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Norfolk looking for proposals to redevelop its former Greyhound site

The City is looking for proposals that would go well with its Downtown Norfolk 2030 Plan, as well as existing development projects.

NORFOLK, Va. — For decades it served as a bus station for Downtown Norfolk. Then, plans were announced to build a new community college building. It then became a temporary shelter for the city's unhoused residents.

Now the City of Norfolk is looking for "visionary proposals" on how to transform the former Greyhound bus station at Brambleton and Monticello Avenues.

Norfolk City Manager Chip Filer said the City is looking for proposals that would go well with its Downtown Norfolk 2030 Plan, as well as existing development projects.

“We’re open to all kinds of proposals from developers on this, as long as long as they understand and recognize that both the museum-arts district component is going to be important to stick to and Plan Norfolk 2030 is going to be very important to stick to," Filer said.

The 2030 Plan is the city’s long-term vision to grow the city while embracing its diverse districts. 

The old bus station, which was built back in the early 1960s, sits at the entrance of the NEON District, so city leaders are searching for creative ideas on its future. Filer said city leaders are looking for redevelopment proposals that will embrace the NEON District’s artsy vibe.

“We’re not looking to massively change the characteristics of any area," he explained. 

Kisha Moore is the owner of Hummingbird, a bakery in the heart of the district – and right down the street from the old bus station. She said she’s looking for a project that will complement what the district already has to offer.

“To see something at that corner that speaks to what the NEON District is... would be fantastic,” Moore said. “I think it’s a great idea. Top of mind what I think would be great would be an artisan farmer’s market.”  

She said the city’s decision to transform the bus station is a good one.

“Redevelopment continues to foster great communities and to grow a city that has its [vibrancy], has things happening, places where people can come – whether you’re local or out of time – I think is really important."

Filer said it’s an opportunity to connect Norfolk’s downtown area.

"This is obviously a gateway into the NEON District," Filer said. “That particular corner is vital to getting folks that are downtown, across the street, and up into all the interesting and exciting things that Neon has to offer.”  

Originally, the city hoped to redevelop the site into a culinary arts building for Tidewater Community College, but those plans later fell through. It then became a temporary shelter for the city's homeless until they were relocated to a motel back in October.

"This request for proposals provides the City with an exciting opportunity to explore the possibilities of transforming a former bus station into a vibrant development at a gateway in our downtown," said Mayor Kenneth Alexander in a news release.

The deadline for proposals is February 18, 2022. More information on how to submit a proposal is available on the City of Norfolk's website.