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Newport News Development


urbanfan

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Finally, I was able to get some pictures of City Center. Bare with me as I am not a photographer. Here we go!

Here are a few photos of existing buildings already a part of the City Center.

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The new 11-story Marriott Hotel and convention (business meeting space)

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The second set of Park Place Apartments going up. These will look like the building shown in the first set under existing buildings at the very end.

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City Center 1 office building. You can see the garage being built in the background. The steel structure to the right of City Center 1 is a two level retail that wraps around the back of the brick building to the right. Also, who said that construction wasn't earth friendly, notice the tree that someone decided to lug up five stories and plant on top of a steel structure. (top of the city center building)

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Then some general pictures

This picture shows the retail wrapping around the brick building

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This picture shows the new garage being built and the retail district. In the foreground, this is the lot which the Point at City Center will be built on.

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Some general pictures from a distance.

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Hope you enjoyed. I'll try to get some pictures of Port Warwick now. You think that would be easy considering I work here. :blush:

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I would have to say that it is pretty impressive. Considering four years ago this area which you see was nothing but trees and grass (oh yeah, and bomb shelters from world war II) Oh yeah and a fountain that was built like four years before construction started. I think the bad news has done really good for itself. Now if we could get the courts, the police, and the city departments to move in, we would have at least four high rise buildings going in and several garages, not to mention the Meridian (18 story condo). This development would be huge!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It would be the largest downtown outside of Norfolk.

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I like the photos but I do have to say that Vabeach will probably surpass Newport News in the next 5-10 years.

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I wouldn't say that. There are alot of technical jobs up here right in the vicinity of Oyster Point. ATI (which developed the prototype body for the stealth bomber) Symantec regional headquarters, Thomas Jefferson labs, Airport which is about to expand to almost double its size, the Airfield research and technology park which is currently under construction at NNWIA, Ferguson enterprises regional headquarters, Then add facilities like Port Warwick, Riverside Regional less than a mile away, Christopher Newport University less than two miles away, this area is poised to see some serious growth, CNU already is, preforming arts center, New huge library, new large student center, new baseball stadium, new mixed use student apartments wrapped around a large garage, expanded football stadium, a recent four story dorm being wrapped up now. Riverside Regional is in a building campaign that will practically double its size, ( its already a large facility) and building a huge parking garage in the back. All of these developments are slowly closing the gaps between each other and eventually, Newport News' urban area will extend from CNU (warwick Blvd.) all the way to the highway (and lets not forget that downtown newport news is still larger than virginia beaches downtown and will be for a long while. If the city moved in and all of the courts buildings were to move in to city center, this area would practically double its size. Virginia beach has the tall towers, but the density, if the city and courts were to move in, would belong to Newport News. We would have an urban area several miles in length. And while there would only be maybe 5 or 6 highrises, the only place to build would be up.

Edited by urbanfan
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I wouldn't say that.  There are alot of technical jobs up here right in the vicinity of Oyster Point.  ATI (which developed the prototype body for the stealth bomber) Symantec regional headquarters, Thomas Jefferson labs, Airport which is about to expand to almost double its size, the Airfield research and technology park which is currently under construction at NNWIA, Ferguson enterprises regional headquarters, Then add facilities like Port Warwick, Riverside Regional less than a mile away, Christopher Newport University less than two miles away, this area is poised to see some serious growth, CNU already is, preforming arts center, New huge library, new large student center, new baseball stadium, new mixed use student apartments wrapped around a large garage, expanded football stadium, a recent four story dorm being wrapped up now.  Riverside Regional is in a building campaign that will practically double its size, ( its already a large facility) and building a huge parking garage in the back.  All of these developments are slowly closing the gaps between each other and eventually, Newport News' urban area will extend from CNU (warwick Blvd.) all the way to the highway (and lets not forget that downtown newport news is still larger than virginia beaches downtown and will be for a long while.  If the city moved in and all of the courts buildings were to move in to city center, this area would practically double its size.  Virginia beach has the tall towers, but the density, if the city and courts were to move in, would belong to Newport News.  We would have an urban area several miles in length.  And while there would only be maybe 5 or 6 highrises, the only place to build would be up.

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That entire central area of Newport News (midtown) is fully built out. The last few pieces of land are being built up (Patrick Henry Marketplace and 250 apartments near the retail area and Port Warwick a mile south). I think that this region of the city has no where to go but up and I agree---with the current commercial tenants in the area it's really starting to attract major business. I don't think that Newport News will reach a Norfolk-size during our lifetimes, or at least not for many years, but as far as business I think Newport News will become the region's "Second city" in that aspect.

GREAT pics btw urbanfan. I intended to take a few this weekend but alas, removed wisdom teeth and painkillers + driving = disaster. :silly::rofl: Nonetheless, great job and I really liked the panoramas. They gave a great indication as to what the area's becoming.

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That entire central area of Newport News (midtown) is fully built out.  The last few pieces of land are being built up (Patrick Henry Marketplace and 250 apartments near the retail area and Port Warwick a mile south).  I think that this region of the city has no where to go but up and I agree---with the current commercial tenants in the area it's really starting to attract major business.  I don't think that Newport News will reach a Norfolk-size during our lifetimes, or at least not for many years, but as far as business I think Newport News will become the region's "Second city" in that aspect.

GREAT pics btw urbanfan.  I intended to take a few this weekend but alas, removed wisdom teeth and painkillers + driving = disaster.  :silly:  :rofl:  Nonetheless, great job and I really liked the panoramas.  They gave a great indication as to what the area's becoming.

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I also agree. Urbanfan, you would also be pleased to hear that they have plans to extend Middle Ground Blvd. right through the CSX corridor to connect it to Warwick Blvd. This would mean a conduit running from City Center to Port Warwick to CNU. THAT is awesome. That's a first step towards integrating the already urbanizing character of that immediate vicinity.

I personally have a lot of hope for Va Beach Town Center, and I think at the end of the day it will be another nucleus of 'downtown' growth in Hampton Roads. That said, it's definitely more of a place catering to lifestyle development and tourism. I think that's a great thing but it doesn't have the corporate attitude that is central to City Center's raison d'etre.

In any case, I don't know yet if Newport News will be the 'second city' or whathaveyou, though I do believe that NN has a shot if everything goes smoothly. Most likely, I see Hampton's Coliseum Central being to City Center/Oyster Point/CNU/Port Warwick what Va Beach Town Center is to DT Norfolk/Ghent.

Doesn't mean that their sizes will be equitable or even comparable, but as far as being a nexus for commercial and retail growth that's how it looks like it may turn out.

Let's not forget that the official designation for the Hampton Roads Metro is the "Norfolk-Virginia Beach-Newport News MSA". How apt; because it seems that these three cities are building up to be the flagships of our metro!

No matter what, Hampton Roads wins.

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I also agree. Urbanfan, you would also be pleased to hear that they have plans to extend Middle Ground Blvd. right through the CSX corridor to connect it to Warwick Blvd. This would mean a conduit running from City Center to Port Warwick to CNU. THAT is awesome. That's a first step towards integrating the already urbanizing character of that immediate vicinity.

I personally have a lot of hope for Va Beach Town Center, and I think at the end of the day it will be another nucleus of 'downtown' growth in Hampton Roads. That said, it's definitely more of a place catering to lifestyle development and tourism. I think that's a great thing but it doesn't have the corporate attitude that is central to City Center's raison d'etre.

In any case, I don't know yet if Newport News will be the 'second city' or whathaveyou, though I do believe that NN has a shot if everything goes smoothly. Most likely, I see Hampton's Coliseum Central being to City Center/Oyster Point/CNU/Port Warwick what Va Beach Town Center is to DT Norfolk/Ghent.

Doesn't mean that their sizes will be equitable or even comparable, but as far as being a nexus for commercial and retail growth that's how it looks like it may turn out.

Let's not forget that the official designation for the Hampton Roads Metro is the "Norfolk-Virginia Beach-Newport News MSA". How apt; because it seems that these three cities are building up to be the flagships of our metro!

No matter what, Hampton Roads wins.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Yeah, they are also proposing two light rail lines running through the area. One completely in the csx right of way, the other would branch off at the middle ground blvd. extension, run by port warwick and through city center then on to hampton roads center parkway and into colliseum central. I sure hope it does happen because my house would be pretty close to the light rail line, and I will be able to right it all the way in to work.

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I also agree. Urbanfan, you would also be pleased to hear that they have plans to extend Middle Ground Blvd. right through the CSX corridor to connect it to Warwick Blvd. This would mean a conduit running from City Center to Port Warwick to CNU. THAT is awesome. That's a first step towards integrating the already urbanizing character of that immediate vicinity.

I personally have a lot of hope for Va Beach Town Center, and I think at the end of the day it will be another nucleus of 'downtown' growth in Hampton Roads. That said, it's definitely more of a place catering to lifestyle development and tourism. I think that's a great thing but it doesn't have the corporate attitude that is central to City Center's raison d'etre.

In any case, I don't know yet if Newport News will be the 'second city' or whathaveyou, though I do believe that NN has a shot if everything goes smoothly. Most likely, I see Hampton's Coliseum Central being to City Center/Oyster Point/CNU/Port Warwick what Va Beach Town Center is to DT Norfolk/Ghent.

Doesn't mean that their sizes will be equitable or even comparable, but as far as being a nexus for commercial and retail growth that's how it looks like it may turn out.

Let's not forget that the official designation for the Hampton Roads Metro is the "Norfolk-Virginia Beach-Newport News MSA". How apt; because it seems that these three cities are building up to be the flagships of our metro!

No matter what, Hampton Roads wins.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

The part about the Coliseum Central area becoming the "Peninsula's Virginia Beach" is very accurate and poignant lol. I was about to say the same thing! Coliseum is definitely coming back from its darker days and will hopefully become a major destination unto itself when the Coliseum Mall is completely redone into Town-Center-format and when (cough... if....) the Mercury Blvd. interchange is completed.

About the bit on light rail through City Center and the Coliseum area, I think that would be AMAZING and a huge boost for Peninsula tourism outside the Williamsburg market. If I could go to City Center, park my car and eat some lunch/shop for a bit, then ride down to AMC 24 and watch a movie, then go down to Coliseum to walk along the lake in the Power Plant, then back up to City Center for dinner, that would be a complete and FAN-flippin-TASTIC day! :D I hope it happens and sooner than the births of my grandchildren.

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Yeah, they are also proposing two light rail lines running through the area.  One completely in the csx right of way, the other would branch off at the middle ground blvd. extension, run by port warwick and through city center then on to hampton roads center parkway and into colliseum central.  I sure hope it does happen because my house would be pretty close to the light rail line, and I will be able to right it all the way in to work.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Haha someone with a like mind, I see!

I read the scoping report on hrtransit.org. If it happens it would be a major boon to the area. I'm just afraid we won't be able to get the fed money ... even worse, NN would be competing with Norfolk for the same money. HR's transportations system is in shambles and it looks like there's no end in sight ...

Unfortunately, public transportation seems to never be profitable private venture so we can't rely on developers to do it...

You know what HR needs? A large, angry, and active grassroots action group lobbying to bring Light Rail/Streetcars (or something) to the area at all costs. If someone here would start it, you could count me in!!

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Haha someone with a like mind, I see!

I read the scoping report on hrtransit.org. If it happens it would be a major boon to the area. I'm just afraid we won't be able to get the fed money ... even worse, NN would be competing with Norfolk for the same money. HR's transportations system is in shambles and it looks like there's no end in sight ...

Unfortunately, public transportation seems to never be profitable private venture so we can't rely on developers to do it...

You know what HR needs? A large, angry, and active grassroots action group lobbying to bring Light Rail/Streetcars (or something) to the area at all costs. If someone here would start it, you could count me in!!

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Hahaha, there are so many people in here on this site---if we all banded together we could possibly make some major changes... possibly. ^_^ Myself exempted of course lol :rolleyes:

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Haha someone with a like mind, I see!

I read the scoping report on hrtransit.org. If it happens it would be a major boon to the area. I'm just afraid we won't be able to get the fed money ... even worse, NN would be competing with Norfolk for the same money. HR's transportations system is in shambles and it looks like there's no end in sight ...

Unfortunately, public transportation seems to never be profitable private venture so we can't rely on developers to do it...

You know what HR needs? A large, angry, and active grassroots action group lobbying to bring Light Rail/Streetcars (or something) to the area at all costs. If someone here would start it, you could count me in!!

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

The good news is that Virginia finally has a rail transportation fund. However, any transit would have to compete with rail for passenger traffic and container traffic.

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If this area worked together we could have the funds to build the rail in unity but the "7 cities" gives us another major blow to this area. The feds couldn't turn us down then. Other areas don't run into this kind of conflict that we run into. I wish there was a way that i could plead with the whole area to come together and be unified on the mass transit.

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Actually yeah I do sometimes with my girlfriend. She's an art history major so I get dragged once in awhile. It's a great idea its just not something that sustains the area ... but when it does happen, the few decent restaurants are packed (e.g. comfort).

I know Richmond aint exactly Paris, but I have heard that Monument Avenue is considered one of the great boulevards of the world (not Boulevard, incidentally, haha). I didn't believe it when I first heard it but the more I think about it, I can't think of many cities, even large ones, with comparable avenues of such elegance.

As for the new performing arts center ... I hope it works as much as anyone ... but I think it follows the development paradigm in Richmond that is famous for absolutely not working. It just gives me the impression that there's a kind of "silver bullet" mentality in the city council - they think that some huge project will inject new life into the area when, in fact, it's a much more lengthy process.

Norfolk is a good example. On the surface, one might observe that after MacArthur mall came, Norfolk suddenly became a destination and growth exploded. What is easy to overlook, however, is the 20 year process of smaller projects that gave Norfolk that critical mass it needed once MacArthur mall actually came. Richmond would be wise to take note.

Anyway, back to Newport News, I had a lengthy lunch conversation with an Urban Planner who works for NN about the whole critical mass stuff. Apparently ideas were floated once upon a time to do a Powerplant-like development in DT NN before they cast their lots with midtown/Oyster Point. The reason it didn't happen was because the costs were borderline prohibitive and the real estate issue was basically impossible.

It frustrates me to no end that downtown NN has been left to rot while the rest of the city improves. I do actually believe that the downtown could be really nice if someone would put some money there ... in actuality there is a modest, middle class (anyone seen the inside of that River Tower? Very nice, actually.) population that lives in DT NN (it's not nearly as crime ridden as everyone seems to believe ... it was a problem in the 80s back when there were PEOPLE there) who have no services that cater to them. Add to the mix the municipal and shipyard workers during the workweek, there's a plenty of human traffic to support at least a daytime business. There's just a stigma that refuses to die.

I'm not sure where I'm going with this.

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I always thought that it would be best to put these developments at City Center into downtown. The problem is that Downtown is pretty much the shipyards domain. Almost half of the abandoned office buildings have been restored and are now being used for the Shipyard and planning. There will never be great views in downtown N.N. unless one of two things happens. The shipyard leaves, (not happening) or the coal yards leave. (Possible) Until this happens, Downtown will not be desirable to any business or developers for that matter. City Center was a wise decision because Newport News needed a place that would attract business. Unfortunately, Downtown had no potential to do so. But imagine the size of downtown had all of this development occured down there. :o

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I always thought that it would be best to put these developments at City Center into downtown.  The problem is that Downtown is pretty much the shipyards domain.  Almost half of the abandoned office buildings have been restored and are now being used for the Shipyard and planning.  There will never be great views in downtown N.N. unless one of two things happens.  The shipyard leaves, (not happening) or the coal yards leave.  (Possible)  Until this happens, Downtown will not be desirable to any business or developers for that matter.  City Center was a wise decision because Newport News needed a place that would attract business.  Unfortunately, Downtown had no potential to do so.  But imagine the size of downtown had all of this development occured down there. :o

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No I agree with you 100% ... and I don't think there's really any chance the Port of Newport News will be going anytime soon since it was just upgraded and expanded. Honestly, though, its not a terrible location, especially for high rise residential units (like River Towers) but there is a lot that is simply contingent on what the shipyard does.

City Center made sense also because it was physically in the center of the city. DT NN, on the other hand, is a heck of a walk from the other end of town, making it inconvenient as a central location (since it just wasn't).

I think DT could be nice in the future but I think NN will have spent all its money on other projects by then. We'll see. Who knows, if the light rail is implemented, maybe DT NN will be reinvigorated as the last major stop before the third crossing? hmmm... :rolleyes:

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I always thought that it would be best to put these developments at City Center into downtown.  The problem is that Downtown is pretty much the shipyards domain.  Almost half of the abandoned office buildings have been restored and are now being used for the Shipyard and planning.  There will never be great views in downtown N.N. unless one of two things happens.  The shipyard leaves, (not happening) or the coal yards leave.  (Possible)  Until this happens, Downtown will not be desirable to any business or developers for that matter.  City Center was a wise decision because Newport News needed a place that would attract business.  Unfortunately, Downtown had no potential to do so.  But imagine the size of downtown had all of this development occured down there. :o

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The part about the coal yards is an important one that I think no one has heard about before on here.

About 2-3 years ago, the Daily Press ran a huge article in the business section where in 20-25 years that area would be vacated (the coal yards) and then the city would redevelop it into a mostly-residential/retail area with multiple high-rise apartment buildings. I think that when/if that occurs THAT will be the thing that truly transforms the existing DT NNews into a new and booming area, but I think that at least for the forseeable 50 years from now future, City Center and Oyster Point will be the business center for the city.

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Well frankly if Richmond becomes nice it would really give people like me more reason to see Richmond-Hampton Roads as a sort of joint metro area ... After all, the distance between Baltimore and DC is roughly the same.

Peninsulakiddo ... VCU aint bad. I'm going here for all the wrong reasons (After a brief stint in DC) but there are pleny of opportunities here if you make the best of it. It's got a really good real estate/land development program too.

As far as DT NN goes ... I actually feel like I've read that article before though I can't be entirely sure. I'll try and do a Lexis Nexis search tonight and see if I can come up with anything about that.

Would anyone like to bother the NN planning dept? Usually when I email them I tell them that I am a student doing a project and they're usually pretty helpful as far as giving me the inside scoop on stuff. I think the office has plenty of my emails. I just want some more info on high rises in NN :D

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^^ Yup I feel the same way. I've always liked Newport News's real downtown and am saddened to see it fall to pieces. It has some decent high rises and is right on the water.

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I know this isn't exactly the 30ish floor high rise that gets all the excitement. In any case, I think it's one coolest buildings in the area. B) I'm talking about the VASCIC building in downtown NN. It really does look like the conning tower of a submarine cruising on the surface. Kinda neat..methinks! :D

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Photo of the VASCIC building

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Now compare that to the conning tower of the U.S.S. Virginia

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So while we're on the topic of downtown NN, I thought maybe I could add a few pictures of my own ... I used to have a fairly decent picture of the gritty NN "skyline", but alas, I think it's on my computer in Richmond.

This is River Tower. It's actually fairly upscale and caters to upper middle class tastes and sensibilities ... if only the downtown accomodated the view that's sure to come with living here ...

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This is the Victory Arch with the eternal flame. Definitely one of those little jewels of NN that only 0.01% of the population seem to even know about.

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Here are some of my own pictures of the VASCIC building ...

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(This is of the boardwalk/promenade outside of the VASCIC building ... awesome views)

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And the old Warwick Hotel that is now an SRO ...

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As soon as I can get my camera back I'll mosey on down over there for some new pictures.

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Thats awesome work there guys. I think we're all in agreement, VASCIC is a classic. MERCUEX, thanks for the pics. Victory Arch & the old Warwick are jewels that need to be preserved at all costs.  :thumbsup:

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I really wouldn't be surprised if municipal workers and shipyard engineers go out to each lunch there during the day or something. If I could I'd go down there during the work day but, alas, I'm at work myself.

Anyone else from the area want to volunteer?

By the way, those pictures from the VASCIC site look fantastic. I think I took the top one once upon a time and put all sorts of notes in the margins about downtown to dispel people's unfounded talk about the area (for people who just don't take the time to go there).

It's not a terrible place, really. I actually go bike riding down there when I get a chance. I wouldn't be surprised if crime was extremely low. It's certainly lower than in Denbigh (no offense to any Denbigh dwellers here).

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I really wouldn't be surprised if municipal workers and shipyard engineers go out to each lunch there during the day or something. If I could I'd go down there during the work day but, alas, I'm at work myself.

Anyone else from the area want to volunteer?

By the way, those pictures from the VASCIC site look fantastic. I think I took the top one once upon a time and put all sorts of notes in the margins about downtown to dispel people's unfounded talk about the area (for people who just don't take the time to go there).

It's not a terrible place, really. I actually go bike riding down there when I get a chance. I wouldn't be surprised if crime was extremely low. It's certainly lower than in Denbigh (no offense to any Denbigh dwellers here).

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Actually, the boardwalk gets moderate use. Mainly, from workers at the center. The city is actually planning on creating a waterfront park down in that vicinity. I came across this on their web page, I believe under planning.

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Actually, the boardwalk gets moderate use.  Mainly, from workers at the center.  The city is actually planning on creating a waterfront park down in that vicinity.  I came across this on their web page, I believe under planning.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Huh?? Are you joking me?

Please link!

If you're referring to the Framework for the Future thing ... that's only a rough sketch ... Anything concrete?

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