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Va. Beach Town Center project 2


urbanvb

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What is going on. Now its a boutique hotel?... On Block 9. It sounds pretty stupid. Im sure people are tired of seeing more hotels. They need to build something everyone wants to see with a wow reaction. Something people can do and will Enjoy.. IMAX Cinema on Block 9? So you can feel like your in the movie when u go with the seats rumbling or something.. Enough hotels for christ sakes.. Build something the locals and visitors would enjoy doing when they come to Town Center... Something Hampton Roads has never thought about doing and smack it right in the middle of Town Center on block 9 so you can draw others from the 6 other cities and surrounding counties..

A boutique hotel fits exactly with the niche that Town Center is trying to fill. Cool, hip and trendy. Exactly what a boutique hotel serves. People who want higher than a Hilton Garden Inn without the price of a Westin. A W hotel in Virginia Beach would be another major coup for the area, and fit perfectly with the locale and provide tourists an alternative to the Oceanfront and Newtown Rd. Until our vacancy rates in the area shoot astronomically high, there will never be enough hotels. And, a W hotel would provide a 'wow' reaction.

There's a movie theather three blocks from Block 9, let's not forget that. It's much easier to renovate or build an addition to Regal, by partnering with them to build an art house or IMAX theater then waste valuable land on a project that wouldn't gain much traction or build tax revenue. That parking lot hell with Bed Bath n Beyond and Regal is in sore need of renovation anyways to fit the TC 'feel'

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What is going on. Now its a boutique hotel?... On Block 9. It sounds pretty stupid. Im sure people are tired of seeing more hotels. They need to build something everyone wants to see with a wow reaction. Something people can do and will Enjoy.. IMAX Cinema on Block 9? So you can feel like your in the movie when u go with the seats rumbling or something.. Enough hotels for christ sakes.. Build something the locals and visitors would enjoy doing when they come to Town Center... Something Hampton Roads has never thought about doing and smack it right in the middle of Town Center on block 9 so you can draw others from the 6 other cities and surrounding counties..

The original intent of that block was a 2 or 3 story retail and cinema complex. The cinema portion was supposed to be a Sundance arthouse cineplex with I believe 6 or so screens. That deal fell through, so AH and Divaris have been trying to come up with something. First it was something similar to Studio 56 Lofts, and now it's a mid-rise boutique hotel. I think having adding more floors and a taller building is more profitable than a movie gimmick.

Speaking of IMAX: there's a regular IMAX at the Hampton Air & Space Museum and a 3D IMAX at the Virginia Aquaium (formerly VMSM). Regal just needs to finally merge Pembroke and Columbus cinemas which would pave the way for redevelopment of that B&N et al. shopping center into a pedestrian oriented shopping complex. Target anyone?

Edited by hoobo
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If you visit Pembroke Mall's website, under Leasing, Property facts, the rendering shows a large anchor in the back without the theater. I think the theater's days are numbered. All that to say it would be concievable to see a new and improved Regal in TC at some point.

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When my firend worked at Columbus over 10 years ago, there was talk of closing Pembroke (which at the time was the most profitable Regal in HR) and expanding Columbus (which was the weakest cineplex in the area). The reasoning was Pembroke was old and Columbus had a lot of empty space. By building new theaters at Columbus you reduce the empty space to revenue generating space ratio, eliminate operational duplicity, and attract customers with new big-screen stadium theaters. Then came the tech bust, so that plan ended. Hopefully, it's coming back.

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What would be really cool would be to tear down the current Columbus and build a 2-story theatre like the AMC 22 Hoffman in Alexandria. This particular one has a lot of parking though and is right off the Metro stop so perhaps this might not be feasible in our theater's current location.

Edited by urbanvb
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They'd just have to tear it and BB&B down and build a 3 or 4 story building with parking, theaters, and a new BB&B. The "street" between BB&B and Planet Music can be turned into a real street with the theater entrance and valet/drop off turn-off along this new street and BB&B on the corner. New shops would line Constitution.

After this, B&N and adjacent shops can be torn down along with that out-parcel. A new 3 or 4 story building with parking can be built there with a B&N on the corner of the Blvd and Constitution. Maybe include an urban Target with its entrance at the corner of the Blvd and that street between this shopping center and the one with Silver Diner.

Finally, the parking lot in front of Planet Music will be replaced with a park and bandstand for concerts that Planet Music promotes.

That's my vision for that shopping center. Pembroke mall on the other hand is a whole different beast: outdoor urban mall, apartments, condos, and office buildings: another mixed-use complex like TC but with an outdoor mall as the anchor.

Edit: I didn't realize just how big that property is. It's half as big as TC. What they should do is extend both Main and Columbus to Beasley and make a parallel road between Constitution and Beasley. Expand the theater at its current lot. Move BB&B to Constitution as part of a new parking structure and retail/high-rise office. Put Target where BB&B is with townhouses or a condo/apt building front Beasley. Then do the above renovation for B&N plus additional retail & office.

Edited by hoobo
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I would blow up the Regal and place the Town Center light rail station there. There just isn't another good location -- you have to be that far east of Independence, or the stopped trains will block Independence. Constitution and Columbus are natural access streets, bus bays right there. Easy tie over the creek to the new developments along Bonney Road...

Just a hunch, but I will bet the remaining land, after some is sold to HRT for the station, will still be worth more due to the TOD potential. Something like Market Commons at the Clarendon Metro Station would be called for, and probably justifiable.

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I can't imagine this hypothetical VB light rail line crossing a huge road like Independence at grade. That and Rosemont are the two that I think will absolutely have to be bridged over. There are proably 5-10 other roads that it would be nice to bridge (Constitution being one of them) but with the cost of steel and concrete being what it is, they would probably get value-engineered out. A bridge over Independence should free up basically anywhere between Independence and Constitution as a potential LRT station site, though.

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I can't imagine this hypothetical VB light rail line crossing a huge road like Independence at grade. That and Rosemont are the two that I think will absolutely have to be bridged over. There are proably 5-10 other roads that it would be nice to bridge (Constitution being one of them) but with the cost of steel and concrete being what it is, they would probably get value-engineered out. A bridge over Independence should free up basically anywhere between Independence and Constitution as a potential LRT station site, though.

It won't. The mayor has explicity stated that all light rail crossings of major thouroughfares will have to be elevated.

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They'd just have to tear it and BB&B down and build a 3 or 4 story building with parking, theaters, and a new BB&B. The "street" between BB&B and Planet Music can be turned into a real street with the theater entrance and valet/drop off turn-off along this new street and BB&B on the corner. New shops would line Constitution.

After this, B&N and adjacent shops can be torn down along with that out-parcel. A new 3 or 4 story building with parking can be built there with a B&N on the corner of the Blvd and Constitution. Maybe include an urban Target with its entrance at the corner of the Blvd and that street between this shopping center and the one with Silver Diner.

Finally, the parking lot in front of Planet Music will be replaced with a park and bandstand for concerts that Planet Music promotes.

That's my vision for that shopping center. Pembroke mall on the other hand is a whole different beast: outdoor urban mall, apartments, condos, and office buildings: another mixed-use complex like TC but with an outdoor mall as the anchor.

Edit: I didn't realize just how big that property is. It's half as big as TC. What they should do is extend both Main and Columbus to Beasley and make a parallel road between Constitution and Beasley. Expand the theater at its current lot. Move BB&B to Constitution as part of a new parking structure and retail/high-rise office. Put Target where BB&B is with townhouses or a condo/apt building front Beasley. Then do the above renovation for B&N plus additional retail & office.

I think we are on the same page for what should happen in that area. Pembroke's land should be worked into the urban fabric of the town center, thus creating a full fledged downtown for VB.

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This is from the following article on LRT in VB:

THE VIRGINIAN-PILOT

Copyright © 1996, Landmark Communications, Inc.

DATE: Saturday, July 6, 1996 TAG: 9607060344

SECTION: FRONT PAGE: A1 EDITION: FINAL

SOURCE: BY CHRISTOPHER DINSMORE, STAFF WRITER

LENGTH: 117 lines

The light rail would be elevated at Independence Boulevard, but it would cross other major roads at grade.

Since then, VB city leaders have said other crossings would have to be elevated for safety and traffic concerns.

If I recall correctly, the desire was to attach an elevated station to Dick's garage or put it behind that 2-story office building on the corner of Constitution and Columbus. In any event, that stretch between Indy and Constitution would probably be elevated unless they can time the cross-street lights with the train crossing schedule.

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Wow. I didn't know you can see the Westin from that far away.
There's a really pretty view of it from the Pungo Ferry Road bridge over the intracoastal waterway...16.5 miles away... puts the water & surrounding forest in the foreground, if only I had a decent camera... Edited by Alpine757
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