Greyhound Station Dreams Part 2

by | Jan 24, 2022


To recap, the old Greyhound station on Granby Street is on the docket for significant redevelopment, and the City of Norfolk wants proposals. We decided to crowdsource some ideas to see what the community was dreaming up for such a suitable location. 


Over the several weeks, we gathered almost 90 total responses from the community with ideas ranging from the germane to the gargantuan. Some may indeed be impractical, but we’ll leave those considerations to the professionals. We’ve compiled all of the ideas below and did our best to categorize them. We condensed repeated or closely-related statements, as well as some more drawn-out submissions.


One clear trend seemed to emerge across the responses: Citizens want a space to come together, whether it’s for enjoying time with those closest to them, lending a hand to those vulnerable in the community, or creating space for spontaneous meetings of like-minded folks. The responses skewed strongly towards environments, ideas, and projects that would gather people frequently, not just a once-in-a-blue-moon type of space, but one where you could return to week after week. The response trend isn’t so surprising given the amount of social distancing, remote working, and societal stress; people are yearning for more social relationships, community connection, and casual human interaction.


Category 1: Entertainment/ Experience 

The most heavily commented, submitted and liked category. These are projects that would ‘give me something to do,’ creating places that you’d want to go back to time and time again. They’re overwhelmingly casual and cater to both friends and family. Several of these ideas appear to require significantly more square footage than available at the Greyhound site, but the former Nordstrom’s is much larger and still empty. 

  • Music Venue
  • Bowling Alley
  • Roller/Ice Skating Rink 
  • Indoor Skate Park 
  • Batting Cages
  • Social Sports Club (Bocce, cornhole, billiards, shuffleboard)
  • Traditional Video Game Arcade/AR/VR Arcade / Gym Arcade
  • Neon Art Gallery / Museum / Workshop
  • Dinner Theater 
  • Mini Golf 
  • Laser Tag
  • Bumper Cars
  • Arcade 
  • Haunted House
  • Karaoke Bar
  • Great Wolf Lodge-style Amusement Park 
  • Mount a giant Ferris wheel on top

Category 2: Community Support 

The second most commonly seen request was to build a space that helps strengthen and support our most vulnerable neighbors. When looking at the litany of systemic issues facing the city, there’s no doubt that the support systems in the community need reinforcement. One particular comment drove home the emotion that seems to underpin many of these suggestions: “if we have the opportunity to improve something about our city with this project, our first priority should be those who are suffering the most.”

  • Mental Health & Therapeutic Services
  • Education Center
    • Homework center for teens
    • Parenting curriculum
  • Youth Art Center
  • Aid Center for Veterans / Formerly Incarcerated 
  • Center for the unhoused
  • Public housing / Affordable housing 


Category 3: Retail

There has long been a chorus of voices clambering for a grocery store downtown. Alongside this were many calls for ‘market-style’ establishments with many different vendors, with examples from other cities and Selden Market specifically named. 

  • Grocer 
    • Specialization in local/fresh produce
    • Trader Joes
    • Whole Foods
  • Market-style retail with dozens of vendors
  • Target 
  • CVS / Convenience 


Category 4: Public Space

Another popular request was public space. A free-to-use location with no pre-determined agenda. More room to gather, play, or be.

  • Indoor park 
  • Greenhouse/Tropical Gardenhouse
  • Library 


Category 5: Food / Drink 

Norfolk already has a notable restaurant scene, and some want to double down with more exciting establishments. Others wish to have their favorite national chains closer to home. 

  • Seafood Market 
  • Community Kitchen / Test Kitchen / Student Kitchen
  • Street food market
  • Brewery
  • Seafood Boil Restaurant
  • Non-alcoholic specialty 
  • Starbucks
  • Cookout (ok, was this a joke?)


Other Ideas:

  • Video Production Studios
  • Creative Arts Studios
  • Makerspace
  • Yoga / Meditation space 
  • Old School bathhouse / Sauna 


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