South Norfolk, Virginia

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Coordinates: 36°47′38.7″N 76°16′22.9″W / 36.794083°N 76.273028°W / 36.794083; -76.273028

South Norfolk was an independent city in the South Hampton Roads region of eastern Virginia and is now a section of the city of Chesapeake, one of the cities of Hampton Roads which surround the harbor of Hampton Roads and are linked by the Hampton Roads Beltway.

History[edit]

Located a few miles south of the larger city of Norfolk along the Southern Branch Elizabeth River, South Norfolk became an incorporated town in Norfolk County in 1919. Within three years, it became an independent city.

In the early 1920s, streetcars ran from Ocean View in Norfolk, to South Norfolk. There was a ferry that docked at the end of Indian River Road and crossed the Southern Branch Elizabeth River to Portsmouth.

The much larger independent city of Norfolk expanded rapidly into the adjacent communities after World War II. Although Virginia cities cannot annex each other, Norfolk's expansion threatened South Norfolk's viability as a separate community. The final straw came when Norfolk tried to annex the remaining portion of Norfolk County that bordered South Norfolk. This would have resulted in South Norfolk being completely surrounded by Norfolk. In 1963, after a referendum in South Norfolk and Norfolk County and with approval from the Virginia General Assembly, South Norfolk and Norfolk County merged to form the independent city of Chesapeake in 1963. The new name was also selected through a voter referendum.

Revitalization[edit]

According to the Virginian-Pilot, many residents of the former South Norfolk believe their community's growth was stunted 42 years ago when it merged with Norfolk County to create the city of Chesapeake.

They say the move siphoned tax dollars from their community and rerouted them to other parts of the fledgling city. Greenbrier and Great Bridge, which were just being developed, received much of the focus.

The Gateway at SoNo, the city’s first major redevelopment project generated by the city’s South Norfolk Revitalization Plan. When completed, The Gateway at SoNo, which will span 6 acres (24,000 m2), will feature 133 condominiums and loft apartments as well as 54,000 square feet (5,000 m2) of retail and office space. Harris-Judah LLC, the builder/developer behind The Gateway at SoNo, has announced that affordable, single family homes are available in Chesapeake’s South Norfolk area. The homes, which are row-style, are located on B Street and a total of approximately 15 will be available.

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