New businesses coming to Newport News

Posted at 10:14 AM, Mar 23, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-23 19:43:15-04

Newport News, Va. - The city of Newport News is seeing economic growth with new businesses springing up along Jefferson Avenue.

Oyster Point in Newport News has seen a lot of changes in the past decade.

"As a child we would always be bored," Chanell Benjamin, who was out shopping, said. "We had to run around the neighborhoods because it was nowhere for a family to go. I just feel at peace out here."

But for some people that peace has become stagnant.

"There’s not much for women’s clothing," store owner Chip Tiffany explained. "Our men’s clothing just pulled out."

"It seems like the city has abandoned certain areas and concentrated on certain area," customer Jennifer Klages said. "City center when I first moved here was a new development and you can still see there are empty places within city center."

The city is in talks to get those spaces filled.

It was recently announced that New York based Wegmans Food Market could be moving into the area, the first in Hampton Roads.

"We really delighted with all the growth that happening," Newport News City Manager Jim Bourey said. "A lot of it’s retail development. We’re also working on a technology park."

Bourey says he’s not sure when the new businesses will be arriving to oyster point but they are focused on two main goals.

"To build the level of wages we have in the city. We also want to make sure we attract younger folks, so that we can have some of our kids that go off to college, can relocate back to Newport News and make some kind of difference," Bourey said.

Tiffany say the customers haven't left but businesses come and go.

"It’s always more attractive to go into the brand new and the different. The excitement of this area many have worn off to some people and the money had definitely gone to other area of the city and to help make them stronger, it’s at the expense of this city center," Tiffany explained.

Customers say to keep money flowing in to Newport News, the city needs to focus on development of nightlife and places for families.

Besides Wegams, Bourey couldn’t go into detail about other projects currently in the works.