February 2012 message and meeting info

The February 2012 civic league meeting will be held on the 27th at 6:45pm at the Fitness and Wellness Center.
The Agenda includes: Chris Perry with the Harris Teeter plan.
Here is President Jim English’s message for January 2012:


Dear Neighbors,

I have been writing this column for our newsletter for 12 years now. During that time I have always given you updates about potential and real progress concerning redevelopment opportunities for the Wards Corner Business District. The revitalization of the business district has been painstakingly slow to say the least. Moreover the opening of new businesses into that area has been rare. This slow growth of redevelopment in the area has been indeed frustrating to all of us.
Yet with the Wards Corner Comprehensive Plan that was issued in November of 2003 many of us have tried to be optimistic and stay positive as we pushed our ideas with our city council representatives. We have also always tried to emphasize our position with the various city departments in a positive and productive way as well. This also has been frustrating and it has seemed at times that our push for redevelopment was falling on deaf ears. Again this has left us frustrated but nonetheless we have stayed the course and continued our efforts to revitalize the area.
Now it appears that redevelopment may indeed be coming to Wards Corner. On February 7th several of us met with Chris Perry who unveiled his redevelopment plans for his property to us. His property is the southeast corner of the business district where AJ Gators currently is located. Included in that group were Jim McDonnell, President of Talbot Park Civic league, Tim Fox, President of Suburban Acres Civic League, Martin Thomas Jr., Vice President of our Civic League, Barclay Winn, City Councilman, and me. What we heard and saw from Mr. Perry was his footprint plan for his property as well as a draft rendering of what the site might look like with the Harris Teeter Store and the out parcel stores (yet to be named). We all had a good discussion about his plan, time table for development and the pros and cons of what we saw. Not a one of us gave our endorsement for his project at that time but instead wanted it first to be presented to the surrounding and neighboring civic league groups. Following that, we will make our recommendation to Mr. Perry on the project design. It is now time for Mr. Perry to present his ideas for this property to the community. He will be presenting his plan to us at our next Wards Corner Civic League meeting on February 27th at 645PM at the Wellness Center. I would encourage all of you to come out and hear what he has to say and see his provisional drawings for the property.
This is the first major news of redevelopment for the Business District in many years and we must ensure that the property owner and the city get it right for us. Since we all will have to live with the redesign of this property for 50+ years, we must all ensure that we like Mr. Perry’s proposal and he has an opportunity to hear us. If we don’t like his design and layout we must recommend alternatives for him to consider. Now is the time for you to have your input into this project. I urge you to attend the next civic league meeting as announced in this newsletter.
Finally I wanted to give you a brief update on the pump station and gravity sewer project along Newport Avenue. According to Rick Dempsey, Project Engineer with the Department of Utilities, work on the pump station at the Norfolk Fitnessand Wellness Center is anticipated to start at the earliest in March 2012. The gravity sewer project along Newport Avenue was expected to start in January, however the contract is still in processing and construction should be starting within the next month to two months.
Let us all hope that this is the year for redevelopment of the business district in Wards Corner. We have waited a long time for this.
Thanks and see you at the next meeting.