NORFOLK--City Council Tuesday night approved the Waterside Live! lease agreement with The Cordish Companies, which members stress includes no upfront city money.

The vote means work can begin work on the project. Cordish plans to revamp the 30-year-old facility into an entertainment center with restaurants, a concert venue and other features.

The highlights of the development include 1,000 new jobs, $93 million in direct revenue to the City of Norfolk over 30 years, $850,000 in new annual parking revenues, private sector investment of $28 to $38 million and eliminating the current city general fund subsidy of $1.3 million annually.

'We are sensitive to the significance of this iconic piece of the Norfolk waterfront and we are committed to delivering a development of the highest quality. We are confident that a revitalized Waterfront will be used by residents as well as visitors and will be a catalyst for the broader revitalization of downtown. We look forward to working in partnership with City and making Waterside the premiere entertainment destination in the region' said Cordish Vice President Blake L. Cordish.

Mayor Paul D. Fraim added, 'Waterside has long served as a gathering place for the region. The Cordish Companies share the city's vision of a vibrant, public location and we believe Waterside Live! will become a premier destination along our waterfront and serve as a catalyst for growth and development downtown.'

City spokesman Bob Batcher said there is not an exact date for work to begin, noting that there will be a period of due dilegence, design and construction.

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