vdogg

Element at Ghent (The Element on Granby)

41 posts in this topic

This one slipped under the radar screen. It's actually starting construction soon (beginning of 2012) and will front monticello and Granby street. It's pretty big and pretty urban. Should give the area a nice feel. Not sure how I feel about the businesses moving though.

http://www.wtkr.com/...,0,733808.story

post-769-0-23596000-1317955401_thumb.jpg

Edited by vdogg
Date was wrong

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Some more renderings. Not sure what the deal is with our photo upload function today. On a side note, this is the first time I'll be able to update the projects list in about 2 years. :)

post-769-0-83873600-1317955737_thumb.jpg

post-769-0-98003000-1317955748_thumb.jpg

post-769-0-29975400-1317955762_thumb.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The only thing I regret about this project is loosing that pink house, it really adds character to the area. On the flip side the local businesses should get quite a boost from this project.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I noticed the crappy car wash was closed down recently too on that block. It's too bad they can't just move that house though.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Update: They started demolition of the old chinese restaurant and the Painted Lady. I drove by today and there were big holes in the roof of the house. It will probably be completely torn down by this week.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


It's not as bland as I expected, so that's a plus. Shame that the Painted Lady had to go though...I ate there before my Ring Dance back in 1999.

 

I'd love to see that area build a modernized complex similar to the older apartment buildings already in Ghent...unfortunately, that would require all-brick, which would prolly make the rent even higher than this particular complex...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I find the design of this project quite interesting. Im glad it doesn't mimick the bad design of the row @ ghent.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I find the design of this project quite interesting. Im glad it doesn't mimick the bad design of the row @ ghent.

 

The design of the [email protected] was fine.  It was the execution that is the biggest problem.  When bricks and stucco are replaced with EIFs you get a very cheap looking imitation.  It's the same problem that happened with the Wells Fargo apartments.  They just look cheap.  It's the same issue I take with Buddy Gaddam's projects going up on Granby St.  Too much use of EIFS.  It's like brick has become the complementary rather than the primary facade choice.  Because developers want to build cheap, it looks cheap.

 

IMO, there's no greater offense than the Belomont@ Freemason.  Again, great design, horrible materials way out of context for the faux design they were going for.

 

Counter all of these cheaply made residential projects which are pretty good designs with the new courthouse.  I don't think the courthouse design is the best it can be, but using real limestone is going to give it class, dignity, and gain it admiration for all of those walking or driving by.     

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just an update:  This project has been renamed "The Element on Granby."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The design of the [email protected] was fine.  It was the execution that is the biggest problem.  When bricks and stucco are replaced with EIFs you get a very cheap looking imitation.  It's the same problem that happened with the Wells Fargo apartments.  They just look cheap.  It's the same issue I take with Buddy Gaddam's projects going up on Granby St.  Too much use of EIFS.  It's like brick has become the complementary rather than the primary facade choice.  Because developers want to build cheap, it looks cheap.

 

IMO, there's no greater offense than the Belomont@ Freemason.  Again, great design, horrible materials way out of context for the faux design they were going for.

 

Counter all of these cheaply made residential projects which are pretty good designs with the new courthouse.  I don't think the courthouse design is the best it can be, but using real limestone is going to give it class, dignity, and gain it admiration for all of those walking or driving by.     

 

The sad thing is, people are still shelling out upwards of $1,500 a month for cheap, cookie-cutter "lookalike" materials. It's kinda sad, and kinda takes away from the charm of the Ghent/Freemason area.

 

There's some condos at the corner of Princess Anne + Colley that went up about 5 or 6 years ago, and to me, they're really nice. It's a small building, but has a great modern look.

 

6133e918-efa3-4b14-994c-c24c0499ba8c_zps

Edited by BFG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The sad thing is, people are still shelling out upwards of $1,500 a month for cheap, cookie-cutter "lookalike" materials. It's kinda sad, and kinda takes away from the charm of the Ghent/Freemason area.

 

There's some condos at the corner of Princess Anne + Colley that went up about 5 or 6 years ago, and to me, they're really nice. It's a small building, but has a great modern look.

 

6133e918-efa3-4b14-994c-c24c0499ba8c_zps

 

Those condos were also built by Buddy Gaddams.  I wish he would put that kind of design effort and materials into his projects on Granby.  Those look excellent.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


The $1500 a month thing is the new trick.  Navy housing or whatever.

 

I'd guess that these projects will turn to condos if the market "rebounds."

 

The big money is running into apartments, although with housing prices now up we will see what happens.

 

The Baxters building on Granby was originally going to be apartments but went condos when the market got hot.

 

Right now they're trying to push the housing market hot again, as like the only hope for the economy. Basically supply is limited and bidding wars are happening against that limited supply. Banks are really sitting on tons of houses not on the market, and it's probably their chance (or making) to slowly try to move some of the junk they're sitting on.

 

So many apartments. It's crazy. I wish I knew what Belmont at Freemason and other occupancy percentages are.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry guys, not much progress on this project. It's sorta funny though, with Buddy Gadams' projects downtown already full steam ahead with construction. The Element is just a sandy hole in the ground! LOL

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry guys, not much progress on this project. It's sorta funny though, with Buddy Gadams' projects downtown already full steam ahead with construction. The Element is just a sandy hole in the ground! LOL

 

A flashback to another hole in the ground?

 

Dealt with the guy in person. Not a fan.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry guys, not much progress on this project. It's sorta funny though, with Buddy Gadams' projects downtown already full steam ahead with construction. The Element is just a sandy hole in the ground! LOL

Starting to wonder about this one. It's been over a month and still just a sandy hole with a couple iof test piles. There is no pile driver on site now, or construction equipment of any kinda. Starting to get a Granby Tower vibe from this one.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Might it just be that a different company does the test piles versus the real deal?  Dunno...  It does have the perfect start to a project destined to fail.  Whenever historic structures are torn down usually the development doesn't happen.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't know any details about this particular project, but allow me to offer one possible scenario -

 

In the past, when an engineer designed a pile foundation, he calculated/estimated the load-bearing capacity of the piles, and then designed the number of piles based on that estimate.  Once construction started, the contractor would drive test piles and load test one pile to verify the engineer's original estimate.  The test piles almost never failed, because the engineer's estimate was conservative.  Thus, if the engineer assumed a pile capacity of 50 tons, the test piles may prove to have a capacity of 60 or 70 or 80 tons.  It was too late to go back and redesign the foundation, so the owner ended up paying for capacity that he would never use. 

 

Now, if the schedule allows, the contractor drives and load tests the test piles early in the design phase to determine the pile capacity.  The engineer designs the foundation based on the actual pile capacity, not on an estimated or calculated capacity, and the owner saves money.  It could be months after the test piles are installed until the design is complete and the contractor can start driving the regular, or production, piles.  If the piling subcontractor has another project that needs the pile hammer, he will demobilize his equipment and re-mobilize it when needed.

Edited by virginia pe

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Looks like another pile driver is on site.

 

Yeah, drove past it a few days ago and a couple drivers were drilling and there was quite a bit of activity. 

 

Construction is also full steam ahead on the Boush St project, and of course Gaddams other project on Granby st. 

 

CIty definitely gonna start feeling more urban if this trend continues. The city definitely could use that LR extension to the naval base/odu and the SPQ is promising (at worst, a mid-rise district, much improved, adjacent to our escalating downtown area

Edited by varider

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Activity is still humming! I think this weekend I will trek aroung DT and take some pix! Right now, this project is still a hole in the ground. Although piles are still being placed! Density in this area is progressing nicely!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.