REGIONAL VIEW eastern virginia

Developer buys land that state wants for transportation project Editor’s note: A previous version of this story appeared on on Sept. 26.

by Michael O’Connor

roadblock from a state trans- portation project intended to ease congestion in Hampton Roads.

A WF Willoughby Spit

LLC, an affiliate of Alabama- based WeldenField Develop- ment, bought 14 acres at the end of Norfolk’s Willoughby neighborhood for $4 million on Sept. 4. The site, which includes

two parcels recently assessed at $6.3 million, was purchased from REDUS VA Housing LLC, a Wells Fargo-con- trolled entity. Brian Rowe, Welden-

Field’s Virginia partner, says the firm plans to develop a 333-unit condominium proj- ect that will be called Admi- ral’s Cove at Willoughby. WeldenField’s plans

will sou nd familiar to people within Norfolk’s real estate scene. The proposal is roughly


The president of a Virginia seafood company pleaded guilty in federal court in September to netting millions by fraudulently labeling hundreds of thousands of pounds of recalled, old or returned foreign crabmeat as fresh Chesapeake blue crab, according to court records. Federal prosecutors in Virginia say Casey’s Seafood Inc. of Newport News mixed discount “distressed” crabmeat from Indonesia, Brazil and other locales with Chesapeake blue crab and labeled it as a “Product of the USA.” Casey’s sold nearly 360,000 pounds from 2012 to 2015, but the fraud may have begun as early as 2010, accord- ing to court documents. The crab was worth $4.3 million at whole-

Photo by Mark Rhodes

waterfront Norfolk condominium proposal could face a

The city of Norfolk has adopted fl ood maps and storm-water regulations since a similar development was proposed 14 years ago.

Virginia law says the

the same as one made about 14 years ago for a develop- ment known as the Spectrum at Willoughby Point. Those plans were shelved

when the developer was beset by financial woes during the recession, and the property went back to its lender, says Robert Thornton, a broker with the commercial real estate firm Cushman & Wakefield|Thalhimer who represented Wells Fargo in the recent sale. Thornton says WeldenField sent its first letter of intent to Wells Fargo

sale prices and was sold in D.C., Maryland, Virginia and other states. (The Washington Post)

Chesapeake-based Dollar Tree is moving 700 jobs from North Carolina to Virginia. Dollar Tree announced in September it is closing Family Dollar’s Matthews, N.C.-based headquarters next fall. This will result in the transition of 700 employees to its new Summit Pointe headquarters, a 12-story office building in Chesapeake’s Greenbrier area. Two hundred jobs will be eliminated in Matthews because of the closing of Family Dollar’s headquarters, but a distribution center there will remain open. Dollar Tree bought Family Dollar more than three years ago for about $9.1 billion. (

around 2012. State transportation

planners have their own ideas for the site.

In expanding the Hamp-

ton Roads Bridge-Tunnel, the Virginia Department of Transportation plans to buy the two parcels for a con- struction staging area, accord- ing to Les Griggs of VDOT. Asked why VDOT couldn’t lease the property during the project, Griggs says that move isn’t an option since “the terrain of the property will likely be altered.”

Hampton Roads may have finally turned the corner after the debilitating recession of 10 years ago and sequestration that cut Defense Department spending starting in 2013. For the first time, the region had more jobs in 2017 than it did at its pre-recession height in mid-2007. And for the first time ever, the region’s gross domestic product, not adjusted for inflation, is expected to break $100 billion, according to the latest State of the Region report from Old Dominion University economists released in early October. (The Virginian-Pilot)

The list of startup businesses inside Selden Market is growing again. The Downtown Norfolk Council announced three new tenants in the retail incubator at 208 E. Main St.: Slide Thru

state can’t try to buy an entire property with an offer lower than its appraised or assessed value unless something has happened to make the property worth less than its assessment. That means if the state plans to buy the 14-acre site on Willoughby Spit, it would have to make an offer of at least $6.3 million, or $2.3 million more than what Wells Fargo sold the property for. The city of Norfolk

says it has adopted new flood maps and storm-water regulations since 2004. A city spokeswoman says the new condo plans would have to be approved for WeldenField’s proposal to move forward. Grady Palmer, a lawyer

for WeldenField, disagrees with the city’s position that the old site plan needs modi- fication. He says WeldenField plans to apply for building permits if it receives no offer from VDOT.

#FAM, KOR Vintage and Pure Lagos. Slide Thru is a restaurant featuring a mix of Filipino and American fare. KOR Vintage is a reseller of vintage and transformed apparel, accessories and home décor. Pure Lagos is an African art gallery and boutique. (Inside Business)


A Virginia Beach-based Realtor has been named Realtor of the Year by the Virginia Association of Realtors. Deborah Baisden is a Realtor with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Towne Realty’s Lynnhaven office. (VirginiaBusi-

Christopher Morello has been named economic development director for Isle of Wight County.

He was the county’s assistant director of economic development. (

Charles E. “Chuck” Rigney Sr. has been named director of economic development for Hampton. Rigney was named Norfolk’s economic development director in 2015, but he became assistant director in March when the city changed its economic development strategy to focus on redevelopment of public housing complexes. (VirginiaBusiness. com)

Charlie Watkins is president and CEO of Landmark Media Enterprises and Dominion Enterprises in Norfolk. He will remain chairman of Expedient, Landmark’s data center and cloud computing company. (The Virginian-Pilot)


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