Downtown Norfolk is compact and walkable and, a very desirable place to live. Within the traditional boundaries of what most refer to as downtown are distinct neighborhoods, each with their own character and each with their own unique attributes.
Freemason Historic District
Located on the Elizabeth River just to the west of the Central Business District is the city's oldest standing neighborhood. Cobblestone streets and mature trees are the backdrop for the city's only neighborhood that presents a visible chronology of three centuries of architectural styles. Converted turn-of-the century warehouses boast trendy loft-style housing while mansion-like homes built by some of the city's earliest residents are just footsteps away from contemporary, state-of-the art condominiums and apartments. The Freemason Historic District is more than a neighborhood, it's an attitude.
The Granby District
Downtown's traditional "shopping street", has become "home" to many. Almost all of the early 20th century buildings that line Granby Street from the waterfront to the Opera House are now home to young professionals or empty nesters. The conversion of upper floors to trendy residential lofts make the Granby District one of the most unique neighborhoods in the entire region.
St. Paul's Neighborhood
Downtown's newest neighborhood has emerged just to the east of the Central Business District. New lofts and condominiums and a converted office building now residential tower share alley space with the region's five-star shopping experience, MacArthur Center. Nothing could be more convenient. On the drawing boards is the addition of 175 luxury apartments to be ready for occupancy in 2010.
Just to the north of downtown is another eclectic neighborhood. Historic homes share fences with beautiful homes built within the last decade. Known as a favorite destination for the "creative class" Ghent is also home to unique shops, bistros and entertainment venues. For more information on Historic Ghent, visit www.destinationGhent.com.