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St. Paul's Quadrant (Phase 1-Under Construction)


Aughie

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19 minutes ago, zeppelin14 said:

Doesn't Norfolk basically own all of this land it is hanging on to? Harbor Park area, SPQ, Fort Norfolk, old Granby Tower site??? If so, sell the land to private developers already.

I really don't understand this either. They should sell the land to developers. Every second longer they hang on to it is a waste of potential property tax revenue. Especially the Ft Norfolk and the Harbor Park area.

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2 hours ago, zeppelin14 said:

Doesn't Norfolk basically own all of this land it is hanging on to? Harbor Park area, SPQ, Fort Norfolk, old Granby Tower site??? If so, sell the land to private developers already.

Why buy something you can get for free?  I doubt developers are kicking down the door to build there and will likely have to be incentivized with some level of city funding. Selling the land would also give the city less control over what & how its all built. 

And I believe the former Granby Tower site is federal, where it will sit as a park for generations until they finally build a new courthouse (or never). 

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Wow, makes u wonder how a childless, young to middle-aged couple or a single person... who are interested in seeing Norfolk move forward aggressively & with purpose... would now view their/his/her existence there...say potentially over the nexy 10-15 years? With yet even higher taxes undoubtably looming, continued  job stagnation, flatlined property values ...and a most severely constrained budget outlook over the next decade plus, will the aforementioned generally high-earning demo consider leaving ORF for relatively more prosperous VB, W. Richmond or Raleigh? Or will they contract a case of altruism and stay for the little schoolchildren??

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6 hours ago, baobabs727 said:

Wow, makes u wonder how a childless, young to middle-aged couple or a single person... who are interested in seeing Norfolk move forward aggressively & with purpose... would now view their/his/her existence there...say potentially over the nexy 10-15 years? With yet even higher taxes undoubtably looming, continued  job stagnation, flatlined property values ...and a most severely constrained budget outlook over the next decade plus, will the aforementioned generally high-earning demo consider leaving ORF for relatively more prosperous VB, W. Richmond or Raleigh? Or will they contract a case of altruism and stay for the little schoolchildren??

This really makes me think that Hampton Roads is really just a dying region that doesn't know it yet. Sure there is new development going on at the Town Center in VB, but that is all done by one developer, it isn't attracting any new developers to the area that want to jump onto building a new downtown. No real development is chomping for prime lands to develop. There isn't any tech industry push going on. It just seems it is stagnant, which isn't good with how good this current economy is for development and growth.

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There's at least four different developers that aren't Armada Hoffler that have projects in the works around Town Center - with two in the construction phase. AH controls most of the available land in TC proper. There are pushes to diversify the economy with some small success so far but we could be doing much better. The port is doing well and there's an effort to attract significant warehouse development by marketing Virginia collectively rather than by city or region. Defense spending is anticipated to increase with more ships expected to be built. The biggest problem with new development is construction costs and rent rates. Market lease rates aren't high enough for developers to cover costs and turn a profit. I keep hearing there are players that are ready to act once market conditions are right. 

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17 hours ago, urbanlife said:

This really makes me think that Hampton Roads is really just a dying region that doesn't know it yet. Sure there is new development going on at the Town Center in VB, but that is all done by one developer, it isn't attracting any new developers to the area that want to jump onto building a new downtown. No real development is chomping for prime lands to develop. There isn't any tech industry push going on. It just seems it is stagnant, which isn't good with how good this current economy is for development and growth.

 

13 hours ago, 23320 said:

There's at least four different developers that aren't Armada Hoffler that have projects in the works around Town Center - with two in the construction phase. AH controls most of the available land in TC proper. There are pushes to diversify the economy with some small success so far but we could be doing much better. The port is doing well and there's an effort to attract significant warehouse development by marketing Virginia collectively rather than by city or region. Defense spending is anticipated to increase with more ships expected to be built. The biggest problem with new development is construction costs and rent rates. Market lease rates aren't high enough for developers to cover costs and turn a profit. I keep hearing there are players that are ready to act once market conditions are right. 

Urbanlife, sadly you got it. More or less. I've been warning y'all for several years, and here is a brand new 2 part plus report to document said real stagnation and potential for decline.  For all US metros betwn 1-3 M pop, we are dead LAST in net job growth since the recession. That is ZERO net jobs created.  And there is plenty of additional data out  there to show that we have fallen behind in dramatic fashion.  All one needs to see it is a bit of historical perspective, intellectual curiousity, self-reflection, realism ...and honesty.

https://media.wavy.com/nxs-wavytv-media-us-east-1/document_dev/2018/05/09/12-month %25 change slide _OP_2_CP__1525906257946_42163804_ver1.0.pdf

http://www.wavy.com/news/investigations/hampton-roads-bad-for-business/1169129506

(part 1)

http://www.wavy.com/news/investigations/hampton-roads-bad-for-business-part-2/1182525422

(part 2)

 

National developers ignored us on the residential side  even during the econ. & housing boom. They continue to do so. Bruce Thompson, Buddy G. & A/H dominate the public-private stuff. Buddy is a small player tho compared to the other 2.  For a metro of our size, the lack of major player diverse monied interests in the development arena beyond them & Towne Bank is astoundingly unimpressive.

 

 

Edited by baobabs727
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A lot of that falls on leadership and the Chamber, IMO. Working together is the first step...breaking out of the status quo is the other. 

I’m 35, but I think my generation (let’s say 25-40) is the future. We pay taxes like Baby Boomers do, but it’s still the Good Ol Boys with money that make the decisions. And their decisions don’t vibe with what other metros our size do. Austin, Nashville, Charlotte, etc. took chances. We gotta do the same. 

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15 hours ago, vdogg said:

I often wonder how much reports like the above become a self fulfilling prophecy. It’s sort of like entering a relationship. If you don’t love and respect yourself, no one else will either. If I were a prospective business and I had read this dire woe is me report, my first thought would be “why bother?” There is no shortage of negative reporting about this region and most of it is generated exclusively from within our borders. More genuine boosters and more highlighting our assets, of which we have many, would go a long way towards making this region more appealing.

Negative Reportage did not cause us to fail to create 1 net job in 10 years. As Dubby Wynne said, and we all know this  to be true, you cant fix it if you don't identify it. We can't bury our heads and shift blame. The numbers don't lie. Solutions will never come if we deny the problem exists or say it's caused by something we can't control.  Circling the wagons in self-satisfaction or defensiveness is suicide. We must do better.

At the same time, cheerleading, self-love and promo are all great & essential. You have to have faith, but being self-aware and prepared also give you the underpinnings/reasons to  have faith and to believe that risks will bring rewards.

Edited by baobabs727
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No one is trying to say that this region’s problems don’t exist. I’m sure that most of the people here are well aware of them.

The more productive response in this situation would be to, yes, first identify the region’s problems. But then to also work towards ways to address and rectify them. Maybe give attention to the many things that are working in this region and how those assets could be utilized to help deal with these issues.

Instead you see a lot of people immediately shifting towards a “woe is us” mentality and never moving past it. Saying that this is “just a dying region that doesn’t know it yet” accomplishes absolutely nothing. It makes us look worse off than we are and it encourages apathy, which in turn leads to further stagnation.  I think that might have been what vdogg was getting at with his comment.

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Helium3--I appreciate your sincerity and your perspective here.  However, I will say to you that Positivity for Positivity's sake is a fool's construct. Once Negativism is reflexively, narrowly defined as anything or any notion which might well be true yet is simultaneously and inconveniently uncomfortable or unsettling to the psyche or ego-- and, therefore--must be ignored or shut down, all hope for honest brokers and open, frank discussions is lost. Permanently.

If these statements do not conflict with your general worldview or more specifically your take on the recent scientific, expert-endorsed,  data-driven reportage re: our local economic conditions and comparisons with that of regional peer communities and the broader national scene, I take no issue with your points.

And I love Vdogg. We just happen to disagree here.  We have done so before (rarely) and will do so again.  Thinking it's  mostly regarding semantics. In life, people generally respond well to "positive" or cheery commentaries.  I love them myself.   But sometimes somebody has got to take the contrarian position. Especially when there's great truth in it.

Finally,  I don't feel the need to defend myself here at all. Trust me. But I will tell you that I've been one of the greatest and most consistent cheerleaders of this region within my little influence circle (I am NO real mover/shaker!) over my entire life.  I'm still here.  And I am not giving up.

Edited by baobabs727
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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 4 weeks later...

I hope that citizens take part in these drop-in sessions.  More importantly the residents of the park need to chime in.  When DC was planning a major redevelopment of the Southwest waterfront there were numerous meetings with the developer and the city which netted us a new park and new affordable housing. 

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I was able to go over today. Carolinaboy is correct that it’s nothing major or concrete happening, as they’re still fleshing out ideas and getting input from the general public. 

They have a few posters up with several bullet points that residents came up with. You could then put a sticker next to points you found important. Walkability, the desire to create mixed-use/income, and job opportunities seemed to be the most popular. Flooding and education were also big concerns

I couldn’t get a picture but there seemed to be a preliminary sketch that would allow for a few taller buildings along St. Paul, then some apartment buildings and houses. It was hard to tell what’s what, so hopefully we’ll see a true extension of downtown. 

Edited by BFG
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19 hours ago, BFG said:

I was able to go over today. Carolinaboy is correct that it’s nothing major or concrete happening, as they’re still fleshing out ideas and getting input from the general public. 

They have a few posters up with several bullet points that residents came up with. You could then put a sticker next to points you found important. Walkability, the desire to create mixed-use/income, and job opportunities seemed to be the most popular. Flooding and education were also big concerns

I couldn’t get a picture but there seemed to be a preliminary sketch that would allow for a few taller buildings along St. Paul, then some apartment buildings and houses. It was hard to tell what’s what, so hopefully we’ll see a true extension of downtown. 

Thanks for the report.

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Here’s the main points from the architecture firm’s Instagram. You can also see the rendering for the first draft. 

I really hope they go vertical here. At least more midrise development to add some density. Looking over the plans, it looks like there will be a slight compromise, but it still looks like it's leaning towards townhouses, and I think there’s other sections of downtown adjacent that could do that, i.e. Young Terrace.

The more urban this is, esp. along Church St., the better. I would even be okay with seeing more development similar to what you see on Monticello Ave. near Doumar's.

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  • vdogg changed the title to St. Paul's Quadrant (Phase 1-Under Construction)
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