Wards Corner Business Association December Meeting

December 5, 2019

Wards Corner Business Association December 2019 Newsletter CLICK HERE
Wards Corner Task Force November 2019 Minutes CLICK HERE

WCBA DEC 2019 Newsletter pg1-page-001


Reminder: Wards Corner Task Force meeting 1/8/15

January 6, 2015

The Wards Corner Task Force meeting is this Thursday, 1/8/15 at 8:30am at the Fitness and Wellness Center.  Agenda below:

1. Police Reports – 2nd and 3rd Patrol Updates

2. Parking along the grass W. Little Creek Road – Leonard Newcomb, Director, Zoning

3. Development Updates – Mike Cutter, Business Development Specialist

4. Riverfront Infrastructure Plan Update – Richard Broad, Assistant Director, Public Works

5. Reports

  • Utilities
  • Community Updates
  • Wards Corner Business Association Update

6. New Business

The next task force meeting is scheduled for Thursday, March 12, 2015, at 8:30 a.m. at the Norfolk Fitness and Wellness Center


Wards Corner updates

September 11, 2014

The following are some quick updates from the Wards Corner Task Force meeting held on September 11, 2014 at the Fitness and Wellness Center.

Utilities:

The new mast arm poles and traffic light signals at W. Little Creek Rd and Armfield Ave will be installed by mid – late October.

The new mast arm poles and traffic light signals at E. Little Creek Rd and the new Harris Teeter shopping center will also be installed by mid – late October.

Wards Corner Business Association:

A Wards Corner Business Association has been re-started thanks to the work and dedication of Elyse Kalfus.  The first meeting was held on August 19th and 14 of the businesses in Wards Corner were represented.  Top priorities of crime and trash were mentioned.

A cleanup has been arranged with the Norfolk Sheriff’s department and the Business Association is in touch with VDOT on cleaning up their portions of Wards Corner as well.

Norfolk Southern has also been contacted and has agreed to do a cleanup of their property in Wards Corner.

Kroger / Workforce Development Center property:

Everyone was reminded that the City has an option to purchase this property that was built into their lease for the Workforce Development Center.  This option comes up in 2015.  If the City has not found a development partner by then, the City needs to step up and purchase the property to preserve it for appropriate future development in the corridor.


Wards Corner Task Force meeting notes for June 12, 2014

June 15, 2014

Thanks to Karen Mayne for her note taking:

The Greater Wards Corner Task Force Meeting

June 12, 2014

 

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

Norfolk Public Schools

School redistricting is being studied by NPS; no changes will take place during the 2014 – 2015 school year, other than the temporary closing of Lafayette-Winona Middle School.  Lafayette-Winona will close for one year and its students will be placed at the other middle schools throughout the city except for Lake Taylor Middle.  The student census at the other middle schools can accommodate these students.  In the 2015 – 2016 school year, Lafayette-Winona will reopen as a “choice facility” for students in grades 3 – 8, with a focus on international studies and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math).

The high schools are the major focus of the school redistricting study.  NPS is considering changing the boundaries of the high schools and adding a CTE (Career Technical Education) high school.  NPS will continue to seek public input throughout the study process.

Department of Development

Mid-Town Shopping Center is in negotiations with the Original Mattress Factory and Liberty Tax but leases have not been signed.  A restaurant is also under consideration.

The owner of the Farm Fresh parcel (including the vacant building), Cedar Realty, has put the property up for sale.

K&K Square is still looking for a restaurant to fill the south end of the shopping center.

Department of Public Works

The City will be paving the intersection of Granby Street and Little Creek Road, including the replacement of the crosswalks.

Community Reports

Walgreens will conduct free HIV testing at the Wards Corner store on June 26 – 28.  Hours will be 3:00 pm – 7:00 pm onJune 26 – 27, and 10:00 am – 2:00 pm on June 28.  Flyers about the event are available at the store.

The Oakdale Farms/Denby Park Civic League had a successful week-long trash/debris removal event with the City of Norfolk Waste Management.  A large amount of trash was collected and removed at the curb throughout the week.

The North Shore Road bridges in Algonquin Park/North Shore Point will be repaired/replaced.  The construction plan no longer includes large sidewalks on the bridges at the request of the civic league since there are no sidewalks adjacent to the bridges.  This will save a significant amount of money.  One lane of each bridge will remain open during construction.

The Unimart at 1033 West Little Creek Road has applied for an on-site ABC license, which has been opposed by the Titustown Civic League.

The public art planned for Wards Corner has been delayed.  After the arts commission met with the artist and reviewed his proposals, they asked him to bring back additional concepts.  The commission felt that his concepts did not reflect a connection to the Wards Corner area.

The Task Force will not meet over the summer.  The next meeting will be September 11, 2014 at 8:30 am at the Norfolk Fitness and Wellness Center.


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!!


Wards Corner Task Force notes from February 13, 2014

February 16, 2014

Many thanks to Karen Mayne for keeping these notes:

The Greater Wards Corner Task Force Meeting

February 13, 2014

City Council Member Andy Protogyrou led the meeting.

Parking on the Grass on West Little Creek Road – Leonard Newcomb, Norfolk Zoning Services Manager, said that the City has sent letters to the houses in the 100 – 600 blocks of West Little Creek Road about parking on the grass.  The City will continue to use enforcement but is also trying to find a way to work with property owners to expand driveways.

Public Works

Medians along Granby Street that were damaged during the recent gas line and road work will be restored – damaged vegetation and sprinkler systems will be replaced.  Anchor poles on the southeast side of Granby at Little Creek will be removed by Virginia Power once the weather improves.  The City is looking at potential changes to turn lanes at the southeast junction of Granby and Little Creek and plans to install a traffic signal on East Little Creek Road at K&K Square.  After the task force’s discussion of traffic congestion, traffic lights, illegal turns, etc. in this area, the City will convene a small working group of task force members to further discuss these issues.

Construction work on the underpass replacement at the East Little Creek Road/Tidewater Drive intersection will start on February 17.  More information on this significant project can be found at:  www.norfolk.gov/index.aspx?NID=282

Department of Development

The new Director of Development, Steven Anderson, was introduced.  The City’s façade improvement program is being revised.

Harris Teeter will open on February 19 and other stores in K&K Square shortly thereafter.

The BP gas station property is under contract and should go to closing soon.  The underground gasoline tanks must be removed.  A one to three bay retail building is being considered; the City has not seen a site plan.  Driveways to this property may be enlarged – City will have to approve the building and its driveways.

Community Reports

Artist Gordon Heuther of Napa, California has been selected to design the public art for Wards Corner; the contract has not been finalized.   He will come to Norfolk to meet with residents before finalizing his design.  His website can be found at: http://www.gordonhuether.com/

Talbot Hall Update – The Talbot Hall property, owned by the Episcopal Diocese of Southern Virginia, is under contract with a group of local residents.  The new owners propose to build 14 private homes on the 6+ acre property, while maintaining the manor house on ½ acre and setting up a foundation to restore and open it to the public.  The Talbot Park Civic League has invited the new owners to speak to the civic league about their plans.

 

Meadowbrook School – The City issued requests for proposals for the redevelopment of several unused school properties around the city, which have been unveiled and a public comment period is underway.  A public meeting will be held on February 19 at 7:00 pm at the Church of the Good Shepherd to discuss the potential redevelopment of the former Meadowbrook Elementary property.  The Meadowbrook Civic League is opposed to development of apartments or condos on this site.

Next Meeting – There were requests to discuss the crime statistics for the area, the proposed school redistricting plans and how that will affect the Wards Corner area, and the public art project.


Wards Corner Task Force meeting Thursday @ 8:30am

February 9, 2014

Reminder and invitation for everyone to attend:

The Greater Wards Corner Task Force Meeting
8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. Thursday, February 13, 2013
Norfolk Fitness and Wellness Center
7300 Newport Avenue, Norfolk, Virginia

Agenda

1. Police Reports

2. Parking on the grass – Leonard Newcomb, Zoning Services Manager

3. Traffic Patterns – John Keifer, Director, Public Works

4. Medians – John Keifer, Director, Public Works

5. BP Gas Station/Development Updates – Michael Cutter, Business Development Manager

6. Reports
– Public Art
– Community
– Schools

7. New Business

The next task force meeting is scheduled for Thursday, April 10, 2014,
at 8:30 a.m. at the Norfolk Fitness and Wellness Center


Taskforce meeting minutes from December 12, 2013

December 15, 2013

Thanks to Karen Mayne for keeping these minutes.

Greater Wards Corner Task Force Meeting – December 12, 2013

 The meeting was led by Council member Terry Whibley.  Council members Andy Protogyrou,   Barclay Winn, and Mayor Paul Fraim were also present.

Naval Station Norfolk/Light Rail Extension Study Update — Hampton Roads Transit provided information on the study of extension of the light rail to the Norfolk Naval Base.  Based on a series of public meetings, HRT is conducting further analysis of two potential corridors.  One corridor would go between the western end of the current Tide, from the area of the Mid-Town Tunnel north to the base along the general area of Hampton Boulevard.  The second potential corridor would go from the Newtown Road end of the Tide through the Janaf, airport, and Wards Corner areas to the base.  HRT will continue with civic meetings and will brief senior City of Norfolk staff in January.

West Little Creek Road/Parking on the Grass — Leonard Newcomb, Zoning Director for the City, reported that he and Police Officer Odell Davis recently walked the six block area to observe the parking situation.  He said this has been a long term problem resulting from too many cars on the small properties.  The City will continue to use enforcement as one approach, but will also look at working with property owners to determine if there are options for larger driveways.

Department of Development Updates

K&K Square – Anna Bowerman, the new manager of the Towne Bank branch, gave a presentation about their bank, which should open in May/June 2014.  It will have a drive through and an ATM machine.  Harris Teeter is scheduled to open in February.  Space for a restaurant is still vacant.  A traffic light at the intersection of Louisiana and Granby Street will be in place by the time Harris Teeter is opened.  Another light on Little Creek is still under study as the City has a right-of-way issue.  It was asked whether the light would include an audio-visual crosswalk signal as was previously in place.

BP Gas Station Update – Nothing new to report.  The property is currently under contract and the developer is seeking an end user (not a gas station or 7-11 store) for a 4000 square foot retail center.

Midtown Shopping Center – Firehouse Subs has signed a lease.  Other eateries have expressed an interest in this area.  A suggestion was made about the possibility of a food truck rodeo in the parking lot as a way of attracting attention, since the other food truck rodeos around the City have been so successful.  Mike Cutter said he would present this suggestion to Mrs. Dalis.

Denby Park Demolition — Demolition of 308, 317, 319, 321 and 325 East Little Creek Road; and 328, 334 and 338 Fort Worth is underway.

Public Art Update – Three artists have been selected as finalists, out of 75 who submitted proposals.  The selection committee will conduct interviews via Skype with the three finalists and make a selection.  The location for the art installation has not been finalized but will likely be either in the median along Granby Street or possibly a small City-owned area at K&K Square.

Schools

Tabernacle Church is continuing its support of Suburban Park Elementary School.  The church is conducting a winter coat drive in December.  They are also planning a teacher appreciation banquet.  A mentorship initiative is underway to help children with math, science and reading skills, which the church would like to see everyone in the neighborhood support.  The Suburban Acres Civic League and Coastal Convenience Stores (Tinee Giant) donated $635 in cash and canned goods to Suburban Park Elementary in November in support of the school’s Thanksgiving baskets for needy families.

Other

The issue of replacing the hanging traffic lights at East Little Creek Road in front of the Taco Bell with mast arm poles was again discussed.  The City reported a new mast arm pole would cost between $250,000 and $300,000.  It was agreed that the issue of traffic congestion and traffic control in the Wards Corner area of Little Creek would be discussed at the February 2014 task force meeting.

Another concern is the utility poles that have been on the ground in the area of Tucker House at Armfield and W. Little Creek.  The contractor who was undertaking that project went bankrupt and the City is working on getting the poles removed.

 


Taskforce moving to bimonthly meetings per City Council

October 10, 2013

City Council has decided that Task Force meetings across the city will move to either quarterly or a every-other-month schedule.  The Wards Corner Task Force will move to every-other-month with the next meeting to be held on December 12, 2013.  Other notes from today’s Task Force meeting are below.  Thanks as always to Karen Mayne for providing the notes. 

 

Greater Wards Corner Task Force Meeting – October 10, 2013

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

 Talbot Hall Update

 The non-profit Talbot Hall Foundation conducted a survey and determined that it is unlikely the Foundation can raise $4.25 million dollars to purchase the Talbot Hall property from the Episcopal Diocese of Southern Virginia.  The Foundation is working with the Diocese and Harvey Lindsay Commercial Real Estate to achieve residential development on part of the property while still preserving the historical and environmental values of the manor house and property.

 Police Report

 The Police Department has given out tickets for parking on the grass along the 100 to 600 blocks of West Little Creek Road.  The police have also asked the City’s codes compliance office to look into whether property owners have permits for the driveways.

 Department of Development Updates

 BP Gas Station Update – Nothing new to report.  The property is currently under contract and the developer is seeking an end user (not a gas station) for a 4000 square foot retail center.

 Wards Corner Shopping Center – The parking lot lights are manually turned off around 9 p.m.  Dollar Tree remains open until 10 p.m.  The lack of lighting is creating a safety concern for customers and employees.  Property owners will place the lights at the Wards Corner Shopping Center on an automatic timer.  Canopy lights were replaced.

 It was requested that the City prune the crepe myrtle trees along the section of Virginian Avenue between Louisiana and Little Creek.  Now that the new sidewalks in this area are complete, limbing up the overgrown trees will allow safe passage of pedestrians and the disabled.

 Denby Park Demolition

 The City acquired 308, 317, 319, 321 and 325 East Little Creek Road; 328, 334 and 338 Fort Worth in support of the Greater Wards Corner Comprehensive Plan.  Demolition is scheduled to begin on October 21st with a timeline of 30-60 days.

 Public Art Update – The Request for Proposals for the $150,000 public art for Wards Corner is out.  Proposals are due byOctober 31.

 Schools

 Norfolk Christian – City Council has approved the closure of the portion of Seekel Street surrounded by Norfolk Christian Upper School.

 Norfolk Collegiate – The issue of parking on both sides of Suburban Parkway in the vicinity of the school was discussed.  Officer Odell Davis said he is recommending the removal of about five parking spaces at the western end of Suburban Parkway on both sides of the street in order to improve turn radiuses for buses and improve safety of pedestrians and vehicles.

 Other

 The issue of replacing the hanging traffic lights at East Little Creek Road in front of the Taco Bell with mast arm poles was discussed.  There are only two hanging traffic lights along Little Creek Road between Hampton Boulevard and Shore Drive, this light being one of them.  The Task Force has discussed this for at least six years as part of the beautification of the Wards Corner area.  A request was made that this be considered for future capital improvement funds.  No resolution on the matter since funding would be expensive and take away from the funds being used to acquire the blighted properties in Denby Park.  It was pointed out that a mast arm was not installed at this light due to long-term plans for redevelopment of the surrounding area.

 Another concern is the utility poles that have been on the ground in the area of Tucker House at Armfield and W. Little Creek. 

 New Business

 City Council has decided that the various community task force meetings around the City should happen either bi-monthly or quarterly in order to alleviate workload on City staff.  Interim communications between the face to face meetings would continue among the representatives on these task forces via e-mail.  The representatives of the Greater Wards Corner Task Force indicated they would like to meet bi-monthly.  The next meeting will be December 12, 2013.

 


Attend the W. C. Taskforce meeting on 10/10/2013

October 9, 2013

A few of the agenda items that we expect to discuss at the Taskforce meeting on October 10, 2013 are below.  The public, as always, is welcome to the meeting held at the Fitness and Wellness Center on Newport Ave at 8:30am.

The BP Gas Station at the corner of Granby and Little Creek:   The property is currently under contract and the developer is seeking an end user (not a gas station).

Parking lot lights at  the Wards Corner Shopping Center:  The owners were contacted about the lights being manually turned off around 9 p.m. Dollar Tree remains open until 10 p.m. The lack of lighting has been creating a safety concern for customers and employees.  The property owners have agreed to place the lights at the Wards Corner Shopping Center on an automatic timer.  Canopy lights were replaced.

City purchased properties in Denby Park:  The City acquired 308, 317, 319, 321 and 325 East Little Creek Road; 328, 334 and 338 Fort Worth in support of the Greater Wards Corner Comprehensive Plan.  Demolition is scheduled to begin on October 21st with a timeline of 30-60 days.


Taskforce Meeting minutes from September 12, 2013

September 18, 2013

Thanks again to Karen Mayne for the following minutes:

 

The Greater Wards Corner Task Force Meeting

September 12, 2013

Council Members Barclay Winn and Terry Whibley were present.

Police Reports

Police reports for Wards Corner precincts will be given to the task force in written format rather than announced by a police officer.  This will allow the Community Resource Officers to focus their time on attending civic league meetings for more in-depth discussions of issues of concern to the neighborhoods.

Department of Development

Suburban Park Shopping Center Update – The shopping center will have a new name:  K and K Square at Wards Corner.  This name will honor Kenneth and Katherine Perry, who founded the original shopping center.  Harris Teeter is ahead of schedule on construction, with a possible opening date of February 2014.  All spaces in the shopping center are leased except one at the southern end.  It is hoped a local eatery will lease the space.

The BP gas station on the northeast corner is under contract by a developer, who is looking for an end user (not another gas station) with a potential building space of about 4000 square feet, plus on-site parking.  One potential lessor is 7-11.  The civic league representatives agreed that they are not interested in having a 7-11 at this location.  The asking price for the property is $750,000.  The group discussed the possibility of the City purchasing the property for a small open space for the public art that is planned for Wards Corner.

Update on Budget Priorities

The City has allocated $1 million for the current fiscal year for Wards Corner redevelopment efforts.  For the past three years, the priority has been to use the annual allocations for acquisition of blighted properties in the Denby Park.  The task force confirmed that acquisition of properties in that area remains the priority.  It will take about $4.5 – $5 million to finish acquisition of blighted properties.  Demolition should begin soon on the properties the City acquired last year – all required demolition permits have been received.

Update on Norfolk Southern Railroad

It was clarified that Norfolk Southern does not have plans to expand a storage yard adjacent to Terminal Boulevard.  There are, however, additional container trains coming to the port, which sometimes back up in that area for loading and unloading at Norfolk International Terminal.

Community Reports

The Public Art Committee for Wards Corner has a Request for Proposals out for artists to submit ideas for a public art concept for Wards Corner.  Proposals are due to the committee in October.

The Suburban Acres Civic League submitted requests to the City’s traffic division regarding through trucks on Virginian Drive, and parking on both sides of the 100 block of Suburban Parkway in the vicinity of Norfolk Collegiate.  The civic league would like the “no through trucks” signs restored on Virginian, and a return to single-sided parking on Suburban Parkway.  The civic league is also concerned about an exterior light that has been out on Suburban Park Elementary since spring.  No action has been taken despite a Norfolk Cares request.

Suburban Park Elementary needs a new American flag – the old one was removed last year and not replaced.

Parking on the grass at residences along West Little Creek Road is of ongoing concern.  Police will look into this enforcement issue.

The lighting situation in the Wards Corner Shopping Center is a safety concern to the public and police.  Most of the parking lot lighting is turned off at about 9:00 pm, even though Dollar Tree is open until 10:00 pm.  The Department of Development will talk to the owners of the shopping center and Rite Aid about leaving the lights on until all stores are closed.

The City will host a Front Porch Summit for civic leagues on October 19th at the Southside Aquatics Center.


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.


Wards Corner Task Force meeting minutes – June 13, 2013

June 17, 2013

Thanks to Karen Mayne for the following minutes:

The Greater Wards Corner Task Force Meeting

June 13, 2013

Council Members Barclay Winn, Andy Protogyrou, and Terry Whibley, and Mayor Paul Fraim were present.  Mr. Wynter Benda was introduced as the new Assistant City Manager who has been assigned to the Wards Corner area.  Mr. Benda can be reached at 757-664-4263.

Talbot Hall Update – Jay Taylor

Talbot Hall is up for sale by the Episcopal Diocese of Southern Virginia for $4.25 million.  Harvey Lindsay is the listing agent.  The private non-profit organization, Talbot Hall Foundation, is working with the Diocese and Harvey Lindsay to raise funds to purchase the property for permanent protection.  The Foundation hopes to raise funds through a public/private partnership using grants and donations.  It also envisions establishing an endowment to maintain the property using historic and environmental easements that would be sold for tax credits.  The Foundation hopes the City will contribute towards the preservation of these 8 acres of waterfront property on the Lafayette River and plans to make a presentation to City Council regarding its proposal.  Task Force members agreed to discuss at the next meeting (September) as to whether the City should dedicate any of the Wards Corner funding towards the acquisition and protection of Talbot Hall.

Department of Public Works

Tidewater Drive Infrastructure Improvement Projects are getting underway along the section between East Little Creek Road and Roland Park.  A handout was provided with the various types of improvements and timelines, which are scheduled to continue through the winter of 2015.  For more detailed information, go to www.norfolk.gov and type in the keyword:  Tidewater Projects.

Virginia Natural Gas continues to replace sections of its underground lines in the City as part of its statewide program to ensure the reliability and safety of its pipelines.  VNG works closely with the Department of Utilities on these projects.  The Granby Street Project is nearing completion.  Three upcoming pipeline replacement projects in the vicinity include the East Little Creek I Project, the West Little Creek II Street Project, and the Louisiana Drive Project.  The City provided a handout that explains the VNG program and local projects.  This information can be found at the City’s website at www.norfolk.gov using the keyword:  VNG.

Utilities – Sewer line replacement projects continue in the area and are close to being finished.  Utilities will soon be starting on the replacement of a 20” water main along the Norfolk Southern railroad tracks adjacent to I-564.  Norfolk Southern has constructed a new siding along the area.  City Council representatives requested more information about this rail siding at the September meeting.  Concern was expressed about impacts to the neighborhood to the south of the railroad siding.

Department of Development

Suburban Park Shopping Center Update – The City will be starting on the road changes at Granby Street and Louisiana Drive, which will include a traffic signal and turn lanes.  The HRT bus stop will be removed.   The road construction, along with gas line replacement work by Virginia Natural Gas, and undergrounding of the power lines by Virginia Power, will be timed to be completed for the opening of the shopping center in 2014.  Construction has started on the Harris Teeter portion and will soon start on the rest of the buildings.  The issue of the sidewalk right-of-way along Little Creek Road was discussed again.  Suburban Asset Management has agreed to talk with the City about moving the sidewalk away from the road for pedestrian safety.  SAM’s landscaping plan is currently under review by the City.  A question was raised as to whether the former audio-visual crosswalk system between the north and south side of Little Creek road will be replaced.  The City said there is not currently funding in the Utilities program for its replacement, but that residents can request it for possible future funding.

Dollar Tree has leased and started renovations on the site of the former China Buffet.  Since Wards Corner was the site of Dollar Tree’s first store, the company plans to make this new store their flagship.

The City is still talking with the owners of the Farm Fresh property about the demolition and redevelopment of the old building beside the store.  The property is up for sale but is not being marketed.  The City hopes that a small shopping strip or restaurant could go in this site, which fronts on Admiral Taussig Boulevard.  It was mentioned that lighting of the Farm Fresh parking lot needs to be improved since some people are hesitant to shop there at night.  The parking lot also floods in some areas and needs repaving.

Sentara has lease the former ATC Fitness site on the southeast corner of Wards Corner and plans to develop an urgent care facility.

Community Reports

The Denby Park/Cottage Row/Oakdale Farms community will be the site of the August 6, 2013 Night Out event in Norfolk.  The theme will be “Growing a Better Community.” The civic league is looking for volunteers and sponsors. Those interested in helping should contact LaCrystal Locks at 757-348-6739 or RJ Luce at 757-404-8072.

 


May Wards Corner Task Force meeting notes

May 12, 2013

Thanks as always to Karen Mayne for taking notes:

The Greater Wards Corner Task Force Meeting

May 9, 2013

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

 Second Patrol Crime Statistics – A total of 13 crimes were reported in Wards Corner (Planning District 25).  An arrest was made in conjunction with a crime reported in March.  All 13 crimes reported were larcenies.

Utilities – Ken Turner

 Major Projects

Three of the four major projects in Wards Corner are near completion.  The Titustown Pump Station and the Wards Corner Sanitary Sewer Replacement are scheduled to be completed in spring 2013.  The Wards Corner Wastewater Pump Station estimated time of completion is summer 2013.  The I-564 Water Main replacement will begin construction spring 2013 with an estimated completion date of spring 2014.   

 Department of Development – Mike Cutter and Chuck Rigney

 Suburban Park Shopping Center — Site prep is underway. The issue of setback of the sidewalk along the Little Creek Road section of the project was discussed.  The City will be talking with Suburban Asset Management about an easement along this area so there will be a wider distance between pedestrians and traffic.

Midtown Shopping Center — $1.2 million dollars in renovations are complete.  Additional parking lot improvements are planned.  Lease negotiations are underway.

Wards Corner Shopping Center — Negotiations are underway regarding the #1 Chinese Buffet.  Dollar Tree is a potential tenant but there are no definitive plans.

Farm Fresh — Over a million dollars in upgrades and renovations, including a drive-thru for the Pharmacy was completed.  City is in discussion with the property owner about demolishing the former cold storage building for redevelopment.

K-Mart – K-Mart will be closing in July.  The City has no word yet on future tenant at this site.

Community Reports

Suburban Acres Civic League will discuss the issue of double-sided parking at the west end of Suburban Parkway in the area of Norfolk Collegiate Upper School and Suburban and Granby Houses at its May 13 meeting.  Traffic congestion in this area makes parking on both sides a safety issue.  The civic league will advise Public Works, Traffic Division of its concerns.

Other Business

The issue of the proposed four cent per hundred increase in the City’s real estate property tax was discussed.  City Council representatives encouraged residents to come to the City’s public meeting on this issue on May 13, at 6:00 pm at Granby High School.  For residents who cannot attend the meeting, the council members invited citizen comments via an e-mail or a telephone call.


City Manager proposes less money for Wards Corner Neighborhood Plan

April 17, 2013

The City of Norfolk has posted its proposed 2014 fiscal year budget to the City of Norfolk website.  Disappointingly the City Manager has only proposed allocating $750,000 to the Wards Corner Neighborhood Plan.   That is the least amount of funding allocated to the Wards Corner Plan since 2007.

Year                   Allocation for Implementation of the W. C. Plan
2014                  750,000 (proposed)
2013                  2,000,000
2012                  1,000,000
2011                  1,767,500
2010                  1,010,000
2009                  2,121,000
2008                  1,010,000
2007                  505,000

Wards Corner Now, the Wards Corner Task Force, and the various civic leagues in the Wards Corner area have been resolute in their request that neighborhood plan funding be used to purchase and demolish the blighted and crime inducing properties in the Texas streets section of Denby Park.  In recent years the City has been successful in purchasing 37 units in 2013 and 68 units in 2011/2012.

Additionally, the proposed 2014 budget includes $500,000 to  provide for the design and construction of improvements to the Granby Street and Louisiana Drive intersection.  This is a part of the intersection improvements required by Harris Teeter for the new shopping center in the business district.


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