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Old 10-23-2013, 02:13 PM
 
Location: Norfolk, VA
4,851 posts, read 4,586,008 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by citydweller View Post
Also its a town center and not really 'downtown'. Most town centers rarely have 'everything' and more or less offer entertainment, dining and residential in the same area. It makes an attempt to provide some things but not everything.
I guess the bigger question then is if there will ever be a downtown, or if Virginia Beach even truly needs a downtown. Perhaps we merely want them to have a central business district in order to consider it as a "real city".
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Old 09-09-2017, 06:06 PM
 
Location: 703x804x757...
2,350 posts, read 1,525,419 times
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The way I see it, Town Center is growing as potentially the second largest CBD in the region, if it isn't that already...

Listen, it isn't a traditional downtown, but it has the makeup of every Sunbelt downtown anywhere--its just younger and smaller. It has the (few) high rises, the mixed uses, restaurants, etc. It will continue to grow. It is urban in that "New urbanism" kind of way that cities like Raleigh and Charlotte have. The only difference is that those cities had historic downtowns to begin with and are much further along in their development...

This region, particularly the Southside, could use a serious rebranding in their public images. I'm sure it won't happen but this area would benefit greatly from a rebranding as "Norfolk-Virginia Beach" (or VB/Nfk) in a twin cities format, a la Minneapolis-St. Paul. Neither city here seems to take much care in the other city's success, and yet, both cities benefit from the cross flow of population between the two...

I live in Thalia, directly bordering Town Center and I can walk there in about ten minutes, so this particular area is somewhat walkable and has basic urban amenities (though of course not high level urbanity), with a population density of ~5,000ppsm. I work over in Newtown, which is essentially a shared neighborhood between the two cities and my units address is actually a Norfolk address less than two blocks from the Newtown light rail station. My drive to work is 11-13 minutes city driving, maybe 7-8 if I jumped on 264...

This is far from the worst place one could live but the lack of camaraderie between both cities has an existential negative effect on the quality of life here. They are siblings with different offerings that complement each other better than either gives the other credit for...
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Old 09-09-2017, 06:40 PM
 
Location: Norfolk, VA
4,851 posts, read 4,586,008 times
Reputation: 2442
Quote:
Originally Posted by murksiderock View Post
The way I see it, Town Center is growing as potentially the second largest CBD in the region, if it isn't that already...

Listen, it isn't a traditional downtown, but it has the makeup of every Sunbelt downtown anywhere--its just younger and smaller. It has the (few) high rises, the mixed uses, restaurants, etc. It will continue to grow. It is urban in that "New urbanism" kind of way that cities like Raleigh and Charlotte have. The only difference is that those cities had historic downtowns to begin with and are much further along in their development...

This region, particularly the Southside, could use a serious rebranding in their public images. I'm sure it won't happen but this area would benefit greatly from a rebranding as "Norfolk-Virginia Beach" (or VB/Nfk) in a twin cities format, a la Minneapolis-St. Paul. Neither city here seems to take much care in the other city's success, and yet, both cities benefit from the cross flow of population between the two...

I live in Thalia, directly bordering Town Center and I can walk there in about ten minutes, so this particular area is somewhat walkable and has basic urban amenities (though of course not high level urbanity), with a population density of ~5,000ppsm. I work over in Newtown, which is essentially a shared neighborhood between the two cities and my units address is actually a Norfolk address less than two blocks from the Newtown light rail station. My drive to work is 11-13 minutes city driving, maybe 7-8 if I jumped on 264...

This is far from the worst place one could live but the lack of camaraderie between both cities has an existential negative effect on the quality of life here. They are siblings with different offerings that complement each other better than either gives the other credit for...
That was almost four years ago. Town Center has come a long way since then.

But why do you feel that life is bad here because the cities have not merged? Virginia Beach is an incredibly large city. Norfolk not quite as large, but big enough for what its worth. There is a lot that Virginia Beach can do to increase density with the land they have, without having to involve Norfolk. I would like to see the entire corridor from Thalia to Newtown hyper urbanized. One does not need Norfolk's cooperation for that happen.

Norfolk was already able to get the outlet mall and light rail accomplished without the work of Virginia Beach. Sure, people from Virginia Beach use these things, but quite honestly, were Virginia Beach not a bordering city, it would be the same effect, just people from the same area (which would then be a series of suburbs outside of Norfolk). No different really.

More likely that cities like Norfolk and Portsmouth, which have more in common aesthetically, urban, and otherwise, to merge to create those twin cities, than Norfolk and Virginia Beach. Only way Virginia Beach would merge with anyone else would be for it to happen at the State level. The rift between the two cities, which I understand is historical as Virginia Beach is part people that left Norfolk during its decline in the sixties and seventies as well as other people, perhaps from other cities in America, looking for a similar alternative to those "true" urban cities like Norfolk, to me, is as much group think as it is anything else. Virginia Beach has ideas about what constitutes a city that are antithetical to Norfolk's reality. Its a "hell or high water" type of situation. I don't know, I like both cities, and I like the unique character of each city. I'm not sure how that is maintained through consolidation.

A density of 5,000 is impressive. I'm not sure if you would ever get anything on the level of 10,000 or more in any of the cities around here. Especially without consolidation. And if (10,000 ppsm) did happen, I'm not so sure that the area over which that occurs would be that large anyway. Hampton Roads is changing, but not by that much, and not that quickly. More likely that will always have suburban areas in the metro, just not as suburban as they are today.

One day people are going to get the single city they keep asking for. Taxes will go up, mega projects will go up. We'll have a few professional sports teams and the arenas needed to attract entertainers and real mass transit for a change. This place will look more like Philadelphia or Baltimore than anything else. We'll have a larger media market, so you might see bigger news operations here. I imagine that anything is possible.

Last edited by goofy328; 09-09-2017 at 07:04 PM..
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Old 09-09-2017, 07:10 PM
 
Location: 703x804x757...
2,350 posts, read 1,525,419 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goofy328 View Post
That was almost four years ago. Town Center has come a long way since then.

But why do you feel that life is bad here because the cities have not merged? Virginia Beach is an incredibly large city. Norfolk not quite as large, but big enough for what its worth. There is a lot that Virginia Beach can do to increase density with the land they have, without having to involve Norfolk. I would like to see the entire corridor from Thalia to Newtown hyper urbanized. One does not need Norfolk's cooperation for that happen.

Norfolk was already able to get the outlet mall and light rail accomplished without the work of Virginia Beach. Sure, people from Virginia Beach use these things, but quite honestly, were Virginia Beach not a bordering city, it would be the same effect, just people from the same area (which would then be a series of suburbs outside of Norfolk). No different really.

More likely that cities like Norfolk and Portsmouth, which have more in common aesthetically, urban, and otherwise, to merge to create those twin cities, than Norfolk and Virginia Beach. Only way Virginia Beach would merge with anyone else would be for it to happen at the State level. The rift between the two cities, which I understand is historical as Virginia Beach is part people that left Norfolk during its decline in the sixties and seventies as well as other people, perhaps from other cities in America, looking for a similar alternative to those "true" urban cities like Norfolk, to me, is as much group think as it is anything else. Virginia Beach has ideas about what constitutes a city that are antithetical to Norfolk's reality. Its a "hell or high water" type of situation. I don't know, I like both cities, and I like the unique character of each city. I'm not sure how that is maintained through consolidation.

A density of 5,000 is impressive. I'm not sure if you would ever get anything on the level of 10,000 or more in any of the cities around here. Especially without consolidation. And if (10,000 ppsm) did happen, I'm not so sure that the area over which that occurs would be that large anyway. Hampton Roads is changing, but not by that much, and not that quickly. More likely that will always have suburban areas in the metro, just not as suburban as they are today.

One day people are going to the single city they keep asking for. Taxes will go up, mega projects will go up. We'll have a few professional sports teams and the arenas needed to attract entertainers and real mass transit for a change. This place will look more like Philadelphia or Baltimore than anything else. We'll have a larger media market, so you might see bigger news operations here. I imagine that anything is possible.
I said "re-brand", not "merge"...

I agree there is probably a lot the Beach can do to increase urbanity. I wish more of the residents appreciated light rail and voted for it's extension, because it would have helped urbanize the VB Blvd corridor to Town Center. Still, as you mentioned, they can build urbanity without it. Norfolk isn't particularly urban along the existing light rail. The bulk of Norfolk's urbanity is east of Tidewater and the light rail has done virtually nothing to build urbanity west of it, unless this area was horribly underutilized before it...

Norfolk and Virginia Beach define a city differently. Virginia Beach actually shares some commonalities with Raleigh. So, it's a city. A suburban oriented city, yes, but it doesn't feel like a small town. Norfolk definitely has more of the traditional city and urban vibe and probably always will, and that's fine. Virginia Beach's plan should not, and doesn't seem to be, to replicate Norfolk...

I'm not in favor of the one city thing, as this area missed that window by about 60 years. I think instead of incorporating VB and Chesapeake as cities, they or parts of both could have been added to Norfolk City, like the annexation of northern Chesterfield into Richmond in 1970. Kept Princess Anne and Norfolk counties...

This area does not need to try to become a major city. But greater collaboration between VB and Norfolk would instantly redeem routes to raising a higher profile if the area...
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Old 09-09-2017, 07:28 PM
 
Location: Norfolk, VA
4,851 posts, read 4,586,008 times
Reputation: 2442
Quote:
Originally Posted by murksiderock View Post
I said "re-brand", not "merge"...

I agree there is probably a lot the Beach can do to increase urbanity. I wish more of the residents appreciated light rail and voted for it's extension, because it would have helped urbanize the VB Blvd corridor to Town Center. Still, as you mentioned, they can build urbanity without it. Norfolk isn't particularly urban along the existing light rail. The bulk of Norfolk's urbanity is east of Tidewater and the light rail has done virtually nothing to build urbanity west of it, unless this area was horribly underutilized before it...

Norfolk and Virginia Beach define a city differently. Virginia Beach actually shares some commonalities with Raleigh. So, it's a city. A suburban oriented city, yes, but it doesn't feel like a small town. Norfolk definitely has more of the traditional city and urban vibe and probably always will, and that's fine. Virginia Beach's plan should not, and doesn't seem to be, to replicate Norfolk...

I'm not in favor of the one city thing, as this area missed that window by about 60 years. I think instead of incorporating VB and Chesapeake as cities, they or parts of both could have been added to Norfolk City, like the annexation of northern Chesterfield into Richmond in 1970. Kept Princess Anne and Norfolk counties...

This area does not need to try to become a major city. But greater collaboration between VB and Norfolk would instantly redeem routes to raising a higher profile if the area...
Definitely agree. A lot of people are on about the whole merging thing. Not necessarily saying that you were its just something in the back of my mind as serious conversations about the subject I have with people always come around to the idea of merging. Offline, not on City-Data. (Merging) happened in the past with counties and while there are some benefits that could come about it there are always unintended consequences that go along with, depending on how the city is governed and managed. I agree with you about the idea that the area missed that opportunity years ago, when populations were smaller and it could have been managed a lot easier than it could today. I would rather have seven healthy, strong, cities than one where you end up with problems that are only exacerbated, like you have in cities like New York and Chicago.
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