🌊Today in NFK: Bikes, Desserts, and Hackers

It's Wednesday in the City

It’s Wednesday. Let’s get after it. 🤙

Today’s Weather: Mother Nature serving a cold dish with a side of sunshine. High of 39°F during the day down to 27°F in the evening.

Here’s what we’re watching today:

🚲The Big Reveal: Granby Street Bike Lane Designs

🍰 NEON District Desserts on the Move

🧑‍💻 Hackathon Landing in Downtown Norfolk

📅 Upcoming Events

🚲The Big Reveal: Granby Street Bike Lane Designs

The City is revealing it’s “60% designs” for the bike lanes spanning from Willow Wood Bridge to to Admiral Taussig Blvd on Granby Street.

When:
There’s a community meeting scheduled for January 18th 5:30-7:00 pm at Tabernacle Church of Norfolk (7000 Granby Street). The new designs will be released online after the meeting.

Follow the cash:
The City of Norfolk accepted $822,000 in “use it or lose it” funds for the project in January 2022. Although it received them six years prior. The funds come via Virginia’s SMART SCALE process, which could be seeing big changes. 

Impacts:
The traffic study done back in 2021 indicated that traffic times could actually improve by 10- 40 seconds due to the nature of this section of road. Since Granby Street is two lanes before and after this section, the belief is that moving this section from three to two will reduce lane switching chaos which increases congestion.

Bigger Picture:
This project falls in line with a larger Multimodal Norfolk Plan that guides large and small transportation projects. The economic benefits of bike lanes include higher property values (and thus more tax revenue), increased attractiveness to prospective residents, and cheaper access to jobs. Meanwhile, pedestrian deaths have been reaching new highs across the region.

🍰NEON District Desserts on the Move

La Brioche and Hummingbird, two fantastic dessert shops (La Brioche also does non-dessert baked goods) could be on the way out of the NEON District.

La Brioche French Bakery has signed a lease for 1415 Colley Ave, which is the former location of the Colley Discount Pharmacy that closed after 40 years in business. We reached out to them for comment and didn’t hear back in time to publish, so there’s a chance they’re expanding and hope to make this a second location.

The Hummingbird Dessert Boutique owner, in an Instagram live, asked the community for help finding a new location after a tough year and “cost-prohibitive rents.” The have until the end of January in their current location.

In the macro:
Commercial real estate is often owned with variable rate mortgages and an increase in interest rates this past year may be causing owner distress pushing rents higher for small businesses like these.

In 2021, the Downtown Norfolk Council hired consultants to study retail in Downtown (including the NEON) and produced a strategy to help improve it. The report cited high competition and “lack of progressive ownership” among landlords.

🧑‍💻 Hackathon Landing in Downtown Norfolk

757 Startup Studios and Assembly are hosting 757 Build Weekend February 2nd- 4th at Assembly in Downtown Norfolk.

The Orgs:
757 Startup Studios is one piece of 757 Collab, alongside 757 Angels and 757 Accelerate. While Startup Studios is focused on providing founders customized programming, free workspace, and connecting to a network of mentors, Accelerate provides $20K in non-equity seed capital and growth-focused programming, and Angels provides access to a group of qualified investors.

Assembly is an “innovation campus” housed in the former Rice’s Department Store building downtown. It provides co-working, event space, and dedicated office space to companies like Grow, WPA, Istoria, Have A Good Day, Lynch Mykins, and more. A second phase is in the works.

The Event
Builders is a broad term, no coding required. Teams will be up to six individuals, but everything has to be built from the ground up, no prep allowed. Use of ChatGPT and other AI is encouraged. Registration deadline is Jan 26th.

Why It Matters:
According to ODU’s economics team in their State of the Region Report (warning: Big PDF), the region is incredibly reliant on just three industries: Defense, the Port, and hospitality/tourism and needs diversification in the economy. The Chamber of Commerce recently interviewed local startups and found challenges facing entrepreneurs in the region. Startups and innovative businesses create jobs at higher rates than other companies according to Census Bureau data.

Get In On Innovation:
The Norfolk Innovation Corridor hosts monthly Kickback events for all kinds of creatives, innovators, and professionals to meet in a casual no-agenda manner. The next one is January 25th. 

Supported by Downtown Norfolk Restaurant Week

📅 Upcoming Events

Wednesday:
Restaurant Week in Downtown Norfolk. Rip it. 
Diehn Series Masterclass at Diehn Center for Performing Arts. 3:30 pm. Rip it.
Hokies and Hoos Food Fight Game Watch Party at Waterside District. 6:30 pm. Rip it. 
Super Casual Group Ride departing Local Bike Shop. 6:30 pm. Rip it.
Trivia Night at Smartmouth Brewing. 6:30 pm. Rip it. 
Planetarium Show at Michael and Kimthanh Lê Planetarium. 7:00 pm. Rip it. 
Trivia Night at MJ’s Tavern. 7:00 pm. Rip it. 
Trivia Night at Torch Bistro. 7:00 pm. Rip it. 
Bhav Brigade Yoga at Norfolk Karate. 7:15 pm. Rip it.
Story of the Year performs live at the Norva. 7:30 pm. Rip it. 
Pat Garvey performs live at Grace O’Malley’s. 7:30 pm. Rip it. 
Karaoke Night at Cogan’s. 9:00 pm. Rip it. 

Thursday:
Restaurant Week in Downtown Norfolk. Rip it.
Biz Cafe: Creating Economic Opportunity at Selden Market. 4:00 pm. Rip it. 
The Muse Writer’s Center Happy Hour at The Green Onion. 5:00 pm. Rip it.
Spoken Word Poetry Workshop at Norfolk Public Library. 5:00 pm. Rip it. 
Granby Street Bike Lane Design Community Meeting at Tabernacle Church. 5:30 pm. Rip it. 
Egyptian Magic 101 at Aries Apothecary. 6:00 pm. Rip it. 
Tidewater United Disc Golf Putting League at Smartmouth. 6:30pm. Rip it. 
Trivia Night at Elation Brewing. 6:30 pm. Rip it. 
GSA Jazz Night at The Governor’s School. 7:00 pm. Rip it. 
Reaver Beavers Improv at Reaver Beach. 7:00 pm. Rip it.
Garden Stars Astronomy Night at Norfolk Botanical Garden. 7:00 pm. Rip it. 
Pat Garvey performs live at Grace O’Malley’s. 7:30 pm. Rip it. 
Harold Night at Push Comedy Theater. 8:00 pm. Rip it. 

Friday:
“Threshold” Exhibition Opening Nigh at Offsitae Gallery. 5:00 pm. Rip it.
NFTW Release Party at Benchtop Brewing. 6:00 pm. Rip it.
ODU’s 3MT Competition at University Theater. 6:00 pm. Rip it.
Paul Urban performs live at Elation. 6:30 pm. Rip it.
LAVA Presents: Second Child Band , Films on Song, Zac Plastic at Chicho’s Backstage. 7:00 pm. Rip it. 
Native Dread performs live at Mudita Cafe. 7:00 pm. Rip it.
Wines of Austria & Hungary with Ryn at Vino Culture. 7:00 pm. Rip it. 
Norfolk Admirals vs. Newfoundland Growlers. 7:05 pm. Rip it.  
The Legwarmer's perform live at The Norva. 8:00 pm. Rip it.
Funzie in a Onesie at PBR. 8:00 pm. Rip it.
Friday Nightcap Live Entertainment at Brothers. 8:00 pm. Rip it. 
But Why Bump Off Barnaby at Little Theater of Norfolk. 8:00 pm. Rip it. 
The JAM! at Push Comedy. 8:00 pm. Rip it. 
Pat Garvey performs live at Grace O’Malley’s. 8:30 pm. Rip it. 
Flashback: Escape from New York at Naro Cinema. 9:15 pm. Rip it. 
Teacher’s Pet Improv at Push Comedy Theater. 10:00 pm. Rip it. 

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