Breathing new life into Norfolk's Wards Corner

Revitalizing Wards Corner in Norfolk

NORFOLK, Va. (WVEC) - There’s always been plenty of movement in Wards Corner.

It’s one of the main thoroughfares into Norfolk from I-64, so there's no lack of drivers passing through. And when you look back at history, the corridor was once a retail giant, even called the "Times Square of the South" by many people after World War II.

But today, things aren't quite as prosperous.

"The shopping center has so much potential," said local Keith Gardner. "It’s not being used.”

Back in 2003, the city prepared a comprehensive plan to revitalize the area. You may remember the old strip mall off of Granby Street.

Today, progress continues in the new Wards Corner. A Harris Teeter now anchors the retail block where the strip mall once stood, and a handful of other chains have followed.

The city even constructed a new façade to make the mostly-vacant shopping center across the street more attractive to investors.

“I think it’s building up good," said local Melissa Bennett.

The area still has the potential to thrive even more.

A look back at the comprehensive plan shows one thing is still missing -- and it's something that could change everything -- a major discount retailer, such as Walmart.

© 2017 WVEC-TV


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