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1 hour ago, urbanlife said:

That would be a good site for an arena that would benefit the most people. Hopefully if one is built, it wouldn't be modeled after an arena with a sea of parking around it.

I don't really understand this comment. If they raze the Military Circle Mall and put an arena in its place there is already a sea of parking around it. They don't need to add more since the then former mall parking lot and the Janaf parking lot should be enough.

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Actual BRT doesn't get stuck in single car traffic, it runs on its own right of way system. It is much more like light rail but without the tracks or light rail cars. Bus Rapid Transit example

I wouldn’t be surprised if the Pamunkey tribe throws in funding for this project. Only thing is I doubt there’s enough land near Harbor Park and I’m not sure what other land they own in Norfolk. 

I think you're right on the stigma and the lack of direct routes. Time is a major factor. Until it saves considerable time on a commute, people would rather be alone in their cars or grab an Uber.

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12 minutes ago, Virginia City said:

I don't really understand this comment. If they raze the Military Circle Mall and put an arena in its place there is already a sea of parking around it. They don't need to add more since the then former mall parking lot and the Janaf parking lot should be enough.

Just putting the arena in the place of where the mall is wouldn't fix anything about that area beyond making it an arena. I am saying there shouldn't be a sea of surface parking, that should all be redeveloped into a mixed use development that can include light rail rather than just keep it in its current state.

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A while ago, I suggested keeping one corridor of the mall and converting that into an open space with restaurants and shops, a layout similar to the Premium Outlets, but much smaller. That main corridor that leads to the old hotel (next to the old JC Penney) would be perfect. Depending on how dilapidated it is, I'd even renovate the hotel, unless it's so expensive that tearing it down is cheaper. In that same area, add a plaza that would allow fans to congregate and watch the game outside on a Jumbotron. The arenas in Dallas, Cleveland, and Toronto all have this feature. I call it Squire Square. :lol:

Even though it's on the outskirts of the property, you could also repurpose the two strip malls and former Piccadilly* facing Military Highway.

*RIP...miss that place already.

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11 hours ago, urbanlife said:

Just putting the arena in the place of where the mall is wouldn't fix anything about that area beyond making it an arena. I am saying there shouldn't be a sea of surface parking, that should all be redeveloped into a mixed use development that can include light rail rather than just keep it in its current state.

I agree and disagree. I personally don't have a problem with just an arena on the mall property for the time being.  Redevelop Janaf first since that is the where the real retail is with mixed use developments. If more is needed or the area can hold more then surround the arena in a sea of parking garages and apartment buildings. Developing for the sake of developing will be a net loss in the end when there are too many storefronts and not enough stores to put in them. 

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17 hours ago, Virginia City said:

I agree and disagree. I personally don't have a problem with just an arena on the mall property for the time being.  Redevelop Janaf first since that is the where the real retail is with mixed use developments. If more is needed or the area can hold more then surround the arena in a sea of parking garages and apartment buildings. Developing for the sake of developing will be a net loss in the end when there are too many storefronts and not enough stores to put in them. 

It wouldn't need a sea of parking garages, it would probably only need one or two parking garages. The rest of the space outside of an arena and a couple garages could be a mixed use development with a light rail station in the middle of it.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I realize that they they want to put this on Military Highway to help spur new development there. But if I had it my way, they would build this next to harbor park, giving us a stadium district and inspiring new development around both. 

If you could pick one location for an arena in Norfolk, what would it be?

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I’m not sure they have the space next to Harbor Park, mainly because of the light rail line. Not unless it goes on the proposed casino site, and the casino moves to the left of the stadium (when looking at an aerial shot). 

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I prefer the current site of the Scope. I understand there will be cries for historic preservation but it’s an outdated facility that takes up a massive block downtown. If one of the goals is to help spur development, economic & real estate, then it should occur where it would provide the most benefit. What would happen at the Scope if the arena is built elsewhere that can’t happen at another facility?

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1 hour ago, BFG said:

I’m not sure they have the space next to Harbor Park, mainly because of the light rail line. Not unless it goes on the proposed casino site, and the casino moves to the left of the stadium (when looking at an aerial shot). 

The casino would have to move a bit. But I think there's enough space to figure it out for both.

I would just like harbor park to be surrounded by things to do before and after games. So if an arena was next to it, that would happen.

I wouldn't be mad if they levelled scope and built there either, especially since there is so much more life downtown now.

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My first preference would be the Scope site. I am a firm believer that people generators like arenas, etc. are a tremendous asset for a downtown area. Having said that, I doubt it would be in downtown proper.

The cost to demolish Scope then build a new arena on the site would be tremendous. I think they save money placing it elsewhere;

The push is to get away from potential flooding due to sea-level rise. I believe this counts out downtown anyway. (especially near Harbor Park)

 

I feel like the Military Circle area is where it will end up:

Highway access, more central to population (VA Beach);

Closer to the airport;

Potential catalyst for light-rail to the arena and then to the airport;

Tremendous opportunity for development/re-development of the area.

 

My heart says the Scope site, my head says the  Military Circle site.

 

I wonder if MacArthur Mall could be engineered/retrofitted to house an arena? 

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1 minute ago, carolinaboy said:

My first preference would be the Scope site. I am a firm believer that people generators like arenas, etc. are a tremendous asset for a downtown area. Having said that, I doubt it would be in downtown proper.

The cost to demolish Scope then build a new arena on the site would be tremendous. I think they save money placing it elsewhere;

The push is to get away from potential flooding due to sea-level rise. I believe this counts out downtown anyway. (especially near Harbor Park)

 

I feel like the Military Circle area is where it will end up:

Highway access, more central to population (VA Beach);

Closer to the airport;

Potential catalyst for light-rail to the arena and then to the airport;

Tremendous opportunity for development/re-development of the area.

 

My heart says the Scope site, my head says the  Military Circle site.

I understand the appeal of Military Circle but with Movement Mortgage & Optima having 10+ year leases, the potential for Sentara moving more offices there, and the mall itself being bank-owned, I don’t see a complete redevelopment there for many, many years. 

The push to move away from low-lying areas is a lot of talk and some action, but it’s not going to stop development, as evidenced by numerous proposals (casino, the Gateway Tower, new Marathon/Gadams apartments, etc). 

Harbor Park maybe, but how much contiguous land is available after the casino land is sold? 

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The scope site would be best in terms of location to downtown and light rail.  However, the cost of demolition and demolition of the underground parking would be prohibitive for them and that is just to get the lot construction ready.  I'm sure they are looking for a shovel ready lot to keep the costs down.  There would be enough room to build a large parking garage and complex between HP and the train station but leaving Right of Way for the Casino development behind it would be pretty messy.  The only shovel ready site I see downtown is the large parking lot at Virginia Beach Blvd and Monticello.  Large surface parking lot shovel ready to go.  To me not ideal location but in my opinion, the City does not have a track record of spending the money to put things where they should be.  Don't be surprised if that lot gets mentioned as a possible downtown site.

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46 minutes ago, urbanfan said:

The scope site would be best in terms of location to downtown and light rail.  However, the cost of demolition and demolition of the underground parking would be prohibitive for them and that is just to get the lot construction ready.  I'm sure they are looking for a shovel ready lot to keep the costs down.  There would be enough room to build a large parking garage and complex between HP and the train station but leaving Right of Way for the Casino development behind it would be pretty messy.  The only shovel ready site I see downtown is the large parking lot at Virginia Beach Blvd and Monticello.  Large surface parking lot shovel ready to go.  To me not ideal location but in my opinion, the City does not have a track record of spending the money to put things where they should be.  Don't be surprised if that lot gets mentioned as a possible downtown site.

The site you mention at Harbor Park is part of the land in the casino deal. 

The surface parking lot will certainly be considered but it’s inferior to all that have been discussed. 

I don’t know that truly ‘shovel ready’ sites exist for arenas. I doubt anyone would spend the money to get a site to that status for an arena unless a deal for an arena deal is already in place. Demolition costs should not be a deterrent if they want to do it the right way & the mall sites would carry high demo/site costs as well (although maybe not quite as high as the Scope). 

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Putting this new arena downtown would be great for all the new(er) hotels. I hope the decision makers take into consideration the private developments that have come to downtown recently. An arena and the people it would bring would be great for these people and validate their investments.

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2 hours ago, Ghentite said:

Take this for what it's worth, but I have heard some prefer the MacArthur Mall as a potential spot downtown.  Would be a major overhaul and seems unrealistic but I've heard it's at least been brought up.

Imagine how different downtown looks if the MacArthur site contains a street grid with one or two big name stores, and an arena next to it. The shopping element would've been smaller, but I think downtown still gets revitalized with mixed-use. 

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3 hours ago, urbanfan said:

 The only shovel ready site I see downtown is the large parking lot at Virginia Beach Blvd and Monticello.  Large surface parking lot shovel ready to go.  

Virginia Beach Blvd at Monticello may not be shovel-ready.  I read somewhere that the site is badly  contaminated.  There used to be a coal tar to gas manufacturing plant there, and the waste products were poured out onto the ground.  Somewhere in the past they covered the site with a clay cap to form an impervious barrier to keep rain water from running through the soil and leeching the contaminants into the ground water.  That is why the site is elevated. 

I could not find definite documentation that the site is contaminated, but this website has good information on manufactured gas plants and the contamination they cause:  http://www.hatheway.net/index.html

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I have no problem with Norfolk building downtown, but if they build downtown they are building alone. I don't think that they will get any buy-in from Va. Beach if they build downtown, the only way Va.  Beach will participate is if it's built closer to them at military highway, or better yet, buy out the hotels at the Newtown road terminus of the light rail and build the arena there.

Doing this will allow arena inspired development to spill over into Virginia Beach proper, giving them more direct benefit for participating in the arena deal.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The Norfolk specific Arena bill passed last week. It seems, one way or another, we’re getting an arena.

https://www.13newsnow.com/article/news/local/mycity/norfolk/hb-1102-hampton-roads-arena/291-612a8674-180f-428d-9b09-9d1d196a57ee

“Both bills are written with roughly the same language and regardless of how they progress through the General Assembly, even if it's the Norfolk-specific bill, the city is very open to discussing a regional collaboration of the arena," Norfolk City Manager Chip Filer previously told 13News Now.

"If we end up taking a regional approach with the other cities, we would want some input from them as well as about where the location should be."

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Admittedly, I know very little about Richmond's Navy Hill project. I just know it was voted down last night. I start with that admission because I was wondering if there is any chance Dominion would be open to building that arena and tower in Norfolk or the Southside? I'm guessing the answer is no. But landing both would be a huge win for Tidewater 

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6 hours ago, BeagleAccountant said:

Admittedly, I know very little about Richmond's Navy Hill project. I just know it was voted down last night. I start with that admission because I was wondering if there is any chance Dominion would be open to building that arena and tower in Norfolk or the Southside? I'm guessing the answer is no. But landing both would be a huge win for Tidewater 

We don’t need Dominion to build the arena for us. The regional framework works best, and will ensure all cities have skin in the game. As for the tower, who knows. There would have to be substantial benefit to splitting their headquarters and locating the other tower here, and I’m not sure I see one.

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