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brikkman

More buildings, what about retail?

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Guys, I am very excited about the new structures that are going to grace our downtown area, but has anyone thought about the balance of retail vs. High rise structures. Once upon a time, Norfolk

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Retail is a part of almost every highrise going up right now. Grandy Tower will have a starbucks amongst other retail that I'm not sure of, Trader Tower will have a bank and a restaurant, Harbor Heights will have a GW marketplace. I think there are doing a good job of keeping the used mixed and the ground floor an interactive part of the downtown streetscape.

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The biggest mistake Norfolk has made with its towers is the amount of isolation they have to the street. Main Street is the best example of this. The BoA sits on a pedestal. But these new towers seem to take in account the sidewalks and are making retail open out to the street from all around the buildings, rather than just into the building.

Now, filling these retail places is a different thing. When Granby opens, much of the downtown activity and life will be near the waterfront or on Granby.

I can say this, with the development that could be happening on the eastside of downtown, City Hall will be an important street to connect the ends of downtown together. There needs to be alot of focus on the Light Rail stop on City Hall and the Snyder Block needs to address its sidewalks. I think if these key things happen in the next ten years, Norfolk will be on kick ass east coast city.

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I was just wondering because I was down on granby a few weeks ago for lunch getting some pizza, and I was talking to one of the cooks about the station 2 spot. He told me they wanted 12 grand a mouth for rent and it can no longer play music. I've also noticed a few shops and dinners close up without anyone occuping the space. That is so interesting to see, its signs of some digression wouldn't you agree?

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I don't think I would call it a depression. Perhaps a few owners are, shall we say, optimistic about the rent their commercial spaces can pull in right now. Overall I'd say that the retail environment in downtown Norfolk is much healthier than it has been in many years. I agree that it would be nice to see the new projects address the street in a meaningful way, but I think this is being done- at least with Granby Tower.

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I would like to see them carve out a few walls at MacArther (on Main street side I believe) on the outside of the partking garage so that people can walk up to get something to eat or whatever they choose to put in those spots. That will livein' up the area, add more foot traffic, and give them the option to go inside of the mall if they choose to. I guess I do not want MacArther center to be point of everything in downtown Norfolk. I would like to be able to walk around and entertain myself just the same.

Side Note ** 12 grand is a helleva rent fee. I think its discourging people from buying up the property down there, at least that's the impression I got from the cooks down there.

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yeah, I have always felt the biggest mistake with that mall was its access to the street. It should of been lined with smaller storefronts facing the streets. That way the whole building could of been put to use for the city.

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yeah, I have always felt the biggest mistake with that mall was its access to the street. It should of been lined with smaller storefronts facing the streets. That way the whole building could of been put to use for the city.

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building the mall like it is now back then was hard enough, but I think it would have been an even harder sell had it been "open-air" or the like. Suburbanites feel safer in an enclosed mall like MacArthur, and at the time (and still mostly now), suburbanites use the mall. If it were now and they wanted to build it, I think the mall would have a good chance to the the open-air, walkable type we want.

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building the mall like it is now back then was hard enough, but I think it would have been an even harder sell had it been "open-air" or the like. Suburbanites feel safer in an enclosed mall like MacArthur, and at the time (and still mostly now), suburbanites use the mall. If it were now and they wanted to build it, I think the mall would have a good chance to the the open-air, walkable type we want.

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as much as I don't like the fact of a large mall downtown, but very true comment of where the mall comes from. It was such a huge risk to do something like this in downtown Norfolk. I am happy it was because without it, I don't think Norfolk would be having this kind of effect that it has now.

The city may of lost some of its urban integrate with this building, but it traded it for new life, and I think that was a worth while trade to make.

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I was thinking more like small boutiques and quick places to grab something eat (I.E; Sub shops, starbucks, maybe a walk up pizza slice deal). This would encourage foot traffic around the mall as well as in the mall; this would also make sense for the coming light rail system.

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I was thinking more like small boutiques and quick places to grab something eat (I.E; Sub shops, starbucks, maybe a walk up pizza slice deal). This would encourage foot traffic around the mall as well as in the mall; this would also make sense for the coming light rail system.

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Are there street vendors under umbrellas selling everything from hot dogs to gourmet lunches in downtown Norfolk? I don't recall seeing them on my recent noontime visit.

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Are there street vendors under umbrellas selling everything from hot dogs to gourmet lunches in downtown Norfolk? I don't recall seeing them on my recent noontime visit.

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Gustos... there is also Subway under "The Gym Downtown."

A big issue with cities and retail is, everything closes after 6pm or 9pm. The whole line of NYC never sleeps is bogus. After 9pm there are metal doors covering everything except resturants, clubs, and a few hot spots that are uber commercial.

I didn't realize the asking rent for Station2 spot was $12G's. That is Wright's building, IIRC, and 411 Granby is above station 2? Or no?

There are some retail businesses moving off of Granby. I'd imagine the landlords (what a funny term) are trying to jack rents thru the roof. There is still lots of activity hitting the resturants (I don't watch the numbers, but I see the traffic). It would be interesting to see the numbers, because at some point the increasing costs of living will show up as lost business.

I take that back, I do know that the Blue Plate was having issues. Something about the owner had several resturants and a bunch of Real Estate investments, and the RE stuff was taking a hit or something. When I worked in Downtown Norfolk, I originally ate out all the time at lunch but myself and coworkers started bringing our lunches as it got too expensive to eat out everyday. 99 cent can of Chef-Boy-Ar-Dee or a packed sandwich can easily add up to $200 in savings in a month. People in the elevator would make comments about "Yea me too because of gas prices" and what not.

The apartment building I live in over in Freemason recentl;y rent thru some steep rent increases. Now a number of units are empty.

I do miss working down there though.

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I think that's true, I would have never thought that the Irish Pub place would stay empty for long, but it has. I've peeked in a few times and it has a fantastic layout; I thought any and everyone would jump on the opportunity to grab that place. It is also another great structure a few feet from the Union Mission that has recently been emptied out. You can see straight to the back when they have the lights on, beautiful brick and pretty decent depth as well. Nice spot for a club or classy dinning. Which brings up another question (not to say that these chains are classy), but you would have thought Applebee

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I saw a very fancy looking restaurant at the foot of Granby Street, and I think it was in a bank building. What's its name?

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I've wondered that about such chains... I understand they have locations at MacArthur and other locations, but nothing ON Granby? I'm not saying we need a chain restaurant explosion along Granby (quite the opposite, actually), but it was just general curiosity. With the rents increasing, however, the chains may be the only places that can afford it soon..

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That was my thought as well.........

I don't think it would be too bad, as long as they do not drop there entire building onto Granby. I would rather see them use what Granby currently has in place, it would create a different atmosphere for their chains.

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I saw a very fancy looking restaurant at the foot of Granby Street, and I think it was in a bank building. What's its name?

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