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Designing to maximize views on waterfront property



Custom Home on Waterway Property

GMF+ Associates

An important design feature for a coastal home is to enjoy the view to the max. Often this means devoting the first floor to bedrooms, leaving the second floor, or a third floor for the principal living space where the household will spend most of its daylight hours. Sometimes we are able to provide a tower or “lookout level” for the ultimate waterfront views.

Waterfront Custom Home Second Floor Plan

GMF+ Associates

Waterfront Property Custom Home First Floor Plan

GMF+ Associates

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CONTEMPORARY CRAFTSMAN, OPEN FOR VIRTUAL TOUR



Hinkle Residence(Greg Frech-Kelly)K170409-1N

This house is designed for a picturesque beachfront lot on the Chesapeake Bay, locally known as Chick’s Beach in Virginia Beach.  We label it “contemporary” because it has a very open floor plan, with Great Room-Kitchen-and Dining in a single room open to a covered porch deck facing the beach.  The Master Bedroom is on the third floor with its own private balcony deck overlooking the beach.  It is three stories, 4 bedrooms, 3,000 SF of living area, exclusive of porches, decks and garage.  The upshot of this post is that the approved plans, ready to construct on this property are currently FOR SALE.

Hinkle2Hinkle

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Frech Residence



Virginia Beach, VA

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Bold New Plan for Waterside – Front Page News



The front page of the Virginian Pilot (1/17/2012) shows the first of five proposals for the resurrection of Norfolk Waterside. Titled BOLD PLAN FOR WATERSIDE, submitted by Harvey Lindsay Development, there is some inconsistent thinking in this particular Bold Plan for Waterside:New Waterside - Convention Center
1. Waterside was not provided a stop on the Tide Light Rail. This represents a planning decision that it was not a priority for inclusion in the downtown circulation pattern for shopping or hotels. Rethinking that omission is paramount to any resurrection plan of Waterside. It is not addressed in the BOLD PLAN.

2. If the City of Norfolk craves a convention center Waterside could already serve that purpose with only modest alterations. The Harvey Lindsay convention center design concept proposes a 30,000 SF exhibition hall. The second floor of the East side of Waterside, formerly occupied by Julian’s, has potentially more than 60,000 SF of exhibition space available, without replacing the building. (There are other existing venues already available for attracting modest size convention business: Half Moon, Marriott, Sheridan, Nauticus, etc.)

3. What’s missing in downtown Norfolk is not more hotel rooms as proposed on Granby Street. What is needed is more residents who love to live in Norfolk, in apartment buildings. (Look at the wonderful waterfront urban development patterns in the most beautiful cities in Europe: Barcelona, Oslo, Frankfurt, Rotterdam, Stockholm, etc. Apartments are the predominant use, with good reason.) The movement toward new urbanism in the USA has many successful examples of street level shopping and pedestrian oriented street life with apartments above.

4. If Norfolk is inclined to saddle its citizens with a bill for $76,000,000, and more, to make a new Waterside what will it be foregoing by that choice. What about allocating subsidies to get Half Moon passenger terminal operating effectively? (It wasn’t long ago we were told that the passenger terminal had “pumped $100,000,000 in the local economy” 2001-2007.)

5. When the redevelopment plan for MacArthur Center was hatched it was a bad day for Waterside. The vision of Norfolk Waterside as a twin to Baltimore Inner Harbor was probably a stretch of the imagination. But it was such a compelling idea. The truth is that while Norfolk is a beautiful urban place that is getting better every year it will be generations before it can support the walkable retail environment that exists in Baltimore. (The density of residents in urban Norfolk cannot compare to Baltimore.)

6. I am convinced about the value of green building strategies as an important design consideration for all future construction. (There is a lot of “gizmo green” products and systems that are being marketed vigorously to publicize participation. That can be a distraction from meaningful green principles.) Green building starts with creating buildings that last, for many many generations. Waterside has some life left to go. It is barely 25 years old.

Norfolk WatersideI am looking forward to reading other proposals for the resurrection of Waterside. It is hard to see the Bold New Plan as a step in the right direction. I would like to post comments from my readers.

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Knotts Creek Refuge



Suffolk, VA

Knott’s Creek Refuge is a development plan to be located along the river shoreline of Suffolk, VA. It consists of 20 modest-size duplex units intended for an “over fifty” new home market. A typical unit is three bedrooms, 2,600 SF, featuring an open plan first floor lifestyle including Master Bedroom and office, with guest bedrooms and lofts on the second floor, ARTS & CRAFTS detailing. The site includes a club house, trails and other site amenities.

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  • GREGORY M. FRECH

    Urban Underbelly is a blog that seeks to share the back stories of successes and struggles in achieving the visions of New Urbanism, especially in Hampton Roads, Virginia

    New Urbanism: is a city planning and architecture movement directed at the creation and restoration of vibrant neighborhood places: centralized, sustainable, walkable and socially diverse.
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  • Residential PROJECTS
    Award Winning Beach Bungalow OBX – The Westly
    Lynnhaven River Makeover
    Winthrope Avenue Residence
    Greene Residence
    Burnette Residence
    Tibideaux Residence
    Straley Residence
    Stewart Residence
    Simkins Residence
    O’Connel Residence
    Kyrus Residence
    Klar Residence
    Kesler Residence
    Gerloff Residence
    Drinkwalter Residence
    Commercial PROJECTS
    Reginella’s Trattoria & Pizzeria
    Chamberlayne Ave. Storage
    Linkhorn Bay Condo
    Captain George’s Restaurant
    Self Storage: Historical Renovation
    Self Storage: Curved Glass Façade
    Self-Storage: Phased Construction
    Self-Storage: Building Reuse
    Morning Star Self-storage
    Self-Storage: A Good Neighbor
    Neighborhood Office Building
    Kettler Headquarters
    Cagney’s Restaurant
    Self-Storage: Structural Innovation
    Planning PROJECTS
    Buckroe Beach, Hampton Virginia
    Knotts Creek Refuge
    Virginia Beach Community Development Cooperation
    Cypress Cove Commons
    Bishop Court
    Curtis Residence
    Burton Station Office Park

    Green PROJECTS
    EarthCraft Residence
    Frech Residence
    NRHA
    Torope Residence
    Fortner Residence
    Interiors PROJECTS
    The Nicholson Companies, Norfolk, VA
    Kantor Residence, Norfolk, VA
    Cape Henry Residence
    Lochhaven Residence
    Nicholson Residence
    Waterside Interior Renovation

    Awards
    Cedar Grove Apartments
    HomeArama 2010 East Beach
    Church Point Shopping Center
    Church Point Historical Manor
    Smithfield Affordable Sustainable Workforce Housing
    Beach Park West Apartments