NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) - City officials are learning tonight what consultants thought of the two options on the table to replace Waterside in Downtown Norfolk.
The Cordish Companies want to create "Waterside Live", a venue featuring entertainment and restaurants. The project would cost $30 million.
The second option being considered is by the Harvey Lindsay Development Group, which is based in Norfolk. The agency wants to build a new conference center on the existing site. The $200 million project would include a new marina and two hotels.
Both consultants agree either project will work and would have a positive impact on the city.
One finding listed in the report prepared by Huntley Partners, Inc. on the Cordish proposal said, "The Cordish plan has the potential to restore Waterside's peak sales level without absorbing a dominant share of new restaurant sales even in the most conservative scenario."
But, the food and beverage business in Norfolk is on the decline. The Huntley Partners said the entertainment venue would have to have regional appeal to increase the potential for higher restaurant sales.
Monday, the Strategic Advisory Group updated the 2004 Convention/Conference Center Feasibility Study to address an assessment of the Harvey Lindsay project. The report stated, in part, "In order for Norfolk to compete for significantly larger groups at the next level, larger meeting facilities must be built, and a hotel should be integral."
The agency believes the conference center should target small to medium-sized conventions. However, there's not enough land for that at the current site, Vice Mayor Anthony Burfoot pointed out.
Jones is set to make his recommendation to council April 24.
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