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Why do you guys keep saying it's not an extension to Downtown? The plan is to restructure the horrible street grid in the St. Paul's Quadrant to Downtown's street grid by extending the Downtown roads into St. Paul's Quadrant. They are planning on creating many pedestrian crosswalks. How will it not connect with Downtown? Your saying that if they build dense 8 story apartments and retail lining St. Paul's Blvdd that wouldn't be an extension of Downtown? I'm not seeing your reasoning. Honestly, I see nothing wrong with the current plan.

If every development planned for Downtown proper comes to fruition (Westin, Granby Tower, Apartments near Harbor Park, Consolidated Courts Complex, Mixed Use tower on Greyhound Lot, TCC Student Center, Virginia Arts Headquarters, Ect.) and the city builds St. Paul's Quadrant as a dense, urban, well planned community as with plenty of retail, restaurants, and offices Downtown will be a bigger, welll connected, urban beauty. Did you guys see the renderings on pages 28, 32, 34, 39? This a great vision.

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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

My late Daddy's dental practice use to be on Fenchurch St. next door to the church I grew up in St. John's AME so I am somewhat familiar with Tidewater Gardens.  Quite a few of my father's patients li

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I remain unimpressed. Norfolk's vision for this area is lacking as far as expanding downtown is concerned. I am much more impressed with Va. Beach's vision for their "downtown" area. In twenty-thirty years, Va. Beach may actually become the urban center of Hampton Roads.

Let's hope not. While we continue our infighting, other metro areas will continue to surpass us. It's time for 1 city. Or at least 1 primary city.

I too would like to see an extension of the CBD. But before we get crazy, the changes that pe cites may happen could actually be for the better. Meanwhile, I think the city is saying some good things that it hasn't said before:

1. Force residents to work in order to live there.

2. Create a "dense" mixture of development.

3. Build housing that is primarily middle class: i.e., some 61% (1380 out of 2000). Much better than what's there now.

4. Potentially redistribute low-income residents to other areas. Note that fewer than half have said they want to return.

5. Include office and retail.

6. Work the details out slowly rather than jumping blindly ahead.

Though it's not perfect, I feel better about this project than I have to date.

Edited by Sky06
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On page 10, there are a couple skyscrapers that look to be about 800 feet tall! I'm amazed with how beautiful this plan is.

It looks like a rendering of Granby Tower.

Renderings look nice. I'm surprised that only 1/2 of the tidewater garden residents definitely want to return. Symbolic of those actually working maybe?

The best part of the renderings is the retention pond. I like that a lot.

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Let's hope not. While we continue our infighting, other metro areas will continue to surpass us. It's time for 1 city. Or at least 1 primary city.

You hit the nail on the head. The biggest weakness to this area is that Norfolk and Va. Beach are locked in a death match for the mantle as the #1 primary city. And neither one wants to defer to the other one. Personally, I wish Norfolk and Va. Beach would just merge into once city. It would be better for the area. Of course, that will never happen.

Edited by Rokk
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Let's hope not. While we continue our infighting, other metro areas will continue to surpass us. It's time for 1 city. Or at least 1 primary city.

I too would like to see an extension of the CBD. But before we get crazy, the changes that pe cites may happen could actually be for the better. Meanwhile, I think the city is saying some good things that it hasn't said before:

1. Force residents to work in order to live there.

2. Create a "dense" mixture of development.

3. Build housing that is primarily middle class: i.e., some 61% (1380 out of 2000). Much better than what's there now.

4. Potentially redistribute low-income residents to other areas. Note that fewer than half have said they want to return.

5. Include office and retail.

6. Work the details out slowly rather than jumping blindly ahead.

Though it's not perfect, I feel better about this project than I have to date.

Hope all you want, but Va Beach already came out with their view for a 165 block downtown. We are going to be a 2 city metro only 11 miles apart. It could end up being a St. Paul/Minneapolis type thing. No one seems to have a problem with that.

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Hope all you want, but Va Beach already came out with their view for a 165 block downtown. We are going to be a 2 city metro only 11 miles apart. It could end up being a St. Paul/Minneapolis type thing. No one seems to have a problem with that.

Let's be serious... Va. Beach's "165-block downtown" is nothing but a hope at this point. While Norfolk has had some setbacks (delays, no Granby), it seems to be doing very well compared to Town Center at the moment. It's premature to write off Norfolk just because Va. Beach put out a pretty PowerPoint with its very own Super Dome. With all that said, I hope Town Center continues to grow and become an urban center for Virginia Beach.

Edited by cpeakesqr
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Let's be serious... Va. Beach's "165-block downtown" is nothing but a hope at this point. While Norfolk has had some setbacks (delays, no Granby), it seems to be doing very well compared to Town Center at the moment. It's premature to write off Norfolk just because Va. Beach put out a pretty PowerPoint with its very own Super Dome. With all that said, I hope Town Center continues to grow and become an urban center for Virginia Beach.

Actually I would say it would be a safe bet that Norfolk/VaBeach will be alot like the St Paul/Minneapolis area. Norfolk currently has a tiny downtown and VB has an even tinier downtown, but has more residents. Whether the 165 block downtown or the St Paul Quadrant happen or not, both cities are going to continue to be important factors to the region....which if you think about it, sucks for Portsmouth because if the area is going to be a two city metro, it should of been a Norfolk/Portsmouth region.

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Actually I would say it would be a safe bet that Norfolk/VaBeach will be alot like the St Paul/Minneapolis area. Norfolk currently has a tiny downtown and VB has an even tinier downtown, but has more residents. Whether the 165 block downtown or the St Paul Quadrant happen or not, both cities are going to continue to be important factors to the region....which if you think about it, sucks for Portsmouth because if the area is going to be a two city metro, it should of been a Norfolk/Portsmouth region.

How cool would it be if Norfolk and the Beach combined with Downtown Norfolk being considered "downtown" and VBTC acting as a "midtown" area all connected by LRT? I can really see Downtown Va Beach being a true hit. If the city uses the Pembroke Implementation Plan as a guide for development and gets some good private/ public partnerships going it could really turn into a "world class downtown". Will it surpass Norfolk? Possibly. Va Beach is a more desirable place to live than Norfolk. Build some affordable, dense, high rise housing in Pembroke and I guarantee they will be completely occupied. I'm almost positive the population of DT VB will pass Norfolk if it already hasn't. DT Norfolk and Va Beach is a true powerhouse if they work together.

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Let's be serious... Va. Beach's "165-block downtown" is nothing but a hope at this point. While Norfolk has had some setbacks (delays, no Granby), it seems to be doing very well compared to Town Center at the moment. It's premature to write off Norfolk just because Va. Beach put out a pretty PowerPoint with its very own Super Dome. With all that said, I hope Town Center continues to grow and become an urban center for Virginia Beach.

It's a plan for a strategic growth area in the city. Nothing more, but nothing less either? Who wrote Norfolk off? I just said it would be a two city metro area...I'm really not sure what the point of your entire response was?

My god people get very defensive over Norfolk the minute Va Beach is mentioned in a sentence :wacko:

Edited by mistermetaj
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It's a plan for a strategic growth area in the city. Nothing more, but nothing less either? Who wrote Norfolk off? I just said it would be a two city metro area...I'm really not sure what the point of your entire response was?

My god people get very defensive over Norfolk the minute Va Beach is mentioned in a sentence :wacko:

I just thought your comment was kinda ironic telling someone else to hope all they want, while making a remark that rested solely on a hope at this point. Does it look possible that Town Center could grow into a 165-block downtown? Sure it does. But just because the city releases some plans with some renderings doesn't make it inevitable. That was the point.

The "writing off Norfolk" comment was directed at Rokk. My response was more to what the entire discussion had become, not your post specifically mister.

Edited by cpeakesqr
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I just thought your comment was kinda ironic telling someone else to hope all they want, while making a remark that rested solely on a hope at this point. Does it look possible that Town Center could grow into a 165-block downtown? Sure it does. But just because the city releases some plans with some renderings doesn't make it inevitable. That was the point.

The "writing off Norfolk" comment was directed at Rokk. My response was more to what the entire discussion had become, not your post specifically mister.

Ok, I understand.

As for the irony of my comment, I think the only "hope" part is for the EXACT plan to come to fruition. As it stands now, the Pembroke area has been pegged for years as a "strategic growth area." Granted only recently have they been moving to rezone the area to high density, but the wheels are turning for a DT Va Beach and the concept is much more than "hope" at this point. Will it look EXACTLY like the powerpoint, no...but will it be built out in a manner as such, I think so.

To hope VA Beach does not have a DT as was my first post originally responding to is frivolous considering VA Beach's commitment to TC and putting in all the time and money into the "vision" they released as well as lightrail.

Even more so, if a DT Va Beach does not come to fruition at some point, it will be to the detrement of Norfolk who is banking on a lightrail connection really only made possible because Va Beach wants TC to grow much more through a connection with Norfolk. IF that were not the case, Va Beach would have no reason to connect.

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After more and more thinking, I believe that DT VB will blow right past DT Norfolk.. Just my thinking.

In the next 50 years MAYBE...but in the next decade or 2, it's highly unlikely. Va Beach is basically transforming a suburban business area into an urban growth area, a transition that will take time and require a perception change among its residents. Norfolk right now has the luxury of filling in many vacant and underutilized areas while expanding an already existing DT.

Hopefully both will grow at a nice pace together to form two large and unique downtowns near each other. Again, I think we would all be very happy to have a mid-Atlantic version of St Paul and Minneapolis.

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St. Paul/ Minneapolis is a great comparison when you think about it. They both compete with each other, but can both thrive regardless. Nobody really knows the future, but If i had to bet on it I would say VBTC will have more residents/ office space/ retail space/ quality of living within the next 15-20 years. Once the 17 block Town Center is completed they will have a working and living population of 24,000 with 4.3 million sq. feet of mixed use space.They already have more retail space. That's only 17 blocks! Imagine 10 times that.

Now don't get me wrong, I'm surely not writing Norfolk off. I will have to see Va Beach's plans come to fruition. But I'm just saying that the Beach has a lot more potential than Norfolk.

Edited by varider
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Let's hope not. While we continue our infighting, other metro areas will continue to surpass us. It's time for 1 city. Or at least 1 primary city.

I think the city is saying some good things that it hasn't said before:

1. Force residents to work in order to live there.

I agree that this would be a good thing, but what does it mean? As usual, the devil is in the details. Here are some scenarios to consider:

1. Someone living there has a job but gets laid off. Obviously, you don't kick him out on the street that same day. How long do you give him to get a job? Who monitors it?

2. How much work do they have to do? One day a week? One day a month?

3. What if someone is self-employed? What's the difference between not having a job and being self-employed but sales are way off?

4. Momma has a job but Daddy doesn't. Can he live there? How about Grandma?

5. Momma has a job but her two teenage sons do not. Can they live there?

6. Momma has a job but her two adult sons do not. Can they live there?

7. Momma has a job but two people unrelated to her do not. Can they live there? How about three people? Four?

8. How close do the relatives have to be to fall within the protective shelter of her job? Sons are probably okay. Step-sons, too. Cousins? Nephews? In-laws? Step-nephews? Nephews-in-law? Step-nephews-in-law?

Someone has to draw a line somewhere, and no matter where you draw it, somebody will be upset. And somebody will fall just on the wrong side of the line and ask to stretch the limit just a bit.

I suspect this is why it hasn't been made a requirement before. It sounds good, but in reality it is unenforceable.

Edited by virginia pe
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I agree that this would be a good thing, but what does it mean? As usual, the devil is in the details. Here are some scenarios to consider:

1. Someone living there has a job but gets laid off. Obviously, you don't kick him out on the street that same day. How long do you give him to get a job? Who monitors it?

2. How much work do they have to do? One day a week? One day a month?

3. What if someone is self-employed? What's the difference between not having a job and being self-employed but sales are way off?

4. Momma has a job but Daddy doesn't. Can he live there? How about Grandma?

5. Momma has a job but her two teenage sons do not. Can they live there?

6. Momma has a job but her two adult sons do not. Can they live there?

7. Momma has a job but two people unrelated to her do not. Can they live there? How about three people? Four?

8. How close do the relatives have to be to fall within the protective shelter of her job? Sons are probably okay. Step-sons, too. Cousins? Nephews? In-laws? Step-nephews? Nephews-in-law? Step-nephews-in-law?

Someone has to draw a line somewhere, and no matter where you draw it, somebody will be upset. And somebody will fall just on the wrong side of the line and ask to stretch the limit just a bit.

I suspect this is why it hasn't been made a requirement before. It sounds good, but in reality it is unenforceable.

This is exactly the current state of Tidewater Gardens. The person who receives the housing is working in order to meet the requirement but the other family members do not.

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The "writing off Norfolk" comment was directed at Rokk. My response was more to what the entire discussion had become, not your post specifically mister.

I don't mean to seem like I am writing off Norfolk. I was born and bred in Norfolk and I love my hometown. For better or for worse. But, that does not change my feeling that Va. Beach has a better vision for the future with their "downtown" than Norfolk appears to have with their downtown. Maybe I will be proved wrong. I would love that.

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I agree that this would be a good thing, but what does it mean? As usual, the devil is in the details. Here are some scenarios to consider:

1. Someone living there has a job but gets laid off. Obviously, you don't kick him out on the street that same day. How long do you give him to get a job? Who monitors it?

2. How much work do they have to do? One day a week? One day a month?

3. What if someone is self-employed? What's the difference between not having a job and being self-employed but sales are way off?

4. Momma has a job but Daddy doesn't. Can he live there? How about Grandma?

5. Momma has a job but her two teenage sons do not. Can they live there?

6. Momma has a job but her two adult sons do not. Can they live there?

7. Momma has a job but two people unrelated to her do not. Can they live there? How about three people? Four?

8. How close do the relatives have to be to fall within the protective shelter of her job? Sons are probably okay. Step-sons, too. Cousins? Nephews? In-laws? Step-nephews? Nephews-in-law? Step-nephews-in-law?

Someone has to draw a line somewhere, and no matter where you draw it, somebody will be upset. And somebody will fall just on the wrong side of the line and ask to stretch the limit just a bit.

I suspect this is why it hasn't been made a requirement before. It sounds good, but in reality it is unenforceable.

I will have to disagree as I think it is enforceable. I totally agree with your points, but I believe that's avenue to get away from the real purpose of temporary housing. Are we talking permanent housing or temporary housing? The problem with the public housing is that it has developed rules and regulations over the years that speak to permanent housing and not temporary. I would draw the line as it relates to temporary housing and let everything fall from there. I also believe the city has enough issues to exchange services for free room and board, IMO. Litter is a huge issue; why not use them to clean that up? Graffiti is an issue; why not use them to paint over that. And so on and so on. The mind set in those areas is that they want to go from 0 - 60, and the middle class would love to be at 60 but we can't afford it. They figure if they can't have it all, then they will take a lot for free.

I also believe its hard for us to stay on the subject collective because half are addressing it from a temporary housing standpoint and the other looks at it from a permanent housing standpoint. You have to draw a distinction..

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both cities are going to continue to be important factors to the region....which if you think about it, sucks for Portsmouth because if the area is going to be a two city metro, it should of been a Norfolk/Portsmouth region.

Considering their proximity (not to mention history), you're exactly right. At the same time, the fact that we're even having these debates must be amusing to other cities that are competing with us for business development.

As for the points about jobs above. I agree that there can be a multitude of scenarios, but I wouldn't necessarily take things so literally. The fact that the city is publically taking a stand against . . . lack of working . . . is very different from the stated positions of the past. It tends to make me think they are actually seeing the seriousness of this project.

Edited by Sky06
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I also believe its hard for us to stay on the subject collective because half are addressing it from a temporary housing standpoint and the other looks at it from a permanent housing standpoint. You have to draw a distinction..

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I thought the idea was to replace the city parks like Tidewater Park with permanent homes where former residents of the housing project take classes on home ownership and are offered other city services such as job training. One aspect I would imagine of the St. Paul's plan is a community center designed to assist former residents of Tidewater Park to make the transition from "temporary" public housing to permanent home ownership. This has worked quite well from some of the stories I have heard here in DC. Right around our new over priced tax payer financed baseball stadium the city is building hundreds of units of mix market rate and below market rate housing. The idea is to return the more responsible and hard working residents of the projects to their former neighborhood. I beileve the city guesstimated that about 40% of the residents will return while others will move somewhere else in the city or move to the suburbs most likely Maryland. I cannot tell you how nice the area is turning out to be. The few residents that have returned appear to really appreciate the fact that they are homeowners now. This can work and judging by the outcomes in Norfolk and other cities the idea of sprinkling market rate and below market rate housing together has been and will continue to be a smashing success.

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I think it's simpler than that. Every Lease I've ever signed outlined all of the conditions that needed to be met and required me to list every person who would occupy the apartment. Failure to abide by those terms are grounds for eviction. We can debate the specifics, but enforcement should be a simple matter, particularly if the terms are laid out at the beginning.

Well, I guess that's my point.

If you set these terms but never enforce them, then you are bound to have something spin out of control. The concept of public housing has spun out of control because no one enforced the subtle problems, only the big problems (Hell, one huge one is that they do NOT require them to work). There are probably violations that happen daily over there, but no one is looking for violations on that level, or the big ones that hit there desk.

I believe things happen in a gradual form, often times because people have turned a blind eye for whatever reason. This can happen in positive and negative form, it is also the reason why I believe Urbanlife's and varider's standpoint when they said it will work, I just do not believe it should be there.

Oh my bad, they need a bowling alley in DT. lol

Edited by brikkman
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Well, I guess that's my point.

If you set these terms but never enforce them, then you are bound to have something spin out of control. The concept of public housing has spun out of control because no one enforced the subtle problems, only the big problems (Hell, one huge one is that they do NOT require them to work). There are probably violations that happen daily over there, but no one is looking for violations on that level, or the big ones that hit there desk.

I believe things happen in a gradual form, often times because people have turned a blind eye for whatever reason. This can happen in positive and negative form, it is also the reason why I believe Urbanlife's and varider's standpoint when they said it will work, I just do not believe it should be there.

Oh my bad, they need a bowling alley in DT. lol

Then that would be my question, where should low income housing be? If it is best to decentralize it and spread it throughout the city, then why should this new neighborhood be different than any other neighborhood in the city?

An experiment here, lets say the city needs to replace 650 units of low income housing, but has the chance now to do it right. SPQ is currently at a very low denisty rating and the land is poorly being used. 500 units could be absorbed into this area and combined with market rate housing very easily when density is increased. You reduce the size of each building used for low income to 6 buildings spread throughout the district, also 10 more buildings have a mixed number of housing units in them that each have 10 units that are low income (and the other 55units are market rate).

At those numbers, there would be 6 buildings within SPQ that would have 65 units for low income housing (mix of studio, one bedroom, and a few two bedroom units.)

Then there would be another 100 units that would be spread throughout the other buildings that are at market rate (which happens all the time). It would be less than 15% of the building that would be affordable housing in each of these 10 buildings...and actually would probably be alot lower because these would be buildings that were a bit taller.

Then that leaves 150 units of low income housing that could then be built throughout the city and absorbed into other neighborhoods...some of it would be taken into single family homes, duplex homes, small apartment buildings, and other mixed use projects.

But if one were to say I wish to decentralize a low income housing neighborhood, but do not want it in this one neighborhood, who is to say there will be many other neighborhoods in the city that would be willing to say the same thing, which would then force low income housing to be built in a limited number of places, which would in turn keep up this cycle of ghetto neighborhoods. In order to break that cycle, all neighborhoods should be willing to accept people from all income levels...no neighborhood should be willing to accept unwarranted crime, not even low income neighborhoods.

In order to reduce crime, one must be willing to change the way they think about living and their surroundings they live in. Often times, people that live in low income housing are not the ones that are committing crimes, but they are often times the ones subjected to it because of the little control and the lack of care that the city is placing on such areas. When you have mixed income neighborhoods, the level of care and safety changes and is no longer about one's income, it is about the common good.

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This really is a hard topic to discuss, I believe the plan is to put the low income housing closest to the tidewater drive end of SPQ in 2-3 story townhouses.. That's much better than spread out all over the place, plus people coming downtown probably won't even know it's low income housing, and sadly enough, they'll be further away from downtown, which so many people fear because of them (IDK why). I'm a fan of the plan. It will extend downtown across St. Paul's Blvd, increase the downtown population, create a mixed income community for middle class residents, hopefully bring more retail/ storefronts and create more jobs in the center of the city. Now all we got to do is way for 10-15 years.

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This really is a hard topic to discuss, I believe the plan is to put the low income housing closest to the tidewater drive end of SPQ in 2-3 story townhouses.. That's much better than spread out all over the place, plus people coming downtown probably won't even know it's low income housing, and sadly enough, they'll be further away from downtown, which so many people fear because of them (IDK why). I'm a fan of the plan. It will extend downtown across St. Paul's Blvd, increase the downtown population, create a mixed income community for middle class residents, hopefully bring more retail/ storefronts and create more jobs in the center of the city. Now all we got to do is way for 10-15 years.

I think I am starting to see your perspective on on this SPQ plan. I guess I need to ask you this: Is it your assumption, under the current make up and density of DT, that building out this plan (as it currently is, SPQ) would make our DT more successful essentially by adding additional people and new homes to the vicinity of DT and that in turn will make our DT better and more bustling?

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