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jeffconn

What does downtown Norfolk need?

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Just want to start some discussion. What would YOU want to see in downtown Norfolk that would make your life easier? Would businesses or services do you think that should be in downtown? Personally, i'd like to see a 24 hours drug store.

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* A grand fountain

* Electronic billboard, lights, something that would livin the area up

* Best Buy (three story)

* An applebees, ruby tuesday

* Chic Fli

* Bowling Alley

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Wow...you just opened up a can of worms with this one. I'm not going into too much detail but I'm going to list my top ten in no particular order, some may or may not be on the boards.

1. Stronger Ability to Attract Larger Businesses: Fortune 500, Fortune 100, etc. We need more higher paying jobs in downtown to retain and/or attract young professionals and families to the area.

2. Greater Density: Need greater density with regard to mixed use/residential. Must increase residential density throughout downtown (all areas) in order to create a vibrant 24/7 atmosphere. Areas such as Harbor Park, Saint Pauls, Waterside, downtown Business Core should all have residential with appropriate linkages.

3. No More Surface Parking Lots: Surface parking lots are so anti-urban. People visit downtowns for the urban experience (shopping, museums, culture, history, architecture, etc). They detract from the urban experience in more ways than ever thought possible. New York, San Francisco, London, Paris - NO surface parking lots. It's been said by many urban planners, "the best indicator of a successful city is lack of parking" and "anyplace worth its salt has a "parking problem."

4. Light Rail

5. Improved St Paul's Master Plan: There will not be a more important development project in Norfolk. Unfortunately, the current plan leaves much to be desired. This in not one block of redevelopment but acres and acres...if Norfolk doesn't maximize it's potential. What a huge opportunity cost! Urban Design Associates in my opinion is not the right consultant for the job and many downtown people couldn't agree more.

6. Improved Retail on Granby St

7. Green Space: Link green space from Town Point Park along the waterfront down to Harbor Park creating a friendly running/walking/biking trail which makes the waterfront more pedestrian friendly.

8. Better Architecture and Design: Our buildings and interior spaces need to raise the bar.

9. Downtown Department Store: Urban Target Store or similar.

10. Commitment to Smart Growth and Sustainable Development: Norfolk needs an office of Sustainable Development to encourage and promote green building practices. In addition, they need to set forth Smart Growth policies as opposed to relying on outdated zoning requirements. Oh...and a Public Downtown Recycling Program.

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Jobs from companies that matter. Ones that make things versus sucking welfare from the gov't.

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1. Stronger Ability to Attract Larger Businesses: Fortune 500, Fortune 100, etc. We need more higher paying jobs in downtown to retain and/or attract young professionals and families to the area.

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a general grocery store is the most important thing an urban area needs to really work. Build an urban style Farm Fresh and the rest will happen.

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More high paying jobs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Completely fix waterside dr. It needs to be made into a retail front and not just an on ramp for the highway. The lack of connection to the rest of downtown is completely destroying TPP and Waterside as well as the aesthetics of the area.

Redevelop all stand alone parking garages. They kill urban aesthetics almost as bad as surface parking lots.

Create a road, either for cars or just pedestrians through McArthur Mall to create an actual retail district with store fronts rather than a suburban mall in the middle of the city.

Move the poor and those who need mental help away from downtown (I know that is politically incorrect, but if Norfolk wants to break its stigma and bring the suburban money into the city consistently, they need to do this).

Long Term:

Destroy the BoA building, BB&T, and city hall, and replace them with smaller more human scale buildings, and spread the office space further North to expand the downtown. Not to mention, improve the aesthetics of the area since each on of those buildings s hideous. There is no need for an office district completely walling of the views of the residents.

Color. We need to loosen the requirements on architecture and allow developers to design things more lively.

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a general grocery store is the most important thing an urban area needs to really work. Build an urban style Farm Fresh and the rest will happen.

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Wow...you just opened up a can of worms with this one.

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I'd like to see more fast food restaurants outside of MacArthur Center.. It'd be so much more convenient to run into a Burger King or Chick Fil A on Granby than going all the way to the third floor of MacArthur.. Much more retail (I'd love a Foot Locker).. Median Income housing in St. Paul's quadrant to add to the population.. Fortune 500 company relocations.. New City Hall.. Major League Team!

of course we are going to have all of these wants for our beloved city, but honestly Norfolk is not doing too bad as is. 30,000 workers, 4200 residents, Median household income 110,000, Fortune 500 company, 1.5 million square feet of retail(although most in in a suburban format inside the mall), 5.5 million sq. feet of office space, thousands of hotel rooms, ect. If Norfolk follows everything as they have laid out in the Downtown 2020 plan I think Norfolk will be an amazing urban city. Build the Westin, retail/ apartments next to Harbor Park, new office towers next to the courts stretching to Waterside, new courts, mixed use development on the Greyhound lot, continue the infill developments along Brambleton, mixed use development crossing Brambleton and start the St. Pauls Quadrant we will be fine. By 2020, our skyline will be so much more dense, I think it will look amazing. Also, I think Norfolk and Va Beach will forever compete for everything to come to HR.. It will be quite exciting!

late edit* don't give up on the St. Paul's current plan either.. We haven't even seen the plan. It's still in the Vision Phase. This Thursday there is a public meeting on the plan. Once that is complete they will release the draft.

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I'd like to see more fast food restaurants outside of MacArthur Center.. It'd be so much more convenient to run into a Burger King or Chick Fil A on Granby than going all the way to the third floor of MacArthur.. Much more retail (I'd love a Foot Locker).. Median Income housing in St. Paul's quadrant to add to the population.. Fortune 500 company relocations.. New City Hall.. Major League Team!

of course we are going to have all of these wants for our beloved city, but honestly Norfolk is not doing too bad as is. 30,000 workers, 4200 residents, Median household income 110,000, Fortune 500 company, 1.5 million square feet of retail(although most in in a suburban format inside the mall), 5.5 million sq. feet of office space, thousands of hotel rooms, ect. If Norfolk follows everything as they have laid out in the Downtown 2020 plan I think Norfolk will be an amazing urban city. Build the Westin, retail/ apartments next to Harbor Park, new office towers next to the courts stretching to Waterside, new courts, mixed use development on the Greyhound lot, continue the infill developments along Brambleton, mixed use development crossing Brambleton and start the St. Pauls Quadrant we will be fine. By 2020, our skyline will be so much more dense, I think it will look amazing. Also, I think Norfolk and Va Beach will forever compete for everything to come to HR.. It will be quite exciting!

late edit* don't give up on the St. Paul's current plan either.. We haven't even seen the plan. It's still in the Vision Phase. This Thursday there is a public meeting on the plan. Once that is complete they will release the draft.

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Bars that don't close at 1:45!!! :)

The biggest thing I miss from living in past places is the lack of pro sports teams to cheer for...but I see why that is here... just wish it would eventually change. I used to live outside Chicago and going to Bulls & Sox games at night was so much fun, even after a long day at school or work-

Also, it would have been very nice to have an aquarium somewhere along the water, like next to the cruise terminal & nauticus, but I suppose with the one at the beach, it doesn't make a whole lot of sense pouring money into something like this.

I think with the rail, they've taken quite a step forward, I'm happy with the way the city is going... at least their heads are moving in the right direction... unlike some larger cities in the area...

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Bars close at 1:45 everywhere in Virginia, it's not Norfolk's fault.. Pro sports is also the main thing I would love to see. Call them the Virginia ________ and I bet they would get a lot of support from all over the state, which would make Norfolk's tourism dollars go way up. But I think we will have a team either in Va Beach or Norfolk in the next 10 years. Until then, GO TIDES!

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late edit* don't give up on the St. Paul's current plan either.. We haven't even seen the plan. It's still in the Vision Phase. This Thursday there is a public meeting on the plan. Once that is complete they will release the draft.

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I would like to see Waterside completely redeveloped...why redevelop Town Point Park but not Waterside to complement it. Also downtown Norfolk needs more high paying jobs, more national presence with retailers and retaurants so it can have the foot traffic that Va Beach Town Center has...but first downtown Norfolk needs competent and proper direction. The type of retail on Granby Street shows that there is no direction. Also there is a need for more density and redevelopment of north Granby Street (north of Brambleton) and St. Paul's Quadrant. Those two areas are critical to the growth of downtown Norfolk and it is inevitable to redevelop those areas or downtown may not be able to reach its highest potential.

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If its anything like the last plan, it will suck. Here's a couple problems with the last plan:

1. Wanted to retain the welfare population (in the urban core) by providing them with new homes and property that did not generate money in the urban core.

* A better suggestion would be to clean up and redevelop Norfolk's decaying neighborhoods that have been neglected and left to be ran amuck for years. Relocate that type of housing there and setting parameters so that they do not destroy the surrounding neighborhoods.

2. It tightened the belt of the urban core expansion.

* In the past, I never really understood the planet's views. Some said develop North of Brambleton, If i'm envisioning this correctly, the greatest area for development is east, not north. If we provide new public housing for st. pauls quadrant (EAST) (and some new things), it would provide about 2 blocks of development North because beyond that is

is Ghent, Villa-heights, and Huntersville. Are they going to railroad entire neighborhoods to expand DT when the two blocks North of Brambleton are complete? My guess is NO.

I believe an urban core should be just that, an urban core. I visited charlotte for the second time a few weeks ago, and finally had a chance to explore the city. I could not find their public housing and we spent days riding around the city (200 miles traveled within the city). When you look at a lot of Norfolk's problems, it boils down to neglect and ignoring issues we have had for decades.

Let me add one more thing, st. pauls quadrant (I believe) is well connected to the central area of DT, where as North of Brambleton is not.

My suggests again:

* BOILING ALLEY

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They just built one about a year ago under Harbor Heights...so far nothing is happening.

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Perhaps Downtown Norfolk needs less classicist residents / champions. There should is a place for low income / workforce housing in every downtown area. The city just needs to build it correctly. And please, do not let Charlotte serve as an example of what Norfolk can become. Norfolk is already prettier, more interesting and has a better urban texture and fabric than Charlotte. Look to places like Baltimore and Boston for inspiration.

From my perspective, Norfolk needs a larger downtown workforce. Everything else will fall into place. It doesn't need to suck the d&%^ of national retail and chain restaurants

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I'd like to see affordable "downtown living." Whether it's studios that are in the downtown area or higher density with common areas that link to pedestrian walkways nearby - St. Pauls - there's nothing for the young profs that'll spend, but not go broke.

For one, in a lot of ways Town Center in VB is more desirable for young living with regards to safety, foot traffic, etc., but TC to me isn't desirable until after 6pm. I'm one that would prefer to live in Norfolk, it has more variety for entertainment and better restaurants to host friends at varying times of the day. With the more people I talk to in informal conversation, Norfolk is still the more desirable of the two. However, even with the variety, Norfolk still has a ghost town feel on Boush, and Granby at odd times (you'd think peak) when I go out for a stroll there.

New development may come around in the form of trendy shops (don't think Popeye's) that people can start up around the given area with the surgence of new people in what was a less desirable area before.

I know now is a silly time to talk about government subsidies (I'm speaking rhetorically), but if Norfolk were to consider this as an avenue for growth to area developers, attitudes and lifestyles may change. True, there would be upfront costs to the city, and who knows who would come out to play to debate. However,the increased residential tax base the city would collect, mixed income areas, and also increasing homeownership might provide enough extrinsic factors to their ROI if such a project can be done well. A caveat would be to check the current housing numbers and determine if desire exists. As we all know developers are concerned about their bottomline not spurring long-term growth.

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Can you imagine how nice downtown would have been if MacArthur Center was built as an outdoor mall with individual store fronts.

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Perhaps Downtown Norfolk needs less classicist residents / champions. There should is a place for low income / workforce housing in every downtown area. The city just needs to build it correctly. And please, do not let Charlotte serve as an example of what Norfolk can become. Norfolk is already prettier, more interesting and has a better urban texture and fabric than Charlotte. Look to places like Baltimore and Boston for inspiration.

From my perspective, Norfolk needs a larger downtown workforce. Everything else will fall into place. It doesn't need to suck the d&%^ of national retail and chain restaurants

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Perhaps Downtown Norfolk needs less classicist residents / champions. There should is a place for low income / workforce housing in every downtown area. The city just needs to build it correctly. And please, do not let Charlotte serve as an example of what Norfolk can become. Norfolk is already prettier, more interesting and has a better urban texture and fabric than Charlotte. Look to places like Baltimore and Boston for inspiration.

From my perspective, Norfolk needs a larger downtown workforce. Everything else will fall into place. It doesn't need to suck the d&%^ of national retail and chain restaurants

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Regardless of what's been said... I love Charlotte... I'd love for Norfolk to become more like it... but anyways...

How come there's never been discussion about getting a NASCAR stadium built somewhere in the area. Daytona is a beach town similar to VB and it's speedway brings in insane amounts of people & money. I am not a fan of the sport in any way, I think it's insane personally, but, it seems like southeastern virginia is a great place for something like this to cater to all the fans throughout the state & NC....

I realize norfolk has no space for this, but I'm speaking on a regional ideal... but there's gotta be plenty of space out near suffolk.

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There is richmond to contend with.

Also we we have Langley Speedway near Langly AFB on the peninsula.

Langley Speedway is a race track located in Hampton, Virginia, in the United States. In November 1970, it became the site of the last Grand National race before the series was renamed Winston Cup (now Sprint Cup). The track is located in front of NASA's Langley wind tunnel on Armistead Avenue.

langley.jpg

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