Author Topic: Norfolk: Jacksonville's Twin?  (Read 7943 times)

Metro Jacksonville

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Norfolk: Jacksonville's Twin?
« on: July 24, 2007, 04:00:00 AM »
Norfolk: Jacksonville's Twin?



An economy based off shipbuilding and the Navy.  A riverfront downtown, decimated by urban renewal in an Atlantic Coast city, in stiff competition with it's southside and beach suburbs.  Sounds like Jacksonville, however it's Norfolk, Virginia.  Despite the economic similarities it's downtown revitalization tactics have been acclaimed in the economic development world to be a true success.  Should Jacksonville take notice?

Full Article
http://www.metrojacksonville.com/content/view/497

thelakelander

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Re: Norfolk: Jacksonville's Twin?
« Reply #1 on: July 24, 2007, 07:36:14 AM »
It's not really elaborated in the article, but Norfolk officials and residents have decided to construct a starter light rail line, as opposed to a city wide, bus rapid transit plan that won't be operational until 20 years down the road.





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The Tide - Norfolk's future Light Rail Transit System is a $232 million project proposed to extent 7.4 miles from the Eastern Virginia Medical Center through downtown Norfolk, and continuing along the Norfolk Southern Right of Way, adjacent to the I-264 corridor to Newtown Road. The project sponsor is Hampton Roads Transit (HRT), the region's sole transit provider.

Eleven stations will be constructed along the route with three park & ride locations that provide access to major areas such as Norfolk State University, Tidewater Community College (Norfolk Campus), Harbor Park, City Hall, MacArthur Center, and the Sentara Norfolk General Hospital. The system, a combination of city streets and an existing rail corridor purchased from Norfolk Southern, will carry approximately 11,500 people per day.

About 56% of the project capital costs are expected to be paid with federal funds; the remainder will be paid by state and local funding. HRT is currently in the Final Design phase, the last phase prior to construction. HRT expects to receive an agreement by the federal government for its share of the project costs by late summer 2007. Construction on the rail system is expected to begin in fall 2007 and be fully operational by early 2010.  Hampton Roads Transit believes that The Tide is the beginning of what will eventually become a regional light rail system in Hampton Roads.

http://www.gohrt.com/developmentprojects/norfolklightrailtransitproject.html

Tide Light Rail Renderings







already planning for TODs


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Jason

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Re: Norfolk: Jacksonville's Twin?
« Reply #2 on: July 24, 2007, 09:34:59 AM »
The similarities are amazing.  I think this has to be one of the best comparisons yet.

For some reason I've always pictured Norfolk as the smaller metro.

thelakelander

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Re: Norfolk: Jacksonville's Twin?
« Reply #3 on: July 24, 2007, 09:56:35 AM »
Norfolk's metro has been larger for quite a while, yet Jacksonville's skyline is much more impressive in height and size.  One thing we don't have to deal with that they do, is the intense competition between them and the similar sized surrounding cities.

Could you imagine how difficult it would be for downtown Jax to strive, if the Southside was it's own incorporated city and actively seeking to be the "big urban dog" on the block by attempting to build it's own real downtown.....highrises, shops, urban lofts and all?  That's something Norfolk has to deal with on a daily basis.
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Jason

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Re: Norfolk: Jacksonville's Twin?
« Reply #4 on: July 24, 2007, 10:01:28 AM »
Maybe the lack of competition holds back our creativity?

thelakelander

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Re: Norfolk: Jacksonville's Twin?
« Reply #5 on: July 24, 2007, 10:07:05 AM »
No doubt....Competition has really made that community work hard to enhance it's quality of life offerings, for residents and tourists.
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Jason

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Re: Norfolk: Jacksonville's Twin?
« Reply #6 on: July 24, 2007, 10:29:46 AM »
Norfolk has a pretty impressive list of projects as well.  Again, very comparable to Jax.

Read about it over at Urban Planet:
http://www.urbanplanet.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=21475

vicupstate

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Re: Norfolk: Jacksonville's Twin?
« Reply #7 on: July 24, 2007, 12:13:40 PM »
Excellent comparison.  Great work.  I never knew Norfolk had a DT mall.  Migh tbe interesting to find out how that came about.  San Diego and Indy have one as well.  I believe both were heavily subsidized by the city.  Indy's was a Simon mall, which is HQed in Indy.  That no doubt helped. 

 
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thelakelander

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Re: Norfolk: Jacksonville's Twin?
« Reply #8 on: July 24, 2007, 12:24:53 PM »
Norfolk's was heavily subsidized as well.  The city invested more than $100 million to construct the mall's parking garages and clean up the streetscapes/improve lighting on all the downtown streets surrounding it.
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Jason

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Re: Norfolk: Jacksonville's Twin?
« Reply #9 on: July 24, 2007, 02:34:14 PM »
Does anyone have any estimates as to how many dontown residents Norfolk has?

copperfiend

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Re: Norfolk: Jacksonville's Twin?
« Reply #10 on: July 24, 2007, 02:35:57 PM »
I spent some time in Norfolk last spring. I didn't get the sense being there that it was a bigger metro area than Jacksonville. It was a nice are but it did not feel like 1M+. The two areas have something else in common. Jacksonville is close to St Augustine as Norfolk is close to Williamsburg.

thelakelander

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Re: Norfolk: Jacksonville's Twin?
« Reply #11 on: July 24, 2007, 03:02:09 PM »
Does anyone have any estimates as to how many dontown residents Norfolk has?

3,700 residents, according to this 2007 downtown progress report.
http://www.downtownnorfolk.org/documents/GrowthReport2007.pdf
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thelakelander

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Re: Norfolk: Jacksonville's Twin?
« Reply #12 on: July 24, 2007, 03:32:58 PM »
So what if you're the suburban community with a bigger population than the inner city, who refuses to submit to the traditional downtown being the metro's core?  In Virginia Beach, they decided to basically build their own to compete head-to-head.  I guess you could call it the urbanizing of urban sprawl.  Consider it sort of a vertical condensed Gate Parkway or Southpoint.  Here's a few aerials of the Virginia Beach Town Center.





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The Town Center of Virginia Beach is the heart of a new mixed-use “main street” style development located at the core of the Central Business District and is the home of its cultural, business and retail activities. Spanning over 17 city blocks, The Town Center provides a mix of upscale retail, luxury residential, Class A offices, a business class hotel and an array of restaurants.

In 2007, the Town Center will feature a new 38-story deluxe Westin Hotel and the Westin Virginia Beach Town Center Residences along with the Sandler Center for Performing Arts.

*The Town Center will accommodate 4.3 million square feet of mixed-use finished space.

*Strategically situated in the Central Business District of Virginia Beach, The Town Center is 11 miles from Downtown Norfolk, and 11 miles from the Virginia Beach Oceanfront.

*Armada Hoffler Tower, a landmark that serves the region, is visible throughout Hampton Roads and is the second tallest building in Virginia.

*At full capacity, The Town Center will have a living and working population of over 24,000.

*A highly skilled and educated workforce of 153,315 individuals is employed within a 5-mile radius of The Town Center.

*The Town Center offers more than 3,200 free public parking spaces in several covered garages and surface lots, as well as on-street.

http://www.towncenterofvirginiabeach.com/



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thelakelander

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Re: Norfolk: Jacksonville's Twin?
« Reply #13 on: July 24, 2007, 03:49:07 PM »
Sorry, the Beach claims they don't compete, they want to complement....

Quote
Virginia Beach developers and city officials have long desired a downtown to rival Norfolk's but insist that theirs is different.

``The central business district is the uptown to Norfolk's downtown,'' Divaris said. He compared it to the Buckhead area in Atlanta, Century City outside Los Angeles or the Galleria area outside downtown Houston, all urban centers in their own right but not overshadowing the traditional metropolitan downtowns nearby.

``Every single traditional downtown has an uptown,'' Divaris said. ``They don't compete with one another; they complement one another.''

http://scholar.lib.vt.edu/VA-news/VA-Pilot/issues/1995/vp951203/12020519.htm

Due to the zoning change to allow dense structures, another similar type development is planned nearby.  You can see the Town Center's buildings in the background.








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Jason

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Re: Norfolk: Jacksonville's Twin?
« Reply #14 on: July 24, 2007, 04:03:02 PM »
The VA Beach Town Center is very similar to the Kendall developments in Miami (just a smaller scale).  That is exactly the type of development I have hoped for in the I95/JTB corridor.  Too bad that area may be too far gone to creat a truely urban environment.  It can easily densify though by filling in some surface parking with mixed use developments and by adding in a few more cross streets.


Here is the Southpoint area today...





Now picture an expanded street "grid" (marked in blue) and some mixed use developments covering the surface parking lots with good street frontage and parking garages.  This area could then become a true "live, work, play" neighborhood.  An eventual link with mass transit would then set it off from the rest of the burbs completely.