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Looks like demolition of the public safety building will start soon (no date mentioned).  The public safety building was finally sold to Capital City Partners.  Hope they are still planning a 20-story tower, but I have a feeling that it will no longer be 20 stories due to the reduced square footage amounts for the spec office space.  They’re not talking about it, which tells me that the height has been lowered.  I wish a real journalist would ask CCP a question about the height and publish their response…gee!  Inquiring minds want to know!

Found a version of the article that is free to read:

https://virginiaviews.com/capital-city-partners-completes-3-5-million-purchase-of-richmond-public-safety-building-and-plans-a-tower-anchored-with-vcu-health-local-news-in-richmond/

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Like many on this board, I would love to see Richmond throw up some 600' buildings; however, a shorter but dense urban core makes for a better city than a few sparkling, disconnected high rises and a

I am a Charlotte native and current resident but I did live in Fairfax County for 10 years in the early 80s.  I am very familar with how the rest of the state hated Northern VA then and probably still

So this could explain why the city feels like it’s exploding!

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On 7/16/2021 at 8:57 AM, eandslee said:

Looks like demolition of the public safety building will start soon (no date mentioned).  The public safety building was finally sold to Capital City Partners.  Hope they are still planning a 20-story tower, but I have a feeling that it will no longer be 20 stories due to the reduced square footage amounts for the spec office space.  They’re not talking about it, which tells me that the height has been lowered.  I wish a real journalist would ask CCP a question about the height and publish their response…gee!  Inquiring minds want to know!

Found a version of the article that is free to read:

https://virginiaviews.com/capital-city-partners-completes-3-5-million-purchase-of-richmond-public-safety-building-and-plans-a-tower-anchored-with-vcu-health-local-news-in-richmond/

I thought the reduced commercial was from the smaller 9-story structure on the same block?

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19 hours ago, Shakman said:

I thought the reduced commercial was from the smaller 9-story structure on the same block?

Unfortunately, no. The amount of square footage was taken out of the total for the VCU Health tower. Hopefully by the time plans are 100% finalized and shovels begin breaking ground, that figure will get adjusted back up. I'm with eandslee & others in that I'm concerned that 20 stories will get truncated back to 17 stories. (give or take) ... 

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4 hours ago, Wahoo 07 said:

Like many on this board, I would love to see Richmond throw up some 600' buildings; however, a shorter but dense urban core makes for a better city than a few sparkling, disconnected high rises and a few major league franchises.  Richmond has several advantages over every large Southern city with the exception of New Orleans (which is no economic threat to anyone).  Richmond was a "big town" before the automobile.  Therefore, its core reflects a 3-5 mph pace.  Richmond is a pedestrian-centric city by nature.  Atlanta, Jacksonville, Nashville, Charlotte (the epitome of generic) and Raleigh are not.  Additionally, Richmond oozes charm, history, and depth and boasts a plethora of historic neighborhoods and buildings.  These take generations to create and cannot be faked.  Skyscrapers might look impressive, but they are ubiquitous and do not add nearly as  much to the character and desirability of a city.  Take New Orleans -- when people think of that city, do they think of a few high rises in the CBD or do they think of the French Quarter and Garden District?  Richmond is the same way with the Fan and Church Hill.  

Charlotte, Raleigh, etc. are monuments to prefabricated quick and easy.  Richmond isn't.  If Richmond fills in its vacant lots with 10-30 story buildings, it will be a prosperous, dense city that will score well in livability (like many European cities of a similar size).  If this happens, Richmond won't care what the upstarts are doing.

Wahoo - some great points all the way around and with a couple of exceptions, I do indeed agree with you. :good:

Denser urban core vs tall disconnected high rises: Agreed. Though, why not have some of those 600' or 700' sprinkled in amongst the dense core? It's not mutually exclusive and shouldn't be an either/or for RVA.

Pedestrian-centric city:   YES!! SPOT ON!! Just like her bigger northeastern siblings, RVA developed organically as an urban environment - whereas the southern upstarts (excellent choice of words, Wahoo - that's exactly what they are!) - really didn't. 

RVA oozes charm/history:  So does Charleston and no one is confusing Charleston with a major city. The architectural charm and history argument regarding RVA -- to me anyway -- is a non sequitur. It's the spice and seasoning to make RVA a more complete city - but it should NOT be the focus. I would argue that Boston and Philadelphia are much better comparisons than is New Orleans. The Big Easy has ALWAYS been about the French Quarter, Bourbon Street, Mardi Gras, etc. Yes -it also happens to be a major city with a sizeable downtown, an NFL franchise, an NBA team - and, oh btw, it's hosted 10 of the 55 Super Bowls - second only to Miami (11). So, no question, New Orleans is big time. However, I'd argue that RVA more closely resembles Boston and Philly - and personally I would far rather see that approach toward the balance of history/architecture/charm and big-city growth. Richmond's BIGGEST problem in this area over the last 50 years that I've been following the city's comings and goings is that the scale is tipped WAY TOO FAR in the direction of history and charm. Only now is RVA FINALLY 'seeing the light' so to speak and building vertically. Yes - I love the history and the old-big-city feel of the Fan, the Museum District (I've lived in both neighborhoods for quite a few years during my lifetime), Church Hill, etc. But at the same time, I want downtown booming and reaching for the heights. I want that mix of muscular downtown height rubbing shoulders with 200-year-old neighborhoods that you see in Boston and Philly. Those cities have pulled it off to perfection. There's no reason Richmond can't as well. 

Your final point is really good. The southern upstarts (including Atlanta) really are monuments to prefab quick and easy, and RVA hasn't gone in that direction -- yet. How about RVA fill her vacant lots with 20-30 story buildings -- and maybe sneak in a few 40, 50, 60 story beauties as well? I don't see any reason RVA shouldn't have much taller buildings than she currently has - and I don't think she needs to be boxed in or pigeonholed into a shorter mindset. Yes - thick density is exactly what she needs for growth. But height is important too. Again, I will argue, they should not be mutually exclusive. Why can't RVA have both?

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55 minutes ago, I miss RVA said:

Wahoo - some great points all the way around and with a couple of exceptions, I do indeed agree with you. :good:

Denser urban core vs tall disconnected high rises: Agreed. Though, why not have some of those 600' or 700' sprinkled in amongst the dense core? It's not mutually exclusive and shouldn't be an either/or for RVA.

Pedestrian-centric city:   YES!! SPOT ON!! Just like her bigger northeastern siblings, RVA developed organically as an urban environment - whereas the southern upstarts (excellent choice of words, Wahoo - that's exactly what they are!) - really didn't. 

RVA oozes charm/history:  So does Charleston and no one is confusing Charleston with a major city. The architectural charm and history argument regarding RVA -- to me anyway -- is a non sequitur. It's the spice and seasoning to make RVA a more complete city - but it should NOT be the focus. I would argue that Boston and Philadelphia are much better comparisons than is New Orleans. The Big Easy has ALWAYS been about the French Quarter, Bourbon Street, Mardi Gras, etc. Yes -it also happens to be a major city with a sizeable downtown, an NFL franchise, an NBA team - and, oh btw, it's hosted 10 of the 55 Super Bowls - second only to Miami (11). So, no question, New Orleans is big time. However, I'd argue that RVA more closely resembles Boston and Philly - and personally I would far rather see that approach toward the balance of history/architecture/charm and big-city growth. Richmond's BIGGEST problem in this area over the last 50 years that I've been following the city's comings and goings is that the scale is tipped WAY TOO FAR in the direction of history and charm. Only now is RVA FINALLY 'seeing the light' so to speak and building vertically. Yes - I love the history and the old-big-city feel of the Fan, the Museum District (I've lived in both neighborhoods for quite a few years during my lifetime), Church Hill, etc. But at the same time, I want downtown booming and reaching for the heights. I want that mix of muscular downtown height rubbing shoulders with 200-year-old neighborhoods that you see in Boston and Philly. Those cities have pulled it off to perfection. There's no reason Richmond can't as well. 

Your final point is really good. The southern upstarts (including Atlanta) really are monuments to prefab quick and easy, and RVA hasn't gone in that direction -- yet. How about RVA fill her vacant lots with 20-30 story buildings -- and maybe sneak in a few 40, 50, 60 story beauties as well? I don't see any reason RVA shouldn't have much taller buildings than she currently has - and I don't think she needs to be boxed in or pigeonholed into a shorter mindset. Yes - thick density is exactly what she needs for growth. But height is important too. Again, I will argue, they should not be mutually exclusive. Why can't RVA have both?

What you just typed here is exactly (100%) how I see it too.  Perfectly stated!  I was thinking it, just didn’t have time to type it all out…so, thanks!  Just imagine our dense skyline with height too!  What a sight that would be.  It doesn’t have to be either-or - it can be both!!

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1 hour ago, I miss RVA said:

Wahoo - some great points all the way around and with a couple of exceptions, I do indeed agree with you. :good:

Denser urban core vs tall disconnected high rises: Agreed. Though, why not have some of those 600' or 700' sprinkled in amongst the dense core? It's not mutually exclusive and shouldn't be an either/or for RVA.

Pedestrian-centric city:   YES!! SPOT ON!! Just like her bigger northeastern siblings, RVA developed organically as an urban environment - whereas the southern upstarts (excellent choice of words, Wahoo - that's exactly what they are!) - really didn't. 

RVA oozes charm/history:  So does Charleston and no one is confusing Charleston with a major city. The architectural charm and history argument regarding RVA -- to me anyway -- is a non sequitur. It's the spice and seasoning to make RVA a more complete city - but it should NOT be the focus. I would argue that Boston and Philadelphia are much better comparisons than is New Orleans. The Big Easy has ALWAYS been about the French Quarter, Bourbon Street, Mardi Gras, etc. Yes -it also happens to be a major city with a sizeable downtown, an NFL franchise, an NBA team - and, oh btw, it's hosted 10 of the 55 Super Bowls - second only to Miami (11). So, no question, New Orleans is big time. However, I'd argue that RVA more closely resembles Boston and Philly - and personally I would far rather see that approach toward the balance of history/architecture/charm and big-city growth. Richmond's BIGGEST problem in this area over the last 50 years that I've been following the city's comings and goings is that the scale is tipped WAY TOO FAR in the direction of history and charm. Only now is RVA FINALLY 'seeing the light' so to speak and building vertically. Yes - I love the history and the old-big-city feel of the Fan, the Museum District (I've lived in both neighborhoods for quite a few years during my lifetime), Church Hill, etc. But at the same time, I want downtown booming and reaching for the heights. I want that mix of muscular downtown height rubbing shoulders with 200-year-old neighborhoods that you see in Boston and Philly. Those cities have pulled it off to perfection. There's no reason Richmond can't as well. 

Your final point is really good. The southern upstarts (including Atlanta) really are monuments to prefab quick and easy, and RVA hasn't gone in that direction -- yet. How about RVA fill her vacant lots with 20-30 story buildings -- and maybe sneak in a few 40, 50, 60 story beauties as well? I don't see any reason RVA shouldn't have much taller buildings than she currently has - and I don't think she needs to be boxed in or pigeonholed into a shorter mindset. Yes - thick density is exactly what she needs for growth. But height is important too. Again, I will argue, they should not be mutually exclusive. Why can't RVA have both?

Agreed on Boston and Philly being a great comparisons.  Do not get me wrong, I do want to see taller towers, but I do not want them just plopping an overly tall tower and detracting from the remaining skyline, such as the effect from OKC's Devon Tower.   I want to see us progress through 30-40 floors with solid, central placements prior to reaching higher and higher.

Oklahoma City one of least "glamorous" cities, study says | KOKH

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41 minutes ago, Icetera said:

Agreed on Boston and Philly being a great comparisons.  Do not get me wrong, I do want to see taller towers, but I do not want them just plopping an overly tall tower and detracting from the remaining skyline, such as the effect from OKC's Devon Tower.   I want to see us progress through 30-40 floors with solid, central placements prior to reaching higher and higher.

Oklahoma City one of least "glamorous" cities, study says | KOKH

Not sure about everyone else here, but I'd take a Devon Tower in a flash. :scared: It would look different in Richmond's current skyline since we have a lot of density.  This photo shows that in OKC, it stands out because it's by itself and their skyline isn't dense.  We just need a tall tower to break Richmond's "glass ceiling" so that all other towers built after it would rise to the approximate height of the tallest tower.  Over time, the skyline will fill in and not look so tall.  We need a new height standard.  We're better than a 20-story tower city in my opinion.

Edited by eandslee
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In terms of skyline, RVA is already at a disadvantage from other cities. Seeing as our "city area" descends downwards it naturally makes the skyline feel smaller from many angles that aren't churchill imho. Like many unique things in RVA, I love that. I love that I can be in the fan and never see the city skyline. BIL did a drone shot of the drone rising from the ground at Byrd Park facing the camera east. It was quite unbelievable how close and visible the city skyline is just as soon as he cleared the tree line. In the fall, if you stand in the right position in Byrd Park, you can vaguely see some of the skyline. Fun reminder that we are still in the city but easy to forget.

Edited by ancientcarpenter
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22 hours ago, eandslee said:

Not sure about everyone else here, but I'd take a Devon Tower in a flash. :scared: It would look different in Richmond's current skyline since we have a lot of density.  This photo shows that in OKC, it stands out because it's by itself and their skyline isn't dense.  We just need a tall tower to break Richmond's "glass ceiling" so that all other towers built after it would rise to the approximate height of the tallest tower.  Over time, the skyline will fill in and not look so tall.  We need a new height standard.  We're better than a 20-story tower city in my opinion.

It depends on where it is placed in relation, which would be my concern.  If Devon were centered more in OKC it would not be so bad.  For Richmond, if it was placed on the pencil lot, it could fit in, but if it were placed on Belvedere it would just stand out and detract from the overall skyline.  Renaissance Center in Detroit is another example of this effect.  Detroit has a great old skyline but then RC just pulls all the attention away, ruining the overall view:

2560px-Downtown_Detroit%2C_Michigan_from_Windsor%2C_Ontario_%2821760963102%29.jpg

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7 hours ago, Icetera said:

It depends on where it is placed in relation which would be my concern.  If Devon were centered more in OKC it would not be so bad.  For Richmond, if it was placed on the pencil lot, it could fit in, but if it were placed on Belvedere it would just stand out and detract from the overall skyline.  Renaissance Center in Detroit is another example of this effect.  Detroit has a great old skyline but then it just pull all the attention away ruining the overall view:

Agree with you on this, a taller high rise built too far away from the core of the city will draw your eye away from the main group of buildings and reduces the emphasis on the center. 

Look at us, hey, look at us, talking about a tall building being built in Richmond.  There's been several conversations over the last week or so, comparing with NC cities, tall building dreams, why we're this and not that.

For me, it's good to compare and dream, keeps the board lively. Mostly though, I'm not too worried about how we compare to others or if we have this or that, Richmond is just who we are, where we are and I have a general sense of being satisfied.  There was a point in time where we lacked things, but even then, it was good, flourished, enjoyed boring Richmond, low building Richmond, now, we have even more things, and that feels good too.

 

 

Edited by Hike
Deleted part at the end to be specific about Richmond, was confusing I thought.
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One thing that really separates RVA from some other cities is that it used to be one of the largest cities.  That means we have amazing historic housing stock.  It has "great bones" if you will.

 

If we look at cities that were also great in the past, many of them are losing population still.  Detroit, Baltimore, St. Louis,etc .  RVA on the other hand is gaining residents.

Also cities like Charlotte, which seems to get a lot of press on here, historically were a small town.  They have an amazing skyline to look at, but they don't have cool historic neighborhoods with victorian houses and beautiful architecture.  The Fan, Church Hill, Byrd Park, Windsor Farm, Seminary, Bellevue, Brookland/Highland Park, Manchester, etc.  In Charlotte if you're not in a prefab townhome, cookie cutter McMansion, your choice for a "historic" house is more so limited to 1k square foot shotgun houses.

This is all to say, like everyone here I want RVA to have an amazing skyline and a bustling downtown.  What makes the city amazing is that it's a great place to live and a place people want to be.  Much of that isn't visible in our skyline.

 

 

 

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19 minutes ago, RiverYuppy said:

One thing that really separates RVA from some other cities is that it used to be one of the largest cities.  That means we have amazing historic housing stock.  It has "great bones" if you will.

If we look at cities that were also great in the past, many of them are losing population still.  Detroit, Baltimore, St. Louis,etc .  RVA on the other hand is gaining residents.

Also cities like Charlotte, which seems to get a lot of press on here, historically were a small town.  They have an amazing skyline to look at, but they don't have cool historic neighborhoods with victorian houses and beautiful architecture.  The Fan, Church Hill, Byrd Park, Windsor Farm, Seminary, Bellevue, Brookland/Highland Park, Manchester, etc.  In Charlotte if you're not in a prefab townhome, cookie cutter McMansion, your choice for a "historic" house is more so limited to 1k square foot shotgun houses.

This is all to say, like everyone here I want RVA to have an amazing skyline and a bustling downtown.  What makes the city amazing is that it's a great place to live and a place people want to be.  Much of that isn't visible in our skyline.

 

yeah, what he said!  I like that last sentence, nicely written and captures your thoughts nicely. 

Edited by Hike
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9 minutes ago, I miss RVA said:

While on the one hand I agree with you, I must point out a very important fact: Charlotte in 1970 was smaller than Richmond (249K to 241K) - And as of the latest 2020 census estimates, Richmond (while gaining residents again at a very robust pace) is at just under 233K residents - Charlotte has topped 900K residents (yes, I understand the governmental setup there has allowed the city to essentially swallow Mecklenberg County whole - but that's beside the point) ... look at the difference in the metro population. RVA's is growing nicely - and depending on which set of figures you rely on (which localities are included/left out) RVA is at a tick over 1.3 million in the metro. Meanwhile, current estimates put Charlotte at just under 2.7 million. (MSA, not CSA, which is slightly larger.)

A similar story can be told regarding Raleigh - a city that was even smaller than Charlotte in1970 but is now just under 500K (474K) residents strong. Raleigh's MSA and Richmond's are similar (1.3 million).

That Richmond has long-established "historic" neighborhoods is all wonderful, well and good. That we have "historic" architecture that Charlotte and Raleigh don't have is all wonderful, well and good. But the bottom line is that both Charlotte and Raleigh have blown past us and are pulling away from us much the way Helio Castroeves would in an Indy race car going one on one vs someone driving a Volkswagen beetle. Charlotte has an established NFL franchise that has played in a Super Bowl. It has an NBA team. Raleigh has an NHL team that has won a Stanley Cup. (Yes, major league sports is part of the make up of  "big city" America) ... Both Charlotte and Raleigh have gotten a pretty solid stranglehold on name recognition that RVA is still working hard and in some ways struggling to achieve. Both cities have been and continue to be hot, go-to, destination cities for business, jobs, residents. 

Richmond's architecture is wonderful. Her neighborhoods are wonderful. I love the amazing growth she's experiencing now. But for all her architecture and neighborhoods and "charm" and "history" - she has lost the status relative to Charlotte and Raleigh she had 50 years ago - when Richmond was the big city and Charlotte and Raleigh were the small towns. Now Charlotte and Raleigh are watching us get smaller and smaller in their rear-view mirrors - because they have the status that we should have. THAT is what I lament, even as I celebrate the tremendous growth RVA is currently enjoying and I hope and pray continues.

But just as you argue an impressive skyline does not a city make, we can flip it around and argue that pretty neighborhoods and "historic" architecture does not a city make.

i'm afraid Castroneves has lapped that VW beetle 3 or 4 times now - and continues to lap it. 

well isn't this a buzz kill...one thing missing from their wonder land, they can't say Virginia.  

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14 minutes ago, Hike said:

well isn't this a buzz kill...one thing missing from their wonder land, they can't say Virginia.  

No, Hike. It's not buzz kill. It's reality. Let's just look at it for what it is. Would you rather live in a land of make-believe about Richmond, looking at the situation through rose-colored glasses that hide the reality of where RVA stands vs Charlotte, Raleigh, Nashville and other hot, faster-growing cities/metros that were not even remotely Richmond's equals 50 or 60 years ago? I don't. I honestly want to see Richmond get on her mustang and ride!! Does it mean I'm not celebrating what she's doing now? Far from it. Does it mean I don't love all these other aspects about the city in which I was born, in which I was raised - the city I will go to my grave loving with all of my soul? Far from it. But I DO see things in the light of what they are. And I DO lament that RVA had ALL this tremendous potential to do what Charlotte and, dear God, even RALEIGH of all places, are now doing. RVA should be MUCH larger population wise. Business wise. Airport wise. She's not. That's a fact. And that's a shame.

Forgive me if I lament how the city traded a muscle car for a beetle over the last 50 years while other cities have beefed up and taken off. Doesn't make me love her any less - but it does make me lament what could have -- and should have -- been.

Edited by I miss RVA
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4 minutes ago, I miss RVA said:

No, Hike. It's not buzz kill. It's reality. Let's just look at it for what it is. Would you rather live in a land of make-believe about Richmond, looking at the situation through rose-colored glasses that hide the reality of where RVA stands vs Charlotte, Raleigh, Nashville and other hot, faster-growing cities/metros that were not even remotely Richmond's equals 50 or 60 years ago? I don't. I honestly want to see Richmond get on her mustang and ride!! Does it mean I'm not celebrating what she's doing now? Far from it. Does it mean I don't love all these other aspects about the city in which I was born, in which I was raised - the city I will go to my grave loving with all of my soul? Far from it. But I DO see things in the light of what they are. And I DO lament that RVA had ALL this tremendous potential to do what Charlotte and, dear God, even RALEIGH of all places, are now doing. RVA should be MUCH larger population wise. Business wise. Airport wise. She's not. That's a fact. And that's a shame.

Forgive me if I lament how the city traded a muscle car for a beetle over the last 50 years while other cities beefed up and taken off. Doesn't make me love her any less - but it does make me lament what could have been.

I said this several posts ago and it still holds true for this conversation.  

"For me, it's good to compare and dream, keeps the board lively. Mostly though, I'm not too worried about how we compare to others or if we have this or that, Richmond is just who we are, where we are and I have a general sense of being satisfied.  There was a point in time where we lacked things, but even then, it was good, flourished, enjoyed boring Richmond, low building Richmond, now, we have even more things, and that feels good too."  

 

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1 minute ago, Hike said:

I said this several posts ago and it still holds true for this conversation.  

"For me, it's good to compare and dream, keeps the board lively. Mostly though, I'm not too worried about how we compare to others or if we have this or that, Richmond is just who we are, where we are and I have a general sense of being satisfied.  There was a point in time where we lacked things, but even then, it was good, flourished, enjoyed boring Richmond, low building Richmond, now, we have even more things, and that feels good too."  

 

I understand, my friend. And on the one hand, I agree - or at least I WANT to agree. But I've seen what RVA has done over the last 50 years. I've seen what she could have become 50, 40, 30, 20 years ago ... and I'm over-the-moon happy that she's on her way now! I really am. But what you described - to me anyway - just seems like settling. I can't accept that (me personally, not being critical of you and how you see our beloved city) - I just can't accept that RVA has wasted five decades of tremendous potential and allowed herself to get blown past by cities that were NOTHING compared to her back in the 1970s.  Even though I was only a kid at the time, I firmly recall all the talk back then about how RVA was poised and ready to take the mantle from Atlanta and claim HER rightful place among the greatest cities in, not only the South, but in the country. And it NEVER HAPPENED. I remember the excitement. We're going to be the next Atlanta - but because we're already a "big city" with an old "big city" core (the architecture, the neighborhoods) we're going to blow Atlanta out of the water. AND IT NEVER HAPPENED.

Just imagine Richmond as a legit big city. Maybe 800K... 900K in the city... 4 or 5 million in the metro. Imagine going to a gleaming football stadium wherever (counties, cities, who cares??) and seeing an NFL game between the Richmond Whatevers and the Washington Washingtons... Wow... Or going to a gleaming arena to see the Richmond Whatevers taking on the Montreal Canadiens for the Stanley Cup! Or to see the Richmond Whatevers taking on LeBron and the Lakers for the NBA championship... (or back in the day, seeing the Chicago Bulls and MJ come to town)...   Imagine being able to board a jet at RIC and fly ANYWHERE in the world - without paying a king's ransom - or without having to change planes in real hubs like - oh, wait... CHARLOTTE ... or ATLANTA ... why? Because RIC IS AN ACTUAL HUB!! Wow...  Imagine gorgeous 70, 80-story tall (or taller) skyscrapers on the downtown skyline - a skyline so iconic that people AROUND THE WORLD instinctively KNOW - "oh yeah, that's Richmond."  Imagine someone in Tokyo, Hong Kong, Berlin, Moscow, London, Johannesburg, Melbourne, Sydney.... saying "Oh yeah, I have business in Richmond next week... " And that happening on a regular basis ... over the last, say, 30 or so years...

The versions of the same city that we each see are as different as night and day - and yet they are the same city. How I only wish that RVA had become that powerhouse city she was poised to become five decades ago. And how I lament that she never even got off the ground toward that end - much less got there.

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