Jump to content

Diamond Area / Hermitage Rd Corridor / Ownby District


whw53

Recommended Posts

9 hours ago, Brent114 said:

IMO, all of these kinda suck.   It is a  throwaway location so I don’t really care what gets built, won’t help or hurt the real city.
 

 I just detest present day urban development.  They just look like some suburban office parks.   Why does every plan have a single building on a single block, many with grassy areas around said buildings?   These aren’t even on Richmond’s level with regards to structural density.  The city would be better off to just plow everything down, reconnect the streets and let organic development happen.   Silly diagonal streets and promenades make for nice sight lines  but do nothing to integrate a development into the existing landscape. 

Since I’ve been on this forum I don’t think I’ve ever seen a project meet your approval.  Classic Brent:tw_tounge_wink:

Edited by Virginian11
  • Haha 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites


On 5/12/2022 at 12:50 PM, Brent114 said:

IMO, all of these kinda suck.   It is a  throwaway location so I don’t really care what gets built, won’t help or hurt the real city.
 

 I just detest present day urban development.  They just look like some suburban office parks.   Why does every plan have a single building on a single block, many with grassy areas around said buildings?   These aren’t even on Richmond’s level with regards to structural density.  The city would be better off to just plow everything down, reconnect the streets and let organic development happen.   Silly diagonal streets and promenades make for nice sight lines  but do nothing to integrate a development into the existing landscape. 

What is your recommendation?  "demo it all and let free market handle it" is a recipe for disaster. A developer will build whatever is in their profitable interest with the land they own. They don't care how it connects to other parcels or how it looks from the stadium or highway or street. They are simply there to maximize profit. If we allowed the developers to do anything they would build apartments without fire exits if it saves them money. 

This is called urban planning and right now we are barely in the planning part of it. 

Edited by ancientcarpenter
  • Like 1
  • Thanks 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, ancientcarpenter said:

What is your recommendation? To be a negative nancy: "demo it all and let free market handle it" is a recipe for disaster. A developer will build whatever is in their profitable interest with the land they own. They don't care how it connects to other parcels or how it looks from the stadium or highway or street. They are simply there to maximize profit. If we allowed the developers to do anything they would build apartments without fire exits if it saves them money. 

This is called urban planning and right now we are barely in the planning part of it. 

Well said.

If we just demo everything and turn it loose to the free market - we won't ever see a ballpark built there, that's for sure. 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites


7 hours ago, wrldcoupe4 said:

Who's rooting for the Thalhimer team on the Diamond District?! :tw_joy:

I'll cut off body parts before I root for these clowns in the Diamond District! :tw_grimace:

Edited by I miss RVA
  • Like 3
  • Haha 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

56 minutes ago, whw53 said:

in regards to @Brent114idea of carving up the land into parcels and laying a grid - I've often thought of this but have never found a modern example of this happening. This was largely how cities grew with 'additions' in prior stages of growth but that relied on a settlement geography of large tracts adjacent to a grid. Landowners would extend the grid themselves often and deed the lots. Really just an exercise in subdivision - would be interesting to review a history of  what private or public design covenants  were typically part of that process. 

There are some good documentaries that include examples of how this was done in cities like Minneapolis and Detroit - and it includes the ugly underbelly of both politics and the actions of the real estate industry regarding redlining and all of the racial and political components of how cities and early "inner-ring" suburbs grew from the turn of the 20th century through the 1970s (and even later in some cases) and particularly after World War II when so many veterans returned from overseas, and how the GI Bill was quite unevenly applied during those years. Very educational and informative to watch, particularly when researchers dig into the trove(s) of available records and documents from those eras to get a better understanding of what happened and how those things unfolded. Very educational and informative to watch - and something that is forever part of our history and urban landscape.

Edited by I miss RVA
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 5/13/2022 at 8:55 AM, ancientcarpenter said:

What is your recommendation?  "demo it all and let free market handle it" is a recipe for disaster. A developer will build whatever is in their profitable interest with the land they own. They don't care how it connects to other parcels or how it looks from the stadium or highway or street. They are simply there to maximize profit. If we allowed the developers to do anything they would build apartments without fire exits if it saves them money. 

This is called urban planning and right now we are barely in the planning part of it. 

You’re as hyperbolic as I am! 
The market is filling in Monroe Ward, Manchester, Scott’s Addition, Union Hill etc.  The urban planning part is where the city plows everything down and reconnects the streets, then rezones the area TOD.   Initially I was excited by the plans but the closer I looked the less urban it all seemed. 

These cookie cutter, suburban developments plopped down in cities end up being the most desolate places (I’m looking at you LA Live and the Arena District in Columbus ). Honestly I don’t care that much about this development, anything is better than what is there now and seeing as how the land is basically an island, it doesn’t matter that it won’t connect to the rest of the city in any organic way.   
 

Like everyone here I’ll be excited to see dirt move on this, even if a budget version of West Broad Village is all I’m expecting out of it. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

12 hours ago, whw53 said:

In regards to @Brent114idea of carving up the land into parcels and laying a grid - I've often thought of this but have never found a modern example of this happening. This was largely how cities grew with 'additions' in prior stages of growth but that relied on a settlement geography of large tracts adjacent to a grid. Landowners would extend the grid themselves often and deed the lots. Really just an exercise in subdivision - would be interesting to review a history of  what private or public design covenants  were typically part of that process. 

There are quite a few modern examples of carving up land and laying a street grid. You’ll usually find this happening around abandoned malls or aging business parks in inner suburbs of larger metropolitan areas.

Tysons is one of the most notable examples. As part of the Fairfax County Comprehensive Plan update that coincided with the opening of the Silver Line, a plan for a new walkable grid of streets was created to push redevelopment in the direction of urbanization. Developers are required to build out the portion of the new street grid that their properties encompass upon redevelopment. You can see this happening with new projects throughout. It seems a little disjointed now, and those who aren’t in the know might not understand the overall vision, but the end result will be vastly superior to the existing suburban-style superblocks with seas of surface parking lots.

042F2337-3263-4006-AF0E-9EE8CA00B153.webp

5D880FE6-321B-480B-8653-FD7DB4BC7ADF.png

Edited by Lluck002
  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

@Lluck002thanks for the info. I was thinking more narrowly where a public entity controls a tract (like our Diamond District) and instead of RFP'ing it off as a project to a developer or 2 simply lays a street grid and subdivides, maybe facilitates utilities then auctions off  the individual parcels to a variety of actors that build their one pieces.

The Tysons case is interesting - the development there is impressive but as you said still so disjointed and super-slow moving that It will be many decades for the original 'edge city' to come into a true urban form. I hope it works and feels like a city. 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 5/17/2022 at 9:06 AM, whw53 said:

@Lluck002thanks for the info. I was thinking more narrowly where a public entity controls a tract (like our Diamond District) and instead of RFP'ing it off as a project to a developer or 2 simply lays a street grid and subdivides, maybe facilitates utilities then auctions off  the individual parcels to a variety of actors that build their one pieces.

The Tysons case is interesting - the development there is impressive but as you said still so disjointed and super-slow moving that It will be many decades for the original 'edge city' to come into a true urban form. I hope it works and feels like a city. 

I wouldn’t say it’s super slow moving. Tysons has built dozens and dozens of new skyscrapers since the Comprehensive Plan was amended to encourage such development. The skyline is literally bigger every few months when I go to visit. Development in Northern Virginia is rapid in general.

But I get what you were trying to say. The “vision” won’t necessarily be “complete” anytime soon.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

That’s the thing with a vision; it’s never really complete.

Edit: The reshaping of Tysons is impressive to me. Apples and oranges to anything in RVA, though. The amount of money flowing through there is, we’ll, it may as well be Monopoly money.

Edited by DowntownCoruscant
  • Like 2
  • Haha 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites


3 hours ago, DowntownCoruscant said:

That’s the thing with a vision; it’s never really complete.

Edit: The reshaping of Tysons is impressive to me. Apples and oranges to anything in RVA, though. The amount of money flowing through there is, we’ll, it may as well be Monopoly money.

I think it IS Monopoly money! :tw_joy:

Edited by I miss RVA
Link to comment
Share on other sites

21 hours ago, Lluck002 said:

I wouldn’t say it’s super slow moving. Tysons has built dozens and dozens of new skyscrapers since the Comprehensive Plan was amended to encourage such development. The skyline is literally bigger every few months when I go to visit. Development in Northern Virginia is rapid in general.

But I get what you were trying to say. The “vision” won’t necessarily be “complete” anytime soon.

I remember graduating in the early 10s and having to interview in DC. I thought my friends who were living in Tyson's Corner were outliers, figured they just found a cheap place to live literally in some corner of the town. Nope. Even the interviewer in DC told me to live in Tyson's as it was the place to be for young people at the time. Not because it was cheap whatsoever: Friend was sharing a 3 story (+basement), updated building with 4 other guys and each were paying $1100 a month just for rent...and he said he was getting a deal at the time!

Edited by ancientcarpenter
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

this one seems to have been missed by local media and by us but this 6 or 7 story former office building on the property of Michael & Son Services Services on Cummings St.. has been converted to apartments. 'The Tower RVA' 

https://www.rentcafe.com/apartments/va/richmond/tower-rva-apartments/default.aspx

 

Additionally, hear say says that further work there entails converting another section of the complex to a large format entertainment destination complete with bowling, multiple bars and a restraunt.

 

  • Like 3
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 minutes ago, whw53 said:

this one seems to have been missed by local media and by us but this 6 or 7 story former office building on the property of Michael & Son Services Services on Cummings St.. has been converted to apartments. 'The Tower RVA' 

https://www.rentcafe.com/apartments/va/richmond/tower-rva-apartments/default.aspx

 

Additionally, hear say says that further work there entails converting another section of the complex to a large format entertainment destination complete with bowling, multiple bars and a restraunt.

 

That's the former RIchfood headquarters, no?

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

16 minutes ago, whw53 said:

this one seems to have been missed by local media and by us but this 6 or 7 story former office building on the property of Michael & Son Services Services on Cummings St.. has been converted to apartments. 'The Tower RVA' 

https://www.rentcafe.com/apartments/va/richmond/tower-rva-apartments/default.aspx

 

Additionally, hear say says that further work there entails converting another section of the complex to a large format entertainment destination complete with bowling, multiple bars and a restraunt.

 

Nice find. Wish they could have rehabbed the exterior but nice to have more residential none-the-less. 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, whw53 said:

this one seems to have been missed by local media and by us but this 6 or 7 story former office building on the property of Michael & Son Services Services on Cummings St.. has been converted to apartments. 'The Tower RVA' 

https://www.rentcafe.com/apartments/va/richmond/tower-rva-apartments/default.aspx

 

Additionally, hear say says that further work there entails converting another section of the complex to a large format entertainment destination complete with bowling, multiple bars and a restraunt.

 

Ah, so Michael & Sons switched a bit from their original plan of converting to student quarters for an electrical/HVAC program.

1 hour ago, I miss RVA said:

That's the former RIchfood headquarters, no?

A. H. Robins pharmaceutical (Robitussin, Chap Stick, etc.).  I recall the Robitussin signage but never realized the company was actually Richmond based.

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Icetera said:

A. H. Robins pharmaceutical (Robitussin, Chap Stick, etc.).  I recall the Robitussin signage but never realized the company was actually Richmond based.

URs stadium is named for the founder, as well the family name being on many others things all over town including the sculpture garden at VMFA.

Edited by 123fakestreet
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Icetera said:

Ah, so Michael & Sons switched a bit from their original plan of converting to student quarters for an electrical/HVAC program.

A. H. Robins pharmaceutical (Robitussin, Chap Stick, etc.).  I recall the Robitussin signage but never realized the company was actually Richmond based.

AHHH - that's right. A.H. Robins. Richfood was up along that stretch of I-95 though not far from them too, wasn't it?

Were not the old Richmond Robins of the AHL (early-mid 1970s) named - in part - because of sponsorship by the pharmaceutical?

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, DowntownCoruscant said:

That…..never occurred to me. Wow. 

And it worked out with the concept of a "robin" (bird) - with the colors, since the Robins were the AHL farm club of the Philadelphia Flyers. So the orange, black and white color scheme - plus the name - was a perfect match.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.