NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) - While many say the Norfolk Waterside location is perfect for foot traffic, business is far from booming, and Norfolk leaders hope to change that.
Tuesday afternoon, City Council members got their first look at recommendations for the troubled downtown spot.
A look at the proposal from consultants outlines that the ground floor would be a large scale public market with fresh fish, fruit and vegetables, like New York's Union Square or Seattle's Pike Street Market.
On the second floor, the report proposes a night life operation with balcony seating, a large banqueting facility, even a large destination health club.
On both the first and second floors, the areas facing the waterfront will include diverse restaurants, including at least one seafood venue with outdoor seating.
Finally, the report calls for minimizing impulse retailing.
Norfolk city leaders say they want to make Waterside a destination, something it hasn't been for quite some time.
The 20 plus page report includes a lot of opinions from stakeholders, including one that states, "The city is not a good landlord, The Waterside isn't their area of expertise."
Mark Landers is Waterside's newest retail. He offers guided segway tours.
"Waterside will come back one day and Norfolk has given me something that Virginia Beach was not able to and that's the venue," said Landers.
Landers said he did not receive a tax incentive for bringing his business to Norfolk, but that his lease is mutually beneficial.
"As Waterside grows, I intend to grow with Waterside," Landers added.
Counilmembers received their copies of the report Tuesday night, but the consultants' presentation of the recommendations will be at the next City Council meeting.
Norfolk Mayor Paul Fraim said some councilmembers expressed concerns that they could not make it to Tuesday's scheduled presentation.
Fraim said council will review the proposal and possibly open it up to the public before anything is potentially approved.
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