I hope you have had an enjoyable summer. It has been a fast and hot summer but there have been plenty of cool evenings that Jack and I have enjoyed on our front porch.
There is great news for the Railyard District at Lambert’s Point. The grocery store, Lidl, announced it is coming to the new Railyard District. The Lambert’s Point neighborhood has long wanted a grocery store and here we go! It should take about a year for the build of the new grocery store. Nothing Bundt Cakes is now open in the Railyard District and offers very tasty bundt cakes.
Norfolk City Council voted to purchase the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) building in the Front Street area. Unfortunately, NOAA is moving its operations from Norfolk to Rhode Island in the coming years. So, Norfolk had the opportunity to exclusively purchase this strategic parcel of land (3.78 acres) as it would support the Army Corp of Engineers floodwall alignment and possibly serve as a future location for a fire station with water rescue operations capabilities. The purchase price is $4.5 million. The General Services Administration priced it based on their “highest and best use” appraisal of the land to reach the $4.5 million. Their highest and best use was based on multi-family housing use surrounding the parcel. Norfolk assessed it at $2.6 million on the maritime use it currently serves for NOAA and not on multi-family use. Some question the difference between the GSA value and city value but again – the appraisals were based on different uses. And, if the city had not taken the opportunity to purchase it now, the parcel would have been sold in a non-exclusive sale – in essence on the open market – for a price certain to be much higher than the $4.5 given the location and size of the property.
District Apizza – a new pizza restaurant in the Park Place neighborhood opened in early August. The restaurant is beautiful and the food is excellent. Give it a try! It is great to see continued investment in Park Place.
I love hearing the school busses again in the morning as we head back to school. Did you know that Norfolk Public Schools started on Monday, August 28, before Labor Day? I am glad they got a jump on the school year early. My best to all as they embark on a new school year.