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Old 11-08-2009, 08:52 PM
 
Location: 602/520
2,441 posts, read 6,123,398 times
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Very nice photos. I think that the Hampton Roads MSA is probably one of the most unknown metropolitan areas of the country. Virginia Beach has more people than Miami, St. Louis, New Orleans, and Pittsburgh, but for whatever reason remains reatively unknown to people who don't live on the East Coast.

Hopefully the construction of more buildings in downtown Norfolk and the light rail system will increase that area's visibility.

I have been several times, and I enjoy the unique feel that southeastern Virginia has in comparison to the rest of Virginia.
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Old 11-08-2009, 09:11 PM
 
Location: Virginia Beach/Norfolk.
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Thanks for the compliments.

Your right about VB. The whole area really. We have 1.7M residents. Is supposed to eclipse 2M by 2020.

Part of the reason we aren't recognized is the lack of pro sports. Also we only have 4-5 F500 companies. But regardless. It's a great place to live. We'll get our due recognition eventually.

In case your interesteed, here's the plan for downtown Virginia Beach. LR will be rolling though there in a couple years.

Planning | Pembroke Area Implementation Plan
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Old 11-08-2009, 09:15 PM
 
Location: Virginia Beach/Norfolk.
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Here's a rendering of downtown Virginia Beach with the existing buildings (VB HAS THE TALLEST BUILDING IN THE COMMONWEALTH OF VA) and the ones under construction. Notice the abundance of surface lots surrounding it. It will be really easy to densify our downtown in the coming years.

Divaris




http://divaris.com/
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Old 11-09-2009, 02:39 PM
 
218 posts, read 1,157,374 times
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I think the reason that it's a relatively unknown metro area is because it's the only metro area in America that doesn't really have a name.

Hampton Roads? I dunno. Do people who live there there actually call it that? Do people outside of urban geography enthusiasts know it as that?
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Old 11-09-2009, 05:04 PM
 
Location: Virginia Beach/Norfolk.
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young people here refer to it as the seven cities or just say norfolk, va beach, newport news, etc. Sometimes you hear Hampton Roads. IDK!
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Old 11-10-2009, 09:20 AM
 
Location: Philadelphia,New Jersey, NYC!
6,967 posts, read 18,215,169 times
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nice - based on those pics, it looks like a classic east coast urban area.

i've always wanted to catch a show at the hampton coliseum (or the mothership ), but never quite made it out there.
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Old 11-10-2009, 09:32 AM
 
Location: Virginia Beach/Norfolk.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by john_starks View Post
nice - based on those pics, it looks like a classic east coast urban area.

i've always wanted to catch a show at the hampton coliseum (or the mothership ), but never quite made it out there.
Ha true

I call it the cupcake. IDK why, lol.

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Old 11-10-2009, 03:33 PM
 
208 posts, read 364,674 times
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Darn!

You're just making it harder for me to finally pick a place. LOL!
Norfolk, Virginia Beach, et al, look incredible! Norfolk was on my list of relocation candidates but had recently been pushed to the margins of my radar screen as I studied other areas more closely for awhile. An acquaintance who occasionally visited Norfolk to see his family told me it was dirty. Of course, that conversation was 4 or 5 years ago and even then, it had been awhile since his last visit. Obviously, it is not dirty now!

So, checking my shopping list, let's see...

*Affordable? Yep, according City Data's Detailed Profile on Norfolk.
*Mild to Warm Climate? Not as warm as I'd like but so few places which match my other criteria are.
*Liberal? Maybe you can enlighten me on this one. I know it's not the most liberal place but I understand that some portions of Virginia are very progressive.
*Future Job Market? Let's face it, the whole U.S. job market is currently in a state of flux. So, I'm taking the long view, say maybe five years from now, but not able to find a lot on this subject as it pertains specifically to Norfolk. Here again, maybe you can shed some light on this subject.
*Viable Public Transportation? Check!
*Coastal? Check!
*Dense Urban Environment with Walkable Neighborhoods? It does appear that way. Please correct me if I'm wrong.
*Nightlife? Is there wildlife of the human variety in Norfolk? I want to relocate to a place where there are plenty of nightlife options for a single person.

And regarding some more minor considerations, how is Norfolk in terms of traffic and pollution? Other than beaches, etc., how is the area equipped for outdoor recreation venues, such as parks, forests, etc, and are some of them accessible to inner city residents without a car?

Finally, a big thanks for all the great info, beautiful pics and expanding my horizons, cityboi757!

Last edited by I. B. Trippin; 11-10-2009 at 03:42 PM..
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Old 11-10-2009, 07:27 PM
 
Location: Virginia Beach/Norfolk.
1,556 posts, read 3,844,365 times
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I'll do my best to help answer some of your questions about the area
  • Norfolk/Va Beach can be very affordable, but as in every major city it costs more to live in the desirable urban neighborhoods.
  • It's very mild/warm/hot. Summers average about 85-90, winters average about 50-55 with the "once in a blue moon" snowfall.
  • We have become more and more liberal. We voted for Obama. Norfolk voted for the democratic Governer candidate, while Virginia Beach went republican.
  • We are one of the strongest economies in the nation fueled by the largest shipbuilding industry, 2nd/3rd largest east coast container port [about to be 1st in about 10 years], big defense contracts, and various fortune 500 companies [such as Norfolk Southern, Stihl Inc., Smithfield Hams, Amerigroup Corp., Dollar Tree]
  • We have a good transit system [Hampton Roads Transit] that operates busses [run every 5-30 minutes in Norfolk], ferries [every 15 -30 minutes], and light rail [every 7.5-15 minutes]
  • Right on the coast. Lots of beaches.
  • Some very walkable, urban neighborhoods as you've seen in the pictures [downtown Norfolk, Ghent, West Ghent, Ocean View, Town Center, Old Towne Portsmouth, City Center @ OP, Old Town Williamsburg, etc.]
  • Lots of nightlife [downtown Norfolk and the Virginia Beach Oceanfront are supreme]
  • Traffic. Depends on where you are at and where you are going. Heading into downtown Norfolk and crossing the Hampton Roads harbor are horrible. In the summer, when the tourists come, it's gridlock all over. That's why we are building light rail lines.
  • Too many big parks to name. Most on the water. And the Virginia Beach Oceanfront is great for recreation. Also First Landing State Park is great. And Town Point Park in downtown Norfolk.
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Old 11-11-2009, 01:13 PM
 
208 posts, read 364,674 times
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Cool!

It does sound promising. I see that on city data's detailed profile for Norfolk has a median "contract" rent, (whatever that is), of $665./mo. Is this price range, or something close, available in urban areas?

The climate, though a little cool for my tastes, does compare favorably with most of my other candidates.

With regard to being liberal, it appears at this stage of my research, that Norfolk & vicinity may compare somewhat favorably to my other candidates in the same region...hmmm, and some in other regions I wouldn't have expected it to compete favorably with in this respect.

I never realized how strong the economy is in Virginia. I'd noticed in the past that neighboring states which suffered from the effects of frequent hurricane damage, also benefited economically from a perennial reconstruction boom as a result. In the past, I'd seen some criticism to the effect that the Norfolk area economy was based disproportionately on the military. If this was the case to a significant degree, has it now changed so that the economy is more balanced? Also, is there a disproportionate concentration of jobs in the service, e.g., retail, foodservice, hospitality industries?

Is there variety in nightlife opportunities? Ideally, I'd like to see the maximum number of nightlife opportunities available, though I know this is not realistic in most places. How would you say Norfolk might compare to others in this regard? There seems to be a real tangible commitment to public transportation that is obviously bringing about results. Does there seem to be that kind of interest, (albeit on a smaller scale), in expanding nightlife opportunities?

With regard to traffic and specifically to commuting for work, when I think of a metropolitan area which is so geographically spread out, I expect it may be somewhat like San Diego in that one's commute depends entirely on their industry, with various industries being concentrated in very different locations throughout the larger metropolitan area. Is this the case in Norfolk-Va Beach or can one find both a significant concentration and variety of industries within the urban boundaries of the respective population centers?

Thanks again for all your help!
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