NORFOLK, Va. – Plans are officially underway for a brand new Waterside District.
City leaders broke ground on the project Wednesday morning with Cordish Companies developers and outlined some of the main plans.
“When you have a watch party because it’s the women playing in the finals in the women’s championship in soccer, everybody wants a place to go see it,” says David Cordish, chairman of Cordish Companies. “They’ll congregate here and it becomes a living room.”
Cordish said they will keep some of what is already at the waterfront, including a historic building, public access, and a family-friendly atmosphere. However, they plan to enhance that with a more than 30,000 foot marketplace, craft brewery, rooftop deck, and LED screen to broadcast big events.
“These will be places that you can go to dine and sit down, or to take things home,” says Cordish. “It’s a place to be entertained.”
Cordish Companies says they are covering the cost of the project. The city will have to pay off a sum of the taxes but it will be over many years, in increments.
Mayor Paul Fraim says he expects the Waterside District, coupled with a new conference center and hotel downtown, will bring over 800 permanent jobs and millions in new tax revenue when they are finished in 2017.
“It will set a stage for a bigger, better, and brighter future for our community.”