brikkman

Granby Tower

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You are correct. I just moved out of Charlotte to Chicago b/c my finance company of 800 people was completely shut down. There have been many more layoffs in Charlotte than reported in the press (Wachovia Mortgage, EquiFirst, Wells, etc...). However the property near downtown is still doing really well, but suburban properties are not moving at all. It's like that everywhere right now though.

I really hope Granby gets built b/c it would be a great addition to your fine city.

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Drove across the HRBT on Monday. Appears no progress at all on the Willoughby Spit development. Fundamentally, I don't really see any difference between GT and the Spectrum at WS. Just an interesting contrast in the reactions. Fully understand the underlying reasons for the differences......

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Drove across the HRBT on Monday. Appears no progress at all on the Willoughby Spit development. Fundamentally, I don't really see any difference between GT and the Spectrum at WS. Just an interesting contrast in the reactions. Fully understand the underlying reasons for the differences......

The Spectrums delays are totally different from Granby Tower, financing was never the issue.

Now, Gregor says he "expects" the first building to be finished by fall or winter of 2008.

So what's the hold up? City approval.

The construction is on hold until Norfolk grants the developer a final building permit, then the work will resume "right away," Gregor said. The preparatory work was done under a less comprehensive permit.

The last obstacle keeping The Spectrum from getting a building permit is the city's concern about low water pressure at the site, Gregor said. The developer plans to spend $600,000 for a water tank and other equipment to fix the problem, he said.

"It's been a slow, steady process because the fire department had to be involved, the department of public utilities had to be involved and the building department had to be involved."

Gregor said, "I don't think there was any dissension. It was just a matter of how to get everyone to agree on this thing."

The current water system for the far end of Willoughby is not strong enough to meet city regulations governing minimum water pressure for fire safety. The solution arrived at has been "verbally OK'd " by key officials, Gregor said.

Gregor said Monday that new plans will be submitted this week. If all goes as expected, the building permit should be granted 30 days later and construction should resume in "late fall."

This came out in an article printed this past summer. Admittedly were past late fall but the situation with the Spectrum and the situation with Granby seem like two completely different issues to me.

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The Spectrums delays are totally different from Granby Tower, financing was never the issue.
Not to go Tel on you, but the underlying reason for the delays in both is the fundamental weakness of the residential RE market. If GT were 100% pre-sold, with qualified borrowers with firm committment letters, a Union Mission resident could get it financed. Problem is, down scaling baby boomers, which were a prime market for GT (according to the on-site RE agent), can't get their equity out of their Chesapeake 4K sq. ft. home. Richmond folks can't take out a second for the down on a Spectrum unit -- same problem, different locations.

Was in Miami a few weeks ago -- at least 10 display ads from attorneys in the alternative news weekly down there for "Can't get your condo deposit back?" The number of high rise condo towers at the south end of Miami Beach is just staggering -- as are the prices. Talk down there is, that there has been a huge influx of Europeans, seeking to spend their inflated Euros in a location that is highly desirable to the European market. Unfortunately, HR isn't quite in that category.....

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Just wondering since all the cranes are gone....I guess that is why the Web cam is not working. Today, is the first time I have check in about a month. I saw the article on the first page of the finance section of the VP about the 1.38M in liens. Anyone got any direct information from the sales office or Marathon Development since all this news has broken? Any buyers out there, that put down the 5% in Escrow? If so, give us your viewpoint on this stalled situation?

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The cameras not down, but it is pointed at something that I can't quite discern right now. Looks like a smudge on a window. Maybe it was bumped or moved.

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Curiously, GT has no listings on MLS (at least under $400K). Obviously means nothing in the grand scheme of things but still curious. And obviously financing hasn't been secured before the end of the year. first2sign, have you heard anything directly from Marathon or the developer?

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Latest Granby Tower Lein: $1.7 Million for Pile Driving

So much for the work continuing with two pile drivers soon....

NORFOLK

A fourth Granby Tower subcontractor has taken legal action to be paid for work done on the stalled $180.5 million downtown luxury condominium project.

Ford Pile Foundations Inc. filed a lien for about $1.7 million against the property at Granby Street and Brambleton Avenue that is owned by 515 Granby LLC, the entity developing the project. The lien, filed Friday in Norfolk Circuit Court, seeks payment for labor, materials and the cost of rental equipment to install temporary sheet piling and permanent concrete foundation piles.

The Virginia Beach-based company's claim brings to roughly $3.1 million the amount of claims brought against the project by its contractors.

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Yawn....Knew this was coming. They were the only contractor left to have not filed a lien and their 90 days had to be up soon. The pilot pretty much alluded to it in the last article. Maybe now they can get away from this Granby article per week thing and wait until there's real news to report about the project.

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Let's hope they didn't spend the deposit money on the construction work.

I know you all think I'm negative, but it's more about my feelings towards fraud, and people being taken. This move to people counting on homes for their retirement savings is bad.

I *really* thought the project was going to happen once the construction started.

And no, Hampton Roads is not at the front of the housing bubble. There are 60+ metro areas that are all in it together (yes we are one). My friend in San Jose has seen the price drop on the house down the street $150K in 6 months, and still won't sell. Boston, parts of Florida, Las Vegas, Arizona and California are first. There are neighborhoods in Arizona full of new homes that aren't really near any jobs. They were purchased mostly by speculators from other areas who thought "hey that is a nice house for a cheap price, much better than I can get here, let me use my equity in my California home to buy that investment and flip it." Now these neighborhoods full of new homes, often never lived in, are all for sale with no potential buyers since it's not near work. It's totally nuts. There are photos on the bubble blog of these streets where every house is for sale. It's absolutely nuts.

It's like in "Chicken Run"... when Mr. and Mrs. Tweedy throw all the feed in the chicken pen. All of the other chickens go nuts eating it all, but the one is telling them to stop because they are just fattening up the chickens for slaughter.

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Let's hope they didn't spend the deposit money on the construction work.

I know you all think I'm negative, but it's more about my feelings towards fraud, and people being taken. This move to people counting on homes for their retirement savings is bad.

I *really* thought the project was going to happen once the construction started.

And no, Hampton Roads is not at the front of the housing bubble. There are 60+ metro areas that are all in it together (yes we are one). My friend in San Jose has seen the price drop on the house down the street $150K in 6 months, and still won't sell. Boston, parts of Florida, Las Vegas, Arizona and California are first. There are neighborhoods in Arizona full of new homes that aren't really near any jobs. They were purchased mostly by speculators from other areas who thought "hey that is a nice house for a cheap price, much better than I can get here, let me use my equity in my California home to buy that investment and flip it." Now these neighborhoods full of new homes, often never lived in, are all for sale with no potential buyers since it's not near work. It's totally nuts. There are photos on the bubble blog of these streets where every house is for sale. It's absolutely nuts.

It's like in "Chicken Run"... when Mr. and Mrs. Tweedy throw all the feed in the chicken pen. All of the other chickens go nuts eating it all, but the one is telling them to stop because they are just fattening up the chickens for slaughter.

I'm a sucker for any reference to Chicken Run. A touchstone of brilliance from my (younger) youth.

It's funny because I'm watching Property Ladder on TLC (a show about flipping houses, ESPECIALLY in those sorts of markets Tel mentioned above). You would see these ridiculous success stories the first few seasons, but now most of the flippers struggle to break even... or even sell. It's a bad market in a lot of places... and to be honest guys, we might need to bust out the dead horse icon some day soon. Even if financing gets together on this building, which I would love to see, the reputation of the project has been completely destroyed - and rightfully so.

Even if Granby Tower goes by the wayside... there is still hope! It's valuable property at a major intersection in a booming downtown. If the property goes up for sale, I'm willing to bet a company with more sense will come along to develop it and hopefully emulate the grandeur and scale of GT. Here's hoping.

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I'm a sucker for any reference to Chicken Run. A touchstone of brilliance from my (younger) youth.

It's funny because I'm watching Property Ladder on TLC (a show about flipping houses, ESPECIALLY in those sorts of markets Tel mentioned above). You would see these ridiculous success stories the first few seasons, but now most of the flippers struggle to break even... or even sell. It's a bad market in a lot of places... and to be honest guys, we might need to bust out the dead horse icon some day soon. Even if financing gets together on this building, which I would love to see, the reputation of the project has been completely destroyed - and rightfully so.

Even if Granby Tower goes by the wayside... there is still hope! It's valuable property at a major intersection in a booming downtown. If the property goes up for sale, I'm willing to bet a company with more sense will come along to develop it and hopefully emulate the grandeur and scale of GT. Here's hoping.

And I guess that's my issue. I'm afraid that they will build something less grand. Honestly, the only thing I could think of that is not a tower that would work would be the library or they turn the abandoned hotel on Granby back into a hotel (LOL). I lay emphasis to the other side of Granby with this project. I believe this type of development would jump start development on that end of Granby. St. Paul

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Or like putting a balloon inside a bottle so that you can still blow it up some, but only a little because of the bottle. :)

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I won't bother posting the link cause it's only a little blurb, but another company has filed for a $281K lien against GT, this one for the pile driving equipment i believe. It's possible that only Turner has yet to file for liens against Marathon...?

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It's possible that only Turner has yet to file for liens against Marathon...?

Don't be surprised if Turner decides not to file any liens. Here's why:

  1. Unlike W.O. Grubb and American Pile Driving Equipment, they did not have a lot of expensive equipment tied up for months.
  2. Unlike Atlantic Metrocast, they have not paid for materials or shipping costs.
  3. Unlike Suburban Gradding and Ford Pile, they have not already paid a large labor crew. Probably just a superintendent, maybe an assistant. Other home office personnel like a project manager, estimators, clerical, etc. who would be splitting their time between GT and other projects, would be charged to general overhead.
  4. Turner probably anticipated some "wasted" time and expenses in getting the job started. Every project has snags and holdups at the beginning. Turner would have included something for these expenses in their bid to Marathon. If the project gets built, they will get at least some of the money they spent so far. If it dies, they will absorb it as overhead.
  5. The lien filers are all subcontractors, who market their services to other contractors. Their customers understand the lien laws and how the game is played. Turner markets to building owners - they understand business, but may be involved in a large construction project only once or twice in their careers. They are not as savvy when it comes to liens. They look at the general contractor's record and say "They've filed liens on four of their last ten projects. We do not want to deal with that kind of a contractor." To avoid getting that type of reputation, Turner may, as a marketing strategy, decide not to file liens and to absorb their costs as overhead.

    I am not saying that they will not file a lien, but it is possible they may not.

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Don't be surprised if Turner decides not to file any liens. Here's why:
  1. Unlike W.O. Grubb and American Pile Driving Equipment, they did not have a lot of expensive equipment tied up for months.
  2. Unlike Atlantic Metrocast, they have not paid for materials or shipping costs.
  3. Unlike Suburban Gradding and Ford Pile, they have not already paid a large labor crew. Probably just a superintendent, maybe an assistant. Other home office personnel like a project manager, estimators, clerical, etc. who would be splitting their time between GT and other projects, would be charged to general overhead.
  4. Turner probably anticipated some "wasted" time and expenses in getting the job started. Every project has snags and holdups at the beginning. Turner would have included something for these expenses in their bid to Marathon. If the project gets built, they will get at least some of the money they spent so far. If it dies, they will absorb it as overhead.
  5. The lien filers are all subcontractors, who market their services to other contractors. Their customers understand the lien laws and how the game is played. Turner markets to building owners - they understand business, but may be involved in a large construction project only once or twice in their careers. They are not as savvy when it comes to liens. They look at the general contractor's record and say "They've filed liens on four of their last ten projects. We do not want to deal with that kind of a contractor." To avoid getting that type of reputation, Turner may, as a marketing strategy, decide not to file liens and to absorb their costs as overhead.

    I am not saying that they will not file a lien, but it is possible they may not.
I'm in agreement with what virginia pe stated, there really isn't a need for Turner to file since the project was underway for such a short period of time, and they are simply providing the construction management and oversight. At this stage in a project, not a whole lot of time & money is devoted to the site by the gc just as he'd stated about having supplied probably just a superintendant and perhaps an asst. super or maybe a field admin of some type. It's definately resting on those subcontractors that actually put in some money for equipment and larger groups of personnel.

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So other than an official announcement, this project is dead in the water? While this may be discouraging that GT won't be built, I believe something significant will eventually go on that plot. It may take 5-10 years though. This would be a great location for a Four Seasons hotel!

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A condo tower will eventually go there. Like erdogs said, maybe a few years down the road. However, our market will not support a four seasons hotel anytime in the foreseable future. I'd love one though, many four seasons projects are awesome towers.

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This may be a stupid question, but was just something I was thinking about...

In the event that down the road another condo building, or any other type for that matter, gets built on this spot, what exactly will happen to all the piles that were previously hammered into place for granby tower?

Would a new project somehow incorporate the existing piles into it's structural design, or would a new project be forced to remove them all somehow and start fresh again?

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This may be a stupid question, but was just something I was thinking about...

In the event that down the road another condo building, or any other type for that matter, gets built on this spot, what exactly will happen to all the piles that were previously hammered into place for granby tower?

Would a new project somehow incorporate the existing piles into it's structural design, or would a new project be forced to remove them all somehow and start fresh again?

It's not a stupid question, it's a very astute question. Unfortunately, there is no good answer. It depends on how many piles have been driven, their location, and the specifics of the new building (height, construction type, use, etc.).

It is possible to extract piles, but it is very difficult. For the soil in Norfolk, when piles are driven, the vibration creates a quicksand condition in the soil immediately adjacent to the pile. A few hours after driving, the "quick" condition disappears, and the soil "freezes" around the pile. So when the pile is being driven, it may take 10 or 12 hammer blows to drive the pile one foot. The next day, it may take 30 or 40. It would take an equal amount of energy to pull it out. To extract the pile, they may try to vibrate it to recreate the quick condition. It is difficult to get the vibration down the length of the pile, and the vibration could damage the federal courthouse and other adjacent buildings. Another method is to drive a large pipe around the concrete pile to break the pile free, then extract the pile and the pipe before the soil re-freezes. For each pile extracted, you have to drive another one and then pull out both. So while extraction is possible, it is very expensive.

That leaves two options. The piles could be incorporated into the foundation for the new building. Depending on how many piles have been driven and their location, re-using the piles may force the column locations in the new building to match exactly the original GT's columns. Depending on the building type, that may not be desirable, or it may severaly constrain the design of the new building.

The other option is to locate the columns for the new building so new piles can be driven in locations that will not conflict with the existing piles. Again, this could place additional constraints on the column locations for the new building. Or, it could be a combination of the two options - re-use some of the piles, and abandon others in place.

Keep in mind there is already one big constraint on column location - Verizon's main trunk line that services most of Norfolk runs east-west across the site, dividing it in half. The type of building to be built also influences the decision. An office building usually requires a wider column spacer than a condo, since tenants like open office layouts with fewer columns. Also, if the new building is 10 stories, it will be easier to work around all these constraints than if it is another 30-story building, since the column loads will be considerable lower.

Obviously, there are a lot if variables to be considered. However the future designers approach it, it will not be easy.

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It is possible to extract piles, but it is very difficult. For the soil in Norfolk, when piles are driven, the vibration creates a quicksand condition in the soil immediately adjacent to the pile. A few hours after driving, the "quick" condition disappears, and the soil "freezes" around the pile. So when the pile is being driven, it may take 10 or 12 hammer blows to drive the pile one foot. The next day, it may take 30 or 40. It would take an equal amount of energy to pull it out. To extract the pile, they may try to vibrate it to recreate the quick condition. It is difficult to get the vibration down the length of the pile, and the vibration could damage the federal courthouse and other adjacent buildings. Another method is to drive a large pipe around the concrete pile to break the pile free, then extract the pile and the pipe before the soil re-freezes. For each pile extracted, you have to drive another one and then pull out both. So while extraction is possible, it is very expensive.
Wow, I had no idea it was so involved to remove them from the ground. Answered my question better then I could have expected, thanks!

What a mess indeed for whoever develops the site in the future...

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Or just put in a skate park :-)

Its been a while since anyone wrote something up here. My granddad Just signed a contract with Granby Tower last week, So its looks like there still signing. Its been about 3 weeks since any movement was at the Granby Tower site. Just glad to see something today. Couple cranes moving stuff, bulldozer digging stuff, trucks loading stuff to the lot. NOW JUST COME ON! BUILD IT ALREADY.. Time will tell..... But everyone patience is running thin. So I hope sometime in Feb they will announce something.

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