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City has a basic survey for interested residents on their .gov page.  I like the design and the incorporation of art, colors, outdoor community elements, rooftop, etc.  Height would be nice, but since

The city has since responded.  https://www.stpaulsdistrict.org/post/response-to-bloomberg-article-about-st-paul-s-area-published-september-22-2020-by-caleb-melby?fbclid=IwAR1WYvPQKWeo9oghKESzG_7_

The city needs to do a better job of proposing an actual plan for the TG residents. That doesn't mean empty promises of employment training, jobs during construction, or moving them to other public ho

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2 hours ago, mistermetaj said:

The city needs to do a better job of proposing an actual plan for the TG residents. That doesn't mean empty promises of employment training, jobs during construction, or moving them to other public housing sites. It means setting up residents with section 8 housing throughout the city. The argument to removing public housing is the decentralization of poverty (something Paul Riddick clearly doesn't care about). There are plenty of landlords in Norfolk or the greater Hampton Roads area who rent to section 8 and are always looking for more residents. The federal government might not be a great landlord or developer, but they pay on time and actually require the landlords to treat the residents decently and maintain their homes. There is dignity in living in a private property over public housing. Nobody who needs public assistance should be forced to live in unkept barracks. 

The gaslighting in this article is so harmful. Referring to an underdeveloped, literally sinking public housing project as a "historically black neighborhood" is damaging to the image of Norfolk and residents who live in TG. It's turned gentrification into an almost racist word and keeps people, both city residents outside and inside public housing, stuck in the status quo. It's anti-progressive and divisive. 

A very good analysis. Thank you.

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6 hours ago, BFG said:

Lori went in! Wow, you don't see that type of letter from a city official everyday. Stopped just short of calling him names. :lol:

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On the docket for the November 9th ARB meeting is a recommendation to City Planning for this development on Block 18, which is between the bus transit center and the McDonalds - that is due to be demolished. In the first photo (labeled St Pauls Blvd), you can see where they plan to move the McDonalds to. There are more renderings at the following link. 

http://norfolkcityva.iqm2.com/Citizens/FileOpen.aspx?Type=1&ID=1490&Inline=True

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Edited by BeagleAccountant
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The saga continues...what ya'll think is going on? Is the lawsuit gaining more traction in court than the city originally thought?

https://www-pilotonline-com.cdn.ampproject.org/c/s/www.pilotonline.com/government/local/vp-nw-norfolk-city-refuses-interviews-st-pauls-20210201-wy3tl3lmtbeuxjay42dgm7wljy-story.html?outputType=amp

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20 hours ago, Norfolk757Kid said:

The saga continues...what ya'll think is going on? Is the lawsuit gaining more traction in court than the city originally thought?

https://www-pilotonline-com.cdn.ampproject.org/c/s/www.pilotonline.com/government/local/vp-nw-norfolk-city-refuses-interviews-st-pauls-20210201-wy3tl3lmtbeuxjay42dgm7wljy-story.html?outputType=amp

I saw this article last week and deliberately didn't post it. There's nothing going on any different than before, this is just the pilot trying to create controversy where there is none so they can generate clicks, ignore it.   Telling employees not to talk to media about a pending lawsuit is standard for any business or government entity, it has no bearing on whether the lawsuit itself does or does not have merit.

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The Willis building is going to be redeveloped. Nothing concrete just yet.

https://www.virginiabusiness.com/article/three-hampton-roads-revitalization-projects-receive-1m-from-state/

Willis Building, Norfolk, $250,000. The EDA is reviewing development proposals, which include the renovation of the building for retail and office space, potentially for the city of Norfolk’s Department of Human Services, as well as for affordable housing. 

https://www.commercialcafe.com/commercial-property/us/va/norfolk/the-willis-building/

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That makes a nice gateway into the SPQ, in my opinion. Fill in as many gaps in that end of Church St. as you can. 

Curious to see what happens with the post office site too. 

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BET with Soledad Obrien spotlighted the redevelopment of the Tidewater Gardens Public Housing Project.   Two things stood out I think the documentary was overly harsh on NRHA and the city.   The city has held numerous community charrettes and has asked residents what would they like to see in SPQ.  I think the Documentary really put the spot light on the poor messaging coming from NRHA and the city.   Soledad Obrien called NRHA, the director of People First and the Mayor.  Only the Mayor was contacted and he was easily tripped up by Soledad Obrien's question about how can you guarantee that all current Tidewater Garden's can return when they are building less affordable units in SPQ then what there is now.  The City has got to work on their communications with the press.  Its simply unacceptable to stop talking with the press about this massive redevelopment project.  Although I understand the need to remain silent while the development is in litigation, there is no excuse for the city to completely ignore media inquiries.  Norfolk has to do better! Here is a link to the program: https://www.bet.com/video/disrupt-and-dismantle/season-1/full-episodes/episode-105-displacement-in-the-mermaid-city.html

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Here is Soledad O'brien talking about the BET Documentary about the demolition of Tidewater Gardens and the SPQ revitalization.  She starts out talking about how Norfolk is a beautiful growing city, but there is the other side of redevelopment and that is the displacement of current residents in Public Housing.  

 

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I haven't watched the video, so I don't know what position they are taking. However, the title is "...Disrupt & Dismantle The Gentrification of Urban Communities"

This is why I have little to no faith that anything of significance will happen in Norfolk. St Paul's isn't an "urban community". It isn't a thriving or working class historically black neighborhood where a bunch of yuppies are moving in to their old apartment building and causing rent to shoot up (a la West Harlem). This is public housing. If these activists and the city aren't willing to distinguish between rundown public housing and true historically black neighborhoods, then this project is as good as dead IMO.

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The people complaining must want nothing to change. As stated above, this was not a once vibrant and historically black community. It is and always has been public housing. It’s concentrated poverty, which is the death knell for any neighborhood. The complaint seems to be that not every single resident can come back. I’m sorry, but if you keep the exact same people in the exact same place what have you really accomplished except, perhaps, updating the housing stock? The concentrated poverty is still there, the reasons for that poverty are still there, and jobs will not magically appear for folks who may not have a high school diploma/Ged/vocational degree/etc. I don’t know what the answer to this problem is but I do know that simply giving the area a face lift and doing the exact same thing ain’t it. Mixed income is the way to go. Expungement of criminals records for minor offenses is the way to go. Scholarships to technical and trade schools would provide huge benefits. Provide people with a pathway toward upward mobility. Let’s solve the underlying issues first. 

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That clip was one-sided and accusatory, and I’m a fan of Soledad O’Brien. I don’t wanna see a repeat of East Ghent or what we’ve seen in DC and NY. But as someone mentioned above, the city has been very transparent with the charettes, and they’ve already opened income-based apartments. I hate to see our town singled out nationally for doing something other cities have done, but have gone about it in a positive way. 

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I came across this video on YouTube.  He talks about the Norfolk news story and SPQ a bit but also focuses on a commercial that was in between segments marketed for the target audience, asking if it was appropriate or a marketing tactic.

I thought it was interesting.

 

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Keeping people locked away in these antiquated and sometimes dangerous concrete boxes is cruel and unusual.  We have witnessed 60 or more years of the pubic housing experiment, an abject failure time and again, all across the US, as study after study have shown that mixed income is the aspirational way to lift all economic boats and to simultaneously reduce crime and drug use in densely populated, low-income African American communities. For the better part of three decades, SOME of the resistance to moving toward a mixed-income neighborhood replacement model, i.e., moving more upwardly mobile folks into the urban mix via the addition of market-rate rentals and deeded single family/townhome/condo (whatever the particular mix may be here, I’m not sure), seems to be rooted in some type of perverse plantation preservation mentality. The government, of course, being the plantation owner.  The advocates for rebuilding public housing in lieu of something like what’s going on here—or at  least those who seem reflexively opposed to what they would falsely term “gentrification,” are both white and African American—progressives all.  Well, I’m here to tell you that there’s nothing “progressive” about what they are espousing.  

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I’d like to revisit this in five years, and see who from Tidewater Gardens was able to stay, then ask about their quality of life in 2026 compared to the last few years. 

Same for anyone who moved into the new mixed-use apartments off Charlotte St. 

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