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Short Pump Developments

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More people, more people... the number of people who live out there in Short Pump deoesn't compare to the city's population. I'll never buy the "more people" excuse. The city has and always has had, but they chose to destroy it. Think of all the money thrown at Short Pump. The amount of money they spent could have built the city a 100 story retail tower! The city should not come second in favor of suburbs or exurbs or even faux cities. I just think the whole of the "new downtown and Fan" could have been better spent bringing the region together than building the ultimate monument to regional separatism.

Edited by Cadeho

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Cam... one day you'll understand that Short Pump will merely be a fad, replaced by a "better, newer, cleaner" place that offers the same things. That's the problem with developer/national brand pushed suburbia. It always moves on to greener pastures, leaving suburban decay (which IMO is worse than urban decay) behind. Downtown Richmond, with its ups and downs will always be a constant. You always talk about Short Pump as this "above-earthly" place, but many people I talk to can't stand that area. It's so overrated. Just get over it and join the push to bring back the city.... the future is bright.

And basing things like WBV is silly IMO, because, while it is still the suburbs, at least it's a smarter growth strategy than culdesacs and parking lots.

While not exactly expressing it, I think your heart is in the right place when you seemingly call for greater regional cooperation to solve what are truly regional problems. Suburban decay will be much harder to fix than urban decay.... they'll all wake up to reality eventually.

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Yeah Cam Just get over it and move on. Quit Hating on it and just move on and also don't stay stuck in the past. Just move on and just think about the Future.

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People don't just move on from things they hate and I will forever despise Short Pump for all the things it symbolizes and all that's been said about it. Had it just been a development of subdivisions and a strip mall like previous places, it would have been fine, but the outrageousness of declaring it as a better place than Richmond will forever stir the hatred in my heart for this place. I will quell nothing.

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People don't just move on from things they hate and I will forever despise Short Pump for all the things it symbolizes and all that's been said about it. Had it just been a development of subdivisions and a strip mall like previous places, it would have been fine, but the outrageousness of declaring it as a better place than Richmond will forever stir the hatred in my heart for this place. I will quell nothing.

This type of thinking is the same reason why Richmond can't be progressive. <_< Thanks for solidifying that fact for me.

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But I don't speak for Richmond officials or for the majority of Richmonders. I am quite the minority because everyone has bowed down to Short Pump and the counties. I guess no one will ever understand me, but I've said it many times before, it is not about the existence of suburbs. We've always had suburbs and every city has them, but it's when they seek to be in direct competition or try to pass themselves off as superior to the city and people buy that, that we have a problem. That is what I am standing against and I know it's like a bug before a steamroller, but if I get rolled over, then as long as I stood is what made the difference.

Richmond officials have not even played the same game as Henrico or Chesterfield. City officals have not tried hard enough to bring the city back or tried to keep us on top. We are more than the novelty of art studios, fancy restaurants, and old districts. We're still consumers. We still have money. We still have everything that the suburbs cater to, but they really do not try to build for us. All they need to do is try and not ignore and you'd be surprised what this old gal still has in her.

The city really has not attempted to improve its school system or spark interest with the community to make sure the streets don't lure kids away from education. They do not want to dilute the concentration of poverty. They don't try to find a way to lower the taxes and/or cut out all the unnecessary costs. And neither locality really tries to bond because each is looking out for themselves. It's not because we have lawyers on council... lawyers are everywhere, but the set up now is in favor of the suburbs to gain the most money and lure the most people. If Richmond doesn't make itself keep up, then oh well is the general attitude from the counties and even city officials. That is not my attitude. Mine is the city can do and be EVERYTHING, but no one is really willing to make it happen. Instead the city gave up and Henrico thrived off of that and thought it could get away with its replacement city. A city does not have to be gridded streets with old buildings and such, all a city needs is population with services, commerce, and industry. A city can have cul-de-sacs, windy roads, fields and strip malls. Henrico has that in its west end and its focal point is Short Pump. In essence, Short Pump IS an unincorporated city. I don't know no one wants to acknowledge what exists, that Short Pump is more than just suburban development. I doubt Henrico County's officials are looking at Short Pump as a benefit to the City of Richmond, it plain isn't. Even if we had regional cooperation, it would only benefit Henrico and they don't want to share with Richmond, Hanover, or Chesterfield. There's got to be a way each place can get along together much better than it has and is. But surely, I am independent on my thoughts about the whole situation; I don't speak for all Richmonders.

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Tommy, now that you're back from Philadelphia, why don't you snoop around and see what you can find out about progress at all the Short Pump area projects.

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Burt, I'd like to know what sets this area apart from all the other areas of the county that have developments. What is it that has everyone but me championing this one area?

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Burt, I'd like o know what sets this area apart from all the other areas of the county that have developments. What is it that has everyone but me championing this one area?

Maybe it's the crowd I hang out with but none of my friends or acquaintances are oohing and aahing over Short Pump. If I hear anything about Short Pump it's how far away it is from downtown, how bad the traffic is, or how boring and similar it is to every other suburb in the US. Not exactly what you expect to hear about the next great city that's going to run Richmond into the ground now is it? ;)

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Ric, yes, now it looks like Every Suburb, USA, but with WBV's urbanesque plan and towers along with towers planned in other sections of it, it's really trying to be a mimic.

Also remember, if you build it, people will come. That is exactly what happened! We put a ton of new stores out there and the people came although Short Pump's population was like 13 and some cows (so that destroys the population market theory). If they had just spent the time to better downtown and bring it back, the whole region would have benefit from it.

But I fail to grasp the interest in this part of town versus everything else going on. If it's a fad, well shouldn't it be dying down now? Far from it! When Channel 6 takes Short Pump off its weather map where it is almost jumbled with Richmond or it's balanced out with Varina, Highland Springs, and Glen Allen, then the fad will be over.

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West Broad Village's urbanesque plan is welcome IMO. I'm sick and tired of all the sprawling typical big box suburban crap. I hope that as older areas are redeveloped, they follow a similar thought process.

Also remember, if you build it, people will come. That is exactly what happened! We put a ton of new stores out there and the people came although Short Pump's population was like 13 and some cows (so that destroys the population market theory). If they had just spent the time to better downtown and bring it back, the whole region would have benefit from it.

That is a total misrepresentation of the situation. There were thousands of people (with high income levels) living near what would become Short Pump Town Center before it was built.

Who is the "they" that should have spent time to "better downtown????"

I know more people that dislike Short Pump than truly like it. Many people I know loathe the attitude and congestion out there. With regards to towers being built out there, a lot of people I know laugh at the idea.

And all this talk about only hating suburbs in direct competition with the city (Short Pump, in your opinion) is ridiculous. What major area of development HASN'T been in direct competition? Cloverleaf Mall, Regency Mall, hell basically every mall built in the area and the supporting retail around those malls helped kill downtown retail. All suburban residential development before us was built to allow people to get out of the city, driven away by crime and racism. Prior office space in the suburbs not in direct competition with downtown? Innsbrook, the Boulders, and on and on and on.

With regards to a lack of effort in improving schools in the city, I'll disagree. School performance has improved year over year for a while now, and the City Administration is finally holding the School Board's feet to the fire to improve fiscal efficiency.... an effort to put more money into the classroom and wasting less on bureaucratic BS.

Whether we like it or not, the reality of local governance is that it's difficult for most localities to work together (and that isn't exclusive to our region). Henrico's elected officials answer first and foremost to the citizens of Henrico, and it's the same in Chesterfield of Richmond. Most people don't see the "big picture" or really care about it, so most of those citizens aren't in favor of pumping money into the city to fix schools or crime or rebuild downtown. They pay the taxes, so they expect to see benefits. They'd see less direct benefit if their taxpayer dollars were funneled into a different locality. With regards to competition among localities for consumer spending, it would be rare to find a place that did not have a similar situation. Localities are always trying to boost their revenue, and they can maximize that by drawing in citizens from other counties/cities to spend their money. Chesterfield loses money to Henrico just like Richmond does. Regional isn't easy even though it seems like a no brainer. The challenge is trying to bring together places that share similar challenges, but have competing interests. Each player at the table must see a benefit to coming to the table. We need elected officials with the political will and ability to make greater regionalism happen.

As for the makeup of what constitutes a city... sure a city can have culdesacs and fields and strip malls. Examples are too numerous to list. I'll make a comparison with Democracy though to help make my point. Democracy is a form of government which literally means rule by the people. However, when we think of democracy, we think of "liberal democracy".... (Using Wikipedia to broadly describe) "It is a representative democracy in which the ability of the elected representatives to exercise decision-making power is subject to the rule of law, and usually moderated by a constitution that emphasizes the protection of the rights and freedoms of individuals, and which places constraints on the leaders and on the extent to which the will of the majority can be exercised against the rights of minorities..." However, there are dozens of countries around the world that are democratic, yet clearly not in the liberal sense we uphold. In these illiberal democracies, people may lack true and broad civil liberties, and "may involve corruption, persecutions of political opponents, restrictions on freedom of speech, and other restrictions of the rights and liberties of the general population. This may be allowed by the constitution of the country in question, but many illiberal democracies exist in countries with liberal democratic constitutions that are simply ignored."

The point is, when we think of cities, we think of an urbanized place which the city of Richmond largely embodies (definitely the downtown area). A place like Tyson's Corner or even Short Pump may be perceived as cities or whatever, but they don't embody the essence of what it is to be a true city... just like many countries claim to have a democratic system, but that system may be largely inadequate in comparison to the form of democracy we practice.

You give Short Pump more credit than it deserves.

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Thank you so much Coupe for replying and not glossing over my post and ignoring the issues I bring up.

I agree WBV is a better plan than the sprawling cul-de-sac bacteria-like growth that developers love so well. It's the developer's advertizing of it that spoke louder than anything else. That erased the good intentions of smart growth and thumbed its nose at the city. Now on the other side of the county with Tree Hill, they didn't say, "It'll be like Richmond, but safer and better," as WBV's people basically said. I will never get past that slap in the face. Who did they think they were? And Henrico's officials not objecting and going along with it practically 100%, didn't make it any better. The other issue is SPTC's "new downtown" claim made around 1998. Henrico twisted the knife it had already stabbed Richmond. As an actual city dweller, I know I am outnumbered on this forum by suburbanites. I can't expect anyone to really understand my point of view. Please try.

This is the difference between Short Pump and the other suburbs. While all suburban growth impacted the city negatively, none had been so bold as to be given the labels Short Pump had been given. I will remind you, I have had no problems with the suburbs or suburban growth and I still have no problems with it as long as it is not marketed as superior to the city while attempting to recreate aspects of it. Again, if Virginia Center had an urban village planned and they did not seek to be better than Richmond, I'll be all for it. Some thought I'd be all up in arms about the plans for Azalea Mall's site and the site off Staples Mill. Why wasn't I? Because no one hurled an insult to the city. Rocketts Landing I praise although most of it right now is in Henrico. It did not say they were going to build another Fan or a new downtown while hinting at the city's troubles. Only arrogant Short Pump got away with what was said. Had it not been said, I'd be at SPTC instead of boycotting it. I have money to spend at that mall and places surrounding it. The publicity was rotten and they lost my business.

Now about the population. Ok, so there were rich people in Wellesley near Short Pump supposedly numbering in the thousands. Near downtown there are still thousands of people who may not be filthy rich, but have money just the same to spend. And even the west end of Richmond City holds thousands of similar well-to-do people who could save money driving to the center of their city than driving to the end of the area. Now, these people near downtown were not worthy enough to have a glorious downtown. Everyone went out to greener pastures forcing them to follow to the edges of the map where the businesses relocated. These same people not worthy enough to be thought of as consumers may not have these places crammed in their backyards, but they still shop at the same places the (according to businesses) superior people do. Where is the justification for the construction of Short Pump? It pulls in people from all over the region. Would not the same have been true had downtown had been revamped using the same amount of money that is thrown at the feet of those who live out in Wellesley? Those people would have still shopped downtown if it was the only place for them to get the product they needed or wanted and the advertising was rock solid. Classism is just as evil as racism and businesses need to be finally brought to justice. They can still make money from the same people no matter where they locate. I'll never buy needing to have 10,000 people making $250,000+ within a mile of downtown in order to lure businesses. Short Pump didn't have it like that.

I was not a Wilder hater in his standoff with the School Board. But neither side is trying hard enough. Our city schools need to be the crown jewel of the region and if that became so, we'd have more people in the city. Get those parents involved and lure the children away from drug dealing. They have not tried hard enough because if they really wanted to, they would. Just like with everything else, if the drive and will is strong enough, miracles will start happening. That also goes for the regionalism issue. Really what could bring everyone to the table? Maybe we need a thread on ideas for that. The WIIFM (What's In It For Me) attitude needs to go and put in What's In It For Us. If they really wanted it, miracles would happen. Walk hand in hand we'll all stand.

It was not I who gave Short Pump more credit than it deserves, its developers, Henrico, every local radio and television station did that first and I've been tired of it and standing against it. I also wonder why interest in Short Pump so high here if so many people don't like it. There are 17 pages in this thread! And Short Pump's projects have been discussed in other threads.

Edited by Cadeho

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Downtown Richmond businesses opening locations in GlenAllen/Short Pump and Chesterfield/Midlothian suburbs are not helping things, either. You no longer have to travel to downtown to enjoy Bottom's UP, River City Diner, Joe's Inn, etc.

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Downtown Richmond businesses opening locations in GlenAllen/Short Pump and Chesterfield/Midlothian suburbs are not helping things, either. You no longer have to travel to downtown to enjoy Bottom's UP, River City Diner, Joe's Inn, etc.

Richmond isn't in a vacuum. Name a growing Metro where suburban amenities don't exist and grow. The remarkable part is that downtown is recovering faster and has grown larger in the last 10 years than it did in most of the 20th Century.

Richmond has more shopping and dining options per capita than almost anywhere on the East Coast. With nearly 1.2 million inhabitants and the proclivity of most of them to enjoy shopping, there's room for expansion in all directions -- including the core.

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Downtown Richmond businesses opening locations in GlenAllen/Short Pump and Chesterfield/Midlothian suburbs are not helping things, either. You no longer have to travel to downtown to enjoy Bottom's UP, River City Diner, Joe's Inn, etc.

I'm not sure that opening suburban locations of traditionally "downtown" businesses is really hurtful for the city. In general, businesses open second locations to attract new customers, not to make it more convenient for existing customers to bypass a certain location. By opening new locations, restaurants increase their revenues and strengthen their businesses (and if the owner of the restaurant lives in the city then their increased profits would in effect be channeled from the suburbs to the city.) Also, business expansion works both ways: Osaka on River Road, Thai Diner Too in Carytown, and McCalister's Deli at Riverside on the James all got their starts in the suburbs before opening up locations in the city.

Edited by gntrphoo

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I've also noticed that in several cases, city-based stores have retreated from their advances into the suburbs. Soak! (I believe they still have a Short Pump location but closed other suburban locations) and Glass & Powder both made attempts but opted to only operate the original city location.

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I've also noticed that in several cases, city-based stores have retreated from their advances into the suburbs. Soak! (I believe they still have a Short Pump location but closed other suburban locations) and Glass & Powder both made attempts but opted to only operate the original city location.

That's true, Ellwood Thompson's had the same experience when it tried to open a location at The Shoppes at Bellgrade several years ago. I guess the high suburban rents and lack of customer following made it unprofitable for these stores to operate in the burbs.

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Richmond has more shopping and dining options per capita than almost anywhere on the East Coast. With nearly 1.2 million inhabitants and the proclivity of most of them to enjoy shopping, there's room for expansion in all directions -- including the core.

Richmond metro right? The problem is, the core is not growing as fast as the west on both sides of the river. The East End and parts of North Side exist in its own world where nothing seems to be moving.

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Downtown Richmond businesses opening locations in GlenAllen/Short Pump and Chesterfield/Midlothian suburbs are not helping things, either. You no longer have to travel to downtown to enjoy Bottom's UP, River City Diner, Joe's Inn, etc.

I'd disagree with that last statement. You can go to places called Bottoms Up or Joe's Inn in suburbia, but you can't enjoy what makes Bottoms Up or Joe's Inn the restaurants they are. A lot of Richmond restaurants are, IMO, as much about the experience as the food itself. Joe's Inn is as much about the 75 year old building and the Fan streetscape as it is about the spaghetti sauce (which, incidentally, is different and not as good at the Bon Air Joe's Inn...). I understand completely why the restaurant owners open (or franchise out) suburban spots, but you'll notice they keep the original urban locations open.

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I agree with that. I've heard that suburban Bottom's Up's don't compare to the original (the location alone is tough to top) and the Joe's Inn in Bon Air is crap compared to the Fan location.

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Yeah I agree too theres no way you could compare an urban location restaurant like Bottoms Up to a suburban location of Bottoms Up. Its just not the way it is.

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I completely agree that the suburban locations are no match, but names alone will prevent a lot of people from trying out the downtown locations. Many will hit the closer suburban locations and never realize the difference.

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I completely agree that the suburban locations are no match, but names alone will prevent a lot of people from trying out the downtown locations. Many will hit the closer suburban locations and never realize the difference.

I disagree. There's nothing like the original! A lot of suburbanites don't go downtown anyway, so why not go to them? And those that do will increase in numbers when more entertainment venues open.

CAPITAL ALE HOUSE's downtown flagship doesn't appear to be hurting since branching out, and I doubt BOTTOMS UP has noted a decrease in business. JOE'S INN continues to pack 'em in on Shields Avenue despite its Bon Air location.

Downtown attracts the edgy, young professional types while the suburbs cater to families. But many couples like to hire a baby-sitter and head off to the adventures of the city's core. First Fridays, for instance, entices a large number of the curious.

VCU's population of 30,000 students have seen, conversely, suburban food chains take up residence in their midst. I doubt that is hurting business at Arby's on Pouncy Tract Road.

Richmond is larger and more diverse than some think, IMO.

Edited by burt

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I disagree. There's nothing like the original! A lot of suburbanites don't go downtown anyway, so why not go to them? And those that do will increase in numbers when more entertainment venues open.

CAPITAL ALE HOUSE's downtown flagship doesn't appear to be hurting since branching out, and I doubt BOTTOMS UP has noted a decrease in business. JOE'S INN continues to pack 'em in on Shields Avenue despite its Bon Air location.

Downtown attracts the edgy, young professional types while the suburbs cater to families. But many couples like to hire a baby-sitter and head off to the adventures of the city's core. First Fridays, for instance, entices a large number of the curious.

VCU's population of 30,000 students have seen, conversely, suburban food chains take up residence in their midst. I doubt that is hurting business at Arby's on Pouncy Tract Road.

Richmond is larger and more diverse than some think, IMO.

So if a lot of suburbanites don't go downtown, why cater to them? Let them miss out like city residents miss out on everything they have.

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So if a lot of suburbanites don't go downtown, why cater to them? Let them miss out like city residents miss out on everything they have.

Don't be an idiot. These are businesses, the owners have mortgages, college funds, and retirements to pay for. You open a business where it can reach the most potential customers. Only a fool of a business person would not try to grow their business if he or she was in a position to do so.

Edited by stolypin

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