Condos in Norfolk
Things to do
Now is the time to buy a Condo in Norfolk, VA
The city has more than 125 miles of navigable waterways set in beautiful countryside, with many miles of riverfront and bayfront property, including beaches on Chesapeake Bay, making it an ideal location for those looking to buy a condo in Norfolk, VA.
History of Norfolk
History of Norfolk
Before looking at Norfolk condos for sale, it’s interesting to see how this historic city developed. Norfolk developed in the late 17th century after a fort was constructed here, growing over the next century into the most prosperous city in Virginia. Because of trading ties to the British Empire, it was strongly Loyalist during the early part of the American Revolution. When the governor was driven into exile, in retaliation ships of the Royal Navy shelled the city and 800 buildings were destroyed. Struggling to recover, the city had a further setback when a devastating fire destroyed 300 buildings. Land, long used to cultivate tobacco, became exhausted and many farmers moved away to more fertile properties. An outbreak of yellow fever in 1865 further reduced the population. At the start of the Civil War, the city voted for secession, but the mayor surrendered to overwhelming Union forces, who occupied it until hostilities ended. The arrival of railroads began to restore Norfolk’s economy. By 1917, as the US prepared to enter World War I, the Naval Air Station of Hampton Roads had been constructed. Following World War II, new highways were constructed in the region and a series of bridges and tunnels linked to neighboring cities. By the 70s, the advent of newer suburban shopping malls and adjacent freeways meant the end for the downtown commercial corridor, located just a few blocks inland from the waterfront.
Things to do in Norfolk
Things to do in Norfolk
After you settle into your new Norfolk condo, you’ll want to discover some of the exciting sights available around your new home.
Nauticus is a maritime discovery center located along the waterfront in downtown, using the museum, the battleship Wisconsin, the sailing center and the schooner Virginia to tell the story of the maritime environment, industry and the military. The Wisconsin is one of the largest and last battleships ever built by the US Navy, earning five battle stars during WWII. She served in Desert Storm, marking the last time that a US battleship actively participated in a foreign war.
The Chrysler Museum of Art has 50 galleries, with more than 10,000 works of art from the Chrysler collection, a growing collection of more than 30,000 objects, an interactive space for families, and the only glass studio of its kind in the Mid-Atlantic region.
The Virginia Zoological Park is a 65-acre zoo adjacent to Lafayette Park. The more than 700 animals on display represent more than 150 different species.
The city maintains three beaches on its north shore in the Ocean View area. Five additional parks contain picnic facilities and playgrounds for children. The city also has some community pools open to city residents.
The Norfolk Botanical Garden includes more than 60 themed gardens that can be viewed by tram, boat or by foot. Themed gardens include a butterfly garden, a perennial garden, the Virginia native plant garden and a rose garden.
The city is also known for “Mermaids on Parade,” a public art program launched 20 years ago to place mermaid statues all over the city. Visitors can take a walking tour of downtown and locate 17 mermaids while others can be found further afield.
The city is in the center of the Norfolk-Virginia Beach-Newport News Metropolitan Area of Virginia. It is bordered to the west by the Elizabeth River and to the north by Chesapeake Bay. It also shares land borders with the independent cities of Virginia Beach to the east and Chesapeake to the south, first and second cities in the state respectively, making Norfolk the third largest. There are about four dozen neighborhoods in Norfolk. Here are seven of the best. Norfolk Neighborhoods Ghent Ghent is the top neighborhood to buy a condo in Norfolk, VA, because of its charming historic character, plenty of trees and green spaces. It’s home to many restaurants plus a variety of small businesses and family-owned shops. People who live here also love it because it’s very safe. Downtown This neighborhood is convenient and walkable, with plenty of shops and restaurants nearby. It’s a popular area for young professionals who want to live near entertainment, dining and shopping, with many condos for sale. Bonus is the wide variety of employment opportunities in government offices, hospitality and law firms. Colonial Place Colonial Place is a historic neighborhood with walkability, a low crime rate, on a peninsula surrounded by the Lafayette River. Many college students pick this affordable neighborhood, also popular among families. Edgewater-Larchmont Most of the residents in this family-friendly neighborhood own their homes and there are plenty of restaurants and parks nearby. It’s bordered by the Elizabeth River and Lafayette River. Downtown is only five minutes away. South Bayview Although there are few amenities in the neighborhood, nothing is far away. It’s great for families and young professionals looking for a safe and affordable place to buy a condo. Very dog-friendly too! Talbot Park Located right on the Lafayette River, this family-friendly neighborhood is also conveniently close to everything with schools, churches and shopping areas close or a quick drive away. North Shore Set just north of Downtown, this safe neighborhood is favored by young professionals and those who work on the adjacent US Navy base. There are several small restaurants and local shops.
The current population is about 238,005, including over 80,000 active-duty military personnel.
In the 1980s, city leaders began a long push to revive the urban core. While Granby Street underwent decline, they focused on the waterfront and its collection of decaying piers and warehouses. Many obsolete shipping and warehousing facilities were demolished, replaced by Waterside Drive, along which many high-rise apartments and condos have been built. A festival marketplace to attract people back to the waterfront and further downtown redevelopment followed, including the Nauticus maritime museum, where the battleshipWisconsin is permanently docked, and a cruise ship pier. The Waterside District was redeveloped in 2017. Downtown's rising fortunes helped to expand the city's revenues and allowed the city to direct attention to other neighborhoods.
Arts in Norfolk
Arts in Norfolk
Norfolk has a variety of performing groups with regular seasons. The Virginia Opera has its principal venue in the Harrison Opera House in the Ghent district.
The Virginia Stage Company is one of the country's leading regional theaters and produces a full season of plays in the Wells Theater downtown.
The Virginia Symphony Orchestra, founded in 1920 performs regularly at Chrysler Hall in the Scope complex downtown.
Large-scale concerts are held at either the Scope arena or the Ted Constant Convocation Center at ODU, while The Norva provides a more intimate atmosphere for smaller groups. Other Norfolk cultural venues include the Attucks Theater and the Jeanne and George Roper Performing Arts Center, formerly Loew's.
The revitalization of downtown Norfolk has helped to improve the Hampton Roads cultural scene, with many music clubs now lining lower Granby Street.
The nearby Waterside Festival Marketplace has also continued to be successful as a nightclub and bar venue.
Harborfest is held during the first weekend of June and celebrates the region's proximity and attachment to the water. At the Parade of Sails numerous tall ships from around the world form in line and sail past downtown before docking at the marina, music concerts, regional food, and a large fireworks display highlight this three-day festival.
Schools in Norfolk
Schools in Norfolk
Norfolk City Public Schools operates five high schools, eight middle schools, 34 elementary schools and nine special-purpose/preschools. Private schools include Norfolk Academy, founded in 1728. Religion-based schools include St. Pius X Catholic School, Alliance Christian School, Christ the King School, Norfolk Christian Schools and Trinity Lutheran School. The Governor's School for the Arts holds performances and classes at the Wells Theater. Norfolk is home to three public universities and one private, plus a community college campus. Old Dominion University is now an independent institution. Eastern Virginia Medical School, founded as a community medical school, is noted for its research into reproductive medicine and is located in the region's major medical complex in the Ghent district. Norfolk State University is the largest Historically Black College and University in Virginia. Virginia Wesleyan College is a small private liberal arts college. Tidewater Community College offers two-year degrees and specialized training programs. Additionally, several for-profit schools operate in the city.
Known for the arts, diversity and Naval Station Norfolk, the city is an excellent place to buy a condo. It has a booming economy with many employment opportunities. USA Today called Norfolk one of the Top 10 booming downtowns and recognized its decade-long housing, retail and financial growth.
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