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New renderings show the future of Tidewater Gardens

Norfolk city leaders released the latest designs for the Tidewater Gardens transformation project.

NORFOLK, Va. — The City of Norfolk is working to recreate Tidewater Gardens.

"We really want to design a neighborhood that residents have indicated that they want and they desired to come back to," said Dr. Susan Perry, the director, of the Department of Housing and Community Development.

The city plans to replace the low-income housing units with mixed-income apartments and build a new, inspired identity for the community.

"Church Street was an historic, thriving African American commercial corridor," Dr. Perry said. "We're using that as an opportunity to really highlight and honor the history and culture of the community."

The city will develop townhomes, carriage houses, and walk-up and elevator apartments after receiving input from community members who live there. More businesses, new plazas, and playgrounds are also in the plan.

"There is a 26-acre resilient park that will help resolve the flooding issues the neighborhood currently experiences," she said.

All things the city hopes will bring residents back to the redeveloped neighborhood. City leaders said about 55% of residents stated they want to return to Tidewater Gardens. With demolition and the relocation of residents already underway, phase one of infrastructure begins later this year.

"Realigning Church Street to the steeple at St. Mary's so that Phase I of infrastructure includes realigning of Church Street, the extension of Freemason that currently stops at St. Paul's Boulevard," Dr. Perry said.

Dr. Perry said another phase of designs will be released next year.

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