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
WPA led a well-attended public design charrette to determine the future use of the Cofer Lot in the NEON District at the Hurrah Players’ Copeland Center on September 19th.
The Cofer Lot, at the location of a demolished former auto dealership, is poised to be designated as much-needed open space in the District positioned in a perfect spot on West Olney Road midway between the offerings on Granby Street and the Chrysler Museum.
Some charrette participants suggested a public art space with opportunities for sculpture and performance art. Others desired a tranquil green oasis welcome to all, perhaps with a playground for small children. Voices for the skateboarding community advocated for a safe and welcoming place for sport. The challenge is to accommodate multiple uses in a small footprint, and participants seemed open to discussion and compromise.
TONIGHT: The results of the Charrette and next steps for the site will be presented at this month’s NEON District Committee Meeting, at the Push Comedy Theater in the NEON at 5:30 pm. 763 Granby Street, Norfolk.
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