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Hampton Roads Housing/Real estate/and Economy

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i posted a response to the State of the Region on my blog. I also posted a response to Mr. Koch's other comment about the cost of light rail not being 'justifiable'. thoughts? comments? i really think that HR can overcome any of the obstacles of the future.

great posts, Russell. Here's one from Joe Bouchard, too: http://smartregion.org/2010/10/regional-vision-for-technology-driven-prosperity-in-hampton-roads/

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We're coming up on the 1st year anniversary of our hacker space, that is a clubhouse that is for people interested in building things. Hardware and software. www.757labs.org for more info. We've got one of the best spaces in the USA, and finally getting some stuff going. But it's a struggle. Other areas have twice the membership. Of course we're going to be at risk of loosing the lease as well (30 days notice to get out.)

We've seen 5 GREAT people leave the area just because job opportunities here are weak, and better elsewhere. The truly good people aren't going to want to work for gov't contractors. They don't reward excellence, they don't really reward skills, they just want bodies to bill on. Even if you're good you're going to be stuck by people who aren't. It sounds cocky and mean, I'm sorry, it's the truth. So much time spent on BS and red tape and general moron stuff.

It's night and day between a vibrant startup and any gov't contractor. Been at both.

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We're coming up on the 1st year anniversary of our hacker space, that is a clubhouse that is for people interested in building things. Hardware and software. www.757labs.org for more info. We've got one of the best spaces in the USA, and finally getting some stuff going. But it's a struggle. Other areas have twice the membership. Of course we're going to be at risk of loosing the lease as well (30 days notice to get out.)

We've seen 5 GREAT people leave the area just because job opportunities here are weak, and better elsewhere. The truly good people aren't going to want to work for gov't contractors. They don't reward excellence, they don't really reward skills, they just want bodies to bill on. Even if you're good you're going to be stuck by people who aren't. It sounds cocky and mean, I'm sorry, it's the truth. So much time spent on BS and red tape and general moron stuff.

It's night and day between a vibrant startup and any gov't contractor. Been at both.

People wonder how the military can piss away so much money, and your example is part and parcel of a larger problem with how the US government operates. Hampton Roads is bound at the hip to the military, and at some point in the next 10-15 years defense spending is going to have to be on the chopping block. HR is not going to do well over this period.

Edited by Glassoul

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We're coming up on the 1st year anniversary of our hacker space, that is a clubhouse that is for people interested in building things. Hardware and software. www.757labs.org for more info. We've got one of the best spaces in the USA, and finally getting some stuff going. But it's a struggle. Other areas have twice the membership. Of course we're going to be at risk of loosing the lease as well (30 days notice to get out.)

We've seen 5 GREAT people leave the area just because job opportunities here are weak, and better elsewhere. The truly good people aren't going to want to work for gov't contractors. They don't reward excellence, they don't really reward skills, they just want bodies to bill on. Even if you're good you're going to be stuck by people who aren't. It sounds cocky and mean, I'm sorry, it's the truth. So much time spent on BS and red tape and general moron stuff.

It's night and day between a vibrant startup and any gov't contractor. Been at both.

You guys should come up with a new technology and birth a new industry for Hampton Roads.

If you lost that space would you likely try to stay in the same area?

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You guys should come up with a new technology and birth a new industry for Hampton Roads.

Totally agree! get involved with Innovate!HamptonRoads (website is under construction), the rebirth of the decade-old Hampton Roads Research Partnership. You can learn more here: http://bit.ly/Vision-Innovation

Also, heard http://MarioArmstrong.com at MODSIM World last night and he got a room of about 500 kids, teachers and parents stoked about STEM Education and how to get involved.

Plus two networking events on Oct 20 and 21: http://smartregion.org/2010/10/technology-workforce-meets-innovators-and-entrepreneurs/

Are you one of the many career technology professionals in the Hampton Roads region? Are you nervous as a result of the recent announcement by Defense Secretary Gates to “dis-establish” Joint Forces Command and drastically reduce the contractor workforce?

Luckily, one of the major initiatives of Vision Hampton Roads, the first region-wide comprehensive economic development strategy, is on the innovative culture of Hampton Roads. And, Technology Hampton Roads, the member organization serving as the technology nerve center for Southeastern Virginia, offers two not-to-be-missed networking events for you. Non-members are welcomed and encouraged to attend: http://smartregion.org/2010/10/technology-workforce-meets-innovators-and-entrepreneurs/

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www.757labs.org

Almost a year into our hackerspace project. We've got around 19 members. We did a high altitude balloon launch against similar spaces around the world and ranked 5th. We've had visitors from Atlanta and Houston. Interns coming to NASA and other places came to visit us, because it's where they could go to find like minded individuals (there are location finders at sites like hackerspaces.org.)

We've hosted the 24 hour comics day, the only site in Virginia. The Ruby and Python programming groups meet monthly. We're starting to do more presentations with the HRGeeks II meetings, and I've been working hard to build out a multi-camera setup for recording the presentations.

There is a project or two underway that looks like it could really go commercial, as well.

Our lab consists of:

Two meeting areas and a chillout area with games. Full automation of A/V resources via touchscreen. Sound, video, media storage servers, all that kind of stuff.

Electronics work area including 20mhz and 500mhz oscopes, soldering irons and desoldering tools, breadboards, various component parts. Embedded boards from TI, ST, Motorola/Freescale, ARM, Xilinx and more.

Heavier tools including a laser engraver project, a CNC router project, a 3d printer project, drill press, band saw, chop saw, various tools. Projects mean they are under construction.

Computer lab includes RS/6000 AIX servers, Silicon Graphics host, DEC Alpha Host, A few PC systems, some Cisco hardware, Linksys hardware, various RF antennas, a Cray supercomputer (it's older and slow but real) and more.

There is some other work areas, and other stuff as well.

We're not really in competition with other incubators. All of our funding comes from the key holding members, $50 a month at a time. We don't really get much love from the local media. Our costs are pretty low, but it's still a challenge making it go.

We lost 4 people that were truly great this year. All relocated out of the area, even though they had jobs. They just got better ones. That kind of sucks. None were paying members, but they all were bright. The kind that build things.

Next challenge is the next years lease has a 30 day notice clause where we have to be out in 30 days. The spoken agreement was only if a specific tenant wants the building, but in the lease it says otherwise. Haven't signed it, but not a great feeling that they didn't honor what was said. We get a good rate (for us, but I think they overestimate how good the space would be for any other business in the world) and it will be a challenge coming up with a replacement. But I think some good could come out of moving. The way I see it, if something were to happen to the lab it would be savings to me and a loss for the community.

4899808879_b3e52734fa.jpg

4900396250_af4070bc04.jpg

5068670826_456b89f19c.jpg

(I really need to take updated pictures, these don't do it justice. Sounds like a project for tomorrow.)

Oh wait, video I forgot about!

Video is a bit outdated. Furniture has mostly been all updated, all nicer tables now.

Edited by Telmnstr

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dude that place look sweet....ive always wanted to learn about unix, linux etc....want to learn web development as well. Seems like a cool place to be a sponge at :thumbsup:

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www.757labs.org

Almost a year into our hackerspace project. We've got around 19 members. We did a high altitude balloon launch against similar spaces around the world and ranked 5th. We've had visitors from Atlanta and Houston. Interns coming to NASA and other places came to visit us, because it's where they could go to find like minded individuals (there are location finders at sites like hackerspaces.org.)

We've hosted the 24 hour comics day, the only site in Virginia. The Ruby and Python programming groups meet monthly. We're starting to do more presentations with the HRGeeks II meetings, and I've been working hard to build out a multi-camera setup for recording the presentations.

There is a project or two underway that looks like it could really go commercial, as well.

Our lab consists of:

Two meeting areas and a chillout area with games. Full automation of A/V resources via touchscreen. Sound, video, media storage servers, all that kind of stuff.

Electronics work area including 20mhz and 500mhz oscopes, soldering irons and desoldering tools, breadboards, various component parts. Embedded boards from TI, ST, Motorola/Freescale, ARM, Xilinx and more.

Heavier tools including a laser engraver project, a CNC router project, a 3d printer project, drill press, band saw, chop saw, various tools. Projects mean they are under construction.

Computer lab includes RS/6000 AIX servers, Silicon Graphics host, DEC Alpha Host, A few PC systems, some Cisco hardware, Linksys hardware, various RF antennas, a Cray supercomputer (it's older and slow but real) and more.

There is some other work areas, and other stuff as well.

We're not really in competition with other incubators. All of our funding comes from the key holding members, $50 a month at a time. We don't really get much love from the local media. Our costs are pretty low, but it's still a challenge making it go.

We lost 4 people that were truly great this year. All relocated out of the area, even though they had jobs. They just got better ones. That kind of sucks. None were paying members, but they all were bright. The kind that build things.

Next challenge is the next years lease has a 30 day notice clause where we have to be out in 30 days. The spoken agreement was only if a specific tenant wants the building, but in the lease it says otherwise. Haven't signed it, but not a great feeling that they didn't honor what was said. We get a good rate (for us, but I think they overestimate how good the space would be for any other business in the world) and it will be a challenge coming up with a replacement. But I think some good could come out of moving. The way I see it, if something were to happen to the lab it would be savings to me and a loss for the community.

4899808879_b3e52734fa.jpg

4900396250_af4070bc04.jpg

5068670826_456b89f19c.jpg

(I really need to take updated pictures, these don't do it justice. Sounds like a project for tomorrow.)

Oh wait, video I forgot about!

Video is a bit outdated. Furniture has mostly been all updated, all nicer tables now.

great story... would like to share on the regional blog and e-News can you send some new pics and any more info, links etc to my work email? [email protected] thx

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I wonder if Richmond's reluctance comes from the fact that they'd have to split funding with Hampton Roads? Seems like the idea of a merger was revived last year when the Sacramento Kings rumors started up.

 

I'd love to see it happen, but I doubt it will happen. Besides, quite a few improvements would have to be made. Expanding 64 near Williamsburg/New Kent would be a nice start but seems impossible. Also, one of the airports would have to expand. All three are pretty tiny for a region of this size, esp. one with the potential to serve 3 million people.

Edited by BFG

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While the military is important, if not critical to HR's success, this region shouldn't put all its eggs in one basket, and use the military as such a financial crutch. Start focusing on efforts to keep more college grads here, and maybe lure in another Fortune 500 company. I think a lot of people leave because the region doesn't provide as much as it could for civilians.

 

On the housing side, make housing more affordable, esp. if you want people downtown.

Edited by BFG

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I may be somewhat beating a 'dead horse', but It seems our economy is "running in place and stalled" according to the last article I read online about the region. (Also see my posting a couple of postings up about last year). For quite a few years we haven't heard of major job creation or relocations to the Hampton Roads area while surrounding cities (Richmond, Raleigh, Charlotte) are doing quite well. Even Pittsburgh has reinvented itself and is surging in jobs and population. Will this region ever rise above our military status and become something more? 

Edited by urbanvb

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I would like to see this area do more with tech jobs, and get a Fortune 500 company here. Instead of trying to build luxury hotel/convention centers or rebuild Waterside, there need to be towers going in both downtown Norfolk and near Town Center. I'd love to see a stretch of VB dedicated to a Google-style campus. More young professionals would help a lot.

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Saw this earlier...I like that his resume includes markets of a size comparable to HR. I look forward to hearing what he has to offer, esp. after reading that he sees potential for this area and thinks we "punch below [our] weight (I agree FWIW)..."

I can imagine one of the first things he'll push for is a merger.

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VP article alluding to Farm Fresh's future:  Big changes expected at Farm Fresh, and employees fear the worst

I've heard through the rumor mill that Publix and Kroger are buying 16 & 17 stores respectively.  It would certainly match with how Publix entered the Richmond market.  Whatever happens with FF won't be a surprise as Supervalu hasn't invested in their stores and has made it clear it wants to get out of the retail grocery game.

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I'm guessing this could lead to a population boost. Would love to see us hit 2 million in the next 5 years. 

Meanwhile, this needs to be drilled into the city council members' minds every day. I'd rather see us become one city before we try to merge with Richmond.

Quote

ODU researchers also found that while more of us are moving into luxury apartments. Homes in Hampton Roads are also selling faster and for more money in all cities right now.

Our largest challenge, McNab claims, remains working as a region. "If we could collaborate and work together, not fight, but think about a shared region we'll be better off."

Edited by BFG

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Homes under contract have increased 30% from this time last year. Potential population boom on the horizon?

http://www.virginiabusiness.com/regions/article/hampton-roads-homes-under-contracts-up-30

”The number of Hampton Roads homes placed under sales contract In September rose 30.14% from the same period last year, according to Real Estate Information Network Inc. (REIN), the regional Multiple Listing Service. Regional closings were also up, rising 13.07% from September 2018.

The median sales price also rose in September, up to $249,000 — a 6.34% increase over the same period in 2018. And the number of distressed home sales (foreclosures and short sales) were at the lowest level since July 2008, accounting for 4.27% of all residential settled sales.

“Major factors affecting our regional marketplace and increased sales this month include lower interest rates and the outstanding opportunities for employment due to our strong military presence, shipbuilding and technology growth,” said Barry Nachman, a regional broker and member of REIN’s Board of Directors. “This leads to a positive environment where members of our communities feel confident in moving forward in their decision to purchase a home.”

 Also, the number of homes being put up for sale dropped 13%. Meaning those that are here are staying put. Perhaps we’ve finally arrested our out migration problem.

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Even if it's simply because more people qualified to buy, 30% is a big deal. I'm no economist or statistician, but I can't see that not having a serious impact in the next Census. A 5-10% population boost would be great.

Edited by BFG
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 Yeah, those are the types of numbers you typically see in NoVa or Raleigh. I’m cautiously optimistic this means we are about to see a big swing. 

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3 Hampton Roads cities in the top 10 in the state as far as economic growth with VB ranked number 2, looking good. Also of note, while we complain about how reliant we are on federal dollars NoVA seems to have us far outmatched in that department.

 

6D139CB0-0DBE-43DC-95E2-D94292E6868D.png

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