NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – When the new Harris Teeter grocery store opens in Norfolk’s Wards Corner Wednesday, it will represent a major step in the area’s revitalization.
Sade Bass works in the area and is excited about the changes, “I believe it’s going to bring great people to the neighborhood and also be great for the businesses around here.”
Claudia Lawson, a neighbor, agreed, “It’s awesome. I’m so thrilled. For a while precious Wards Corner was dying.”
Finishing touches are going up on the new K and K Square, where the Harris Teeter is set to open.
Cornell Harris has owned a hair salon here for a couple of years. “I believe it will bring new business into my salon and barber shop. I hear a lot of talk about it, people waiting for it, they’re eager for it, they want it. It’s the right time,” he said.
“Wards Corner is a very special part of our city. It was once called the Times Square of the South,” according to Norfolk Councilman Barclay Winn. He says the business community has come back to Wards Corner and it’s going to pay off. “It’s going to put thousands of dollars in our coffers from real estate taxes, meal taxes and sales taxes.”
Martin Thomas, Junior, a resident and president of the Wards Corner Now civic group sees it this way, “When they tore down and built the WalMart across from Southern Shopping Center the economic impact in that area was millions of dollars and I’m looking forward to something similar here.”
Melissa Aragon, lives in the area, and is also excited. “It’s nice to see we’re not going to have to go as far as we’re going to need to for everything. The stores, the restaurants, it’s great having it close here. Put a movie theater in, we’d be perfect. Wouldn’t have to leave town,” she said.
The ribbon cutting and grand opening for the Harris Teeter is planned for 8 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 19.