City’s broken promises have left a Virginia Beach neighborhood waiting for revitalization

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VIRGINIA BEACH. Va. (WAVY) — Just 10 homeowners remain in Burton Station, a historic neighborhood where residents say they’ve been neglected by the city for decades.

In recent years, there’s been progress along Northampton Boulevard near the Norfolk city line, but Burton Station itself is still waiting on revitalization.

“All I want is a nice neighborhood,” said Naomi Morgan, who has lived on Burton Station Road for 49 years.

“They said they were going to come in here and fix the neighborhood up, build new houses and they haven’t done any of that,” said Morgan.

It’s been almost 10 years since the City of Virginia Beach released plans to build 38 new homes, a corner store, a community center and park. None of it came to fruition.

“I want to live my last days in a nice neighborhood,” said Morgan, who has considered putting her home up for sale.

Morgan says 40-plus homes along a polished street has turned into about a dozen homes with some of them vacant.

On Thursday, the city renewed their effort to get public feedback on the future of the neighborhood nestled between the Norfolk Premium Outlets and Norfolk International Airport.

“We’ve promised you many things and they haven’t always gotten done on time,” said Virginia Beach planning director Barry Frankenfield. “It’s been slow.”

Mark Shea, a planning coordinator leading the latest revitalization effort, says the area is still ripe for development.

“It’s got incredible access. Even though the traffic is heavy, it’s very close to the interstate interchange,” said Shea.About 20 residents, mostly landowners in Burton Station, showed up to the informal meeting at Lake Wright Quality Inn and weighed in on various plans. One plan calls for a scaled-down version of Town Center with shops and apartments. The mixed-use space would require a zoning change by the city council. 

Shea says the city has invested about $40 million into neighborhood infrastructure, including water lines to replace well water, to prepare the area for further development.

“If they are going to do it, I want them to do it,” said Morgan. “I’m old now. I don’t want them playing around.”

Shea says a second public meeting will be held in late February or early March. A date has not been set, but it will be held at the Lake Wright Quality Inn at 1521 Premium Outlets Blvd. in Norfolk.

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