Pleased about Harbour View growth

Published 10:48 pm Wednesday, June 29, 2011

It seems like every time I visit the Harbour View East shopping center something new is being built.

Since I started at the Suffolk News-Herald in April, I have covered the grand opening of PetSmart and the planned opening of Dick’s Sporting Goods. Yesterday, I found out two more retail stores are going in next door to Dick’s.

The stores, rue21 and GNC, will be smaller and more specialized than their big-box neighbors, OfficeMax and Bed, Bath & Beyond, and they will be placed between Kohl’s and Dick’s.

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As I prepare for a move to North Suffolk from Newport News, I find the growth in the shopping area comforting.

I currently live near a shopping center that contains Kohl’s, OfficeMax, GNC and rue21, and it’s nice to think there will be something familiar when I move.

Because so many people call North Suffolk home, it’s great that Harbour View East and its counterpart on Harbourview Boulevard are becoming retail centers for the city and surrounding areas.

When I started looking for places to live in North Suffolk, one of the reasons I was attracted to Harbour View was the convenience of the retail shops and restaurants.

Living close to a grocery store, such as Walmart, is especially nice, because it makes picking up milk and big grocery hulls easier when I’m on my way home.

The Harbour View shopping centers deliver that convenience.

In addition to everyday staples such as Walmart, I think it’s even more encouraging to see specialty stores like rue21 popping up.

The company sells casual apparel and accessories for young women and men; it has only four other stores in Hampton Roads, with the closest store to Suffolk located in Newport News.

Because rue21 caters to a specific customer type, its store in Harbour View East will do more than attract Suffolk residents; it also will draw people in from other cities.

And it’s just as important for shopping centers to bring people into the city as it is that they attract local residents.

The growth in the Harbour View shopping centers reflects the needs of a growing part of the city. Every time I see new construction or hear about a new store opening, it’s a reminder of the new form North Suffolk is taking, and I’m enjoying witnessing this change.