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Glassoul

Building Height Restrictions

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Glassoul    0

I'd like to see this topic discussed, pros and cons of implementing building height restrictions in HR. With all the talk of a new tallest in Virginia, I think it merits discussion. Does HR really need a 750ft+ building?

Would buildings of these size or larger take away from downtown Norfolk's (and to a lesser extent, Pembroke VABCH) feel and intimacy? Are you more concerned with having building height for the sake of height? Or do you believe a balance can be struck?

Does building height limit a region's ability to grow, or does it protect architectual heritage, intimacy, and encourage higher quality developments?

Do we even have the ability to build such a building here, technically speaking, because of issues with hurricanes, water table, lack of bedrock, lack of mass transportation, etc.

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vdogg    328

I'd like to see this topic discussed, pros and cons of implementing building height restrictions in HR. With all the talk of a new tallest in Virginia, I think it merits discussion. Does HR really need a 750ft+ building?

Would buildings of these size or larger take away from downtown Norfolk's (and to a lesser extent,  Pembroke VABCH)  feel and intimacy? Are you more concerned with having building height for the sake of height? Or do you believe a balance can be struck?

Does building height limit a region's ability to grow, or does it protect architectual heritage, intimacy, and encourage higher quality developments?

Do we even have the ability to build such a building here, technically speaking, because of issues with hurricanes, water table, lack of bedrock, lack of mass transportation, etc.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Miami has the exact same problem we do with Hurricanes, so technically that is not an issue. The main issue with building so high is cost. Part of the reason i think it took so long for a building this high to come to Norfolk was the cost to construct it. It cost more in places like Norfolk and New Orleans because you have to use different construction techniques due to the poor soil and foundation base (high water table). That being said it is not novel at all to have 40-60 story buildings in an area with said problems, the solutions have existed for years. I am not a fan of just throwing up an arbitrary height limit either, I would rather everything be decided on a case by case basis. I also believe that building design is just as important as height and old and new can be blended together quite successfully. Again this will have to be done case by case. Should you have a tall building smack in the middle of a historic district? Probably not. Should you place a height limit over the whole city just because you can see a tall building from a historic area (ala D.C./Rosslyn)? Definately not. I really don't see any big clamour to stop building tall buildings in HR coming along anytime soon. In fact it's been quite the opposite. And yes I absolutely want skyscrapers in this area because they are visually stunning and will serve as a physical manifestation of the magnificence of our region.

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I'd like to see this topic discussed, pros and cons of implementing building height restrictions in HR. With all the talk of a new tallest in Virginia, I think it merits discussion. Does HR really need a 750ft+ building?

Would buildings of these size or larger take away from downtown Norfolk's (and to a lesser extent,  Pembroke VABCH)  feel and intimacy? Are you more concerned with having building height for the sake of height? Or do you believe a balance can be struck?

Does building height limit a region's ability to grow, or does it protect architectual heritage, intimacy, and encourage higher quality developments?

Do we even have the ability to build such a building here, technically speaking, because of issues with hurricanes, water table, lack of bedrock, lack of mass transportation, etc.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Yeah, from what I'm told from Norfolk officials is that they really don't care that much if Va Beach has a taller building than they do. Norfolk doesn't want to start an all-out building spree that will take away the quality of downtown. Norfolk's downtown has been studied for years and has been improved greatly, and they won't risk it just for the tallest building.

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urbanlife    55

Norfolk has learned from their mistakes, tallest doesnt always equal best. Norfolk suffered a huge vacancy rating when trying to go taller. Plus I have been a strong believer that over 30 floors it becomes about ego. Which is why if HR ever got anything that broke the 700ft marker, it would be in VB.

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vdogg    328

Norfolk has learned from their mistakes, tallest doesnt always equal best.  Norfolk suffered a huge vacancy rating when trying to go taller.  Plus I have been a strong believer that over 30 floors it becomes about ego.  Which is why if HR ever got anything that broke the 700ft marker, it would be in VB.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I really think that a couple 500-600 foot towers are not out of the question for Norfolk. Most of Norfolks present highrise construction is driven strictly by land pressures and any 5-600ft tower we get down there would be no exception. Given proper build out, i don't think that a 50 story tower would be too far fetched within the next 10 years in DT Norfolk.

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lammius    42

Do we even have the ability to build such a building here, technically speaking, because of issues with hurricanes, water table, lack of bedrock, lack of mass transportation, etc.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

While hurricanes, low elev., and mucky soil are problems they can be overcome. The example of Miami is a good one. Transportation, however, must not be overlooked. The thing about density is that it requires dependence on more than just the automobile. If New York City were built assuming everyone would drive everywhere it would look VERY different than it does. Norfolk's landscape is marred by the city's auto dependence. The worker-to-parking space ratio is through the roof in Norfolk. Look at how many decks exist along Main Street alone! Stacking more and more workers and residents on top of one another while continuing to assume they will all drive everywhere is a dangerous move. The congestion that killed downtown in the 1940s will once again turn the district into an undesirable location for business and living. When I see renderings of high-density living as suggestions for nearly every block of Downtown Norfolk I cannot help being skeptical that most people will find such a lifestyle undesirable without frequent, reliable, and widespread transit service. It's a MUST.

In addition the city could do some things to better manage the transportation infrastructure that already exists. Turning Main Street and Plume Street into east-west one-way streets and Granby & Monticello into north-south one-way streets is one suggestion.

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