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1 hour ago, RVA-Is-The-Best said:

That's McRae & Lacy, indeed a townhome development by Eagle Construction; while 150 units would be great density wise for that area, it's actually just 26 lol

https://www.eagleofva.com/our-communities/mcrae-lacy/

https://richmondbizsense.com/2019/09/20/eagle-construction-breaks-ground-on-first-development-in-the-city/

I think Brent is wondering about the development at Semmes and Cowardin. It’s bigger than this one.

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2 hours ago, Brent114 said:

I’m not referring to either of those. 
I’m talking about here.

 

114444A0-5321-4792-91B1-9343D03AE9CB.jpeg

Was supposed to consist of several apartment buildings if I recall correctly.  Never have seen details.

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Weird right? It’s a pretty big development.  No renderings in the fence or anything. 
 

This  site is still active too.  There are some retaining walls and footings, plumbing... nothing really vertical yet.  Still too easy to push dirt over it and call it a park so I’ll use this site as a barometer for the downtown (area) market after this is all over :) 

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Another week in and all of the construction sites around town are still active.   Even the old Centennial Tower site on Main Street has a piece of earth moving equipment on it.  
 

I’m feeling cautiously optimistic.  If it weren’t for all of the restaurants and shops that won’t come back, the summer would be looking pretty good for economic activity in central VA. 

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58 minutes ago, georgeglass said:

A little more positive news and an update to the Hardywood property redevelopment. Glad to see this going forward and that they still believe there will be a market for this.

 

https://richmondbizsense.com/2020/04/02/new-details-emerge-on-hardywood-anchored-development-near-the-diamond/

This crisis is unlike we’ve ever experienced before in our lifetimes and is not a normal economic crisis where the whole economy tanks under normal conditions. The bones of a good economy are still there for now and is expected to pick up where it left off in early March when all the restrictions are lifted.  In fact, I think it is smart to take advantage of the lower cost of doing things now to position yourself in a better place when all of this passes.  I would expect a lot of developers are still plowing ahead with plans...albeit a little more apprehensively until we know the state of the economy after all this is over.  The state of the economy is all going to depend on how long the restrictions remain in place.  I don’t know where the breaking point is, but I’d say we are still good if this only lasts another couple months or so. 

Edited by eandslee
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I hope they keep some of the for sale portion. There’s really a lack of moderately priced townhomes in the city limits. 

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9 hours ago, wrldcoupe4 said:

Breaking good news from BizSense. 
Trader Joe’s opening location at Stony Point Shopping Center in the old Martin’s space. 

Worked at the Ukrop’s there from ‘92 to ‘95. Every time I drive by and see it vacant, I feel strangely empty. So this is good news!

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On 1/31/2020 at 12:10 PM, Icetera said:

For one, we are not talking about a new artificial experience.  We are talking about replacing and improving upon an area that already served such a purpose.  Also, in all of those examples (not as certain on Mexico City, will hopefully make it there soon), the quiet work-day areas are not at the nexus of the city.  Certainly none of them are half-abandoned.  I agree that Shockoe near Main Street Station would be great for for such uses but that has been shot-down before.  The current site of the Coliseum is at a major transportation hub making it easiest to access for the greatest population.  The Diamond and Casino area are nice for highway access but lack other transportation options and are not sensible locations for a major hub.

In the examples you provided, developments like this exist at major transportation centers.  You have Madison Square Garden next to Penn Station and others around Grand Central.   The centers of London and Paris are full of major entertainment and cultural venues.  The only quiet area in the center of Tokyo is the palace complex, much like Capitol grounds.

Well said, Icetera.

Edited by I miss RVA

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On 1/31/2020 at 11:20 AM, Brent114 said:

It’s ok for the civic center of a city to be dead at night and on the weekends though. 
New York, London, Tokyo, Paris, Mexico City....the world’s  greatest  cities have places  that aren’t 24/7 neighborhoods and that’s ok.   
 

Downtown doesn’t need to be an entertainment destination for the city to be successful.  I’d rather the effort ($$) be put into the Bottom, Monroe Ward, Brookland Park Blvd and Manchester.  We’re lucky to have a downtown that is a large employment center, we’re luckier to have proper urban neighborhoods that are funky, fun and are beginning to thrive.  Let’s celebrate that and stop trying to force an artificial experience in a part of town that doesn’t need one. 

Brent - with all due respect, there are a few problems with your arguments. Aside from the obvious difference in size between Richmond and the cities mentioned, it is a total apples-and-oranges comparison. Yes, there are sections of NY, London, Paris, Tokyo, Mexico City, etc. that are not 24-7 neighborhoods. But those cities in and of themselves are natural 24-7 cities. Richmond doesn't HAVE a 24-7 neighborhood ANYWHERE in town. And the Navy Hill neighborhood is barely alive during working hours as it is (unless you count people walking to and from cars twice a day as "alive" for a significant portion of that section of downtown).

As for creating an "artificial experience" and suggesting the area doesn't "need" something to kick-start it, please help me understand. Given the vast sea of parking lots and the smattering of government buildings (many if not most of which are eyesores that serve to further the desolation of the area), building a handful mud huts and teepees would actually be an improvement over what's there currently from a liveliness standpoint in all honesty. How is it even remotely possible to make the claim the area "doesn't need" what you're terming an "artificial experience". What kind of "organic" experience should happen there? The one that's currently happening? It's gone to seed as it is - which certainly meets the definition of "organic".

Do you consider Madison Square Garden "organic"? Having been to MSG on several occasions (as well as having passed through Penn Station on more than a few occasions) I certainly do not consider the Garden to be "organic" by any stretch. 

Plus to suggest that "downtown Manhattan" (from a different post, I believe) doesn't need to be 24-7 also holds little if any water. Why? Two words: MIDtown Manhattan, which has such amenities as the Garden, Times Square, Herald Square, etc., and abuts the Upper East Side,  Columbus Circle, Central Park South, and Upper West Side (just to name a few very active Manhattan districts). Plus, as far as downtown Manhattan areas go, do Greenwich Village or SoHo roll up their sidewalks after 6 p.m.?

Maybe if Richmond were actually a 24-7 city, I could see this argument. But let's get Richmond a 24-7 neighborhood -- even just one -- as a good starter before we start cherry picking about whether this or that neighborhood should or shouldn't get developed because whatever might go there "isn't needed."

Edited by I miss RVA

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You just proved my point, I Miss RVA.

Downtown (lower)  Manhattan doesn’t need to be a tourist/ recreation destination because other parts of the city serve as that.  No one cares that lower Manhattan is boring because  it doesn’t matter.   Would it make sense to put all of Mid-Town in a TIF to build an entertainment center in lower Manhattan?  Doesn’t make sense in Richmond either.   
 

There  isn’t a “sea of parking lots” either (you’re thinking Monroe Ward). There’s one big lot (north of the John Marshall Courts  building, east of a parking deck and west of the city physical plant (or whatever it is called).  The only other lot is across Leigh and it is slated for a new biotech building. 
 

Doesn’t  matter anyway.  We dodged that tacky bullet.   No one will be talking about building spaces where tens of thousands congregate any time soon (if ever again). That type of entertainment was growing obsolete by the day and now the Rona may likely kill it all tougher.   College sports wont be a thing until the virus is a distant memory.  My professor friends  in CA just today received notice that the fall semester will be taught exclusively online.    VCU /UR/VUU/VSU....those kids aren’t coming  back to town before next spring at the earliest (no NCAA tournament in ‘21). 
We come out of this with fewer office workers (telecommuting) too. 
 


 

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5 hours ago, Brent114 said:

Doesn’t  matter anyway.  We dodged that tacky bullet.   No one will be talking about building spaces where tens of thousands congregate any time soon (if ever again). That type of entertainment was growing obsolete by the day and now the Rona may likely kill it all tougher.   College sports wont be a thing until the virus is a distant memory.  My professor friends  in CA just today received notice that the fall semester will be taught exclusively online.    VCU /UR/VUU/VSU....those kids aren’t coming  back to town before next spring at the earliest (no NCAA tournament in ‘21). 
We come out of this with fewer office workers (telecommuting) too. 
 


 

Yay!  Suburban paradise!  Goodbye theaters, museums, libraries and local restaurants (no retail to lose).  We only need housing (preferably with individual open spaces) and corporate carryout/delivery!

Oh, and hospitals!

Edited by Icetera
Hospitals!

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5 hours ago, Brent114 said:

You just proved my point, I Miss RVA.

Downtown (lower)  Manhattan doesn’t need to be a tourist/ recreation destination because other parts of the city serve as that.  No one cares that lower Manhattan is boring because  it doesn’t matter.   Would it make sense to put all of Mid-Town in a TIF to build an entertainment center in lower Manhattan?  Doesn’t make sense in Richmond either.   
 

There  isn’t a “sea of parking lots” either (you’re thinking Monroe Ward). There’s one big lot (north of the John Marshall Courts  building, east of a parking deck and west of the city physical plant (or whatever it is called).  The only other lot is across Leigh and it is slated for a new biotech building. 
 

Doesn’t  matter anyway.  We dodged that tacky bullet.   No one will be talking about building spaces where tens of thousands congregate any time soon (if ever again). That type of entertainment was growing obsolete by the day and now the Rona may likely kill it all tougher.   College sports wont be a thing until the virus is a distant memory.  My professor friends  in CA just today received notice that the fall semester will be taught exclusively online.    VCU /UR/VUU/VSU....those kids aren’t coming  back to town before next spring at the earliest (no NCAA tournament in ‘21). 
We come out of this with fewer office workers (telecommuting) too. 
 


 

Are you saying that you don’t want large events to Richmond (this is not meant to come off as being a smart a**, seriously wondering)? As for calling navy hill tacky, I’m not sure it would be any more tacky than navy yards in DC, which happens to be a thriving neighborhood with lots of street activity. Having similar looking architecture isn’t necessarily a bad thing as you have implied and I highly doubt it would look anything like west broad village as you have suggested.  The most important part of the navy hill plan in my opinion was the housing component, which would have created street life in an area wheat there currently is none. Navy Hill also would have given developers more confidence to build in the area as time and time again, city governments can spur private development in areas through capital works projects (ex: Kansas City streetcar, Sacramento Golden One Center, Raleigh Union Station, Detroit Little Caesar’s Arena). While I agree that we are transitioning away from large office buildings as more people work at home , that puts more emphasis on building large amounts of residential units in downtowns (which is what Navy Hill tried to do!!), to prevent businesses in central business districts from closing when teleworking becomes the norm. Cities should be encouraging residential development in their cbd’s in order to keep and attract new businesses, instead of just saying that cbd’s don’t need to have constant activity. Also, New York is a completely different situation than RVA, as New York City draws millions of tourists a year, unlike RVA. There is more street activity in lower Manhattan at 1 in the morning than any point in RVA at peak times.

Edited by blopp1234

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10 hours ago, Brent114 said:

You just proved my point, I Miss RVA.

Downtown (lower)  Manhattan doesn’t need to be a tourist/ recreation destination because other parts of the city serve as that.  No one cares that lower Manhattan is boring because  it doesn’t matter.   Would it make sense to put all of Mid-Town in a TIF to build an entertainment center in lower Manhattan?  Doesn’t make sense in Richmond either.   
 

There  isn’t a “sea of parking lots” either (you’re thinking Monroe Ward). There’s one big lot (north of the John Marshall Courts  building, east of a parking deck and west of the city physical plant (or whatever it is called).  The only other lot is across Leigh and it is slated for a new biotech building. 
 

Doesn’t  matter anyway.  We dodged that tacky bullet.   No one will be talking about building spaces where tens of thousands congregate any time soon (if ever again). That type of entertainment was growing obsolete by the day and now the Rona may likely kill it all tougher.   College sports wont be a thing until the virus is a distant memory.  My professor friends  in CA just today received notice that the fall semester will be taught exclusively online.    VCU /UR/VUU/VSU....those kids aren’t coming  back to town before next spring at the earliest (no NCAA tournament in ‘21). 
We come out of this with fewer office workers (telecommuting) too. 
 


 

You just proved my point, I Miss RVA.

Calling your point a non-sequitur hardly proves it.

Downtown (lower)  Manhattan doesn’t need to be a tourist/ recreation destination because other parts of the city serve as that.  No one cares that lower Manhattan is boring because  it doesn’t matter.

Richmond has no such "other part of the city" that is thumping 24-7 as does Midtown Manhattan.

No one cares that lower Manhattan is boring because  it doesn’t matter.

You've obviously never been to New York. Ever hear of SoHo? The Village? Chinatown? Little Italy? South Street Seaport/the Seaport District? ALL are in lower Manhattan. Boring? Seriously? I want some of what you're smoking then.

Would it make sense to put all of Mid-Town in a TIF to build an entertainment center in lower Manhattan?  Doesn’t make sense in Richmond either.

It's not needed in New York, particularly in Midtown. Developers have for decades been falling all over themselves to get some kind of foothold in Midtown Manhattan. Residential towers -- now well over 100-stories and 1,500-feet tall are sprouting like mushrooms in Midtown, particularly just south of Central Park.

True - the big sea of parking lots is Monroe Ward -- Navy Hill is the sea of obsolete government buildings, boring parking decks and a dead hulk of metal that 50 years ago was a decent place to watch basketball (yes, I saw the Virginia Squires there when they made their stops in Richmond in the early '70s...)

Tacky: like artificial, you've yet to explain and give any substance to this argument. If we're being honest and it's your opinion, I can accept that. I may not agree with it, but at least it is more plausible than the non-answers to the question I have posed (several times in various posts). To date, that question has not been answered, and "artificial" and "tacky" have yet to be defined and explained.

Would you consider the new Opus apartment building slated for Lombardy and Broad to be an "artificial" or "tacky" development in the VCU area? If not, why not? Because public dollars aren't going toward it? What about all the new construction in Scott's Addition or Manchester... are those "artificial" or "tacky"? Again, if not, why not? From both functional and aesthetic standpoints, I see absolutely no difference between those developments and the ancillary components of Navy Hill such as the residential buildings in the eastern part of the development (they house people, they generally look fairly similar). To be honest, to have high-rise residential towers built at 4th and Broad (SE corner, where G.C. Murphy used to be), and Grace Street between 6th & 7th (the old "City Center" site) -- is EXTREMELY exciting! Every bit as exciting as the burgeoning skyline of Manchester or the rapidly growing sections of Scott's Addition.

What about Dominion's new tower? Tacky? If no, how is it any different from the planned highrises that would be built as part of Navy Hill?

The whole argument is a non-sequitur. If the biggest problem is that NH would have involved public money vs these other"organic" developments that are 100% privately funded -- then that's one argument. Aside from COVID, were the world not wracked by this pandemic, would you have a different outlook if some Daddy Warbucks who just happened to be Jeff Bezos rich somehow fell in love with Richmond and wanted to bring pro sports to the city and personally funded every thin dime of an 18,000-seat state-of-the-art arena?

If you're saying that Richmond (for whatever reason) doesn't need downtown entertainment (particularly concerts, sports, circus, etc.) that other cities offer, are you also saying then that the planned 550-room Hyatt REGENCY hotel -- something you don't find built in "wide spots in the road" kind of towns is ALSO something Richmond doesn't need? Why not?

None of this -- aside from not liking the public-funding aspect of NH -- remotely holds water with me. If you'd care to expound on all of this, I'm happy to listen.

 

Edited by I miss RVA

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4 hours ago, blopp1234 said:

Are you saying that you don’t want large events to Richmond (this is not meant to come off as being a smart a**, seriously wondering)? As for calling navy hill tacky, I’m not sure it would be any more tacky than navy yards in DC, which happens to be a thriving neighborhood with lots of street activity. Having similar looking architecture isn’t necessarily a bad thing as you have implied and I highly doubt it would look anything like west broad village as you have suggested.  The most important part of the navy hill plan in my opinion was the housing component, which would have created street life in an area wheat there currently is none. Navy Hill also would have given developers more confidence to build in the area as time and time again, city governments can spur private development in areas through capital works projects (ex: Kansas City streetcar, Sacramento Golden One Center, Raleigh Union Station, Detroit Little Caesar’s Arena). While I agree that we are transitioning away from large office buildings as more people work at home , that puts more emphasis on building large amounts of residential units in downtowns (which is what Navy Hill tried to do!!), to prevent businesses in central business districts from closing when teleworking becomes the norm. Cities should be encouraging residential development in their cbd’s in order to keep and attract new businesses, instead of just saying that cbd’s don’t need to have constant activity. Also, New York is a completely different situation than RVA, as New York City draws millions of tourists a year, unlike RVA. There is more street activity in lower Manhattan at 1 in the morning than any point in RVA at peak times.

Agreed and well said, blopp1234. I agree that the housing component of NH was unquestionably the most important part, especially considering that the development plan ultimately reached south of Broad and put highrise residential buildings at the SE corner of 4th and Broad (old site of G.C. Murphy) and in the old "City Center" site (Grace between 6th & 7th). The other component of NH that was almost as important as the housing was having a 550-room Hyatt REGENCY hotel! Hyatt doesn't put "Regency" hotels in Podunk, Iowa. That it would have been (at least) 23-stories tall (and given that the room count continued to increase over the year and a half of the project's time of consideration, it would not have surprised me that the tower might have risen as high as 25 floors. Whether in actual feet it would have been the city's tallest building, it certainly would have been the city's tallest hotel -- and given the location at the top of the hill, it would have stood out prominently on the downtown skyline and would have been distinctive from all approaches (N, S, E, W)... )

Your final point absolutely nails it -- there is more street activity in lower Manhattan at 1 (or 2, or 3, or 4) a.m. than at any point of the day or night in RVA at peak times. Spot on.

5 hours ago, Icetera said:

Yay!  Suburban paradise!  Goodbye theaters, museums, libraries and local restaurants (no retail to lose).  We only need housing (preferably with individual open spaces) and corporate carryout/delivery!

Oh, and hospitals!

BUT THE SCHOO..... oh wait... they're all online now.

Will there be online NIMBYs, I wonder??

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On 2/1/2020 at 3:48 PM, Brent114 said:

Shockoe Bottom has train service and I95 and I 195.  The Boulevard has I95 and Greyhound.  

Midtown (Madison Square Gardens) is to Manhattan as the Boulevard is to Richmond.   Downtown Manhattan is dead.  And that’s fine... because NYC has the Village, Chelsea, Midtown....  Richmond has the Fan, Scott’s Addition, the Bottom.

We don't need to force a new entertainment district (at the expense of every other neighborhood) where Navy Hill once was.  There’s no value there.  It accomplishes nothing.   That neighborhood wasn’t hopping back when the Coliseum  was a destination because of the location, not in spite of it.  We’ve already tried a state of the art venue there.  It won’t work.  There’s nothing organic or interesting or hip about the location or what’s planned to go there. 

Ummm.... no... Midtown is to Manhattan as .... NOTHING is to Richmond. Apples to oranges. And the Village, SoHo, South Street, Chinatown, Little Italy - are ALL part of lower Manhattan and are referred to in local parlance as being "downtown" which is pretty accurate all-in-all.

Yeah, there's plenty organic about the Navy Hill neighborhood... it has gone to seed (and did so 30, 40 -- or more -- years ago, not because of the Coliseum but because NOTHING WAS BUILT UP AROUND IT!!!) You can't get much more organic than going to seed.

Why hasn't the area around the Capital One in DC flopped? Oh, maybe because there was other stuff built there and the arena was integrated into and helped enliven the area?

Would you argue that D.C. "did not need" to build an arena downtown? If not, then why not?

As for having a couple of nearby interstates, a Greyhound bus station and LIMITED downtown train service to M.S.S -- Richmond's transportation setup compared with (using your example) New York is utterly pathetic. If we're going to compare Richmond and NY in one area, then we must compare Richmond and NY in all areas.  Oh, we shouldn't? Why not?

Edited by I miss RVA

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