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Elizabeth River with a Tugboat, Sailboat and the USS Wisconsin

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Norfolk Resilient City

Our collective goal is not only to reduce risks, but also to innovate and transform our city in a systemic and holistic way, embracing new ways of thinking and managing and thriving amid conditions that require continuous innovation.

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May 24

City Presents Norfolk Thrive Project

Posted on May 24, 2019 at 8:38 AM by Ben Streetman

The city of Norfolk, buoyed by $1 million in grant funding, is working towards aiding the redevelopment of several “brownfields” within its limits.  Brownfields are generally areas which may not be sought out for development because of previous industrial use and because extensive testing is required to render them safe for redevelopment. 

Harbor Park, an underutilized brownfield area virtually cut off from the rest of the city has historically been a center of such industrial activity.  The Area-Wide (AWP) Planning Grant awarded to Norfolk by the EPA will allow for site testing and analysis integral to redevelopment.  This site has not experienced any significant land development since the ballpark was erected in 1993 and experiences a low level of activity outside of the regular baseball season.  Increasing connectivity to surrounding areas of the city is a chief aim of the project and is a vital component in attracting investment in the area.   
Harbor Park Study Boundary

Brownfields Public EngagementAn “Open House” was held in the lobby of City Hall on May 15th with the purpose of soliciting input and feedback from the public centered on this effort.  All told, around 70
residents attended along with many interested city personnel. The presentation highlighted the overarching redevelopment strategy, the development framework, and the progression of implementation steps.  City personnel and developers intimately familiar with the project were on-hand ready to engage with attendees. Design boards were strategically positioned to give Norfolk citizens an idea of the general chronology of the project – both in the long and short term.  

Brownfields Public Engagement

The current plan includes residential and commercial development, Elizabeth River Trail extension, living shorelines, open park space, and a variety of additional amenities.  Residents were encouraged to write their suggestions, concerns, and general thoughts on “sticky-notes” and to affix them directly to the boards so that their feedback could be incorporated into the redevelopment project.

Brownfields Public Engagement

The redevelopment strategy for the Harbor Park area is closely-linked with the City’s revitalization efforts for the St. Paul’s neighborhood already underway and includes plans to increase connectivity between Harbor Park, downtown, the St. Paul’s area and Norfolk State University.