Neighborhood Rising

After three days of lively charrettes, residents of Norfolk’s Tidewater Gardens community are closer to a new envisioned future.

WPA participated in the mid-July event for the Choice Neighborhoods Initiative HUD Grant with the City of Norfolk, NRHA, The Communities Group, Ray Gindroz, and the lead architect and planner, Torti Gallas + Partners.

Meeting at the Basilica of St. Mary’s, participants advanced a plan for the St. Paul’s Area Redevelopment Phase 1 that creates a framework for new development that meets the needs of the community. The next round of community input is expected in August. 

The plan includes new street connections, flooding abatement and a range of housing options from mid-rise apartments to single family, along with an enlivened Church Street to include new retail.

This most recent charrette, as with all planning efforts for the community, is guided by seven planning principles:

– Create a park system to protect from flooding and provide recreation amenities

– Create a community-wide campus with educational opportunities for all ages

– Restore church Street as the heart of the community with shops, food stores, health and medical facilities

– Create pedestrian Scale connections to opportunities in the larger community

– Build a pattern of neighborhood streets and blocks to create a framework for a mixed-use, mixed income community

– Provide a diverse mix of residential development ranging from single-family and town homes to small and large scale apartments

– Provide employment opportunities at the edges of the community for residents

Rendrings provided by Depiction Illustration 

 

Summer Feature: JT’s Camp Grom

If we were to write an essay, “My Summer Vacation,” a highlight would be attending the opening of JT’s Camp Grom on June 10. This new Virginia Beach adventure park was created especially for wounded veterans and their families, the families of fallen military heroes, and children and adults with disabilities.

This unique experience, a vision of the YMCA of South Hampton Roads and the Virginia Gentlemen Foundation, is a place for fun, healing and hope, allowing those in wheelchairs and with other special needs to engage in a full range of outdoor activities. WPA is proud and honored to have been part of the team helping to bring this idea to life.

Located on a 70-acre parcel of land on Prosperity Road, the camp includes a Welcome Center, Wellness Center, Amphitheater, Cafeteria and Tiki Café, lake with fishing pier, Adventure Ropes Course, and an Aquatic Center featuring a Splash Park and Flowrider – surfing/body boarding attraction.

WPA designed the Welcome Center and Canopy Connections, contributing more than $130,000 in pro-bono design services to the project.

The 4,000-square-foot Welcome Center houses offices for the YMCA and Virginia Gentlemen Foundation, a boardroom, reception area, first aid center, and locker rooms.

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