Anthony Sabella
October 17, 2023

NORFOLK, Va. — The renaissance of Norfolk’s East Ocean View neighborhood has, in recent years, seen new homes and businesses replace neglected structures. Now, the city is working to figure out what’s next.

Last month, the popular East Beach Farmers Market spent its last Saturday morning at its longtime home nestled on a triangle-shaped grassy lot between Shore Drive and the East Beach community.

“They got kicked off of the property, (but) we were able to keep them in Ocean View,” said Tommy Smigiel, who represents the area on the Norfolk City Council.

It’s just the latest change in a neighborhood many characterize as on the rise, following what Smigiel describes as past mistakes.

“The city planners made a huge mistake on planning Ocean View and they let it overdevelop with apartments that were primarily targeting military folks. Then, over time, those apartments turned into not your best landlords, and it turned into areas of crime and even poverty,” he told News 3. “I think what has happened is just realization that you’ve got seven-and-a-half miles of beach here that families and people want to enjoy.”