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We have a new mixed used development at 400 Waterside Drive that is entering the discussion phase with the ARB called Gravity 400. If built, it would replace the parking lot and the garage entrance that is adjacent to the Icon.

You can see more about it at the following link; http://norfolkcityva.iqm2.com/citizens/FileOpen.aspx?Type=1&ID=1230&Inline=True

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Given the tight location, I'm actually okay with this. I wasn't expecting a tower on that site, and I'm guessing Buddy would've been reluctant to allow any building that would block the view from the ICON.

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I dunno what it is, but I think this design adds some legitimacy to downtown Norfolk, for some reason. 

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51 minutes ago, baobabs727 said:

Oh. Hell. No. Wrong design. Wrong place. 

Podium apartments is what he builds. This is exactly what I expected when the project was announced. 

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Driving into this area to me seems kinda suburban (on the fringes) so this adds density where it's really needed.

Edited by urbanvb
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You go to LA, they have developments similar to this downtown. It’s the new normal, Norfolk is simply keeping up.

I think we’ll get a high rise sooner or later, but this works and IMO, the street level retail add much-needed activity to that side of downtown. 

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If we could get several similar buildings lining Waterside like this, that'll do wonders towards giving downtown a more big city presence as you enter.

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4 hours ago, vdogg said:

If we could get several similar buildings lining Waterside like this, that'll do wonders towards giving downtown a more big city presence as you enter.

Hi!  

yeah.....this is my first post, and I hate that it has to be this way but, ARE YOU SERIOUS???  How is a semi-suburban development on probably the most presidential street in Norfolk "giving downtown a more big city presence"????  

This is extremely a terrible idea, just like the houses behind the mall.  How could you be okay with this??????????

Isn't this like, the central business district?  Am I trippin'??  da heck?

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Look at the footprint of the proposed building. Now look at th footprint of the ICON building. The new building’s footprint is way bigger than that of th ICON building, and it is located between the ICON and the waterfront. The same developer who redeloped the B.O.A. building into the ICON is building the new project. He is not going to create a new building directly in front of his most high profile development which would totally obliterate the views he used to sell them. That move would be suicide for any developer.

Not to mention that when the building was sold to Gadams, IIRC it was done so as a registered historical site, that includes the adjoining land in question. I believe the development of the land is restricted by it’s being thusly registered.

Edited by NFKjeff
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6 hours ago, ONCE1stBlvd said:

Hi!  

yeah.....this is my first post, and I hate that it has to be this way but, ARE YOU SERIOUS???  How is a semi-suburban development on probably the most presidential street in Norfolk "giving downtown a more big city presence"????  

This is extremely a terrible idea, just like the houses behind the mall.  How could you be okay with this??????????

Isn't this like, the central business district?  Am I trippin'??  da heck?

That building is a lot of things but it is not suburban. There are only a few things that can go on that particular lot. The best we can hope for is a midrise dense development. A highrise won't work there because it will block Icon's view. I'm from Va. Beach. I know suburban, that's not it.

3 hours ago, lammius said:

Just a thought

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I would love this.

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6 hours ago, vdogg said:

That building is a lot of things but it is not suburban. There are only a few things that can go on that particular lot. The best we can hope for is a midrise dense development. A highrise won't work there because it will block Icon's view. I'm from Va. Beach. I know suburban, that's not it.

I would love this.

I bet you would love that...

I said "semi-suburban" and the only reason I say that is because it's the type of development that would be acceptable in the suburb of a core city, within or near a  "town center".  Something like Va Beach's town center would be a great example.  Seeing this in pretty much any other part of Norfolk would be fine.  

I'm from Queens but I've lived in a multitude of incorporated areas, cities(including 4 of the cities on the southside of Hampton Roads) and a few countries.  I also know suburban.  I know urban.  I know center cities.  The type of urban you get in core cities should maximize the usage of the land, considering the core cities typically have less land to work with.  This is under-serving.  It's a little city move that screams desperation.  It's not even mid-rise.  It's low-rise.

I wouldn't expect a tower there neither and your straw man arguments are frustrating

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1 hour ago, ONCE1stBlvd said:

I bet you would love that...

I said "semi-suburban" and the only reason I say that is because it's the type of development that would be acceptable in the suburb of a core city, within or near a  "town center".  Something like Va Beach's town center would be a great example.  Seeing this in pretty much any other part of Norfolk would be fine.  

I'm from Queens but I've lived in a multitude of incorporated areas, cities(including 4 of the cities on the southside of Hampton Roads) and a few countries.  I also know suburban.  I know urban.  I know center cities.  The type of urban you get in core cities should maximize the usage of the land, considering the core cities typically have less land to work with.  This is under-serving.  It's a little city move that screams desperation.  It's not even mid-rise.  It's low-rise.

I wouldn't expect a tower there neither and your straw man arguments are frustrating

Straw man arguments? :lol: Ok. Obviously, this is not Queens, this is not New York no matter how much any of us may wish it were. Norfolk has made great strides over the past 20 years towards becoming a dense and walkable urban city, but there is still a ways to go. I think everyone can agree with that. There is a saying “Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good” and I think that applies here. This is a good development, not spectacular, but in line with what I was expecting. This still needs to go through the design review and planning process, changes will likely be made. I think perhaps it would be more constructive to the discussion to point out what you do want to see in that spot  instead of what you don’t. You think this is a terrible development, alright I’ll bite, what do you want to see in it’s place?

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14 minutes ago, vdogg said:

Straw man arguments?

Yessir!  Strawman.  You distorted my argument, implying that I wanted a high-rise.  It's something that obviously would be a bad idea.  Not even realistic.  Everyone would agree with that and it'd make my point look ignorant and make anything you say seem correct.....  Its a strawman

15 minutes ago, vdogg said:

Norfolk has made great strides over the past 20 years towards becoming a dense and walkable urban city, but there is still a ways to go. I think everyone can agree with that

This is another one.  I don't ride the bandwagon.  Just because a bunch of people believe Norfolk has made great strides doesn't mean it actually did.   Some of the same people who ate at Rainforest Cafe at Mac Center might be on this board right now saying that mall should be cleared and made into a street grid.  I was one of them, as a matter of fact.  I can admit that I thought Mac Mall was fire!  A downtown mall seemed cool.  But all it really did was kill a lot of potential character and create a huge boundary.  Norfolk got desperate to get "people" to go downtown and tried to duplicate what the suburbs did, kinda.  Because truthfully, what I hear the most when people are relocating is "how good are the schools?"  Maybe we could've moved that money towards THAT instead of a cash-grabby mall.  Bro;  It was a bad idea for the area but it brought money back downtown, and that's probably all they cared about and hoped that it would help the rest of the city a lot more.  It helped...but not as much as it hurt.    It didn't become dense and walkable.  IT WAS DENSE AND WALKABLE.   I saw those pictures of Church St.  Atlantic City.  They "urban renewal'ed" downtown... Then it became Laguna Seca!

43 minutes ago, vdogg said:

I think perhaps it would be more constructive to the discussion to point out what you do want to see in that spot  instead of what you don’t.

Well, I think perhaps it would be more constructive for me to offer what I offered.  My feedback.  I haven't read anywhere on this page that goes against that and I haven't been offensive.   No rules broken.  A couple people on this page have expressed disdain for this development besides me.  As a moderator, I'm sure you have the power to limit me in ways but I don't believe it's in anyone's interest to demonstrate tyranny, so I'd say just take what I'm sharing as an opinion.  With that said, just because I don't have the perfect development idea for this doesn't mean I can't identify a terrible idea.  If someone was morbidly obese they may not know what food would be the absolute healthiest but they would probably know a cheeseburger and fries isn't, ya know?  

You wanna know what I think should go on that plot?  Something better.  It doesn't have to be bigger, just something that says "hey!  we're Norfolk!  The center of the 7 cities and we want to be the cultural, financial and educational hub center cities offer!  Not, "hey...we got some low-rise condos in front of some high-rise condos and a mall down the street

59 minutes ago, vdogg said:

Ok. Obviously, this is not Queens, this is not New York no matter how much any of us may wish it were

I haven't got the feels that anyone on this board wants that.  Not even me.  I don' t want the 7 cities to be NYC.   I just want it to be the best it can be. 

sue me for having a vision why don't you...

 

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Honestly, I could see this development in the suburbs as well as on the edge of a downtown. It looks like something VB TCish. I'm not a fan of it at all. Like most projects in this area, it has very little thought put into it. Ive said it before, our cities approve just about anything. They don't force these devlopers to be creative with their projects. Like Ive said they see any devleopment as good development. Norfolk is running out of land and you cant keep building these types of buildings and continue to grow in population. You have to go up. 

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To chime in on this project, I will say the size of it is fine, obviously having it be a podium building with a skinny residential tower on it would be nice, but realistically that isn't in the cards for Norfolk. My guess is this structure will be mostly wood frame which means the size of the building is going to stay that size. As for the function of the building, I think it is lacking in regards to commercial frontage since it just looks like the one western corner is the only potential for any "retail." I could be wrong, but that is what it looks like to me. As for the architecture, this is where the "suburban" comments really come in. This design seems very generic and corporate feeling that is lacking in any architecture quality. For such a visible location, the design of the building should be the most important thing even if it is only this size. If this gets built as is in this design, it will be a major miss for the city, but at least it will be adding more residential to the downtown core.

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8 hours ago, urbanlife said:

To chime in on this project, I will say the size of it is fine, obviously having it be a podium building with a skinny residential tower on it would be nice, but realistically that isn't in the cards for Norfolk. My guess is this structure will be mostly wood frame which means the size of the building is going to stay that size. As for the function of the building, I think it is lacking in regards to commercial frontage since it just looks like the one western corner is the only potential for any "retail." I could be wrong, but that is what it looks like to me. As for the architecture, this is where the "suburban" comments really come in. This design seems very generic and corporate feeling that is lacking in any architecture quality. For such a visible location, the design of the building should be the most important thing even if it is only this size. If this gets built as is in this design, it will be a major miss for the city, but at least it will be adding more residential to the downtown core.

The renderings show they're going to have parking on portions of the ground floor. So that limits the amount of commercial use of the property.

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