NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – Mayor Kenny Alexander touted a slew of jobs coming to the Mermaid City during his State of the City Address Friday afternoon at the Hilton Norfolk The Main.

His address also noted more affordable housing coming to the city, as well as expanded operations for Carnival Cruise Line.

This year’s State of the City, an annual forum for Norfolk’s business, civic, and community leaders, highlighted key business development initiatives, provided strategic progress updates, address challenges and gave some information about the city’s future.

Norfolk Mayor Kenny Alexander – State of the City Address

Jobs coming

An ongoing offshore wind project, pier construction and more will provide more than 500 jobs for the city.

Councilwoman Mamie Johnson said the key now is to help people prepare to hold those positions.

“Many of our applicants have the opportunity to actually learn how to train for these jobs so that we can repair our citizens of Norfolk,” Johnson said, “and throughout the Hampton Roads to trade in Norfolk, so that they can be productive citizens,” Johnson said.

Jobs weren’t the only future positive announced at the event.

Affordable housing, more cruises, bright future

The redevelopment of Tidewater Gardens into mixed housing will generate more affordable housing for the community.

Carnival Cruise Line will also double its time in Norfolk in 2023 which will bring $25 million to the city’s economy.

Councilman John Paige applauded Norfolk’s bright future.

“There’s so much going on that’s right on and so much for our future. I think our mayor did an excellent job today explaining about where we’re going.”

Police chief future

The event was held the same day of Interim Police Chief Michael Goldsmith’s retirement.

The address also came in the midst of disagreement over Mark Talbot coming to Norfolk to take up the post as the new Chief of Police.

Johnson said what the city needs now is communication.

“[City Manager Chip Filer’s] listening, the mayor’s listening, council is listening. So I think that when we all get together and communicate, it’ll be fine because we’re going to get the best person for the job because it’s all about the safety of our citizens.”

She commented on what she wanted to see in the city’s future.

“Choice neighborhoods where everybody has an opportunity to choose where they live, and I think that’s what we’re doing here in the city of Norfolk right now.”

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