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Old 02-08-2012, 07:49 AM
 
Location: Norfolk, VA
6,503 posts, read 6,890,237 times
Reputation: 3748

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Quote:
Originally Posted by citydweller View Post
I thought I would add my .02 cents on the Pembroke area having lived there quite a number of years. Someone mentioned it felt superficial and to a degree I kind of agree - at least at first. The thing is it didn't evolve organically such as most urban cities do as they add mass and urban dwellings. But I think it's a much better plan than than doing little or nothing at all. Years ago, before all the trees came down at Town Center, Walmart proposed building a store there. I am really glad that never happened. I do feel the Pembroke area has a good sense of place that a lot of VB in it's "suburbaness" just does not offer. Being suburban is fine though and lot of people desire a nice yard and clearly that is ok too. Having lived there, and watching the trees being cut down and seeing Town Center go up gave me an affinity for the area. I loved being able to walk to so many things as well. Pembroke does not need a Walmart in my opinion but they could use more retail options. Thankfully, Target is being built at Pembroke Mall which will be great. And when or if light rail comes through, Town Center will rise to even more prominence in my opinion. The area that Town Center falls pretty flat though is retail. It has never been able to draw a mass of retailers in there to make it more of a shopping destination. At this point I am not sure if it will happen or not.

It is not a traditional WalMart that I speak of. These WalMart have a high-end look that blends into a high-density area and could easily be mistaken for an office building or a school.

http://www.cityfarmer.info/wp-conten...11/multiAl.jpg

http://bettercities.net/sites/defaul...th/Walmart.jpg
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Old 02-08-2012, 08:28 AM
 
1,728 posts, read 5,959,264 times
Reputation: 785
I didn't know such a high-end Walmart existed. Very interesting indeed. I heard years ago that Walmart wanted to build a 2 story store on the old FX property (aka Bill's Flea Market) which burned down sometime ago. I don't know why that never happened.

The Target store is actually under construction behind Pembroke Mall. The theaters were razed and hopefully before Christmas it will be open.
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Old 02-08-2012, 08:40 AM
 
1,210 posts, read 2,359,923 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pdxtp View Post
I will say this, the laws may not have been in affect during the 80's but the Beach was certainly not "party central". The Beach was crowded during the summer months, yes, but that only meant a lot of people stumbling over one another while trying to get to Jungle Gulf. That place was so conservative Peabody's (or one of the other clubs) announced it didn't want to serve military members (we were chasing away business with our drunken behavior...yeah, right!). That lasted about 2 days before public outcry made them change their mind.

I'm only mentioning this because an earlier post mentioned "tearing it up back in the 80's and 90's". I can't say what Va Beach was like in the 90's but certainly nobody was tearing that place up back in the 80's.

The 70's may be a different story!
I don't know that it was ever party central or people were tearing it up... but it was a place with a lot of fights, drug deals, loitering, loud obnoxious profanity, and general thuggery going on. Large groups of (mostly) young males would just hang out on the street corners or cruise up and down the strip all night with their stereos at 130 decibels playing profane hip hop or metal. I was in high school and stopped going down there in the summer for those reasons so I am comfortable saying that it was definitely not a place where families wanted to walk around at night and spend money at the restaurants and shops.

It seems to have had a new positive impact, I can't find a 2011 report but from 2000 to 2007 visitor spending increased every year (page 49). The recession hit in '08 so it is hard to say how things have gone since then but I think VB has faired well since it is a drive to destination.

http://bpa.odu.edu/forecasting/2007_vbecon_impact.pdf (broken link)

I still don't go down there in the summer, except for certain festivals or restaurants (would rather hang out at sandbridge or north end), but I am not afraid to recommend it to people either. It is fun, you just have to deal with the traffic/parking/crowdedness.

I have mixed feelings about how all the enlisted guys impact the vibe down there. Honestly, most seem cool but there is a little too much tough guy stuff going on sometimes with them and it clashes with the relaxed beach vibe that the locals like at the strip... but they are as much a part of HR as the rest of us. This place probably wouldn't be here if not for the military... so it is what it is.
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Old 02-08-2012, 09:22 AM
 
Location: Norfolk, VA
6,503 posts, read 6,890,237 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by citydweller View Post
I didn't know such a high-end Walmart existed. Very interesting indeed. I heard years ago that Walmart wanted to build a 2 story store on the old FX property (aka Bill's Flea Market) which burned down sometime ago. I don't know why that never happened.

The Target store is actually under construction behind Pembroke Mall. The theaters were razed and hopefully before Christmas it will be open.
WalMart is trying to take things to the next level. The pictures I showed you, were of their plans to build stores in DC, which at the time they were none within the city limits. It was the only way they could get in. WalMart was smart enough to get in before that was ever the case around here, early on in the game, but any future WalMarts should be forced to take on that same look and feel since that is the direction that the seven cities is trying to go in; away from the suburban model.

What differentiates some of those larger cities that people always complain that HR is not like, and this place, is that suburban HR developed and came of age in the sixties and seventies where they were trying to expand at all costs, so it was a free for all. So cities like Virginia Beach and Chesapeake just followed the same model that the rest of suburbia across America was following. It was the status quo for that time.

Any future WalMart, Target, Kmart, whatever, should follow an urban model, not a suburban model. Let these stores create mixed use developments that can be used for other things instead of your usual boring, pedestrian, retail operations. This is one of the reasons that it took so long for Target to get into Brooklyn, for example. These corporations are capable of building whatever they want, but they are not going to do right by the neighborhoods they build in if the cities do not hold them to a standard.

There are urban shopping malls, they do not have to be a suburban affair. Take a look at these pictures of Gateway Center at Bronx Terminal Market.

http://www.plazaconstruction.com/ima...trance-364.jpg

http://gatewaycenteratbronxterminalmarket.com/images/shops2.jpg (broken link)

http://zoomyork.typepad.com/.a/6a012...0a99970b-500wi

Six levels of fun, and a parking garage. You can actually see it from the highway when passing the old stadium. First thing I saw headed to New York on the bus going into Harlem. Imagine something like that at Town Center and you can see it from I-264 headed to downtown Norfolk.
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Old 02-08-2012, 11:27 AM
 
1,210 posts, read 2,359,923 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goofy328 View Post
It is not a traditional WalMart that I speak of. These WalMart have a high-end look that blends into a high-density area and could easily be mistaken for an office building or a school.

http://www.cityfarmer.info/wp-conten...11/multiAl.jpg

http://bettercities.net/sites/defaul...th/Walmart.jpg
Would you consider Dicks at Town Center to be more in line with this model? Attached parking garage, restaurant downstairs, two level store...
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Old 02-08-2012, 11:47 AM
 
1,728 posts, read 5,959,264 times
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I would. This store is definitely an urban store.
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Old 02-08-2012, 12:43 PM
 
Location: Norfolk, VA
6,503 posts, read 6,890,237 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UHgrad View Post
Would you consider Dicks at Town Center to be more in line with this model? Attached parking garage, restaurant downstairs, two level store...
Yes. I did not realize there was a restaurant downstairs.
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Old 02-08-2012, 12:56 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goofy328 View Post
Yes. I did not realize there was a restaurant downstairs.
I mean Guadalaharas, it is part of the same building, on the ground level under the parking garage with outdoor seating. I guess it is technically not downstairs inside the Dicks store, I didn't mean to imply that.

Check out the google earth street view, it was last updated during construction... kinda cool to wander around the map.

columbus ave, virginia beach va - Google Maps
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Old 02-08-2012, 01:22 PM
 
Location: Norfolk, VA
6,503 posts, read 6,890,237 times
Reputation: 3748
Quote:
Originally Posted by UHgrad View Post
I mean Guadalaharas, it is part of the same building, on the ground level under the parking garage with outdoor seating. I guess it is technically not downstairs inside the Dicks store, I didn't mean to imply that.

Check out the google earth street view, it was last updated during construction... kinda cool to wander around the map.

columbus ave, virginia beach va - Google Maps
Yes indeed.
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Old 02-10-2012, 07:35 AM
 
94 posts, read 360,346 times
Reputation: 67
Let's all do our best to make Hampton Roads not like NYC. Geez, if you want to be like NYC move to NYC. Why someone would want to live in NYC is beyond me - endless concrete jungle and overpriced everything. If an individual throws out the "culture" card maybe it is the individual who is not cultured. There are other elements of culture beyond theaters and restaurants. It's called hunting, fishing, hard-working America while the rest of America is captivated with I-this, I-that and buy, build, buy. Keep the urban in Norfolk and Portsmouth and maintain the character of the rest of the area consistent with its surroundings.
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