Snap o' the Day: Northtown shop center

news-northtownshoppingcenter-med Amid a deep recession, which includes the deaths of many shopping malls, according to a new Wall Street Journal report, developer Wendell Wood plunges forward with his Northtown Shopping Center, a planned open-air retail place, seen here from a passing vehicle on the afternoon of May 21.


If you drive out 29 you'll notice several Wendell Wood properties for sale. In the article by Dave McNair "Wood says the site will be anchored by a StellarOne bank, a Country Inns & Suites hotel, and a restaurant to be named later." Is that bank local -- banks don't seem to be thriving in this climate, wonder about this one, and another hotel and restaurant --looks like we're headed for far more of this kind of development than our community can support -- my guess is someone is not going to make it and if it's this one looks like a lot of red dirt headed for the Chesapeake Bay. On that note Moore's Creek in the City is filled with red dirt today after last nights rain.

Are we doing enough to get developers both in the city and county to address this problem ?

That's discouraging. With all the accolades our city gets for being green and environmentally conscious, you'd think the sediment issue would be a major concern of Council.

The Department of Neighborhood Development Services, the same ones who miserably mismanaged the 3rd Street rebricking downtown and who also force fed us the $7.5 million facelift for the rest of the Mall are responsible for enforcing the city Water Protection Ordinance. They're who should be helping to keep Moore's Creek and the rest of our local waterways from being filled with mud. So, don't hold your breath expecting anything to be done in the near future about sediment problems.

The departments generally dysfunctional nature ought to be obvious, but to make matters worse, it doesn't seem that there is any one on staff there who understands or even cares about the most basic issues related to water quality management. Perhaps some of the younger more idealistic ones do, but upper management there functions according to the classic Peter Principle. Another fundamental problem is that NDS often seems to be much more oriented towards helping developers build as they would like rather than slowing them down in any way, despite what laws or even what neighborhood plans may exist.