NORFOLK -- The future of The Waterside Festival Marketplace is somewhat clearer now.

City Manager Marcus Jones told City Council Tuesday afternoon he feels the proposal from The Cordish Company is the best for Norfolk.

The Cordish proposal would have an entertainment and restaurant-themed experience to include live entertainment opportunities, live entertainment on the 1st floor, plus restaurants and food court and restaurants and event room on the 2nd floor. In all, it would feature a dozen new restaurants.

The other finalist is Harvey Lindsay Development. That proposal would raze the current structure and replace it with a conference center, two mid-sized hotels, office building, and marina.

Councilman Barclay Winn says both projects have merit, but the restaurant proposal is the one that isn't supposed to cost the city anything.

The 29-year-old waterfront project has served as the catalyst to downtown redevelopment. As the area revitalized, Waterside has struggled to find a new identity.

Now that the city manager has made his recommendation to city council, they will make the final decision. There's no word on whether a deadline has been set.

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