Great things really did happen in 2016 for the City of Newport News. Here are just a few of the highlights from the year.
• Opening of New South Police Precinct - 2016 kicked off with the Newport News Police Department opening its brand new South Precinct at 3303 Jefferson Avenue, replacing the much smaller and antiquated Briarfield Road office. This new 20,000 square foot $6.6 million facility was the first component of the Brooks Crossing development to open. In August, Newport News Fire Department administration moved
from City Hall to the second floor of the South Precinct joining their fellow public safety partners.
• Governor Terry McAuliffe and Printpack announced a $25.7 million expansion of its manufacturing operation in Oakland Industrial Park and the creation of 50 new jobs here in Newport News. Printpack is one of the largest manufacturers of flexible and specialty rigid packaging in the United States.
• One City Marathon
- The City hosted its 2nd Annual One City
Marathon and saw an increase in the total number of participants in the Marathon, 8k and Nautical Mile Fun Run
. The races were assisted by over 800 volunteers and cheered on by thousands of spectators. Three local charities received $21,647
from the 2016 One City Marathon.
• The Newport News Redevelopment and Housing Authority (NNRHA) was awarded Multi-Family Project of the Year
for “Jefferson Brookville Apartments”
at the 2016 Sustainable Leadership Awards. The Jefferson Brookville project utilized new construction and the adaptive reuse of the historic Washington School and Mesic Hardware Building to provide 50 units of affordable housing. Newport News Redevelopment and Housing Authority received a $148,068 grant from the Department of Housing & Urban Development
to support the agency's Family Self Sufficiency program, a program that coordinates public and private resources to enable families to achieve economic independence and self-sufficiency through home ownership.
• The City of Newport News and the Newport News Redevelopment and Housing Authority were awarded a $500,000 Choice Neighborhoods Initiative Grant
from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to help revitalize and transform a portion of the Southeast Community. This planning grant is enabling the City to develop a community-driven plan for Ridley Place and an expanded area around the public housing complex.
• Stormwater Local Assistance Fund
grant was awarded to Newport News for $1,100,880 to restore the stream along Salters Creek from 35th Street to 28th Street.
• Launch of Newport News Now newsletter
- The City launched Newport News Now
, the daily e-news briefing designed to keep citizens informed about news and information such as current and upcoming projects, events, neighborhoods, cultural amenities, available programs and services, and much more.
• Newport News Fire Department and Newport News Public Schools established a Youth Fire Academy
to educate and train young adults for a career as a firefighter for the City of Newport News. On Thursday, December 15, the program’s first cohort of students graduated from the basic fire academy
• City Budget
- The FY17 budget for $858,587,313 was adopted with a 7-0 City Council Vote. The City has an online portal for residents to access the City’s annual budget data
and for the second year included performance outcomes for the FY 2017 budget
as part of an overall effort to hold the City accountable to citizens for the taxes and fees they pay.
• Jim’s Local Market
- Jim’s Local Market, a
full-service supermarket providing high quality, local, affordable food opened its door to residents of the Southeast Community of Newport News in May. The City funded the construction and the City’s Economic Development Authority owes the building and leases it to the Jim’s. The City worked through the process to obtain New Market Tax Credits, a Federal tax credit program, to save approximately two million dollars on the cost of the project.
• Newport News Public Library System received upgrades this year as well as two state recognitions
. The Martha Woodroof Hiden Memorial Virginiana Room at the Main Street Library
received HVAC upgrades. Grissom Library
received upgraded public meeting spaces and bathrooms. Pearl Bailey Library received upgrades
to the meeting room and the public computer lab. The Library System was recognized The Virginia Public Library Directors Association awarded the Newport News Public Library System with the Outstanding Young Adult Program Award and the Better Together Social Capital Award.
• New City Council Member and Vice Mayor elected
seats for the City Council were up for re-election this year and resulted in one new member elected to City Council, Councilman Marcellus Harris for the North District. The council also voted Councilwoman Tina Vick as Vice Mayor.
• Wegmans - The City Council was briefed on zoning for a potential Wegmans Food Market
that would have been located at Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport property bounded by Jefferson Avenue and Brick Kiln Boulevard. This project would have been supported by substantial traffic improvements in the area which would have actually improved traffic flow over what exists today even with the additional cars generated by the store. In the end, the developer acting on behalf of the airport for the Wegmans withdrew its application
when it appeared the necessary support from the City Council was not likely.
• Peninsula Corridor Transit Study
- The City of Newport News and the City of Hampton partnered with Hampton Roads Transit (HRT) to conduct a study that could help expand public transit options for Peninsula residents by developing a transit system running along a fixed route through the cities. This system could take the form of a light rail line or bus rapid transit system (often referred to as BRT). The study will be complete in 2017.
• World Arts Celebration
News was fully immersed in culture with the World Arts Celebration in City Center. Citizens explored more than 30 cultures from around the world through food, activities, cultural exhibits, and non-stop performances on three different stages. This festival gives the City an opportunity to celebrate the heritage of our diverse population.
• Newport News Park
- The City celebrated the 50th Anniversary of Newport News Park with City and State officials unveiling a commemorative plaque located at the renovated flagpole plaza on the Park’s main road along with a time capsule.
• City Center Under New Ownership
- Pointe Hope, an investment group led by former Newport News Mayor Joseph Ritchie acquired City Center at Oyster Point, a nine-building office and retail mixed-use portfolio, for $64 million. This provides fully local ownership for this important area and offers the opportunity for further investment and development.
• The City and Newport News Shipbuilding announced a major project to rebuild their foundry and their facilities which will result in an additional 1,000 jobs in the Shipyard. This will be facilitated by Commonwealth and City investment.
• Summer Training Enrichment Program (STEP) provided employment for over 500 youth
and young adults ages 16-24 in 76 different businesses and organizations around Newport News. Many of these temporary summer jobs ended up with full employment for the participants. The program also won the Workforce Excellence Award for Talent Development
at the Peninsula Council for Workforce Development’s 11th Annual Meeting.
• State of the City
- Mayor McKinley Price delivered the State of the City Address which was highlighted by the unveiling of an urban design vision for redevelopment of Downtown Newport News
- An estimated
35,000 people attended the 2016 Hollydazzle event where the City announced a celebration of Newport News native, Ella Fitzgerald’s centennial birthday
through a series of events that will be held in 2017.
• Elite Airways Comes to Newport News
- Elite Airways is coming to the Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport (PHF), and will
provide flights to New York/Newark and Islip/Long Island beginning on March 13, 2017. Early next year Elite will announce flights that will be going to Florida as well. Entry fares for the flights are starting at $99 one way. Flyers will be especially pleased with no charge for the first bag and no fee to change reservations.
• Office Building Coming to Brooks Crossing
- A 95,000 square-foot office building is being constructed in Brooks Cross in the Southeast Community, which will be primarily occupied by nearly 600 engineering and design employees of Newport News Shipbuilding. The City’s Economic Development Authority will lease 15,000 square feet of space for outreach to the community to provide job training skills and partnering with the Schools on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education for students, preparing them to assume technical jobs.
• Capital Improvements Plan (CIP) approved
- Newport News City Council approved a $577.8 million CIP for fiscal years 2018 – 2022, which establishes both a schedule and a funding strategy for high-priority capital projects and equipment purchases.
• Day Service Center for Homeless
- The City of Newport News applied to lease at no cost the former Marine Corps Center on Warwick Boulevard to use as a Day Service Center for homeless individuals.