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vdogg

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I admittedly did not read the whole report, but I just realized it was from 2021! We are just now getting reporting on this... The report does not mention Nordstrom a single time. That is when everything began unraveling for MacArthur and MacArthur is a major part of the vacancy. The report specifically states if you exclude MacArthur, vacancy drops from 23% to 17%. A far as I am concerned you can ignore the place - all efforts should be focused on improving everything else with an eye towards what happens after MacArthur when the time comes. A little curious where the report got its vacancy numbers from. They are way higher than anything I have seen reported elsewhere. I wouldn't doubt that they are being underreported but there is a big gap - 23% in the report, 9% by Thalhimer (all of Norfolk), 4.1% by CoStar ($$$ on this being underreported), and 2.1% by Colliers (same). It seems more like this report to Downtown Norfolk Council (in May 2021) is the outlier. Maybe somebody can clear up their methodology. 

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1 hour ago, HRVA said:

I admittedly did not read the whole report, but I just realized it was from 2021! We are just now getting reporting on this... The report does not mention Nordstrom a single time. That is when everything began unraveling for MacArthur and MacArthur is a major part of the vacancy. The report specifically states if you exclude MacArthur, vacancy drops from 23% to 17%. A far as I am concerned you can ignore the place - all efforts should be focused on improving everything else with an eye towards what happens after MacArthur when the time comes. A little curious where the report got its vacancy numbers from. They are way higher than anything I have seen reported elsewhere. I wouldn't doubt that they are being underreported but there is a big gap - 23% in the report, 9% by Thalhimer (all of Norfolk), 4.1% by CoStar ($$$ on this being underreported), and 2.1% by Colliers (same). It seems more like this report to Downtown Norfolk Council (in May 2021) is the outlier. Maybe somebody can clear up their methodology. 

The Thalheimer report does not give a submarket breakdown within Norfolk, etc., as it does for Richmond (e.g., downtown). However, assumably the methodologies for vacancy determination would be the same for both cities... and the 9% overall for Norfolk is certainly far in excess and a good multiple over that of the Richmond market, etc.  You can bet your life savings that if Thalheimer broke out the numbers for downtown Norfolk, it would be well into the double digits.  

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16 hours ago, baobabs727 said:

The Thalheimer report does not give a submarket breakdown within Norfolk, etc., as it does for Richmond (e.g., downtown). However, assumably the methodologies for vacancy determination would be the same for both cities... and the 9% overall for Norfolk is certainly far in excess and a good multiple over that of the Richmond market, etc.  You can bet your life savings that if Thalheimer broke out the numbers for downtown Norfolk, it would be well into the double digits.  

I was more questioning the report for the DNC.  I watched the presentation from the Planning meeting and there’s a slightly different presentation but appeared to be from the same 2021 information. They delineated into four nodes and I believe paints a very different picture with some context. The NEON node 13% vacancy, CBD 10%, MacArthur 29%, and Granby Corridor 20%. Now these four nodes cover a much smaller area than what is typically covered as the Downtown Norfolk submarket (Ghent, ODU, etc are excluded) which I feel is a good thing and explains the lower numbers reported elsewhere. My big issue is it appears they have included the old Farm Fresh in their vacancy calculation. It was accurate when the report was made over a year ago but it’s not anymore. Now the video is grainy so you can’t read their numbers clearly but that 37k SF should drop vacancy in line with the other nodes except MacArthur. Now 10-13% vacancy still isn’t something to cheer about but it’s not doom and gloom either. The giant gorilla in the room is MacArthur. It’s not going to be fixed. It lost it’s destination status and it needs to be repositioned. The fact Nordstrom leaving is never mentioned and the vacancy information wasn’t updated or at least even noted casts a lot of doubt on the whole report in my opinion. Downtown is fine & it’s great that there’s an organization looking out for her best interests and I do believe the consultants have some good ideas but the problem is a bit overblown. 

Edited by HRVA
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On 9/6/2022 at 11:56 AM, HRVA said:

I was more questioning the report for the DNC.  I watched the presentation from the Planning meeting and there’s a slightly different presentation but appeared to be from the same 2021 information. They delineated into four nodes and I believe paints a very different picture with some context. The NEON node 13% vacancy, CBD 10%, MacArthur 29%, and Granby Corridor 20%. Now these four nodes cover a much smaller area than what is typically covered as the Downtown Norfolk submarket (Ghent, ODU, etc are excluded) which I feel is a good thing and explains the lower numbers reported elsewhere. My big issue is it appears they have included the old Farm Fresh in their vacancy calculation. It was accurate when the report was made over a year ago but it’s not anymore. Now the video is grainy so you can’t read their numbers clearly but that 37k SF should drop vacancy in line with the other nodes except MacArthur. Now 10-13% vacancy still isn’t something to cheer about but it’s not doom and gloom either. The giant gorilla in the room is MacArthur. It’s not going to be fixed. It lost it’s destination status and it needs to be repositioned. The fact Nordstrom leaving is never mentioned and the vacancy information wasn’t updated or at least even noted casts a lot of doubt on the whole report in my opinion. Downtown is fine & it’s great that there’s an organization looking out for her best interests and I do believe the consultants have some good ideas but the problem is a bit overblown. 

 

Well, it isn't fine.  I was actually down there both as a property owner (multiple) and an on again/off again full-time resident from 2003 to 2020. That's nearly a generation's worth of my time. And, yes, it was pretty fine when I arrived... but not so fine when I left. And things have only gotten less fine since.

Edited by baobabs727
self-improvement ;)
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  • 1 month later...
4 hours ago, zeppelin14 said:

California Burrito is next on Norfolk City Councils chopping block. As some of you may know, there is an underground nightclub behind the restaurant. When will the city stop this madness?

https://www.wavy.com/news/local-news/california-burrito-could-get-permit-revoked-at-norfolk-city-council-meeting-tuesday/

I reported the most recent update on this. Unfortunately, the city went ahead and revoked the permit, despite the owners basically pleading to them. 

Another downtown business set to die off after its main source of revenue has been taken away.  

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  • 1 month later...
On 11/28/2022 at 5:01 AM, HRVA said:

It appears the MacArthur Barnes & Noble will be closing/relocating. They are currently having a moving sale. The minutes from a November 2021 meeting confirm plans to move the textbook department to the Student Center. 
https://www.tcc.edu/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/CA-11.5.21.docx.pdf

Just all the more reasons to remove Macarthur Mall which has become a sort of hindrance in downtown development. Not to mention, it threw away our street grid too. Its been a long few decades, unfortunately they built it right before the fall of brick and mortar malls.  

Edited by mintscraft56
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22 hours ago, mintscraft56 said:

Just all the more reasons to remove Macarthur Mall which has become a sort of hindrance in downtown development. Not to mention, it threw away our street grid too. Its been a long few decades, unfortunately they built it right before the mall of brick and mortar malls.  

Prior to Macarthur Mall there was 17 acres of parking lots.  That was a eyesore in the middle of Downtown Norfolk.  I would hope that the city comes up with a solid plan to redevelop the property the mall is on and line up possible developers before tearing it down.  I think the last thing we want is a return to the 17 acres of parking lots.  

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Tearing down MacArthur Center will result in nothing but acres of dirt and broken pavement...possibly for years and years to come...and this is precisely because there is NO real demand for Class-A office or retail/restaurant/entertainment there--or anywhere in Norfolk for that matter--but especially not there,...which, unfortunately, is precisely what the witless wonders at City Hall will want to pursue there...at least in part.  So IF....IF....you raze the building, the only way to go is....drum roll please....residential upon residential upon residential.  Perhaps with an accompanying modest, service-oriented mixed use component....  Anyway, if you could somehow double+  the full-time DT population, you MIGHT be able to support the businesses along Waterside, Granby, Monticello...and in the NEON.  MacArthur's 17 acres could go along  way toward doing just that.  Problem is...drum roll please....getting the financing! Likely will be "deja-vu...all over again" with that chronic, intractable Hampton Roads saga. 

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On 11/29/2022 at 8:50 AM, EJ_LEWIS said:

Prior to Macarthur Mall there was 17 acres of parking lots.  That was a eyesore in the middle of Downtown Norfolk.  I would hope that the city comes up with a solid plan to redevelop the property the mall is on and line up possible developers before tearing it down.  I think the last thing we want is a return to the 17 acres of parking lots.  

True, however I would hope it does not turn into a  sea of low rise apartments. If anything, I wonder if they could split up the mall's land and sell it individually to buyers. After that, they could somehow close off that section and cut that piece of mall away, sorta like a cake. It would be a piece of cake. And while they do that, they might as well reinstall the street grid..........only in a dream.

Edited by mintscraft56
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8 hours ago, mintscraft56 said:

True, however I would hope it does not turn into a  sea of low rise apartments. If anything, I wonder if they could split up the mall's land and see it individually to buyers. After that, they could somehow close off that section and cut that piece of mall away, sorta like a cake. It would be a piece of cake. And while they do that, they might as well reinstall the street grid..........only in a dream.

Midrise will likely have to do. 

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  • 1 month later...
9 hours ago, zeppelin14 said:

Brick Anchor Brewhouse on Granby will close at the end of January.  Yet another closure in downtown.

I'm surprised it's stayed open as long as it did.  Should've closed pre-Covid, IMO.

 

In other news, LeGrand Kitchen was able to avoid closure after rent issues at its former space and is moving to the Crackers location in Riverview

 

 

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2 hours ago, SuffolkWahoo said:

Sorry to say, but BA had horrrrrrible service.  I tried to eat there multiple times but literally had to leave because the service was so slow/poor.  That said, they did have an amazing atmosphere.  Oh well.

My experience multiple times as well.  Staff standing around chatting it up rather than checking in on customers.  Kept trying to go back and give a chance...same result.

As you mentioned, it is a great space!  Hopefully, someone will find it attractive and manage it right.

Edited by Ghentite
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23 hours ago, Ghentite said:

My experience multiple times as well.  Staff standing around chatting it up rather than checking in on customers.  Kept trying to go back and give a chance...same result.

As you mentioned, it is a great space!  Hopefully, someone will find it attractive and manage it right.

The worst part of that space is where the kitchen is located. It’s up stairs and Brick Anchor never hired food runners, so their employees would have to run and up down stairs all shift. Not ideal. And it resulted in them having an inability to retain good staff for extended periods. 

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1 hour ago, BeagleAccountant said:

The worst part of that space is where the kitchen is located. It’s up stairs and Brick Anchor never hired food runners, so their employees would have to run and up down stairs all shift. Not ideal. And it resulted in them having an inability to retain good staff for extended periods. 

They should have added a dumbwaiter when they did the renovation.

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3 hours ago, BeagleAccountant said:

The worst part of that space is where the kitchen is located. It’s up stairs and Brick Anchor never hired food runners, so their employees would have to run and up down stairs all shift. Not ideal. And it resulted in them having an inability to retain good staff for extended periods. 

I always loved that balcony area but never knew that fact. That’s insane. 

If it’s the same place I’m thinking of, I might’ve had a burger that was pretty good and maybe happy hour, but I can’t recall the service so I guess it wasn’t that memorable. 

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32 minutes ago, varider said:

As if it couldn’t get any worse for Granby St. , Urban Outfitters has closed up shop. 

That might be the nail in the coffin. Between that and MacArthur on its last legs, council needs to figure out what's next for downtown. Waterside, The Main, and Baxter's are not enough to carry you, and the NEON District's been in "startup" mode for the last seven years. It's way too much potential for this to be happening.

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