Seven years ago, the Norfolk City Council and Planning Commission approved the Water’s Edge Development District in the Campostella Heights section of the city.
The six-acre plot of land sits at the southern foot of the Campostella Bridge, facing the Elizabeth River. The address, 350 Campostella Road, was the site of the Giant Open Air Shopping Center complex before it was razed several years ago.
According to Councilwoman Angelia Williams Graves, when the city approved the initial plans, it amended the proposal from a medium to a high-density housing district.
After the city approved the plans, according to Graves who supported the plan then, the development team at the time failed to move forward on the project.
Last year, the plan was revived by the Lawson Corporation of Virginia Beach which presented its plans for the project during a meeting with civic league members on November 6.
It had been renamed The Retreat at Harbor Pointe.
According to Councilwoman Graves, the developer agreed to use the original plans approved by the city in 2011.
Residents of the southside, notably the nearby Campostella Heights neighborhood, say they look forward to the barren stretch of land being redeveloped.
It is one of the largest stretches of valuable waterfront land which could accommodate housing that is undeveloped in the city.
But there are a number of resident leaders in the Campostella Heights section and in nearby Berkley, who say they are concerned about what the latest development plans by the Lawson Corporation have in store for the site at this point.
According to members of the Campostella Heights Civic League, there are a number of concerns which may cause them to stand against the revised plan which was unveiled earlier this week to civic league leaders by representatives of the developer.
Ferne Taylor, who lives in the Campostella Heights community, provided a list of those issues she and other community leaders share.