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HarryVB

Pembroke Central Mixed-Use Development

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Mixed-Use Development

Pembroke Central

Virginia Beach, Virginia

Pembroke Central in Virginia Beach, Virginia is a proposed new mixed-use area to be located at the Virginia Beach's busiest intersection (Virginia Beach Blvd. and Independence Blvd.), in the heart of the Central Business District around existing Pembroke Mall, the Hampton Road area's first mall built in 1966 and renovated in 2003. Across the street from Virginia Beach Town Center, Pembroke Central will tie into the area's new light rail system.

Pembroke Central

new.pembroke.jpg

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I seriously doubt they're gonna be running light rail down the center of Va. Beach blvd. as they have displayed here. Considering we just plunked down 40 mil for the NS ROW if light rail does come to Va. Beach it is going there. Either this developer hasn't done his homework, is deliberately trying to mislead, or perhaps the information is dated. I like the concept, but there is no way it is tying "directly" to light rail. That said, 1 block away isn't that bad.

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Yeah i totally agree with you. I think he was just showing a idea of lightrail in the town center area. Because since the tracks are soo far down the road. He couldnt get the whole rendering in the picture. It looks like this is a new architect. 2009-2010. Looks like something may start to happen.

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My guess is since Citywalk is years from starting. The city is using alternative ways of redeveloping the mall but keeping the major anchors. Sears, Kohls, the existing restraunts. Looks like it will be a life center or Outdoor town center mall like in short Pump (richmond) but with all the bells and whistles. Like a major hotel, Midrise apartments, new theatre, major retail stores, parking garages, fountains and tree line streets. it reminds me of the Citywalk Project.

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I really hope an idea like this never happens, that is a horrible use of space for the site seeing that it is basically twice the size of the Town Center and should fall in line with the urban blocks idea. I would much rather see the Pembroke Mall become an 18-26 block district rather than a glorified mall. Besides, there are a number of great examples of urban malls out there that would only take up no more than a third of this site.

Personally I would like to see the owners of this mall building a new mall that is 3-4 stories high and taking up the more prime location within the site, which would make sense for the owners of the mall, then do a combination of creating a collection of blocks and working with developers for independent projects for each of those blocks, as well as donating to the city a block or two within it to become city parks or plazas to help create an urban center piece for the city.

If done correctly, this site and the City Walk site would quadruple the size of VB's downtown.

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I am not sure how I feel about this. On the one hand, I see where this could be a great central high end retailer location (in the long run) surrounded by highrises on all sides. On the other hand, I do see where breaking the site into blocks would be compatible with the master plan. The first option could happen more rapidly, possibly spurring further development. The second option would take much much longer to make happen, but would probably be a denser development.

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I'm not too picky about how they redevelop the mall area since there is more than enough land parcels around the CBD to redevelop into high rises and such. A little diversity can be nice as well.

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I'm not too picky about how they redevelop the mall area since there is more than enough land parcels around the CBD to redevelop into high rises and such. A little diversity can be nice as well.

Yes but this design is just terrible. There arent any new roads, buildings over a huge area, there are few linkages. Just putting a bunch of buildings in an area does not necessarily make it new urbanist, this looks more like the Short Pump Mall than a true urban block, So I dislike it.

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Completely unrelated to this original topic, but involving the Pembroke Mall. A dream project that I would love to see happen to the Pembroke Mall site would be to have the entire area divided up in 250x250ft blocks, which if that is done would give the entire area about 22-26 blocks, with a hand full of odd shaped blocks, which could also allow for some unique locations within the site. Which if a development like that were to ever happen for VB, it would triple the size of the town center and really turn Pembroke into the downtown of Virginia Beach.

Also, with dividing the entire site up in 22-26 blocks, the owners of the Pembroke Mall would obviously have first dibs at which blocks they would want to build a new mall on, the city would probably have next picks on key garage and park/plaza locations, then the remaining blocks could each be sold off to other developers either as whole blocks or divided into half or quarter blocks to sell off.

Which if something like this were to ever happen, I think it would truly create a real urban experience within Virginia Beach...personally I don't see this happening, but I do hope something close to this happens rather than a glorified "Lifestyle Center" that will more than likely get built if there is every any redevelopment of the Pembroke Mall.

Another random note, VB should have no problem making their downtown very walkable, minus crossing major roads, because the length of downtown would barely be over a mile and a half long, and almost all of the downtown would be less than half a mile wide, except where the Pembroke Mall is where it becomes almost a mile wide. A very small amount of land to work with for a downtown, but plenty of possibility for some really tall towers, and should eventually make quite the impressive skyline for the city...and possibly a very pleasant downtown to walk around in.

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Honestly, I would be bummed to see the region's oldest mall go bye-bye, but I think Pembroke needs to go either a) the Coliseum Mall/Peninsula TC, or b) Short Pump route to help VB develop their downtown. Something that would compliment the already existing Town Center, but not necessarily with the taller buildings. Keep the Pembroke name and a few elements, but modernize it to a TC-style project.

Pembroke is a tiny mall, but sits on a nice lot that would make a nice cluster of mixed-use buildings.

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Completely unrelated to this original topic, but involving the Pembroke Mall. A dream project that I would love to see happen to the Pembroke Mall site would be to have the entire area divided up in 250x250ft blocks, which if that is done would give the entire area about 22-26 blocks, with a hand full of odd shaped blocks, which could also allow for some unique locations within the site. Which if a development like that were to ever happen for VB, it would triple the size of the town center and really turn Pembroke into the downtown of Virginia Beach.

Also, with dividing the entire site up in 22-26 blocks, the owners of the Pembroke Mall would obviously have first dibs at which blocks they would want to build a new mall on, the city would probably have next picks on key garage and park/plaza locations, then the remaining blocks could each be sold off to other developers either as whole blocks or divided into half or quarter blocks to sell off.

I totally agree with you. I think that there is some great opportunity to build some affordable private housing if your idea of dividing the area into blocks came to fruition. This region isn't as affluent as the current shops and apartments in Town Center would like, but if some nice affordable row houses/brownstones could be built on some of those blocks, or shops with 2nd and 3rd floor apartments were built, then I think the area could really take off. I like looking at how cities formerly grew and developed and find it unfortunate that so many row houses have been gentrified and, in most cities, there is a real lack of affordable private housing in the urban core. I think if this site were to be redeveloped with affordable housing in mind, then I don't think we'd see quite as many vacancies in Town Center.

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I totally agree with you. I think that there is some great opportunity to build some affordable private housing if your idea of dividing the area into blocks came to fruition. This region isn't as affluent as the current shops and apartments in Town Center would like, but if some nice affordable row houses/brownstones could be built on some of those blocks, or shops with 2nd and 3rd floor apartments were built, then I think the area could really take off. I like looking at how cities formerly grew and developed and find it unfortunate that so many row houses have been gentrified and, in most cities, there is a real lack of affordable private housing in the urban core. I think if this site were to be redeveloped with affordable housing in mind, then I don't think we'd see quite as many vacancies in Town Center.

That would be an awesome thing to see...mid-to-upper $100s would be great, and that's why I always talk about converted warehouses being converted. Why not use the space and give some regions (in this case, the DT Norfolk area) a little character?

I just don't believe this area doesn't produce enough people to live in the $2,000 apartments (the Cosmopolitan in Town Center) or half-million dollar condos in the Westin, or at least not as many as they're offering. If these apartments/condos were concentrated to one small area, I could understand, but it's everywhere around here, both in TC and DT Norfolk!

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I too dream about the mall being made over into something more in step with TC. As it stands, the mall is pretty stagnant despite them trying to fix it up a few years ago. I have been there a time or two, mostly to surf with Cox's free wifi. Of the few eating places, several have come and gone in a short amount of time and well, the feel of some of the mall is not the greatest. It's prime property just begging to have a higher use.

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I totally agree with you. I think that there is some great opportunity to build some affordable private housing if your idea of dividing the area into blocks came to fruition. This region isn't as affluent as the current shops and apartments in Town Center would like, but if some nice affordable row houses/brownstones could be built on some of those blocks, or shops with 2nd and 3rd floor apartments were built, then I think the area could really take off. I like looking at how cities formerly grew and developed and find it unfortunate that so many row houses have been gentrified and, in most cities, there is a real lack of affordable private housing in the urban core. I think if this site were to be redeveloped with affordable housing in mind, then I don't think we'd see quite as many vacancies in Town Center.

A lot of that affordable private housing happens because of public regulations. Basically it the city would need to require developers to provide a specific number of units that meet different costs in housing. Something like 30% of a building stock must go to more affordable housing costs, or specific sq ft units for specific costs, and so on. Though it is very important for a downtown to have a mix of income levels, developers do not see it this way without the city making them see it this way. Often times a developer will want to build a building that has every unit getting the maximum value because often times the high costs of construction demand higher returns to make a profit, especially in the case of new buildings being built. Converting older buildings into living units and office space is usually an effective way to get overhead costs down, but in the case of Virginia Beach, that is nonexistent.

Though one good thing for the city would be allowing construction that requires to have the first floor be concrete and the upper 3-4 floors be able to be constructed out of wood, which helps bring costs down because that makes the construction on par with typical suburban apartment buildings but the exteriors could be done in a manor where they look urban. I have seen plenty of examples of this type of construction over the years to know it is doable and looks good.

As for row housing or buildings similar to that, I would have to say that the northern end of the mall's site would be best for something like this because it would be wise for the owners of this site to have a soft transition into the suburban neighborhood to the north.

It is really funny to think that this mall is basically the oldest mall in the region, with some a few renovations over the years...I guess the funny part about it, would be arguing that this mall is actually VB's Oldtown in Pembroke.

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Another random note, VB should have no problem making their downtown very walkable, minus crossing major roads, because the length of downtown would barely be over a mile and a half long, and almost all of the downtown would be less than half a mile wide, except where the Pembroke Mall is where it becomes almost a mile wide. A very small amount of land to work with for a downtown, but plenty of possibility for some really tall towers, and should eventually make quite the impressive skyline for the city...and possibly a very pleasant downtown to walk around in.

i think, as part of a long term plan, VB should split VB Blvd into 2 one way streets with a block in between. That would allow for a smaller street to cross, increasing pedestrian walkability, allowing for parallel parking (increasing the safety and comfort of pedestrians), and give a more urban feel to the decidedly suburban highway.

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i think, as part of a long term plan, VB should split VB Blvd into 2 one way streets with a block in between. That would allow for a smaller street to cross, increasing pedestrian walkability, allowing for parallel parking (increasing the safety and comfort of pedestrians), and give a more urban feel to the decidedly suburban highway.

That would be the biggest barrier to deal with, Independence is bad, but only crosses a small portion of the downtown, while VB Blvd runs the entire length of it. I would think the best route would be to have the west bound lanes turn northward just before the mall, then run the length as a one way until it merged back together at Witchduck Rd. Doing that would cut through a lot of property, but the north side of VB Blvd should be considered more of a transition zone into the suburban neighborhood to its north.

If the city is really serious about this idea of making Pembroke into downtown for the city, it will be important for the city to make these kinds of improvements sooner rather than later. Currently there is just old suburban buildings in the way of this idea, if the city waits too long and new buildings sprout up along this road, it might be too late for them to make such a move. But I do think you are right, VB needs to be divided into one ways through Pembroke.

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If the city is really serious about this idea of making Pembroke into downtown for the city, it will be important for the city to make these kinds of improvements sooner rather than later. Currently there is just old suburban buildings in the way of this idea, if the city waits too long and new buildings sprout up along this road, it might be too late for them to make such a move. But I do think you are right, VB needs to be divided into one ways through Pembroke.

It is never to late. Some of the best modern cities were planned after they were founded, not before. Twenty years ago, VB would have laughed if you had said that they would have an urban town center. but it was accomplished due to long term planning. if long term planning indicated that they wanted to split VB Blvd into two oneway streets, property would be acquired over many years for the project to be built eventually. Look at where the southeastern parkway was supposed to go. While I despise the project, I have to give credit where it is due: VB accomplish very long term planning. If you look at an aerial photo, the southeastern parkway is a green ribbon right through the middle of the city.

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It is never to late. Some of the best modern cities were planned after they were founded, not before. Twenty years ago, VB would have laughed if you had said that they would have an urban town center. but it was accomplished due to long term planning. if long term planning indicated that they wanted to split VB Blvd into two oneway streets, property would be acquired over many years for the project to be built eventually. Look at where the southeastern parkway was supposed to go. While I despise the project, I have to give credit where it is due: VB accomplish very long term planning. If you look at an aerial photo, the southeastern parkway is a green ribbon right through the middle of the city.

I am in huge favor of the project plan. Some scattered towers and housing mixed in with retail. What is there not to like? I like the plaza element in the middle of the whole design. It looks like on the inside it will be really walkable and peasant, and NO CARS!

Also, all perimenter buildings are pushed up agains the sidewalk surrounding the complex for a nice urban flow with the rest of the area. Looks great to me. The street grid is not the end all be all for city planning. This complex will have charm if it ever comes to fruition.

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I really hope an idea like this never happens, that is a horrible use of space for the site seeing that it is basically twice the size of the Town Center and should fall in line with the urban blocks idea. I would much rather see the Pembroke Mall become an 18-26 block district rather than a glorified mall. Besides, there are a number of great examples of urban malls out there that would only take up no more than a third of this site.

Personally I would like to see the owners of this mall building a new mall that is 3-4 stories high and taking up the more prime location within the site, which would make sense for the owners of the mall, then do a combination of creating a collection of blocks and working with developers for independent projects for each of those blocks, as well as donating to the city a block or two within it to become city parks or plazas to help create an urban center piece for the city.

If done correctly, this site and the City Walk site would quadruple the size of VB's downtown.

I do think it wouldn't hurt to have two roads crossing the complex between independence and constition just to keep the roads semi cohisive so it doesn't feel to quarantined from teh rest of downtown, but I think there is a lot of charm in carless plaza like shopping, dining, etc. The US in general doesn't have nearly enough plazas where cars can't get to you.

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I am in huge favor of the project plan. Some scattered towers and housing mixed in with retail. What is there not to like? I like the plaza element in the middle of the whole design. It looks like on the inside it will be really walkable and peasant, and NO CARS!

Also, all perimenter buildings are pushed up agains the sidewalk surrounding the complex for a nice urban flow with the rest of the area. Looks great to me. The street grid is not the end all be all for city planning. This complex will have charm if it ever comes to fruition.

Are you referring to this strange proposal from HarryVB? I didn't mean to bring back one of his threads, but the title fit and I was lazy. The proposal at the beginning of this is nothing more than a glorified mall. If Virginia Beach wants to have a downtown taken seriously, it has to act like one, the Town Center is a good first step, and the overall Pembroke plan looks promising, but to fully see this happen, the end all be all will be to turn Pembroke Mall into a district of urban blocks.

I do think it wouldn't hurt to have two roads crossing the complex between independence and constition just to keep the roads semi cohisive so it doesn't feel to quarantined from teh rest of downtown, but I think there is a lot of charm in carless plaza like shopping, dining, etc. The US in general doesn't have nearly enough plazas where cars can't get to you.

Creating two one way roads for VB Blvd. might actually help traffic and pedestrian activity. By reducing the size of the road by splitting it into two one ways with a block in between would create an easier barrier to cross on foot. Those center blocks could easily become key architecture blocks throughout the length of Pembroke, especially where the Pembroke Mall sits, where some of the city's most prominent buildings will probably one day be located. Also with the flow of traffic though the downtown, it is much easier to control traffic movement more efficiently with one way streets, this is a important factor in downtown Portland...though I don't imagine VB will ever fully latch onto that idea beyond turning VB Blvd into two one ways.

Speaking of which, has there been any mention of the VB Downtown plan, and has the city had any murmurs about what their next steps might be? Civic projects usually happen during these down economy times to help stimulate areas and it would be nice to see the city begin making permanent changes to the area.

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I am in huge favor of the project plan. Some scattered towers and housing mixed in with retail. What is there not to like? I like the plaza element in the middle of the whole design. It looks like on the inside it will be really walkable and peasant, and NO CARS!

Also, all perimenter buildings are pushed up agains the sidewalk surrounding the complex for a nice urban flow with the rest of the area. Looks great to me. The street grid is not the end all be all for city planning. This complex will have charm if it ever comes to fruition.

Are you referring to this strange proposal from HarryVB? I didn't mean to bring back one of his threads, but the title fit and I was lazy. The proposal at the beginning of this is nothing more than a glorified mall. If Virginia Beach wants to have a downtown taken seriously, it has to act like one, the Town Center is a good first step, and the overall Pembroke plan looks promising, but to fully see this happen, the end all be all will be to turn Pembroke Mall into a district of urban blocks.

I do think it wouldn't hurt to have two roads crossing the complex between independence and constition just to keep the roads semi cohisive so it doesn't feel to quarantined from teh rest of downtown, but I think there is a lot of charm in carless plaza like shopping, dining, etc. The US in general doesn't have nearly enough plazas where cars can't get to you.

Creating two one way roads for VB Blvd. might actually help traffic and pedestrian activity. By reducing the size of the road by splitting it into two one ways with a block in between would create an easier barrier to cross on foot. Those center blocks could easily become key architecture blocks throughout the length of Pembroke, especially where the Pembroke Mall sits, where some of the city's most prominent buildings will probably one day be located. Also with the flow of traffic though the downtown, it is much easier to control traffic movement more efficiently with one way streets, this is a important factor in downtown Portland...though I don't imagine VB will ever fully latch onto that idea beyond turning VB Blvd into two one ways.

Speaking of which, has there been any mention of the VB Downtown plan, and has the city had any murmurs about what their next steps might be? Civic projects usually happen during these down economy times to help stimulate areas and it would be nice to see the city begin making permanent changes to the area.

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Work is beginning on the new Target at Pembroke Mall, Khol's is going thru a major renovation, and from a rendering inside Pembroke Mall it looks like the exterior will begetting a facelift. The signs say something like "HUGE changes coming to Pembroke Mall" and a number is given for leasing inquiries.

Just passing on some observations...

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Glad to see a Tarjhay for the Pembroke area. I lived there for 10 years and the only store nearby was the old Kmart. I bet it's days are probably numbered with Target coming to the area. I'm intrigued by Khols getting a facelift though since this one is a pretty modern one. Anything to help this limping mall along is good although I could wish for something much better. :rolleyes:

From Pembroke Mall's website: “This is only the first phase of an on-going redevelopment of Pembroke Mall” said Ramsay Smith, Senior Vice President of Pembroke Enterprises, Inc.. “Additional renovation and development plans will be revealed at a later date.”

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I bet the KMart will get bought up by a developer looking to hold onto some land to eventually build a small urban project there when things are better. I know if I were a developer, I would be thinking about that.

I am betting that there are beginning plans in the works to rebuild the mall and urbanize the rest of the land around it, but they are doing it in a slow pace to not place too much risk on them, and also so that they can have complete control over what happens on their land. I am sure their movements are a reflection of the Pembroke Plan that came out showing the mall's area filled with buildings and urban blocks. The owners of that mall probably want to make sure their mall stays the center of attention of any future developments and that they make the most profit off anything to be built there in the future.

I am still guessing by 2015-2025 there will be major changes happening in Pembroke.

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