The redevelopment of the Waterside Festival Marketplace by the Cordish Companies is an excellent example of waterfront entertainment for the new millennium. Initially developed by the Rouse Company in the 1980s, the marketplace had fallen into disuse after several failed attempts to revitalize the center.
The Cordish Companies acquired the building after a successful bid submission to the City of Norfolk. Aside from the opportunity to control the structure, Cordish successfully negotiated the use of the boardwalk, adjacent land, and alcoholic beverage consumption. BCT was instrumental in providing exhibits to portray the redevelopment concepts and their essential components, including the surrounding property, which resulted in a free atmosphere throughout the development.
The entire project design was vetted through the city's arduous Architecture Review Board process, including the review of building design, signage, landscaping, streetscape, and historical concerns. The redevelopment plan, which included partial demolition and full renovation, was met with applause from the Norfolk City Council. Waterside District offers fifty-four food stalls, a full range of culinary options, family-friendly, and nightlife activities, restoring life to Norfolk's iconic waterfront.