SRHA can make Fairgrounds project work

Published 12:00 am Friday, June 20, 2003

Suffolk City Council did the right thing Wednesday in handing the Suffolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority the leading role in nurturing the Fairgrounds Revitalization Plan to fruition.

Such an ambitious project will likely be a dirty job that will require some heavy-handedness and the SRHA has powers to do that – powers the city does not have.

The SRHA is empowered to carry out the plan including slum clearance, acquiring property through eminent domain and making the land available to private and public agencies working to move the project forward.

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The City of Norfolk’s Redevelopment and Housing Authority has been instrumental in that city’s revitalization. The same can happen in Suffolk and must if downtown is ever to realize its potential.