What’s next for Downtown Norfolk as businesses move out?

NORFOLK, Va. – A panel of international and national experts were in Downtown Norfolk Thursday to discuss the impacts of downtown areas.

In a press release, organizers said, “Downtowns are increasingly becoming the major economic generators for cities across the country. The inaugural Downtown Development Forum will review national trends and explore focus areas of mobility, retail, residential and business.”

“We want to present the most relevant information available to educate the audience on importance of downtowns as economic generators,” said Mary Miller, president & CEO of Downtown Norfolk Council. “We anticipate the information will energize our region to explore opportunities for regional economic growth.”

This comes on the heels of Norfolk Southern’s announcement that it is leaving Downtown Norfolk for Atlanta.

It is the only Fortune 500 Company in Norfolk, and 500 people work in the downtown office.

Governor Ralph Northam said about 100 employees are expected to leave in the next year, and the rest will follow over the next few years.

Norfolk's city manager told News 3 the move is "manageable"and this allows another business to move into the building.

He used ADP as a reference stating the company was able to bring thousands of jobs to downtown because the city had the space for it.