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Old July 23rd, 2004, 03:51 PM   #1
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Hampton Roads Development News

Here is a thread for all the news and updates of that large metro!
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Old July 23rd, 2004, 03:53 PM   #2
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Convention center work keeping pace

A glass wall of the Virginia Beach Convention Center looms next to the old Virginia Beach Pavilion, which will be torn down in the spring. BILL TIERNAN PHOTOS/THE VIRGINIAN-PILOT.


By JASON SKOG, The Virginian-Pilot
© July 22, 2004

VIRGINIA BEACH — The new $202 million convention center is the largest and most complicated project the city has ever undertaken, and it’s on time and on budget.

The glass curtain wall is nearly one-third done, all 15 of the 240-foot-long roof trusses are in place, and the first phase of the building is nearly half complete. By Oct. 1, the building is expected to be fully enclosed, allowing interior work to begin.

“I’m amazed it’s gone so smoothly,” said Dean Block , the city’s public works director and point man on the project. “So far, so good. I’m very pleased.”

Dean credits planning and coordination between the city and the project’s construction-manager firm, Turner Construction. He also gave a nod to the weather, which hasn’t caused any serious delays.

By October, the roof and walls should be in place, sealing the building from the elements.

“That’s a very important milestone because at that point we can begin working the interior aggressively,” said James L. Partin , the city’s construction manager on the project. “We have some very highly finished spaces, and that type of a space needs a dry climate and a lot of time to craft all of those finishes.”



Partin said there haven’t been many hiccups in the construction, but the building’s size and complexity have posed some challenges.

“We are trying to implement a lot of cutting-edge technology and various systems that are not run-of-the-mill,” Partin said. “As such, you’ve got a very complicated design and need extremely high levels of coordination.”

A public observation deck will cap a 150-foot tower that includes an executive conference room with video-conferencing, electronic window shades and a triangular conference table with 21 high-speed data ports.

In the ballroom, a digital lighting system will put 16 million colors at the touch of a button and provide custom color schemes to change the look and feel of the room. Along the main hall, a series of video walls 60 feet to 90 feet wide will project such things as pictures, videos and messages for visitors.

Up to 275 workers are at the site every day, including concrete and steel workers, masons, electricians, fire-proofers, glazers, carpenters and drywall hangers.

Meanwhile, bookings for the building are coming in, said James B. Ricketts , director of the city’s convention and visitors bureau.

J.J. Boykin ties reinforcing rods together on Friday for the armature for a concrete tunnel located under the exhibition hall at the Virginia Beach Convention Center.


Forty-nine conventions are scheduled from 2005 to 2010 , including the return of some groups that had outgrown the Pavilion, Ricketts said.

For 2006 , 114,000 hotel room nights have already been booked. Ricketts said one consultant’s study projected the building would attract 150,000 room nights, but not until 2009 . “And we’re still booking 2006 ,” Ricketts said. “I’m real confident about our pace.”
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Old July 23rd, 2004, 04:11 PM   #3
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More information and renderings located here!
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Old July 27th, 2004, 08:18 PM   #4
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Bob Matthews Reporting
New Luxury Hotel Coming To Norfolk
Email to a Friend Printer Friendly Version
http://www.wtkr.com/Global/story.asp...0&nav=0oa8P3ot



(Norfolk, VA, July 22nd, 2004, 7:37 a.m.) In downtown Norfolk, everybody is buzzing about the possibility of getting a new luxury hotel along Main Street. Booster say it's just what Norfolk needs but others are worried about the cost, not just in dollars. Your NewsChannel 3's Bob Matthews has more on this story.

The new hotel would be across the street from the BB&T building on Main Street. And while the details are still sketchy, it could be as tall as 20 stories, which one person we spoke to thinks would make business busier than ever. He says, "Yesterday we had a port of call ship came in. It got here at ten and left at three. We had so many people coming from that boat came here to eat."

While nothing is set in stone the hotel would probably go in the parking lot of the BB&T bank. That's good news for historians because it would spare both the BB&T building as well as several other buildings like Selden Arcade on Plume Street. Harriett Collins, a Norfolk Historian says, "We tend to sluff off those things that aren't ancient or have their own particular following."

The good news for Harriett and other historians is that the proposed hotel would probably face BB&T which was built back in 1899 and was once Norfolk's tallest building. Whether the hotel actually gets built though remains to be seen. Sources at City Hall say the project is gaining momentum. City Council has talked about this project recently and it could be part of a bigger project that could include seven new developments by this time next year.
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Old July 27th, 2004, 08:22 PM   #5
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I particulary like the part where they talk about 7 new develpoments by the end of next year. 7! I don't know what happened. This area seemed to be staggnating for years and now both va. beach and norfolk are going crazy with construction. Most of the new projects proposed lately have been highrises also which is a really interesting trend that I hope keeps up.
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Old July 27th, 2004, 08:26 PM   #6
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Here is a link to some very good pics of downtown norfolk. I'll try to post all the pics here later if I get time. http://www.beyonddc.com/features/norfolk.html
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Old July 28th, 2004, 05:39 PM   #7
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Printer Version Of Inside Business - Hampton Roads


INSIDER NEWS
Bank building switch paves way for hotel
BB&T plans to vacate site for space in 500 E. Main

By Peter Hull
Monday July 19, 2004

A new hotel is set for downtown Norfolk after a deal involving two landmark Main Street buildings will pave the way for development of a luxury hotel and conference center, throwing into doubt the future of one of downtown’s most historic buildings.

Branch Banking and Trust, commonly known as BB&T, will leave its location at 109 E. Main St. and occupy space in the former SunTrust office building, still known as the SunTrust Center, at 500 E. Main St.

The Winston-Salem, N.C.-based bank will lease about 40,000 of the 70,000 square feet left empty when SunTrust Bank relocated to 150 W. Main St. at the end of last year. SunTrust occupies 53,000 square feet on two floors and a branch lobby service in the building, the last major development built downtown.

As part of the deal, Harbor Group – a real estate investment group based in Norfolk at the 16-story SunTrust Center, which it bought from SunTrust in 1998 – will purchase the BB&T building.

Officials at neither Harbor Group nor BB&T would release details of the deal, but when BB&T bought the building at 109 E. Main St. at the end of 2002, the company paid $6 million for the property – nearly twice its assessed value at the time. The building was assessed for $3.8 million in 2003, and real estate experts predict the sale price to jump higher still this time around.

The 228,541-square-foot SunTrust Center has a drive-through banking facility and its own parking deck. Officials would not confirm details of the naming rights, but when SunTrust left the building, officials for Harbor Group said at the time the naming rights would be available to a new anchor tenant.

The deal means developers – thought to include Robert Johnson, majority owner of the Charlotte Bobcats National Basketball Association expansion team, and William Fuller, a Norfolk native and former Pro Bowl player – now have a site for a luxury hotel on land behind the BB&T building where the bank’s drive-through service stands.

The seven-story, terra cotta-façade building was originally the Citizens’ Bank Building and then the Seaboard Citizens’ National Bank. Also known as the Life Building and the Wheat Building, it was the city’s earliest multistory structure.

It was originally constructed between 1897 and 1899 and was Norfolk’s first skyscraper. It became an architectural hot potato among preservationists in 1989 when the previous owners announced plans to sell it as a development site for the construction of a modern high-rise.

Fuller confirmed Thursday that negotiations on a potential site continue and that 109 E. Main St. is one option. He said he could not comment on what would become of the BB&T building – and adjoining businesses, including Prince Books – because the building does not form part of the hotel plan.

“There are several options we’re looking at, and yes, one of those options is where the BB&T parking lot is,” Fuller said. “As of this point, Mr. Slone does not have anything to do with our potential hotel deal.”

Jordan E. Slone is the chairman and CEO of Harbor Group.

The hotel is thought to involve a 20-story plus, 250-room four-star hotel with adjacent conference facilities. It will stand on the same street as the Norfolk Marriott Waterside hotel, a 24-story, 405-room hotel with 60,000 square feet of conference space.

Johnson said publicly in the spring that he was in discussions with the city to build a downtown hotel, with the Hilton name widely touted as the hotel’s operator. Last year, a consortium that includes Johnson’s company, RLJ Development, was awarded an exclusive negotiating agreement with the city of Baltimore for a 750-room Hilton to serve as the city’s convention headquarters hotel.

Johnson also stated that he’d like to help Norfolk lure a Major League Baseball team to the city, but city officials said the hotel deal was unrelated to baseball.

Johnson became America’s first black billionaire when he sold Black Entertainment Television, the cable TV network he founded, to Viacom for $3 billion in 2001. Forbes magazine ranked Johnson, a Mississippi native, 348 on their 2003 list of the world’s richest people with an estimated worth of $1.2 billion.

He is partnering with William Fuller’s Fulco Development on the project. Fuller, who sits on the board of the Norfolk Convention and Visitors Bureau, is an Indian River High School graduate and was a defensive lineman in the National Football League with the Philadelphia Eagles and San Diego Chargers in the 1990s.

Robert Johnson could not be reached for comment and Tom Baltimore, president of RLJ Development, did not return calls before INSIDE BUSINESS went to press.






A service of Richmond.com
All material copyright © 1999 - 2003 Richmond.com and Partners.

http://www.richmond.com/printer.cfm?article=3137307
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Old July 28th, 2004, 06:30 PM   #8
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sounds like an intresting switch all for one hotel to come in. sounds nice!
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Old July 29th, 2004, 04:13 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vdogg
I particulary like the part where they talk about 7 new develpoments by the end of next year. 7! I don't know what happened. This area seemed to be staggnating for years and now both va. beach and norfolk are going crazy with construction. Most of the new projects proposed lately have been highrises also which is a really interesting trend that I hope keeps up.

ditto
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Virginia Beach,VA Population 437,000
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Hampton Roads metro population (Va Beach/Norfolk/Newport News) 1,620,000
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Old July 29th, 2004, 03:02 PM   #10
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Cheesecake Factory -- One of Many New Stores
Coming to The Town Center of Virginia Beach

VIRGINIA BEACH, VIRGINIA: The more The Town Center of Virginia Beach grows, the easier it has been to secure new tenants, according to Gerald Divaris, chairman and CEO of Divaris Real Estate, Inc. “We’ve turned down several offers because we are very cautious about getting the appropriate tenant mix. We could fill every square foot of space tomorrow, but we want to make it the most dynamic and exciting mixed-use development possible.”

The $300 million Town Center of Virginia Beach is proving to be the center of it all in Hampton Roads, a multi-city MSA located in southeastern Virginia with a population of 1.6 million. With 321,000 square feet of Class A office space, 42,000 square feet of retail space and a 1,284-car, city owned, free parking garage -- Block 4 is complete. Nearby, Block 5 has One Columbus Center, a 134,000-square-foot, Class A office building; a new 176-room Hilton Garden Inn; and Towne Bank, a freestanding 16,000-square-foot, two-story building.

Yet, 2003 was only the beginning for the project. Four new city blocks will increase the upscale urban lifestyle feel in the new city center, and give people more reason to want to work, shop, dine and live here. Ultimately spanning 17 city blocks, The Town Center will provide a mix of Class A office, multi-level upscale retail, deluxe residential, a performing arts center and an array of restaurants and business-class hotels.

The development is already looking like restaurant row with the first wave of merchants comprised primarily of nationally recognized restaurants. P.F. Chang’s China Bistro, Cold Stone Creamery, California Pizza Kitchen, Town Center City Club, D’Mustard Co. and Red Star Tavern have been drawing hungry hordes. Yet, patrons’ dining options are about to get even better.



California Pizza Kitchen
is one of many restaurants
open in The Town Center
of Virginia Beach.



On Block 3, The Cheesecake Factory has begun construction on its 11,507-square-foot restaurant, the first full-scale version of this major dining concept outside Northern Virginia. The Calabassas Hills, California-based casual dining chain is expected to pull in tons of traffic to The Town Center of Virginia Beach, as it has in the country’s 63 existing Cheesecake Factory restaurants. Typical sites generate $1,000 per square foot in sales, or twice the average of others in its category. The 200 items on its menu include 40 variations of cheesecake and desserts, plus pizza, gourmet salads, seafood and various Asian culinary specialties. The restaurants, which typically average about 10,000 square feet, feature rich, upscale décor, with hand-painted ceilings and wall murals, Egyptian columns, lots of cherry wood, limestone marble and handblown glass fixtures. This is surprising considering the average check is under $20!

In the next block from The Cheesecake Factory, Bravo! Cucina Italiana is building a 7,946-square-foot, restaurant on Block 8 with 1,200 square feet of outdoor patio dining area fronting an open public plaza with fountains and landscaping. Bravo Development Company, the parent company of Bravo! Cucina Italiana and Brio Tuscan Grill, operates several highly successful restaurants throughout the country.

A two-floor comedy club will occupy 9,500 square feet in Block 8, including 2,500-square-foot mezzanine level. Funny Bone is a concept developed by owner and founder, Mitch Kutash, who also runs a Funny Bone in Richmond, Virginia. Additionally, he operates five Improv Comedy clubs in Florida and Ohio as a franchisee. Kutash’s clubs feature the stand-up comedy acts of first-rate entertainers.

Occupying 6,225 square feet in the existing Block 4, at the opposite end from California Pizza Kitchen, is Red Star Tavern, an updated version of the classic American pub. The owner is Chicago-based, multi-concept operator, Restaurant Development Group (RDG), which owns 34 restaurants nationwide. Its portfolio of concepts includes: Bar Louie, Nick & Tony’s, Bluepoint Oyster Bar, The Grillroom and more. Red Star’s wide-ranging menu offers hearty sandwiches, salads, savory seafood and steaks. Accommodating 100 at the bar and 200 in the dining room, the interior conveys an intimate feel with design elements that include a fireplace, curved leather booths, wood-paneled walls, flagstone, custom lighting and eclectic artwork.

The Town Center City Club is a second-level, 8,368-square-foot private club, also on Block 4. The elegantly styled establishment features dining rooms, a bar, a cigar lounge and meeting rooms. Exclusive memberships are offered on an individual or corporate basis.

Luxury apartment homes in The Cosmopolitan will bring a built-in market to the Town Center tenants, and increase the 24-hour activity in the area. There will be 14 floors and 341 choices of chic studio suites, or one-, two- and three-bedroom city apartment homes with dimensions up to 1,576 square feet. Two floors of The Cosmopolitan will feature luxury penthouses, with views of both Downtown Norfolk and the Virginia Beach Oceanfront. The $60 million building will include first floor retail on the street, and a public parking garage for 856 cars.

Apartments will all contain quick-touch fireplaces, granite countertops on kitchen islands, and top-notch lighting systems. A full array of services and amenities will be offered including a rooftop plaza with gardens, heated swimming pool and cabana; a fitness center; a community room with a catering and demonstration kitchen; a boardroom with high-speed internet access; and an after-hours doorman. Additionally, concierge services will help residents attend to many daily details. The apartments are expected to be available for occupancy in the summer of 2005.



Galyan's opened its 84,000-
square-foot store at The
Town Center of Virginia
Beach in April 2004.


Other shopping opportunities in The Town Center of Virginia Beach include Galyan’s Trading Company, a seller of upscale sporting and outdoor lifestyle goods. Galyan’s opened the doors to its 84,000-square-foot, two-story store on the corner of Columbus Street and Independence Boulevard in April 2004. The Plainfield-Indiana-based retailer targets both outdoor and traditional athletic market segments with an amazing 90,000 items from private-label and proprietary brands.

The 23-story Armada Hoffler Tower is fully occupied, with the biggest names in law, finance and technology. Office tenants in The Town Center include: Armada Hoffler; Morgan Stanley; Wilcox & Savage; Cherry Bekaert & Holland; Pender & Coward; Senator George Allen; Thomas Rutherfoord; Troutman Sanders; Legg Mason; Mass Mutual; Faggert & Freiden; Williams Mullen and the Virginia Beach Department of Economic Development.

One Columbus Center, an existing 11-story Class A office tower is getting a facelift. The building was designed and built in 1983 with the new city center in mind, establishing a high-rise focus for the new Virginia Beach skyline. One Columbus Center has remained fully leased since it opened and is still in great demand. Its tenant roster is a Who’s Who list including Divaris Real Estate, UBS Financial Services, Bank of America, BB&T Insurance/Pioneer Title, Columbus Executive Suites, HBA Architects and Wolcott Rivers. Exterior and interior renovations are underway and expected to reach completion in the summer of 2005.

The entire central business district is benefiting from the investment in the area. Across Virginia Beach Boulevard, two new restaurants have opened on outparcels at Pembroke Mall. Romano’s Macaroni Grill and Max & Erma’s are taking advantage of the synergy between workers, shoppers and diners at The Town Center.

Patrons are already making the development their destination for an evening out. They start with dinner at one of the several eateries, then take a quick stroll to the movie theatre or a browse around Barnes & Noble, capping off the night with ice cream from Cold Stone Creamery.

The Town Center of Virginia Beach is leased and managed by Divaris Real Estate, Inc. and Divaris Property Management Corp. The project is being developed and constructed by Armada Hoffler. Divaris and Armada Hoffler are principals in the project.

Divaris Real Estate, Inc.
One Columbus Center, Suite 700
Virginia Beach, VA 23462
TEL: 757.497.2113 FAX: 757.497.1338
info@divaris.com




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Old July 30th, 2004, 12:40 AM   #11
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New developments in norfolk
2 towers of 25 floors and 15 floors will be built on brambelton and granby street should take 36 months to complete.

this doesnt include 20+floor hotel planned on Main.
http://home.hamptonroads.com/stories...711&ran=184013
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Old July 30th, 2004, 01:34 AM   #12
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a 25 story and 15 story building by suntrust building behind world trade center
a 20 story tower by macarthur mall for a large publishing firm
a 20-30 story hotel planned in center




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Old July 30th, 2004, 04:38 AM   #13
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That is so cool I cant wait to go back...reminds me of a cleaner LA stuck in the "honey i shrunk the city" machine...I like it alot
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Old July 30th, 2004, 02:22 PM   #14
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Damnit, you beat me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I was trying to post this as fast as I could .
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Old July 30th, 2004, 02:24 PM   #15
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It appears that the competition between norfolk and va.beach is on again. Both cities have been announcing new buildings left and right. Extremely cool.
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Old July 30th, 2004, 02:45 PM   #16
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Heres the article for those of us too lazy to click the link.

Two towers planned for Norfolk

The 400 condominium units would sell for between $250,000 and $400,000. MARATHON DEVELOPMENT GROUP


By BATTINTO BATTS, The Virginian-Pilot
© July 30, 2004

NORFOLK – A developer has a plan to take downtown living to new heights.

Literally.

Marathon Development Group announced Thursday that it wants to construct 400 condominiums in twin towers – one 25 stories, the other 15 – at the southwest corner of Granby Street and Brambleton Avenue.

The development, if approved by the city, would be the tallest residential complex in downtown. The units would sell for between $250,000 and $400,000 and the complex would also feature six stories of parking, 17,000 square feet of retail space, a pool, an exercise facility and a club area.

The planned $100 million project could take downtown’s renaissance to a new plateau, city officials said.

As outlined by officials and the developer, the complex would meet a pent up demand for downtown living while encouraging the redevelopment of Granby Street to continue north toward Virginia Beach Boulevard. The income bracket of the condo buyers could help the city attract retail development beyond MacArthur Center. And when grouped with other developments, it could dramatically change the city’s skyline.

“Downtown Norfolk and this region has a tremendous amount of momentum,” said Buddy Gadams, president of Norfolk-based Marathon Development. “We have been working downtown for a while and have a first-hand knowledge of people wanting to live here, but they just can’t find the product.”

“We are targeting the urban person who doesn’t want a lot of space, but wants to be in the center of it all.”

The developer will submit its plans to the city’s Planning Department for review. The project, which could generate about $3 million in annual tax revenue, must then be approved by the Planning Commission and the City Council.

Gadams projected that construction could begin sometime late next year with the first phase – the 25-story tower – completed possibly by the summer of 2007.

Depending on demand, construction of the smaller tower could be done concurrently, with completion in five to six years.

Marathon officials have shared their plans with some city officials, including Mayor Paul D. Fraim.

“This seems to be a project that is well conceived,” Fraim said Thursday. “Our experience with Marathon Development and Buddy Gadams has been very good. We have reason to believe he can deliver.”







Marathon Development has completed several projects in Norfolk, Suffolk and Richmond.

John B. Levy, a Richmond-based real estate investment banking company that has similar projects in Washington, D.C., Northern Virginia and Charlotte, N.C., is providing financing for the project.

That a project of this size will be financed entirely with private funds indicates how far downtown has come, Fraim and other city officials said. The city invested $100 million to help finance the construction of MacArthur Center in the mid-90s, seen by many as the catalyst for downtown Norfolk’s rebirth.

“We are on the radar screen,” said Cathy Coleman, executive director of the Downtown Norfolk Council. “It is validating all of the efforts thus far. Norfolk has been very patient and disciplined in its planning approach. It has been a determined effort that is really paying off.”

Coleman said she could not foresee any negatives.

“It’s a good developer, a good development in a strategic location. It can benefit a new part of downtown,” she said. “It’s going to put people in restaurants, people in stores and it’s probably going to enhance the opportunity to go after retailers.


“It enhances our ability to market downtown to unique retail outside of MacArthur. That has always been the goal to complete the streetscape and the offerings outside the center.”

Marathon Development has been working over the past few years to acquire the property. The site, which is zoned for high-density residential development, is home to an old bank building and parking lots.

The property had been mentioned as a possible location for an annex to the federal courthouse directly across Granby Street. But plans for an annex have not advanced, according to city officials.




The complex would also feature six stories of parking, 17,000 square feet of retail space, a pool, an exercise facility and a club area.


Rod Woolard, the city’s director of development, said Gadams’ project should produce “collateral development,” accelerating redevelopment on Granby north of Brambleton.

Across Brambleton to the north, renovations have begun on a restaurant and lounge. Diagonally is the Greyhound bus station, situated on property owned by the city that Woolard said is prime for development.

Andrew Little, a principal investor with the financier, John B. Levy, said the Norfolk/Hampton Roads area is considered a hot market for multi-family development because of its job and population growth, demographics and economic base.

“I think there’s a fervor right now.

There’s really a lot of institutional interest in projects that are large,” Little said. “Norfolk happens to be a market where there’s a lot of institutional investors interested in getting into play.”

With a number of condo units planned for downtown, Little said there is a concern about oversupply in the market. “Right now it looks pretty good. It doesn’t appear out of balance at this point.”

The project, which the developers are calling “Granby Towers,” could be one of as many as eight or nine underway in downtown Norfolk within the next 12 months, Fraim said.

Such activity could force the city’s planning department to pay closer attention to the changing Norfolk skyline.

While growth is welcomed, it must adhere to the overall vision for downtown, said Tim Polk, city planning director.

“We recognize with a maturing city that we are going to the next level,” Polk said. “The girth and widths and heights are going to change. We’ve already got developments coming down the pike that are significantly taller than what we have downtown. We will have to set guidelines on how tall we want to be.”

City officials have discussed with Urban Design Associates, the Pittsburgh, Pa.-based consulting firm which has helped craft plans for downtown redevelopment, about colors, materials and finishes of buildings, Polk said.

“We will have to be prudent with this trend,” Polk said. “We want to keep the urban context of our town. We want to make sure we retain our view corridors and vistas.”

Reach Battinto Batts at 446-2642 or battinto.batts@pilotonline.com
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Old July 30th, 2004, 02:50 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vdogg

“We recognize with a maturing city that we are going to the next level,” Polk said. “The girth and widths and heights are going to change. We’ve already got developments coming down the pike that are significantly taller than what we have downtown. We will have to set guidelines on how tall we want to be.”
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Old July 30th, 2004, 08:46 PM   #18
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will u get to see those towers in skyline pics, i think they are all the way by the scope
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Old July 30th, 2004, 08:54 PM   #19
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any renderings of other projects like the publisher building
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Old July 30th, 2004, 09:14 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oduguy1999
will u get to see those towers in skyline pics, i think they are all the way by the scope
you'll probably be able to see the 25-story one. I don't know about the smaller tower since its view from the river will be blocked by the larger one.

Last edited by vdogg; July 30th, 2004 at 09:22 PM.
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