change once they enter the design phase. The first town center block diagrams had a relatively low rise building where the Westin currently sits for example. If we can eek out at least one additional building in the 20-30 story range, I'll be happy.

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Posted (edited)

Along with the lack of height, one of the other things I don't really care for about this proposal is that it makes one big L-shaped superblock comprising of the City Hall, Apartment and Parking Garage/Hotel buildings and cuts off Columbus Street. Shouldn't VB be trying to do the opposite? Town Center's blocks are already pretty big, I personally feel like they should be trying to get smaller ones planned.

Edited by Arctic_Tern
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1 hour ago, Arctic_Tern said:

Along with the lack of height, one of the other things I don't really care for about this proposal is that it makes one big L-shaped superblock comprising of the City Hall, Apartment and Parking Garage/Hotel buildings and cuts off Columbus Street. Shouldn't VB be trying to do the opposite? Town Center's blocks are already pretty big, I personally feel like they should be trying to get smaller ones planned.

Right now, Columbus St. is basically cut off, as it stops at Constitution. It's pretty much a parking lot after that.

In the new plan, however, Columbus St. extends all the way through the new block, functionally, and dead-ends at the apartment development where you have to make a left to go up and around the new central greenspace feature. 

Notice also how the buildings have been pushed to the perimeter on the East side of this block.

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$65,000,000 estimate to build new city hall at Town Center per the Pilot.

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I'm sure the NIMBYs will be against it, but if VB wants to be taken seriously as a big city, they gotta make the moves. If they truly want Town Center to be a "downtown", then it makes sense for City Hall to move there. It also makes sense to have some sort of mass transit going there, but we know how that goes.

Personally, if they did move, I'd consider converting that stretch of town (along with Pungo and Sandbridge) back to Princess Anne County, or "Virginia Beach County". Maybe move the VB border to Dam Neck Road or so.

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3 hours ago, BFG said:

I'm sure the NIMBYs will be against it, but if VB wants to be taken seriously as a big city, they gotta make the moves. If they truly want Town Center to be a "downtown", then it makes sense for City Hall to move there. It also makes sense to have some sort of mass transit going there, but we know how that goes.

Personally, if they did move, I'd consider converting that stretch of town (along with Pungo and Sandbridge) back to Princess Anne County, or "Virginia Beach County". Maybe move the VB border to Dam Neck Road or so.

Your first sentence is spot on, but the problem is that the NIMBYs in VB don't want VB to be taken seriously as a big city. We saw it with light rail. There are far too many VB residents who would rather see VB stay a "suburban paradise"... or even to get substantially smaller.

VB really needs to be split. Just cut a line at Indian River Rd or so and along Elbow Rd continuing across Chesapeake as well and just make the bottom halves of each city into its own county. But the fact is that until more residents in the city really want Virginia Beach to become a serious city, it isn't going to happen. Maybe in another 20-30 years when there's nowhere left to sprawl to and the maintenance of a suburbia is unsustainable without grossly inflating taxes. 

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20 hours ago, carolinaboy said:

$65,000,000 estimate to build new city hall at Town Center per the Pilot.

That is not very steep for a new city hall complex in 2017. I will echo what others have said. If VB ever wants to be considered a major city they are going to have to start realizing that there are going to be major expenditures involved. You can't run with the big boys if you stay on the porch.

I will note that a council woman (didn't get her name) said the land in TC is so scarce that it should be preserved for larger projects. Sha has a point.

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19 minutes ago, NFKjeff said:

That is not very steep for a new city hall complex in 2017. I will echo what others have said. If VB ever wants to be considered a major city they are going to have to start realizing that there are going to be major expenditures involved. You can't run with the big boys if you stay on the porch.

I will note that a council woman (didn't get her name) said the land in TC is so scarce that it should be preserved for larger projects. Sha has a point.

I am normally a big proponent of a city focusing on building infrastructure (i.e. a city hall) in its downtown or urban core, and letting that (infrastructure) spur private development. I believe Norfolk has been very successful with this concept (not that they haven't sweetened deals beyond providing infrastructure).

However, in this instance, I just don't think it is a good idea for VB to ONLY bring city hall to TC. I agree with what you quoted from the council member.....save the land for the private market if possible. If VB chooses to build it I'm fine with that too. I just think they would be better off bringing all or most city offices to TC and build up.....just like the concept and purpose of "town center" is. BTW, shouldn't VB consider renaming Town Center to City Center? Town Center sounds small........

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