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I miss RVA

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  1. I get the impression he's suggesting we shouldn't be doing this. That said, I'm not at all in agreement with Baliles. You raised a huge point: if we DON'T do this, then exactly WHAT are we going to do? I'm not a financial or a real estate expert - just an armchair quarterback with some educational background in urban planning. My lens focuses on what kind of development is needed - what the final product needs to be, needs to look like, how it needs to function, what it will do. I have no real understanding of the machinations of how to get there. In that sense - as you correctly said - we need to get this done. Period. Ditto City Center. That redev process has dragged on WAY too long. And even from afar, I'm with you: the Squirrels. Thank God we have them. I'd give anything if we could somehow get hockey back - and at the AHL level - and an NBA G-league team here. Aside from that, losing the Squirrels would be heartbreaking.
  2. Jonathan Spiers has reporting in today's RBS that the city is looking to budget $3 million to demo and dispose of the Coliseum, even as progress with the City Center redevelopment has been inching along at best (and at worst, completely stalled/stagnated). The funds for demo would be included in the 2025 fiscal year budget, which begins July 1. According to Jonathan's reporting, no timeline for demo has materialized at this point, but city officials continue to assert that it can be done prior to the deadline for the Richmond Economic Development Authority to sell the property to whichever developer is going to actually undertake the City Center project. Of course - despite announcing four finalists a year ago - no decision has been made yet as to which development group will get the project. The city says "negotiations are ongoing" - and the expectation is that the city will get a deal done before the November deadline. Council member Ellen Robertson has publicly requested an update on where things are with City Center. The Coliseum is in her district. I just wish the REST of City Council would join in and start clamoring for not just updates - but some actual movement. Selection of the winning development group was supposed to have happened LAST SUMMER. And look at how small the footprint we're talking about, relative to the entirety of the overall City Center redevelopment, which essentially mirrors the overall footprint of Navy Hill. What we have here is merely Phase 1. And there's been this little progress on it. What gives? Ugh... don't get me started. As I've said previously, I can't help but at least "feel" if not outright "believe" that Maritza Pechin's was SUCH an intense driving force behind all of these initiatives (City Center, the Diamond District) - that everything has just simply ground to a halt following her departure. Yes, I know economic conditions have had an impact - but it just seems like after she left, any/all progress on any/all of these projects just flat out stopped. From today's Richmond BizSense: https://richmondbizsense.com/2024/04/16/richmond-budgeting-3m-for-coliseum-demo-amid-stagnant-city-center-project/
  3. I took one of @CitiWalker's outstanding photos and cropped it down to focus mainly on Monroe Ward (and to include my all-time favorite RVA building - the CNB Building. But of particular interest is RVA's "second skyline" that in some ways goes kind of unnoticed. Mind you, it's been VERY slow to fill out and grow up with only the Parc View Commonwealth being the last high-rise built in that part of the city in at least the last 15 years. However, when you include the VCU Campus, the BIG dorm at Laurel and Franklin - and the Gladdings Residence Center at Laurel and Main really stand out. I still hold out hope that before my tuchus is laid in the ground, I'll live to see towers spout up in Monroe Ward. Lots of towers. The potential is there - and can you imagine how downtown RVA would look with a robust western part of the skyline? Here's a thought: much as we often talk about how downtown needs an iconic, "signature" tower (or two - or even three) and the most logical place for it/them to be would be in/near the legacy Financial District/riverfront area - or perhaps up around City Center (if it ever comes to pass). How about Monroe Ward? With all the potentially developable surface lots there, how amazing would it be to see a "signature" building rise in that part of downtown? I know - a pipe dream (like all the other dreams I have about this city and the airport and the metro, etc.) - but man... just think about how that could be. Photo (edited) courtesy of @CitiWalker:
  4. WOW!!! These are FANTASTIC @CitiWalker! No question - some freshly polished RVA/UP Silver Hardware will be on the way to you. Man - quite a bit of progress going on here. I can't wait to see floors start coming out of the ground so that we start to see the actual "shape" of the building begin to - no pun intended - take shape. Looking REALLY good.
  5. An opinion piece in today's "Richmond 5 x 5" regarding the city as real estate developer. https://rva5x5.substack.com/p/diamonds-arent-forever
  6. Jonathan Spiers has reporting in today's RBS of the next phase of development of the huge Chickahominy Falls development in southern Hanover (just west of Route 1). The county gave the green light to this next phase last month - and construction of 169 single family homes is scheduled to begin by the middle of next year, bringing the total number of houses in this expansive 55-plus community to 637, which is significantly larger than the 400-house development originally approved in 2018. What's really interesting, it that Chickahominy Falls -- which includes a 10-acre professionally managed four-season community farm called Woodside Farms and Market -- has received national recognition - yet another plus for metro RVA! An interesting personal note: when I saw "Cedar Lane" I immediately began looking for -- and found -- the small group of three houses clustered on the north side of Cedar Lane just east of the already built-out portion of Chickahominy Falls. Given all the suburbanization that's taken place in that part of the county (this development, a large industrial park across the street, etc.) I wasn't sure those houses were still there. Those houses belonged to my family. One was my grandparents' home. The second belonged to one of my aunt's. And the third house belonged to my parents. My father built the house when he was dating my mother - and it was the first house in which I ever lived right after I was born. We sold that house in 1964 and moved over to Granite (then in Chesterfield and a few years later annexed by the city) just west of Westover Hills. Anyway - it was kinda cool to be reminded of a tiny portion of personal history while enjoying the continued growth and evolution of metro RVA. From today's Richmond BizSense: https://richmondbizsense.com/2024/04/15/60-acre-expansion-to-finish-out-farm-centric-chickahominy-falls-development/
  7. That's the Novel. Man... it looks REALLLLLLLLLY sweet! AMAZING shot, @123fakestreet. You know what THAT means... first day of the week... first piece of RVA/UP Silver Hardware awarded for the week. Really well done. Super picture. Mazal Tov, my friend.
  8. Wow - this is definitely encouraging news. Glad to see it. I'm I having memory issues or weren't we also getting something new from Spirit this year?
  9. Wowwww... that's really impressive! And this is only Phase 1. Can't wait to see how this will look when it gets fully built out. Man - and the memories I have of old Beaufont Mall and that obnoxiously huge parking lot. I'm amazed by how much things are really changing around metro Richmond.
  10. @RVABizSenseMike has reporting in today's RBS that Legends appears to be looking to sell off assets and even its brand, after having put their property up for sale and having requested for the property to be up-zoned. (I can't recall - did they ask for TOD-1 or B-4? I want to say TOD-1 but I can't remember...) The brewery's president and founder Tom Martin attended this week's Manchester Alliance meeting and dropped a pretty strong dime: From Mike's reporting: "We’re sorry to be selling the property. We really are. I’m sorry to be leaving Manchester and Richmond,” Martin told the group. “The fact of the matter is our revenues have been going down steadily the last few years and our expenses have been going up, and the numbers are just not adding up to a viable business anymore. So we’re looking to maximize what we can do with the property.” Hmmm... maximize the property... (paraphrasing) Here's hoping a super-deep-pocketed developer comes in, buys the parcel and develops something EPIC on the site. Manchester has kinda fallen off the radar from a development standpoint (as @wrldcoupe4 - RVA/UP's Nostradamus - correctly predicted over a year ago) - so it will be interesting to see how much it will cost to buy into what will HOPEFULLY be a very-soon restart of Manchester's construction boom. (Scott's has really jumped out as THE HOTTEST of the HOT in RVA these days...) We shall see... From today's Richmond BizSense: https://richmondbizsense.com/2024/04/12/with-its-land-up-for-sale-legend-brewing-in-talks-to-sell-recipes-and-other-assets/
  11. UPDATE: Jonathan Spiers has additional reporting in today's RBS that's pretty in depth. I haven't had a chance yet to digest it, so I'll reserve any commentary for later, if I have time. Busy day today. I did, however, cull out a few nuggets that get into some of the nitty-gritty of how the development looks like it will be broken out. Rather than quote and comment, for the sake of expediency, I'll copy and paste here, directly from RBS. These are important points that Jonathan explains and they give us a much clearer picture of what we might expect. From his reporting: Previously, when the development team was responsible for all of the first phase, which totaled 22 acres including the 7-acre stadium, it had agreed to pay $16 million for the land and to buy $20 million in bonds to support the stadium development. It would no longer need to buy bonds under the new plan. Where the first phase previously planned to consist of more than 1,100 residential units, 58,000 square feet of retail, a 180-room hotel and an 11-acre public park, the larger first phase allows for more development within it but staggers the delivery. The park also has been dropped in size to 7 acres. The first subphase is to include the hotel, nearly 900 housing units with about 160 units for lower-income residents, 20,000 square feet of commercial space, infrastructure and park space. Phase 1B, which includes part of the current Diamond property, is planned for 335 housing units, 124 of them for lower-income residents and 10 for-sale units, 12,400 square feet of commercial space, infrastructure and park space. That subphase would also involve the demolition of Sports Backers Stadium and The Diamond. Phase 1C involves 467 housing units with 54 of them for lower-income residents and 14 for sale, over 100,000 square feet of commercial space, and infrastructure and park space. Note: while I didn't see the figure expressly stated in Jonathan's article, a quick-N-dirty calculation gives us a total (of the three subphases) of 1,702 residential units - as was reported yesterday in the RT-D, a substantial increase over the original plan. Wow... well, we shall see. Fingers crossed and praying everything somehow works. BTW - no new graphics or renderings to post - everything in the article has been published recently. From today's Richmond BizSense: https://richmondbizsense.com/2024/04/11/newly-filed-ordinances-detail-new-game-plan-for-diamond-district-financing/
  12. My uneducated guess is 12 stories (???) -- though I've seen renderings (admittedly older) that looked closer to 15 or so. Not saying that the developers have "capped" heights (recall that during the RFP process, Maritza Pechin pushed hard for (and I believe got) the cap on height restriction removed. So there was no cap on the Diamond District from TOD-1 zoning nor any setback requirements from B-4 zoning. Allllllllllll of that said - my best guess is probably 12. Kinda "meh" - but it is what it is. I'd be curious to know what hotelier would operate it. Obviously, it ain't gonna be a Super-8, a Days In or a Motel-6. But with an almost 300-room AC Hotel (Marriott) planned for just over half a mile south (Myers Street), I'm curious how this will shake out.
  13. Addison is the most publicly-facing pro growth, pro density candidate, correct?
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