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Sorry to say, but this is not terrific. You have a company that employs 300 workers and they are taking them away from downtown. We need more jobs downtown, not condos. We have enough plans in the mix for condos and apartments and they'll be pointless if we can't get anyone to fill them.

You are correct in the sense that there are many plans for condos and apartments but very few of them seem to be coming to fruition. That space simply didn't meet the needs of a government organization. While this may add to some foot traffic downtown at lunch time we need a lot of condos and apartments to make downtown lively from sunrise to the wee hours of the night. I used to only want businesses to occupy space downtown, but then seeing how little foot traffic there is in downtown Norfolk, I realized that maybe a CBD with exponentially more jobs than residents isn't as good, and with increasing jobs in the labor pool, the number of downtown residents should also increase. I'm not saying that your argument isn't valid, because it most certainly is (I don't think anyone here is happy to see 300 jobs move away from downtown), but I do think if the Royster building were to be converted into residences that, eventually, it could more effectively fill the space that the NRHA couldn't fill.

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I was downtown this evening for a bit, haven't been home in over a year (been in Miami), and I have to say that i was blown away by the progress and the development and the vibrancy and the evening fo

The increases in the base rent for Class A & B are encouraging:  •The downtown average asking rate rose to $20.63 per sq. ft., up $0.20 quarter over quarter, as Class B assets climbed 12.0% f

Whatever the next building ends up being, I'm hoping someone thinks big and goes for at least 35 stories. It's time to start going for height, if you want to keep people moving here.

Actually converting the Royster to condos might actually be more of a good thing than it is bad. Sure there is the lose of office space and a large number of workers that would be moving out, but the Royster is probably classified as B-Class office space, which cannot charge as much for rents, but as condos, the building will probably be seen as an upgrade. This has been common for a number of cities, taking old office buildings like these and converting them into more useful condos. It would make sense to increase the A-Class office space downtown because that is where a premium can be charged with the rent, much like the Wells Fargo tower can offer.

I would love to see the old Trader building get a condo or apartment renovation, I would also love to see the old hotel building that sits on City Hall right behind the old Trader building be converted back into a upscale boutique hotel because that building has some amazing architecture still hidden within it.

The most important thing for Norfolk to be doing is creating an urban neighborhood feel to its downtown and continuing to move in a direction to give its downtown an active lifestyle after office hours.

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My comments aren't related at all to the previous statements for the most part but, development is the focus of my comment. Well, the direction of the city that is. Norfolk has to have a core focus on what the city wants to become regarding progress. The military cutbacks have effected the area to a degree and more cutbacks are possibly on the horizon. With all the talk about housing projects what I see as the problem especially after returning from Miami again on business is the job market. Heck, without proper jobs living quarters don't matter much. Norfolk has to focus on becoming less dependent on the military and make more tax cuts and whatever else is needed to attract new businesses and existing businesses to the metro.

Northern VA has the advantage of being outside D.C and Richmond for years has been the financial center for the state along with the capital of our state among being were one of the Federal Reserve banks is located, one of the total 12 is what Richmond is fortunate to have in its city. All this while Norfolk as a city and a metro outside VA Beach/Williamsburg area is seen as a military town and metro. To develop into a REAL strong metro as a whole and city we must have more of what SanDiego which is also a military hub has, more diversity. The Wachovia Center is a good start but, just the tip of the ice berg in an economy that clearly is leaning toward major changes in the military and its budgeting. How much longer can Norfolk depend on the military dollar. All the talk of housing is mute if, all the military folks no longer need to have housing here cause trust me.

Other than the military and Va Beach in the summer, what truly can keep them here? JOBS? No!!!!!! Norfolk and the metro has to focus on increasing its job market. LIght Rail is nice and all but, Norfolk's Focus should be making sure thousands use light rail a day going to corporate jobs downtown and other parts of our metro. I been going to Miami for 16 years and let me tell you, the growth downtown there is past impressive. I think Charlotte is a better goal for Norfolk to aim to, weather gives Miami an edge. That said, Norfolk has an issue of jobs and that creates a better need for housing and if the jobs pay high enough salaries will bring Norfolk salaries that attract residents like Norther VA has for years. Its the jobs and opportunities that make BIG CITIES, not the cities themselves, the jobs!shades.gifshades.gifshades.gifshades.gif

Edited by usermel
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I also agree with urbanlife's comments, great comments urban!!! The after hours issue has always been good to bad depending on the day of the week. If the downtown had more to offer all days of the week that would be an attraction for new residents Im certain but, hopefully more family oriented activities as well as some for the single crowd, more of a balance! The downtown is progressing and looking pretty good.shades.gifshades.gif LGNM

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My comments aren't related at all to the previous statements for the most part but, development is the focus of my comment. Well, the direction of the city that is. Norfolk has to have a core focus on what the city wants to become regarding progress. The military cutbacks have effected the area to a degree and more cutbacks are possibly on the horizon. With all the talk about housing projects what I see as the problem especially after returning from Miami again on business is the job market. Heck, without proper jobs living quarters don't matter much. Norfolk has to focus on becoming less dependent on the military and make more tax cuts and whatever else is needed to attract new businesses and existing businesses to the metro.

Exactly. I'm a govt. contractor whose company deal primarily in the Navy market, however we employ about 200 employees over at USJFCOM. We're having a tough time finding local jobs for them within our company so we're having to move them up to DC or San Diego for positions. And that's just my company (which has a very recognizable name). I can only imagine how the companies with larger contracts at USJFCOM are dealing with this, but I know they're in the same situation. If we have about 100 (mid-high income) families we're moving away, the number of families from the other companies is atleast in the thousands.

Usermel, you hit the nail on the head. Without proper jobs, living quarters don't matter much. You can get the same feel living in Ghent and driving 5 minutes away to go to the various restaurants/bars downtown and pay MUCH less for an apartment or a condo. The only way I'd consider moving downtown is if my job was there and had access to a grocery store (which by the way I heard from a commercial real estate agent that law offices are trying to take over where The Marketplace was - take that for what it's worth).

Norfolk needs to decide what they want to be. I'm completely all for the development of new anything but the most important thing is bringing companies to our area to prevent our educated college graduates from fleeing the area for DC and Richmond. That will help jumpstart downtown. I know a number of people who own local businesses and would love to move them downtown but they say the taxes are killer. There's just no incentive. They'd rather keep their businesses in Newport News, Chesapeake or out near Military Circle because it's cheaper. Something needs to be done about that.

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I'd be in favor of converting to condos, if Norfolk makes them reasonably-priced. The Rotunda was a very ambitious project, until they started charging $300K and up. I went to Atlanta last week, and I don't even think they charge that much for their downtown condos. DT has enough overpriced units that no one's buying. I think what drives a lot of people away from this area is the overpriced housing but mediocre pay.

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  • 2 weeks later...

More downtown news here. Restaurants along Granby Street are getting angry at the parking situation in downtown and I must agree with them to a point. I think Granby needs some serious overhaul to it. I do not agree with the idea of making Granby one way though. I do think Granby needs to take away the street parking and make it two lanes in each direction. Also, the garages in the area have to reduce their rates. If I didn't live within walking distance to downtown, I wouldn't go there either because of the parking. Granby Street needs another parking garage with easy access to it. With Granby Street "widened" to 4 lanes of traffic and without the worries of parked cars, this will open up the street and open up a new possibility....... Weekend night pedestrian only Granby Street. On Friday and Saturday nights, close off Granby to traffic (like downtown Hampton or Bourbon Street in New Orleans). Let vendors sell beer on the street, get a block party going. In the summer, downtown Norfolk is dead because people don't want to be at an indoor bar at that time of year. Hampton is a great example of how people flock down there instead. BTW, here is the link to the parking revolt:

http://www.wvec.com/video?id=118677704&sec=554067

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More downtown news here. Restaurants along Granby Street are getting angry at the parking situation in downtown and I must agree with them to a point. I think Granby needs some serious overhaul to it. I do not agree with the idea of making Granby one way though. I do think Granby needs to take away the street parking and make it two lanes in each direction. Also, the garages in the area have to reduce their rates. If I didn't live within walking distance to downtown, I wouldn't go there either because of the parking. Granby Street needs another parking garage with easy access to it. With Granby Street "widened" to 4 lanes of traffic and without the worries of parked cars, this will open up the street and open up a new possibility....... Weekend night pedestrian only Granby Street. On Friday and Saturday nights, close off Granby to traffic (like downtown Hampton or Bourbon Street in New Orleans). Let vendors sell beer on the street, get a block party going. In the summer, downtown Norfolk is dead because people don't want to be at an indoor bar at that time of year. Hampton is a great example of how people flock down there instead. BTW, here is the link to the parking revolt:

http://www.wvec.com/video?id=118677704&sec=554067

A few things, first, what is the going rate for parking in the garages in downtown Norfolk, day time hourly and evening rates? If they are anything like Seattle's rates, then I would agree that is absurd for downtown Norfolk. The better thing to do if the rates are too high is to have the city pass an ordinance that monitors the rates of the parking garages and dictates how much the garages are able to charge to better attract people downtown. Portland does this with our parking garages, evening rates in our garages ranges from $4-8 depending on the garage.

The four lane Granby with no parking would be a horrible idea. I understand the idea of closing it off from time to time for street festivals, but that can also be accomplished with no parking hours during those kinds of events. If Granby is to thrive, the city would need to keep it a two lane road with street parking. I actually think the one way idea would be great if Norfolk was designed in a formal block pattern street grid, but it isn't and a one way Granby would be confusing to navigate. One way streets are only successful when a city is all square or rectangle blocks like Portland because even with our very simple street grid I often find outsiders to be very confused and afraid of driving in Portland.

Also another thing is something that would involve a city ordinance would be to allow places to provide outside seating along the sidewalks, provided there is enough room for people to walk on the sidewalk (granted I no longer remember how wide the sidewalks on Granby are anymore.) This is another thing that has taken off in Portland over the past 5 years. It required some tricky navigating with the city at first until the city council mapped out better rules for it, but since that ordinance went into effect, a large number of restaurants have put tables out on the sidewalks during the summers to allow patrons to enjoy the nice outdoors while enjoying their food (something Portland only gets a limited number of nice days, so we try and take advantage of it as much as possible.)

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More downtown news here. Restaurants along Granby Street are getting angry at the parking situation in downtown and I must agree with them to a point. I think Granby needs some serious overhaul to it. I do not agree with the idea of making Granby one way though. I do think Granby needs to take away the street parking and make it two lanes in each direction. Also, the garages in the area have to reduce their rates. If I didn't live within walking distance to downtown, I wouldn't go there either because of the parking. Granby Street needs another parking garage with easy access to it. With Granby Street "widened" to 4 lanes of traffic and without the worries of parked cars, this will open up the street and open up a new possibility....... Weekend night pedestrian only Granby Street. On Friday and Saturday nights, close off Granby to traffic (like downtown Hampton or Bourbon Street in New Orleans). Let vendors sell beer on the street, get a block party going. In the summer, downtown Norfolk is dead because people don't want to be at an indoor bar at that time of year. Hampton is a great example of how people flock down there instead. BTW, here is the link to the parking revolt:

http://www.wvec.com/video?id=118677704&sec=554067

Both the ideas of lowering parking rates and removing on-street parking are completely contrary to the goal of having a pedestrian friendly areas. lower parking rates would mean more people would drive in instead of parking for free at a place like the new Newtown light real station and riding in. This would hinder our prospects of light rail. Additionally, when people ride in on transit they are more likely to stay a while than if they had convenient access to their car. As for the on-street parking, don't touch it. Its a basic planning technique. On-street parking makes the sidewalk feel safer. No parking on the street means people don't want to walk there. Also, on-street parking slows cars down. People naturally drive slower when they are afraid a door will open our a person will walk or from between two cars. No on-street parking means faster traffic which means fewer walkers. But you still need the cars. Closing the street to cars has failed before because it makes it feel deserted and leads to higher crime. This is one case where I will say that business owners need to stick to running their businesses and leave the planning to people who can plan. I am not making this up. Go borrow a planning guide for planning for planning a pedestrian friendly area.

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The only way I would support a one way street there is if monticello were one way in the opposite direction AND light rail was split between the two going in the same direction as the traffic. This would allow for traffic flow, wider sidewalks on monticello, and on-street parking

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If you guys are wondering what other cities are doing that Norfolk isn't doing, this guide will help. It is basically a simple guide to small things people are doing in other cities that are having a huge impact on neighborhoods within cities like Norfolk.

Tactical Urbanism

http://www.scribd.com/full/51354266?access_key=key-nw2f5bk3u3tzdcipknz

Edited by urbanlife
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  • 2 months later...

I'm catching up, and I know I'm not well liked on forums because of my pessimistic views of some things. But so far I think I've been right.

With regards to condos, whatever. I've heard there are still lots of empty ones for sale. I think that some of the higher end ones downtown are held by people that don't live here just as toys. So that doesn't really help the foot traffic. What's the market for condos anyways? I never got it. The big part of ownership is owning the LAND. Condos don't really have that.

A friend just took a job in Atlanta. Bought an AWESOME house I think. Cost less than the crap housing around here. Job is better, pays better, and has more potential. Stock options, company sells, it pays for the house in full type of thing. You don't see a lot of that around 757.

In terms of parking, yea. Virginia Beach is crazy busy at town center on the weekends. Norfolk ain't.

The downside is people might not want to actually walk from a parking garage to the restaurants. Lazy people, you know. I think safety is a big one, when it comes to walking to the car. The light rail stops at 11pm, so that leaves the bars in the cold and parking in the cold (I think?)

I totally agree about jobs. I've said it before, there just aren't a lot of good jobs here. The big companies we have don't compete at ALL with whats out there in other cities. I mean to be all up honest, Hampton Roads really is garbage. People are trying to change it, and that is so great. But in the end, is it worth spending your life trying to change an area when you can just relocate somewhere better?

I've worked for a number of companies in the area, and a few startups. The startups were SO much better. It's hard to describe. With the gov't you get people looking to get by. It's mostly safe. Often overstaffed. Layers of BS bureaucracy. With startups you feel like you are making a change. The unknown. The risk. Etc. But there aren't really many successful ones that call Hampton Roads home. People are trying to change that, but I dunno.

It's kind of odd since as a whole the US is failing. So in the larger scheme whats hip in 757 matters less.

Where do you think Hampton Roads will be in 10 years?

In the mean time, eff it. Do something cool. Maybe make people laugh. I think it's time for another good prank.

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Hey TElmnstr, I think you made some truthful points. I hope people respect your honesty because I do. It hurt to hear the truth but, it was the truth so I have nothing to say but, thanks. Our area has suffered for years with the issues you mentioned. Mainly the types of jobs locally. We have very few jobs that provide any type of diversity in the 757. There are some awesome things about living here but, the jobs aren't one of them. As the economy suffers and our METRO depends on the government mostly for its jobs, we are at a crossroads. The cities locally must move now because its already to late. They need to decide how to proceed on a financially based economy not based on the military for its survival. Norfolks metro has some very beautiful places to live, good schools and beaches. Whats missing locally is things that make folks move here outside of that. Populations ironically or not so much to those in the know grow mainly for one reason! JOBS!!!

As Tel has stated the types of jobs in Norfolk don't tend to attract new residents as Charlotte has in the last 20 years. What Tel has said isn't bad, its a wake up call to understanding what is needed moving forward for bettering our metro as a whole. It doesn't feel good hearing the truth but, in the case of comments Tel has made, its good to hear. Only if the local politicians could here how Norfolk/Metro is seen and take steps now to provide a stronger economic base. Until we get better jobs(higher pay especially) the Norfolk/Va Beach metro we see will stop growing or lose residents as did alot of midwestern cities. The government cut backs soon will effect us severely, and we aren't prepared for it at all. Great honesty Tel, some won't like it but, I appreciate and respect honesty. LGNM

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The thing that hurts Hampton Roads the MOST is the water separating the cities. It will always be a barrier because there are only two crossings between Norfolk and the Peninsula, two from Norfolk to Portsmouth, etc. They are all just a bunch of bottlenecks and these interstates are so beyond outdated.

Back on topic of downtown Norfolk.............. I was in Hampton's Peninsula Town Center yesterday and they did a really good job there with making what were anchor stores for the mall into a great park like setting. Then I look at McArthur Mall and that ugly plot of land on Monticello they call a park. Norfolk needs to turn this into a nice park with fountains and gardens and make it nicer to look at.

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Downtown Norfolk is starting to feel more and more like a city IMO..

The question is.. WHAT needs to happen for our downtown to get MORE jobs which will equal MORE residents which will INCREASE foot traffic, bringing about more retail and a more vibrant urban center.

As of now, I love our downtown. I love Norfolk's urban neighborhoods. I love Granby St. I'm starting to love Monticello Ave. I love Colley Ave. It's getting better by the day.

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I think were years away from what Va-Rider desires. I'd imagine most older members want the same as VaRider as well, I DO, HAHAHAA! One thing they(city leaders) have to do is be more aggressive attracting businesses with tax breaks and other creative financial perks to bring businesses here(Norfolk/Metro)! The city leaders we have in place don't have the ability or shall I say experience it takes to do so. Fraim is a solid Mayor, not a great one. I don't have anything to say bad about the man, he's done well for a local and for someone who faces opposition i'm sure all the time within city government. Only GOD knows what Fraim tried and has tried to do regarding improving the financial sector in Norfolk as a whole with a major focus on downtown. Simply put, all BIG cities are, are places were there are plenty of jobs and opportunities to own and start your own businesses. Weather helps(see Miami) and schools etc., but, the main draw is the job market(see Detroit and Michigan for what happens when jobs leave or companies shut down)!

Norfolk needs a new regime in city government and that is were it starts. The growth we have seen is small compared to cities Iv'e visited that were smaller 25 years ago than Norfolk and have passed Norfolk. It needs to be pointed out that city structure is key, meaning independent city, verses county city governments. Norfolk is the center of the area but, with each city being independent, it hurts Norfolk becoming Charlotte or Atlanta! Maybe one day for VaRiders sake, he will see Norfolk become the urban center I dreamed of before long. I don't think it will be in the next 25 years but, I hope im wrong. I love the attempt and effort though. Norfolk is much better along than it was when I was 15-21 so, Im optimistic but, think the city needs better leadership (mayor/city government)! LGNM

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I'm catching up, and I know I'm not well liked on forums because of my pessimistic views of some things. But so far I think I've been right.

With regards to condos, whatever. I've heard there are still lots of empty ones for sale. I think that some of the higher end ones downtown are held by people that don't live here just as toys. So that doesn't really help the foot traffic. What's the market for condos anyways? I never got it. The big part of ownership is owning the LAND. Condos don't really have that.

A friend just took a job in Atlanta. Bought an AWESOME house I think. Cost less than the crap housing around here. Job is better, pays better, and has more potential. Stock options, company sells, it pays for the house in full type of thing. You don't see a lot of that around 757.

In terms of parking, yea. Virginia Beach is crazy busy at town center on the weekends. Norfolk ain't.

The downside is people might not want to actually walk from a parking garage to the restaurants. Lazy people, you know. I think safety is a big one, when it comes to walking to the car. The light rail stops at 11pm, so that leaves the bars in the cold and parking in the cold (I think?)

I totally agree about jobs. I've said it before, there just aren't a lot of good jobs here. The big companies we have don't compete at ALL with whats out there in other cities. I mean to be all up honest, Hampton Roads really is garbage. People are trying to change it, and that is so great. But in the end, is it worth spending your life trying to change an area when you can just relocate somewhere better?

I've worked for a number of companies in the area, and a few startups. The startups were SO much better. It's hard to describe. With the gov't you get people looking to get by. It's mostly safe. Often overstaffed. Layers of BS bureaucracy. With startups you feel like you are making a change. The unknown. The risk. Etc. But there aren't really many successful ones that call Hampton Roads home. People are trying to change that, but I dunno.

It's kind of odd since as a whole the US is failing. So in the larger scheme whats hip in 757 matters less.

Where do you think Hampton Roads will be in 10 years?

In the mean time, eff it. Do something cool. Maybe make people laugh. I think it's time for another good prank.

As I see it, gov is only one part of the puzzle to why Norfolk is the way that it is. It is true value in bringing people out to your city for various activities and entertainment. The problem Norfolk hasn't realized is that in terms of other things NOT business, they have left other cities catch up with them. They got complacent, obviously, and focused on things that did not pan out. The city needs to focus less on brings business because honestly, they do a horrible job with that as history has shown. Instead, focus on the things they can control. They have to steal some of the other cities thunder some how. The increasingly made this difficult for DT because in the time of boom, they left leasing company’s real estate companies go crazy. Now its too expensive to take a chance, especially when the city isn't contributing to make that given area boom (see waterside and jillians as an example). In other cities, they have regular things the citizens can look forward to. We have fest events in the summer, but it is 4 other seasons they must take advantage of as well. Anything is better than what they are currently doing. Have a concert, have performs on the street from time to time. Really, how much is that going to set the city back compared to the other things they are doing? Hell, if you set it up, the performances are free. Just ask any local ballet, dance, band, club will they perform for free. I'm sure they will say yes if you provide the stage and electricity. Just bring the people out, stop making locals look to va.beach to get that kind of atmosphere. Taking their business should not be the goal because you can't be a beach, however, take pride in what you do have. Promote your DT streets and get people counting on attending these types of events. But as the years go by, the harder it will be to do something like that.

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The thing that hurts Hampton Roads the MOST is the water separating the cities. It will always be a barrier because there are only two crossings between Norfolk and the Peninsula, two from Norfolk to Portsmouth, etc. They are all just a bunch of bottlenecks and these interstates are so beyond outdated.

If that were the case, then cities like Seattle, San Francisco, and Boston would all be struggling. Water separation only really hurts commuting, but isn't much of a real barrier when it comes to cities being healthy or sick. Besides, 2/3 of the population lives on the Southside, so water isn't technically much of an issue for Hampton Roads.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Just my updates from this past weekend.

Work is still being completed on the wellsfargo building. Still no signage regarding BWW or anything else, only "BITE".

The construction signage that was once westin reads "....conference"

Adjacent lot to library is has been demo-ed, no construction equipment as of yet.

Bagel place open on Monticello, but no signage up

Poshe Boutique on Granby - closed

Kerobe (sp*) - closed and reopen to pizza place

Electrical work permit is up for ex-hotel now office tower on granby in the underground vacant space. Should be nice.

New HRT parking deck and structure going up. Looks nice, has a bit of height, but yet another ancillary site with no retail, thus will maintain same activity.

Old crisp pak building project is moving forward in ft. Norfolk.

EVMS renovations still ongoing, new building outside nearly complete, EVMC parking deck entrance redone.

Construction happening on Colley, old mongolia steak place.

Everything else is the same.

Had a nice walk sat. night after checking out the Reggie fest, which wasn't really a fest.

We ate dinner at max and erma's (sp*). $85 bill for me, my wife, son, and nephew (not sure how i feel about that). Great night as we sat on on the street to eat dinner. Makes me wish the federal building would disappear and open up for entertainment or some type of retail. It would really change that part of monticello. Also loved looking at the wells theater building. It looks like the oldest building in DT. Love the exposed brick (exposed brick fan) and classic look. Didn't get to see LRT rolling down the street, but it should look great. However, it makes me want for development on the empty proposed macy's lot. Hope it is done right, that would really change the heart of DT.

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Um, there's a huge sign on Monticello that says BWW opening soon, and the work on the inside is moving along fast and they've painted the street level retail section in BWW yellow and black...it's gonna be a nice addition to DN. whether you guys like them or not, chains bring people. downtown needs people. I wanna see what other names downtown can bring..

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Um, there's a huge sign on Monticello that says BWW opening soon, and the work on the inside is moving along fast and they've painted the street level retail section in BWW yellow and black...it's gonna be a nice addition to DN. whether you guys like them or not, chains bring people. downtown needs people. I wanna see what other names downtown can bring..

Very true, chains do bring people...or technically, they give people safe options when they are visiting, therefore letting them enjoy what they are use to at home while enjoying a different city. I always laugh when someone asks me how to get to a chain place here in Portland because we are known for our food and our cooking, so it would make no sense to go to a chain here when you can experience something unique, but people still go to them and I have no problem with that because it is still money being spent in our city.

Anyway, that is good news, I have been wondering if anything has been going on there, don't recall hearing much from anyone or really seeing any new pictures being posted.

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Um, there's a huge sign on Monticello that says BWW opening soon, and the work on the inside is moving along fast and they've painted the street level retail section in BWW yellow and black...it's gonna be a nice addition to DN. whether you guys like them or not, chains bring people. downtown needs people. I wanna see what other names downtown can bring..

oh ok

must have missed it, thanks for the update..

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Norfolk has the potential to go over the top. The problems are obvious, we all have discussed them, now we have the economy adding to the issues. The recent debt budget no telling the effect that will have locally and nationally if something doesn't get done soon(new budget before deadline)! Norfolk to me has always been almost there. Stayed at The Renassiance(excuse spelling) in Portsmouth 4th of July when I got back from Miami. We have an awesome downtown (norfolk) and the view is nice. Whats missing is JOBS! That may be the key to growth we for a while have had elude us. Va BEach for a while grew alot but, most of it must have been people leaving Norfolk and other cities, and military! New JOBS bring growth truthfully. Norfolk's issues may lay more in the fact the JOB market is less than moderate. Northern VA is made for growth, D.C across the water and so many jobs and growth. We can't compete with that and need more than chain eateries and shops to spend $ in.

Yes, it's good to see more come here no matter what it is but, we need JOBS to accompany these eateries and shops that we will spend our money in. Another $9-$10 an hour job won't make folks rush to Norfolk or the metro. Cities are built on jobs and opportunity! This area doesn't lack beauty! It doesn't lack good schools and most of the people are good citizens, those are draws. The problem is, compare here to even Richmond,VA. Richmond has more Fortune 500 - 1000 companies than Norfolk, no knock on Norfolk just showing what we didn't concentrate on growth wise(JOB market wise)! Why go to Richmond over this area! Interstate 95? The state capital is there and the Federal reserve has a branch there, 1 of 12? I have no idea. I know this, until Norfolk brings better paying JOBS and more to do aside from the beach, it won't draw companies to come here. LGNM

Edited by usermel
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I agree, downtown needs MORE JOBS.

But hopefully, in time, that will come.

For now, we can only focus on what's already going on and planned. There's a movement to aid in the parking situation called Park Up Norfolk.. Read more on AltDaily's website.. The Tide is doing test runs every day, all day now.. I'm pretty much used to seeing a train now when I'm in the area and the excitement is waning..I'm excited to go to the new Buffalo Wild Wings (food is still subpar IMO)..Monticello looks so amazing compared to what it was before the WFC. The city now needs to focus on developing the "Third Anchor" lot..It would really solidify Monticello as a complete downtown street. Things are starting to slow down now that the WFC is practically done, LR is practically done, TCC Student Center is open, etc. What we have to look forward to is the new downtown library, the new consolidated courts complex, and whatever is eventually done with Waterside. I really hope the next wave of development brings about a very tall tower where the Westin is/was supposed to go.. Also, the NET is being extended and will no longer be free. I like the change as now it will take you down 21st street, through Ghent, and down Colley Ave, which will add to the cohesiveness of Norfolk's urban core..

One question, what do you guys see for the future of our downtown? We see how far it's come since 1980.. What do you all think Norfolk 2030 or 2040 will look like?

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