Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

beltwayboy08

Is Virginia finally over its "fear of heights"?

45 posts in this topic

Having heard about almost every one of virginia's cities getting it's new tallest building, i'd say it's safe to assume that we have finally broken our streak of "short" buildings. do you think this will continue? will our cities keep getting higher or will this be merely a good streak? look at tysons, arlington, norfolk, va beach, richmond........ can we keep it going? when the housing market opens up again, hopefully we can add some new condo towers that wont be as limited as granby. what do you guys think?? will it keep on? :o

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Having heard about almost every one of virginia's cities getting it's new tallest building, i'd say it's safe to assume that we have finally broken our streak of "short" buildings. do you think this will continue? will our cities keep getting higher or will this be merely a good streak? look at tysons, arlington, norfolk, va beach, richmond........ can we keep it going? when the housing market opens up again, hopefully we can add some new condo towers that wont be as limited as granby. what do you guys think?? will it keep on? :o

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i like the buildings in both of these areas. they are a little out of style, but all the new ones will be modern and wont have all flat tops. they will also be much taller. also, nova had more and taller buildings than anywhere in the state besides richmond. its our whole state that is now getting over our fear of heights. i hope we get over it and keep building up in wrban areas.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

our tallest tower was the james madison building in richmond at a shrimpy 449 ft. built in the 70's. now, we have just completed our new tallest at 530 ft! there are 2 towers that are proposed and underconstruction that are taller than the james monroe tower now. i think (i hope) this is a new trend. with the northern virginia counties attempting to fix traffic issues, and trying to build high density near public transportation, we know nova is back in the game. norfolk vah beach are getting a light rail to help thier traffic which is sure to beef up property values, and attract higher density for commuter reasons, that area is sure to see more redevelopment (especially near the TC). and richmond with its proposed 600 ft.er. i think and hope we have finally broken our barrier. virginia has grown from little more than the mother of presidents and farms, to the 12th largest state population, with all the modernty that comes along with it in about 30 of 40 years. thats a pretty quick transformation. this speedy population boom accounts for roads not being up to par and is why we have such a traffic issue. with that traffic issue, and all the people that cause it, we have a higher demand for high density and highrises. if alabama can have a 700 fter, and oklahoma can have a 700 fter, why cant virginia, a state with millions more in population, some of the most important government agencies and 20 fortune 500 companies? it will happen soon! :thumbsup:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
very nice!! btw, good pix of the lightening vdogg! i cant wait to see the TC complete! every new thing impresses me.

so after that 21 story tower next to the westin and that 4 of 5 story brick one on the other side, will that be it as far as buildings go? what will go up out side of, but near the TC as far as redevelopment goes? when i was there, i saw lost of warehouse areas and open parkinglots that are sure to get a makeover. right??

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
A sketch of another office tower has already been released which would be on the parking lot behind the Cosmo next to One Columbus Center.

After what you mentioned and that though, the only spots left would be Taco Bell (nothing will happen there for a long time) and the lot next to Ruth's Chris. I've heard so much about that lot I don't know what to believe!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
You really are eager to get all of Pembroke redeveloped, aren't you? Patience. TC isn't even built out yet. There are still two office towers to go (one slated to begin next year) plus the mid-rise office you mention and a mid-rise entertainment/condo building between the Westin and the Cosmo. News about the Landing, which is a residential/retail complex to be built across Independence from TC, is coming in a few weeks. Construction of City View and Cornerstone, which are within five minutes of TC, are underway. There's also a development planned off of Euclid. Combined, then you're looking at over 1,000 new residential units. We're still waiting on the 10-story multi-use Town Center West to start construction a block west of TC. I believe the Convergence Center on Bonney is one building away from build-out. If you combine those two projects with the ones planned for TC, then you're talking about over 800,000 sqft of Class A office space.

The market has to absorb these new spaces. It takes time.

From your other posts, you appear to really want the redevelopment of Pembroke Mall. A quick aerial comparison of Pembroke Mall and TC shows that the mall property is at least 1.25 times the size of TC. Redeveloping it will take time just like it's going to take TC almost 15 years to achieve build-out. Also, the market has to be right. You don't want to tear down a money generator to build something that will take a long time to recoup the investment. Unlike Coliseum Mall which was losing national chains, Pembroke has gotten national chains to come on board with its recent renovations. That means the owners are making good rent. They need the market demand and rents for high-rise space to exceed not only what their getting now but the capital and O&M costs (i.e. construction loans and long-term building maintenance) of the new structure. I don't see that happening until we finish with TC and the Landing which means at least 10 and more likely 20 years from today.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The only major store at Pembroke Mall that seems to be of enduring quality (as a store) is the Sears, which isn't even part of the Pembroke Mall site and is under different ownership. But I guess it could be a long time before the Mall re-invents itself. Pembroke has already undergone the decline that was experienced over in Hampton at Coliseum Mall. It is now a third tier shopping magnet, well behind Lynnhaven, MacArthur and Greebrier Malls. But access to Pembroke remains very good (most of the time). Lynnhaven is becoming a bit dated, and some of the neighborhoods surrounding it are in decline.

Virginia Beach economic development types believe that Pembroke will remain a retail mall for the forseeable future. Maybe it will be gradually upgraded as it is influenced by Town Center? Time will tell. I think it will tug a bit at Lynnhaven's profits, but not until some better establishments are landed at Pembroke. But I don't see anything big happening at Pembroke Mall now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


I swear that i had heard somthing about pembroke getting some highrises??? thats the basis of my interest. i even saw the renderings. they wanted to put a ped. bridge in too. i was pretty sure they wouldnt redevelop the whole thing at once, but i had heard rumors of both.

but they are building a few things near TC, so im happy. I want to see the TC be a skyline like norfolk.

btw, how tall is the westin topped out? i heard it was taller than 508. is it 529? if so, it would beat baltimore's tallest, legg mason tower!!! like i said before, we need some big ones!! arkansas, alabama, oklahoma, pennsylvania, georgia and nebraska have us beat and theyre not as important to the nation and most dont have as many people. We are long over due for some good skylines!!! alabama's new one is 745 feet!!! its nice looking! we need stuff like this. if these states can support skylines like these, virginia surely can, and should! :dontknow:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
so aside from the 21 story tower up front that had been announced like a month ago, there is another one? how big!!??!! :blush::yahoo:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Westin is 525 ft tall. That's still shorter than the one in raleigh. Hoobo. I believe beltwayboy is referring to the RSA Battlehouse tower in Mobile which was completed this year. It is indeed 745 feet tall.

mayor_chief_rsa.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The pedestrian bridge is happening. The renderings are likely the City's vision for area or part of Kimley Horn's renderings when they did a road feasibility study to undo the traffic mess next to TC.

I believe Philadelphia and Atlanta are fairly important cities. The tallest buildings in Tulsa and Little Rock are over 2 decades old. Birmingham is not getting a 745 feet tall building. That is just a proposal and a rumored one at that. And Omaha has some big F-500 companies compared to the ones in Norfolk and Richmond. Also, with the rise of VB, Chesapeake, and NN (Norfolk) and Henrico Co (Richmond) and the decentralization of NoVa, Birmingham is not getting a 745 feet tall building.I hate to break it to you, but RBC Plaza that is under construction in Raleigh is slated to be 538 feet tall, 30 feet taller than the Westin.

edit: from vdogg's comment, I looked up the RSA Battle House Tower. Turns out it is in Mobile and not Birmingham. I didn't realize that Mobile had so many high-rises. It gives Birmingham a run for its money. That building is a behemoth. It towers over everything in town like the Westin towers over TC/Pembroke. I like pretending to stay on topic. Here's a good link Tallest Buildings by State. Most are office buildings. I wonder what that says about HR.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

btw!! VAH BEACH HAS A TALLER BUILDING THAT BALTIMORE NOW! THE WESTIN AT 525 BEATS THE LEGG MASON TOWER BY 3'! at least we can compare to someone...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
btw!! VAH BEACH HAS A TALLER BUILDING THAT BALTIMORE NOW! THE WESTIN AT 525 BEATS THE LEGG MASON TOWER BY 3'! at least we can compare to someone...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm pretty sure the Westin was only to be 509' from the last announcement. Maybe 513', I can't remember.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


When will we get somthing taller again?? I'm almost tired of getting excited over shrimpy 15 and 20 storiers. We have like the 5 shortest tallest building of any state. we beat like maine and alaska. lol. i want taller buildings. virginia can surely handle towers like this. I want to see them when our national realestate slump is over in a few years. there is no reason why not. especially given Virginia's new "higher density" tactic.

here are some pix of reston town center i had. not related to my topic. just an update for you guys down south. :)

post-18515-1189633270_thumb.jpg

post-18515-1189633285_thumb.jpg

post-18515-1189633270_thumb.jpg

post-18515-1189633285_thumb.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

here are some of rosslyn. rosslyn is really trying to do some smart urban growth like ballston.

I'll try and get some of the "ultral luxury" 280' turnberry condo tower. It's a big ditch right now with some big cranes over it. http://www.turnberrytowerarlington.com/ind...p?direct=google

likewise, ill try and get some pix of Rosslyn central place when demolition begins in january. http://www.arlingtonvirginiausa.com/index....n&map_id=64

on the other hand.. Virginia beach tc is crazy cool. i just hope that the state can get some more, taller, highrises. it's an icon thing. as you can probably tell, I'm very proud of virginia and I dont want it to be seen as less than what it is. when someone sees modern skyscrapers, they think "big city", and "modern". I think its important to show that were not just a farming state anymore. infact, far from.

post-18515-1189633838_thumb.jpg

post-18515-1189633850_thumb.jpg

post-18515-1189633886_thumb.jpg

post-18515-1189633931_thumb.jpg

post-18515-1189633838_thumb.jpg

post-18515-1189633850_thumb.jpg

post-18515-1189633886_thumb.jpg

post-18515-1189633931_thumb.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Don't you dare hijack my thread beltwayboy :P . This thread is about the Westin. The Northern Virginia/D.C. forum is here.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
When will we get somthing taller again?? I'm almost tired of getting excited over shrimpy 15 and 20 storiers. We have like the 5 shortest tallest building of any state. we beat like maine and alaska. lol. i want taller buildings. virginia can surely handle towers like this. I want to see them when our national realestate slump is over in a few years. there is no reason why not. especially given Virginia's new "higher density" tactic.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I know this is off topic. Beltwayboy, I love your optimism, but you really are going overboard here. You can't build tall buildings because it's cool. The economics have to justify it and the metro areas need to stop decentralizing. Richmond city probably has the best chance of any Virginia city of getting a fairly tall building since it is the only center of Richmond metro. Although, Innsbruck Office Park is a tough competitor. NoVa and HR have too many areas competing for high-rises. In NoVa you have Rosslyn, Alexandria, Reston, Tyson's Corner, etc. It doesn't help with FAA regs surrounding Reagan National. In HR you have downtown Norfolk/Portsmouth, VB's Pembroke area, and Newport News's Oyster Point area. If it wasn't for FAA regs, the VB resort strip would have some tall hotels. Also, why should a company pay high priced downtown digs when the office park is much cheaper? Virginia will get its supertalls when office parks build-out and their rents increase to near city center rents. At that point, developers will realize the economic advantage of building higher.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Actually if you look at it, there are alot of office parks thoughout all of Virginia. I am not sure, but I remember once hearing that there was as much office space in Lynnhaven as there was in DT Norfolk, or something like that. Might be something to look into for correct numbers. Northern Virginia is basically an example of what happens when office parks fill up and have no where else to go but up. Really that is all Tyson's Corner is, which is also why that area is a mess.

Plus another thing to keep in mind with building tall is risk. Banks don't like to lend to things that are not sure bets. I am sure it took alot of talking and negotiating to get the money to build the Westin that tall because it is the first one in VA. Also the reason why it is much easier to get a 15 story building constructed because it is something banks are more familiar with.

Richmond is really the only city in that state that could potentially get up into the 700 foot range any time in the next 20 years.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

700 feet? With a spire? It could be easily done with a mixed use project, once the real estate world gains some confidence (two years from now maybe). I'd guess downtown Richmond as most likely but only by a hair, with downtown Norfolk a close 2nd. Why? Pent up demand may favor Richmond, but the increasing liveability of downtown Norfolk is a real plus, not to mention the picturesque setting. The next contender might be Town Center. The egos that built that mini-city will need to be fed as the Westin begs for more companions.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Richmond likely needs more downtown residents and definitely more downtown retail. There's over 7000 people living downtown now, and the residents will need more services/shopping within close reach to encourage more growth. It's come a long way recently, but definitely has a long way to go. Plus Richmond still has plenty of old buildings that can be reused and filled up before the city really needs to look skyward. I think in the next 5-years we'll see a few new highrise projects, but probably nothing in the 700' range. And really, right now I'm fine with the in-fill and reuse projects because they add density, keep character, and help improve Richmond as a very walkable city. Hopefully we'll have something annoucned challenging the Westin within a year or 2.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.