NEWPORT NEWS, Va – Newport News’ City Hall is currently in the downtown area of Newport News, but it may not be there for long. The city is considering relocating city hall to City Center.
“I had mixed emotions about moving city hall to the East End to the central part of the city. We have to do what’s best for the citizens. A lot of citizens have spoke up and said they want something that is more centralized,” Newport News councilman John Ealy said.
Newport News Councilman John Ealy says with moving city hall away from downtown, comes revitalization for downtown.
“It’s been a lot of interest and a lot of developers who want to build a lot of big hotels and revenue driving entities,”Ealy said.
He says a few developers have come forward with ideas.
“We’ve heard all ideas and we’re still looking for ideas. Hotels, rooftop restaurants,” Ealy said.
With only a few restaurants downtown, a downtown bartender says he likes the idea of revitalizing the area.
“If we give people a reason, they are always going to come. Right now, unfortunately a restaurant around the corner had to shut down,” a bartender at Gastro at 23rd restaurant said.
City Center is filled with stores and restaurants which some residents believe is a more convenient location for city hall.
“I’m one of the people that goes over town to pay my property taxes so it would be nice if they had a spot right here so I could handle anything that I need,” one Newport News resident said.
“How far is the drive when you have to go to city hall to pay your property taxes?” News 3’s Leondra Head asked. “About 15 or 20 minutes going downtown,” the resident said.
“Good for city hall, city center is a great spot. We come here all the time,” another resident said.
“I’ve talked to residents across the communities and residents are excited about the possibility of moving city center,” Ealy said.
Councilman Ealy says the next step is to have town hall meetings with residents to see what all citizens want.