PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WVEC) — “Our future is bright,” said Portsmouth Mayor John L. Rowe Jr. at the beginning of his State of the City Address. The address was given Wednesday afternoon at the Renaissance Portsmouth Hotel & Conference Center. The event was hosted by the Hampton Roads Chamber.

Mayor Rowe said what makes the future so bright is the charm of the city and new developments in the area. He and the new City Council plan to highlight those attractions to bring new businesses to the area.

“The great inventory of 18th century, 19th century houses and then combine that with new apartments we are creating a market for folks to make money by opening up a restaurant because we will have people living downtown,” said Rowe

In Rowe’s address he highlighted the companies in Portsmouth like the Port of Virginia, Norfolk Naval Shipyard and Naval Medical Center Portsmouth that keep thousands of jobs in the city.

“Norfolk Naval Shipyard is the oldest largest navy shipyard in the United States. It is the fourth largest employer in Hampton Roads. That shipyard is important to our Nation, it’s important to the Commonwealth of Virginia and it’s important to Hampton Roads,” said Rowe.

Rowe said the main component to a thriving economy is well paying jobs. He said he plans to work with City Council and make the city a business friendlier place.

“They have misconceptions of Portsmouth and all we need to do is get them here one time and they are infected with our city. I felt it was very important for me to dispel some of these Portsmouth assumptions that people have about our great city,” said Rowe.