35th Street Better Block project reports why area isn’t thriving

Posted at 10:58 PM, Nov 25, 2015

Norfolk, Va - For years, 35th Street in Norfolk has been riddled with crime, vandalism and failing businesses, but a change could soon be on the horizon.

"No doubt in my mind that in five years 35th Street is going to be a different business corridor than it is today. There is no doubt in my mind," explained Vernon Fareed, President of the Park Place Business Association.

Two years ago, the City of Norfolk began taking action to revitalize the area. They were given a $200,000 budget from the Neighborhood and Commercial District Capital program to help fix up 35th Street. Before any changes could be made though, the Better Block Project had to determine what is working in the area and what needs to be fixed.

"There is a lot of potential," said Fareed. "I have had conversations with people from other areas that have expressed an interest in expanding here."

The 35th Street Better Block Project presented their findings to the City Council last week. The report outlines what strengths the area has, like its location and walk-ability. It also mentioned its weaknesses, like vacant buildings, vandalism and graffiti.

Despite the problems, people who live and work on 35th street believe the area can be turned into a more desirable place if businesses work together.

"All of this together, the clothing stores the restaurants and the other businesses collectively will give us what we are looking for," said Fareed.

An exact date on when updates will come to 35th Street has not yet been made by the city, but now that City Planners have the report, they can begin to take action and turn 35th Street into a business and entertainment destination.