NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Crews have begun the process of tearing down the exterior of the Waterside District annex.
In a ceremony Monday morning, a construction crew knocked through the side of the building.Officials tell 10 On Your Side crews will be demolishing the exterior of the building from the inside out.
The city says the annex building, which was an addition in the 1990’s, will be torn down and will return the site to its original footprint. The rest of the multi-use lot will create a future expansion site for the district. The original Waterside building which opened in 1983 will stay and be part of the new complex.
Demolition of this portion should take crews a couple of weeks to complete.
Because the site is right on the water — and to prevent any environmental concerns — crews have to tear the building from the inside out.
“Over the next 40 years it should be over $90 million in tax revenue created by 800 new jobs,” said Norfolk Mayor Paul Fraim.
Norfolk resident Samuel Boone told 10 On on Your Side, “Just used to have a lot of good times here. I moved away for about 20 years, and now that I’m back, I’m seeing the building torn down.”
“We’ve been waiting for this for quite a while,” said Karen Sherberger with Norfolk Festevents.
“I say it is a piece of history,” added Norfolk resident Samuel Boone.
It’s a moment that had to be captured. It was the first step towards the new Waterside District. City leaders say the transition is exciting, but no one will forget Waterside’s memories
“Back in the early days, it was a great gathering place for families they would come on their bikes, enjoy the weekends and bring families for reunions down here,” Scherberger added.
“I used to have some good times here, but I left here and I stayed gone for 30 years. I’m getting back and I’m seeing a place that I used to frequent quite often being torn down there,” Boone said.
Contractors with Cordish Companies broke ground on the project last October and plan to spend $40 million dollars in renovations.
“We’ve had some more discussions with Cordish about their tenants,” Fraim added. “It’s going to be very family friendly. Those of you who remember Waterside in the hay day it was very exciting place. The city was very fond of it and there is still a lot nostalgia attached and we hope this brings back the same number of folks.”
Norfolk’s Waterside District is expected to open in the spring of 2017.
Officials say the demolition is not expected to impact traffic.