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whw53

Navy Hill / Court End / VA BioTech Park

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Good kick off for a central Navy Hill thread. 

https://richmondbizsense.com/2020/10/19/city-ponders-public-safety-building-sale-as-offer-looms-from-navy-hill-developer/

NOTE (edit)t: I know we had a 'New coliseum' thread that covered Stoney's proposal but with that plan shot down and the inclusion of a new arena for anything that gets developed here increasing questionable I thought this was a good re-set to track whatever becomes of this area as a whole which will likely be more piecemeal. Also, with the upcoming groundbreaking for  BioTech 8  I thought we could combine any revived Navy Hill discussion\planning actions with developments across Leigh in one geographically designated thread.   VCU Health\MCV campus is obviously a big player here as well but I  removed MCV from original title so not  to overlap obviously  with the VCU Developments thread. I included 'Court End' in the title instead which is less often used but is respectful of the handful of smaller non-VCU properties east of 10th (basically just Valentine and other historical foundations - former may have some news soon though) and an alternative  user-aside place name in general. 

Edited by whw53
added note
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6 hours ago, eandslee said:

This is moving a lot slower than I thought would happen, but at least it is moving along.  I look forward to what might be the plan for the Coliseum, if a plan is ever released after the big Nay Hill project failure.  It's just a shame that the city can't get its act together in order to get a new arena built.  A city of Richmond's size should definitely have a state of the art arena and because it doesn't, Richmond is way behind its peers.  This says a lot about the politics in Richmond and how very pro-business/pro-progressive the city is...or is not.  Companies who might look at Richmond to relocate will want its employees to have a good quality of life with lots of amenities and without an arena, Richmond receives very low marks in this category.

Excellent points, all the way around. Sadly, this has been the state of affairs of Richmond governance since at least the 1970s. With lawsuits being filed in the wake of the 1970 annexation, the DOJ ordered the suspension of City Council elections (which at the time were at-large) that would have been held in 1972, '74 and '76. Following the SCOTUS's 1975 ruling enforcing the Voting Rights Act and requiring Richmond to adopt the 9-member ward system, Richmond's first elections (with the lifting of the DOJ suspension) were held in back-to-back years, 1977 and '78. Unfortunately the politial and racial rancor and divisiveness that permeated the council completely hamstrung any attempts to stop the bleeding of population flight from the city and kiboshed any real chance for progressive development (the kind of development we are enjoying today) from happening. In short, the council was SO hellbent on infighting, that it couldn't reasonably govern its way out of a wet paper bag. This carried over into the 1980s. Sadly, a plethora of city departments have suffered from other disfunctionalities that continue to this day. That said, it's no surprise, given the legacy of the ineffectivness of city government to properly steer the city onto the path of progressive urban development, that the failures we see today continue to manifest. The fumbles and stumbles we see now are simply an extension of decades of failure of the city goverment, particularly to properly plan, promote, recruit and support the kind of potentially game-changing development Richmond needs, and, to a very real extent, is finally enjoying.

Mind you, I'm not even bringing into this discussion the dilitarious impact of the preservationist NIMBYs who to this day continue to seek at every turn to derail anything that would prevent Richmond from becoming a version of their idealized "living museum". That's another whole discussion in and of itself.

Edited by I miss RVA
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22 hours ago, CitiWalker said:

We know that the city does not move fast as far as developments is concerned. However this does look to be promising. In my view some movement is better than no movement.  Bureaucracy in any  jurisdiction  will always slow the wheels o progress. In this particular case  a decision on  the use of the land is  less than 90 days  away.  I believe the city will make the right choice.  Keep in mind there are always a lot of moving parts that have to align for things to work out. I am optimistic and excited!

this helps too.

vcu logo.jpg

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2 hours ago, Hike said:

this helps too.

vcu logo.jpg

HELLO!!!!  

Yep... like the old saying goes - "thar's gold in them there hills!!!" ... and the hills, in this case, being VCU. Better to mine that VCU gold when the opportunity arises. Especially if they're simply a "part" of a given development that could be a nice chunk of change emptying into the city's coffers. I'd say landing this project is akin to hitting the slot machine jackpot - and you just watch (and listen) as alllllllllllllll those coins fill up the coin tray. (I LOVE that sound!)

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1 hour ago, I miss RVA said:

HELLO!!!!  

Yep... like the old saying goes - "thar's gold in them there hills!!!" ... and the hills, in this case, being VCU. Better to mine that VCU gold when the opportunity arises. Especially if they're simply a "part" of a given development that could be a nice chunk of change emptying into the city's coffers. I'd say landing this project is akin to hitting the slot machine jackpot - and you just watch (and listen) as alllllllllllllll those coins fill up the coin tray. (I LOVE that sound!)

An ex-coworker friend  I know, who worked  for VCU on the development side,  probably 10 years ago now,  said to me just recently, yes, VCU has plenty of money to build and to grow, but the real money to build and to grow, "real deep pockets", is VCUHealth.  I look forward to watching this all play out!

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On 10/19/2020 at 1:56 PM, I miss RVA said:

Excellent points, all the way around. Sadly, this has been the state of affairs of Richmond governance since at least the 1970s. With lawsuits being filed in the wake of the 1970 annexation, the DOJ ordered the suspension of City Council elections (which at the time were at-large) that would have been held in 1972, '74 and '76. Following the SCOTUS's 1975 ruling enforcing the Voting Rights Act and requiring Richmond to adopt the 9-member ward system, Richmond's first elections (with the lifting of the DOJ suspension) were held in back-to-back years, 1977 and '78. Unfortunately the politial and racial rancor and divisiveness that permeated the council completely hamstrung any attempts to stop the bleeding of population flight from the city and kiboshed any real chance for progressive development (the kind of development we are enjoying today) from happening. In short, the council was SO hellbent on infighting, that it couldn't reasonably govern its way out of a wet paper bag. This carried over into the 1980s. Sadly, a plethora of city departments have suffered from other disfunctionalities that continue to this day. That said, it's no surprise, given the legacy of the ineffectivness of city government to properly steer the city onto the path of progressive urban development, that the failures we see today continue to manifest. The fumbles and stumbles we see now are simply an extension of decades of failure of the city goverment, particularly to properly plan, promote, recruit and support the kind of potentially game-changing development Richmond needs, and, to a very real extent, is finally enjoying.

Mind you, I'm not even bringing into this discussion the dilitarious impact of the preservationist NIMBYs who to this day continue to seek at every turn to derail anything that would prevent Richmond from becoming a version of their idealized "living museum". That's another whole discussion in and of itself.

Yet people blame the mayor for the issues this city (and metro) dealt with LONG before he was even thought about. Therefore, issues won't get fixed and the right people to question gets off the hook, leaving the progress of Richmond's economic development in the wrong care

Get the heck outta here (not you @I miss RVA, you're cool with me).

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1 hour ago, DalWill said:

Yet people blame the mayor for the issues this city (and metro) dealt with LONG before he was even thought about. Therefore, issues won't get fixed and the right people to question gets off the hook, leaving the progress of Richmond's economic development in the wrong care

Get the heck outta here (not you @I miss RVA, you're cool with me).

DalWill - first, I 100% agree with you! VERY well said. Secondly, thanks my friend! Much appreciated. You're cool with me as well. :thumbsup:

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Can everyone just move on?  You know how many projects come and go in cities like Charlotte, Chicago, New York etc.  It is a sign that we are moving in the right direction having projects of this magnitude.  The faster we can collectively move on the faster we can get a project we desire.

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2 hours ago, Ward Wood said:

Can everyone just move on?  You know how many projects come and go in cities like Charlotte, Chicago, New York etc.  It is a sign that we are moving in the right direction having projects of this magnitude.  The faster we can collectively move on the faster we can get a project we desire.

Re: moving on: On the one hand, I totally agree. Richmond's doing amazingly well. She's on a roll unlike anything I've witnessed in following the city's development over the last 50 years (since my childhood in other words).

HOWEVER

It's not so simple.

The comparison of projects coming and going in Chicago and New York (and to a lesser extent Charlotte) -- is a somewhat inaccurate. Best analogy to demonstrate the difference is comparing the baseball season to the NFL season with projects being akin to individual games played. Sure, projects come and go - just like wins and losses come and go. For New York or Chicago, (where half a dozen or a dozen cranes can be seen over the city virtually year-round, year after year), the projects are SO plentiful, that if one or two - or ten or fifteen - don't come to pass, it's no big deal. You can lose a few games or have a 5 or 8-game losing streak in a 162-game schedule & still have a shot at the World Series. But for Richmond?? Projects are more akin to the NFL schedule - there are only 16 games.  Lose more than 2 or 3 of those, as your season could be in jeopardy. EVERY single game is critical. For Richmond, EVERY single project is critical - simply because they  have typically been far fewer and farther between than in cities like NY or Chicago. So fumbling away 2 or 3 projects for Richmond has a MUCH greater negative potential impact (just like LANDING & COMPLETING 2 or 3 key projects has a positive impact) than it does in Chicago. 

I've lived in Chicago for the past 20 years - and while this city has see proposals come and go, there has NEVER been a time when at least 3, 4, 6, 8 or more (you get the idea) cranes can be seen over the city. Something is ALWAYS being constructed here -- and it's usually big.  But the mindset here is dramatically different. There is absolutely NO pushback aimed at "limiting" growth like we still see to this day see in Richmond. The recent spell of seemingly continuous growth in Richmond that has lasted at least five (or more) years is something that, in my lifetime, was, until now,  utterly unseen in Richmond (whereas it is VERY common in NY and Chicago). I marvel -- with tremendous joy -- at how Richmond is now exploding with an incredible number of projects rising literally in almost ALL parts of town. That Scott's Addition, Manchester and Fulton bottom/Rocketts are  all booming with project after project after project rising - is breathtaking! I'm reveling in it!! That downtown has seen continous growth (demonstrated by cranes on the skyline) since Gateway Plaza began to rise -- is a heart-poundingly wonderful thing!

I simply want it to continue. And I've seen over 50 years just how utterly dysfunctional Richmond government can be. Things ARE better now -- but logjams in the planning department can stall game-changing projects to the point that financing could become an issue or the market changes. Covid is a consideration. And let's call it for what it is. Richmond is not yet at the level where some setbacks can be easily overcome. She's getting there, to be sure!!! But she's not there YET.

Finally: understand the fear-factor that I (and other folks who have seen how things have gotten stalled in Richmond over the decades) have. Best analogy would be Cubs fans here four years ago -- when the Cubs broke the 108-year-long "curse" and won the World Series. Even though the Cubs clearly had the best TEAM in baseball, the fact that they were facing arguably the two best PITCHERS in the game (both on the Indians) gave fans pause. Why? Track record. Everyone around here just KNEW that the Cubs -- despite having the best team -- would "find a way to blow it".  My feeling about Richmond and keeping the momentum rolling is quite similar.  I've SEEN Richmond trip over her own shoelaces and throw away game-changing opportunities. I've seen delays stall projects to the point that financing dries up, or the economy crashes or the real-estate/development market collapses. And metaphorically speaking,  these insipid preservationist NIMBYs and anti-growthers are, to me, akin to a "fifth column" constantly working to slow things down from within. So yeah, I AM troubled when I see delays and I DO worry when projects fail to manifest in Richmond. I'm always fearful that Richmond will somehow "find a way" to blow this roll she is on.

She is on the greatest roll I have ever seen. And I think she is fast becoming a hot "go-to" city for jobs, population growth, economic development. She is enjoying what can only be described as a meteoric rise with a rate of population growth and job growth not seen in my lifetime. The mindset IS different - but we're not all the way there yet.

You see, for me, "moving on" is not so simple. I've seen the city fail too many times to have 100% confidence that she won't blow it this time. Much like Cubs fans - who honestly STILL didn't believe it even after the final out of Game 7  when the Cubs were crowned champions.

Let's just say that I am overjoyed by the growth and tremendous progress and the continuous nature of it. Totally overjoyed and looking forward to MUCH more. Yet that joy is tempered some and because of that I am cautiously optimistic about the continuation of this great growth surge. 

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Just now, whw53 said:

Both of our leading new sources covered the fundraising efforts today for the Children's Inpatient Center project - now being branded 'Wonder Tower'. Alos included a nice review of the timelines and some new renderings I think. 

https://richmondbizsense.com/2020/11/18/childrens-hospital-of-richmond-kicks-off-campaign-to-raise-100m-for-expansion/

https://richmond.com/news/local/education/childrens-hospital-trying-to-raise-100-million-to-fund-wonder-tower/article_09842a2c-c6cf-5368-8760-5e4f4d9d4a4e.html

Cross posting from VCU Developments thread. 

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