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MacArthur Mall REDEVELOPMENT (Proposed/Planning) City of Norfolk


carolinaboy

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On 4/14/2024 at 9:20 PM, ONCE1stBlvd said:

If I had it my way and it was feasible, I'd research building an arena smack dab on one of the corners.  I was talking to a security guard at Mac Center about the size of Dillards.  After some light research it would still need a bit more footprint to not be the smallest arena (OKC takes that one, I believe).  If anything, it could just be a little bit taller or maybe dig into the ground a bit.  Talks of Scope doing that but i think the water underground is still there

Dillards is somewhere between 250,000 sf and 255,000 sf, spread across 3 floors. Depending on which publication you read. It was their East Coast Flagship and the largest department store in the history of Hampton Roads, the largerst in Virginia outside of NOVA, and one of the top 2-4 in size in the history of VA .

Edited by baobabs727
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OKC's arena is about 580K square footage. T-Mobile in Vegas is 650K; Golden 1 Center in Sacramento is 780K. IIRC, the mall takes up about 900K SF so I think you'd have to tear down a lot more than what's being proposed here. As much as I like the proposal, I wouldn't be against mixed-use that allows for a 15-17K seat arena, hotel, and apartments.

If I have a time machine, I'm going back in time 30 years and telling Mayor Fraim to make an arena part of MacArthur, and make the rest open-air shopping with a hotel. Think Short Pump or Ovation Hollywood (formerly Hollywood and Highland) in L.A.

EDIT: I know the developers at the time (Taubman?) insisted on a suburban-style mall but THAT would've been the new millennium game changer for downtown back in '99! Council wanted mixed-use and should've dug in their heels IMO, even if meant finding another developer.

Edited by BFG
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  • 2 weeks later...
On 4/13/2024 at 1:54 PM, urbanlife said:

Damn, those two garages are so massively sprawling and ugly. It's like when they were built the developer requested that the garages feel like surface parking lots.

Yeah they should at least line the perimeters of the garages with mid-rise multi-family housing over retail storefronts along the streetscape. That would really round out this proposal.

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Originally, the garages along Freemason were ornamented. See photo from 2007. Then somewhere between 2007 and 2012, the ornamentation started failing/falling off, so they eventually removed all of it....leaving the hulking, ugly black areas.   

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I might be reading too much into it, but considering the Mayor just announced this last month isn't it a little premature for The Pilot to make it seem like its in jeopardy? I know they love to downplay any major development in this area, but it hasn't even been a month.

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9 minutes ago, BFG said:

I might be reading too much into it, but considering the Mayor just announced this last month isn't it a little premature for The Pilot to make it seem like its in jeopardy? I know they love to downplay any major development in this area, but it hasn't even been a month.

I think it was premature for the mayor to include it in the SOTC. I’m all for transparency but it gave the impression to most that this was happening. Until there’s a name and money behind it, the proposal is no more likely than the conceptual renderings in the comprehensive plan. 

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57 minutes ago, BFG said:

I might be reading too much into it, but considering the Mayor just announced this last month isn't it a little premature for The Pilot to make it seem like its in jeopardy? I know they love to downplay any major development in this area, but it hasn't even been a month.

What? They are doing no such thing lol. These things ALWAYS TAKE FOREVER...especially projects of this size and scope ...and especially in HR!

6 minutes ago, HRVA said:

I think it was premature for the mayor to include it in the SOTC. I’m all for transparency but it gave the impression to most that this was happening. Until there’s a name and money behind it, the proposal is no more likely than the conceptual renderings in the comprehensive plan. 

I disagree.

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4 minutes ago, baobabs727 said:

What? They are doing no such thing lol. These things ALWAYS TAKE FOREVER...especially projects of this size and scope ...and especially in HR!

I think we agree more than not. The point I'm making is that - like you said - it takes a while for things like this to come to fruition (see Atlantic Park), so why write an article making it seem like it's in trouble after only three weeks? If we're still at this point this time next year, then yeah ask questions.

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30 minutes ago, HRVA said:

I think it was premature for the mayor to include it in the SOTC. I’m all for transparency but it gave the impression to most that this was happening. Until there’s a name and money behind it, the proposal is no more likely than the conceptual renderings in the comprehensive plan. 

I kind of agree with this. Look at how many things have been announced at the SOTC with no firm developer behind it and then never happened. Continuing to do so will basically put the SOTC on par with a wish list for the city, would it not? 

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3 minutes ago, BFG said:

I think we agree more than not. The point I'm making is that - like you said - it takes a while for things like this to come to fruition (see Atlantic Park), so why write an article making it seem like it's in trouble after only three weeks? If we're still at this point this time next year, then yeah ask questions.

Ok, right, and I understand the point you're making. It's just that I didn't read/interpret the article the way you did. I think the Pilot saw the # of clicks/readers the prior stories garnered, so they thought they'd squeeze some more juice out of what was really always kind of a non-story. Remeber the proposed development for the 3rd anchor space? That was right after the prior owner acquired the property for nearly 178 million bucks! Now it's all worth 20M. Oh, the irony. These massive "announcements" are usually highly aspirational and almost always lack backing, financing, approvals, etc.  This one is no different.  And this will not be the last story on the matter from the Pilot.

As I said some months ago, this thing is gonna take tiiiiime to complete. A decade wouldn't surprise me.  50/50ish that it's longer than that. Depending on the scope and size. Some of us will likely grow old before any very large to massive project is completed here. 

 

2 minutes ago, Urbanlooker said:

I kind of agree with this. Look at how many things have been announced at the SOTC with no firm developer behind it and then never happened. Continuing to do so will basically put the SOTC on par with a wish list for the city, would it not? 

But it is always an aspirational speech.  If the Mayor can't get a concrete win yesterday or today, he will project success into the future.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well I parked here today and since this seems to be the cheapest parking garage downtown there were quite a few people parked there (and believe me they were not in the mall).

After I walked all over downtown I do walk into the mall.

Would ODU, Norfolk State or your community college be interested in one of those department stores that are vacant?  It could be good generator for some of the food tenants.  Otherwise most of the mall should be torn down but gather the remaining retailers to the area near the H&M on the old Dillards side.  I would keep one of those garages.  I would add a hotel as I heard the Mayor suggest and basically, you might have to give the land to a developer to make that happen but in the end it will be a new life and tax revenue.  I would keep the larger parking garage which I think is the south garage where I parked today.  I would add 100s and 100s of apartments some mid rise and some high rise IF the market will support it.  

Photos from inside today and I was surprised that many stores were hanging on there.   I will say the city is continuing to keep it clean and working despite a 75% plus vacancy.  

Norfolk city needs to get out of the mall owning business as soon as possible.  Start selling parts of this off or give away land for redevelopment.  

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2 hours ago, KJHburg said:

Well I parked here today and since this seems to be the cheapest parking garage downtown there were quite a few people parked there (and believe me they were not in the mall).

After I walked all over downtown I do walk into the mall.

Would ODU, Norfolk State or your community college be interested in one of those department stores that are vacant?  It could be good generator for some of the food tenants.  Otherwise most of the mall should be torn down but gather the remaining retailers to the area near the H&M on the old Dillards side.  I would keep one of those garages.  I would add a hotel as I heard the Mayor suggest and basically, you might have to give the land to a developer to make that happen but in the end it will be a new life and tax revenue.  I would keep the larger parking garage which I think is the south garage where I parked today.  I would add 100s and 100s of apartments some mid rise and some high rise IF the market will support it.  

Photos from inside today and I was surprised that many stores were hanging on there.   I will say the city is continuing to keep it clean and working despite a 75% plus vacancy.  

Norfolk city needs to get out of the mall owning business as soon as possible.  Start selling parts of this off or give away land for redevelopment.  

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I took my daughter to a lot of movies at that movie theater. Good memories.

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