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Old Dominion University Real Estate Foundation announces that the first three leases have been executed at The Shops at University Village. Boar's Nest Bar Bistro, Port City Java and Perfectly Frank are the first of many anticipated restaurants and shops to lease space in the 75-acre mixed-use development behind the Ted Constant Convocation Center on Hampton Blvd.

These first three leases, together with a university fitness center and public safety office, occupy space within the 50,000 square feet of ground-level retail on Monarch Way. New student apartments opened in 2003 and 2004 on the upper floors.

This residential/retail development-a $55 million investment by the Real Estate Foundation-is the first private investment in The University Village. When fully developed, investment in The University Village is expected to exceed $260 million. Master development plans for the urban village include restaurants, shops, residential, office and research facilities, a city-owned golf course and hotel on land surrounding and adjacent to the Old Dominion University campus.

"Today's announcement represents a significant milestone in the development of The University Village," says Norfolk Mayor Paul Fraim. "The spectacular growth of Old Dominion University is making a significant contribution to Norfolk's growing reputation as one of the most vibrant and exciting communities in the United States."

"We're thrilled to welcome these new tenants to the neighborhood," says Robert L. Fenning, vice president for Administration and Finance. "We believe The University Village will become one of the most exciting mixed-use developments in the region."

Owner Don Rockwell describes Boar's Nest Bar Bistro as an "Old World delicatessen meets wine and martini bar." The bar is constructed with 200-year old French oak wine barrels, and the floors are imported Italian tile. The restaurant, which comprises 1,650 square feet, is slated to open for lunch and dinner in the next few weeks. Rockwell, an ODU graduate and Larchmont resident, also owns Cobia Grill on Tazewell Street in Norfolk, along with business partner Sean Killmon.

Port City Java, the Wilmington, N.C. based café and coffeehouse, will open its second Virginia location. Local owner and operator Robert Loomis says "The University Village restaurant will offer a destination environment with a variety of seating with couches and chairs, a conference table and fireplace as well as free wireless internet." In addition to coffee drinks, Port City Java will offer panini and wrap sandwiches, 100% fruit smoothies, soups and salads. "We started looking at the venue in January and then researched what type of coffee shop would work the best there," adds Loomis. "Port City Java seems to fit the atmosphere of the Village." It is the first restaurant venture for Loomis and his business partners Jon Pruden and Peter Pruden. The restaurant, occupying 1,850 square feet, is scheduled to open in January.

Tara and Joseph Sciortino of Famous Uncle Al's in Chesapeake have teamed up with David Savino and Jeremy Sciancalepore to bring Perfectly Frank, an upscale hot dog emporium to the Village. The 1,591 square foot restaurant will open in February offering Boar's Head hot dogs, sandwiches and desserts for in-house dining or take out.

"We've been looking forward to the opening of The Shops at University Village for quite a while," says Deborah K. Stearns, chair of the Real Estate Foundation. "This represents the culmination of years of planning to establish a unique shopping and entertainment district that the entire region can enjoy."

Chris Hucke from S.L. Nusbaum negotiated the leases on behalf of the Foundation. John Duffy with Thalhimer/Insignia represented Perfectly Frank.

Old Dominion University Real Estate Foundation is a nonprofit organization formed in 1994 with the goal to bring national recognition to ODU's real estate program and to support the university's focus on economic development. The Foundation is working in conjunction with the city of Norfolk and Norfolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority on The University Village development. Old Dominion University, with more than 20,000 students, is considered to be a national leader in the application of high technology to higher education. It is also committed to extending this technology into the supporting residential, retail and entertainment amenities created within The University Village. For more information, visit www.odu.edu.

This article was posted on: November 18, 2004

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