NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Norfolk taxpayers are on the hook to buy more than six acres of land being vacated by the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration.
On Tuesday, Norfolk City Council will vote on spending $4.6 million to acquire the nearly four acres of property that made up the former Norfolk field operations office for the NOAA National Geodetic Survey.
While the abandoned Front Street facility in the city’s Fort Norfolk district has been eyed by city leaders for years, the National Defense Authorization Act of 2023 requires the transfer.
The city said the land could be used to help with the Army Corps of Engineers floodwall alignment and maybe even a future fire station.
However, the price tag is a little higher than the city would have liked.
“The proposed purchase price … is significantly higher than City projections,” Kyle Spencer, the city’s chief resilience officer, said in a memo to city council.
All of Hampton Roads’ congressional representatives voted “yes” on the law requiring the transfer of the property to Norfolk “to not less than the fair market value.”
As a result of inflation, real estate prices nationwide have sky rocketed.
This will be the first of two eventual votes. While NOAA has vacated their 7,000-square-foot building on Front Street, they still occupy their 2.5 acres on W. York Street in Freemason.
NOAA is eventually moving the Marine Operations Center-Atlantic from Norfolk to Naval Station Newport in Newport, Rhode Island.