NORFOLK -- After public input, planning and negotiating, it now appears Waterside Live is finally about to come to life.
The city says the Cordish Company has until October to take control of Waterside and turn a prime piece of property into an urban waterfront park.
While the current venue has struggled over the years to keep tenants, the city says Waterside Live plans to be vibrant place with restaurants, entertainment venues and even a retractable roof.
“It’s bright lights. It’s great venues. It’s enticing. I think it will be exciting,” city spokeswoman Lori Crouch told 13News Now.
In 2012, 13News Now showed you first hand the work done by the Cordish Company-a place to see and be seen in Philadelphia. The company also has properties in Baltimore and Hampton. The city of Norfolk says the company’s work at Waterside will begin with closing off the 2nd floor of the venue along with common areas.
“It’s been a long time coming, but I think it will be worth the wait when it’s said and done,” Crouch added.
Organizers of Harborfest share that feeling. Domenick Fini with Festevents says 38-years ago Harborfest led the renaissance of Waterside.
“It’s a bold statement, but Harborfest and Harborfest alone helped to shape the downtown waterfront, Fini said.
They’re excited to soon share the stage with all of the possibilities Waterside Live brings.
"We’re going to collaborate on a few things. I think we’re going to be able to feed each other and I think it’s going to be great for the downtown community,” Fini said.
The city says it expects Waterside Live to generate 1,000 new jobs and bring in an estimated $90 million in new money over 30 years.
And it’s not the only new project in this area of Norfolk. The city expects to see construction begin this summer on The Main, a new 23-story full-service hotel and conference center just blocks from Waterside.
Both projects are expected to be finished in 2016.