Input sought for downtown district plans | New

ByShannon J. Cortes

Oct 7, 2022

The City of Norfolk is seeking public input through an online survey to identify community priorities for the River Point District.

The survey results will provide the city with regional insights surrounding the dynamics of the economy, environment and experience of downtown Norfolk.

“Our downtown has experienced tremendous growth and revitalization over the past 10 to 15 years. It has been and continues to be an exciting experience with many of our young entrepreneurs bringing fun, new businesses, energy, ideas and growth to downtown,” said Connie Geary, owner of several downtown businesses and President of the Vehicle Parking District.

“With this past and continuing growth, the Vehicle Parking District sees potential for the area to do and be so much more. The VPD is excited to have the opportunity to work with the city and PUMA (Progressive Urban Management Associates) to explore what avenues, changes or implementation might be the next best steps to continue this growth.

Geary encourages everyone to participate by completing the survey made available to the public.

PUMA was hired to help the city with this endeavor. PUMA is a national leader helping communities and organizations create and sustain thriving places and helps gather information and implement the plan.

“As a local business owner for over 25 years, I have never seen such tremendous growth and opportunity for Downtown Norfolk. The Downtown Norfolk Association began the expansion of our region in adapting the term River Point District instead of just referring to the area as downtown,” said Amy Renter, owner of Magnolias and president of the Downtown Norfolk Association.

“We are ready to welcome and support new businesses in the expanded borders. Being open to new methods and ideas to support expansion, both geographically and financially, will facilitate that growth and strengthen our sense of community,” Renter added.

In addition to a survey, the downtown study includes stakeholder outreach, creation of a database of downtown landowners, and a management plan to define goals, boundaries, budget and a potential governance structure.