Virginian-Pilot’s Michelle Washington gives a good summary of recent developments at Wards Corner

January 5, 2014

The only update to the information in Michelle’s article that I have is that the artist for the public art at Wards Corner has been chosen and it is Gordon Heuther.  The next steps will be bringing Gordon to Norfolk and introducing him to Wards Corner.  There will be public meetings so that Mr. Heuther can meet the residents and receive input for the to-be-designed public art.  You can view Mr. Heuther’s website here.

Informative portions of the VP article include the history of the K&K name:

Wards Corner once again bears the K&K name.

Lots of history inhabits those letters. A red brick Harris Teeter now sits surrounded by fresh landscaping and newly paved streets close to where Kenneth Perry launched a toy empire. He started as a barber in Wards Corner in 1942.

More than a decade later, he bought a nearby variety store and changed its name to K&K 5&10, adding the second K for his wife, Kathryn. The toy section of that store grew until it became its own entity. K&K Toys expanded for decades, growing to 136 stores before Perry sold it to a competitor.

K&K Toys has been gone a long time. But most people in Norfolk and in much of the country recognize the successor to Kenneth Perry’s entrepreneurial spirit: Dollar Tree. It, too, grew its roots in Wards Corner, founded by Perry’s son, J. Douglas Perry, and son-in-law, Macon Brock.

Chris Perry, Kenneth Perry’s grandson, tore down the old shopping center, including a Dollar Tree store, to make way for Harris Teeter. He renamed it K&K Square at Wards Corner.

The property remains hugely important to his family, Perry said. Friends of his grandparents will be reminded of them by the name, and newcomers will have reason to look them up.

“It’s a nice way to remember them,” Perry said. “I think my grandparents would be proud.”

Perry also refurbished and remounted the Wards Corner mermaid, another reminder of his grandfather.

The full article can be read here.


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