March 2, 2018
Great news for the Greater Wards Corner Area!! According to the Virginian-Pilot
The city plans to spend up to $8.7 million over five years to help strengthen two neighborhoods.
The Ingleside and the Monticello Village/Oakdale Farms areas will be the target of a pilot program where the city will give them special attention in hopes of improving housing conditions, bringing up property values and increasing homeownership.
The money would go toward programs including down payment assistance, improving rental housing and selling off unused city property to improve the availability of owner-occupied housing.
The funding would impact an estimated 22 houses, mostly through the city’s Renovate Norfolk program, which gives grants to homeowners for improvements such as facade work and structural repairs.
The program would focus first on bolstering blocks where property values are already strong and expand from there.
March 7, 2017
McDonald Garden Center is opening a “McDonald Garden Market” at Wards Corner. These Garden Markets provide quality plants and garden accessories from mid-March through July.
McDonald Garden Center has signed a seasonal lease to open the temporary garden center in the parking lot of the Midtown Shopping Center at the Northeast Corner of Wards Corner.
The Center will begin to mobilize within the next week and will remain until July.
The Midtown Shopping Center is located at the northeast corner of Wards Corner and the Market will be located in the front parking lot.
October 27, 2016
Have you picked up The Downtowner this week? An article on Martin Thomas Jr. is featured prominently on the cover! Councilman Thomas has been one of Wards Corners most effective advocates. Here are some highlights:
“With an educational foundation in urban planning, strong family ties to the Hampton Roads area, years of experience as an attorney, and a civic-minded background, Martin A. Thomas Jr. has the perfect credentials for city council. Jim English, longtime president of the Wards Corner Civic League, told The Virginian Pilot during Thomas’ campaign “Thomas knows how to negotiate, how the city works and how to get things done.” Don Musacchio, president of the Willoughby Civic League, told The Virginian Pilot that Thomas “has a knack for gathering the facts, asking questions and then convincing people of the right path forward.”
“Utilizing his educational and professional experience in public and urban planning, Thomas hopes to secure funding and execute the comprehensive plan in the best way possible. According to Thomas, work is “about halfway done at the moment.” He believes the plan is essential to the growth of Ward 1 and “we must continue to work this plan, period.”
Thomas aims to make Wards Corner an economically vibrant and family oriented destination. This will be accomplished with restaurants, small businesses, and neighborhood shopping centers. “A small business growing into a large business is the best thing that can happen for any local economy.”
January 11, 2015
Proposed Site Plan including apartments to the bottom right and townhouses to the left
Collins Enterprises will present their final version of their apartment / townhouse / condo plan to be constructed on Newport Ave just north of Granby Elementary.
The meeting will be on January 20, 2015 at 6:30pm at the Fitness and Wellness Center. The meeting is a joint meeting of the Wards Corner Civic League and Talbot Hall Civic League. The public is invited to attend.
The meeting starts at 6:30pm and each civic league will take a vote during the meeting to advise the planning commission and city council on their support and concerns about the project.
Updated designs will be posted to Wards Corner Now prior to the meeting. Please attend and let your concerns be known.
October 30, 2014
Images and text courtesy of the Virginian-Pilot:
67 years ago (October 29, 1947) 10,000 people crowded into the site labeled as the Midtown Shopping Center. Today, generally, we call the area Wards Corner – as many called it before the Midtown Shopping Center was constructed – and continued to call it after. Those on hand that evening witnessed the formal opening of the Shopping Center which was arranged by the developers, owners and operators of the 20-odd retail outlets there. The Principal speakers for the opening were Lt. Gov. L. Preston Collins, and the Norfolk City Manager C.A. Harrell. A second night of celebrations was scheduled for the 30th with an even larger crowd expected. Photos by Virginian-Pilot photographer Charles Borjes c/o The Sargeant Memorial Collection.
February 6, 2014
The following is taken from the Virginian-Pilot Archives Facebook page:
It was 62 years ago [2/6/1952] tomorrow that the beloved Hofheimer’s and Rice’s opened at Norfolk’s Wards Corner.
It took over a year to construct the $350,000 building. Norfolk’s mayor Duckworth made an appearance at the opening ceremony where shoppers received balloons, lamb’s wool shoe buffers, key cases and Hawaiian orchids.
The Hofheimer’s store was the fourth in the shoe chain to be located in Norfolk proper. Some features that allowed customers to enjoy their shopping experience:
The store has its own 50 car parking lot. Comfort was assured while shopping as the entire store was cooled by air conditioning. The lighting was florescent and incandescent throughout. Flagstone floors and carpeting were found throughout both stores. Elevator service was provided to the second floor. On the second floor, children were delighted to find a supervised “Circus Playground” complete with a merry-go-round, slide, see-saw and hobby horse.
The most popular feature of the store and the one that seems to bring back the most memories of the establishment is the glass enclosed cage where two South American woolly monkeys were housed (On the Sewells Pt. Rd. side – now Little Creek). The cage was air conditioned at a constant 70-ish degree temperature for the comfort of the animals.
It seems that most locals remember one monkey – Lulu… and we scoured our photo collection for a picture of Lulu but came up short.
The building was demolished in 2000 and a Walgreens now stands at this location.
A large advertisement that ran in The Virginian-Pilot the day of the opening.
A rare shot of the location where the building would be constructed – photo taken in 1950. VP file photo.
A shot of the store just days before the Grand Opening. Virginian-Pilot photographer Charles Borjes snapped this photo on Feb. 5, 1952 as workers put the final touches on the store. Photo c/o The Sargent Memorial Collection.
Here is the building fully opened some time later. VP file photo.