NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Disgraced Norfolk businessman Ronnie Boone, who’s now on house arrest, could get a big payday from the City of Norfolk. He was found guilty of felony convictions of bank fraud and bribing Norfolk public official Anthony Burfoot.
Norfolk now wants to pay Boone $2,350,000 for his Greenie’s Restaurant Beach Bar & Grille, and $350,000 for his Oceanview Diner property located at 1006 E. Ocean View Avenue.
Mayor Kenny Alexander made the announcement during his State of the City address last week.
The City Council is likely to adopt two ordinances at Tuesday’s meeting to purchase both strategic parcels for the implementation of the vision of the area.
Beth Cajiao owns the diner that sits on Boone’s property he is now selling. When asked whether she has a problem with the city doing business with a person with Ronnie Boone’s past, Cajiao replied, “That might be suspect. It might cause people to have a concern.”
Linda Miller is the president of the Ocean View Civic League, and supports giving Boone the money to make room for Ocean View revitalization.
“The topic of his past never came up. The city purchasing it is between Ronnie Boone and the city. We don’t have an issue giving him $2,000,000. The city is purchasing that property just like anybody else.”
Cajiao signed a two-year lease last August, and was offended by comments made by Mayor Kenny Alexander in his State of the City that she thought suggested her diner is less than desirable.
She’s proud of what she has, “It didn’t seem fair to me that it made us sound like riff raff. We have a real nice diner. We have really nice customers, and we have done great improvements in the building.”
Cajiao also wants to be treated fairly by Norfolk when it comes to relocation fees. As for Miller, she wants City Council to know this: “My message to City Council and to the Mayor, I want the Ocean View area to be upgraded along with what is happening in Wards Corner and East Ocean View. Ocean View is behind everyone else in growth, and we need improvement here in this area.”
Cajiao says she spoke with Boone on Friday after she heard about the Mayor’s comments.
“I spoke with him after I was told by a customer. He told me he had no information for me.” However, Cajiao said she believes Boone was aware of the deal.
Karen Sumerlin is a lifelong Ocean View resident: “I think it is like an old feature for a long time for us folks. I am from here, and I think a lot of people have a lot of friendships that they have made down here and I think Greenie’s will be missed…but we will get along without it. Time for something new.”
10 On Your Side has tried contacting the Boones by text, and phone, but messages were not returned. 10 On Your Side also went into Greenie’s, and were quickly told to leave. When asked when both businesses will be closed, Mayor Alexander said those decisions have not been made.