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Creating vibrant neighborhoods to live, work, and play - by design - for the way you roll!

Priority neighborhood commercial districts are areas identified as a possible choice location for a new breed of retail, artisanal manufacturing, creative services and unique gathering spaces. Which neighborhood fits your business plan?


Berkley - Feels like family

Berkley is a historic neighborhood and home to America's shipbuilding industry along the Elizabeth River. For over twenty years, this areas has celebrated the "Berkley Family Reunion" bringing old and new friends together. Get absorbed in the proud heritage and fascinating history its residents adore. Now, new housing projects are underway and residents are seeking products and services, retail and restaurants.

Chelsea - Eclectic Foodie Destination

The Chelsea neighborhood located near West Ghent is one of Norfolk's most exciting new commercial districts, featuring new businesses that appeal to foodies and fans of craft breweries. The Bakehouse at Chelsea, which opened in 2014, features wood-fired European hearth breads and flat bread pizzas using organic flour and locally sourced produce. Next door is The Birch, a beer garden, bar and restaurant. Smartmouth, an award winning brewery is located nearby on Raleigh Avenue. Other restaurants include Tortilla West and the Torch Bistro. These businesses coexist comfortably with older, established industrial businesses located nearby. Ride your bike and hit the Elizabeth River Trail. Click here for a taste of the Chelsea experience.

Five Points - Make it Yours

The Five Points Better Block project proved this diamond in the rough is just waiting to be discovered. Existing events in the area include fun runs and Clycolvias. It is positioned near seafood purveyors, and ripe for artisanal treasures and manufacturing. Add a helping of Aunt Bee's jam and Mayberry it could be. You'll see guitars hanging in the pawn shop window. Bring some music.

Norfolk Arts District - Get Energized

The Norfolk Arts District features artists, musicians, the breathtaking Chrysler Museum and a working glass studio, performing arts, comedy, holistic healing. In a nutsell, you'll find just about every art form there is coming alive and you can talk about it all at The Plot, an urban park. And, it's happened in just a short time. Our world-class institutional assets have welcomed entrepreneurial adventures. This area is in downtown and connects the core to the historic Ghent area. Click here to keep up with what's happening in the Arts District.

Ocean View - Vacay 24/7

If Bay breezes and a vacation lifestyle are attractive to you, consider Ocean View. Ocean View is a seven mile coastal strip running between Norfolk Naval Station and the Little Creek Amphibious Base. Major housing projects and an award-winning coastal village have transformed this area - attracting families, young professionals and retirees alike. Going to and from work by boat is an option.

Park Place / 35th Street - Surprisingly Unique

Here, you have a two for one. Park Place's industrial roots have attracted artisanal manufacturing, young families renovating homes, a new YMCA and an E3 School for early learning. Get to know the locals at O'Connor's Brewery and Handsome Biscuit. Smell the peanut brittle from Old Dominion Peanut, the largest manufacturer of the concoction in the United States. The 35th Street retail district is reviving itself. Croaker Spot, a popular soul food restaurant, accompanied by new apartments, is providing a new energy. And don't forget the Virginia Zoo (and its 500,000 annual visitors) is right around the corner.

Railroad District

The Railroad District Business Association is the foremost advocate and steward of the Railroad District, effecting change through strategy development, goal setting, and capacity building that promote business and economic growth while fostering a healthy community. Click here to see with what's happening in the Railroad District.

North Colley

The North Colley Business District is Norfolk’s newest.  The area encompasses more than 155 businesses and several of the trendiest restaurants in town. This area is in walkable distance to Old Dominion University and the Lafayette River flows by. See what’s happening here 

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Norfolk Department of Economic Development Mission

Generate wealth for the City of Norfolk through business expansion, enhancement, and new business development complementary to our neighborhoods.

Contact Info

(757) 664-4338
999 Waterside Drive
Suite 2430
Norfolk, VA 23510

Staff Details

Jared Chalk
Interim Economic Development Director 

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