NORFOLK -- The Cordish Companies will soon give new life to Norfolk’s aging Waterside property.
Norfolk City manager Marcus Jones selected the Cordish Companies from among five developers who submitted proposals for Waterside.
To see what Cordish might do at Waterside, 13News hit the road to visit two of their entertainment venues in Philadelphia and Baltimore.
Xfinity Live in Philadelphia held its grand opening in March and sits in the heart of the Philadelphia Sports Complex. Billed as Philly’s 4th arena, Xfinity is composed of a large indoor market place surrounded by six dining concepts.
Within the Philly MarketPlace are some of the city’s most famous vendors: Nick’s Old Original Roast Beef, Chickie's and Pete’s, and the Original Philadelphia Cheesesteak Company. Among the restaurants are Broad Street Bullies Pub, the Victory Brewing Company’s German-style Beer House, and the up-scale Spectrum Grill.
“We thought it was very important to bring a lot local flavor here to Xfinity Live, and it's really made our first month very successful, very popular and growing in popularity,” says Rob Johnson, a Philly-area native who is part of the management team Cordish Companies put in place at Xfinity.
Cordish says Waterside Live in Norfolk would also include a blend of local businesses and national chains that they’ve had success with in the past.
They envision similar elements of the MarketPlace in Waterside Live as far as a central indoor area for events and casual food options.
From the City of Brotherly Love 13News shot down I-95 to Charm City where Cordish Companies headquarters in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor.
Powerplant Live opened about a decade ago and according to company officials in more popular now than ever.
There is also a blend of local and national dining options including Ruth Chris Steak House, Leinenkugel’s Beer Garden and Joe Squared which is a Baltimore-based pizza shop specializing in coal-oven pizza from Brooklyn, NY.
Cordish recently spent about $10 million on upgrades to keep the atmosphere fresh. The “patio” feel of the property is an open air setup where visitors can easily pass from venue to venue while listening to performances on a sheltered center stage.
“We would do something similar in Waterside Live as far as an open air setup that feels less like a mall,” says Mike Stoltz, a member of Cordish’s team assigned to Waterside.
Stoltz says that Cordish has built a strong reputation by only leasing to top-quality vendors and requiring them to keep high cleanliness and security standards through a stringent leasing process.
Stoltz said, “People in Norfolk and the entire Hampton Roads region want to go to something that's unique to their city and something that they can be proud of."