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Monday, April 7, 2008

Norfolk Misconceptions

I strongly dislike when people don't check their facts before spreading what amounts to no more than a rumor. For example, The new Wachovia center. I was reading the comments on the VA Pilot site about the parking garage being demolished. I read things such as: "Demolish another parking garage for an Upscale Wachovia Center? GREAT! Now...before they plan to build they should've been building a NEW Parking garage BEFORE they demolish the old one." (Bill H). The problem I have with this is that the city DID plan ahead. The built the lot at St. Pauls. Now, granted it is farther away, you cant build everything close. The new Wachovia building will include 2 new city garages totaling 2000 spaces. The Monticello Garage only had 766 and the lot next door had 333 for a total of 1099. How is doubling the amount of parking on that block bad planning??

Next, I am tired of all of the people that badmouth Norfolk and Downtown. Especially those who never go there. The people who talk about Downtown being 'gridlocked' and 'overbuilt' come from suburbs where everything is so far away you have to spend half your life driving places. There is no way Downtown is anymore gridlocked than the new Town Center in VA Beach. Actually, its the VA Beach resident and Chesapeake resident working in downtown that gridlock it. If you live in Norfolk you go north, a much easier commute. As for the constant talk of being mugged downtown and the high crime... I would take Downtown Norfolk at night any day over the Oceanfront or Pembroke. Next time look up the crime stats before you talk. They can be found on each city's web page.

There was another comment by a user named Rose, said that she stopped going to the Tides games when they were renamed the Norfolk Tides. They were renamed that because the other local cities refused to pay unless they were moved to their cities, so Norfolk said 'forget you all' and did it themselves. Same goes for the Admirals. Furthermore, Rose says "As far as Wachovia Tower or whatever the latest taxpayer subsidized up-scale developer project is called, it will be plagued with empty apartments and offices." According to an Article in the VA Pilot, Downtown Norfolk's Vacancy rate on Dec 31, 2007 was 6.7%. VA Beach places such as Lynnhaven and Princess Anne (historically 'popular') had rates of 12.8 and 10.6, respectively. So who has the empty offices?
And when we talk about Norfolk's budget and spending issues: One post by cigim94543 said "Virginia Beach has more residents and their budget isn't $1.3 billion" First their budget is nearly 2 billion. Second, according to their budget, VA Beach holds more debt per person than Norfolk does.

Sorry about the rant, it just bugs me when people repeat the same Norfolk stereotypes that they have since the 60's. Next time people, try visiting BEFORE you judge.

1 comment:

Michael Ragsdale said...

I speak as a former Norfolk resident (Ocean View Station and West Ghent) when I say I miss living in Norfolk. In West Ghent, I could catch that 2 until strange hours of the night and Ocean View Station (right on the other side of Farm Fresh from the library), the 1 and 3 ran often and ran late. Biggest problem (though it must be fixed (and is scheduled to happen Fiscal Year 2010) if VB wants light rail) is lack of buses at night & Sunday. How I miss Norfolk

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