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Foundry Park - CoStar HQ


georgeglass

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1 hour ago, KJHburg said:

I find their reporting many times shallow as well.  But when you are talking about the very company you work for and on such an important project you would think it would be done better.  Someone told me they thought the Governor  made this 510 feet claim.  

Someone needs to contact this guy on behalf the media interest called  Richmond UP 

CoStar Group
Matthew Blocher
(202) 346-6775
[email protected]

 

See - that's a huge problem for me as a former reporter. If the GOVERNOR put that number out there, if I'm covering the event for whatever organization (AP, RBS, RTD) decided to staff it, I'm making a BIG circle around that 510 figure on my note pad and I'm approaching the CEO himself and verifying it with him. Plus at least one more person from CoStar. And probably getting the governor to confirm that number and tell me where he sourced it. One of my old editors way back when always said - "if your mother says she loves you, CHECK IT OUT!!" The old-school way was - you don't just verify. You verify, verify, verify. Three sources if at all posslble. The more the better.

I wish I still worked for the Associated Press. I'd follow up on this regardless of whether the editors okayed it or not. It would just take a phone call or email. Plus, I guarantee you both the state news editor and the bureau chief would want a correction out on the wire ASAP if one was necessary. If the number was wrong, even if the GFE was the fault of the source, it STILL makes the AP look bad for reporting incorrect information.

Edited by I miss RVA
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On 12/13/2021 at 1:27 PM, CH_BP93 said:

First time posting on this forum, but I've been a reader for some time. Over the weekend, I was hanging out with an old colleague who works at CoStar and I asked him about the status of this project. He shared that it's still in the works. In late August, they had a model of the proposed new buildings on display up on the 9th floor. If this is indeed what they end up building then it will be a great addition to the skyline.

CoStar Tower.jpg

Is the 'crown' a floor or multiple floors? The renders make it look like there's a couple of floors inside of it. If so that's 25/26 floors judging by the model. 

Screen Shot 2021-12-18 at 7.41.24 PM.png

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1 hour ago, carolina1792 said:

Is the 'crown' a floor or multiple floors? The renders make it look like there's a couple of floors inside of it. If so that's 25/26 floors judging by the model. 

Screen Shot 2021-12-18 at 7.41.24 PM.png

You can see from this side of the tower (see the rendering below) that the crown is a large portion of the top of the tower (the part with no lights on).  So, I'd say that the very top portions that you lined up in your post (above) are not actual floors, but are part of the crown.  That's where I see that this rendering shows 22 floors, not 26:

CoStar Richmond 2

 

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9 hours ago, rjp212 said:

I think the parking garage along Byrd has a great opportunity to be redeveloped in the future. It doesn't utilize that block well.

100% agreed. Who owns that huge garage? Is that technically part of the CoStar campus? It would be a great opportunity to develop some residential there - perhaps squeeze in a couple of condo towers along that site. What with CoStar's big headquarters set to rise there, this could become a VERY in-demand swath of downtown in the next few years.

It makes me wonder, too, that at some point if Dominion starts fielding offers for the block upon which OJRP once sat - that's a big gap - and again with CoStars big HQ rising nearby and Dominion's shiny new tower next door and other developments like Gateway Plaza and the eventual 11, 13 or 14 story (depending on who you believe) state office building at 7th and Main -- I could see that big hole in the ground suddenly becoming VERY prime real estate, if it isn't already. Down the road (and maybe not THAT far down said road) this swath of land could once again be making some headlines.

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That parking deck serves the Federal Reserve. You may recall that this entire foundry site used to be a big parking lot. They built the deck which allowed for the MeadWestvaco HQ which became CoStar’s current footprint which did so well that CoStar now wants their massive expansion. So that parking deck is actually what started it all :tw_joy:

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42 minutes ago, wrldcoupe4 said:

That parking deck serves the Federal Reserve. You may recall that this entire foundry site used to be a big parking lot. They built the deck which allowed for the MeadWestvaco HQ which became CoStar’s current footprint which did so well that CoStar now wants their massive expansion. So that parking deck is actually what started it all :tw_joy:

Who would have thought that a parking deck would be such and huge economic driver (sort of)?!?!

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This is the view of the wall that is the parking deck, Costar is hidden behind it unfortunately along the exit from the Powhite and Bryd street.  It really separates their location from the north side and is negatively a barrier/division for creating an urban grid, which is unfortunate.

https://goo.gl/maps/thUsrDHfaQWBLWLy6

Edited by Hike
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On 12/17/2021 at 4:48 PM, wrldcoupe4 said:

We’ll, not to be a downer, but CoStar’s details on their own site have this tower at 425’. 
https://www.costar.com/article/508382584/costar-group-plans-460-million-campus-expansion-in-richmond

“At 425 feet tall, the main tower could become the tallest building in Richmond when it is slated to be completed in 2024. The current title holder, the 449-foot James Monroe Building at 101 N. 14th St., is being eyed for demolition.”

Wait, what? Wth are they gonna demo Monroe?

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19 minutes ago, vdogg said:

That would be a shame. That’s such an iconic Richmond tower. They need to find some way to preserve it.

Fun fact: Monroe tower was meant to be a twin tower but the economic crisis happened half way through the build. The parking lot next to it is built to accommodate a second tower.

 

Also fun fact: Monroe tower is ugly and needs to be removed.

Long term employees of the state that worked there complained about health issues. Apparently that tower is a great museum on how to build the inside of a building using all kinds of poisons. 

My understanding was this tower is going down and it will be sold to private buyer. Does anyone else have something I haven't heard of?

Regardless, it's going down.

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28 minutes ago, I miss RVA said:

Unless the state is hellbent on keeping the PROPERTY upon which the tower and parking deck stand, they would do well to sell it if a buyer can be found. I believe the state quoted recouping about $28M in a straight-up sale -- and when you factor in demo costs, it's a double-win for the state financially if they sell the building. You'd have to think some fairly deep-pocketed developer would want to grab the building and turn it - perhaps into some kind of mixed use or straight-up residential. I agree - it should be saved -- it's been iconic on the RVA skyline for 40 years. I'd be curious to know if the building could be re-clad and perhaps a spire could be integrated into the top of the tower.  Wouldn't it be something if a developer with a big ego bought the building, renovated it, re-clad it, and integrated a spire complex atop the building that just happened to be - oh - 62-feet tall... bringing the height to 511 feet ... one foot taller than CoStar. (Talk about a classic pesto-measuring contest!!) 

This is what I’ve been saying for a good while now.  It would be awesome to save it and redesign it.  If a spire is incorporated on top, this could be Richmond’s best-looking iconic tower!

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this all goes back to that strange Costar news story (I incorrectly called it a press release) that said the new Costar will be the tallest tower in the city once the James Monroe goes down.  I have never in my life heard such a comparison when talking about buildings.   Blue font means joking    So when the Washington Monument topples over the tallest building in the DC area will be Captial One in Tysons.   (and the Monument almost did during the quake) 

Is this demo of the James Monroe building talking stage or is it scheduled to happen in the next few months?   Either way that Costar article was what I can only call stupidly written. 

Edited by KJHburg
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Count me in for tearing down Monroe or at least repositioning it whatever is feasible. State should work with city to put out an RFP to ask development community for a high quality project here if they do offload it. Could do a lot to knit back together shockoe with downtown, main with Broad, state civic space with the city around it etc. Monroe building, fed tower may look good on the skyline - at their bases they actually take away from urban Richmond, not contribute to it.

Other cities to the south may be simply competing on things like biggest towers or simple things like skylines- we actually have an interesting city at the street level to tend to.

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2 hours ago, whw53 said:

Count me in for tearing down Monroe or at least repositioning it whatever is feasible. State should work with city to put out an RFP to ask development community for a high quality project here if they do offload it. Could do a lot to knit back together shockoe with downtown, main with Broad, state civic space with the city around it etc. Monroe building, fed tower may look good on the skyline - at their bases they actually take away from urban Richmond, not contribute to it.

Other cities to the south may be simply competing on things like biggest towers or simple things like skylines- we actually have an interesting city at the street level to tend to.

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I normally agree with you on most stuff, brother, but here I have to counter with a few thoughts:

1.) reposition it:  how exactly do you reposition a 40-year-old, 449-foot-tall, 29-story office tower? I'm not being sarcastic - if it's possible, I'm all for it. 

2.) knit shockoe with downtown:  I foresee a six-column banner headline on the RTD - "Three-story townhouses -- Foushee Mews East -- to replace former 'state's tallest' skyscraper Monroe Tower as city downsizes"

Quite honestly - I would rather take a header off the Manchester Bridge (and I can't swim) than to live to see THIS monstrosity/abomination/(pick your term) God-forbid come to pass.

3.) civic space w city around it: something Central Park-esque would be nice - but we need CITY to make that work - which means TALL BUILDINGS towering up above the treeline. If some kind of comprehensive development replaced the Monroe tower, then height MUST BE INCLUDED!!!  Otherwise this premise falls completely flat.

4.) cities competing for height/skylines vs RVA being an interesting street-level city:  We can -- and should -- do both. These are NOT mutually exclusive concepts by any means. I have argued this point AD NAUSEAM on here. I simply DON'T understand why there is such a prevailing opinion that increased height MUST come at a sacrifice of street-level cohesiveness (and that, vice versa, it's perfectly okay to sacrifice height for the sake of street-level cohesiveness).

I believe Richmond 300 clearly addresses this in its zoning regs -- they're particularly spelled out in TOD-1 zones - but I should imagine B-4 has been tweaked to include this as well. Buildings like the Fed, OJRP, City Hall, Monroe Tower - all were part of an awful trend that was (and in some cases still is) particularly popular in Southern cities of putting single buildings on plazas or large flat pedestals. I've never liked it (and I do agree with you that the Fed is a classic example of isolation that just completely disconnects from downtown at the street level) -- but at the same time, I don't support ripping down "pedestal" buildings just to replace them with something "cohesive" -- particularly if we're sacrificing significant height to do so. I DO advocate all future development be guided by city zoning regs to avoid these kinds of designs and to integrate significantly better with the rest of the surrounding city at street level.

As I keep saying - there's no reason we can't have/do both -- fully integrated, well-designed development at the street level that still rises 500 or 600 feet (or more) above the city. These concepts are not mutually exclusive, regardless of what RVA's track record development-wise has been.

Edited by I miss RVA
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42 minutes ago, I miss RVA said:

I believe Richmond 300 clearly addresses this in its zoning regs -- they're particularly spelled out in TOD-1 zones - but I should imagine B-4 has been tweaked to include this as well. Buildings like the Fed, OJRP, City Hall, Monroe Tower - all were part of an awful trend that was (and in some cases still is) particularly popular in Southern cities of putting single buildings on plazas or large flat pedestals. I've never liked it (and I do agree with you that the Fed is a classic example of isolation that just completely disconnects from downtown at the street level) -- but at the same time, I don't support ripping down "pedestal" buildings just to replace them with something "cohesive" -- particularly if we're sacrificing significant height to do so. I DO advocate all future development be guided by city zoning regs to avoid these kinds of designs and to integrate significantly better with the rest of the surrounding city at street level.

Can you help me out--I don't understand this. My interpretation of what you're saying is that the Monroe Building was part of an architectural trend so awful that we should regulate it out of existence, yet we shouldn't  tear the building down and replace it with the type of architecture we actually want. I don't see why that should be the case, but if I misunderstood then please correct me. If the Monroe Building was 10 years old, I could understand taking the L because it would be expensive at the margin to replace it, but it is at the end of its useful life as indicated by the state's vision to replace it. The building is sitting on 40 year old concrete based on dated architecture that makes retrofitting it complicated and futile.

I like tall buildings more than the next guy (check my name), but I don't like them at any cost. You can have buildings that are tall because the area is booming and the developer is trying to profit off the growth opportunity. Skyscrapers in Arlington and Manhattan are good examples of this. (I recognize DC's laws affect demand in Arlington, but the tall buildings are justified by high rents). You can also have skyscrapers that are tall because government/semi-governmental entities want to make a "statement". These buildings are usually not great street assets and dwarf all the surrounding structures because their height was not related to any local economics. To my eyes, this latter group is not majestic, but sad. Good examples of government-statement skyscrapers would be the Monroe Building; the RSA tower in Mobile, AL; and the Snodgrass Building in Nashville. If these sorts of buildings have met the end of their useful life, then they should be torn down and replaced with something else because they evidently are not major assets for the surrounding area. If that means the new structure is smaller than the one it replaced, so be it. Bulk does not equal density, liveliness, or desirability.

I recognize this discussion is getting far away from the Costar building so if mods want to move this to some other thread, I understand.

Edited by upzoningisgood
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As much as I’d love a park connecting downtown to shockoe, there is 100 foot wide plus monstrosity that serves as a physical divider between this area and shockoe that can’t be fixed without hundreds of millions of dollars of investment from the government. Plus, even if the money was available to destroy it you would have every resident of chesterfield and henrico counties screaming bloody murder due to the countries obsession with the car. I could honestly care less if the Monroe tower stays or goes, it’s ugly and is a prime example of 1950-2000 urban planning, which I am pro getting rid, unless that means we get a parking lot. If it gets replaced by a 5 story apartment building, who cares, atleast that will actually contribute to downtown other than being a tall building, but just please don’t let them give us a parking lot or a parking garage.

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@I miss RVA yea i threw in 'reposition' to not sound so narrow minded - tbh i can't see it really  adhering to what i want in this neighborhood in its current form. That being said, I completely agree with you that height and densification of street-level uses are not mutually exclusive though all too often  it seemed to have been over the last period of urban growth in this country. 

I admire height because of what it should represent or foretell of  the immediate environ. For instance that 23 story to be on Broad and what that means for the vibrancy of the Arts District, what the 12 story in Jackson Ward means for the bustle of 2nd St etc. I think in natural development patterns the two are intertwined.  A forest of high rises in an office campus, think Tysons Corner - doesn't represent that. Something's been severed there - it's unnatural- there's no neighborhood where one should be. Therefore because there are unnatural influences in our development patterns - a skyline just doesn't stand on its own for me, i need to see it in context.

A district of high rises indeed the buildings themselves are presented better when the spaces between are chock full of other architectures, legacies of different time periods or just a convolution of different visions.  A scraper rising out of that sort of bustle is much more impressive to me. That's why some of my favorite views of the city have that matrix in the foreground with an uninterrupted urban spread to those higher districts - it shows it as one and the same. So when i stand at 14th and Franklin and see the Monroe building and how the state government sanitized a once vibrant piece of downtown, i can't help but feeling it is a sham. There's a degree of irony i think that the tallest tower in the city was placed at a location that in the short term was attractive partly due to its proximity  to other  points walkable in the city that in the long run actually contributed to the decline and loss of amenities, further sanitization of the grid around it.  it's more complicated than that i know but in summary i want height to open, revitalize the grid - create new districts, places - not be responsible for stamping it out. 

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1 hour ago, upzoningisgood said:

Can you help me out--I don't understand this. My interpretation of what you're saying is that the Monroe Building was part of an architectural trend so awful that we should regulate it out of existence, yet we shouldn't  tear the building down and replace it with the type of architecture we actually want. I don't see why that should be the case, but if I misunderstood then please correct me. If the Monroe Building was 10 years old, I could understand taking the L because it would be expensive at the margin to replace it, but it is at the end of its useful life as indicated by the state's vision to replace it. The building is sitting on 40 year old concrete based on dated architecture that makes retrofitting it complicated and futile.

I like tall buildings more than the next guy (check my name), but I don't like them at any cost. You can have buildings that are tall because the area is booming and the developer is trying to profit off the growth opportunity. Skyscrapers in Arlington and Manhattan are good examples of this. (I recognize DC's laws affect demand in Arlington, but the tall buildings are justified by high rents). You can also have skyscrapers that are tall because government/semi-governmental entities want to make a "statement". These buildings are usually not great street assets and dwarf all the surrounding structures because their height was not related to any local economics. To my eyes, this latter group is not majestic, but sad. Good examples of government-statement skyscrapers would be the Monroe Building; the RSA tower in Mobile, AL; and the Snodgrass Building in Nashville. If these sorts of buildings have met the end of their useful life, then they should be torn down and replaced with something else because they evidently are not major assets for the surrounding area. If that means the new structure is smaller than the one it replaced, so be it. Bulk does not equal density, liveliness, or desirability.

I recognize this discussion is getting far away from the Costar building so if mods want to move this to some other thread, I understand.

I think you're missing the core point of my argument: My point is that height and cohesive street/urban footprint integration ARE NOT MUTUALLY EXCLUSIVE CONCEPTS. There is NO reason that RVA can't -- or shouldn't -- strive to have both - height AND better integration and creation of a vibrant, urban streetscape.

Yes - Monroe tower is part of that horrible architecture trend of the past 60 or more years of isolating high rises that certainly became part of a trend in RVA. As you pointed out, so many of these are government buildings - the Monroe building and City Hall are classic RVA examples. The Daley Center in downtown Chicago is an example.

We've had this debate on the forum before and it always seems to come down to folks arguing that it's either one or the other (either height or a vibrant urban streetscape) - when it's not. You yourself said it -- look at Manhattan. You can't get a better example of complete street-level integration and supreme height. Ditto here in Chicago. Philly. Other cities. No reason AT ALL this can't be achieved in RVA. It's not either-or. It's not a zero-sum concept. Nor should it be.

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