Development planned along Norfolk rail route

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Norfolk’s light rail system will help spur development in the city, says Mayor Paul D. Fraim.

The $231 million rail system, known as “The Tide,” is expected to begin operating along a 7.4 mile route by early 2010.

“Spearheaded by light rail, the next three years are going to bring more investment to Norfolk than at any time in its modern history,” Fraim said in his State of the City speech Friday at the Norfolk Waterside Marriott Hotel. “The Tide adds a new dimension to our planning strategy — transit oriented development — and that is already making its impact felt downtown.”

He mentioned three projects — Wachovia Center, the Residence Inn by Marriott and The Belmont at Freemason apartments — that “were designed with light rail in mind.”

Work will begin soon on the Wachovia Center, a $150 million office, retail and residential project being developed by S.L.Nusbaum. LTD Management has announced that it will occupy 25,000 square feet in the downtown building, bringing 80 jobs to the city.

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