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‘Destination Harbour View’ a good fit

Published 10:21pm Saturday, June 7, 2014

What’s in a name?

For folks involved in marketing the city of Suffolk as an alternative to places like Greenbrier, Hilltop, Oyster Point and other commercial centers around Hampton Roads, the right name could make all the difference.

One thing those other areas have that sets them apart is an identity as a compact, congruous community. Chesapeake, for instance, like Suffolk, is a big city characterized by a diverse geography and many different types of communities. But Greenbrier is readily recognizable as a center of commerce within that large city.

Suffolk economic development officials hope to create the same type of identity around the name “Harbour View.” While they will continue to market the city as a whole — and various parts of the city for specific commercial, industrial and residential projects — city officials have identified an opportunity to take the Harbour View brand and use it as a springboard to a marketing campaign designed to promote the many advantages companies could enjoy by locating in the North Suffolk community.

“Destination Harbour View” has become the umbrella under which those marketing efforts are taking place.

“We wanted to give it a little more pizzazz,” Economic Development Director Kevin Hughes said recently, explaining that the re-branding is part of his department’s effort to market not just the existing Harbour View area, but also the 55-acre College Drive site owned by the city’s Economic Development Authority. That site will be called “The Point at Harbour View.”

For years, the area has been known simply as “North Suffolk.” But that designation is too broad — encompassing, as it does, anything from Eclipse to Chuckatuck to Nansemond Parkway — and it doesn’t create the sort of identity that makes an economic development prospect feel like part of a cohesive community. It’s also not a great name to compete with the Greenbriers of Hampton Roads.

“We think Harbour View has the ability and the name recognition to do that,” Hughes said.

There are many sites in other parts of Suffolk that could be enticing for the right kind of development. The former Obici hospital site is one good example, and officials hope to be able to make that site even more attractive by expanding it into the adjacent Virginia Department of Transportation property.

But Harbour View, with its ready access to I-664, its proximity to the rest of Hampton Roads and its existing infrastructure, will continue to be one of the prime development prospects of Southeast Virginia for some time to come.

Recognizing the success of the Harbour View brand, it makes good sense to give the community immediately surrounding that area an identity that fits it so well. Welcome, then, to Destination Harbour View.

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