Waterside District Groundbreaking Ushers in a New Norfolk
- Aug 27, 2015
By Adrian Maties, Associate Editor
The Cordish Co. and the City of Norfolk have finally started work this week on the long awaited Waterside District development. Norfolk residents joined city and company officials on Wednesday, August 26, to celebrate the project’s groundbreaking.
Waterside District results from a nearly $40 million public-private initiative which calls for the redevelopment of the existing Waterside Festival Marketplace into a new entertainment district. Located on the banks of the Elizabeth River, the venue was originally built in 1983. Cordish and the city announced their intention to start work on the project in July. Last week, the Baltimore-based developer revealed the name of the development, as well as the fact that the “annex” building, added to the venue in the 1990s, will be demolished to return the building to its original footprint and create more space.
Scheduled to open in early 2017, Waterside District is expected to create 800 new jobs, $93 million in direct revenue over 30 years and $850,000 in parking revenue. But that’s not all. According to Norfolk Mayor Paul Fraim, this is only the beginning.
“Norfolk is moving forward to become one of the most dynamic and authentic urban waterfront communities in America,” the mayor said in a statement. “Major projects are developing that will diversify our economy and bring hundreds of jobs to our residents. We are delivering 21st century learning environments to our children, investing in small business growth, and creating innovative and visionary methods for land use and water management. All of this is part of what cities should do to become resilient and sustainable. We are excited about what our future holds.”
Some programs, like Norfolk First, are already underway. The Park Place Business Café is scheduled to open on September 14 as part of this comprehensive urban economic development and revitalization program, and will be followed by many other Business Cafes over the next year. Norfolk will also see the construction of five new schools and will slowly, but surely, turn into a more bikeable, walkable and pedestrian-friendly city.
Rendering courtesy of www.WatersideLive.com