graysonelijah

Pembroke Development

141 posts in this topic


I like the sounds of this, it is good to see some actual urban planning going on. Most of the comments were dumb of course, but there is a great one in there from someone who actually took the time to go to the charrette. I hate to say it, but I think VB would have more strength in scoring a pro team than Norfolk would, but either way you look at it, the team will probably be called "Virginia (insert team name here)" because it wouldnt make sense to have a city named team in Virginia. Personally, I like it when the team has a city name, but I can see them also wanting to have the rest of the state identify with them....oh on that note, it looks like the Hornets might be looking for a new home in the coming future...that made me laugh after that ass decided against Norfolk because he didnt think it would make enough money.

Obviously traffic is going to be an issue, with or without this masterplan, it would be nice to see something along those lines start to come up.

The boundary is a great tool, it is probably the best way to define what the city wishes to consider downtown. They need to act fast and start passing urban guidelines for the marked off area to help curb bad suburban development.

With wanting to put an arena all the way out on Witchduck, they also need to consider the future of the light industrial that is between Witchduck and Indy. It is all land currently being used, so you have to deal with the employment issue, the zoning issues, and how you wish those two areas to connect together. I think if they are looking to make an area into an "arts district," I think that portion of the downtown would be the best place for it. Many of those light warehouses can be converted into working spaces for artists, then modifications could then happen to a site to allow a better urban context mixed in with it. Oddly enough, it is the best area for VB to have a bit of a historical district and architecture that tends to stand out in a unique way.

You know, with the downturn in the economy, this map and these ideas would be a great foundation for its own thread to allow conversation and debate over the future of the city's downtown.

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"Town Center grows to the west, creating a dazzling skyline that hovers over a vibrant shops, office buildings and loft apartments. People walk, bike or hop on the sleek light rail train.

A big grassy park is filled with joggers, frisbee throwers and sports fans walking toward a coliseum to watch the city’s new NBA team. The Virginia Beach Neptunes was a suggestion."

_V-P

248491.jpg

What are your thoughts??

Pretty ambitious...

Edited by varider

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"Town Center grows to the west, creating a dazzling skyline that hovers over a vibrant shops, office buildings and loft apartments. People walk, bike or hop on the sleek light rail train.

A big grassy park is filled with joggers, frisbee throwers and sports fans walking toward a coliseum to watch the city

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I like the sounds of this, it is good to see some actual urban planning going on. Most of the comments were dumb of course, but there is a great one in there from someone who actually took the time to go to the charrette. I hate to say it, but I think VB would have more strength in scoring a pro team than Norfolk would, but either way you look at it, the team will probably be called "Virginia (insert team name here)" because it wouldnt make sense to have a city named team in Virginia. Personally, I like it when the team has a city name, but I can see them also wanting to have the rest of the state identify with them....oh on that note, it looks like the Hornets might be looking for a new home in the coming future...that made me laugh after that ass decided against Norfolk because he didnt think it would make enough money.

Obviously traffic is going to be an issue, with or without this masterplan, it would be nice to see something along those lines start to come up.

The boundary is a great tool, it is probably the best way to define what the city wishes to consider downtown. They need to act fast and start passing urban guidelines for the marked off area to help curb bad suburban development.

With wanting to put an arena all the way out on Witchduck, they also need to consider the future of the light industrial that is between Witchduck and Indy. It is all land currently being used, so you have to deal with the employment issue, the zoning issues, and how you wish those two areas to connect together. I think if they are looking to make an area into an "arts district," I think that portion of the downtown would be the best place for it. Many of those light warehouses can be converted into working spaces for artists, then modifications could then happen to a site to allow a better urban context mixed in with it. Oddly enough, it is the best area for VB to have a bit of a historical district and architecture that tends to stand out in a unique way.

You know, with the downturn in the economy, this map and these ideas would be a great foundation for its own thread to allow conversation and debate over the future of the city's downtown.

Whatever happened to the plans to bury Independence for 5 or six block at and around the Va Beach Blvd. intersection? Was it deemed way too expensive (Damn you high water tables and labor unions). I remember from a rendering it made a large square land in the middle of the intersection, and I always thought it would be the perfect place to build a beautiful new city hall for Va Beach. kind of like what they have in Philadelphia, albeit no where near as grand since the cost of somethign like that now would be astronomical (Damn you labor unions!!!!!!!!!!)

Edited by mistermetaj

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I like the ideas and think it's great they are at least in discussions about new zonings. Though basically all of it is conjecture, I do have one concern. That is the obsession with "creating a dazzling skyline." Now, I am all for skylines, love them, love the NYC one especially, and think they really leave a defining face to a city. However, the last thing I want is for Va Beach to ONLY think big. Case and point, a 20 story residential could easily take up three city blocks if reduced to 5 story buildings instead. Adding retail to the bottom, and suddenly DT Va Beach has been expanded three times the one highrise could have done. Dazzling skylines symbolize a coming of age of a city, not the initial step a city should aspire to. NYC was all lowrise before the highrises were in demand.

Va Beach should stick with trying to create a vibrant low rise city and spread itself to the very limits of its downtown borders. Only the will the land value actually demand highrise and the city will truly have come of age.

You only need to go 5-10 stories high to have a very vibrant city. I think it is important to let the skyline come from great urban design. The key with zoning a good skyline is through height limits...though they can sometimes be counter productive, but it would allow VB to mark off where they wish their tallest in the city to be. Then from there, they need to district out the rest of the downtown to allow each part to take its own shape and form, whether it be building tall or building very dense.

Though the one thing that I am really interested in is where they are thinking this park to go. They mention walking through the park to the arena. Though I do like the sounds of Virginia Beach Neptunes...it would definitely be something very Virginia Beach.

The key thing to keep in mind is how will this create an identity that is local to Virginia Beach and not be like anywhere else.

Though for stimulating small businesses and artists in the area, I would love to see something like this start to pop up in the light industrial area. We have a few of these in our industrial areas and they are about as close to amazing as they can get for artists and small businesses...though there is some flaws with them, they are currently the best option out there.

ActivSpace

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You only need to go 5-10 stories high to have a very vibrant city. I think it is important to let the skyline come from great urban design. The key with zoning a good skyline is through height limits...though they can sometimes be counter productive, but it would allow VB to mark off where they wish their tallest in the city to be. Then from there, they need to district out the rest of the downtown to allow each part to take its own shape and form, whether it be building tall or building very dense.

Though the one thing that I am really interested in is where they are thinking this park to go. They mention walking through the park to the arena. Though I do like the sounds of Virginia Beach Neptunes...it would definitely be something very Virginia Beach.

The key thing to keep in mind is how will this create an identity that is local to Virginia Beach and not be like anywhere else.

Though for stimulating small businesses and artists in the area, I would love to see something like this start to pop up in the light industrial area. We have a few of these in our industrial areas and they are about as close to amazing as they can get for artists and small businesses...though there is some flaws with them, they are currently the best option out there.

ActivSpace

Eh, keep it at 5 and below for now. If you want to get crazy, then build me a few Belmont at Freemasons with retail on the bottom. Five would be good and be considered less threatening to the suburban NIMBYs in the area who are afraid of city living. Low rises for whatever reason make people feel safe (At least that is what my friend who hates cities said about comparing DC and when he visited me in NYC...ironic considering DC is MUCH more crime ridden and dangerous). Plus, the lower you leave it, the more the city sprawl can overtake suburban sprawl, and that is exactly what we want right now.

Architecturally, I have always found that with modernism, lowrises tend to be more elegant and worth rememebering than typical glass boxes they put up as highrises nowadays.

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By the way, all this talk furthers my belief that we may actually have a Robert Moses like Mayor who will actually get it done for us. This is exaclty what we needed. Architects, developers, and councilmen sitting around brainstorming our new downtown. I don't mean that in a sarcastic way either. The fact is, this is leadership to bring Va Beach into the 21st century. Suburban sprawl is just so 60s and 70s, yet the mindset in this city is completely against changing the city's complexion. Maybe this IS semi-corrupt politics, but it is definitely bringing us in the right direction.

I <3 Sessoms

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Whatever happened to the plans to bury Independence for 5 or six block at and around the Va Beach Blvd. intersection? Was it deemed way too expensive (Damn you high water tables and labor unions). I remember from a rendering it made a large square land in the middle of the intersection, and I always thought it would be the perfect place to build a beautiful new city hall for Va Beach. kind of like what they have in Philadelphia, albeit no where near as grand since the cost of somethign like that now would be astronomical (Damn you labor unions!!!!!!!!!!)

Oh burying Indy is going to be super expensive no matter how you look at it, though I do love that idea. I also love the idea of locating a new city hall on one of those blocks....though we would be talking about a fortune to relocate. If something like this was done, I would hope that it would end up more like Seattle's city hall that is LEED Gold I believe. A sustainable city government would be a good move for VB.

Seattle City Hall, not the best picture of it, but it is worth searching.

sb4722257f67f4c.jpg

Bellevue skyline, much of this has been built within the last ten years.

bellevue021.jpg

Also here is a great collection of photos of the cities in the Northwest, which do a great job of showing why I love it here, but more importantly, there is a pretty good collection of Bellevue photos.

NW Photo Journey

a different angle, but what it use to look like in the 90's

I405BellevueAerial_Mar05.jpg

A more recent view...Bellevue use to be a very suburban downtown, which has been changing one lot at a time basically. Keep in mind those block are huge too, they are like 800X800 blocks or something like that....I always joke that it is basically a downtown of islands because each block feels like its own urban island surrounded by these massive roads, but the reason for using this city is an example is because it shows that Indy and VB arent really that big of an obstacle to work with....unless you count traffic migration, then that is another beast that even I dont have a good answer for.

aerial-bellevue.jpg

Edited by urbanlife

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By the way, all this talk furthers my belief that we may actually have a Robert Moses like Mayor who will actually get it done for us. This is exaclty what we needed. Architects, developers, and councilmen sitting around brainstorming our new downtown. I don't mean that in a sarcastic way either. The fact is, this is leadership to bring Va Beach into the 21st century. Suburban sprawl is just so 60s and 70s, yet the mindset in this city is completely against changing the city's complexion. Maybe this IS semi-corrupt politics, but it is definitely bringing us in the right direction.

I <3 Sessoms

I completely agree. I am a little obsessed with Robert Moses, although I disagree with his whole ideas on cars being more important than people. He had a passion for infrastructure with gave way to real results. His ambition went full circle until he was close to nearly destroying the very core of the city! If we had a city planner with the same Robert Moses eyes for Light Rail, we would see a new city. This plan for town center is the real foward-thinking Virginia Beach needs. This is simply defined as "smart-growth," and anyone who thinks it a good idea to criticize high density urban planning is living in fantasy. The "rural VB fantasy" if you do not live in this area then you really have nothing to fear. Yes the face of Pembroke will change. But your neighborhood will not. This is planning for the prevention of urban decay 25 years from now. The really is smart-growth! I'm so proud to be living in these times, locally and nationally. Yeah the Recession seems to be distracting many of the naysayers, who think we should not spend a single dollar. But in hard times it is the gov't job to think forward in city investment especially. I could go on about this forever, philosophically, economically, historically, locally! Planning is my first love! I also love Sessoms!

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Eh, keep it at 5 and below for now. If you want to get crazy, then build me a few Belmont at Freemasons with retail on the bottom. Five would be good and be considered less threatening to the suburban NIMBYs in the area who are afraid of city living. Low rises for whatever reason make people feel safe (At least that is what my friend who hates cities said about comparing DC and when he visited me in NYC...ironic considering DC is MUCH more crime ridden and dangerous). Plus, the lower you leave it, the more the city sprawl can overtake suburban sprawl, and that is exactly what we want right now.

Architecturally, I have always found that with modernism, lowrises tend to be more elegant and worth rememebering than typical glass boxes they put up as highrises nowadays.

Oh I agree, I think it would make it something very unique to VB to have its entire downtown be mostly 5 story buildings, with maybe the occasional tower here and there at key points or at the more center parts of a block. Then having a defined highrise district near the town center, seeing there is already VA's tallest there.

Well with taller buildings, it can often times begin to create too much shade and I think VB likes its light, thus smaller buildings would be good for this....plus if this whole defined downtown were to be 5 stories high with a hand full of high rises here and there as well as a high rise corporate district, it would be a huge and dense downtown. There is a reason why European cities are so dense, yet rarely have anything over 5 stories.

I was talking to my mom the other day and joking how I wished I had grown up in Nice, France because that is so much cooler looking beach city that what VB could ever be....but what you are suggesting falls into the category Nice is in, which you can look at the street view of that city on Google street view.

A great shot of Nice, Fr. In the foreground is oldtown, but everything in the middle is the rest of the city. It would be cool to see VB looking alot like this...and I agree, shorter buildings tend to look better in the end. As an architecture student, I have found there is more freedom in the design with going shorter. There hits a point when a tower is just a tower, but a 5 story building is a complete interaction with its surroundings.

199103-chateau-14.jpg

A market in Nice

dsc20010331021.jpg

Edited by urbanlife

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This is all very ambitious but none of this will happen as long as developers like Sifen are allowed to have their way. What the beach needs first and foremost is to get on the ball and rezone all areas associated with Pembroke NOW, not as needed, but today. Otherwise everyone and their grandma can come up here and decide to build a strip mall and there will be nothing the city can do about it because they are within existing zoning regs.

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Even though this plan is very ambitious it is quite do-able.. My plan for town center would be to first expand light rail!! that is a must! I think their should be village type low-mid rises surrounding the CBD.. the core should continue to grow around the current town center with high rise office towers and apartments with ground floor retail.. the stadium would be great for development as well.. imagine how many companies would love to flock to an area where there is light rail, 11 miles from downtown norfolk and the virginia beach oceanfront, and right down the street from an NBA Arena..

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Oh I agree, I think it would make it something very unique to VB to have its entire downtown be mostly 5 story buildings, with maybe the occasional tower here and there at key points or at the more center parts of a block. Then having a defined highrise district near the town center, seeing there is already VA's tallest there.

Well with taller buildings, it can often times begin to create too much shade and I think VB likes its light, thus smaller buildings would be good for this....plus if this whole defined downtown were to be 5 stories high with a hand full of high rises here and there as well as a high rise corporate district, it would be a huge and dense downtown. There is a reason why European cities are so dense, yet rarely have anything over 5 stories.

I was talking to my mom the other day and joking how I wished I had grown up in Nice, France because that is so much cooler looking beach city that what VB could ever be....but what you are suggesting falls into the category Nice is in, which you can look at the street view of that city on Google street view.

A great shot of Nice, Fr. In the foreground is oldtown, but everything in the middle is the rest of the city. It would be cool to see VB looking alot like this...and I agree, shorter buildings tend to look better in the end. As an architecture student, I have found there is more freedom in the design with going shorter. There hits a point when a tower is just a tower, but a 5 story building is a complete interaction with its surroundings.

199103-chateau-14.jpg

A market in Nice

dsc20010331021.jpg

Except all the beaches in France have large rocks!!!!!

I prefer Va Beach sand to French rocks on my feet anyday.

As a city, it is much prettier though, but then again, every city in France is beautiful and clean (Except Marsailles) because they pay for it to be that way.

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Having been there both days, a couple points in reply.

1. The idea to sink Independence Blvd. from Bonney Road to Jeanne Street is still alive.

2. West of Euclid, east of Witchduck, and north of Southern: offices and some residential. Maybe a Bohemian-style area for artists and "the creative class." East of Euclid, north of Cleveland, south of VB Blvd.: a small central park for the area stretching two blocks east from Euclid.. Multistory residential surrounding the park so there are always eyes on it, making it safe - even at night.

The funny part: in the lunch line on Thursday the guy behind me saw my name tag and recognized my name from Urban Planet. :shades:

However, he thought UP gets a little too political. :unsure:

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Having been there both days, a couple points in reply.

1. The idea to sink Independence Blvd. from Bonney Road to Jeanne Street is still alive.

2. West of Euclid, east of Witchduck, and north of Southern: offices and some residential. Maybe a Bohemian-style area for artists and "the creative class." East of Euclid, north of Cleveland, south of VB Blvd.: a small central park for the area stretching two blocks east from Euclid.. Multistory residential surrounding the park so there are always eyes on it, making it safe - even at night.

The funny part: in the lunch line on Thursday the guy behind me saw my name tag and recognized my name from Urban Planet. :shades:

However, he thought UP gets a little too political. :unsure:

Well since you were there was the virginian pilot's article factual or did they hyperbole a little bit..??

Like their plans for a stadium and dazzling skylines and sleek light rail and all that?

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However, he thought UP gets a little too political. :unsure:

Local political of national political? :huh: I generally try to keep those issues confined to their respective areas though as far as locally that is becoming harder and harder. Bottom line is that when dealing with the future direction of a city, politics will inevitably enter the fray. It is politicians who are going to get things like this done, and it is pressure from citizens either in public forums or groups like VBTA that will sway the decisions of council in one way or another. It would be great if urban development could happen without all these pesky constituencies getting in the way but that is simply not realistic. As for national politics, none of that really has a place in the local forums and should be confined to the main coffee house forum.

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Zoning is the huge thing for all this to work, the sooner they define the new zones to the downtown, the sooner things will begin to change. Sooner of course is a relative term, I mean it in the sense that with each new development under new zones, new developer and developments will start to take shape using those new zones to their advantage.

Though, again with the whole low rise thing, I do like that idea, and I think the size of the downtown, it will be important to come up with a plan to connect the whole area together, districts to self define each area....also, I am a fan of the streetcar (or very light rail, if you will) and for the size of this proposed downtown, having a streetcar that circled through it would be a great idea. Using light rail to make it easier for people to get into the area without using their car, then using a streetcar to make it easier for those who dont with to or cant walk long distances to get to one district to another.

But yes, I do agree that all the talking in the world will not matter unless something is done on the city council side soon to dictate what this downtown should look like......as for a pro team, that is not a far fetched idea. There are a number of hockey and basketball teams that are unhappy with where they are at and could easily want to find a new home. Personally I dont care if HR has a pro team because I think they are overrated, but VB definitely has the clout in the region to get one....they have always been the quiet elephant in the room, I have always wondered when they were going to make some noise in the region.

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Well since you were there was the virginian pilot's article factual or did they hyperbole a little bit..??

Like their plans for a stadium and dazzling skylines and sleek light rail and all that?

Largely factual. Moving the Municipal Center was suggested, but there's no suitable parcel for it available. The Transportation submission had 3 LRT stations, not 4-5. The arena is on the table, but nothing is set in stone yet.

BTW, I forgot one point from earlier: it's been City policy for 3 years now to move the light industrial uses on Cleveland Street to APZ1, as they're one of the few compatible uses under the BRAC Ordinance.

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APZ 1 zoning information

In case anyone is wondering what that it, I had to look it up to know the full details of it. It would make sense for something like this to happen if this area is going to be transformed into a downtown.

From what it sounds like, the north side of southern will be the more dense part with the potential of taller buildings. While the south side of southern will be more lower buildings...single family homes, town houses, apartment buildings. It would be interesting to see how all of this works together.

As for arenas, I hope if that does happen, they put an effort into who and how it is designed. The Sprint Center in Kansas City is amazing.

0309d_4kc_sprint_b.jpg

oh, on a side note, I am now finished working on my architecture portfolio for my masters degree...so now I will have a ton of free time on my hands and I was thinking of making up a 3D rendering of the possibilities for VB Downtown. So feel free to throw out some suggestions of what it should have in it or where things should be...also I wish to keep it pretty close to what the city is envisioning as well.

Edited by urbanlife

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I have been piecing together a trip to europe and I came across a new city outside of Amsterdam and I thought I would post an image I found on flickr in here.

2741735486_0202aa651f_b.jpg

photo by dysturb

It is kind of a good modern example of what was being mentioned in here of what others could see VB looking like...obviously this is a Holland city and I have yet to see any city in the US stand up to the level of design as Holland has. (personally I wish Portland would take this mentality of design and begin to run with it...but that is a different conversation.)

Minus recent event with a certain approved "marketplace" I could see VB looking alot like this (scale wise, of course).

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Residents envision mass transit, trails for Pembroke

252581.jpg

I can really see how the dense urban downtown can grow west.

Most residents voiced support for moving away from the scattershot suburban-style development that dominates Pembroke and toward a planned urban design served by mass transit systems such as light rail, a vision city planners have outlined for the area.

Sounds somewhat hopeful. I completely forgot about this meeting. I really had hoped to attend. Did anyone make it out?

Edited by urbanvb

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Quote from the back page of the Pilot today..

Picture this: A world class urban core featuring civic, commercial, artistic, ethnically diverse areas and "green" buildings. An elevated light rail line. An action packed sport arena. An upscale mix of housing, retail, and open space. A distinctive system of parks and greenways.A dramatic sense of place.

Boy would I love to see this happen.. All of those parking lots need to go!

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Quote from the back page of the Pilot today..

Boy would I love to see this happen.. All of those parking lots need to go!

What was this quote pertaining too? Who was advertising?

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What was this quote pertaining too? Who was advertising?

It just says "Virginia Beach City Page: Keeping citizens informed and involved" Then they got a picture of TC and all the ugly surface lots that surround it.

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