Company moves into former JC Penney, brings hundreds of jobs to Norfolk

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — A vacant department store is now the renovated site of a new company that’s bringing hundreds of jobs to Norfolk.

Governor Terry McAuliffe joined city officials Thursday afternoon for a ribbon cutting ceremony outside of Movement Mortgage’s new operations center. The facility had formerly housed J.C. Penney at the Military Circle Mall.

“We wanted to continue to grow in Virginia,” said Casey Crawford, co-founder.

The operations center had been in Virginia Beach but staff “outgrew it.” During the ceremony, Governor McAuliffe thanked company executives for deciding to keep the center within Hampton Roads.

“This would have been a blow had you gone to another state.”

As of Monday, more than 600 employees had moved into the re-purposed facility. The goal is to have 750 employees within the next few years.

“It’s a great revitalization of this property,” Mayor Kenny Alexander said. “You can see a lot of energy.”

The J.C. Penney shut its doors in May of 2014. The city purchased 16 acres along the Military Highway corridor, including the store and surrounding parking spaces.

Alexander said the city has broken even between its agreement with Movement Mortgage, and another with Optima Health. The company will move its Care Coordination Center into the second story.

“We’ll have over a thousand people working in this building, a building that was vacant for many years,” Alexander said.

He said the city still has a remaining 45,000 square feet of office space he hopes to lease to another company.