Norfolk appears to be moving closer on a decision about what to do with the Waterside Festival Marketplace, the city’s aging waterfront project. After receiving a total of six proposals on how to revive the 29-year-old waterfront attraction, studies commissioned by the city have narrowed the prosposals down to two: a conference center or an entertainment/music venue that would include many new restaurants.
Harvey Lindsay Development Group in Norfolk, an affiliate of Harvey Lindsay Commercial Real Estate, has proposed a $200 million,190,000-square-foot, million conference center that would require $76 million in public subsidies. The plan initially included a marina, seafood restaurant, a ferris wheel attraction and elevated bridge connections to two new proposed hotels. However, a company spokesman said Monday that the proposal still is being revised by the city and is undergoing some updates.
The Cordish Cos., based in Baltimore, came up with a $30 million plan, called Waterside Live, which calls for 98,000 square feet of new restaurant space in the first five years and new entertainment spots, for a total of 122,000 square feet. Cordish has not made public what public incentives it might want to do the project.
Norfolk City Manager Marcus Jones is expected to recommend which proposal would best revive Waterside at the April 24 meeting of the Norfolk City Council.
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