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2024 Downtown Norfolk Strategic Plan Update

Visionary, Resilient, Inclusive


In early 2023, DNC initiated the Downtown Norfolk Strategic Plan Update to help identify priorities for the organization and guide Downtown’s growth and development over the next five-to-seven years. The Plan Update builds on the previous Downtown Norfolk Strategic Plan, which was completed in 2015. This Strategic Plan update is timely as Downtown adjusts to new challenges and opportunities that have emerged following the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 and the subsequent acceleration of trends affecting downtowns throughout the nation, including Norfolk.



DNC will be the leading voice for Downtown Norfolk, advocating on behalf of the interests of all segments of the Downtown community at the city and regional levels. 


As was clearly demonstrated over the last several years, the needs of Downtown Norfolk are constantly evolving and DNC needs to adapt to new realities as new challenges and opportunities arise.


One of Norfolk’s greatest strengths is its racial and ethnic diversity. DNC will embrace this diversity through programming and initiatives that are reflective of the broader community by seeking opportunities to cultivate a sense of belonging for all community members in Downtown, and in engaging an array of stakeholders to invoke a strong spirit of collaboration.


Comprehensive, inclusive community engagement was critical to ensure a wide spectrum of voices were heard throughout the strategic planning process.

In total, over 2,000 inputs were gathered as part of this process. Outreach methods included:

  • Downtown Stakeholder topic-based roundtables and one-on-one interviews
  • Steering Committee meetings
  • Pop-up booth at the 2023 Juneteenth Festival in Town Point Park
  • Community-wide online survey
  • Planning charrette at DNC’s 2023 Annual Meeting
  • Open house meetings to present draft plan recommendations


To understand existing conditions in Norfolk, a market assessment examined Downtown through the lens of four main topic areas: Live, Work, Shop & Dine, and Visit & Stay

Understanding Downtown’s market dynamics informed development of the plan’s vision, physical framework, and recommendations.

Key findings and opportunities from the market assessment include: 

View the full market assessment

See what's next for Downtown Norfolk