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Plans & Studies

Plans & Studies

Downtown Norfolk Council is a strong advocate for Downtown Norfolk and, as such, we seek to keep our membership informed and involved. We strive to provide our members with meaningful and up-to-date information on projects, programs and recommendations that may affect their daily lives. We often survey members in order to better understand the sentiments of our Downtown community and, when appropriate, we encourage our members to share their perspectives with government officials and elected leaders.

Downtown Norfolk Retail Strategy

In 2021, the DNC embarked on study to assess the current conditions of Downtown Norfolk's retail ecosystem. The result is a comprehensive retail strategy that delineates the ideal retail mix and size for downtown, backed by market-driven research and stakeholder input. With downtown's appealing character, historic assets, and a strong pedestrian core, there is ample opportunity to "right size" retail, attract consumers and address current trends. These recommendations, a market analysis, and an accompanying work plan can be found here.

Downtown Norfolk Residential Market Analysis

Stemming from The 2030 Plan: A Vision for the Next Decade, a study was conducted in 2021 to determine the market potential and optimum market position for new rental and for sale housing units in the Downtown trade area. Conducted by Zimmerman/Volk Associates and drawing from extensive population and market data, the study found between 152 and 204 new units per year could be leased or sold in the study area over a five-year timeframe, or a five-year total of 760 to 1,020 new rental or for-sale workforce and market-rate housing units. The full analysis can be found here.

2016 Usage and Perception Study

The DNC is an organization that believes in research-based decision making. In 2016, wDowntown Norfolk Plan | Doing Business | Downtown Norfolke contracted with the Southeastern Institute of Research (SIR) to undertake our Usage and Perception Study. This study follows the tradition of periodically surveying residents in the Hampton Roads area to better understand their use and perceptions of Downtown. You can review highlights and key findings from our 2016 Usage and Perception Study and how the findings compare to previous years. 

Arts & Design District

A revitalization strategy has been underway for an area of Downtown deemed the Arts & Design District. Driven by civic interest in the historic Auto Row neighborhood, community leaders began efforts to transform an under-utilized and bleak part of Downtown into an arts destination. Since 2013, grassroots advocacy and city partnership has led to significant infrastructure and business development. Two reports, The Arts & Design District Revitalization Strategy and the Downtown Arts & Design District Charrette II, addresses the immediate, mid-term and long-term plan of action for the District. 

25 Years of Downtown Norfolk Planning History

Over the past 25 years, there have been a series of principles and strategies that have been remarkably successful in attracting investment and people to Downtown Norfolk. These form the basis of the manual Strategies for Revitalizing Downtown and Adjacent Communities