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Old 12-17-2014, 09:38 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coconut1 View Post
VA Beach really doesn't need a larger urban core. There's nothing wrong with being suburban and letting another city take the urban crown. Urban doesn't equal success.
It doesn't need it but why not along that corridor? They own a right of way that goes straight through the heart of the city. The boulevard is a crappy looking street anyway full of run down strip malls, furniture big box stores, and used car dealerships. And all of the nice urban parts of Norfolk and Portsmouth flood and are next to high crime areas. I think there would be demand for it... better than building more isolated subdivisions below the green line.
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Old 12-17-2014, 05:42 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UHgrad View Post
It doesn't need it but why not along that corridor? They own a right of way that goes straight through the heart of the city. The boulevard is a crappy looking street anyway full of run down strip malls, furniture big box stores, and used car dealerships. And all of the nice urban parts of Norfolk and Portsmouth flood and are next to high crime areas. I think there would be demand for it... better than building more isolated subdivisions below the green line.
If it happened organically, no problem. Pumping in millions of dollars of tax payer money I have an issue with, though.
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Old 12-18-2014, 05:08 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coconut1 View Post
If it happened organically, no problem. Pumping in millions of dollars of tax payer money I have an issue with, though.
What do you mean when you say organically? No influence by government at all in terms of zoning, SGA's, or tax incentives? No central planning? Or just all private investment?
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Old 12-21-2014, 08:10 AM
 
Location: Norfolk, VA
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I thought there is meant to be development along The Tide corridor; if and when that is ever built through Virginia Beach.

The only issue I have with private development is that it is a free for all, and you just get more of the same. No more room for strip malls so you'll just end up with a patchwork of skyscrapers in Virginia Beach, without services and amenities. At least if the City is involved there might be some logic; schools, hospitals and essential services positioned in areas where they compliment the high-rises. Leave it up to the free market you'll have to drive 5 miles to get to a grocery store.

It is going to happen anyway. People continue to move into Virginia Beach, and the majority of those people either cannot afford, or are unwilling to invest in, proper detached single-story housing or condominiums so they'll end up getting packed like sardines into cheap housing that sprouts out of nowhere. There have already been a number of mid-rise developments that rose in the eight years I've been here; in fact there may have been eight of them, on underutilized land, or vacant land. Hobby Lobby and a WalMart Neighborhood Market finally filled in that slum where a Farm Fresh once stood, and we now have a WalMart with a parking deck across from Town Center. None of which I thought I'd see after driving down Virginia Beach Boulevard year after year.

Last edited by goofy328; 12-21-2014 at 08:19 AM..
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Old 12-22-2014, 08:20 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goofy328 View Post
I thought there is meant to be development along The Tide corridor; if and when that is ever built through Virginia Beach.

The only issue I have with private development is that it is a free for all, and you just get more of the same. No more room for strip malls so you'll just end up with a patchwork of skyscrapers in Virginia Beach, without services and amenities. At least if the City is involved there might be some logic; schools, hospitals and essential services positioned in areas where they compliment the high-rises. Leave it up to the free market you'll have to drive 5 miles to get to a grocery store.

It is going to happen anyway. People continue to move into Virginia Beach, and the majority of those people either cannot afford, or are unwilling to invest in, proper detached single-story housing or condominiums so they'll end up getting packed like sardines into cheap housing that sprouts out of nowhere. There have already been a number of mid-rise developments that rose in the eight years I've been here; in fact there may have been eight of them, on underutilized land, or vacant land. Hobby Lobby and a WalMart Neighborhood Market finally filled in that slum where a Farm Fresh once stood, and we now have a WalMart with a parking deck across from Town Center. None of which I thought I'd see after driving down Virginia Beach Boulevard year after year.
I'm just trying to find out what qualifies as organic...

The city of VB has identified certain SGA's where they want to encourage certian types of development. The vision for the Pembroke SGA, per the city website, is

Quote:
Originally Posted by city of vb website
... a central urban core with a vertical mix of urban uses; great streets, mobility and transit alternatives; urban gathering places; environmental and neighborhood preservation and enhancement; green buildings; and infrastructure opportunities providing a variety of civic, commercial, artistic and ethnically diverse areas.
The city has other SGA's as well.

8 Strategic Growth Areas :: VBgov.com - City of Virginia Beach

So I'm just trying to find out if Coconut1 thinks that the city should have a vision or should things just happen as they happen (which led to the strip malls and scattered subdivisions he/she despises)? Would there be a town center (which is very successful) if the city didn't designate that area for specific types of development?

I don't have a problem with the city making investments that pay off in the long run even if they use tax dollars... I don't have a problem with some things that don't pay off either like rec centers, parks, and schools because they improve quality of life and invest in human capital. I just have a hard time understanding where the line is drawn on "organic" development...
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Old 12-22-2014, 02:59 PM
 
Location: Norfolk, VA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UHgrad View Post
I'm just trying to find out what qualifies as organic...

The city of VB has identified certain SGA's where they want to encourage certian types of development. The vision for the Pembroke SGA, per the city website, is



The city has other SGA's as well.

8 Strategic Growth Areas :: VBgov.com - City of Virginia Beach

So I'm just trying to find out if Coconut1 thinks that the city should have a vision or should things just happen as they happen (which led to the strip malls and scattered subdivisions he/she despises)? Would there be a town center (which is very successful) if the city didn't designate that area for specific types of development?

I don't have a problem with the city making investments that pay off in the long run even if they use tax dollars... I don't a problem with some things that don't pay off either like rec centers, parks, and schools because they improve quality of life and invest in human capital. I just have a hard time understanding where the line is drawn on "organic" development...
I think the definition changes based on how urban the city is. "Organic" in a developed city, like Norfolk or Portsmouth means something entirely different than it would in a city like Virgina Beach; a city that is essentially a suburb of another city.

Virgina Beach was free to develop at will for decades, because of an abundance of land. So it has no where to go but up. I think the problem exists when people feel that the old model can be retrofitted when a new model is the only way the vision will be realized. The City has to plan the roads, not the developers. Cities build sidewalks, pedestrian overpasses, improve public transportation systems, and ensure that residents are not overcrowded into hospitals, libraries, schools, etc. Developers do not have a vested interest in these things.

An urban Virginia Beach would never look like Detroit, Cleveland, Norfolk, Portsmouth, etc. It would probably feel more like Portland, Seattle, Denver or Phoenix. "Urban", has become a dirty word on C-D, a way to stir up the NIMBYs, start another tea party, whatever. It doesn't need to be that way.

I definitely agree with you because I'm not sure where Coconut1 is coming from either because developers only have their own interests at heart. The City has to oversee this, and not give into any concessions or shortcuts developers will attempt to take.

Last edited by goofy328; 12-22-2014 at 03:14 PM..
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Old 12-22-2014, 09:14 PM
 
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This isn't about zoning, of course that's necessary. You have to look at what the city is buying with your tax dollars (the Will Sessoms purchases are just the tip of the iceberg) as well as what tax revenue you're losing from sweetheart deals.

If the city can't support a business on its own, fine, it simply shouldn't be built. That's not what happens in VB (HR in general... Norfolk is famous for it) though. Major incentives and breaks (whether that be land, funding, tax breaks, purchase agreements, or a combination) are given to certain companies to make them viable. In moderation, fine, but that's how the bulk of development is occurring around here. It's not sustainable, and it's giving the tax payers a raw deal.
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Old 12-23-2014, 05:19 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coconut1 View Post
This isn't about zoning, of course that's necessary. You have to look at what the city is buying with your tax dollars (the Will Sessoms purchases are just the tip of the iceberg) as well as what tax revenue you're losing from sweetheart deals.

If the city can't support a business on its own, fine, it simply shouldn't be built. That's not what happens in VB (HR in general... Norfolk is famous for it) though. Major incentives and breaks (whether that be land, funding, tax breaks, purchase agreements, or a combination) are given to certain companies to make them viable. In moderation, fine, but that's how the bulk of development is occurring around here. It's not sustainable, and it's giving the tax payers a raw deal.
Fair enough, I just wasn't sure what "organically" meant. Thanks for clarifying.
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Old 12-23-2014, 09:40 AM
 
1,210 posts, read 2,363,289 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coconut1 View Post

If the city can't support a business on its own, fine, it simply shouldn't be built. That's not what happens in VB (HR in general... Norfolk is famous for it) though. Major incentives and breaks (whether that be land, funding, tax breaks, purchase agreements, or a combination) are given to certain companies to make them viable. In moderation, fine, but that's how the bulk of development is occurring around here. It's not sustainable, and it's giving the tax payers a raw deal.
So based on this statement I am assuming you are against the arena deal because the city will pay for infrastructure improvements and give the arena a cut of the hotel tax... is that correct?
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Old 12-28-2014, 10:47 AM
 
Location: Norfolk, VA
6,503 posts, read 6,909,094 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coconut1 View Post
This isn't about zoning, of course that's necessary. You have to look at what the city is buying with your tax dollars (the Will Sessoms purchases are just the tip of the iceberg) as well as what tax revenue you're losing from sweetheart deals.

If the city can't support a business on its own, fine, it simply shouldn't be built. That's not what happens in VB (HR in general... Norfolk is famous for it) though. Major incentives and breaks (whether that be land, funding, tax breaks, purchase agreements, or a combination) are given to certain companies to make them viable. In moderation, fine, but that's how the bulk of development is occurring around here. It's not sustainable, and it's giving the tax payers a raw deal.
I agree with you. To an extent. Were the cities to do what you're suggesting nothing would ever get accomplished around here, IMHO. You'll always have some level of financial involvement by a city to get a project done. I'm not even sure if cities like NY and LA get by without any backing by the city whatsoever.

What I do see is a huge level of disagreement over what projects actually modernize the area and what projects are frivolous, by both the taxpayers and the City, in HR. For every project one person supports, you can find 20 people that are against that project, and this is whether said City is willing to use taxpayer money to support a project or not. The sentiment makes it incredibly frustrating to live here at times.

Where I do agree with you is with respect to projects that would only benefit a small percentage of residents. Say, large residential projects that do not necessarily increase the quality of life for existing residents. I can see why cities support them, clearly, a city would want to increase available housing when necessary, but new housing is always expensive and, generally, is unaffordable for the majority of residents. This leads to gentrification, which is not always a good thing, and often has unintended effects. Cities tend to show a greater interest in new housing than they do the rehabilitation of existing housing; cities also tend to favor apartments/condominiums over detached single story housing, as the latter lends itself to low density neighborhoods. But without those low density neighborhoods, at least in a city like VB, most residents would never live there.

Cities also have to compete on projects. Most developers would go to some other city if the cities in HR did not "make it interesting" for them, or make it worth their while. This is one of the few areas where if local cities pulled their resources together and came up with better bids projects that could benefit the region overall could get accomplished. Like this deal, or the effort to get a professional team here. Leave it up to the individual cities it will never get done; sure cities like VB have more residents, but not everyone wants to live there, and not everyone should (or should have to), so it makes it unusually difficult for VB to score a major project without taxpayer involvement. But if all seven cities were to chip in, or at least the Southside or the Peninsula, depending on where those projects were located, something could get done, and a smaller city/metro with more money/resources to offer would not take priority over HR. I'm not a fan of legislatively making HR into one city but I can get with cooperation among the cities on large infrastructure projects, however loosely you want to use the term.

People seem to feel that developers should just be happy for the privilege of building something here. You know, because HR is just that great. But it rarely works that way in real life; developers have no real loyalty to the cities they build in they're just trying to make a buck like everyone else.

Last edited by goofy328; 12-28-2014 at 11:14 AM..
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