Thursday, June 24, 2021

New Year-Round Seafood Market and Commercial Kitchen Planned for Newport News

NEWPORT NEWS—The City of Newport News is in the process of developing a year-round Seafood Market and Commercial Kitchen in the Marshall-Ridley Choice neighborhood. A seafood market was identified as a priority for the community through the Choice Neighborhoods Initiative (CNI) planning grant process, and is one of the Critical Community Improvements being supported by CNI funds.

The Choice Neighborhoods Initiative (CNI) is managed by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and gives grants to local communities to transform neighborhoods into places of choice by rebuilding distressed public housing, improving and expanding services, expanding learning opportunities, creating pathways to jobs, and strengthening families.

The Market will be located at the beginning of the city’s existing Seafood Industrial Park. It is anticipated that the market will include fresh raw seafood and produce, as well as other food and beverage products for on-site dining or takeout. Plans also include events and entertainment, and a commercial kitchen component could provide an opportunity for culinary training, community classes and demonstrations in nutrition, food handling, culinary skills, and more.

“We are in the preliminary stages of due diligence and research connected with the Seafood Market,” said Florence G. Kingston, Director of Department of Development for the City of Newport News. “We are working with Hill Studio, who is assisting us with the development and refinement of a concept and operating plan/model for the Seafood Market. There is still a lot of work to be done in terms of having architecture/design plans completed for the space, selecting an operator, and the physical building construction. However, we are hopeful that the market may be up and running by mid-2024.”

Community input is playing a large role in the development and operating plan for the Seafood Market, and the city is looking for citizen feedback. Interested parties can complete an online survey to provide their input. Surveys need to be completed by Friday, April 30.

“We are really excited about this project and how it can take advantage of the existing seafood-related business in the Seafood Industrial Park to create a location that not only expands access to fresh food, but also supports food entrepreneurship within the community,” said Kingston. “The Seafood Market concept and the planned location at the head of the Seafood Industrial Park makes it well-positioned to serve as an amenity to those living within the neighborhood, as well as an attraction for new visitors to the community. As with our other CNI projects, the community has been integral in the development of the concept, and community members are working with us through the implementation process to bring this project to reality.”

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