Norfolk mayor stresses commitment to economy in state of the city address

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by Arrianee LeBeau, 13News

WVEC.com

Posted on February 8, 2013 at 6:30 PM

Updated Friday, Feb 8 at 6:41 PM

NORFOLK--In his annual state of the city address Friday, Norfolk Mayor Paul Fraim updated nearly 1,000 of the region’s business, political, and community leaders on the city’s key business development initiatives, municipal progress updates and opportunities.  

In his address, Fraim talked about his commitment to Norfolk’s economy even with major defense cuts looming.

“The potential calamity from sequestration threatens more,” said Fraim. 

Fraim outlined several expansion projects underway in the areas of real estate, technology and the medical field, including a $28 million deal with the Cordish Company that he hopes will bring life back to Waterside and thousands of jobs before the end of 2014.

“Waterside Live is expected to bring upward of thousands of jobs and generate an estimated $93 million in direct revenue to the city,” said Fraim. 

Fraim also mentioned Fortune 500 company Amerigroup, one of the nation’s leading managers of publicly funded health programs, which will make Norfolk its' headquarters.

“This is a $20 million investment and the largest business relocation to Norfolk in decades,” said Fraim. 

But the mayor emphasized that investing in transportation is key.   He cited the success of the passenger rail system, Amtrak, and the new $3 million dollar facility that will open in October and a $4 million dollar bus-transfer center opening this year.

“The transfer center will enhance passenger comfort and safety and better integrate bus, light rail and passenger rail systems for the area,” said Fraim.

The Mayor said there are many areas that still need improvement like schools, but he’s confident he and his colleagues will lead Norfolk to a better future.

“The future is brighter and it is my honor to serve alongside my city colleagues as together we work with you to make Norfolk the best it can be,” said Fraim.

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