New Kempsville community center, new TC businesses, fighting flooding, remembering Las Vegas in Pungo, and more

October 29, 2017


Rewind's news summaries are drawn from reports published on


Somona-Williams, Pottery Barn coming to TC: Pottery Barn and Williams-Somoma are opening next summer at Town Center, taking up 18,000 square feet of space. The new activity's part of the city's multi-phased plan to add more development to the downtown area, including a 300-seat performing arts theater, public plaza, pedestrian bridge, 39,000 square feet of retail and shopping space and one- and two-bedroom studio lofts. Williams-Somona already has a store in the Hilltop shopping area, Pottery Barn is already in Norfolk.


New Kempsville community center: A new nonprofit youth center, Am I My Brothers Keeper, recently opened at 352 Cleveland Place in Kempsville, between Greenwich Road and Virginia Beach Boulevard. Founded by the Reverend James Risper, whose married son was murdered in 2006 at the age of 29, the center's equipped with computers donated from the city's school system and aims to help low income kids stay on the right path in the community. It's also an option for families who can't afford joining city rec centers. Open Sundays for religious services, it also opens Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights for educational activities. There is tutoring by appointment, volunteers supplying mentoring, counseling and social work services, and motivational speaking by Risper, a reformed drug addict. 


Shea Farm coming to Indian River: Shea Farm, a new 15-single-family-home subdivision, is set to break ground by year's end, with new owners moving in my March. Builder and developer is Richard Duncan, co-owner of Pace Homes in Virginia Beach. The homes will be up to 3,000 square feet in size, with prices starting in the upper $300,000s. Three houses near 4460 Indian River Road will be demolished to make way for the new development.


City seeks grant to help flooded neighborhoods: Virginia Beach city officials are trying for a grant to help lift aging homes off slab foundations and ensure new homes won't have them. To that end, the city's participating in the Bloomberg Mayors Challenge, where winners get up to $5 million to fix community problems. The city is looking for funds to help three neighborhoods badly flooded by Hurricane Matthew, Windsor Woods, Princess Anne Plaza and The Lakes, and won't know for two months if it'll get a $100,000 grant and it may be year before it hears back about a potential $1 million or $5 million grant.


Mustang lovers gather in Pungo for Las Vegas victims: A special event, "Vegas Strong - Gathering to Honor the Victims of the Vegas Tragedy," was held recently at the Military Aviation Museum in Pungo, bringing together numerous local and regional Mustang clubs in remembrance of the Las Vegas gun violence tragedy.


New idea for old Dome site: In addition to restaurants, retail stores, apartments and live music, a surf park may be added to a new proposal for the old Dome site that includes music superstar and Virginia Beach native Pharrell Williams as a partner. Any proposal for the Oceanfront project has to be approved by City Council, with several having already come its way, but not accepted.


Cavalier Hotel's executive chef named: Dan Elinan will be the renovated Cavalier Hotel's executive chef when it opens next year. Arriving at the Cavalier from the Hilton Virginia Beach Oceanfront, the home of restaurants Catch 31 and Salacia, he's a 1997 graduate of Culinary Institute of America, Hyde Park, New York.


Norfolk at odds with post office over redevelopment: The city of Norfolk wants to demolish 1,600 public housing units not far from its downtown area, but a U.S. Postal Service processing and distribution center, resting on 19 acres of land and employing 575 people, stands in the way. The city wants the land for redevelopment, including 1,800 to 2,000 new homes.


HOT regional roads on track: A $410 million contract has been awarded to expand the High-Rise Bridge and Interstate 64 by two more lanes. Called High Occupancy Toll (HOT) lanes, they allow vehicles with at least two passengers to travel free; vehicles with only one person pay based on how heavy traffic is. Construction is set to be completed by the summer of 2021.


Chesapeake's water woes in Fentress: Some of Chesapeake's Fentress residents are still using bottled water, and others' water supplies are routinely tested for toxins, following the recent discovery of contaminated firefighting foam in well water used in and around Naval Auxiliary Landing Field Fentress. A $2.5 million study is being conducted on new, uncontaminated foams and is expected to be completed in 2020. The Navy has spent more than $20 million on whether perfluorinated compounds were in the water near 47 installations, spending about $24 million on mitigation efforts at or near five of those, including $3 million at Fentress.


Courtesy photo: Flooding last year in Kempsville.



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