NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) - Vice-Mayor Anthony Burfoot is calling on the City of Norfolk to bring the Cordish Company Executives to town to get the ball rolling. Burfoot says the process has been unfair to the group that had the winning proposal to reinvent Waterside.
The vice-mayor compares this to a football game. The Cordish Company was in the end zone with a touchdown, and now the City has put Cordish back on the 50-yard line.
"They need to have a one-on-one with the City Council," says Burfoot.
Burfoot says it's unfair, but the Cordish Company executives need to re-pitch their plan to reinvent Waterside.
"I am hoping the City Manager (Marcus Jones who recommended City Council consider only the Cordish proposal) will bring back the consultants as well as the Cordish Company executives to articulate their vision clear and concise, and once and for all."
The Coridsh Company did not answer any of our questions, but Burfoot feels frustration, "They have to be somewhat restless not to know how they stand when no one is talking to them at this point."
Burfoot is not happy with what he perceives as a slight snub and certainly a stall on the part of the city, "From a Public Relations standpoint this has not gone well for us."
Burfoot wants the cCity to move on with the recommended Cordish plan, and that has not happened.
"My concern is it sends the wrong message to the business community as it relates to the City of Norfolk being open for business."
Burfoot's frustration is based some on the new plan from the Harvey Lindsay Development Group. Their first proposal was a conference center without a hotel attached to it, and costing taxpayers tens of millions of dollars. After consultant reports evaluated both plans, the Harvey Lindsay group changed its plan and included a hotel connected to the conference center, and suddenly the plan would not cost taxpayers anything.
Burfoot does not know anyone on Council that supports Lindsay's new proposal. We couldn't find anyone either. The problem is after all this time, only three council members are firmly behind the Cordish proposal while five appear to be undecided, "We are only dealing with the Cordish Group, I don't think they are getting that sense, I am very disappointed."
City Manager Marcus Jones wants to wait until after the budget process to tackle Waterside. The City Council is free to do what it wants. The Council can take the Cordish deal, the Harvey Lindsay revised deal, or do nothing.
We wanted to find out what the Cordish executives think. They did not answer any of the questions we had for them. We wanted to know if they feel snubbed, if they are upset with the process? Do they think it's unfair especially after their proposal won.
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