Public Invite: Harris Teeter Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

February 7, 2014
Harris Teeter Ribbon Cutting Invitation

Harris Teeter Ribbon Cutting Invitation

Harris Teeter is opening its newest store at 7550 Granby Street Norfolk, Va. on Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014.

The grand opening commences with a ribbon cutting ceremony and speeches.  Speeches are expected from Store Director, Robert Maxson, and Norfolk Mayor, Paul Fraim, beginning at 8:00am.  The Ribbon Cutting is scheduled for 8:08am with doors opening at 8:10am.  The public is invited to this event.

Harry the Happy Dragon

Harry the Happy Dragon

Harris Teeter’s mascot, Harry the Happy Dragon, is expected to join in the festivities as well.

 

 

 

 

 


Harris Teeter to open February 19, 2014

January 27, 2014

htsoonThe nice people over at Suburban Asset Management have provided the following updates with regard to their Harris Teeter anchored shopping center at the southeast corner of Wards Corner.

The following stores are scheduled to open on February 19, 2014:  Harris Teeter, Starbucks, Subway, Sleepy’s, and Albano Cleaners.  Moe’s Southwest Grill, Great Clips, and nTelos Wireless will likely open before mid-March.

There is still one 2100 square foot location facing Louisiana Drive that is not rented.  The developer is waiting for a local restaurateur that will be the right fit with the location.

The TowneBank is scheduled to open sometime in May or June.


Virginian-Pilot’s Michelle Washington gives a good summary of recent developments at Wards Corner

January 5, 2014

The only update to the information in Michelle’s article that I have is that the artist for the public art at Wards Corner has been chosen and it is Gordon Heuther.  The next steps will be bringing Gordon to Norfolk and introducing him to Wards Corner.  There will be public meetings so that Mr. Heuther can meet the residents and receive input for the to-be-designed public art.  You can view Mr. Heuther’s website here.

Informative portions of the VP article include the history of the K&K name:

Wards Corner once again bears the K&K name.

Lots of history inhabits those letters. A red brick Harris Teeter now sits surrounded by fresh landscaping and newly paved streets close to where Kenneth Perry launched a toy empire. He started as a barber in Wards Corner in 1942.

More than a decade later, he bought a nearby variety store and changed its name to K&K 5&10, adding the second K for his wife, Kathryn. The toy section of that store grew until it became its own entity. K&K Toys expanded for decades, growing to 136 stores before Perry sold it to a competitor.

K&K Toys has been gone a long time. But most people in Norfolk and in much of the country recognize the successor to Kenneth Perry’s entrepreneurial spirit: Dollar Tree. It, too, grew its roots in Wards Corner, founded by Perry’s son, J. Douglas Perry, and son-in-law, Macon Brock.

Chris Perry, Kenneth Perry’s grandson, tore down the old shopping center, including a Dollar Tree store, to make way for Harris Teeter. He renamed it K&K Square at Wards Corner.

The property remains hugely important to his family, Perry said. Friends of his grandparents will be reminded of them by the name, and newcomers will have reason to look them up.

“It’s a nice way to remember them,” Perry said. “I think my grandparents would be proud.”

Perry also refurbished and remounted the Wards Corner mermaid, another reminder of his grandfather.

The full article can be read here.


Sidewalk concerns addressed with new Harris Teeter shopping center

June 25, 2013

Concerns were expressed at the last couple of Wards Corner Taskforce meetings about the sidewalks along Granby Street and E. Little Creek Road surrounding the new Harris Teeter Shopping Center being developed by Suburban Asset Management.  The sidewalks, in the past, were abutted up to the street and seen as a safety and aesthetic issue.  The preference was to push them a couple of feet back from the street to allow for a grass verge.

Representatives of the City of Norfolk and Suburban Asset Management met to address the citizens concerns and the following agreement was made:

1-Granby Street – there will be a 5 ft sidewalk and a 5 to 6 ft grass verge between the sidewalk and the curb. 

2-Little Creek – sidewalk will be 6 ft wide. There will not be a grass verge due to the tight space and the preference for landscaping behind the sidewalk. 

Dominion Virginia Power will be removing and replacing the sidewalks as a part of their efforts in burying the power lines in the area.


Moe’s Southwest Grill coming to Wards Corner

May 24, 2013

20130524-192636.jpg
Updates on the Harris Teeter anchored Suburban Shopping Center:

Moe’s Southwest Grill has signed a lease to be a tenant in the new shopping center;

Harris Teeter’s construction trailer is on site and they are currently digging the footers for the store;

The rest of the shopping center is under construction and will be “out of the ground” in 30-45 days; and

TowneBank, the out parcel, is going through site plan review with the city and will likely start construction in August.

Thanks to Chris Perry for the above update.
-Martin Thomas Jr.


Harris Teeter – Together in Education

January 25, 2013

tieSoon-to-be member of the Wards Corner Business District, Harris Teeter, has a “Together in Education” program.  Currently you can take part in the program and proceeds can be allotted to the Granby High School Marching Band or Granby Elementary PTA.

Harris Teeter’s Together In Education program is a fund raising program for schools (public or private- preschool through 12th grade) in our communities.

When customers purchase select Harris Teeter Brand products using their VIC card, Harris Teeter contributes a percentage of those purchase dollars to the schools of their choice.

Schools use the money as they see fit on anything from basic supplies to band equipment or computers.

You can link your VIC card to Granby High School Marching Band or Granby Elementary PTA by going to the Together in Education website.

 


A few more new tenant announcements for Wards Corner

December 17, 2012

We all know that Harris Teeter and TowneBank are coming to the southeast corner of Wards Corner.  Now Inside Business reports that Great Clips and Albano Cleaners will be moving into the Harris Teeter anchored shopping center.

Robert Gurnee, vice president of Suburban Asset Management, said Great Clips hair salon and Albano Cleaners have signed leases for space in what will be the new Suburban Park Shopping Center.

In the works also are these businesses, not yet named – a sandwich shop, a vitamin supplement store, a mattress company, a Mexican restaurant and a cell phone company. The developer said it’s also in negotiations with a drive-through coffee house.

The full article can be read here.


Greater Wards Corner Task Force Meeting – September 13, 2012

September 17, 2012

Meeting highlights:

  • The out-parcel at the new Harris Teeter shopping center will be a TowneBank
  • The lease with Harris Teeter has been signed
  • The above ground utilities on Granby and E. Little Creek abutting the Harris Teeter property will be buried
  • Talbot Hall has been put on the market by the Episcopal Diocese that owns the property

Thanks, as always, to Karen Mayne to keeping notes on the Taskforce meetings.  Below are her notes from September 13, 2012.

The meeting was led by Councilman Andy Protogyrou. Council representatives Whibley and
Winn were also present.

Department of Development Updates – Charles Rigney

Suburban Park Shopping Center – The lease with Harris Teeter has been signed. Letters of intent are in place for all spaces in the new shopping center except one space at the south end.  The out-parcel building will be filled by Towne Bank. On Granby Street at Louisiana there will be a new left turn lane and stop light heading southbound. On Louisiana there will be two turn lanes. There may be an additional light needed on the east side of Little Creek Road and the City has an agreement with Mrs. Dallis to take a parking space in the Mid-town Shopping Center if needed for this traffic light. The City is paying for these traffic improvements.

Mid-Town Center Shopping Center – Mrs. Dallis did not reach an agreement with Dollar Tree so there will be no store in the renovated shopping center. The owner of the gas station is looking for offers to sell but it is unclear what might go there. Mrs. Dallis is not interested in purchasing the property. The 7-11 company expressed interest in the site, but the City does not think the public would want a 7-11 store in that location.

Other Development News: The 7-11 Corporation is looking to move and upgrade a number of corporate owned stores in the region, including the store on the southwest side of Wards Corner.  The City is trying to help find an appropriate new location for the store. Discussions continue with potential developers of the Work Force Center property. The liquor license application by the Pancake House was approved by City Council on Tuesday. The former physical therapy building is still under consideration for an urgent care facility. The application by the national chain, Cookout Restaurant, to take over the Speedy Gonzales restaurant on Tidewater Drive was withdrawn by the company after two residents in the area expressed opposition. The Denby Park Civic League supports the project and the City indicated the Cookout company will come back in for approval after further discussions with residents. The Guads restaurant should be open in early October. The need for repaving of the parking lot was discussed.

Department of Public Works Updates – John Keifer/Ann Kelly

Utilities Undergrounding at Wards Corner – Three options for placing the utilities underground on the east side at the Suburban Park Shopping Center were presented. Option 1 would put the utilities underground along the southeast side of Granby Street and Little Creek Road for $160,000. Option 2 would also include the entire perimeter of the shopping center (adding in Louisiana and Virginian frontages) for $3,600,000. Option 3 would also include the northeast side of Little Creek (Mid-Town Shopping Center) from Granby to Virginian for $2,900,000. It was pointed out that the cost estimates for Options 2 and 3 appeared to be reversed. Task Force members agreed that putting the utilities underground along Louisiana and Virginian was not a priority, nor was the north side at the present time. Option 1 will be requested as a Capital
Improvement Project in the City’s 2013 budget since the cost is reasonable and it makes sense to do the project while the entire corner is under construction. Public Works was requested to go back and determine the cost of doing the north-east corner along Granby Street and Little Creek

Road for future consideration.

Wards Corner Redevelopment Plan – There is still $2 million budgeted by the City for the redevelopment of the area. The group agreed that the redevelopment of blighted areas of the greater Wards Corner area is a priority over placing the utilities underground.

Police Report

Crime statistics for the greater Wards Corner area remain low. Civic league representatives pointed out that it appears prostitutes may be working the Little Creek corridor from Wards Corner to Galveston. There may also be an issue with the small unpaved section of Galveston at Virginian Drive. The vice squad will be notified. The police are also looking into the issue of students leaving Granby High at lunchtime.

Community Reports

Karen Mayne reported that there is a need for a larger and reconfigured bus port at Suburban Park Elementary since school buses back up on Thole Street, and there is a problem with soil erosion at the front of the school. Council representatives asked the Public Works department to work on an engineering plan for the bus port that could be submitted as a Capital Improvement Project in the next year’s budget.

Jim McDonnell reported that Talbot Hall (owned by the Episcopal Church) has been listed for sale with Harvey Lindsay real estate company. The property is zoned institutional.

Community Services Board president Kenny Bryant reported that the transition of the CSB to City management is going well.

Norfolk Collegiate reported that the construction of its new arts center is on schedule for a March 2013 opening.

The group discussed the need for school crossing flashing lights at the Norfolk Christian Lower School on Granby Street and the Norfolk Collegiate Lower School on Tidewater Drive. This will be discussed further at the next task force meeting.


Brief update on the Harris Teeter Shopping Center

August 27, 2012

According to the property owners, things are moving along well with the redevelopment of the southwest corner of Wards Corner.  As anyone who has driven through Wards Corner in the last few weeks has seen, the old A.J. Gators building has been torn down and there is a large pit where dirt and old storage tanks have been removed.  Most of the environmental work associated with that old A.J. Gators site is now complete.

Asbestos is being removed from the other buildings remaining on the site and they will be demolished within the next 1-2 months pending a demolition permit from the City.


Joint Planning Commission and City Council meeting scheduled for Harris Teeter project

March 30, 2012

A special joint meeting of the Planning Commission and City Council has been scheduled for April 24, 2012 at 7pm in City Council chambers.  The meeting was scheduled at the request of City Council in an effort to speed up the approval process for Chris Perry’s project at the southeast corner of Wards Corner which is slated to be a Harris Teeter anchored shopping center.  The public is encouraged to attend and express their concerns / opinions.

As previously reported here on Wards Corner Now, Chris Perry is asking for:

1.  Conditional Change of Zoning.  The applicant is asking to rezone the entire block to Conditional C-3 with conditions that the property shall be developed generally in accordance with the layout attached as Exhibit A, that the outparcel will be single user, and that the buildings constructed will be consistent with the appearance in the rendering attached as Exhibit B.

2.  Adult Use Special Exception for the sale of Alcoholic Beverages for off-premises Consumption.  The applicant is requesting to be able to sell Beer and Wine from 6:00AM to 12:00AM daily at Harris Teeter.

3.  Special Exception to Operate a Retail Establishment After Midnight.  The applicant is requesting to operate a full service Harris Teeter from 12:00AM to 12:00AM daily.

4.  Special Exception to operate a Commercial Drive-Through Facility.  The applicant is requesting to operate a branch banking facility with drive-through lanes to serve customers, including automatic teller machines.

5.  Special Exception to operate a Commerical Drive-Through Facility.  The applicant is requesting to operate a drive through out of the end unit of the shopping center serving food and beverages.  The hours of operation indicated are from 6:00AM to 11:00PM.  The exhibit to this request indicates a “COFFEE HOUSE” in that location.

The complete application can be viewed here (PDF).


Chris Perry files Application for rezoning, Harris Teeter, Bank, Drive-Through Coffee Shop

March 15, 2012
Exhibit A - Layout of Suburban Park Shopping Center

Exhibit A - Layout of Suburban Park Shopping Center

The City of Norfolk has received the following applications regarding the new Harris Teeter anchored shopping center planned for the southeast corner of Wards Corner:

1.  Conditional Change of Zoning.  The applicant is asking to rezone the entire block to Conditional C-3 with conditions that the property shall be developed generally in accordance with the layout attached as Exhibit A, that the outparcel will be single user, and that the buildings constructed will be consistent with the appearance in the rendering attached as Exhibit B.

Exhibit B - Suburban Park Shopping Center, Granby Street Elevation

Exhibit B - Suburban Park Shopping Center, Granby Street Elevation

2.  Adult Use Special Exception for the sale of Alcoholic Beverages for off-premises Consumption.  The applicant is requesting to be able to sell Beer and Wine from 6:00AM to 12:00AM daily at Harris Teeter.

3.  Special Exception to Operate a Retail Establishment After Midnight.  The applicant is requesting to operate a full service Harris Teeter from 12:00AM to 12:00AM daily.

4.  Special Exception to operate a Commercial Drive-Through Facility.  The applicant is requesting to operate a branch banking facility with drive-through lanes to serve customers, including automatic teller machines.

5.  Special Exception to operate a Commerical Drive-Through Facility.  The applicant is requesting to operate a drive through out of the end unit of the shopping center serving food and beverages.  The hours of operation indicated are from 6:00AM to 11:00PM.  The exhibit to this request indicates a “COFFEE HOUSE” in that location.

The complete application can be viewed here (PDF).


Harris Teeter plans and design to be unveiled

January 25, 2012

Chris Perry, on behalf of Suburban Land Management, will be attending civic league meetings in Wards Corner, Talbot Park, and Suburban Acres in February to unveil his plans and design for a brand new Harris Teeter anchored shopping center at the southeast corner of Wards Corner.

The following meetings are open to the public to view the plans:

Suburban Acres Civic League meeting:
February 13, 2012 @ 6:30
Location: Suburban Park Elementary School, 310 Thole St.

Talbot Park Civic League meeting:
February 21, 2012 @ 7:00
Location: Royster Memorial Church, 6901 Newport Ave.

Wards Corner Civic League meeting:
February 27, 2012 @ 6:45
Location: Fitness and Wellness Center, 7300 Newport Ave.


VP Editorial on Wards Corner

January 20, 2012

Michelle Washington, a reporter and editorial writer for the Virginian-Pilot and apparently a resident of Wards Corner, wrote an editorial in today’s edition of the paper about Wards Corner.  The article can be read here.

Selected portions:

Once again, we are all, old residents and new, eyeing the future of Wards Corner with hope.

The city’s confirmation last week that developer Chris Perry would bring a new $18 million Harris Teeter to the southeast corner of the intersection brought me wild imaginings of what else the development might draw. Perhaps excitement about a grocery store is merely a strong indicator of how much time I spend at the grocery store. It could also be an indication that folks nearby will support not only an upscale grocery store like HT, but a number of other restaurants, bars and retailers that would benefit from the foot traffic generated by a supermarket.

Instead of a string of disappointments, Wards Corner residents have recently witnessed a series of victories. Last summer the city bought seven apartment buildings in Denby Park, an area that has long struggled with blight and crime. Norfolk Collegiate School is constructing an $8.5 million arts center on Granby Street just blocks from Little Creek Road.


Chris Perry revealed his timeline for Harris Teeter

January 12, 2012
The new shopping center will replace the entire block, marked in red.

The new shopping center will replace the entire block, marked in red.

Chris Perry, on behalf of Suburban Land Management, attended the  Wards Corner Taskforce meeting this morning.  Suburban Land Management now owns the entire block bounded by Granby St on the West, E. Little Creek Road on the North, Virginian Drive on the East, and Louisiana Drive on the South.

Mr. Perry and his partners, who attended the meeting, provided an  approximate timeline for the demolition and construction of the new shopping center.  Harris Teeter is expected to be the new anchor.  According to the Virginian-Pilot, Harris Teeter has agreed in principle to build a 53,000-square foot outlet and the entire investment on behalf of Harris Teeter and Suburban Land Management will be $18 million.

The plan is for Mr. Perry to attend civic and community meetings in February and go before the Planning Commission and City Council and March and April, respectively.  The project must go before the Planning Commission and Council because a number of properties that will be included in the new development need to be rezoned.

Demolition is expected to begin in the summer of 2012 and Mr. Perry is hopeful that the new shopping center will open in 2014.

Wards Corner Now will be posting a schedule of civic and community meetings in the near future where Mr. Perry and Suburban Land Management are expected to reveal initial designs of the new development.

 


Op-ed: Wards Corner is Suburbia, Harris Teeter would be good

October 6, 2011

This is a response, or counter-point, to Stephen Truman Sugg’s Op-ed posted on Altdaily.com 

Wards Corner should remain Suburban.

Right now you can go to Wards Corner and shop at the Suburban Park Shopping Center. A few blocks away you can drive down Suburban Parkway and visit a neighbor in a stately house on a large lot in Suburban Acres. Looking at a zoning map, or simply driving around the neighborhoods surrounding Wards Corner, one can easily discern that this is suburbia.

Image from the 2004 Greater Wards Corner Comprehensive Study showing the mostly single family, auto centric land use in the study area (yellow)

Image from the 2004 Greater Wards Corner Comprehensive Study showing the mostly single family, auto centric land use in the study area (yellow)

Living in suburban Norfolk is not a bad thing. I could talk for hours about the benefits – from commute time to proximity to amenities. But when it comes to the revitalization of Wards Corner we must be reminded that when this area was developed in the 40s and 50s it was the crossroads of the city and it was built around the automobile. The land use has not significantly changed since that time. The bulk of the neighborhoods from Hampton Blvd to Tidewater Drive and from the Granby Street bridge to Bayview Ave continue to be mostly low density and auto centric.

Traffic counts are not only evidence of the auto-centric nature of the greater Wards Corner area but also proof that Wards Corner is a fantastic location for commercial development easily accessible by the automobile. The traffic count on Granby St near Wards Corner is 27,000 vehicles per day. Little Creek near Wards Corner is 26,000. I-64 at Wards Corner – a whopping 148,000 vehicles per day.

Rebuilding Wards Corner as a commercial area in which the bulk of the customers arrive via automobile is best and most appropriate use of the land.

A possible Harris Teeter is a good thing.

Let’s set the record straight. As far as I know there is no deal with Harris Teeter; it’s a rumor. And the City has not offered tax dollars, or tax abatements, to the developer either. I have confirmed this with Councilmembers and staff.

Nonetheless, a Harris Teeter at Wards Corner would be fantastic news and an immediate upgrade. Despite there being a number of other grocery stores in the Wards Corner area, a Harris Teeter would be a benefit as a high quality retailer that will attract other retailers of the same or similar quality. For years this is what the residents of Wards Corner have been demanding. The demographics support revitalization as well. Historically Wards Corner was the preferred shopping area for residents of Larchmont, Edgewater, Lochaven and east and north to Ocean View. Given the lack of a higher quality grocery store in those areas and the traffic to get to Harris Teeter’s Ghent location, it is foreseeable that those residents will return to a revitalized Wards Corner.

The shopping centers currently in Wards Corner suffer from functional obsolescence. The narrow and deep layout of most of the units is undesirable in today’s retail market and the parking situation can only be improved upon.

Don’t look at the prospect of a  Harris Teeter as simply another grocery store. Look at it as the start of the revitalization of the entire Wards Corner commercial district which needs to remain suburban in character. A district which will hopefully include new shopping, eating, and office destinations and maybe even a hotel. That is what we have been working so hard to achieve.

About the writer: Martin A. Thomas, Jr. is a lawyer at the Decker Law Firm, a member of the Planning Commission for the City of Norfolk, an editor for Wards Corner Now, and a Vice-President of the Wards Corner Civic League.


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