January 2013 message and meeting info

The January 2013 civic league meeting will be held on the 28th at 6:45pm at the Fitness and Wellness Center.

The Agenda includes: Michael Goldsmith, Norfolk Chief of Police, and Rick Dempsey, Engineer Norfolk Department of Utilities.

Here is President Jim English’s message for January 2013:

PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE

Dear Neighbors,

Happy New Year and here is wishing you a prosperous 2013. For my message in January of 2012, I discussed my wish list for Christmas 2011 and wondered what the year would bring and how many of the items listed would come true. Well, below is that list again with an update of items that in fact did come true or were addressed. What will the New Year 2013 bring to Wards Corner and the city of Norfolk? My wishes for 2012 were for:

  • The city of Norfolk to continue to purchase blighted property in Denby Park. This is continuing with more monies appropriated for acquisition and demolition.
  • The city of Norfolk to continue to make Wards Corner a higher priority. Yes, and we are on the radar screen now more than ever.
  • The redevelopment of the Perry Property. The old site is now completely razed and construction will begin soon.
  • The redevelopment of the Dalis Property. Refacing completed. Tenants needed.
  • The redevelopment of the Farm Fresh Property. Completed. Drive-up pharmacy almost completed.
  • The redevelopment of the Kroger shopping center. Not much activity although the Commonwealth Attorney’s office has located a satellite office there.
  • A permanent Police Chief. Yes. Mike Goldsmith is the new Chief
  • A new Superintendent of Norfolk Public Schools. Yes. Dr. Samuel King is the new Superintendent.
  • A permanent Development Director. Not yet
  • A permanent Human Services Director Not yet.
  • No robberies and larcenies in our neighborhood. This is a continuing problem that we are working with the police to address.
  • No transvestites and prostitutes walking the streets in our area selling themselves. This is a continuing problem that we are working with the police to address.
  • A new sewer pump station and sewer lines. Progress continues on this project.
  • A beautiful revitalized Wards Corner Business District that blends with our neighborhood. It is getting better with work still to do.

Many of us have been at this task for the revitalization of Wards Corner for over 12+ years and have seen improvements, although they have been slow in coming. I will track my wish list to see how many of these are addressed this year.

As the New Year begins we will once again provide you with speakers on timely and relevant issues at our civic league meetings. We also want you to attend and bring your issues and concerns to us so that we may address and/or rectify those issues. You may keep track of our civic league progress in this monthly newsletter, but your presence at the meetings is greatly appreciated. Please consider attending. Also visit us at www.wardscorner.com.

Please note that our meeting dates for January and February have changed. The January meeting will be on the 28th at 645PM and the February meeting will be the 25th at 645PM. Both meetings will be at the Wellness Center.

Thanks for allowing us to continue to serve you as officers of the Wards Corner Civic League.

Finally, I am sharing with you excerpts from the minutes of the January 10th Wards Corner Task Force meeting.

Thanks, as always, to Karen Mayne for the following minutes.

Greater Wards Corner Task Force Meeting – January 10, 2013

The meeting was led by Councilman Andy Protogyrou. Council representatives Terry Whibley and Barclay Winn were also present.

Suburban Park Shopping Center Presentation

Chris Perry of Suburban Asset Management (SAM) provided an overview of the status of the redevelopment of the shopping center. Site demolition is complete and they will start on infrastructure construction very soon. Due to the good weather, the project is ahead of schedule. SAM plans to turn over the concrete “pads” to Harris Teeter and Towne Point Bank in April 2013, who will then use their own contractors to construct their portions of the shopping center. SAM will use Hoy Construction to build the remainder of the shopping center, which will include space for 9 to eleven retailers. If the weather remains cooperative, SAM hopes construction will be completed in 9 to 10 months from April.

SAM would like to find a restaurant to fill in the southern-most space in the shopping center, where outside seating would be possible. They encouraged task force members to spread the word and make recommendations on the names of any restaurateurs who might be interested in locating there.

Department of Public Works Updates – John Kiefer

The City will undertake a major reconstruction of the underpass and adjacent ramps at the junction of Tidewater Drive and Little Creek Road at Southern Shopping Center. They considered changing to an at-grade intersection, but that cost would be several million dollars more than maintaining the underpass. The project is planned to start in January 2014, will take 8 to 10 months to complete, will require major road closures for about 4 to 5 months, and detours for the four on/off ramps for about 10 to 14 weeks. While the road work is under construction, the Department of Utilities will also replace underground utilities along the section of Tidewater Drive south to Thole Street. DPW is planning to make presentations to the civic leagues in the area to explain the plans and detours.

Department of Development Updates – Mike Cutter

The owner of Mid-Towne Shopping Center has hired a new real estate broker and is negotiating leases, although no names were given. There are plans to renovate the parking lot during warmer weather in the spring.

The City is considering extending the grant program for business façade improvements to the Wards Corner area. This would allow this corridor to be eligible for matching grants.

A question was asked as to whether there will be a Dollar Tree store in the Wards Corner area. There will not be one in the new Suburban Park Shopping Center, but there is a possibility that there could be a Dollar Tree in one of the other two shopping centers on the north side.

Sincerely,

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