NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) - Norfolk city leaders failed to come through on their promise to make a decision on the fate of Waterside Festival Marketplace by Christmas.
Assistant City Manager Stanley Stein told WAVY.com Thursday there is still no decision on whether to tear the building down or renovate and redesign it.
City leaders said they are still waiting to get the results of a study done by consultants they hired to advise them on whether the structure should be torn down or not. One city spokesperson said it would likely be a couple more months before the report is finished. Stein said it should be sooner.
"Actually I am disappointed," said one of only a handful of lunchtime visitors to the once thriving venue on Thursday. "To indicate we are going to have something [a plan] and end up with nothing, yes that's a big dissapointment."
Another visitor said, "Waterside's a pretty cool place, you said you'll have a plan, get a plan."
WAVY.com called Councilwoman Dr. Theresa Whibley, whose Ward 2 includes Waterside. We were told she "does not speak with Channel 10," leaving our Norfolk viewers in the dark.
Vice Mayor Anthony Burfoot said he expects to get the consultants' report during January's council meeting.
"Once we answer that question," said Burfoot, "then the other things in terms of what needs to be there, that's a whole other issue and planning process."
Sounds like the big picture plans are still quite a ways off, but before that, Norfolk has to do something short-term with Waterside before it hosts the huge, international festival OpSail 2012.
"We need to ensure that we one can generate revenue and two, when people come to Norfolk as a city, as a region, we are not embarrassed," said Burfoot.
OpSail is set for June 2012.
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