Guest Opinion: 10 trends you’ll see in 2011 — maybe

The views expressed in Guest Opinions represent only those of the author and are in no way endorsed by Richmond BizSense or any BizSense staff member.

You’re going to hear these words a lot next year: Job creation. Trade. Home building. Other topics related to construction. I think the term is “starts,” or something like that. I don’t really know. I don’t work in real estate.

But these are the stories you’ll read about in the coming year throughout Richmond. And sure, jobs and homes and construction are important, each a leading indicator of the overall health of the local and national economies. Also important are hot dogs, because they’re really delicious.

As we move into 2011, let us not forget some other business trends that would make Richmond a better place to live, work and play. And eat. Here are 10 trends that I’d like to see this year.

1. Some light commercial along the Lee Bridge

One of the best views in Richmond is on the Lee Bridge. Problem is, you drive over it way too fast to really appreciate the panoramas. This magnificent expanse over the James River could benefit from a hot dog stand, or perhaps a few boutique shops along the shoulder to let people stop and take it all in. Maybe there could even a 50-mph burger drive-through for when you get hungry on the trip across but don’t have time to stop.

2. A law firm that doesn’t use names in its title

Any new law firm coming into Richmond needs to think different and come up with something more creative than the standard Lastname1Lastname2Lastname3 LLP.  It’s time law practices get cooler names, like Rocket Launcher Law. Unless the attorneys’ names happen to be Rocket and Launcher.

3. Martin’s employees toss the green shirts

Look, everyone’s got an opinion on the Ukrop’s transition. But we can all agree that Martin’s needs to ditch the watermelon green shirts that employees are required to wear. Furthermore, I think we can all agree that the shirt employees should wear instead is that black one with the three wolves on it.

4. Joy rides on the VCU Medical Center chopper

Have you ever seen that thing fly over the city? It looks like so much fun, and what a view! VCU should open its air ambulance to the people during the helicopter’s downtime, charge five bucks and perhaps use the money to allay health-care costs. Maybe they could even let you shoot rocket launchers from the helicopter for an extra $10.

5. More burrito places

There is no reason why I should have to walk three whole blocks to find the nearest burrito joint. More burrito places means less walking, and less walking means less exercise and less exercise means more time to eat burritos.

6. Build the Burj Khalifa here

Have you seen that building in Dubai? It’s insane! Richmond could benefit from having a skyscraper that big, only ours would be slightly taller because our antenna would be built an inch higher. Richmond would be all over the news. People would travel from far and wide to see the tower, learn about the Civil War and visit our many burrito establishments.The downside: We have a lot of commercial vacancies in town as it is, and, like I said earlier, I don’t know much about real estate, so you probably shouldn’t listen to me. Still, consider the bungee jumping opportunities.

7. Tobacco companies buy back all the warehouses

Perhaps 2011 will see a resurgence in tobacco use, and Philip Morris and others will need a place to make more smokes. So they’ll buy back all their old warehouses along Tobacco Row for prices developers can’t refuse, and maybe offer all the folks who live and work down there minimum wage jobs as cigarette rollers.

8. Release of the Justin French video game

With “sandbox-style” play similar to Grand Theft Auto, the Justin French video game — tentatively titled Real Estate Crimes — will have a plot that is practically incomprehensible to follow unless you understand development stuff: characters in fashions that are a bit too extravagant for Richmond tastes and tons and tons of hair gel. Also, the main character is armed with a rocket launcher.

9. A business that offers, like, trampoline rooms

Bear with me here, but how neat would it be to take one of those old warehouses and convert it into a big playhouse? There would be one room where the entire floor is a trampoline, a roller coaster, an Xbox with a 15-story TV screen, real live dinosaurs and all the free candy you could want. Oh, and there’s like 80 beer taps, too. And it’s all free.

10. A business story about the real estate market, jobs or Twitter, or an article that lists things

Because there can never be enough of them.

The views expressed in Guest Opinions represent only those of the author and are in no way endorsed by Richmond BizSense or any BizSense staff member.

You’re going to hear these words a lot next year: Job creation. Trade. Home building. Other topics related to construction. I think the term is “starts,” or something like that. I don’t really know. I don’t work in real estate.

But these are the stories you’ll read about in the coming year throughout Richmond. And sure, jobs and homes and construction are important, each a leading indicator of the overall health of the local and national economies. Also important are hot dogs, because they’re really delicious.

As we move into 2011, let us not forget some other business trends that would make Richmond a better place to live, work and play. And eat. Here are 10 trends that I’d like to see this year.

1. Some light commercial along the Lee Bridge

One of the best views in Richmond is on the Lee Bridge. Problem is, you drive over it way too fast to really appreciate the panoramas. This magnificent expanse over the James River could benefit from a hot dog stand, or perhaps a few boutique shops along the shoulder to let people stop and take it all in. Maybe there could even a 50-mph burger drive-through for when you get hungry on the trip across but don’t have time to stop.

2. A law firm that doesn’t use names in its title

Any new law firm coming into Richmond needs to think different and come up with something more creative than the standard Lastname1Lastname2Lastname3 LLP.  It’s time law practices get cooler names, like Rocket Launcher Law. Unless the attorneys’ names happen to be Rocket and Launcher.

3. Martin’s employees toss the green shirts

Look, everyone’s got an opinion on the Ukrop’s transition. But we can all agree that Martin’s needs to ditch the watermelon green shirts that employees are required to wear. Furthermore, I think we can all agree that the shirt employees should wear instead is that black one with the three wolves on it.

4. Joy rides on the VCU Medical Center chopper

Have you ever seen that thing fly over the city? It looks like so much fun, and what a view! VCU should open its air ambulance to the people during the helicopter’s downtime, charge five bucks and perhaps use the money to allay health-care costs. Maybe they could even let you shoot rocket launchers from the helicopter for an extra $10.

5. More burrito places

There is no reason why I should have to walk three whole blocks to find the nearest burrito joint. More burrito places means less walking, and less walking means less exercise and less exercise means more time to eat burritos.

6. Build the Burj Khalifa here

Have you seen that building in Dubai? It’s insane! Richmond could benefit from having a skyscraper that big, only ours would be slightly taller because our antenna would be built an inch higher. Richmond would be all over the news. People would travel from far and wide to see the tower, learn about the Civil War and visit our many burrito establishments.The downside: We have a lot of commercial vacancies in town as it is, and, like I said earlier, I don’t know much about real estate, so you probably shouldn’t listen to me. Still, consider the bungee jumping opportunities.

7. Tobacco companies buy back all the warehouses

Perhaps 2011 will see a resurgence in tobacco use, and Philip Morris and others will need a place to make more smokes. So they’ll buy back all their old warehouses along Tobacco Row for prices developers can’t refuse, and maybe offer all the folks who live and work down there minimum wage jobs as cigarette rollers.

8. Release of the Justin French video game

With “sandbox-style” play similar to Grand Theft Auto, the Justin French video game — tentatively titled Real Estate Crimes — will have a plot that is practically incomprehensible to follow unless you understand development stuff: characters in fashions that are a bit too extravagant for Richmond tastes and tons and tons of hair gel. Also, the main character is armed with a rocket launcher.

9. A business that offers, like, trampoline rooms

Bear with me here, but how neat would it be to take one of those old warehouses and convert it into a big playhouse? There would be one room where the entire floor is a trampoline, a roller coaster, an Xbox with a 15-story TV screen, real live dinosaurs and all the free candy you could want. Oh, and there’s like 80 beer taps, too. And it’s all free.

10. A business story about the real estate market, jobs or Twitter, or an article that lists things

Because there can never be enough of them.

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Elaine Odell
Elaine Odell
11 years ago

This isn’t meant to be a satirical idea, but Richmond really, really needs BIKE LANES. and lots of em. If we can build an ice skating rink on Broad Street, then we can repaint street pavement to allow for a safe travel lane for those who cycle for work, shop or play. Plus, it’ll help RIC be greener and cut down on those nasty “red air quality” alert days due to ozone emissions.

J Tompkins
J Tompkins
11 years ago

Jeff,
What is the obsession with the rocket launchers? Does Homeland Security know about you? Take a trip to Swaders Sports Park if you want adult romp & roll. Not free, but lots of fun and beer.

David Stoyanoff
David Stoyanoff
11 years ago

Great article Jeff. Your satire always gives me a good laugh. I agree with #2 – That’s why I naned my law firm Torus Law. We picked the name because it represents a strong geometric shape – meant to symbolize the strength of the relationhips with our clients. We believe the traditional billable hour does little to foster good relationships so we bill almost exclusively on a fixed-fee basis. Plus, we didn’t think the world needed another law firm named after middle-aged white guys (or dead ones for that matter).

Casey Quinlan
Casey Quinlan
11 years ago

Great way to start the 1st business day of the new decade – a sanity check 😉

You completely missed recommending that the Lee Bridge get a burrito place. And I think you’re on to something w/the trampoline idea, particularly if free beer is indeed available. I see some real possibilities there, especially if Rocket Launcher Law opens a satellite office there to both supervise the hold-harmless documentation and to collect contact info for some sweet slip-and-fall suits…