Downtown Norfolk’s First Retail Incubator Set to Open This Fall

NORFOLK, Va. – (September 2017) – Downtown Norfolk Council is pleased to announce that Selden Market has secured leases with 12 storefront tenants and will open to the public on October 4. Located in the historic Selden Arcade that sits between Main and Plume Streets in Downtown, Selden Market will serve as Downtown Norfolk’s first retail incubator for new and emerging businesses.

Selden Arcade will serve as the connector between Slover Library and Hilton Norfolk The Main. Selden Market will be transformed into a vibrant space with multiple storefront small-business tenants and booths for rotating pop-up businesses. The goal of the market is to stimulate street-level activity with low rents and short-term leases to help businesses shape their model, learn from each other and build community in a low-risk environment.

“We have had so much interest in Selden Market from new and existing business owners,” said Drew Ungvarsky, chairman of the Vibrant Spaces committee and CEO and executive creative director of Grow. “We reviewed and selected the applicants with the goal to create a lively and energetic environment for Downtown Norfolk. We anticipate Selden Market will continue to evolve as these businesses grow and get established.”

“We are providing a low-cost entry point for new businesses in addition to mentors and resources to help them succeed,” added Mary Miller, president and CEO of Downtown Norfolk Council. “The market has been approved by the City of Norfolk as an interim use for two to three years. We are very pleased with the level of interest and the beautiful design created by Work Program Architects for this fresh take on a historic property.”

Selden Market storefront tenants include:

Doughminion – Doughnut shop with a modern twist, featuring both classic and one-of-a-kind flavors.

Flutterby Soap Company – Handcrafted vegan soaps, lotions, and other skincare products using high quality essential oils and butters.

Food, Clothing & Shelter – A curated retail experience where culture and community meet.

Hummingbird Chocolate & Tea Room – Elevating your tea and chocolate drinking experience.

LORAK Jewelry – Modern jewelry store known for in-house designed and crafted jewelry collections and unique engagement rings.

Merchant’s Reserve – Exceptionally sourced nut, chocolate and specialty food gifts – reserved just for you.

Thank You Gift Shop – An extension of Thank You Gallery that aims to provide customers with a hand-curated selection of unique and limited goods.

P.O.P. – Enriching children’s lives through the Power of Play.

Velvet Witch – A curated gift shop carrying products for healing of the mind, body and soul.

Vessel Craft Coffee – A coffee bar featuring ethically sourced coffee, cold brew, brew gear and world change.

Werther Leather Goods – Quality leather bags and wallets, made locally.

Werrell Woodworks – A modern decor store with products for your business and home to create a unique and memorable space.

Selden Market will be operated by the Downtown Norfolk Council. The market’s hours will be 11am to 8pm Monday through Saturday and 11am to 5pm on Sunday.

Selden Market will hold a ribbon cutting on Wednesday, October 4 to kick off the opening week. A lively happy hour event will be held in Selden Market on Thursday, October 6 from 5 to 8pm, and a special public grand opening celebration is being planned for Saturday, October 7 with live entertainment, workshops, food, drinks and more for all ages. More information about grand opening activities will be available at seldenmarket.com and on the Selden Market Facebook page.

The Slover Library Maker Studio, an initiative of the Slover Library Foundation, will be located within Selden Arcade, with direct access between the library’s first floor and Selden Market. The studio will allow patrons to experiment with all kinds of new technologies and tools to create and invent. It will include a sound recording studio, 3D printers, a laser cutter and sewing machines.

The Selden Market concept is progressive but not uncharted. Downtown Norfolk Council has incorporated the best practices in retail incubation, markets, food halls and hybrid spaces across the country. Additional pop-up businesses will also be added to Selden Market that will allow businesses to test concepts for a specified amount of time.

Selden Market is the latest initiative in Downtown Norfolk Council’s Vibrant Spaces program that started in 2015. The first phase attracted 86 applicants for six available spaces. Three businesses opened in Downtown: Prince Ink at 433 Granby, Lamia’s Crepes at 401 Granby Street and Muddy Paws Downtown at 400 Granby Street. Vibrant Spaces also awards vibrancy grants to established businesses in Downtown Norfolk.

Downtown Norfolk Council (DNC) is a private, not-for-profit membership organization comprised of businesses and individuals working toward a dynamic, attractive and prosperous Downtown. DNC also manages the Downtown Norfolk Improvement District, a 48-block special services district with enhanced services that keep Downtown friendly, safe and spotless. Connect with Downtown Norfolk on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram or visit downtownnorfolk.org.