Jillian’s Move: Good or Bad for Waterside?

28 12 2009

I think that it can be a good thing. Waterside needs to be remade into a venue that relates more to the original purpose of the building. They need a quality seafood place, independent shops (like “All About Virginia & More” and “All about Racing & More”), locally owned restaurants, and above all, LARGE  windows that give an open, public view of the waterfront. That is what the purpose of Waterside was and still should be. It is the same reason why we invest so heavily in Town Point Park. The waterfront is and ought to be the public’s domain.

Norfolk - mid-1980's - zoom in and pay close attention to the number of people at Waterside

The image above shows a Waterside full of people. It shows a Waterside tha tis not dependent on taxdollars to survive. That is what we need to rebuild. Do not tear the building down. Renovate it. Make it bright inside again.

Back to Jillian’s. They don’t need to be inside waterside. They should remain Downtown, but not in Waterside. Same goes for Hooters, Outback, and Joe’s. By themselves, they are all good places. They simply do not belong in a venue like the one that I have described. They can stay Downtown, definitely. In fact, it would improve Downtown as a whole to have those restaurants move OUT of Waterside and INTO a street-front property. The amount of pedestrian traffic would surely increase traffic and revenue to the other stores. This move is not an end, but a beginning. A good beginning.

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2 responses

28 12 2009
Brett

I live out in Greenbrier, so I was surprised at the move. I was at Jillian’s when they opened in Waterside. I’m with you 100% though on Waterside. Don’t tear it down, just renovate and make it more attractive. That VA store sounds like a good idea, selling Norfolk trinkets perhaps? Waterside could be so much better than it is if we followed the plan you mentioned, and maybe that is what the city is doing, slowly but surely. I cannot believe how big of a footprint TPP and Waterside leave, and yet, they are the most dormant of all Downtown Norfolk.

28 12 2009
Varider

Outback and Hooter’s should move to the ground floor of the Wells Fargo Center.

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