Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

skylinefan

Military Highway Corridor

Recommended Posts

Hello All, as a native Norfolkian who grew up in Va. Beach, Va. I have always identified with Norfolk far more than my hometown of Virginia Beach. I currently live in Washington, DC and do not have any relatives that live in the Tidewater/Hampton Roads area. That being said, I love Norfolk even though I was raised in Va. Beach. My late father was a prominent Dentist in Norfolk his practice was at the corner of Church and Bute Sts.

Well enough with the introduction, the purpose of the discussion topic is the history of the Military Highway Corridor. Why does the city insists on developing the busy Va. Beach Blvd, Military Highway corridor with big box stores like BJs at Janaf Shopping Center. I hope they wake up and see the potential of this area. I have always envisioned a more urban look similar to Reston Town Center or something like that. I know there is alot of interest in this corridor and think the city is squandering it. What do you all think?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


First of all, welcome to the forum. It is always good to have new people join us. As for the Military Highway corridor, almost everthing out in that area does seem to be big box type stores. There is of course Janaf and then further north of there are several newer stores and development (Broadmore Creek area I believe it is). While I am pro urban type development, the city right now seems to be be intent on further developing and reviving its down town areas and the other urban types areas as well (Ghent, Wards Corner). That being said I do believe some big box stores are desirable in an area. The empty HQ at Janaf has been empty for a great number of years (maybe 5-7?) and it is difficult to fill such a large type development unless the current structure were torn down. I guess what I am saying is that some big store stores are desirable but I am glad at the same time to see the urban core of Norfolk is undergoing a renaissance probably unlike it has ever experienced.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I honestly believe that they let that happen so people from Norfolk don't run and spend their money in Vabeach or Chesapeake for places like Home Depot and Costco and such.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The sad/funny thing is that the construction that was done for years and years wiped out most of the businesses in the South Military Corridor and now that the road is good, there are a lot fewer businesses to be found.

Military Hwy is always going to be Norfolk's strip mall/big box area. It's nice that it's confined to one huge strip and all the stores are close to one another. It is what it is... At least it isn't VA Beach Blvd in VA Beach that stretches for miles and miles and miles.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The sad/funny thing is that the construction that was done for years and years wiped out most of the businesses in the South Military Corridor and now that the road is good, there are a lot fewer businesses to be found.

I don't think we have fewer businesses, virtually all the businesses on the West side of Military Highway from VA Beach Blvd to Princess Anne Blvd are new since road expansion was completed and development continues. The businesses that closed because of construction that I remember include a motel where Loew's and Sonics sit and a pancake house and a homestyle restaurant where taco bell and tmobil sit. Additionally the Lake Wright Executive Center has been completely developed. Seems that Military Highway is only getting busier if you ask me

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think we have fewer businesses, virtually all the businesses on the West side of Military Highway from VA Beach Blvd to Princess Anne Blvd are new since road expansion was completed and development continues. The businesses that closed because of construction that I remember include a motel where Loew's and Sonics sit and a pancake house and a homestyle restaurant where taco bell and tmobil sit. Additionally the Lake Wright Executive Center has been completely developed. Seems that Military Highway is only getting busier if you ask me

I don't disagree that the area NORTH of VA Beach Blvd has seen a rapid redevekopment. If you re-read my post I maybe you can see that the area that I was referring to was the area on the SOUTHERN portion of Military Hwy in Norfolk (from the Blvd to Chesapeake).

From 264 to the Blvd, they redid all the lanes and the bridges but the area is a retail dead zone. There are a few stores (RomStore Plaza?) but nothing compared to the area from the Blvd to 64. The area that you mentioned has not been improved (road wise) and now is always congested with traffic. Norfolk would be wise to get the portion of Military from the blvd bridge to 64 improved so that it can continue to be a vital destination for Norfolk and not make a huge mess out of it like they did on the southern portion of Military Hwy...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't disagree that the area NORTH of VA Beach Blvd has seen a rapid redevekopment. If you re-read my post I maybe you can see that the area that I was referring to was the area on the SOUTHERN portion of Military Hwy in Norfolk (from the Blvd to Chesapeake).

From 264 to the Blvd, they redid all the lanes and the bridges but the area is a retail dead zone. There are a few stores (RomStore Plaza?) but nothing compared to the area from the Blvd to 64. The area that you mentioned has not been improved (road wise) and now is always congested with traffic. Norfolk would be wise to get the portion of Military from the blvd bridge to 64 improved so that it can continue to be a vital destination for Norfolk and not make a huge mess out of it like they did on the southern portion of Military Hwy...

I've actually heard plans to restore this area for about a year now. It just takes time to get this on the ball. The city is going to but right now I think the major concentration is DT, which it should be, and OV.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've actually heard plans to restore this area for about a year now. It just takes time to get this on the ball. The city is going to but right now I think the major concentration is DT, which it should be, and OV.

Yes, the city seems to concentrate entirely on Downtown and OV. That being said, I believe that the Military Cirle Area is the second largest employment zone in Norfolk. I believe that in order to keep this vital economic zone competitive a new development strategy should be implemented. Remember to the east of Military Highway and Va. Beach Blvd is the Virginia Beach Town Center which could begin to draw merchants and shoppers from the Military Cirle Area. I think the city should look at accomodating both the big box stores and more upscale type shops. I think the new word for this type of developments is supercenters or something like that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, the city seems to concentrate entirely on Downtown and OV. That being said, I believe that the Military Cirle Area is the second largest employment zone in Norfolk. I believe that in order to keep this vital economic zone competitive a new development strategy should be implemented. Remember to the east of Military Highway and Va. Beach Blvd is the Virginia Beach Town Center which could begin to draw merchants and shoppers from the Military Cirle Area. I think the city should look at accomodating both the big box stores and more upscale type shops. I think the new word for this type of developments is supercenters or something like that.

I agree with every point but I really don't think you're gonna see any large scale redevelopment in that area until the LR line is finished. Once LR is brought out there that corridor will become a very strategic location. I like the idea of having a towncenter in that area but then I have to question myself as to how many towncenters I think we can support. Upscale retail will probably be a good bet but i'd also like to see some upscale living arrangements and condos brought to that region as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't disagree that the area NORTH of VA Beach Blvd has seen a rapid redevekopment. If you re-read my post I maybe you can see that the area that I was referring to was the area on the SOUTHERN portion of Military Hwy in Norfolk (from the Blvd to Chesapeake).

From 264 to the Blvd, they redid all the lanes and the bridges but the area is a retail dead zone. There are a few stores (RomStore Plaza?) but nothing compared to the area from the Blvd to 64. The area that you mentioned has not been improved (road wise) and now is always congested with traffic. Norfolk would be wise to get the portion of Military from the blvd bridge to 64 improved so that it can continue to be a vital destination for Norfolk and not make a huge mess out of it like they did on the southern portion of Military Hwy...

Ok im sorry that I misread the area you are referring to. But still, I'm wondering what businesses were wiped out from Va Beach Blvd to 264? All the buildings there were also there before all hell broke loose on the area. I used to shop at the Best which is now the Roomstore and Pharmor which is now closed plus the former K-mart location which is now the Dump (no pun intended).

I'm hearing the shopping center with the Roomstore is supposed to see major improvement so we'll see. The problem with the former K-mart shopping center and the Roomstore shopping center is that both don't have direct traffic entrances and I think that is what is hurting businesses or slowing them down from improving.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My biggest gripe with the north (i.e. north of VA Beach Blvd) Military corridor is that Norfolk has approved all the businesses and yet does nothing to improve the roads around them. They approved the Wal-Mart Super Center and now Lowery Road is a total mess. The intersection of Kempsville and Lowery is also pretty bad which is scary considering there are two major schools and a hospital all dependant on a two lane road rolling through the middle of a lake (on a bridge of course). I used to dread driving in that area when I still lived in VA Beach and worked in Norfolk. The other option was to sit in a jam that extends from the freeway to the Blvd.

I know Norfolk is dead set on making DT huge but they need to remember where the residents do much of their chain store shopping: Military Hwy. The roads there should be one of the top priorities in the city.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Military HWY is supposed to be expanded from I-64 all the way to Wal-Mart. Anyone know when they will start this? Maybe it's on the city website. :wacko:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Military HWY is supposed to be expanded from I-64 all the way to Wal-Mart. Anyone know when they will start this? Maybe it's on the city website. :wacko:

I thought VDOT just completed widening that portion of Military Hwy? I still feel that this area needs to urbanized. I believe that if Norfolk wants this crucial crossroads to continue to be an economic engine they need to look at urbanizing it so that it can compete with towncenter.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Honestly I think we should wait to see what the effects of a buit-out Towncenter in Va. Beach are on Norfolk and the rest of the region before we add another TC. Too many could be a bad thing. I like the Uptown/Downtown concept and think it will do well for us. I see more revitalizing Military by making it some sort of upscale retail corridor complete with a dense low to midrise condo mix, kind of like the city view development.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think soon, the Military Circle Mall and the hotel (Doubletree Hotel) are going to be renovated. Remember that the mall was the scene of some fatal shootings last year, the city of Norfolk should do more to redevelop the corridor. Right now, it looks suburban without the urban feel. I know Military Highway connecting with VB Blvd is a dead zone, they should do the town center in there, and erase off the suburban feel.

After Norfolk develops DT, Ocean View and etc, they should focus more on the Military Highway corridor. There's a lot of stores, but lack of housing, which means workers who work in the Military Highway usually come from Va Beach or Chesapeake, and some from the Norfolk area. They should bulldoze old stores, or even renovate abandoned big-box stores into smaller ones so small companies can set up shop. One big minus is the traffic, so far from what I have checked out. :shades:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think soon, the Military Circle Mall and the hotel (Doubletree Hotel) are going to be renovated. Remember that the mall was the scene of some fatal shootings last year, the city of Norfolk should do more to redevelop the corridor. Right now, it looks suburban without the urban feel. I know Military Highway connecting with VB Blvd is a dead zone, they should do the town center in there, and erase off the suburban feel.

After Norfolk develops DT, Ocean View and etc, they should focus more on the Military Highway corridor. There's a lot of stores, but lack of housing, which means workers who work in the Military Highway usually come from Va Beach or Chesapeake, and some from the Norfolk area. They should bulldoze old stores, or even renovate abandoned big-box stores into smaller ones so small companies can set up shop. One big minus is the traffic, so far from what I have checked out. :shades:

Once light rail gets built, it will be all but impossible to stop development in that area considering the station that will be there. I see something like a town center type development much like the one that sprang up near the metro station at dun loring in NOVA. Trust me, if we go through with light rail, out of state developers will flock here in hordes much like they have in charlotte, Houston, and phoenix.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Honestly I think we should wait to see what the effects of a buit-out Towncenter in Va. Beach are on Norfolk and the rest of the region before we add another TC. Too many could be a bad thing. I like the Uptown/Downtown concept and think it will do well for us. I see more revitalizing Military by making it some sort of upscale retail corridor complete with a dense low to midrise condo mix, kind of like the city view development.

If you wait and see it might be too late. Norfolk should launch a study now to determine the best way to safeguard this important corridor from the competition down Va. Beach Blvd. I am certain that they are looking into this. I love the idea of a dense low to midrise condo mix for that area. I think Janaf and Military Circle both seem perfect for this type of development.

On the other hand not everyone can afford Towncenter so maybe by keeping Military Highway the way it is with discount big boxes may actually attract shoppers who will be priced out of the Pembroke area.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Once light rail gets built, it will be all but impossible to stop development in that area considering the station that will be there. I see something like a town center type development much like the one that sprang up near the metro station at dun loring in NOVA. Trust me, if we go through with light rail, out of state developers will flock here in hordes much like they have in charlotte, Houston, and phoenix.

I am certain it will take a long time for lightrail to take hold in such a spread out area as Hampton Roads with myriad centers of employment and people married to their cars. It really took metro 20 years to finally live up to its promise of congestion relief. It has only been in the last few years that developers started to look at development around metro stations (i.e, Ballston, Bethesda, and Rosslyn). The same would be true for Hampton Roads. Norfolk cannot wait that long. The time for planning is now. Military Highway is the second largest employment center in Norfolk behind the Naval Base. Downtown currently is third.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am certain it will take a long time for lightrail to take hold in such a spread out area as Hampton Roads with myriad centers of employment and people married to their cars. It really took metro 20 years to finally live up to its promise of congestion relief. It has only been in the last few years that developers started to look at development around metro stations (i.e, Ballston, Bethesda, and Rosslyn). The same would be true for Hampton Roads. Norfolk cannot wait that long. The time for planning is now. Military Highway is the second largest employment center in Norfolk behind the Naval Base. Downtown currently is third.

I think its already in the works. They are talking about expanding the road around 64. This could be possible for the expansion of light rail. I think they have hired good urban planning consultants so lets see. Things take time and we are in the early stages so lets see. I know we all want this area to become urban but it has a purpose to serve and it takes a slow migration for things to work.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think soon, the Military Circle Mall and the hotel (Doubletree Hotel) are going to be renovated. Remember that the mall was the scene of some fatal shootings last year, the city of Norfolk should do more to redevelop the corridor.

Military Circle Mall and the hotel was totally renovated in the late 90's. That whole project was completed around when MacArthur Center opened (which was also the reason they renovated in the first place. I think the mall is very nice, it definitely looks better than say Lynnhaven or Greenbrier. I think the crowds there just need a little control/discipline or security presence should be stepped up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Military Circle Mall and the hotel was totally renovated in the late 90's. That whole project was completed around when MacArthur Center opened (which was also the reason they renovated in the first place. I think the mall is very nice, it definitely looks better than say Lynnhaven or Greenbrier. I think the crowds there just need a little control/discipline or security presence should be stepped up.

The interior was totally renovated but it still looks very early 70's on the outside. It is a predominantly middle and lower class mall that serves the eastern half of Norfolk. I don't see it as being a show pony mall, it is more like a workshorse.

It still needs more work on the outside though. That is a definate.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The interior was totally renovated but it still looks very early 70's on the outside. It is a predominantly middle and lower class mall that serves the eastern half of Norfolk. I don't see it as being a show pony mall, it is more like a workshorse.

It still needs more work on the outside though. That is a definate.

Yeah the exterior does need help, especially over at JCPenney.

I drove by the abandoned HQ building and saw that they are gutting that big building. Anyone know what's going on with that building now? Any announcements or proposals that slipped under the radar?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah the exterior does need help, especially over at JCPenney.

I drove by the abandoned HQ building and saw that they are gutting that big building. Anyone know what's going on with that building now? Any announcements or proposals that slipped under the radar?

Yeah remember I posted that BJ's was moving into the old HQ building in Janaf?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah remember I posted that BJ's was moving into the old HQ building in Janaf?

oh ok, thanx man, i must've either overlooked it or forgot. thanx for reminding me

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.