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


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The city has since responded.  https://www.stpaulsdistrict.org/post/response-to-bloomberg-article-about-st-paul-s-area-published-september-22-2020-by-caleb-melby?fbclid=IwAR1WYvPQKWeo9oghKESzG_7_

City has a basic survey for interested residents on their .gov page.  I like the design and the incorporation of art, colors, outdoor community elements, rooftop, etc.  Height would be nice, but since

I quite like it. A nice mix of housing types and looks walkable. I like the open areas/tree-lined streets. I think it fits that part of town very well. Maybe this could push future more dense developm

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14 minutes ago, Norf Native said:

There are a lot of renderings at this link for those blocks.

Microsoft Word - 20 September 2021 ARB Agenda.doc (iqm2.com)

block 9.png

So, this is basically Ghent 2 with more modern architecture. Liking that they keep it an urban neighborhood. Some of the designs are unique and eclectic, but nothing really bold. Holding out for 645 Church Street, hopefully we get something significant there.

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That pic reminds me a bit of the Hague, and that side of town. Basically Ghent 2.0 like vdogg said. I do like the diversity of designs...still not a fan of everything being 3- or 4-stories, but I can live with it.

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This is not Ghent 2 and this is not an urban development. All of those parking lots kill the density of the area. Cut the blocks in half and get rid of all of that surface parking and then you might have something close to Ghent 2. Otherwise this is just more suburban development.

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4 hours ago, Arctic_Tern said:

This is not Ghent 2 and this is not an urban development. All of those parking lots kill the density of the area. Cut the blocks in half and get rid of all of that surface parking and then you might have something close to Ghent 2. Otherwise this is just more suburban development.

It might not be ideal but let's not exaggerate here, there is nothing suburban about what is depicted. Chesapeake doesn't look like this, most of Va. Beach doesn't look like this, and the few surface lots you mentioned are all hidden from street level view. I too wish there were more to this development, but suburban it is not.

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4 hours ago, vdogg said:

It might not be ideal but let's not exaggerate here, there is nothing suburban about what is depicted. Chesapeake doesn't look like this, most of Va. Beach doesn't look like this, and the few surface lots you mentioned are all hidden from street level view. I too wish there were more to this development, but suburban it is not.

I am not exaggerating here. The only difference between this and what's in VB or Chesapeake is that the parking lot is in the middle not the front.  With the parking lot in the middle we are locking ourselves into this low-density development for 50+ years. For anyone saying this is "Ghent 2" please point to me on a map where Ghent has superblocks with the majority of land being dedicated to parking. This is not good urban design and is just repeating the same mistakes we've been making for decades.

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Ghent proper (i.e. the apartments on the side streets off Hampton Blvd.) doesn't have all the parking lots, but parts of SPQ reminds me of the newer developments like Ghent Village or Ghent on the Square. And by newer, I mean from the early-80s on.

Being a former "Ghentite", the surface lots are low on my short list of concerns given how much of a pain it was finding a parking space. Much as I'd like more height, the designs here are much more urban than the typical stuff in VB and Chesapeake.

ghent.jpg

ghent2.jpg

Edited by BFG
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9 hours ago, vdogg said:

It might not be ideal but let's not exaggerate here, there is nothing suburban about what is depicted. Chesapeake doesn't look like this, most of Va. Beach doesn't look like this, and the few surface lots you mentioned are all hidden from street level view. I too wish there were more to this development, but suburban it is not.

100% agreed.  It seems like sometimes people associate “urban” exclusively with high-rise development and integrated parking garages. There are plenty of urban communities all around the country where there are blocks upon blocks of mid-rise apt. buildings interspersed with quads, townhomes/rowhouses, etc., with some surface lots and more back alley parking and hidden/concealed parking in the interior. 

Edited by baobabs727
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18 hours ago, baobabs727 said:

100% agreed.  It seems like sometimes people associate “urban” exclusively with high-rise development and integrated parking garages. There are plenty of urban communities all around the country where there are blocks upon blocks of mid-rise apt. buildings interspersed with quads, townhomes/rowhouses, etc., with some surface lots and more back alley parking and hidden/concealed parking in the interior. 

Richmond is probably the most urban place outside of NoVa and they have a ton of hidden surface lots. When I think urban, I think the streetscape and overall connectedness are far more important than anything hidden from view. And surface lots don't have to stay surface lots forever. We've seen plenty redeveloped in this area, so I don't think we're locking ourselves in by having lots hidden from view.

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On 9/15/2021 at 2:23 PM, vdogg said:

Richmond is probably the most urban place outside of NoVa and they have a ton of hidden surface lots. When I think urban, I think the streetscape and overall connectedness are far more important than anything hidden from view. And surface lots don't have to stay surface lots forever. We've seen plenty redeveloped in this area, so I don't think we're locking ourselves in by having lots hidden from view.

Y'all when I say density I don't mean "height", I mean density. Having a dense area of 4-5 story buildings is much better than having 8-9 story buildings with parking lots everywhere. But having 4-5 story buildings with parking lots everywhere is not dense and it is not urban.

And the examples that you have provided are much more compact than what is being presented. These lots are gigantic compared to what you pictured. And how do you develop these lots in the future when they're locked in the center of the block? I don't really see how it's possible. All we're doing if we move forward with this development is committing to having low density development/parking lots having a significant presence in our downtown for the next 50 years. 

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3 hours ago, Arctic_Tern said:

And how do you develop these lots in the future when they're locked in the center of the block? I don't really see how it's possible.

It is definitely possible as Richmond is doing such now, even though our blocks are typically on the smaller side (though not Portland small).  An example is Robinson Square Alley where we filled in unutilized land with 4 townhomes, within a dense Fan housing block.  Manchester has more such examples underway.  Some proposals for significantly denser projects are springing up closer to downtown proper.

Location of Robinson Square Alley (sadly Google satellite is way behind):
image.thumb.png.fed37b04917a13d6580b3565e96dc009.png

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On 9/13/2021 at 8:33 AM, BFG said:

I'd love to see this brought back and put on the proposed stretch of high rises that would be closer to where Popeye's sits. A row of buildings like this would fill in the gaps in the skyline as seen from 264. That gap between City Hall Ave. and about Charlotte St. has bugged me for years.

Screen Shot 2021-09-13 at 11.32.19 AM.png

One thing that has always confused me about the history of Norfolk is when the redeveloped downtown in 1955, why did they tear down all the old buildings along Main when they could have just put all the new office buildings along St Paul, which was a new street that they cut through the old street pattern. That way it would have been an expansion of downtown rather than knocking down the existing downtown. Unfortunately that decision wasn't made back then.

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This is on the planning commission's  October agenda (still no renderings):

 

TRG COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT, for a Rezoning from C-C (Community – Commercial) to D-BC (Downtown – Business Center) at 645 Church Street. The purpose of this request is to allow the construction of a multi-family apartment community development with 85 dwelling units. 

 

TRG COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT, for a Development Certificate at 645 Church Street. The purpose of this request is to allow the construction of a multi-family apartment community development with 85 dwelling units. 

And another development on Lincoln Street:

NORFOLK ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY to vacate the right-of-way of a portion of Lincoln Street.  The purpose of this request is to support the development of a multi-family apartment community development on an adjacent parcel. 

Edited by Norf Native
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5 minutes ago, Norf Native said:

 

This is on the planning commission's  October agenda (still no renderings):

 

TRG COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT, for a Rezoning from C-C (Community – Commercial) to D-BC (Downtown – Business Center) at 645 Church Street. The purpose of this request is to allow the construction of a multi-family apartment community development with 85 dwelling units. 

 

TRG COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT, for a Development Certificate at 645 Church Street. The purpose of this request is to allow the construction of a multi-family apartment community development with 85 dwelling units. 

And another development on Lincoln Street:

NORFOLK ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY to vacate the right-of-way of a portion of Lincoln Street.  The purpose of this request is to support the development of a multi-family apartment community development on an adjacent parcel. 

Applications for blocks 9, 10, & 16 as well. Total of 275 units amongst the four sites. 

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1 hour ago, Norf Native said:

 

This is on the planning commission's  October agenda (still no renderings):

 

TRG COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT, for a Rezoning from C-C (Community – Commercial) to D-BC (Downtown – Business Center) at 645 Church Street. The purpose of this request is to allow the construction of a multi-family apartment community development with 85 dwelling units. 

 

TRG COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT, for a Development Certificate at 645 Church Street. The purpose of this request is to allow the construction of a multi-family apartment community development with 85 dwelling units. 

And another development on Lincoln Street:

NORFOLK ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY to vacate the right-of-way of a portion of Lincoln Street.  The purpose of this request is to support the development of a multi-family apartment community development on an adjacent parcel. 

Was hoping for a lot more than 85. Might get a 3-story building out of that. Imagined something mediocre, and they failed to live up to even that dismal projection. At this point I’d rather they just keep the Willis building…

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5 hours ago, vdogg said:

Was hoping for a lot more than 85. Might get a 3-story building out of that. Imagined something mediocre, and they failed to live up to even that dismal projection. At this point I’d rather they just keep the Willis building…

Our cities like to scale down everything.  Also are you guys able to see the post I made? Im not sure how some of this site works.

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3 hours ago, Norf Native said:

Here is a rendering of the new development replacing the 645 Church Street building (on the ARB agenda for 11 Oct).  Lots more renderings here:

Microsoft Word - 11 October 2021 ARB Agenda.doc (iqm2.com)

 

 

600 Church Street.png

645 Church.png

Too prominent of a street corner for 4 stories… And I’m not entirely sure about the design. I’m very fearful of what they plan to do with the Snyder lot. The sketches show a 5-story building and they seem to be militantly sticking to the concept of building low rise buildings on prime downtown land. I’d love to see this type of development rebuild the old church street corridor, but we need to get a bit more dynamic with the uses and heights here…

The more I look at it the more I think it would be perfectly in place in the new urban districts at the Virginia Beach oceanfront, but it doesn’t quite work here.

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I know I keep talking about height, and I'm not against apartment buildings, but I do think a corner lot deserves more than another four-story building. A taller apartment could make for a nice entrance to SPQ and create some variety. 

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