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My wife just took this photo today.   It's lookin' just like the rendering!

I was here on Saturday for preparations of a wedding and got some shots of the art work, atrium and great views from the 18th floor.  Pics don't do it justice.

This was a partial, aka "soft opening". Many parts of the main don't open officially till this weekend I believe. Saltine was only open at the bar, but the seated dining area is currently closed. All

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I don't understand why another hotel is needed downtown. There are more than enough for a non-touristy city. I think Norfolk should built a notable landmark in this area (Seattle Space Needle) and an accompanying museum of some sort.

Well things like the Space Needle happened because of a much bigger thing that came from a World's Fair, so something like that will never happen in Norfolk unless there was a reasoning for a big project of sorts. Currently Norfolk already have a number of museums that cater to the city and any new ones might dilute the city and could easily be more of a burden for the city rather than a benefit. If the city had a nonprofit group or of something along those lines wanted to build a new building that had a starchitect attached to it.

Possibly an expansion of the art museum, but I doubt there is the money for anything like that to happen.

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I think he meant, something needs to be built to define this "non-touristy" city "like" the space needle rather than a new hotel. Which if that is what he/she is saying, I would humbly agree.

I'm not sure if that was the purpose of nauticus or not, but our thing has been military, military, navy, navy.. In addition to NOT having any cool buildings or attractions or activities by the city, we have nothing physical to define us outside the navy which for non-military people would say: "WHO GIVES a F".

I haven't been to San Diego, but from what I’m told, they are like the navy port of the west coast, yet, they have a football team. Wonder how that came to pass? LRT in this respect is a big deal as it puts us one finger above the rest of the 7 cities and their TownCenters. In fact, out side of the business sector, socially, Norfolk has lost its dominance in the region. We can't build the region around suburbaners, leave it up to them, we would be a sea of strip malls and walmarts.

An attraction on the scale of the "space needle" would one, give tourist a place to hang, come to, retract from, and take pictures, and two motivate locals to gather around the urban core.

The Westin at best would have been a shell of these ideas; it would bring the snobby uppty hotel specific people to DT to hang. I personally would like to see a moderate service hotel that services weekenders from places around the region who want to have an urban experience. But first we have to establish the urban experience, then build the hotel. We do have the courtyard Marriot, but its away from everything, the little that is there.

The coolest thing we have in DT is a warship and wells Fargo tower that lights up at the top.

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^ Yes, that is what I meant. Norfolk needs an identity.I'm not saying a replica of the Space Needle, but we need something that only Norfolk will have (Space Needle in Seattle, Arch in St. Louis, etc.)

Also, jazz up Towne Point Park a bit. maybe a giant fountain like the one in Chicago (opening credits for married with Children).

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I haven't been to San Diego, but from what I’m told, they are like the navy port of the west coast, yet, they have a football team. Wonder how that came to pass?

San Diego has gorgeous weather year-round and that attracts millions of people to live there. If Virginia had the climate of Southern California, and we weren't disconnected by the Interstate, I'd say the area would be more populaous and home to more businesses.

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^ Yes, that is what I meant. Norfolk needs an identity.I'm not saying a replica of the Space Needle, but we need something that only Norfolk will have (Space Needle in Seattle, Arch in St. Louis, etc.)

Also, jazz up Towne Point Park a bit. maybe a giant fountain like the one in Chicago (opening credits for married with Children).

Which all of those things are monuments that came with a large amount of history behind them to make them come about. Cities don't just build something like the St Louis Arch because they need a gimmick, there is much more that goes into it. Besides something like that would give the city a "one pony show" basically, or you could look at that as what Nauticus was as well as the Tidewater Marketplace was at one point. They were both built in the idea of alluring tourists to a city, it would be much better for Norfolk to focus on it connectivity of its neighborhoods and downtown and push for creating areas that are more attractive for people to start small businesses and such in to make unique neighborhoods and new renovated warehouse districts and such.

Norfolk already has waterside, which they can still exploit and make even more into a leisure harbor attraction for the city.

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Which all of those things are monuments that came with a large amount of history behind them to make them come about. Cities don't just build something like the St Louis Arch because they need a gimmick, there is much more that goes into it. Besides something like that would give the city a "one pony show" basically, or you could look at that as what Nauticus was as well as the Tidewater Marketplace was at one point. They were both built in the idea of alluring tourists to a city, it would be much better for Norfolk to focus on it connectivity of its neighborhoods and downtown and push for creating areas that are more attractive for people to start small businesses and such in to make unique neighborhoods and new renovated warehouse districts and such.

Norfolk already has waterside, which they can still exploit and make even more into a leisure harbor attraction for the city.

I've seen you say this in the past, can you explain

connectivity of its neighborhoods

The only thing I can think of in regards to what you are referring to (outside of the warehouse district) is like a chinatown germantown setup possibly?

Also, understanding that the city does not create these specific things, how does the city go about creating a warehouse district...is it just a matter of rezoning?

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I've seen you say this in the past, can you explain

The only thing I can think of in regards to what you are referring to (outside of the warehouse district) is like a chinatown germantown setup possibly?

Also, understanding that the city does not create these specific things, how does the city go about creating a warehouse district...is it just a matter of rezoning?

Well "connectivity of neighborhoods" means several things, for starters most cities spider out from there downtown and there is a specific connection with the downtown and the rest of the city. This turns the downtown into more of a central station, which through use of streetcars and bus systems, a city like Norfolk could set up something that has a better physical connection with downtown and all the neighborhoods throughout the city.

Another meaning for that phrase is an emotional connection, something that happens through city and neighborhood identification. Using Portland as an example for this, Portland managed not to destroy its streetcar neighborhoods and now feels like a big city of small towns because each neighborhood acts like its own small town with its own Main St. Now this has not always been the case here, many of these neighborhoods feel on hard times, but through the use of neighborhood acts that allowed neighborhoods to form committees that had direct access to city hall and gave each neighborhood its ability to work directly with the city for its own area's needs gave neighborhoods more power in how they wished to see their neighborhood grow and prosper, which in turn gave people living in those neighborhoods strong pride in where they lived.

Also through this form of neighborhood unity, it gave neighborhoods a chance to create "urban renewal" tax districts which the neighborhood committees could use to help fix up homes and businesses, help businesses upgrade, as well as help new businesses start up. We have several neighborhoods that are in different phases of this process as each neighborhood becomes better and better to live in.

Which this also allows areas to strengthen their commercial core, improve their housing conditions, and establish a stronger neighborhood identity, something that they then can advertise as something worth visiting, spending money in, and possibly living in. Norfolk has a great example in this with Ghent. In Portland we have an entire city of Ghents that vary on density, but still run under the same concept. The direction I would love to see Norfolk move in is taking their historic neighborhood commercial streets and surrounding residential streets and begin pushing for this internal neighborhood care for what happens at a much more local level. It is amazing how much of a difference it makes for people when they see their tax money going to effect their immediate surroundings.

As for warehouse districts, those are a bit trickier because of financial issues. It is almost impossible to ask the banks for money to help renovate a warehouse building into condos, office space, or apartments because you are basically introducing a new element into an untested area which means there is no way to prove to a bank such an idea would be successful in a specific area. Often times renovation of a warehouse district happens because of a district being vacant from industry, thus giving it new life. The issue with it is when a warehouse district is still being used by industrial, thuse making it near impossible to make such changes. Off the top of my head I cannot think of any areas within Norfolk that could do this simply because there is nothing left of a warehouse district or it is actually still in use. But if you study into how each of these districts happen, you will see there are a number of common things that happen to make them come about.

For the immediate downtown area, it would be important to look at downtown and its surroundings as a whole and divide them up into natural district and name them accordingly which would give the city a better idea of its future growth and identity to each area. This is how neighborhoods like SoHo and TriBeCa happened and are now very popular and expensive locations. This is how Norfolk would be able to better attract a different form of tourism as well as increase its own tax base. Baltimore is currently doing this with its Harbor East project...which really Norfolk needs to visit and study Baltimore a lot because both cities share very similar urban structure and Norfolk could learn so much from its bigger counterpart on what it should be doing.

3305498194_6765cc43ae_b.jpg

Each one of these overall quadrant and each individual district within them have their own identity and often times Portlanders will address themselves by saying they live in Woodstock, Southeast, Portland. All three names are a way for people to identify and each is very specific to each person, Woodstock is the neighborhood, Southeast is the part of the city, and Portland is the city. Also in Portland a number of our commercial areas are on the edges of these neighborhoods so there is often times a dual relationship. People who identify themselves with Hawthorne could also be in Sunnyside or Richmond but because Hawthorne is the more dominant name, people identify with it more....much like if people called Ghent Colley instead because of it being the primary commercial street.

Norfolk would have much less problems if it stopped acting like a broken little town from the 50s and started acting like the stronghold city of a big metro...but in order to do that, it requires people to have a strong identity with where they live and that needs to be reflected within its neighborhoods. Instead we see Norfolk acting like the second city in the Metro and Portsmouth acting like they are just trying to hold onto Norfolk's leg for dear life.

Actually another thing to keep in mind is there is a reason why Baltimore is the way it is today and have several pro sports teams even though it is much closer to DC than Hampton Roads is because Baltimore acts like the main city for its metro and it acts like it is the city for Maryland. That point of view the city has about itself is the reason why it gets what it gets....also it is a good thing Norfolk lost out on the Charlotte Hornets back in the day because George Shinn would of really screwed over the metro with this sale of the team back to the NBA which would of resulted in the team being moved from Norfolk to a bigger city with more money to throw around...not having a pro team sucks for the metro, finally getting one only to have it taken away would of been devastating.

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Well "connectivity of neighborhoods" means several things, for starters most cities spider out from there downtown and there is a specific connection with the downtown and the rest of the city. This turns the downtown into more of a central station, which through use of streetcars and bus systems, a city like Norfolk could set up something that has a better physical connection with downtown and all the neighborhoods throughout the city.

Another meaning for that phrase is an emotional connection, something that happens through city and neighborhood identification. Using Portland as an example for this, Portland managed not to destroy its streetcar neighborhoods and now feels like a big city of small towns because each neighborhood acts like its own small town with its own Main St. Now this has not always been the case here, many of these neighborhoods feel on hard times, but through the use of neighborhood acts that allowed neighborhoods to form committees that had direct access to city hall and gave each neighborhood its ability to work directly with the city for its own area's needs gave neighborhoods more power in how they wished to see their neighborhood grow and prosper, which in turn gave people living in those neighborhoods strong pride in where they lived.

Also through this form of neighborhood unity, it gave neighborhoods a chance to create "urban renewal" tax districts which the neighborhood committees could use to help fix up homes and businesses, help businesses upgrade, as well as help new businesses start up. We have several neighborhoods that are in different phases of this process as each neighborhood becomes better and better to live in.

Which this also allows areas to strengthen their commercial core, improve their housing conditions, and establish a stronger neighborhood identity, something that they then can advertise as something worth visiting, spending money in, and possibly living in. Norfolk has a great example in this with Ghent. In Portland we have an entire city of Ghents that vary on density, but still run under the same concept. The direction I would love to see Norfolk move in is taking their historic neighborhood commercial streets and surrounding residential streets and begin pushing for this internal neighborhood care for what happens at a much more local level. It is amazing how much of a difference it makes for people when they see their tax money going to effect their immediate surroundings.

As for warehouse districts, those are a bit trickier because of financial issues. It is almost impossible to ask the banks for money to help renovate a warehouse building into condos, office space, or apartments because you are basically introducing a new element into an untested area which means there is no way to prove to a bank such an idea would be successful in a specific area. Often times renovation of a warehouse district happens because of a district being vacant from industry, thus giving it new life. The issue with it is when a warehouse district is still being used by industrial, thuse making it near impossible to make such changes. Off the top of my head I cannot think of any areas within Norfolk that could do this simply because there is nothing left of a warehouse district or it is actually still in use. But if you study into how each of these districts happen, you will see there are a number of common things that happen to make them come about.

For the immediate downtown area, it would be important to look at downtown and its surroundings as a whole and divide them up into natural district and name them accordingly which would give the city a better idea of its future growth and identity to each area. This is how neighborhoods like SoHo and TriBeCa happened and are now very popular and expensive locations. This is how Norfolk would be able to better attract a different form of tourism as well as increase its own tax base. Baltimore is currently doing this with its Harbor East project...which really Norfolk needs to visit and study Baltimore a lot because both cities share very similar urban structure and Norfolk could learn so much from its bigger counterpart on what it should be doing.

3305498194_6765cc43ae_b.jpg

Each one of these overall quadrant and each individual district within them have their own identity and often times Portlanders will address themselves by saying they live in Woodstock, Southeast, Portland. All three names are a way for people to identify and each is very specific to each person, Woodstock is the neighborhood, Southeast is the part of the city, and Portland is the city. Also in Portland a number of our commercial areas are on the edges of these neighborhoods so there is often times a dual relationship. People who identify themselves with Hawthorne could also be in Sunnyside or Richmond but because Hawthorne is the more dominant name, people identify with it more....much like if people called Ghent Colley instead because of it being the primary commercial street.

Norfolk would have much less problems if it stopped acting like a broken little town from the 50s and started acting like the stronghold city of a big metro...but in order to do that, it requires people to have a strong identity with where they live and that needs to be reflected within its neighborhoods. Instead we see Norfolk acting like the second city in the Metro and Portsmouth acting like they are just trying to hold onto Norfolk's leg for dear life.

Actually another thing to keep in mind is there is a reason why Baltimore is the way it is today and have several pro sports teams even though it is much closer to DC than Hampton Roads is because Baltimore acts like the main city for its metro and it acts like it is the city for Maryland. That point of view the city has about itself is the reason why it gets what it gets....also it is a good thing Norfolk lost out on the Charlotte Hornets back in the day because George Shinn would of really screwed over the metro with this sale of the team back to the NBA which would of resulted in the team being moved from Norfolk to a bigger city with more money to throw around...not having a pro team sucks for the metro, finally getting one only to have it taken away would of been devastating.

Ahh, I follow you now and I totally agree. Basically, create a bunch of ghents/colley ave/21st through out the city. Problem with that is, there isn't too many places to do that sort of thing without clearing. 35th street in park place is one place I know of that has a similar setup, but for hte most part, the city is quadrant out in long streets of sub strip males like military hwy, little creek, etc... I clearing the way for that sort of development would not go over well for some areas, especially when you are talking about developing this over time, vs all at one time. Now, this can be done with a few high priority places like the public housing areas that they want to redevelop. A miss opportunity in this respect would be the development of broad creek and middle town arch. I guess the development is cool in of its self, but it lacks what you mention in turns of growth. The more we speak about these topics, the more I learn with regards to the management of Norfolk, heck, real management just isn't there. I get the impression t hat everyone on the council are the paper pushers, in fact, I've never heard one city councilmen make any remark to this type of direction for the city. They can't even get code enforcement to function correctly nor NHRA.

but back to Westin, maybe it gets built, maybe it doesn't. Honestly, I hope it morphs into something better while retaining its purpose. Maybe the first and second floor can be upscale retail area and then the hotel starts on the 3rd floor with access from either both sides of the building. I get more and more disappointed about lack of creativity in this area.

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Norfolk for some reason didnt develop its city streets like even Richmond,VA did. This can be also blamed on how the city was designed. I actually like both ideas(landmark to identify this is Norfolk and connectivity of the city with downtown as the central focus) and dont see the need for one or the other idea, how about both. I think what the fellow member meant as far as landmark isnt Waterside or Nauticus(this said with respect,sincerely) he means The Arch in St. Louis and Space Needle in Seattle and how they identify with those cities visually. I get his/her point. I been to booth places and when I think of both cities those landmarks identify with the city. More or less its like building a home, one brick at a time and a landmark like a 400ft. object that stands out or something else that stands out is a piece of the visual perception. The Washington Monument serves a purpose fellow member, you hit the nail dead center and your point is correct. The monument or identifiable landmark has to serve a purpose and have meaning. I totally agree with that point dear sir/ms.

Most if not 100% of what we think is what we see. Case in point is how the light rail adds a visual and a character to me and Im from here, born and raised. Light rail has added to the visual perception of the city as well as added transportation alternatives. The connectivity idea is tremendous as well. Its functional and can add little business areas around town and can add character and jobs. Both ideas can help, one more than the other but, each penny and dime help to make a dollar. Great ideas members.LGNM

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The Westin subject bothers me to. Norfolk needs that project in my opinion and it will show a city growing even more. Growth(skyscrapers) tend to show people a city is on the move and human nature is to be drawn to places based on perception just as much as making deals to draw opportunities here. Our city has a chance to go over the top in the next 5 years and its up in the air if we will now and the economy may be what harms those chances. LGNM

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Norfolk for some reason didnt develop its city streets like even Richmond,VA did. This can be also blamed on how the city was designed. I actually like both ideas(landmark to identify this is Norfolk and connectivity of the city with downtown as the central focus) and dont see the need for one or the other idea, how about both. I think what the fellow member meant as far as landmark isnt Waterside or Nauticus(this said with respect,sincerely) he means The Arch in St. Louis and Space Needle in Seattle and how they identify with those cities visually. I get his/her point. I been to booth places and when I think of both cities those landmarks identify with the city. More or less its like building a home, one brick at a time and a landmark like a 400ft. object that stands out or something else that stands out is a piece of the visual perception. The Washington Monument serves a purpose fellow member, you hit the nail dead center and your point is correct. The monument or identifiable landmark has to serve a purpose and have meaning. I totally agree with that point dear sir/ms.

Most if not 100% of what we think is what we see. Case in point is how the light rail adds a visual and a character to me and Im from here, born and raised. Light rail has added to the visual perception of the city as well as added transportation alternatives. The connectivity idea is tremendous as well. Its functional and can add little business areas around town and can add character and jobs. Both ideas can help, one more than the other but, each penny and dime help to make a dollar. Great ideas members.LGNM

That is the definitive question, why was it designed like this as of today? From previous history photos, we know this wasn't true. I have an idea to why that is the case, but I do not want to move more off topic.

Westin is a good start, but i can't see them doing something with character. You would think with a longer wait, you get something even cooler. In the end, Norfolk tends negotiate downward in all its deals that it is apart of. I said this before and will say it again, GT was the only plan I've seen were the design did not change. Maybe that's why it didn't get built, lol. But if we have to base it on the other things that were proposed and carried out in recent years, you would have to definitely think the latter.

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You said it all in your short post bud! To tell you the truth that may explain the slow growth locally as well. Not to mention the access to interstates and major rail lines. Thats said, the attitude does seem to be build it for less as possible and scale down. I never thought about it till you mentioned it but, your correct dear sir. Maybe the answers are more about leadership and less about the potential of what the city can do. I guess your either the Yankees/Redsox/Phillies/Chicago teams/L.A or your the rest of the teams and we seem to be in the category of the rest of them now. Let's hope that changes, The Westin would be a great addition but, like you said if they added character to the design could be even more visual wise to out of towner's bud! Got my fingers crossed. LGNMshades.gif

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I seem to recall (my memory is a little bit short on this) that MacArthur replaced a bunch of on street retail.

I think at the end of the day, the issue is money. People in Hampton Roads probably pour a bunch of their discretionary income into their shelter. Everyone keeps cheerleading to turn Waterside into something special. When I worked at 500 East Main Street (BB&T building) we would go to Waterside once in a while, but Granby street or Main street pulled us more. Disconnection by the wide road. Also, people forget that Norfolk is pretty impoverished, and without sugar coating it people don't want to shop around hood kids misbehaving. This is why MacArthur banned kids. I don't really know the fix for this.

How booked are the other conference centers? Is there really demand for another one? If so, why can't a commercial operator run it?

As time goes on with events that I'm involved with there is some question if they will ever grow to the size of becoming a multi-day thing that occupies a real conference center. So I've started to pay a little attention to things like Nekocon in Hampton and the events at the Chesapeake place, just in case.

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Norfolk for some reason didnt develop its city streets like even Richmond,VA did. This can be also blamed on how the city was designed. I actually like both ideas(landmark to identify this is Norfolk and connectivity of the city with downtown as the central focus) and dont see the need for one or the other idea, how about both. I think what the fellow member meant as far as landmark isnt Waterside or Nauticus(this said with respect,sincerely) he means The Arch in St. Louis and Space Needle in Seattle and how they identify with those cities visually. I get his/her point. I been to booth places and when I think of both cities those landmarks identify with the city. More or less its like building a home, one brick at a time and a landmark like a 400ft. object that stands out or something else that stands out is a piece of the visual perception. The Washington Monument serves a purpose fellow member, you hit the nail dead center and your point is correct. The monument or identifiable landmark has to serve a purpose and have meaning. I totally agree with that point dear sir/ms.

Most if not 100% of what we think is what we see. Case in point is how the light rail adds a visual and a character to me and Im from here, born and raised. Light rail has added to the visual perception of the city as well as added transportation alternatives. The connectivity idea is tremendous as well. Its functional and can add little business areas around town and can add character and jobs. Both ideas can help, one more than the other but, each penny and dime help to make a dollar. Great ideas members.LGNM

Which for most cities it is usually a really tall office building that becomes the landmark for the city rather than just a typical landmark structure. I doubt the Westin is going to be anything more than a skyline filler for Norfolk, but it will provide much needed density in that portion of downtown and if it is designed right might actually stimulate the street activity too. Norfolk definitely needs more urban infill buildings more than anything to really provide a true urban context to be in, once that begins to establish itself, then I would love to see the city really build a signature tower that really defined the city's skyline.

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Which for most cities it is usually a really tall office building that becomes the landmark for the city rather than just a typical landmark structure. I doubt the Westin is going to be anything more than a skyline filler for Norfolk, but it will provide much needed density in that portion of downtown and if it is designed right might actually stimulate the street activity too. Norfolk definitely needs more urban infill buildings more than anything to really provide a true urban context to be in, once that begins to establish itself, then I would love to see the city really build a signature tower that really defined the city's skyline.

For the most part, I believe it is built out. You have a few open lots like Synder lot, Westin lot, and the mall lot, but for the most part, they have infilled most of the lots in DT. I think this is why tidewater park was part of that discussion initially, that is where the city should move next in development. Am I missing something?

That is why I was so against building more parks. Our current DT density would not support additional parks like some suggest it would. If anything, it would just take up space for more density. Now, SPQ is developed out, that makes sense to me. I would love to see them redo portions of macArthur

Center.

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I seem to recall (my memory is a little bit short on this) that MacArthur replaced a bunch of on street retail.

Just to remind everyone, MacArthur did not replace a lot of retail or anything else. It was mostly 17 acres of surface parking lot. Spiker3 posted this great photo under "Norfolk History" a while back. If you look closely, you can see the dome of the MacArthur Memorial. The parking garage next to Scope was torn down for Wachovia/Wells Fargo. MacArthur Mall is between these two landmarks. The only significant building that was demolished for the mall was the aging Maritime Tower and the adjacent parking garage. (The Maritime Tower is across Monticello Avenue from the Federal Building, which used to be bright red brick and is now white concrete.) The city tried for two decades to find a developer to build something on this large, vacant expanse. They wanted it developed as a whole, not piecemeal. Finally they gave up and let Tishman build the mall.

USS_America_CV-66_Norfolk.png

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I doubt the Westin is going to be anything more than a skyline filler for Norfolk, but it will provide much needed density in that portion of downtown and if it is designed right might actually stimulate the street activity too.

When I walked by this lot the other day, I envisioned a club type bar or something trendy on the Granby Street side which would be part of the hotel (hotel clubs are usually really nice and don't let in the bad crowd). The reason this would be great is because that part of Granby Street dies down. After Mo & O'Malley's and Hell's Kitchen, it becomes boring again.

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Urbanlife, Like your point about what The Westin will be. I agree and will add, that's part of what makes a city a city. Humans are visual. Im sure you and those on this site will agree that the 1st thing we all see when we go to another so-called city is the skyline. Something about us crazy humans that is so focused on what we see. I feel we have more than enough people but, our city center needs work. I like the direction but, something about just getting back from Miami two weeks ago that bothered me. The pace of our growth!!! I been in a traveling industry for YEARS and seen cities like Charlotte,Atlanta,Raleigh and Miami grow and grow. Norfolk has done so at a slower than a snails pace and projects have been cancelled and postponed that could change the visual and mental perception of Norfolk. Norfolk needs to, and I hate to say this cause I have family living in all of them, get rid of the Tidewater and Youngs Park homes for low income families and relocate them.

What I say is a process and will take planning but, Norfolks BIG issue I think is space and how poor and rich Norfolk residents live so close in distance(walking distance)! Norfolk has many issues but, the most neglected is the dwellings for the low income. Its a place were the less fortunate have lived since the redevelopment-1960's till now! The downtown space would increase tremendously allowing an ability to expand the city therefore bringing businesses and more residential homes(condos/apartments) that would house employees of downtown jobs. I'd love to live in downtown but, feel the choices are limited. Dont want to get in a debate, certainly we have some places to live but, most are west or northwest of downtown. We have a void to the east with downtown office space and residential space. Those low income homes would be valuable and increase the value of the real estate drastically and can mean millions once the economy recovers. Just a thought. The projects without question being so close hurt the downtowns growth potential.

If Norfolk was a city the size of D.C it could handle the proximity better(downtown/low income homes) but, it isnt. Should have been by now but, for some reason our city is growing very slowly. It takes a few things here and there to change Norfolk and light rail is a positive but, the most valuable issue is the mentality of the residents of the city itself and what we do to contribute as well. If I could money wise i'd buy the projects and relocate the people in similar living quarters. I cant so I'll think of what I can do and do it. A drop of water over time can make a hole in a rock!LGNMshades.gif

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Norfolk's skyline may not have grown too much, but yesterday I had to go to DT Portsmouth and the "skyline" looked pretty big for some reason haha.. like, better than I've ever seen it look.

& while the skyline isn't super big.. downtown Norfolk has gained A LOT of density since that photo above. It's getting to the point where there will be no other option but to cross St Pauls and Brambleton.. or build skyscrapers.

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Virginia PE - thanks for that! My memory is hazy, I just remember driving down a street or two that was like Granby, but I think it's gone? Maybe it was just Granby street. On street parking, low buildings, retail.

I do remember watching the SMA building being blown up. I was working at infi.net and we walked over to watch it before work started.

So are they going to build this hotel or what? I really think the convention center should be built by a private company, though. Norfolk already has a few downtown. Light rail is going to be a big enough burden.

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Actually it doesn't mean it is still a go, it just means at the time the artist drew these renderings that was a project that was still on the board, and the artist probably made a choice about putting it in rather than drawing a large vacant lot within the drawings that might of had less of an appeal to them. But it definitely points out how important that convention center building is to that portion of downtown.

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