Wards Corner Task Force meeting minutes – April 2014

April 13, 2014

Thanks to Karen Mayne for the following meeting minutes from the April 10, 2014 meeting:

The Greater Wards Corner Task Force Meeting

April 10, 2014

Council Members Barclay Winn, Andy Protogyrou, and Terry Whibley, and Mayor Paul Fraim were present.

Police Reports

Future police reports will include the entire area of the Greater Wards Corner Task Force so that neighborhoods will know what is happening throughout the area.

Public Art

Karen Rudd, Manger of Norfolk’s Cultural Affairs, provided an overview of the artist who was selected to design the public art for Wards Corner.  Gordon Huether of Napa, California, will come to Norfolk in several weeks to look at the area and meet with the public arts selection committee and the developers of K&K Square and Midtown Shopping Center.  The City has allocated $150,000 for the project, which should take about a year to complete.  The City’s public art program is funded through donations and from a set-aside of 1 percent of all Capital Improvement Projects over $500,000.  Norfolk leads the way in the region in its support of public art projects.

Public Works

Karen Mayne reported on a meeting between the Norfolk Right-of-Way/Transportation staff and task force representatives.  The group discussed traffic congestion and signaling around the intersection of Little Creek and Granby Street.  Traffic engineers will wait to see how traffic moves through the intersection at the new K&K Square before deciding whether to turn the right northbound lane on Granby Street at Little Creek Road into a right turn only lane.  There is concern that doing so could create a hazard to pedestrians.  The new traffic light that will be installed on Little Creek Road between the K&K Square and Midtown Shopping Center should help with traffic in that area.  It was requested that the City consider reestablishing the audio-visual crossing signal for pedestrians at that light, but the FHWA has new rules that may make such a signal cost prohibitive.  The issue of illegal left turns coming out of Virginian Drive onto Little Creek Road has no structural solution due to the narrowness of the road; enforcement is the best solution.  The City will be repairing/replacing the faux-brick crosswalks with a new and stronger material.

Department of Development

Sam’s Club will rebuild at the old K-Mart property after demolishing the building.  Wal-Mart is proposing a gas station as part of this project.

The Albano’s Cleaners in Titustown on Little Creek Road is closing.  The company is restructuring its business.  A new Albano’s will be at K&K Square.

The demolition of the Denby Park properties acquired by the City last year was delayed by the winter weather and should be completed in May.

Community Reports

The rezoning of the Talbot Hall property to allow for the construction of 14 private homes and roads will go before the planning commission on April 24.

Dr. Barbara Laws of Norfolk Public Schools has been named the 2014 National Supervision/Administrator Art Educator of the Year by the National Art Education Association.  The award recognizes exemplary contributions, service, and achievements of art educators.  (Dr. Laws also serves on the committee that selected Gordon Huether for the public art at Wards Corner.)  Congratulations, Barbara!!

Reminder: Wards Corner Community Day at K & K Square This Saturday!

April 10, 2014

Wards Corner Community Day
K & K Square
This Saturday, April 12, 11am – 3pm
Free and Open to the Public
Rain Date April 13

The merchants of K & K Square and the Virginia Arts Festival have planned a fun filled day for families to enjoy the wonderful new shops and services in their neighborhood.  Enjoy live music, food and raffle prizes, mini cupcakes from Twisted Sisters and activities for the entire family.

Kids will definitely have lots to do, from a bounce house, to face painting, to stilt walkers, jugglers and crafts. All of the activities are outside, so come and go as you please.

Join the wonderful merchants of K &K Square; Harris Teeter, Subway, Moe’s Southwest Grill, Starbucks, TowneBank, Albano Cleaners, GNC, nTelos, and Great Clips as they welcome you to Wards Corner Community Day at K & K Square.

Raffle Prizes include: Gift Cards to Starbucks & Moe’s Southwest Grill, Tickets to Virginia Arts Festival performances of Dance Theater of Harlem, Ben-Hur, and Virginia International Tattoo, Kindle, Blu-Ray Player, $500 Harris Teeter Shopping card, and even an iPad Air!

Media support provided by 92.9 The Wave and 97.3 The Eagle


Glasgow Kiss                11:00 am

On the Bright Side         12:00 pm

The Rhythm Project         1:00 pm

Rust City Ramblers         2:00 pm

Sam’s Club coming to old Kmart location

April 9, 2014

samsThe Virginian-Pilot is reporting that Sam’s Club will be building a store at the old Kmart location at Tidewater Driven and E. Little Creek Road.  The story:

Sam’s Club plans to open its first Norfolk store at the site of the former Kmart on East Little Creek Road and Tidewater Drive, according to documents filed with the city on Monday.

Sam’s – part of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. – is requesting permission to sell tires and alcohol for off-premise consumption. The company also wants to build a gas station that would serve the new Sam’s Club and an existing Wal-Mart to the south.

Sam’s plans to tear down the Kmart building that sits on the southeast side of the intersection of East Little Creek and Tidewater. In its place, the company would build a 135,000-square-foot warehouse for its club members, according to preliminary site plans issued with the requests.

Kmart occupied the location for nearly 40 years, but it closed last summer after officials of Sears Holdings Corp., Kmart’s beleaguered parent company, decided to close many stores across the country.

Norfolk Development Director Steven Anderson told the City Council on Tuesday that Sam’s is expected to generate $800,000 in annual sales tax revenue from $80 million in annual sales.

The store will cost $20 million and create 180 jobs, he said. An opening date has not been set.

Norfolk already is home to BJ’s Wholesale Club and Costco Wholesale, which are half a mile apart near Military Circle. Sam’s Club already has four stores in the region: two in Chesapeake and one each in Virginia Beach and Newport News.

Debates to be held at Granby High on April 15, 2014

April 8, 2014

The Norfolk Branch NAACP, the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce, and the League of Women Voters of South Hampton Roads are joining together to sponsor two political debates in April 2014.

First:  On Tuesday, April 15, 2014 in the Granby High School Auditorium from 7PM to 8:30PM.   Ms. Barbara Hamm Lee from WHRO will moderator the event.

On Stage:
Mayoral candidates – Mayor Paul Fraim, Michael Muhammad and Jane Bethel
Ward 5 candidates – Councilman Tommy Smigiel and Jim Driggers

Second:  On Tuesday, April 17, 2014 in the Booker T. Washington High School Auditorium from 7PM to 8:30PM.  Dr. Carol Pretlow, Associate Professor, NSU, will moderate the event.

On Stage:
Ward 3 candidates – William Collins, Jr.; Mamie Johnson; Glen Jones, Sr.; Rodney Jordan; Marcus Powell; and Lionell Spruill, Jr.
Ward 4 candidates – Councilman Paul Riddick and Billy Cook

The Ballentine to be expanded, renovated

March 24, 2014


The Ballentine is an assisted living community at 7211 Granby St.

The Ballentine is an assisted living community at 7211 Granby St.

The Ballentine, an assisted living community located across from the Greek Church on Granby, is embarking on a $2 million renovation and expansion.

Per the contractor’s press release:

Sauer Inc. has won a $2 million contract to renovate and build additions to an assisted living facility in Norfolk, Va.

The Jacksonville contractor will do interior renovations at The Ballentine and build three, two-story additions, a solarium, a nurse’s station, a dining hall, a lounge, an activities room, sitting areas and a conference room, it said in a new release. The work involves 40,000 square feet.

Sauer expects to complete the project in November.

The owner of The Ballentine is Commonwealth Assisted Living, based in Charlottesville, Va. and the architect is The Yates Group of Portsmouth, Va.

Wards Corner Community Day at K & K Square – April 12, 2014

March 21, 2014

Wards Community Day Invitation (PDF)

Wards Community Day Invitation (PDF)

K & K Square will be holding a Wards Corner Community Day on April 12, 2014 from 11a.m – 3p.m.  Live music will be provided by Glasgow Kiss, On the Bright Side, Rhythm Project, and the Rust City Ramblers.

There will be activities for the kids including a bounce house, face painting, crafts, a juggler, and a stilt walker.  Cupcakes, popcorn and hot dogs will be available as well.

The PDF invitation can be viewed here.

Mattress store to replace BP gas station at Wards Corner

March 19, 2014
7600 Granby St to become home of a new mattress store

7600 Granby St to become home of a new mattress store

The BP gas station at the northeast corner of Wards Corner has been on the market for quite some time.  Recently it was rumored that there was a contract to purchase the property.  Various leaks are now confirming that the purchaser plans to build a retail building on the property and the expected tenant is a mattress store.

The likely tenant type was mentioned at the Wards Corner Civic League meeting on Monday night and most comments were negative as there is already a mattress store at Wards Corner.

The property is currently zoned C-3 and will likely not need to be rezoned for the new use.


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