Funding to help revitalize Wards Corner neighborhood slashed

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by Arrianee LeBeau, 13News

WVEC.com

Posted on April 18, 2013 at 4:04 PM

Updated Thursday, Apr 18 at 6:41 PM

NORFOLK -- For years the City of Norfolk would allocate millions of dollars to revitalizing the Wards Corner area, but this year the funds are getting slashed.

City spokeswoman Lori Crouch says the City Manager was able to scrape and provide $750,000 for the proposed FY 2014 budget.

"The city is fiscally stressed," said Crouch.

Here's how the numbers break down:

Year                   Allocation for Implementation of the Wards Corner Plan
2014                  $750,000 (proposed)
2013                  $2,000,000
2012                  $1,000,000
2011                  $1,767,500

Less money being allocated to the neighborhood isn't sitting well with residents, businesses owners or patrons of Wards Corner.

Martin Thomas Jr. says less money coming in now could jeopardize overall progress.

Previous funds were used to purchase and demolish blighted and crime-inducing properties in sections of Denby Park.  The City purchased 68 units in 2011 and demolished them in 2012. In addition, 37 apartment units were bought in 2013.  Once the tenants are relocated the units will be demolished. 

Next year, a new shopping plaza featuring Harris Teeter is scheduled to open in Wards Corner.

Thomas is concerned if there is no effort in ridding blighted properties around the shopping center, it will have a negative impression on investors.

“If we can show those businesses that this is a nice place to open and you are going to get a good clientele, that effect will cause more and more redevelopment in the Wards Corner area,” Thomas said.  





 

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