Clothing retailer Urban Outfitters is set to open on Granby Street in Downtown Norfolk on Thursday.
Downtown Norfolk Council President and CEO Cathy Coleman says that the opening has been a long time coming and is a boon to the downtown area.
"Urban Outfitters clearly is one of the most sought after of all retailers across the country for a downtown location," Coleman explained.
Daniel Sawyer, District Manager for Urban Outfitters, says "Why Downtown Norfolk? Urban has been looking at places in Downtown Norfolk for 5 plus years."
Coleman calls Urban Outfitters "a game changer" for downtown and thinks it could spark revitalization.
"It will not only attract other retailers, but it’s a great opportunity to attract the creative class, the tech business, that type of thing, that we are very anxious to have in our downtown," Coleman commented.
That could fill some of the numerous vacant storefronts along Granby Street.
"That’s definitely the goal and the hope. We would love to have more neighbors so bring them on," Sawyer explained.
In December 2011, the Norfolk City Council approved an incentive to help attract Urban Outfitters through an $880,000 performance grant.
Coleman defends that money saying Urban Outfitters has a track record of bringing more businesses to places that open stores.
"It really is the fact that this retailer does have the ability to attract others," Coleman said. "The city is in the business of making investments that will leverage other investments."
Urban Outfitters will officially open to the public with a chain-cutting at 9:30 a.m. Thursday morning.