The Norfolk Economic Development Authority (EDA) voted unanimously to move forward with the purchase of the Military Circle Shopping Mall, located on North Military Highway. The deal was closed on Thursday, April 30.

In 2014, the EDA purchased the former JC Penney’s for $2.3 million and redeveloped the 200,000 square foot building into a modern office building that is now 100% leased. The additional purchase includes the entire mall and the surrounding out parcels.  The EDA authorized the purchase price at $11 million. The most recent property assessment for the site is over $41.1 million. An affiliate of Harbor Group International facilitated the transaction.

“Today marks the beginning of a new and exciting chapter of Norfolk’s history. The Military Circle corridor is the crossroads of the Hampton Roads region. The acquisition of this site is strategic for the City and allows us to not only bolster economic development but to address resilience challenges by concentrating future development in this area,” said Mayor Kenneth Cooper Alexander in a press release. 

A 2017 state-funded report completed by the City of Norfolk showed the potential for over 6,000 housing units and 16 million square feet of non-residential development in this corridor. A vision has been for a transit-oriented mixed-use development anchored with institutional and civic uses. The plan showed urban streetscapes, parks, and urban plazas with walkable and bikeable streets. 

“This acquisition will accelerate our efforts to redevelop this corridor bringing new jobs and quality new development while increasing the City’s tax base. Exciting changes are ahead that will reflect the City’s long-term vision for this area.” – Jared Chalk, Executive Director of the Norfolk Economic Development Authority 

“The Mayor and City Council asked us to be bold in our economic development efforts, and this purchase is the first step in a bold new vision for the Military Highway Corridor. Norfolk will continue to move forward with projects that provide  opportunities for growth and increase revenue and jobs in our City.” – Chip Filer, Norfolk City Manager 

No date has been selected for the demolition of the mall, nor has a timeline been finalized for new construction to begin.