Project shows commendable optimism

Published 10:19 pm Friday, April 17, 2009

Downtown Suffolk is unique in many ways. Offering amenities which many downtowns ache for, Suffolk can boast of a vibrant core for its city. At nearly every corner, there are opportunities for dining and shopping. Professionals and government offices fill the buildings once considered the cornerstone of what now is one of the fastest growing cities in the commonwealth.

As of late, a new trend is gracing Suffolk’s downtown — residential living. With the Thomas Jefferson Lofts and the Montgomery Lofts, Suffolk has seen a resurgence in residential living downtown. Having the ability to work, play and live in one common area like a downtown is becoming a hot trend. Capitalizing on the movement while simultaneously fulfilling a vision, Suffolk businessman Tom Powell unveiled plans for East Point Plaza in front of a curious and optimistic crowd this week.

Powell’s vision includes a 32-unit loft apartment complex, which will also house his advertising agency, The Addison Group. In addition to what is going on within the walls of the 100-year plus building is an adjacent plaza available for public use.

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Powell is setting a fine example, demonstrating faith by investing millions of dollars not just in the city of Suffolk, but in its downtown. And while many in the world are in constant fear of where the economic road is going to take the country, people like Powell can take credit for doing their part to make sure that the economy has all the ingredients for success. Although not necessarily dubbed as affordable housing, East Point Plaza will have exceptional living facilities at a reasonable cost to its residents. Needless to say, it’s a desired and needed part of the housing puzzle.

It’s easy for one to have a glum outlook on the world today. But it’s good to see there are people who choose the alternative. People like Powell are willing to invest their time, money and livelihood on innovative thinking. Moreover, those, like Powell, who do more than think, by putting their thoughts into action, are the types of leaders every community needs.