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On 9/3/2017 at 6:41 PM, baobabs727 said:

Ouch. From the standpoint of the silence on this board, it is reflective of a lack of news.  But there are some other factors at play, including fewer active posters here than 10 years ago, and a general bias toward Norfolk. And of course the latter makes sense given this place is called *urban*planet.

But I disagree with you that there is "nothing going on."  I also disagree that things are slower than they were 10 years ago. After all, Town Center has continued to grow and flourish, the resort strip has been transformed with new hotels and timeshares. Lynnhaven Mall has been re-made into something vibrant and attractive. Same with Pembroke Mall. The Southern part of the city is expanding in residential and with the biotech corridor. Additionally, we will be the epicenter for the landing of potentially 4 new international fiber cables coming from all parts of the globe. Mega players like Google, Microsoft and Facebook are involved. Data centers are proposed for Corporate Landing into the Billions of $$. 

AND....the following projects are  in various stages of being. From proposal to near completion:

New 18,000 seat Arena

New Athletic Fieldhouse

Old Cavalier on the Hill brought back to life as a boutique Marriott Autograph Collection Hotel and gated residences redevelopment

"New Cavalier" Marriott Hotel Oceanfront across the street, plus an Embassy Suites Hotel , condos and timeshares

Block 9 Town Center with a new theater, restaurants, retail + a 10 story upscale apartment building 

Expansion of Town Center to the East at Columbus Shopping with new residential, movies, shopping.

New 15th St. Pier/Hotel/Timeshare cultural & entertainment project

New 19th St. "Dome Site" entertainment, retail, restaurants, theatre, residential project

Rudy Loop's 10+ Oceanfront acres with high-end hotel(s), restaurants, residential, entertainment resort project

A truly impressive list--by any measure--most of which could very likely be completed by the the mid 2020s.  Far from "nothing going on," IMHO &  with all due respect.

Now, light rail was killed. Yes. And I agree, that was a bad move. But other than that, modernity just keeps on marching forward in Virginia Beach. 

How many of these things will actually happen? In my life there has been numerous proposals that have never turned into anything. I am happy that they at least built a downtown, even if it is a small area surrounded by suburbia.

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40 minutes ago, urbanlife said:

How many of these things will actually happen? In my life there has been numerous proposals that have never turned into anything. I am happy that they at least built a downtown, even if it is a small area surrounded by suburbia.

Aren't most downtowns surrounded by suburbia? You have downtown, then you have suburbia and the exurbs...and then you have rural America.  However you label it, Norfolk and Virginia Beach are fairly densely populated beyond their respective downtowns. 

As far as "what will ever get done?" Well I don't have a crystal ball, but I can tell you that everything in my original second paragraph (you quoted) has been completed or is getting done.

Additionally, we know that Bruce Thompson's Cavalier projects 1 & 2 will get done.  I don't know the exact total, but I think we're talking easily north of $350-400 million in total. The Old Cavalier is almost finished. The gated community surrounding the Old Cavalier is beyond 60% completed. Nearly sold out. He nearly always succeeds, so the big project #2 on the oceanfront will get done. He did just finish the $170M Hilton Norfolk The Main & Conference Ctr. to universal acclaim.

The arena is one extension away from getting started. There's a very good chance that it will actually happen because of the funding mechanism (private $$).  

Block 9 at Town Center is half finished. It will get done.  Armada Hoffler now owns all of the property adjacent and east of Town Center, and so eventually that will get done. They didn't buy those parcels to operate a strip mall. Believe me.

As for the 15th St., Dome and Rudee Loop projects, those are, indeed, up in the air. That is where we would need the crystal ball. The largest among them would be Rudee.  Bruce Thompson is involved in the 15th St. project, but nothing has been approved as of yet. The Dome site project is moving forward conceptually, once again, with RFP's supposedly coming in to the City Mgr. right now. Per Council request. And Council will choose a developer this Fall/Winter and move forward with the planning stages. 

Hope that helps to allay your concerns.

Edited by baobabs727

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7 hours ago, baobabs727 said:

Aren't most downtowns surrounded by suburbia? You have downtown, then you have suburbia and the exurbs...and then you have rural America.  However you label it, Norfolk and Virginia Beach are fairly densely populated beyond their respective downtowns. 

As far as "what will ever get done?" Well I don't have a crystal ball, but I can tell you that everything in my original second paragraph (you quoted) has been completed or is getting done.

Additionally, we know that Bruce Thompson's Cavalier projects 1 & 2 will get done.  I don't know the exact total, but I think we're talking easily north of $350-400 million in total. The Old Cavalier is almost finished. The gated community surrounding the Old Cavalier is beyond 60% completed. Nearly sold out. He nearly always succeeds, so the big project #2 on the oceanfront will get done. He did just finish the $170M Hilton Norfolk The Main & Conference Ctr. to universal acclaim.

The arena is one extension away from getting started. There's a very good chance that it will actually happen because of the funding mechanism (private $$).  

Block 9 at Town Center is half finished. It will get done.  Armada Hoffler now owns all of the property adjacent and east of Town Center, and so eventually that will get done. They didn't buy those parcels to operate a strip mall. Believe me.

As for the 15th St., Dome and Rudee Loop projects, those are, indeed, up in the air. That is where we would need the crystal ball. The largest among them would be Rudee.  Bruce Thompson is involved in the 15th St. project, but nothing has been approved as of yet. The Dome site project is moving forward conceptually, once again, with RFP's supposedly coming in to the City Mgr. right now. Per Council request. And Council will choose a developer this Fall/Winter and move forward with the planning stages. 

Hope that helps to allay your concerns.

Fair point, though in the US, thanks to urban renewal, most downtowns are surrounded by parking lots, freeways, and then suburbia. I was more referring to the small footprint of VB's young downtown. Which I do understand that it is still a young downtown, I just don't see it expanding too much further than its current footprint when you look at those that own property around it. (I am looking at you Pembroke Mall and old HQ site.) I am not discrediting the second paragraph, that is all amazing the all that has been done. I was referring more to the list below that paragraph because many things on that list I have heard in various forms over the past 30 years. So I have earned my skepticism. 

The Cavalier renovation and expansion on their proper is a no brainer, I am happy that is being done, but I am not surprised. Also I am happy the Hilton in downtown Norfolk finally happened, Norfolk deserved that building, from what I have seen of it, it looks fantastic.

The arena may be one extension away from getting started, but that one I will believe it when I see the construction. I have heard about this arena in various forms, just like I have heard about a pro team. Neither of which I am holding my breath for because I would be dead if I did. I hope an arena does get built, but you can understand why I might be skeptical.

I am happy about Block 9 as well, overall the Town Center is turning out more dense than I ever imagined it would get. It is also good to start seeing a variety of architecture happening. I was originally worried that one architecture firm would get to design the whole area.

The Dome site, I wish they would have left the Dome in place. That way it would have still been a quirky place to see concerts at the beach. I hope that whole area gets redeveloped one day, but I doubt it will look anything like what I expect it to look like.

I am happy you guys have been going strong with keeping this site updated with all that is going on. At this point, you guys are my only connection left to Hampton Roads besides a couple of friends that I still keep in touch with.

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Town Centers footprint is only limited by the neighborhoods and high school that surrounds it. Personally I would like to see the BB&T and the Smokey Bones across the street moved into the tower that will go onto Block 2 or the Taco Bell lot and then a developer buy the land for another tower in the former BB&T spot to move Downtown across the street as well. 

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It's interesting that Norfolk built a new mall right next to its existing downtown (Macarthur), and Virginia Beach built a new downtown next to its existing mall (Town Center and Pembroke). 

Edited by Norfolk757Kid

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1 hour ago, Norfolk757Kid said:

It's interesting that Norfolk built a new mall right next to its existing downtown (Macarthur), and Virginia Beach built a new downtown next to its existing mall (Town Center and Pembroke). 

That is funny to think about, both were done to revitalize the areas that are considered to be city centers for both cities.

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3 hours ago, urbanlife said:

That is funny to think about, both were done to revitalize the areas that are considered to be city centers for both cities.

Yep, completely different means to the same desired end

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Plus our access to ports and relatively low cost of living when compared to other metros. If the package this right, VB could really score a coup here.

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They should look at Norfolk build 2 or 3 towers downtown or in fort Norfolk. 

 

Foolishly of me I hadn't checked to see if this was already brought up in the Norfolk thread yet.

Edited by Urbanlooker
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On 9/6/2017 at 4:10 AM, urbanlife said:

Fair point, though in the US, thanks to urban renewal, most downtowns are surrounded by parking lots, freeways, and then suburbia. I was more referring to the small footprint of VB's young downtown. Which I do understand that it is still a young downtown, I just don't see it expanding too much further than its current footprint when you look at those that own property around it. (I am looking at you Pembroke Mall and old HQ site.) I am not discrediting the second paragraph, that is all amazing the all that has been done. I was referring more to the list below that paragraph because many things on that list I have heard in various forms over the past 30 years. So I have earned my skepticism. 

The Cavalier renovation and expansion on their proper is a no brainer, I am happy that is being done, but I am not surprised. Also I am happy the Hilton in downtown Norfolk finally happened, Norfolk deserved that building, from what I have seen of it, it looks fantastic.

The arena may be one extension away from getting started, but that one I will believe it when I see the construction. I have heard about this arena in various forms, just like I have heard about a pro team. Neither of which I am holding my breath for because I would be dead if I did. I hope an arena does get built, but you can understand why I might be skeptical.

I am happy about Block 9 as well, overall the Town Center is turning out more dense than I ever imagined it would get. It is also good to start seeing a variety of architecture happening. I was originally worried that one architecture firm would get to design the whole area.

The Dome site, I wish they would have left the Dome in place. That way it would have still been a quirky place to see concerts at the beach. I hope that whole area gets redeveloped one day, but I doubt it will look anything like what I expect it to look like.

I am happy you guys have been going strong with keeping this site updated with all that is going on. At this point, you guys are my only connection left to Hampton Roads besides a couple of friends that I still keep in touch with.

Fair points, all. And don't get me wrong, I hear and share your pain. I've lived here my entire life except for 4 years College,  plus 2 additional years. We've certainly been sold a bill of goods more often than I can count, so your skepticism is warranted . Hoping we're turning over a new leaf.  Thinking we might be doing just that.

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1 hour ago, baobabs727 said:

Fair points, all. And don't get me wrong, I hear and share your pain. I've lived here my entire life except for 4 years College,  plus 2 additional years. We've certainly been sold a bill of goods more often than I can count, so your skepticism is warranted . Hoping we're turning over a new leaf.  Thinking we might be doing just that.

I hope so, it would be fun to one day go back and visit there and be amazed at how much more developed Norfolk and VB are. Amazon is looking for a 2nd headquarters in the US, it would be awesome to see them pick Norfolk or VB and build an urban campus in either city like they have done in Seattle.

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Sessoms wants to put a project like this at corporate landing? I give up. If you want to build a downtown, then this is it! Amazon has tall buildings all over Seattle, yet this guy wants a college campus. <_< Give this one to Norfolk, they are way more deserving and will do it right.

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10155767897423793&id=30440628792

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I'll give him benefit of the doubt. The campus idea isn't a bad one, but it might not fit Amazon. That's for something like the fiberoptic project. If I never, ever hear him refer to this city as the Greatest in the World, it'll be too soon. :P

I like Mayor Alexander's idea of something near the N/VB border. It definitely promotes regionalism, but outside of where USAA is, I can't think of too many locations they could go, except for maybe Military Circle. 

Also, ORF needs to step its game up big time. 

Edited by BFG
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1 hour ago, vdogg said:

Sessoms wants to put a project like this at corporate landing? I give up. If you want to build a downtown, then this is it! Amazon has tall buildings all over Seattle, yet this guy wants a college campus. <_< Give this one to Norfolk, they are way more deserving and will do it right.

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10155767897423793&id=30440628792

Oh,  behave. LOL. 

We try not to be ageist, but sometimes it's downright impossible! 

VBTC FTW.  Alternatively, 500 acres adjacent to CBN.  Or DT ORF.

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2 hours ago, BFG said:

I'll give him benefit of the doubt. The campus idea isn't a bad one, but it might not fit Amazon. That's for something like the fiberoptic project. If I never, ever hear him refer to this city as the Greatest in the World, it'll be too soon. :P

I like Mayor Alexander's idea of something near the N/VB border. It definitely promotes regionalism, but outside of where USAA is, I can't think of too many locations they could go, except for maybe Military Circle. 

Also, ORF needs to step its game up big time. 

There's plenty of land at Newton near the light rail station. Buy out some of those commercial properties and you could assemble more than enough for a dense urban campus. Sits right on the Norfolk/VB Line too.

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1 hour ago, vdogg said:

There's plenty of land at Newton near the light rail station. Buy out some of those commercial properties and you could assemble more than enough for a dense urban campus. Sits right on the Norfolk/VB Line too.

You're on to something. It would be a trip to have one building of the campus in Norfolk, and another in VB. :P

More importantly though, it sits on the light rail line, and VB would likely have no excuse but to extend LRT, even if they have to be dragged into it kicking and screaming. Jeff Bezos may actually pitch in himself lol...

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Honestly, I don't think Virginia Beach has a chance for this second HQ (or any other city in Hampton Roads). However, I can see Mayor Sessoms push resulting in other benefits for Virginia Beach, as it puts the city on Amazons map as the company increases the size of its web services (cloud ect) having access to the fiber line is a real incentive!

Plus, would be nice to have a thriving ecosystem of multiple businesses (co-located for the fiber and Amazon web services) than one MASSIVE company. That is how you get a silicon valley.

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Silicon Beach...I like it. Hampton Roads is obviously a longshot, but I think this could be the thing that really sparks regionalism around here. At least I hope it does.

For the sake of bringing more jobs, a regional effort kinda like what we saw these last few days is critical. Amazon would be awesome, but there's other companies that we need to look at as well, not just at Corporate Landing, but throughout the city, in downtown Norfolk, out in Chesapeake, etc. We need to get the Peninsula involved too.

Efforts like this will get other people noticing, esp. if Hampton Roads wants to move beyond being just a "military area".

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