Talbot Hall construction begins

June 4, 2015
talbot hall

This is the Talbot Hall development site plan as submitted to the Planning Commission in April of 2014. This site plan does not reflect the 50 foot buffer negotiated as a part of the compromise with the Talbot Hall Foundation in March of 2015.

After reaching a compromise with the Talbot Hall Foundation in March of this year, developers are now moving forward with the Talbot Hall development at the end of Talbot Hall Road in the Talbot Park neighborhood.

Site prep work has begun and the buildings on the site, except for the historic Talbot Hall, are planned to be demolished before the end of June.

Utility work is scheduled to begin this month and, weather permitting, should be completed by October.  Construction of the single family homes should begin towards the end of this year.


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.


 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.


 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.


Talbot Hall has been listed for $4.25 million

May 28, 2013

From the Pilot:

Harvey Lindsay Commercial Real Estate said it has been hired by the Episcopal Diocese of Southern Virginia to represent it in the sale of the diocese’s historic Talbot Hall waterfront estate in Norfolk. The 6.4-acre property, which includes 1,000 feet of Lafayette River frontage, is listed for $4.25 million.

Greater Wards Corner Task Force Meeting – September 13, 2012

September 17, 2012

Meeting highlights:

  • The out-parcel at the new Harris Teeter shopping center will be a TowneBank
  • The lease with Harris Teeter has been signed
  • The above ground utilities on Granby and E. Little Creek abutting the Harris Teeter property will be buried
  • Talbot Hall has been put on the market by the Episcopal Diocese that owns the property

Thanks, as always, to Karen Mayne to keeping notes on the Taskforce meetings.  Below are her notes from September 13, 2012.

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

Department of Development Updates – Charles Rigney

Suburban Park Shopping Center – The lease with Harris Teeter has been signed. Letters of intent are in place for all spaces in the new shopping center except one space at the south end.  The out-parcel building will be filled by Towne Bank. On Granby Street at Louisiana there will be a new left turn lane and stop light heading southbound. On Louisiana there will be two turn lanes. There may be an additional light needed on the east side of Little Creek Road and the City has an agreement with Mrs. Dallis to take a parking space in the Mid-town Shopping Center if needed for this traffic light. The City is paying for these traffic improvements.

Mid-Town Center Shopping Center – Mrs. Dallis did not reach an agreement with Dollar Tree so there will be no store in the renovated shopping center. The owner of the gas station is looking for offers to sell but it is unclear what might go there. Mrs. Dallis is not interested in purchasing the property. The 7-11 company expressed interest in the site, but the City does not think the public would want a 7-11 store in that location.

Other Development News: The 7-11 Corporation is looking to move and upgrade a number of corporate owned stores in the region, including the store on the southwest side of Wards Corner.  The City is trying to help find an appropriate new location for the store. Discussions continue with potential developers of the Work Force Center property. The liquor license application by the Pancake House was approved by City Council on Tuesday. The former physical therapy building is still under consideration for an urgent care facility. The application by the national chain, Cookout Restaurant, to take over the Speedy Gonzales restaurant on Tidewater Drive was withdrawn by the company after two residents in the area expressed opposition. The Denby Park Civic League supports the project and the City indicated the Cookout company will come back in for approval after further discussions with residents. The Guads restaurant should be open in early October. The need for repaving of the parking lot was discussed.

Department of Public Works Updates – John Keifer/Ann Kelly

Utilities Undergrounding at Wards Corner – Three options for placing the utilities underground on the east side at the Suburban Park Shopping Center were presented. Option 1 would put the utilities underground along the southeast side of Granby Street and Little Creek Road for $160,000. Option 2 would also include the entire perimeter of the shopping center (adding in Louisiana and Virginian frontages) for $3,600,000. Option 3 would also include the northeast side of Little Creek (Mid-Town Shopping Center) from Granby to Virginian for $2,900,000. It was pointed out that the cost estimates for Options 2 and 3 appeared to be reversed. Task Force members agreed that putting the utilities underground along Louisiana and Virginian was not a priority, nor was the north side at the present time. Option 1 will be requested as a Capital
Improvement Project in the City’s 2013 budget since the cost is reasonable and it makes sense to do the project while the entire corner is under construction. Public Works was requested to go back and determine the cost of doing the north-east corner along Granby Street and Little Creek

Road for future consideration.

Wards Corner Redevelopment Plan – There is still $2 million budgeted by the City for the redevelopment of the area. The group agreed that the redevelopment of blighted areas of the greater Wards Corner area is a priority over placing the utilities underground.

Police Report

Crime statistics for the greater Wards Corner area remain low. Civic league representatives pointed out that it appears prostitutes may be working the Little Creek corridor from Wards Corner to Galveston. There may also be an issue with the small unpaved section of Galveston at Virginian Drive. The vice squad will be notified. The police are also looking into the issue of students leaving Granby High at lunchtime.

Community Reports

Karen Mayne reported that there is a need for a larger and reconfigured bus port at Suburban Park Elementary since school buses back up on Thole Street, and there is a problem with soil erosion at the front of the school. Council representatives asked the Public Works department to work on an engineering plan for the bus port that could be submitted as a Capital Improvement Project in the next year’s budget.

Jim McDonnell reported that Talbot Hall (owned by the Episcopal Church) has been listed for sale with Harvey Lindsay real estate company. The property is zoned institutional.

Community Services Board president Kenny Bryant reported that the transition of the CSB to City management is going well.

Norfolk Collegiate reported that the construction of its new arts center is on schedule for a March 2013 opening.

The group discussed the need for school crossing flashing lights at the Norfolk Christian Lower School on Granby Street and the Norfolk Collegiate Lower School on Tidewater Drive. This will be discussed further at the next task force meeting.

Talbot Hall Task Force Report Released

April 26, 2011

The following is taken from the Episcopal Diocese of Southern Virginia’s website.

The Talbot Hall Task Force, charged by Bishop Hollerith to receive and recommend proposals regarding the future of Talbot Hall, has completed its work and reported its recommendations to the diocesan Property Committee.

Recognizing that the property is an extraordinary gift from God through the generosity of the Talbot family, the Task Force committed itself to an exhaustive review of any options that would allow the diocese to retain ownership of the property. The Task Force was also sensitive to the fact that the property has historic and environmental value that should remain intact. Of the proposals received, the Task Force recommended that the Property Committee consider two program ideas that were consistent with the diocesan mission and also had the potential to be financially sustainable: (1) Event Rental Facility and (2) Environmental Center/Sailing Center. Either of these proposals could involve the diocese retaining ownership of the property or establishing a charitable foundation to which the property would be transferred. The full report of the Task Force is available HERE. The Task Force did not address and made no recommendations regarding the location of the bishop’s office and diocesan administrative offices which are currently located on the Talbot Hall property.

The report of the Task Force is just the beginning of a process to determine the future of the Talbot Hall property. The next step in this process will be for the diocesan Property Committee to review the report and make a recommendation to the Executive Board of the diocese. “I am deeply thankful for the hard work of the Talbot Hall Task Force, especially their chairman the Rev. Stan Sawyer,” said Bishop Hollerith. “It is clear they worked long and hard to present viable ideas for this unique property.”

Talbot Hall Task Force update

September 28, 2010
Talbot Hall

Talbot Hall

Thank you to Cathy Lewis for alerting us to the following update from the Episcopal Diocese of Southern Virginia regarding the Talbot Hall property.

The Talbot Hall Task Force met organizationally on September 15, 2010.  The Very Rev. Stanley W. Sawyer is the committee chair.

Mr. Sawyer reiterated Bishop Hollerith’s statement:  “If there’s an idea out there that will allow us to carry out our mission in a responsible way while continuing to make the property available to our parishes, the neighborhood and others, we’re committed to finding it.”

The committee has already received a number of thoughtful ideas and invites additional ideas through October 25, 2010.  Proposed concepts for the Talbot Hall property should detailed, measurable and specific and contain a sustaining funding source.  A written proposal of not more than 3 pages is sufficient at this time. Proposals should be sent to the attention of Caroline Black at the diocesan offices at 600 Talbot Hall Road, Norfolk, vA  23505.

The task force also plans to seek input from a variety of external professional resources and will update its progress throughout the process on this site.

The task force will work through the end of 2010 evaluating ideas coming forward from the community.  It will then recommend viable proposals to the Diocesan Property Committee which will make a recommendation to the Executive Board of the diocese.

The task force is chaired by The Rev. Dr. Stanley W. Sawyer, Rector of All Saints’ Episcopal Church.

Members of the task force are:

JOAN ATKINSON, Christ & St. Luke’s, Norfolk

JOANNE BERKLEY, Church of the Good Shepherd, Norfolk

CAROLINE BLACK, Canon for Formation, Episcopal Diocese of Southern Virignia

THE REV. ROBERT DAVENPORT, Rector, Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd, Norfolk

CHIP FILER, St. Andrew’s, Norfolk

BOB HARPER, St. John’s, Hampton

CATHY LEWIS, Christ & St. Luke’s, Norfolk

MARK PERREAULT, Norfolk Preservation Alliance

JAY TAYLOR, Church of the Ascension, Norfolk

Talbot Hall property could be developed

June 21, 2010
Talbot Hall

Talbot Hall

At the end of Talbot Hall Road, along the banks of the Lafayette River, you will find a plantation by the name of Talbot Hall.  Talbot Hall is owned by The Episcopal Diocese of Southern Virginia and it includes four buildings and the plantation.    Residents, mostly from the surrounding Talbot Park neighborhood, are concerned about the future of this property as the Diocese is considering a sale of the Talbot Hall.  The concerned residents have set up a website, a Facebook page, and have a writeup in the newspaper.

The Diocese has scheduled two Town Hall meetings to get public feedback on the Talbot Hall property.  The first meeting is scheduled for June 30, 2010 at 6:30pm at the Church of the Ascension and the second is on July 15 at 6:30pm at the same Church, located at the corner of Talbot Hall Road and Newport Ave.

From the “Save Talbot Hall!” website:

This historic site sits squarely in the Lafayette River watershed, a key tributary of the Elizabeth River, and less than 10 miles from the Chesapeake Bay. Not only does this site provide an ideal contemplative home for the Episcopal Diocese of Southern Virginia, it also serves as a rare urban habitat for countless waterfowl, fish, and other marine flora and fauna. It also provides open recreation space for residents of the local neighborhood. The crown jewel of the property is Talbot Hall, the plantation house after which the local neighborhood take its name, completed in 1803 and still largely intact and unchanged since then.

In conjunction with local civic and environmental organizations, we urge the Diocese and its members to preserve this fragile and essential part of Norfolk’s heritage, and Save Talbot Hall!

The meetings are being held by the Talbot Hall Properties Committee:

The Talbot Hall Properties Committee of the Episcopal Diocese of Southern Virginia is charged with conducting a comprehensive study of the Talbot Hall property. This study includes, but not limited to, usage, location, maintenance needed to improve the property to meet today’s standards and to provide for future strategic goals of the diocese.  Intertwined is the recognition of the long term financial stress of both the diocese and its parishes in having the diocese continue to own and maintain these properties.  The committee’s review includes the original bequeath by the Talbot family, roofing and other major maintenance needs of the Manor House and office buildings, the annual operating costs of owning these properties, neighborhood concerns relating to the property and its use, and the effect on diocesan and parish finances if the property was sold versus continued ownership.
As part of this study, the committee is encouraging interested community and diocesan members to gather at the Church of the Ascension in Norfolk to discuss in an open forum, thoughts and concerns relating to the property in an effort to brainstorm ideas that will meet the needs of the diocese as well as the community of which the diocesan office has been a part.

Wards Corner Now meeting minutes

June 21, 2010

Wards Corner Now – June 19, 2010

Wards Corner Now had a meeting on June 19, 2010, at the Norfolk Fitness and Wellness Center.  As is customary with WCN meetings, the facilitator of the meeting is rotated month-to-month and Louis Eisenberg chaired this meeting.  Topics covered were: the proposed Collins Enterprises revised plans for the site where the Riverside Terrace apartments are located; Talbot Hall, Southeast Virginia Episcopal Diocesan Center; and AJ Gators update.  Forty area residents attended the meeting, including City Council member-elect Andy Protogyrou.  Below is a short summary, nothing is verbatim.

Landmark at Talbot Park and Proposed Construction at Riverside Terrace – Rick Anderson, representing Collins Enterprises, reviewed what has occurred thus far on the property – 1 condo building and the reconstruction of one street.  The proposal involves developing apartment buildings housing 189 units along the front of the property facing Newport Avenue and reserving the rest of the property for condo units.  Rationale for this proposed change – from an all-condo site – is as follows:

  • It took 2 years to sell 9 units in the current building.
  • Riverside Terrace Apartments are 60 years old and require extensive maintenance.
  • Current income is at or below break even.

Mr. Anderson indicated that this is a HUD insured loan and a market rate project.  A one-bedroom apartment will rent for just under $1,000 and the renter would have to make $30,000 in order to qualify.  A three-bedroom apartment would rent for about $1,500 a month and minimum income would be $50,000.  There would be 189 apartments with people making more than double the current tenant income level.  Property amenities would include common area meeting rooms and exercise facilities.  It was suggested that to be Class A, a pool and tennis courts would need to be included also.  Demolition would beginning the 1st quarter of 2011 and the building would be finished the 3rd quarter of 2012.

The four-floor project would be similar in appearance to the one on Bolling Avenue.

Mr. Anderson indicated that Collins representatives had met with members of the Wards Corner Task Force regarding concerns and that the company was willing to implement part of it.

Past City Council member Conoly Phillips, as a resident of another Collins Enterprises apartment, Heritage at Freemason Harbor, spoke in favor of the proposed project.

Numerous concerns, suggestions and questions were raised by meeting attendees, including the following:

  • The proposed plan is a major change from the original plan.
  • The density will negatively impact the surrounding neighborhood.
  • This area is not downtown and projects that work there would not necessarily work in the Wards Corner area.
  • While there may be the best of intentions regarding income qualifications, the possibility of several unrelated folks renting together could bypass the requirement and would exacerbate density problems.  Mr. Anderson indicated that Collins has control over how many people live in apartments and that management and maintenance folks would check.
  • The area is inundated with low rent apartments – 17 within a .5 mile radius – and the neighborhood does not need more.  Instead, we need more established residences.
  • We have a vision for the area – and a comprehensive plan – and this project does not fit that vision.
  • Collins Enterprises needs to slow down and look at best choices for the long term; wait and do it right the first time.
  • One suggestion is to start with the waterfront and build single family homes first.  Then as financing is freed up, build condos along the front.
  • Another suggestion is to look at building luxury housing for seniors.
  • A concern was raised regarding assurances that the plan for the rest of the property would not change.  Mr. Anderson responded that folks could rely upon the word of Collins Enterprises that it would not.
  • Neighbors who own homes which back on to the proposed project have concerns regarding the impact the shift from condos to high density apartments would have on their quality of life.
  • Another factor in the difficulties surrounding the sale of the current condos – and those in building 2 – is their location with regard to the Riverside Terrace Apartments.  In addition, if the new apartments are built, the density would restrict the ability to sell upscale condos behind them on the property.
  • The problem is that Collins Enterprises focus on the bottom line is not balanced with community needs.
  • One member explained that it was not development in general – or Collins Enterprises in particular – that was being opposed but the current project proposal.

The Wards Corner Now attendees then discussed next steps:

  • Changes must go to Planning Commission and City Council for approval.
  • We as a community have to show a groundswell of opposition to support Commission and Council votes against the changes.

For the record a vote was taken.  Unanimously, the 40 meeting attendees were opposed to the new Collins Enterprises proposal and support retaining the original plan or something better – i.e., single family housing.

An additional next step would be to hold a charrette with all interested parties present so that representatives from Collins Enterprises would be fully informed about what the community wants and needs.

Adjacent homeowners need to contact the Planning Commission to ensure that the homeowners are informed when action is being taken to change site plans.

Talbot Hall – Jay Taylor, resident of Talbot Hall neighborhood, discussed concerns related to the possible sale of  Talbot Hall, which belongs to the Episcopal Diocese of Southeast Virginia.  A diocesan Property Committee has been formed to decide what to do with the property.  With the sale and possible development is the threat of loss of the 1803 historically significant house which is on the property as well as 8 acres of land and of the impact on the wetlands.  The Property Committee has stated that they are interested in a solution that is good for both the diocese and the community.

A neighborhood ad hoc committee is taking the opportunity to put together recommendations and needs assistance.  A Facebook page, Save Talbot Hall, gives additional information.

The diocese is holding 2 town hall meetings at 6:30 pm in the Church of the Ascension on Talbot Hall Road:

  • Wednesday, June 30
  • Thursday, July 15

The ad hoc committee is requesting the attendance of  Wards Corner Now members at one or both of the meetings.

AJ Gators – Anticipated opening of the AJ Gators on the southeast corner of Wards Corner is anticipated to be in late July or early August.  The existing AJ Gators will be changed, renamed and will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner.  Look for the grand opening announcement.

Faith-based Partners – The pastor of the TAB Church was in attendance and Louis Eisenberg recognized him and asked him to assist us in eliciting the participation of other faith-based partners.

July Meeting Agenda Items: Talbot Hall, Collins Enterprises and Norfolk Collegiate Updates

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