City takes second bite out of crime in Denby Park

January 29, 2013
Denby Park properties to be purchased by City of Norfolk.  RED highlighted properties are to be purchased in 2013.  BLUE highlighted properties were purchased in 2011.

Denby Park properties to be purchased by City of Norfolk. RED highlighted properties are to be purchased in 2013. BLUE highlighted properties were purchased in 2011.

City Council will be voting on January 29, 2013 on the second round of derelict property purchases in the Denby Park neighborhood.  The addresses of the properties to be purchases are:  308 E. Little Creek Road, 317 E. Little Creek Road, 319 E. Little Creek Road, 325 E. Little Creek Road, 328 Fort Worth Ave, 334 Fort Worth Ave, and 338 Fort Worth Ave.

These 2013 purchases are in addition to the properties on San Antonio Boulevard which were purchased in 2011 and eventually torn down.

These purchases are in accordance with the 2004 Wards Corner Comprehensive plan.

The full press release is below:

NORFOLK –The City of Norfolk has reached agreements to purchase seven properties located in the 300 blocks of Fort Worth Avenue and East Little Creek Road in the Denby Park section of the city.  These acquisitions further the Greater Wards Corner Neighborhood Plan and the city’s ongoing efforts to foster safe and healthy neighborhoods which will sustain future generations.

The agreements include the acquisition of 37 apartments on seven properties for $1.45 million.  City Council will vote on the purchase and sale agreements during the Council session scheduled for Tuesday, January 29, 2013.

The property owners are working with their tenants to relocate them.  Once the properties are vacant, the city will conduct an environmental impact study then the apartments will be demolished.

In August 2011, the City of Norfolk purchased 68 apartment units on seven properties in the 300 block of San Antonio Boulevard for $2.68 million.  Those apartments were demolished in April 2012.   The city is working with the community to determine the best use for the open space.


January 29, 2013 meeting on repair work to Roland Park Overpass

January 28, 2013
The following email has been distributed to Civic League Presidents in the area of the planning road work:
Dear Civic League Presidents –
As discussed in my previous email, the Roland Park Overpass Bridge on Tidewater Drive will undergo repairs in the coming months.  The City of Norfolk Department of Public Works, Design Division would like to invite your civic leagues to an informational meeting to discuss the project and resulting traffic impacts.  The meeting will be held:
Tuesday, January 29, 2013 at 6:30 P.M.
Suburban Park Elementary SchoolMulti-Purpose Room
310 Thole Street
Norfolk, VA 23505
Please share this information with the residents of your neighborhoods.  A flyer is attached.  The meeting agenda will include a project overview, information about lane closures and detours, and anticipated construction schedule.  Design engineers and City representatives will be available to answer questions about the project, which will include steel superstructure painting, bearing replacement, concrete repairs, and ramp widening. 
We look forward to discussing this project with you, and appreciate your cooperation as these much needed repairs are completed.  Please feel free to contact me with any questions.
Thank you,
Christine Atkinson, P.E.
Structural Engineer
City of Norfolk Public Works – Design Division
810 Union Street, Suite 700
Norfolk, VA 23510

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.


“Norfolk poised to buy parcels of land” – Virginian-Pilot headline

January 16, 2013

Jill Nolin at the Virginian-Pilot wrote an article that was published today, January 16, 2013, indicating that the City of Norfolk is preparing to purchase blighted properties in Wards Corner and Ocean View.

The city is poised to spend millions in the coming weeks as it buys the former Travelers Inn in Ocean View and more property in the Denby Park area of Wards Corner as part of plans to revitalize struggling neighborhoods.

City officials were tight-lipped about the proposed Wards Corner deals, but Martin Thomas Jr., vice president of the Wards Corner Civic League and a member of the city’s planning commission, said residents have been pushing the city to focus on the 300 block of East Little Creek Road and the so-called “Texas streets” behind it.

. . .

In the current budget, city officials allocated $2 million for acquisitions in the Wards Corner area.

. . .

In Wards Corner, the city is looking to clean up the Denby Park area. The city has finished its negotiations, but a deal has not been completed, said Councilman Andy Protogyrou. He declined to comment further because of the “sensitivity of the process.”

Winn said city officials want to further reduce housing density in the area by targeting sites with apartment buildings. Last year, seven buildings in the 300 block of San Antonio Blvd. were torn down on property the city acquired for $2.7 million.


Wards Corner Taskforce meeting minutes from January 10, 2013

January 13, 2013

Thanks, as always, to Karen Mayne for the following minutes.

Greater Wards Corner Task Force Meeting – January 10, 2013

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

Suburban Park Shopping Center Presentation

Chris Perry of Suburban Asset Management (SAM) provided an overview of the status of the redevelopment of the shopping center. Site demolition is complete and they will start on infrastructure construction very soon. Due to the good weather, the project is ahead of schedule. SAM plans to turn over the concrete “pads” to Harris Teeter and Towne Point Bank in April 2013, who will then use their own contractors to construct their portions of the shopping center. SAM will use Hoy Construction to build the remainder of the shopping center, which will include space for 9 to eleven retailers. If the weather remains cooperative, SAM hopes construction will be completed in 9 to 10 months from April.

SAM would like to find a restaurant to fill in the southern-most space in the shopping center, where outside seating would be possible. They encouraged task force members to spread the word and make recommendations on the names of any restaurateurs who might be interested in locating there.

Department of Public Works Updates – John Kiefer

The City will undertake a major reconstruction of the underpass and adjacent ramps at the junction of Tidewater Drive and Little Creek Road at Southern Shopping Center. They considered changing to an at-grade intersection, but that cost would be several million dollars more that maintaining the underpass. The project is planned to start in January 2014, will take 8 to 10 months to complete, will require major road closures for about 4 to 5 months, and detours for the four on/off ramps for about 10 to 14 weeks. While the road work is under construction, the Department of Utilities will also replace underground utilities along the section of Tidewater Drive south to Thole Street. DPW is planning to make presentations to the civic leagues in the area to explain the plans and detours.

Department of Development Updates – Mike Cutter

The owner of Mid-Towne Shopping Center has hired a new real estate broker and is negotiating leases, although no names were given. There are plans to renovate the parking lot during warmer weather in the spring.

The City is considering extending the grant program for business façade improvements to the Wards Corner area. This would allow this corridor to be eligible for matching grants.

A question was asked as to whether there will be a Dollar Tree store in the Wards Corner area.  There will not be one in the new Suburban Park Shopping Center, but there is a possibility that there could be a Dollar Tree in one of the other two shopping centers on the north side.

Department of Utilities Updates – Ken Turner

Sewer replacement projects around the area are on schedule and several sections will be completed in the next several months, after which the City will continue with sewer line replacements in other sections.

Police Reports

Crime statistics for the area in December continued to show a decline from last year, which is a trend seen around the City. The president of the Denby Park civic league thanked the Norfolk Police Department for their work and said that crime numbers in Denby Park are down.

Community Reports

The group again discussed the school zones along Thole Street. The Norfolk Police have started providing traffic control assistance at the Norfolk Christian Upper School, and the City has installed larger school zone signs that are easier to read at both ends of the Norfolk Christian school zone. Councilman Protogyrou asked that the Department of Public Works provide information at the February meeting regarding the possibility of moving the overhead flashing school zone light at the western end of Suburban Park Elementary School further to the west to also encompass Norfolk Christian.

Chris Perry to update Wards Corner Task Force on Thursday

January 7, 2013

Be reminded that the Wards Corner Task Force  meeting this Thursday, January 10, 2013, at 8:30AM at the fitness and wellness center.  This meeting is open to the public.  The agenda currently includes:

1.  Suburban Management Updates – Chris Perry,

2.  The Department of Public Works Updates – John Keifer, Director of Public Works

3.  Development Updates- Charles Rigney, Interim Director of Development

4.  Utilities Updates – Ken Turner, Engineering Manager, Department of Utilities

5.  Police Reports &  Community Reports

6.  New Business

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