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River Tower (Under Construction)


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As seen from the Gather offices at the BB&T building. 

Went to the battleship Wisconsin with the fam today.  Got some pics of River Tower, and CHKD.  The far shot from the stern of the ship is a bit underwhelming but the close up gives a better look at it

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It’s bland, but knowing Norfolk, it could’ve been much worse. 

Someone needs to save that original design for something downtown. Don’t let it go to waste because of the boring fuddy-duddies. 

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3 hours ago, vdogg said:

This is such a bittersweet moment. I'm so happy to see this tower finally under construction, but I cry a little bit every time I see the original rendering. It should be noted that the architects that changed it to that uninspiring design were originally known as CMSS Architects (now Clark Nexson). Anybody who's been around this forum for a long time will recognize that name and remember just how bland their  designs used to be, so it all makes sense. I will say that the design of their own tower at Town Center isn't too bad, but I can't for the life of me understand why the developers changed architects like that.

CMSS Architects is part of Mason&Hanger, not Clark Nexson.  No affinity or affiliation with any of the three here :) 

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35 minutes ago, vaceltic said:

CMSS Architects is part of Mason&Hanger, not Clark Nexson.  No affinity or affiliation with any of the three here :) 

I could've sworn they changed their name and joined them or something. Now I have to dig up old articles. :lol:

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One weird quirk of mine is that I love downtowns that have an overpass going through the city, which Norfolk lacks.

But hopefully, soon we’ll start seeing a similar view from 264 on the Harbor Park, Gateway Tower, and SPQ. Like in the next five years. 

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This building along with the completed height increase to Norfolk General, the new EVMS building and the new CHKD building will create a new synergy in Fort Norfolk that will promote further redevelopment. These are the seeds that will bear more fruit.

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Main details from the Pilot, most of which we know. Opening in 2021, 24 stories tall, two restaurants, a lobby, and grand hall.

https://pilotonline.com/business/real-estate/article_5716c5ee-5a0c-11e9-97d3-27b3ade67179.html

Construction was supposed to begin in fall 2017 with residents moving in this year but Volder said the timeline changed after his general contractor, W.M. Jordan of Newport News, suggested a redesign that would make it “much more efficient to construct and operate.”

Like Willy18 said, someone was being cheap.

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So, I'm thinking we won't start to see this go vertical till late summer/early fall. Don't expect tower cranes soon, they've got a lot of demolition and site work to do before they even start driving piles.

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  • 3 weeks later...

https://rebusinessonline.com/hj-sims-arranges-201-1m-in-construction-financing-for-seniors-housing-project-in-norfolk/

No movement yet other than utility marking. Looks like the relocation process may take some time. They have officially closed on their financing though.

The second link describes the reason for the initial delay in financing.

https://seniorhousingnews.com/2019/04/17/transactions-financings-allyaligns-10m-funding-round-201m-financing-for-harbors-edge/

 “Harbor’s Edge accepted 10% deposits for the River Tower starting October 2017 and achieved 70% in presales by September 2018. Sims concurrently ran a bank request for a proposals process for a portion of the costs while developing the terms and offering documents for the fixed rate bonds. The strong balance sheet and operational history of Harbor’s Edge garnered a number of attractive proposals for bank financing that would be repaid first from initial entrance fee proceeds received from River Tower Residents. A challenge with the appraisal during the banks’ due diligence phase required a portion of the initial entrance fee bonds to be offered on a convertible subordinate basis to fixed rate bondholders.”

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They are certainly making up for lost time. Everything on the lot has been reduced to rubble. I fully expect them to have land cleared and ready for piles by the end of the month, perhaps even by the end of next week. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Drove by today and I noticed a large site around the corner with huge trailers. People were hanging W.M. Jordan signage on the chain-link fence. I asked them and they confirmed that this is the construction office site for River Tower.

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15 hours ago, Norf native said:

Looks like there’s a pile driver at the River Tower site. 

897217D3-D4D1-4A0C-88A2-F74E1455B810.jpeg

Yeah, it’s been there since last week but they haven’t done much with it yet. Usually takes about 3 months to drive piles so I’m anxious for them to start so that this thing can start going vertical.

I also imagine that they’ll probably use 2 pile drivers for this site.

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