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Richmond

Is Circuit City Short Circuiting?

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Circuit City, based here in Richmond, has done something interesting with the store right up the road from its headquarters, at Gaskins and Broad. The big “outlet plug” that used to adorn the front of the store is gone, and the entire store has been remodeled on the inside and out to look more like the newer store in Short Pump. However, it’s not just the look that’s changed. Take a closer look and you’ll notice a new name- “The City.” Although company executives are tight-lipped about it, this location seems to be a concept design of sorts. It’s big and open, and has a layout similar to that of Best Buy. Not surprising, considering how much market share they, their fiercest competitor, has taken from them in the past decade. The company is overhauling many of it’s operations and restructuring their business on the corporate level as well.

Short Pump Sprawl Rant

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Any of you that know me pretty well know I run a local history website (I’m in the process of revamping it now, and it looks so bad at the moment I don’t even want to link it right now). I’ve watched the development of Short Pump from a tiny rural village eleven years ago to the sprawling suburban hot spot it now is. Sure, it’s great that those of us who live in the Far West End have pretty much everything we could want and need within a few miles of us, but it’s just gotten ridiculous lately.

Take for example the shopping center that’s opening up this weekend, Short Pump Station. It’s the one that was just completed across the street from Target. Next time you’re driving down West Broad Street, take a look at it. Notice how there’s ten or fifteen retail spaces for lease in the center, and only four are leased as of now. Why are developers building these shopping centers when there is no demand? Obviously, as the old saying goes, if you build it, they will come. Yes, this is true, they will eventually fill up the entire place with tenants, but look at what’s there thus far:

1) A Verizon Wireless store. Are you kidding me? There are five (count them… FOUR) Verizon stores within a one mile radius of this new store! There’s one in Best Buy, Circuit City, Short Pump Town Center, and on Broad next to For Eyes. I can somewhat understand when Starbucks puts a store on every corner, but a cell phone store? That’s insane.

2) Petco. I like animals… shoot, I have four cats. But what’s the need? I know we have a PetSmart right down the road, so it’s only natural that their competition would move in, but seriously.

3) Five Below. I’ve been to one of these stores up at Patomac Mills in Northern Virginia. What is it, you ask? Basically take the Made-In-China crap they sell at Dollar Tree and add a few “nicer” items, up to five bucks. There you have it. It’s geared towards teens and young people on a tight budget, but it’s still crap. We already have a Wal-Mart across the street for that.

The empty shopping center trend continues as you go west of the mall to Towne Center West, which opened this summer (pictured at top, left).

Next to Short Pump Station, West Broad Village is now under construction. Despite “planned traffic improvements” that Henrico County talks about all the time, it’s still going to be even more of a nightmare than ever to drive through Short Pump when it’s all completed.

But rest assured, all you Verizon customers, you’ll always have five cell phone stores within walking distance of each other that you can stroll between when you get stuck in gridlock traffic for three hours and abandon your car on Broad Street.

What I’m Thankful For

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Well it’s Turkey Day. I’m off to Home Team Grill in a couple hours to help serve Thanksgiving meals to the elderly and less fortunate with church, then to the family dinner at my cousins’ house. I just wanted to take a few moments to say what I’m thankful for.

First and foremost, I give the utmost thanks to God for all he’s done in my life in the past year. He has blessed me with so much, taken care of all my needs, and helped me change myself for the better in many ways. He has also provided a way for me to use my talents and skills to help others reach Him through my church with the Impact Arts multimedia ministry. Through the church, I’ve also made some great friends such as Anthony and Tori.

I’m also really thankful for my family. People may come and go, but they’re the one constant that’s always there no matter what. I love them very much.

I’m very thankful for my best friend, Jen. She’s always there to talk to about anything, always keeps me entertained with her crazy stories, and is just an overall wonderful person to be around. Sometimes when nothing’s gone right all day I’ll hang out with her, if only for a few minutes, and my whole day is turned around. She has a way of doing that, and I love her a lot.

There are also so many other things I’m thankful for, but these are the top ones. I hope you’ll take some time today to really reflect and thank God for his blessings in your life. Enjoy your time with family and friends, and eat lots of good food!

P.S. – I’m thankful for all my faithful blog readers, too! 

Richmond Community Church

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As you may have already read on Pastor Alan’s or Anthony Burns’ blogs, Glen Allen Community Church is now officially Richmond Community Church! Pastor Rick McDaniel announced it publicly this past Sunday. This is so exciting because of the way it positions us as a more regional church. With the vision of eventually opening five campuses, the name is much more suited for a multi-campus church. I am thrilled to be a part of the staff as we continue to grow, reach more and more people, and raise the bar on excellence.

The West End Campus will now be known as Richmond Community Church – Glen Allen, and the South Side Campus will now be known as Richmond Community Church – Midlothian. The new website is www.RCC-Impact.com. A new website is now being designed and is on target to launch in January, 2008.

Award-Winning Video Production

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I’ve been so excited about this and I’m so glad that I can finally share this information with everyone. Pastor Joey submitted a video drama we produced this summer, “Daily Inventory,” to the Church Production Magazine Video Production Awards Competition. Turns out we won Best Drama in the country in the category of churches with 600-2,000 attendees! Tori and myself worked many hours editing this production. Congratulations to everyone else on our team that put so much hard work into this video! Click here to see all the credits. The other winners can be found on the magazine’s Awards page. The video will be shown at the Worship Facilities Expo this week in Atlanta, Georgia.

It brings me so much joy to be a part of such a wonderful group of people and it’s even more awesome to be able to see just how many individual lives are changed as a result of the church’s Impact Arts multimedia ministry. Best of all, I’m working for Jesus and growing the Kingdom of God. What could be more satisfying than that? Great job everyone! Click below to play the video:

“Daily Inventory”