Friday, February 28, 2014

Proposed outlet mall in Norfolk concerns some Va. Beach residents

by 13News Now Posted on February 27, 2014 at 1:15 AM Updated today at 4:42 AM

NORFOLK -- Simon Property Group's plans to build one of its Premium Outlets at Lake Wright will bring about 90 stores to the location off Northampton Boulevard.

It already is bringing frustration to people who live in Burton Station on the Virginia Beach side of the city line.

"There's gonna be more traffic. We already have a lot of traffic coming down Burton Station Road from the airport, and, now, when the mall comes in, that's gonna be more traffic, and more pollution," said Alethea Morris.

She was one in a crowd of people who attended a meeting Wednesday hosted by the City of Virginia Beach. Its purpose was to share some information about the project taking place on Norfolk-owned land, as well as update people in Burton Station about the Strategic Growth Area Plan for the neighborhood.

"What the residents are more concerned about is getting the public water and sewer installed for the residents that reside there now, and the City has been working with us, but it has just been slow forthcoming," Morris told 13News Now. "The residents of Burton Station have been trying to get public water and sewer since my mom was a little girl. My mom is 71 years old now."
The outlet mall would replace at least part of Lake Wright Golf Course, which the City of Norfolk has owned for nearly 50 years.

"They can, obviously, make the decision to close the golf course. The golf course was a big open space feature of the Strategic Growth Area Plan for Burton Station," noted Virginia Beach Councilman Brad Martin. "To see a plan on paper that they've agreed to and that they've gotten invested in, and then to have a curve ball thrown like this is a difficult thing."

Construction on the outlet mall should begin later this year, with it tentatively opening in 2015.

"We're going to have to have ongoing conversations. The vice mayor is having conversations," said Martin, "with his counterparts in the City of Norfolk, so we feel like we're making some progress, but there are a lot of questions still to be answered."

Simon's Premium Outlets has 79 centers worldwide, including Williamsburg Premium Outlets and Chesapeake Square Mall.

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