Denby Park blight – photo series by Tricia Duncan

May 14, 2013

See Tricia’s full article, with photos, on her website, A little Sugar a little Spice.

Where do you want your children to grow up? Somewhere safe? Somewhere that they can ride their bikes to their friends house? Somewhere you can send them out to play and come home when the street lights come on? Where you don’t have to worry about your general safety 24/7?
Not here…. Maybe you haven’t heard of Denby Park or Wards Corner. This is our neighborhood. Where we live, work and play. In fear. The city for the last few years has promised to remove the run down section 8 apartments that even the cops hate going into. Vast mazes of blight and trash create a hiding place for crime.
They tore down 7. They are tearing down 7 more. However due to budget cut’s we are loosing the war on crime in our wonderful little spot in Norfolk. Or what was once wonderful and could be again.
When I took these photos I did not venture far in. It was EARLY in the morning and I was armed with a tazer. You heard right. You don’t go wandering around this area. It was a risk I took with my camera equipment because it  needs to be seen. People need to see what the confines of this area are like. I plan to do more as I go. I plan to take shots of the beauty in our little neighborhood also.
This photo series will be special too me. I hope it shows that even in the less then wanted areas of the city, beauty can reside. I also wish to show WHY the city should finish their promise to the residents of Ward’s Corner and the surrounding neighborhoods.
Read the rest of Tricia’s article, with photos, on her website, A little Sugar a little Spice.

Credit Union at Wards Corner robbed

August 20, 2010

The Virginian-Pilot is reporting that the Langley Federal Credit Union at 7420 Granby Street was robbed Friday, August 20, 2010 shortly after noon.

The man received an unknown amount of money and fled, Amos said. Shortly afterward, a dye pack with the money exploded.

The description of the man was vague. Police were looking at surveillance camera images to get a description of the man.

Anyone with information can call Crime Line at 1-888-LOCK-U-UP (562-5887).

Nutty Buddy’s is closed

August 10, 2010
Nutty Buddy's is closed

The above sign is taped on the door of Nutty Buddy's

The problematic gay bar, Nutty Buddy’s, at Wards Corner has closed.

Nutty Buddy’s was detailed in an article, excerpts below:

The Nutty Buddy [sic] in Norfolk’s Ward’s Corner neighborhood has become a nightly source of criminal activity, which often spills-over into the streets of the working-class neighborhood.

The club is now a gathering spot for the area’s black transvestite community. Drag queen shows or ‘pageants’ are regularly held at the Nutty Buddy, drawing hundreds of drunken celebrants. Excessive noise, public urination, and fighting are commonplace when the club is open.

During 2008 alone, Norfolk Police records report no less than 50 assaults occurring within a one block radius of the club.

In addition to the usual rowdy behavior seen outside many bars, prostitution has become a major problem for the neighborhood. On any night, scantily-clad transvestite prostitutes can be seen waiting for their next date in front of the closed sub shop next door to the club. Often, they ply their trade in parked cars in the parking lot, and throughout the surrounding neighborhood.

Robbery suspect who shot at police in Monticello Village sentenced to 49 years

July 31, 2010
Jervod Simmons

Jervod Simmons

According to the Virginian-Pilot, Jervod Contae Simmons plead guilty to attempted capital murder in February and was sentenced on Friday to 49 years in prison for shooting at a police officer in Monticello Village.

[The police officer] spotted Simmons in the parking lot of an apartment building in the 500 block of Ashlawn Drive. Simmons ignored several orders to stop and get on the ground, according to the court record.

Simmons ran around a corner, stopped, and turned his weapon on [the police officer].

Simmons was captured that night in an apartment in the 500 block of East Little Creek Road.

See also:
Robbery suspect shoots at police in Monticello Village (September 28, 2009)
Jervod Contae Simmons charged with attempted murder (October 1, 2009)

Raze the Apartments

October 5, 2009

Revonna Bieber of Monticello Village writes in with the following:

According to the NRHA Fall 2009 issue of “Neighborhood Patterns [PDF]” On Wednesday morning, April 15, a blighted 16-unit apartment building at 9430 First View Street was razed.   In its place, three single family homes will be built, bringing about a much needed change according to local residents and West Ocean View Civic League members.  NRHA purchased the property in July 2008 when 13 of the 16 units were occupied.

The property will be divided into three lots for homes ranging from 1,600 to 1,800 square feet with projected  price ranges of $175,000 to $250,000.   Construction is expected to be complete for all three units by spring 2010.

So why aren’t these improvements being made in our neighborhoods?  Blight is quite apparent, especially in the apartment complexes, in the areas of Denby Park, Monticello Village, and Oakdale Farms.  Why can the city buy and raize apartment buildings in Ocean View, Lamberts Point,on Hampton Boulevard, and Broad Creek but not in Wards Corner?

Norfolk asks State for tools to limit vacant houses

November 28, 2007

The Virginian-Pilot reports that Portsmouth is joining Norfolk in Norfolk’s efforts to lobby the General Assembly to give Virginia’s cities more tools to limit vacant houses. Currently Norfolk is limited to a $25/year fee for houses to be placed on a vacant housing registry. Commonsense tells you that a $25 fee will not even cover the cost of running the registry, much less deter home owners from leaving empty, blighted, and vacant houses in our neighborhoods. The article reports that:

Boarded-up and vacant houses have been found to decrease the value of neighboring homes by as much as $7,500.

Under Norfolk’s proposal, owners of boarded-up houses would be charged $2,500 annually.

They would be required to submit rehabilitation plans quickly. Owners who fail to do so or finish renovations would face additional fines of $250 each quarter.

The Portsmouth Neighborhood Quality Taskforce, which has been studying this issue of vacant houses in Portsmouth, also recommended that Portsmouth adopt “one system [that] could track tax delinquencies, police and fire calls, and other indications that a property has become troubled”. The Wards Corner Partnership has been advocating such a system in Norfolk for years.

Read the Virginian-Pilot article: Portsmouth joins Norfolk in efforts to eliminate blighted lots

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