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3 hours ago, Brent114 said:

It was shady.  I don’t know how anyone can still beat the drum for Navy Hill. The property taxes from second Dominion tower were meant to provide significant funding for the project.  As you may know, that never came to pass.  The TIF would need to have been expanded to cover that lost revenue (robbing the city of revenue).    The office space was unwanted and unneeded (which is why a 20 story building got  scaled back to 6 floors).  It called for tearing down perfectly fine buildings just to rebuild them a block or two away from their current location (and in the most egregious move called for relocating social services to the very edge of the city instead of remaining in its central location).   It called for an arena, as arenas grow more obsolete every passing day.  It had a bunch of retail space that would sit empty like the hundreds of vacant storefronts across downtown.  It added nothing new or meaningful to the city, just redundancy.  Oh yeah, and it put tax payers on the hook if the financing fell through (and again, it already would have) vis-a-vis revenue funneled to the project and a lower bond rating for the city. 
 

NH was tacky and stupid and it died the ugly public death that it deserved.   The whole “plan” was just some very generic renderings of buildings with no purpose and no prospective tenants.   The only loss is the time that we spent talking about it. 

Navy Hill was a major lost opportunity.  I don’t know how you can still beat this drum.  And arenas are obsolete?  What?  Covid era is just about over, my friend.  Thank god Henrico disagrees.

Edited by Virginian11
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@123fakestreet-- remind me again what BANANAs stands for - I know it's an expanded play on NIMBY (and it's spot-on, too - I just can't for the life of me remember what it is...) Oh - and btw, I want that shiny, refreshed, new downtown, too. And I think we'll get there, particularly now with the City Center Small Area Plan in place.

@Brent114-- I'll disagree with your position regarding the buildings having no purpose or prospective tenants on three proposed building that are greatly needed downtown:  the proposed Hyatt Regency hotel and the two 20-plus story residential/mixed use towers on Broad Street (one at 4th and Broad on the old G.C. Murphy store site, the other on Broad between 6th & 7th in the footprint of the northern half of the old Thalhimer's flagship store). THESE buildings (if/when they ever come to pass) will be a HUGE win for downtown and for RVA.

Overall, I'm heartened by the fact that many of the components (sans the arena) look like they are at least conceptually represented in the City Center SAP. And while at the time, I did support the NH plan, I actually think the CIty Center SAP actually does it MUCH better and really gets it right.  (And that's not even taking the financial component into consideration.) It's a cohesive plan that -- because it had community input, as did the Richmond 300 Plan -- encorporates a lot more components (for example, it does a better job of addressing transit - including the possible routing of a north/south PULSE line through the center of downtown such that the BRT will hop the river and go into Manchester via the Manchester Bridge -- A MUST!!) and does it from a professional planning perspective. I'm VERY impressed with everything I've seen in the CC SAP - and I think it is telling that quite a few of the components of NH were 'absorbed' into the CC plan. 

@Virginian11- Agreed. Arenas are not obsolete. Not yet, anyway. Even though we still can't seem to drive a stake into the heart of the 'vampire' that Covid continues to be, look at how NFL stadiums were filled to the brim last season, and how well the NHL and NBA are doing. And we know MLB ballparks will have plenty of fans this season, barring anything worsening significantly on the Covid front.

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15 hours ago, 123fakestreet said:

 

TIFs aren't that complicated. 

 

So not complicated that a billion dollar development team with millions in marketing consultants just happen to not be able to simply explain it to everyone .... b.c.... it was the propaganda from the opposing side? 

 

I've said it before and I'll say it again: This forum is too obsessed with pretty renderings. Navy Hill invested more in graphic designers than they did understanding the population of RVA. They thought it was 2000 or 2010 where you can just steamroll a project like Navy Hill through RVA politics. 

I know very few people who wanted an arena in middle of the city of RVA who actually live in the city of RVA. Lots of county people advocating what's good for RVA neighborhoods - we are not your weekend entertainment. I don't care that Hilton MegaPlus Luxury will come in and make millions, it doesn't matter to me what some foreign billionaire investor makes in dividends for projects around the world that he doesn't even know he owns. 

Our schools are getting better because RVA is organically growing and individuals are investing in schools, not corporations who write a fancy oversized check for photo op before tax season deadline. 

The new City Center is a great plan - thousands of living spaces, parks, entertainment area, a school (you know, that thing that helps the community), a fire department, more healthcare, etc. 

I don't want my back yard to be a playground for those that live on River Rd. They can go build it next to their mansions out there. We're sick of having to sacrifice for "the tax dollars!!!"

 

I directly stood to make a great profit with Navy Hill going through - I have rental properties in the area. But I'm not selling my soul for it. 

Edited by ancientcarpenter
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16 hours ago, 123fakestreet said:

We don't know what would have happened with the 2nd Dominion tower because Navy Hill was killed.

Moving social services freed up highly valuable property that was paying zero property taxes and put it on the tax roles, and relocated them to an area much closer to most of the people that use the services

Yup, we all knew that tower would die once NH was shot down.  Now Dominion saves $500k/year from improved property taxes instead.  The location of the new Social Security building was awful, it was positioned far in a corner with limited transport options versus being in a central location.  It needs to move, but it needs to still be central.
 

1 hour ago, ancientcarpenter said:

I know very few people who wanted an arena in middle of the city of RVA who actually live in the city of RVA. Lots of county people advocating what's good for RVA neighborhoods - we are not your weekend entertainment.

Our schools are getting better because RVA is organically growing and individuals are investing in schools, not corporations who write a fancy oversized check for photo op before tax season deadline. 

The new City Center is a great plan - thousands of living spaces, parks, entertainment area, a school (you know, that thing that helps the community), a fire department, more healthcare, etc. 

Your circles are clearly different then mine as I know plenty of residents who would want it back to being in a central location.  I also know plenty that were opposed just because they hate sports.

And we do need to be the place to entertain other locales.  Also the place to do business.  This is how we generate healthy revenue to support the needs of residents as residents require all those expensive services listed.  

29 minutes ago, 123fakestreet said:

Richmond is losing out to the counties in a big way with facilities which attract outside dollars (sports tourism as an example)... it appears a lot of people are more concerned with the features relevant to them rather than the features which will drive net $ inflow from non-residents. I’d like to aim for a balance between building for the residents of Richmond and building for non-residents to spend their money in the city. That location is adjacent to one of the most heavily trafficked sections of Virginia interstate outside of DC. IMHO, we need to seize that opportunity.... unless we want to tax ourselves to death. The more revenue which comes from non-residents, the less residents have to contribute. It’s really that simple....Raising a tax base by increasing the housing base is a losing strategy. It’s a lower-margin investment than tax revenues coming from outside money, be it businesses or non-residents spending money. Rather than increase rates (like the stupid as crap meals tax), one should increase the actual sales, which generates more revenue. This is one of the reasons why Richmond’s real estate tax rate is 20%+ higher than any of the counties, and the municipality then becomes dependent on raising tax rates or property values to increase revenue.

 

 

That comment was so dead on.

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13 hours ago, I miss RVA said:

1.) NH one lone proposal/DD Different - DD is VERY different. At least to this point -- and I'm holding my breath right now waiting for the other shoe to drop - the city seems to have smartened up and at least for now, is allowing the PLANNERS to drive the bus on this one. The governing arm of the city -- so far at least -- has backed off and are letting the professionals run this show. I'm HOPING against hope that takes some of the politics out, which, by extension, takes a lot of the stupid out as well. I'm not saying the politicians are stupid - but they ARE utterly clueless when it comes to urban planning and commercial real estate development.

 

This was probably the biggest screw up triggered by the fact that the developers came to the city rather than the city initiating.  The city then required an RFP while providing no realistic timeframe for new entries.  This time the Diamond District is not being triggered by interested parties, which is good and bad, but looking good thus far.

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3 hours ago, 123fakestreet said:

Richmond is losing out to the counties in a big way with facilities which attract outside dollars (sports tourism as an example)... it appears a lot of people are more concerned with the features relevant to them rather than the features which will drive net $ inflow from non-residents. I’d like to aim for a balance between building for the residents of Richmond and building for non-residents to spend their money in the city. That location is adjacent to one of the most heavily trafficked sections of Virginia interstate outside of DC. IMHO, we need to seize that opportunity.... unless we want to tax ourselves to death. The more revenue which comes from non-residents, the less residents have to contribute. It’s really that simple....Raising a tax base by increasing the housing base is a losing strategy. It’s a lower-margin investment than tax revenues coming from outside money, be it businesses or non-residents spending money. Rather than increase rates (like the stupid as crap meals tax), one should increase the actual sales, which generates more revenue. This is one of the reasons why Richmond’s real estate tax rate is 20%+ higher than any of the counties, and the municipality then becomes dependent on raising tax rates or property values to increase revenue.

I agree with @Iceterathat this comment was 100% spot on. The last sentence honestly is a killer - and we can back assessment up by looking into today's RBS, who are reporting Henrico has passed their new FY23 budget which will include a property tax REDUCTION for residents.

https://richmondbizsense.com/2022/04/15/henrico-adopts-1-5b-budget-for-fy23-with-tax-cuts-employee-pay-raises/

A few snippets from the article worth noting:

The budget is balanced on a real estate tax rate of 85 cents per $100 of assessed value, a 2-cent reduction from the current rate.

The reduction adds to an approved credit for real estate taxes paid this fiscal year that is equal to 2 cents per $100 of assessed value. The credit, considered the first of its kind in Virginia, followed a surplus declaration for real estate taxes paid in FY22.

It also sets the stage for a $511.4 million bond referendum, to be held this fall, which would pay for capital projects over a six-year period including several new schools and infrastructure improvements.

The budget also slashes – by 74 percent – the county’s personal property tax rate for equipment used by biotechnology companies. The reduction, from $3.50 to 90 cents per $100 of assessed value, would make Henrico’s biotech tax rate the lowest in the state when the budget takes effect July 1.

The technology zone program, the county’s first, would offer incentives to foster development and location of tech businesses in Innsbrook, a decades-old business park that’s been undergoing a mixed-use transition following the county’s creation of an urban mixed-use overlay district there.

What's the over/under on any of us living long enough to EVER see such a story about similar economics taking place in the city?

Edited by I miss RVA
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3 hours ago, Icetera said:

Yup, we all knew that tower would die once NH was shot down.

The 2nd tower died b/c the Dominion CEO died and the towers were his baby. 

 

There was another comment here about how RVA needs to start acting like a city. Great, let's take step 1: Like other cities, we need to annex the counties that split away with the White Flight. You can't break someone's knee caps with a baseball bat and then tell them to go run a mile with the rest of the PE class. 

Edited by ancientcarpenter
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2 hours ago, ancientcarpenter said:

The 2nd tower died b/c the Dominion CEO died and the towers were his baby. 

 

There was another comment here about how RVA needs to start acting like a city. Great, let's take step 1: Like other cities, we need to annex the counties that split away with the White Flight. You can't break someone's knee caps with a baseball bat and then tell them to go run a mile with the rest of the PE class. 

It would be nice, but by state law, we cannot. The General Assembly imposed a now state-wide moratorium on annexation in 1979 in the wake of the legal fight sparked by RVA's annexation of 23 sq miles and 47K residents of Chesterfield County in January 1970. The moratorium was extended by the G.A. in 2016 until 2024. No doubt it will be revisited next session and -- barring some kind of Divine intervention -- extended yet again. The current nine-ward division of the city in the makeup of City Council was instituted in 1977 (replacing the city's at-large system of election council members) per a ruling from the SCOTUS. 

So much as it would be awesome if RVA could annex, it is illegal for the city to do so and likely will be for perpetuity.

THAT said - since RVA is land locked, we need to build VERTICALLY and do everything in our power to bring people to the city. Cutting the tax rate would be helped tremendously by aggressive recruitment of businesses to relo here. I'll have to find an article I read in the last month or so about how Austin went about luring hi-tech companies from all over the place - including plucking them right out of Silicon Valley - and bringing them to Austin, a large part of what has fueled their quasaric explosion in population over the last two to three decades. RVA would do well to be every bit as aggessive as Austin was to lure businesses here. And as @wrldcoupe4has often pointed out, the city would do well to align the gross receipts tax to be more competitive with the counties - this alone would be a huge factor in attracting businesses to come to downtown and build downtown. Getting that good, rich tax inflow from commercial development downtown will most certainly make it much more palatable for the city to back off on personal property and real estate taxes for residents -- and if RVA really pushes for density, a greater amount of taxes can be collected with far less burden on individual citizens and families who choose to live in the city.

It will take quite a bit or work to get there - and the city has to WANT this badly enough. What totally sucks is that City Council doesn't seem to have the will, desire or wherewithall to go this route. So it will take effort of organizations who can work like crazy to lure businesses here - and who can lobby like crazy to get the Council to lower the gross receipts tax and to back off on the residential tax rate.

@ancientcarpenter-- to a point you made earlier re: RVA schools benefitting because the city is growing organically: I get where you're coming from. My only real pushback and disagreement with you is that RVA can't afford to limit herself to mere organic growth. If growth is at the slow-but-stead organic pace she's enjoying right now, the city will be exactly where she is right now -- bigger yes, but only marginally so -- in 30 years' time. Which is RIDICULOUS! There's no reason to put a speed "governor" on growth. For God's sake, at this rate, the city will still be at less than 300K population come 2050. The METRO might really take off - but then again, if the city is being held back, what will that do to the synergy of metro area growth? I'm still holding out that RVA will hit 340K by 2037 as planners forecast a couple of years ago when developing the Richmond 300 Plan. But she ain't gonna get there via incremental organic growth. She needs some good kickstarts - and that begins with aggressive recruitment of businesses, and real boosterism to bring more and more people here. That continues with INTENSE lobbying of the city to drop the gross receipts tax and lower the residential property tax rate. Look at how well Henrico is doing - they have a much larger population than the city, a far lower property tax rate, and have a budget surplus - and they are able to float solid bond referrenda that are going a long way to making their schools top notch and building good, solid infrastructure. Yes - the economic dynamic of the general populations of the two jurisdictions ARE very much different - that's understood. STILL - the city can, should and MUST do the work to get more in line with what the county is doing. She CAN do this - only she needs the actual will to make it happen.

Edited by I miss RVA
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Agree 100%, I Miss RVA!  I’ve been thinking and preaching this for years!  Why is this such as hard concept for Richmond City leaders to understand and get behind!?  Oh, I know - inept leaders who can’t balance their own personal budgets, much less understand basic economics!!  The status quo won’t change until competent people, real leaders, are elected to run the city.   Hopefully, that happens sooner rather than later. 

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@ancientcarpenter If you don’t want your neighbors in the metro using your backyard for entertainment you may be happier with some land in the pastures of Powhatan.  You need all the counties’ money you can get downtown.     Wouldn’t turn your nose up at “River Roads” dollars spent in your area.  But lucky for you city center will likely look just as blighted and empty and non revenue producing for the next 15 years as it does now- so you’re good I guess without Henrico/chesterfield folks around!

Edited by Virginian11
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On the idea of merger or annexation, technically Richmond could revert to a town. Transferring all taxes base over to Henrico, it's actually a real threat to counties literally the only threat. Richmond is one of the few cities that could just give up it's city status. What will change??

I say this as a resident of Hampton Roads this is the only way out of this independent city pickle. 

One threat to counties is the disappearance of independent cities when they shift to "town" status. The county gains property tax and sales tax revenue from the area that used to be an independent city, but the additional costs of providing education and social services to former city residents will exceed the additional tax revenue.

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4 hours ago, Kevin Cheph Randall said:

On the idea of merger or annexation, technically Richmond could revert to a town. Transferring all taxes base over to Henrico, it's actually a real threat to counties literally the only threat. Richmond is one of the few cities that could just give up it's city status. What will change??

I say this as a resident of Hampton Roads this is the only way out of this independent city pickle. 

One threat to counties is the disappearance of independent cities when they shift to "town" status. The county gains property tax and sales tax revenue from the area that used to be an independent city, but the additional costs of providing education and social services to former city residents will exceed the additional tax revenue.

Even though technically Richmond could theoretically do it -- I guarantee you, if the city tried this option, it would end up in the courts.  The mere thought of reverting to town status would have barely risen above the heads of city leaders as cartoon-strip "thought balloons" and the lawsuits from the county would be FLYING. Plus - the way the law is structured, is there a cap to population of a city wishing to 'revert' to 'town' status?

No matter how you slice it, this would get very ugly very quickly - and I don't think it would end well for anyone.

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3 hours ago, I miss RVA said:

Even though technically Richmond could theoretically do it -- I guarantee you, if the city tried this option, it would end up in the courts.  The mere thought of reverting to town status would have barely risen above the heads of city leaders as cartoon-strip "thought balloons" and the lawsuits from the county would be FLYING. Plus - the way the law is structured, is there a cap to population of a city wishing to 'revert' to 'town' status?

No matter how you slice it, this would get very ugly very quickly - and I don't think it would end well for anyone.

I think it would be good to actually get these issues back into the courts, it's time for Virginia to right the wrongs of it's past. 

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3 hours ago, Kevin Cheph Randall said:

I think it would be good to actually get these issues back into the courts, it's time for Virginia to right the wrongs of it's past. 

Well said!

A few fun facts:

  • Independent city status was established in 1871 when the state constitution was revised in the wake of the Civil War and the establishment of the state of West Virginia.
  • In 1988, the General Assembly capped the population of a city wishing to revert at 50K. So that kiboshes RVA attempting anything unless someone either attempts to introduce legislation (good luck with it even finding a co-sponsor, much less seeing the light of day in committee) or files lawsuits.
  • For localities that do proceed with the process, the Virginia State Supreme Court  appoints a three-judge panel to serve as the arbiter of whether or not a reversion request is approved. A case potentially may be appealed to the SCOVA.

Interesting website detailing how this has played out around the state as well as the ins and outs of what constitutes the process.

http://www.virginiaplaces.org/vacities/formercities.html 

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On 4/15/2022 at 11:08 PM, Virginian11 said:

@ancientcarpenter If you don’t want your neighbors in the metro using your backyard for entertainment you may be happier with some land in the pastures of Powhatan.  You need all the counties’ money you can get downtown.     Wouldn’t turn your nose up at “River Roads” dollars spent in your area.  But lucky for you city center will likely look just as blighted and empty and non revenue producing for the next 15 years as it does now- so you’re good I guess without Henrico/chesterfield folks around!

Nobody said we don't want development in City Center. I'm all for the new City Center plans - they look great and actually incorporate a city feel where people will live. We just didn't want a Scott's Addition Downtown hybrid baby with a Coliseum.

The new  City Center plan is light years ahead of NH - a park, high school, fire department, apartments, condos, grocery, etc. That looks like a real city...not just glossy renderings of buildings with it being a ghost town after 5pm Mon-Fri. We're fine with people coming into the city but we will do it on our terms as we have to live with it. Just look at Carytown or Byrd Park or the Fan. Why isn't Carytown full of Hardees, TJMax, MissionBBQ, etc? Why didn't they just demo the Fan and build cookie-cutter homes? Why didn't they eminent domain Byrd Park and build build build? All those I'm sure seemed like great business ideas- who could be against DeVeLoPmEnT, right?!

Now, those places are cherished gems of RVA and are some of the main reasons people move to RVA. We have character and don't need Thalhimer or Dominion CEO to project plan us according to their line item needs in some excel doc.

Edited by ancientcarpenter
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1 hour ago, ancientcarpenter said:

Nobody said we don't want development in City Center. I'm all for the new City Center plans - they look great and actually incorporate a city feel where people will live. We just didn't want a Scott's Addition Downtown hybrid baby with a Coliseum.

The new  City Center plan is light years ahead of NH - a park, high school, fire department, apartments, condos, grocery, etc. That looks like a real city...not just glossy renderings of buildings with it being a ghost town after 5pm Mon-Fri. We're fine with people coming into the city but we will do it on our terms as we have to live with it. Just look at Carytown or Byrd Park or the Fan. Why isn't Carytown full of Hardees, TJMax, MissionBBQ, etc? Why didn't they just demo the Fan and build cookie-cutter homes? Why didn't they eminent domain Byrd Park and build build build? All those I'm sure seemed like great business ideas- who could be against DeVeLoPmEnT, right?!

Now, those places are cherished gems of RVA and are some of the main reasons people move to RVA. We have character and don't need Thalhimer or Dominion CEO to project plan us according to their line item needs in some excel doc.

I get the core of what you’re saying and respect your stance but how was NH going to be a ghost town after 5?  And I thought you didn’t want us coming into your area for entertainment, so you should be good with ghost town after 5 anyway right?  And a state of the art arena, costar hq, 20 story hotel, apartments/condos (as you say you’re in favor of with City Center) are not Hardee’s, Mission BBQ and TJmaxx.  And the majority of what was to be demolished are blighted/decayed drains on tax dollars anyway - not the Fan or Byrd Park!
Once again, you need as much money being spent in Richmond as possible to sustain what we love about her.   NH was the real deal. 
When do you expect the City Center plan to start?  I admit i don’t know the timeline but I would wager you won’t see any meaningful progress for years, sadly.   I too, like the look of it.

My apologies for changing the tone of the thread - let’s focus on the Diamond Disrict!  

Edited by Virginian11
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14 hours ago, ancientcarpenter said:

 buildings with it being a ghost town after 5pm Mon-Fri.

Why isn't Carytown full of Hardees, TJMax, MissionBBQ, etc? Why didn't they just demo the Fan and build cookie-cutter homes? Why didn't they eminent domain Byrd Park and build build build? All those I'm sure seemed like great business ideas- who could be against DeVeLoPmEnT, right?!

That's literally any city anywhere. Lower Manhattan is a ghost town outside of working hours.

Who ever said anything about demolishing existing thriving areas? We're talking about surface lots and decrepit buildings. We can (very, very easily) have a nice "glossy" down town without touching Carytown, or the character of the city.  Pretty big logical leap you're trying to make here. 

What's wrong with having both a nice glossy downtown and SA, Carytown, and the Fan?  The whole city doesn't have to be any one thing, and you don't have to sacrifice one even slightly to have the others.

Edited by 123fakestreet
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On 4/17/2022 at 7:53 PM, ancientcarpenter said:

Nobody said we don't want development in City Center. I'm all for the new City Center plans - they look great and actually incorporate a city feel where people will live. We just didn't want a Scott's Addition Downtown hybrid baby with a Coliseum.

The new  City Center plan is light years ahead of NH - a park, high school, fire department, apartments, condos, grocery, etc. That looks like a real city...not just glossy renderings of buildings with it being a ghost town after 5pm Mon-Fri. We're fine with people coming into the city but we will do it on our terms as we have to live with it. Just look at Carytown or Byrd Park or the Fan. Why isn't Carytown full of Hardees, TJMax, MissionBBQ, etc? Why didn't they just demo the Fan and build cookie-cutter homes? Why didn't they eminent domain Byrd Park and build build build? All those I'm sure seemed like great business ideas- who could be against DeVeLoPmEnT, right?!

Now, those places are cherished gems of RVA and are some of the main reasons people move to RVA. We have character and don't need Thalhimer or Dominion CEO to project plan us according to their line item needs in some excel doc.

My friend - I get the overall gist of what you're saying here - but you KNOW there are some particulars in this position that -- with all due respect -- I must offer some pushback.

We are in lockstep agreement about the City Center SAP being a fantastic, quality plan that -- if done correctly -- will really push RVA forward (every bit as much as the Diamond District redevelopment will, if done right). I take no issue there. Like you said - light-years ahead of Navy Hill. 100% agreed all the way around!

Here is where we diverge:

1.) Bulldozing Carytown/Byrd Park/Fan: forgive me my friend - but how does that even enter into the equation? No one is talking about bulldozing and redeveloping these established neighborhoods - nor will they. These are not transition neighborhoods that are ripe for the wrecking ball. They are established pillars as solid as Jackson Ward, Forest Hill/Westover Hills, Ginter Park, Westhampton, Highland Park... pick your poison. How is radically changing the Museum District or the Fan or any of the true legacy neighborhoods across the city even a remote possiblity? Short answer: IT'S NOT!

I think we're trying to compare apples and oranges here - particularly since City Center is/will be a major downtown redevelopment district that -- with a VERY few property-specific legacy exceptions -- is basically going  to be rebuilt, soup-to-nuts, from the ground up.

To your argument I must offer the "Anna from 'Frozen'" response: "Wait, WHAT???"

2.) RVA doing things on her own terms: You'll forgive me, but given our age difference I have a few more decades-worth of dog in this fight and I've SEEN how THAT has turned out over the past 50 years. Look up the term "catastrophic failure" in any lexicon, and you'll see RVA's picture beside it with a description of spectacular flameouts of potentially city-saving economic redevelopment projects during the nightmare decades of the '70s, '80s and into the '90s. RVA's downturn was SO horrific, that not one single PRIVATELY built/owned high rise (meaning, something OTHER than a state government or VCU building) rose downtown over a span of 15 YEARS after Riverfront Plaza was completed in 1990. It wasn't until 2005 -- when highrise residential buildings started popping up on the riverfront -- that anything of any kind of significant height was built downtown. RVA doing things "on her own terms" resulted in the city hemorrhaging fully ONE QUARTER of her population over the course of more than three decades, while other (at the time similarly-sized) 'competitor' cities exploded like quasars with mammoth growth in population, business, real estate development, airports, etc. RVA doing things "on her own terms" cost us a major airline hub. RVA doing things "on her own terms" left us peering through the dust at the taillights of a host of other cities whose populations are now anywhere from 450K to 900K - while we're struggling to do any better than 230K.

Thank you, but if it's all the same to you, I'll take a pass on RVA doing things "on her own terms". It's been nothing short of a cataclysmic disaster for this city for close to five decades -- and it's only been in the last 10 or so years that she's finally awoken from this nightmare and has started to extricate herself from this morass. Thank GOD!!! I'm ready for some "outside influence" to come in and take the lead and get some of these things done correctly!

3.) Character: Whether or not anyone intends it in this manner (and I would tend to think most folks are actually quite well-meaning and complimentary in its usage regarding RVA) - I've grown accustomed to seeing "character" as a term most associated with STOPPING development in RVA. Now, I know that you do support development, height, etc. in the city, but I point this out because your arguments here are coming perilously close to a very slippery slope that leads down the rabbit hole promulgated by the NIMBYs and preservationists - two groups of people who (IMNSHO) have done more damage to Richmond than Ulysses S. Grant EVER could have done 157 years ago.

For as much as I hold the ineptitude and political corruption of City Council responsible for what has become of RVA over the past 50 years, I place even MORE blame at the feet of the NIMBYs and preservationists. @123fakestreetgets it right in calling them BANANAs - because AT TIMES that describes them to a tee. The whole flap about possibly putting 20-story buildings along the NORTH side of Broad Street having all the various NIMBY associations in the Fan clutching their pearls is a classic example. And what was the theme they beat into the ground like a dead horse? Supposedly, having big buildings anywhere from two to how-ever-many blocks away from their "historic" houses would somehow "diminish" or "destroy" the what? "CHARACTER" of the Fan.

GIVE ... ME... A ... BREAK!!!

Quoting Chef Ramsay - we need to GET A GRIP!

Again, I feel it necessary to say that in quite a few areas, we are in agreement. But in looking at things from a big-picture perspective, I have to push back some, even though I do understand -- and respect -- where you're coming from.

Edited by I miss RVA
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