Ground broken on Waterside District of dining, retail, entertainment

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — The transformation of Norfolk’s Waterside has officially begun with the city breaking ground on what will now be known as the Waterside District.

The project is a $30 million public-private partnership between Norfolk and Cordish Companies. The family-owned developer is more than a century old, and has more than two dozen similar venues in the Eastern United States.

The City of Norfolk shared its excitement on Twitter Wednesday:

“Everywhere we have done one of these, the projects are successful,” said CEO David Cordish, who is also promising the complex will stimulate additional development in the downtown area. “And that will happen here. I pledge it, I guarantee it.”

The developer says it is covering the entire cost for the $30 million project. Norfolk’s mayor says paired with the current development of The Main, a conference center and hotel, Waterside will bring tax revenue and jobs.

“Together these projects will bring over 800 permanent jobs and millions in new tax revenue,” said Mayor Paul Fraim.

Cordish also revealed some general information about what the public can expect when the Waterside District is set for completion in the spring of 2017.

The anchor will be a 30,000 square foot section known as “The Marketplace” which will have as many as nine businesses and restaurants.

“These will be places where you can go to dine and sit down, but it’s a marketplace where you can take things home,” Cordish said.

Waterside District will have a live performance stage at the western end of the property in place of the current Waterside annex.
Cordish is also promising a craft brewery. “When we name the craft brewery, it will be known to everybody in Virginia because it’s a very famous group.”

The Waterside District will also feature a roof top deck – uncovered to preserve the view. Cordish says it will be open about ten months out of the year if the weather cooperates.

“The whole project will become a living room for the city and a public gathering place as well as a tourist destination,” Cordish says.

The facility is set to open in the Spring of 2017.

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