A good week for Suffolk

Published 10:31 pm Friday, December 5, 2014

This was a big week for economic development in Suffolk.

From the fast-growing Harbour View area to the struggling West Washington Street corridor, there was good news coming from all over the city this week, and residents have every reason to feel good about what the announcements, groundbreakings and ribbon-cuttings mean for the city’s future.

Ever since Portsmouth’s Kroger Marketplace opened a couple of months ago, folks from Suffolk who have visited the store have been waiting on the edge of their seats for the company’s Suffolk location to open. They got their wish on Wednesday, as company and city officials cut the ribbon on the company’s fifth and largest Marketplace store in Virginia, a 128,000-square-foot facility that includes a little bit of everything and is expected to be the catalyst for other development in the area.

Email newsletter signup

In fact, the site’s developer noted commitments by Zaxby’s chicken, Texas Roadhouse restaurant and Express Oil Change and Service Center, as well as a new 100,000-square-foot shopping center directly to the north of the Kroger Marketplace on University Boulevard.

Also in North Suffolk, officials from First Team Automotive Group broke ground Thursday on a new Subaru dealership on Bridge Road, just across the line from the First Team Honda and Toyota dealerships. The new location will help seal the area’s reputation as an auto-shopping destination for folks from all over Hampton Roads.

And, unlike many such weeks when North Suffolk seems to get all the attention from developers, this was also a banner week for downtown Suffolk, as a group that has been instrumental in the redevelopment of many of the deteriorating buildings in the city’s core celebrated one of its biggest Suffolk projects yet: the redevelopment of the southern side of the 100 block of West Washington Street.

Monument Construction Company’s $9.5-million project has transformed the block from vacant buildings on their way to collapse into 67 loft apartments and five commercial spaces. Nearly one third of those residential units already have been leased, and three of five of the commercial spaces have already been committed.

The downtown project is especially good news, as city officials expect it to be a catalyst, too — one that drives even more investment into the downtown area.

There was a lot to celebrate in Suffolk this week, and the celebrations are sure to continue. As these companies have discovered, it’s a good time to be in Suffolk.