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urbanvb

Virginia Beach, Va

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For many years this city of roughly 450k people never had a true urban core and just seemed to sprawl for miles and miles. Things started to change and in 2002 the first first phase of Town Center was begun. Today, 3 years later, we have many fine one-of-a kind restaurants (to this region) and many new retailers (coming soon), all which contribute to an urban core - a place for the locals. I feel our market has been left out for many years because of it being a military town but most of the new restaurants are performing over and above expectations.

Over the years the locals have felt left out because tourism is such a huge industry and most of the city council had voted in times past to build more hotels or things for visitors. I am very excited about the future of Town Center. Be sure to check out the Westin also being built on the Town Center site which may very well be Virginia's tallest building. And because of Town Center being built, there are many other projects being developed and implemented further complementing and enlarging this urban core. Just to name a few are Cityview, and Town Square, one block west of Town Center is in the making for more high rises and mixed use residential/retail, another huge block west of the prior one is also in the making, Pembroke Mall, the oldest mall in the city has been renovated and undergoing many changes, reports of parking garages being built and possible demolition of significant retail in the heart of the city also give clues to bigger and better things to come. Without further ado here are just a few recent pictures and I hope you enjoy.

Sorry a little dark but just an updated Cosmo pic. Things are coming along nicely.

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The brick facde is coming along nicely. Thankfully they are taking it up quite a ways.

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Took this from the top of Dick's.

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Future Westin here on the corner and the Performing Arts Center.

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Wow. The little houses now have the white picket fences .. jk. but wonder what is coming here?

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Diners were everywhere!

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Let's hear it for the Performing Arts Center!

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Cops on horses

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Wonder whats going here?

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They even had live music! After that piped in but that was ok too. :)

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strike a pose!

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These planters are really cool! I like the way they break up the concrete and add a splash of living color.

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The AH Tower

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Sorry these are a little small but hope you enjoyed!

edit: fixed disabled cityview link

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it's got a nice town center feel to it, and it seems to be growing quite rapidly. I went to funny bones comedy club & they really do draw some big names out there. Overall, it's shaping up to be quite impressive. The 1 major disadvantage to the area is the fact that it's springing up in the midst of exsisting sprawl, near one of the most busy traffic areas in the city (independance & virginia beach, 2 major arteries).

2 things the city needs to make this work: 1- mass transit. Without an outlet to curb traffic, the growth will be stagnated by traffic woes.

2 - more land. There is too many existing businesses in the vicinity of this new "downtown". It's size will definately be limited unless it can find a way to displace the circuit city, barnes & noble, best buy, etc that are all in the vicinity.

One thing I will give to the city of Virginia Beach in all this is it's ability to get projects built FAST. I mean the area is being transformed practically over night, growing extremely fast. Kudos to the city for making this happen quickly.

I still feel that until the problems are adressed, this new "downtown" won't be able to rival Norfolk, or even feel like a real downtown any time soon.

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it's got a nice town center feel to it, and it seems to be growing quite rapidly.  I went to funny bones comedy club & they really do draw some big names out there.  Overall, it's shaping up to be quite impressive.  The 1 major disadvantage to the area is the fact that it's springing up in the midst of exsisting sprawl, near one of the most busy traffic areas in the city (independance & virginia beach, 2 major arteries).

2 things the city needs to make this work:  1- mass transit.  Without an outlet to curb traffic, the growth will be stagnated by traffic woes.

2 - more land.  There is too many existing businesses in the vicinity of this new "downtown".  It's size will definately be limited unless it can find a way to displace the circuit city, barnes & noble, best buy, etc that are all in the vicinity. 

One thing I will give to the city of Virginia Beach in all this is it's ability to get projects built FAST.  I mean the area is being transformed practically over night, growing extremely fast.  Kudos to the city for making this happen quickly. 

I still feel that until the problems are adressed, this new "downtown" won't be able to rival Norfolk, or even feel like a real downtown any time soon.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I agree about being landlocked but here a few things going on:

Hopefully one day the center will be able to have a walkway over the Blvd to the mall side. They are working on that so I understand. Also, land east of the Center is being looked at to develop in smiliar ways though yes, it will be difficult to link the two areas across Independence. Also, the Barnes and Noble areas are already being looked at for redevelopment. Hopefully soon we will get more updates as time progresses. Lots of things are happening but haven't been formally accounced as of yet.

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