I’m optimistic about the business outlook for Hampton Roads, and especially the Peninsula, in 2013. Of course, there are some significant risks – Europe imploding for one.
Federal spending cuts, by and large, won’t have an immediate impact on our economy and shipbuilding should remain stable for several years, as contracts are already in place.
The recovery should gain steam during 2013 and that will benefit businesses locally. We’ll continue to see recovery in the housing market, which is good for many businesses. Tourism, also, should have a better year in 2013 and give a boost to the Williamsburg area, as well as to Virginia Beach.
I see a very good 2013 for economic development, particularly in Newport News. We have a very healthy manufacturing base. I expect to see continued growth in Newport News from our major manufacturers. Also, 2013 will be a great year for City Center at Oyster Point. With our new Tourism Zone in place, we will have some new restaurants opening and a new theater breaking ground.
The first major private-sector investment in the Southeast Community within recent memory will also begin under the leadership of Aaron Brooks and Armada Hoffler. Armada Hoffler will also be completing the new mixed-use Apprentice School development in downtown Newport News.
Elsewhere on the Peninsula, the Fort Monroe Authority will finalize its land-use plan, Hampton will pursue its downtown plan and good things will happen around Williamsburg’s new arts district, New Town and Yorktown’s Riverwalk Landing