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urbanvb

Off topic postings

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I will be adding a few new threads including this one for off-topic postings and also will be generalizing names of other threads so we may add to them in the future. I also hope soon to get more threads going on the Baltimore side as things there seem pretty quiet. I also hope to comprise a projects and construction thread for each city although this may take some time since both cities are large. If you have other suggestions or ideas feel free to let me know.

Edited by guynvb

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I have been on vacation this week and have had only sporadic time online for postings and such but hope to be back the end of the week.

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Here's an article on Prince William county's accelerated growth. Interesting read.

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That is a great read. Sounds like the place is booming indeed.

...more than 20 new schools have been built for a nationally recognized public school system serving more than 65,000 students. New fire and police stations have also been built, and about 400 new police officers and firefighters have been hired.

Amazing growth. The article claims that 75% of Nova's workers live within a 30 minute commute so hopefully they will build smart and avoid as much sprawl as possible.

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I cleaned up the forum a bit tonight and actually deleted some threads that were quite old. I hope to put forth a bit more effort ongoing posting more information but sometimes finding interesting info can be challenging. Up to now I try to go to the Baltimore Sun newspaper, Washington Post websites and also both cities have business journals that I check out. If anyone knows of other sites to get info as well please let me know.

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D.C. office vacancy rate remains lowest in nation

The District of Columbia maintained its position in 2005 as the city with the lowest office vacancy rate in the nation. Cushman & Wakefield's 2005 Marketbeat Report, released Friday, calls 2005 the best year for the D.C. office market since 2001. The office vacancy rate hit a four-year low of 7.2 percent, the fifth consecutive year D.C. has outpaced other markets.

article

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Overhaul Urged For D.C. Libraries

Task Force Drafts $450 Million Renewal Project

More than $450 million is needed to properly fix the District's public library system, a task force said yesterday, because the buildings suffer from years of neglect and should be almost entirely rebuilt.

The draft report released yesterday marks the launch of the public phase of an effort by Mayor Anthony A. Williams to change the face of the frayed library system.

The report suggests replacing the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library with a facility that would anchor the old Washington Convention Center site. It calls for adding at least 400 computers in the city's 27 libraries, replacing half of the books in the next three years and expanding and reorganizing staff. The decision to release the report hours before the first of a series of public-comment meetings drew fire from critics.

article

Libraries and parks seem to be on the bottom when it comes to spending from cities but I am glad to see DC is at least looking at changing some things.

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Overhaul Urged For D.C. Libraries

Task Force Drafts $450 Million Renewal Project

article

Libraries and parks seem to be on the bottom when it comes to spending from cities but I am glad to see DC is at least looking at changing some things.

Well, since they're willing to spend just as much on a baseball stadium I guess it's a good start. :) $450 million does seem kind of high though.

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Two Years In, Baltimore's Future Looks Bright

Mayor O'Malley Says There's Still Work to Do

In his State of the City Address last January, Mayor Martin O'Malley publicly set his administration's second year goals. Harnessing the city's new hope to build upon the positive change during his first year in office, the mayor pledged a continued reduction in crime backed by increased access to improved drug treatment, better opportunities for the city's youth and to make government more efficient.

Top Ten Two-Year Accomplishments

1.

Reduced Violent Crime by 24% from 1999 to 2000.

2.

Decreased Drug related Emergency Department visits by 19%.

3.

Raised $3.4 million in private and public funds to provide computers for city schools.

4.

Recreation and Parks is building 42 new playgrounds this year, compared to 6 in 1998 - 1999.

5.

Increased bulk and illegal trash collection by 71% from 1999 to 2001 - from 48,000 tons to 86,000 tons.

6.

Produced 20% growth in prime contracts to minority-owned companies, 39% growth in subcontracts to minority-owned companies during the first three quarters of 2001.

7.

Filed 214 lead contamination cases against landlords since 1/00 compared to 0 the prior decade.

8.

The Mayor's Office of Neighborhoods attended 379 community meetings and tours.

9.

Opened 52 new businesses through Main Streets.

10.

Saved $13.2 million in expenditures with a $285 thousand investment through CitiStat - a 46 to 1 return on investme

article

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Architect offers past and future Main St. glimpses

Our proverbial Main Street is not what it used to be and not what it will become, according to Peter Fillat, principal of Peter Fillat Architects.

Look at Towson.

In fact, look at Towson carefully - to see what its main street could become, urged Fillat during his presentation on "Main Street USA: An Evolving American Icon" at a town meeting at Goucher College Jan. 30.

The topic of main streets is "highly relevant at this time" as Towson prepares for a visit in June from an urban design assistance team of volunteer experts who will work with the community to craft a vision for the future, said Cynthia Bledsoe, executive director of the Greater Towson Committee, which co-sponsored the meeting with Goucher.

Indeed, said Fillat, he hoped his presentation would give Towson ideas that will help people prepare for the team.

article

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Housing construction surges in Jan.

Rate reaches highest level in three decades but is expected to slow in '06

WASHINGTON // Construction of new homes and apartments, defying forecasts of a housing slowdown, shot up in January at the fastest pace in more than three decades.

The Commerce Department reported today that building activity was up 14.5 percent last month when compared to December, pushing construction to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 2.276 million units.

article

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I might be in the DC area this weekend and wanted to see if some of you might have suggestions on points of interests. I do intend to visit the Skyscraper Museum and maybe the Spy Museum as well. Any other suggestions are appreciated.

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Hi everyone. I'm a University of Michigan student and plan on getting an architecture internship in Baltimore since I have friends who live there, and local firms in Detroit are likely to get a flood of resumes from my peers. I'm particularly interested in firms that do projects related to redevelopment of intercity areas as well as some historical rehab. Do you have any suggestions? One of the firms I've been looking at is the Design Collective.

Edited by wolverine

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Hi everyone. I'm a University of Michigan student and plan on getting an architecture internship in Baltimore since I have friends who live there, and local firms in Detroit are likely to get a flood of resumes from my peers. I'm particularly interested in firms that do projects related to redevelopment of intercity areas as well as some historical rehab. Do you have any suggestions? One of the firms I've been looking at is the Design Collective.

I don't have any suggestions, but I go to U-M-Ann Arbor too, I'm from Arlington.

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PH2006030600921.jpg

March 30 is supposed to be peak time for the cherry trees to bloom around the tidal basin in Washington . If anyone takes any pics posting some for us would be much appreciated.

Picture courtesy of Washington Post.

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Things have gotten so quitely here in the forum lately. Admittedly, I have not posted anything recently but having folks to post here more regularly seems quite a challenge. If anyone has any suggestions I am open to hearing them.

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You need at least one person posting here, even if it's by himself, for a little while updating the site so there's a good listing of the projects going on there. Cotuit seemed to do that in RI and CT judging by the old posts, and now RI is a very strong forum and CT has a 5 or 6 regular posters. I came along as a lurker, and was drawn into the RI forums, despite being a CT native, partly because I went to college in Providence and love the city.

Most people do not come to these sites to post about their cities in what seems like a dead forum. Most people probably come here after googling a specific project and reading up on it. If the quality of the threads are good, they'll come back and maybe even participate. That's how I see it. Luckily for me I have the RI forum, and to a lesser extent the Hartford forum, to post in and not go crazy as I'm trying to get threads from my area of CT going...

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PNC Bank Discovers Riggs Bank Archive

The Pittsburgh-based owners of the former Riggs Bank have come across an archive of untold value in a 40 year old bank vault downtown. The contents include everything from checks written by Lincoln to bills paid by Nixon. They are currently evaluating and sorting what they have found. I hope that most of it will go to the Smithsonian or to the Washington Historical Society. It's quite a find.

The Washington Post

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I am headed up to the DC area this weekend to see a friend. While there we hope to catch the new Superman movie as well. Beyond the basic cinemas is there a particular theatre someone could recommend?

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Hands down, my favorite theater in DC is the Uptown in Cleveland Park. It's a handsomely restored late Deco movie house. It's also a short walk from the Metro station. The Loews in Georgetown is nice enough, but the Uptown is a real gem.

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