Norfolk: A city that's definitely growing again!

37 photographs and captions illustrating the 21st century renaissance of Norfolk, Virginia.

25. In addition to TCC, Norfolk is home to Old Dominion University (ODU), Eastern Virginia Medical School, Norfolk State University and Virginia Wesleyan College.

26. The University Village is a 75-acre mixed use development initiative by ODU. With the University, and its 24,000 students and 2,400 staff and faculty, in addition to the Ted Constant Convocation Center as anchors, The University Village is a destination all its own with restaurants, retail, recreational facilities, hotel, residential, office and research facilities. The University Village provides indoor and outdoor dining with an eclectic collection of restaurants and casual dining establishments. Cafe tables dot the pedestrian area along Monarch Way and provide a gathering place for ODU students, staff and surrounding neighbors.

27. The number of households living in Downtown Norfolk increased 44% between 2000 and 2014.

28. Downtown is home to approximately 4,500 residents. (Source: US Census Track 49). There are over 4,400 housing units downtown and over 400 more projected or under construction. 132,608 people reside within a three-mile radius from the center of Downtown Norfolk.

29. Downtown Norfolk has a workforce of approximately 30,000 employees. 112,068 people are employed within a three mile radius from the center of Downtown Norfolk.

30. The City of Norfolk joined in this nationwide movement to support the creation of complete streets with the adoption of its first Complete Streets Policy in January 2016. Since that time, a four mile “demonstration” loop allowing city officials to test different types of bicycle facilities has been created within Norfolk’s urban core. The pilot program, which includes two-way cycletracks, dedicated bike lanes, shared bike lanes and buffered bike lanes is considered the first phase of the city’s master bike plan. The “demonstration” loop was developed for $457,000.

31. Designed by Newman Architects and Tymoff + Mossnew, the Slover Library is a restoration of a century old building combined with a new seven-story glass walled addition. The 138,000-square-foot project was completed in 2014 for $65 million.

32. The City of Norfolk is in the process of a comprehensive rewrite of its Zoning Ordinance. Recognizing that its 1992 ordinance has become obsolete, the city intends to create a new document that incorporates modern best practices, supports and encourages resilient development, promotes environmentally-friendly development and recognizes different character districts throughout the city.

33. Completed in 2011, The Tide is a 7.4-mile starter light rail system serving urban Norfolk. At five years of age, it is currently the newest of 24 light rail systems in the country.

34. A recent video made by HRT states that the light rail system has contributed to bringing $532 million in economic development downtown since 2011 and a 72% increase in downtown housing (2,050 units in 2010 to 3,527 in 2016).

35. The 24-story former Bank of America building is in the process of being retrofitted into a 300 unit luxury apartment project called Icon at City Place. When complete, the $100 million project will include a restaurant on the ground floor, a spa, indoor pool and a 20-foot rock climbing wall made of glass. The bank’s former vaults will become a movie room and wine lockers. Monthly rents at Marathon Development’s adaptive reuse project will range from $1,000 to $2,500.

36. The Ghent Historic District is a large walkable neighborhood just northwest of Downtown Norfolk that dates back to the late 19th century. The neighborhood was named after the December 1814 Treaty of Ghent, which ended the War of 1812.

37. Ghent’s commercial district along Colley Avenue is known for its large number of unique shops and restaurants and is a popular destination for the “creative class”.

Article by Ennis Davis, AICP. Contact Ennis at