Talbot Hall Task Force update

September 28, 2010
Talbot Hall

Talbot Hall

Thank you to Cathy Lewis for alerting us to the following update from the Episcopal Diocese of Southern Virginia regarding the Talbot Hall property.

The Talbot Hall Task Force met organizationally on September 15, 2010.  The Very Rev. Stanley W. Sawyer is the committee chair.

Mr. Sawyer reiterated Bishop Hollerith’s statement:  “If there’s an idea out there that will allow us to carry out our mission in a responsible way while continuing to make the property available to our parishes, the neighborhood and others, we’re committed to finding it.”

The committee has already received a number of thoughtful ideas and invites additional ideas through October 25, 2010.  Proposed concepts for the Talbot Hall property should detailed, measurable and specific and contain a sustaining funding source.  A written proposal of not more than 3 pages is sufficient at this time. Proposals should be sent to the attention of Caroline Black at the diocesan offices at 600 Talbot Hall Road, Norfolk, vA  23505.

The task force also plans to seek input from a variety of external professional resources and will update its progress throughout the process on this site.

The task force will work through the end of 2010 evaluating ideas coming forward from the community.  It will then recommend viable proposals to the Diocesan Property Committee which will make a recommendation to the Executive Board of the diocese.

The task force is chaired by The Rev. Dr. Stanley W. Sawyer, Rector of All Saints’ Episcopal Church.

Members of the task force are:

JOAN ATKINSON, Christ & St. Luke’s, Norfolk

JOANNE BERKLEY, Church of the Good Shepherd, Norfolk

CAROLINE BLACK, Canon for Formation, Episcopal Diocese of Southern Virignia

THE REV. ROBERT DAVENPORT, Rector, Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd, Norfolk

CHIP FILER, St. Andrew’s, Norfolk

BOB HARPER, St. John’s, Hampton

CATHY LEWIS, Christ & St. Luke’s, Norfolk

MARK PERREAULT, Norfolk Preservation Alliance

JAY TAYLOR, Church of the Ascension, Norfolk


RIVERFest, a celebration of the Lafayette River is planned

September 24, 2010
Lafayette River RIVERFest

Lafayette River RIVERFest

Over a year ago, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation and the Elizabeth River Project brought together a multidisciplinary group of public and private experts plus citizens to start talking about how to help the Lafayette River.  This Steering Group developed a watershed plan with three main parts:  a swimmable, fishable Lafayette; a healthy river life; and citizens making a difference.   The draft Lafayette River Watershed Plan is being reviewed and hopefully will be endorsed by the Norfolk City Council within the next few weeks.   The strategic goal is a swimmable, fishable Lafayette River by 2014.

Planning is underway for a one day celebration of the Lafayette River – RIVERFest on the Lafayette on Saturday 30 April 2011 (rain date 1 May 2011).  Hopefully this first celebration in the spring will evolve into an annual River appreciation day.   Think block party with food, music, arts, the Elizabeth River Project’s Learning Barge, education tables and activity tents.  The Steering Group has met with Colonial Place neighborhood residents and their Civic League and they support the plan.  The location will be the 500 block of Mayflower Road – a prime location along the Lafayette River.  They will begin working with the City of Norfolk for permits and permission to temporarily close that block on 30 April 2011.

The plan is to ask school choirs and local musicians to volunteer their time and talent.  Also we are asking for local artists (photographers, painters, sculptors, potters, etc.) to display their pieces.  More information will be forthcoming throughout the fall, winter and spring. Currently the Elizabeth River Project has basic RIVERFest information on their website www.elizabethriver.org under events.

They are working hard to create a unique way to celebrate and appreciate the Lafayette River.   If any civic league would like a presentation regarding these Lafayette River efforts, feel free to contact Amry Cox at 969-3461.

A flyer for the April 31, 2011 event can be found here.

WVEC: Wards Corner residents protest new apartment complex

September 20, 2010

WVEC has a article and video on their site about the proposed Collins apartments.

NORFOLK — Controversy is brewing in the Talbot Park section of Ward’s Corner, where residents are protesting a proposed new apartment complex.

The residents say that the proposed project is not the right fit for the neighborhood.

Collins Enterprises purchased the 23 acres with plans of building condominiums, but in the struggling economy, the proposal has changed to a 189 unit apartment complex.

Has Wards Corner turned the corner?

September 15, 2010

By: John Knight

Does Wards Corner feel a little different to you?  It feels that way to me.  When I first shopped at Wards Corner eight years ago, I sensed there was something special about this place.  One year later, I made one of the biggest decisions of my life by opening a business here.  The potential was enormous, in location and demographics.  Wards Corner was the “Times Square of the South”, the busiest intersection in Norfolk, with over 60,000 cars passing through each day.  I saw blacks, whites, asians, hispanics and every color of the rainbow walking around here.  The customers ranged from the destitute to the well-healed. Multi-BILLION DOLLAR Dollar Tree started right here.  What a golden opportunity!

So, I opened The Book Exchange.  Within a month in my shopping center, Lillian Vernon was gone.  Soon Coffease closed, then Uncle Louie’s, then Foot Locker, then a couple beauty salons, then Steckroth’s, then Simply Fashions.  Then the vandals struck.  Then a lack of building maintenance led to peeling paint and frequent floods from above and below.  Well, the good news was that we had plenty of parking…

Luckily my overhead is low and my faith is strong.  We have always been blessed with good customers and staff.  And lately, it seems that those were the proverbial low points.

Take a look at Wards Corner NOW!  The TIDE of trash has been picked up one piece at a time by people like Laura Thom, who has organized a multitude of cleanups. Now, Wards Corner businesses are expanding, while others are moving in for their shot at the American Dream- mind you, in a time when most shopping centers are suffering the effects of the “Great Recession”.

If you have not been to Wards Corner in the past couple months, come see a few of the changes:  AJ Gators has a beautiful new location in the old Wherehouse Music store, ATC Fitness did an amazing remodel job on the old Lillian Vernon store and opened in record time.  Our landlord sanded and painted our light poles.  As I pulled out of our parking lot today, I noticed a new cell phone store across the street.  What will tomorrow bring?  I’m thinking positively.  So, if you have an idea for a business in one of the few vacant spots that are left in Wards Corner, consider acting NOW!  Try to visual what the founders of Dollar Tree saw here.  I GUARANTEE you, Wards Corner is still a goldmine!!!

Wards Corner Now meeting Saturday, 8:30am at Fitness and Wellness Center

September 14, 2010

Remember that Wards Corner Now is having our meeting this Saturday, September 18, 2010 at 8:30am at the Fitness and Wellness Center.  Please plan on attending.  The Agenda is below.


A.  Presentation by Councilman Andy Protogyrou on the results of his meeting with various City departments regarding the redevelopment of Wards Corner.

B.  Other Business.

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