Welcome! This blog tracks the real estate market in the Central Shenandoah Valley, featuring market data and analysis, an exploration of common buying and selling questions, and candid commentary on all things real estate.
If you are interested in discussing any of the topics on this blog, or the details of your specific real estate situation, call or e-mail me!
The forthcoming hotel and conference center being built on the edge of the JMU campus, held its ceremonial groundbreaking yesterday. The project is due to be complete by March 2018.
Read more in today's Daily News Record article, or read on for some highlights....
The fundraising campaign for building a park in Downtown Harrisonburg kicked off last evening with an event at Pale Fire Brewing Co. with the exciting announcement that $500,000 has already been raised for the project!
The park is estimated to cost $5.5 million to be built, and will be built on 4.2 acres of city-owned land including the municipal parking lot on South Liberty Street, the Harrisonburg Farmer's Market Turner Pavilion and the grassy lawn area next to the parking lot.
Construction on the park is expected to start in 2017.
View the layout of the park and learn about opportunities to support this effort by visiting BuildOurPark.org.
Read today's Daily News Record article here.
Explore More Discovery Museum, in downtown Harrisonburg, is expanding upwards, onto the 2nd and 3rd floors.
The future 2nd floor Arts & Innovation area will offer eight new, interactive exhibit galleries! Explore in the tree house,build in the construction zone, fly the airplane, create movies, music and art!
The 3rd Floor Community Education Center will provide greatly needed multi-purpose space for educational programs and special events. Two new classrooms and a kitchen facility will offer unique opportunities to expand enrichment offerings.
Construction is in progress!
Read more about the expansion here and consider making a donation to support this effort.
Tomorrow! Saturday, May 20th -- downtown Harrisonburg!
Check out the first Harrisonburg Strawberry Festival at City Hall tomorrow.
The day will include activities and games for all ages, including a bouncy house, dunk tank, food trucks, live music and STRAWBERRIES!
Dessert ticket vouchers will be for sale for $5. Each is good for your choice of: strawberry shortcake, strawberry sundae, or chocolate covered strawberries.
This event is being put on by the area Rotary Clubs and proceeds from the event will be donated to the Build Our Park and Albert Long Park projects in Harrisonburg and Rockingham County.
An excellent Open Forum yesterday in the Daily News Record.....worth reading, maybe twice....
Gov't, Market Can Unite For Good
Posted: March 8, 2016
By Andy Perrine
No holds are barred in the pitched battle for presidential nominations in the party primaries. Every channel of media is filled with candidates on both sides of the aisle pointing out how government has failed, and promising that unless they are elected, America will fail.
Amidst such a negative barrage, it is wise and refreshing to remind ourselves that government can be a positive force. We need look no further than home. The successful and ongoing revitalization of Harrisonburg's urban center demonstrates clearly how government, with the involvement of private sector forces and engaged citizens, can play an enormously positive role in improving our American quality of life.
You may have seen that Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance recently celebrated the blossoming of economic activity downtown by welcoming a new leader and celebrating the accomplishments of its founding director ("Bumbaugh Honored As ‘Downtown Hero,'" Feb. 23). Former City Council members who voted 13 years ago to create HDR attended this celebration for Eddie Bumbaugh. At the time of the historic vote, the City Councils Republicans and Democrats agreed that funding the recovery of our local identity and bringing economic growth to a blighted and forgotten downtown district was a good idea.
They knew risk was involved. Yet, ultimately their wisdom and bipartisan agreement to improve our city is without doubt a convincing testament to how government can be a positive force.
Once a place to avoid, downtown was filled with crumbling sidewalks, worn buildings, vacant storefronts and faded pride. When council approved funding for HDR, many residents believed it was a mistake, that downtown was a lost cause. Today, it is Harrisonburg's heart. For the last six years, the Daily News-Record's Annual Reader's Survey proclaimed downtown the best use of taxpayer money. For five years, the same survey named downtown the best thing about Harrisonburg.
Since HDR began operating in 2003, 250 historic preservation projects have been completed. The number of downtown dwellings has grown from 150 units to 550. Twelve restaurants were downtown in 2004. Today there are 35. Private investment in downtown through the last 13 years totals $66 million. And, downtown Harrisonburg received the National Main Street Center's "Great American Main Street" award in 2014 — recognizing our community as a model for others throughout the U.S. to follow.
Of course, the city's decision to fund HDR is not solely responsible for downtown's success. And this is the key point. That success is shared among the developers who, working in the free market, purchase and refurbish decaying buildings; restaurateurs, artists and retailers who open businesses; volunteers who donate precious time to planning committees and events; and donors who contributed their hard-earned money.
When council voted to fund HDR, our community got the kick-start it needed to get the public and private sectors working together. Such positive action can happen at any level of government — municipal, state and federal. Government, citizens and the free market working together with a clear set of objectives can accomplish great things. This has always been true, and it is a distinctly American mode for advancing society and improving everyone's standard of living. It's the core of how America became history's greatest nation.
As you watch the increasingly negative depictions of government during this especially distressing presidential campaign season, remember, the rhetoric is nonsense. Our system of government can work very well if we the people stay positive and involved.
Andy Perrine is president of Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance.
If you are looking for a non-traditional office space from which to launch your next entrepreneurial venture -- or if you are a designer, consultant, free-lancer or telecommuter -- you ought to check out bluehub coworking in downtown Harrisonburg.
Located across West Bruce Street from the Ice House (and Black Sheep Coffee, Pure Eats and Pale Fire Brewery) this coworking space offers affordable access to shared office space, conference rooms, and a great group of coworkers.
While I accomplish much of my work from my real estate office, I also have an office space at bluehub where I work on real estate as well as TakeThemAMeal.com.
So -- make it a point to check out bluehub this week -- I'd be happy to give you a tour.
This Friday, 7:00 AM - 8:30 AM, you too can enjoy this delicious menu....
If you spend much time in downtown Harrisonburg, you've no doubt noticed that in recent years it's experienced a rebirth. Businesses are opening and thriving, events are drawing ever greater crowds, and the streets are full of people. How did this come about?
TODAY, from 3:00—5:00, at the Capital Ale House in Harrisonburg, all are welcome to come and hear how Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance (HDR) has transformed the city's downtown from so-called lost cause to national prominence.
We'll hear about it from Eddie Bumbaugh, Executive Director of Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance and one of the primary architects of its transformation. Eddie's love for Harrisonburg's downtown has deep roots, starting in his childhood when his father ran a downtown business. He'll walk us through the branding insights and marketing strategies that are driving the new downtown.
WHERE: Capital Ale House, 41 Court Square, Harrisonburg.
WHEN: Tuesday, October 13, 2015, 3:00 - 5:00 pm. The program is from 3:30 to 4:30, with time for networking before and after.
COST: $10 for non-members, $5 for AMA members and students. This gets you one free beer ticket!
HOW: Buy your ticket at the door, or pre-register online here!
Night at the Museum - presented by the Explore More Discovery Museum - was voted one of the best charity events in the Shenandoah Valley by Virginia Living Readers
This year, it will take place on Saturday, December 5, 2015 @ 7 pm.
This extraordinary gala event is just for grownups and will feature a seasonal silent auction, music, and a live raffle. Featuring a "taste of downtown" with delicious food and drinks from favorite downtown restaurants in the downtown culinary district.
Buy your tickets, or become a sponsor by visiting iExploreMore.com/night
click here to view a larger version
This (above) is a nice view of the intended building layout in the quadrant bounded by Main Street, Martin Luther King, Jr. Way, Mason Street and Grace Street.
The Mason Street Parking Deck is currently in the early (very early) stages of construction. Madison Hall exists, but will be renovated. Hotel Madison is yet to be started.
A 4.2 Acre, $5.5 Million Park is planned for downtown Harrisonburg, the potential layout of which is shown above. Click any of the images above/below for a larger/clearer version.
Read more about the park and its status in last week's Daily News Record article, an excerpt of which follows....
"It [the park] would include a ship-themed children's play area, a "great lawn" that would host events and performances, and a broad tree-lined promenade arching from South Liberty Street south of the Turner Pavilion to Bruce Street at Blacks Run."
Connect with the group behind this effort, Plan Our Park, via Facebook.
Have you heard about bluehub coworking, opening up in downtown Harrisonburg?
As they describe themselves....
We are a community of entrepreneurs, creators, innovators, designers, writers, digital nomads, remote workers, and freelancers. We welcome anyone who seeks an inspiring downtown location to work that exudes a spirit of collaboration and keeps an eye on the greater good.Features of this new space include:
We are strategically located across from the Ice House, home to the Small Business Development Center, JMU's Center for Entrepreneurship, Shenandoah Valley Partnership, and Shenandoah Valley Technology Council. This corner of downtown has ample parking and is booming with new businesses including yoga & pilates, restaurants, coffee shops and Pale Fire Brewery.
When/Where: Monday, 6PM - 9PM, Court Square Theater and Capital Ale House
From the Daily News Record....
A contest among local entrepreneurs with ideas for foodrelated businesses comes to a close Monday night.Read it all here.
P.S. Yes, slightly off the real estate topic. :) Though related to economic development, for sure. :) Probably interesting to me because of my involvement with TakeThemAMeal.com. But I do hope you'll support this fun community event....
Don't miss the GRAND OPENING of the ICE HOUSE....
Saturday, April 18th from 12:00pm to 4:00pmRead more over at the Matchbox Downtown blog.
Now Open - in Downtown Harrisonburg - HATCH3D
The Shenandoah Valley's Source for 3D Printing Technologies
From the HDR blog....
"3D printing is revolutionizing industries, from education and medicine to military training. It's a game changing technology so we couldn't be more excited to have a company downtown that specializes in this unique field. Hatch3D is a brand new 3D printing, scanning, and design business located on West Market St. in the Wetsel Seed Building. "Read more on the Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance blog, or learn more....
Today -- December 12th -- 5PM until 10PM -- Downtown Harrisonburg
Shop Local for the holidays! You will enjoy extended store hours, special promotions and events, art and live music, holiday treats, and plenty of festive cheer!
Special promotions this evening include....
Midtowne Bottle Shop | Open til 11pm
The Lady Jane | Open til 10pm
Ten Thousand Villages | 10am-10pm
Walkabout Outfitter | 10am - 10pm
Downtown Wine & Gourmet
OASIS Fine Art & Craft | Open til 10pm
You can now pre-order Rocktown Food, a 100-page, publication highlighting our local food culture, from restaurants and recipes to chefs and farmers. This professional publication is filled with stories and beautiful photographs that illustrate why downtown Harrisonburg is Virginia's first culinary district. Rocktown Food -- photographed by Brandy Somers, written by Kirsten Parmer and designed by Lynda Bostrom -- wraps the fascinating faces and flavors of downtown into a gorgeous volume, perfect for any food lover.
Read all about this exciting book online.
And pre-order a copy (or more than one) -- I ordered mine -- and you will receive it in time for giving it as a gift.
City Council approved a deal for the City of Harrisonburg to enter into a partnership with JMU, the JMU Foundation and a private developer to construct a hotel and conference center
A few items to note, from today's Daily News Record article....
"The plans call for a 205-room hotel, to be dubbed Hotel Madison, and a connected conference center to be built on university-owned land bounded by South Main, Mason and Grace streets, and Martin Luther King, Jr. Way.As such, my understanding is that the City isn't really "funding" this development.
From a taxpayer's perspective, is this good or bad? I think it depends on what you believe would happen with the land if the deal did not come together. If the property is not developed, then there wouldn't be any tax revenue that the City is "missing out on" by giving those tax revenues to the JMU Foundation.
Many of those in support of this deal (which has now been approved) believe that the hotel and conference center will generate other economic activity for Harrisonburg, and thus it is good thing that this deal is happening. I tend to agree -- it's hard to imagine people coming in to stay at a hotel to attend a conference and not spending any other money in the City.
Many of those opposed to this deal (which has now been approved) seem to believe that the City is using taxpayer dollars to pay for this project. Technically, this is true, as future tax revenues generated by the project will be essentially retroactively applied to the cost of the project. But as explained above, those tax revenues would not have been there without the complex being built in the first place.
Read the full Daily News Record article here.
Here's a brief history of this project....
A public hearing has been set for October 14th at 7pm at which time details for the proposed Hotel Conference Center will be presented to Harrisonburg City Council and the general public.
WHEN: Tuesday, October 14 at 7:00pm
WHERE: Harrisonburg City Council Chambers
Further details (Oct 8 update) include....
Here's a brief history of this project....
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