Out of the hundreds of neighborhoods in Hampton Roads, most of its 1.7 million residents have heard of Ghent, which is one of the more popular historical districts of Norfolk, located near downtown. Much of this large area was built in the early 1900's and is commonly known as Ghent, West Ghent, or East Ghent. The architecture of most of the residences and businesses is amazing and has been, for the most part, left intact. There's nothing like it in any of the surrounding cities. For those who love historical landmarks, you'll love to just wander down the streets of Westover or Hampton Blvd. and take in the beauty of the grand homes that stand before you. You can easily find yourself walking down a wide tree-lined street with historic mansions to your left and right. Many of the older buildings have been renovated into apartments, co-ops, or even condos and still retain their charm. You might see new carpet, a paint job, and a stainless-steel refrigerator but the feeling of history is all around you.
Decades ago many of the residents of Ghent were musicians, artist, and students. Today, we're seeing a wide diversity of homeowners, including young professionals, the affluent, and people who just want to be near a happening city. Are you looking to make a move? You'll find just about every category of property in Ghent including, 7,000 square foot mansions, small apartments, 3-story condos, New York- style lofts, high rise gated communities, and moderate single family homes. Prices range from the mid $150k's to over a million.
Don't let the city life scare you; there are also plenty of families with children that love the convenience that the downtown provides. Nearby schools include Blair Middle School, Maury High School, Bina High School for Girls, Ghent Elementary School, and Children's Hospital School. If you need something a little "older", Old Dominion University and Hampton University are right around the corner.
The historical nature of the homes is the first thing that comes to mind when I think about this section of Norfolk. The second has to be the business and cultural aspects. Colley Avenue, which is synonymous with Ghent, has no shortage of patrons visiting its many quaint shops and restaurants. My favorite restaurant in all of Hampton Roads sits on this street, Magnolia Steak. You can also enjoy a cup of Starbuck's Coffee on the way to work, grab an ice cream cone from the famous Doumar's or drop by D'Art Center to further add to your art collection. One of the many staples of Colley Ave. is the Naro Theater. You won't find first run flicks here but you can catch some great foreign and independent films. The biggest draw for purchasers by far, however, has to be Ghent's close proximity to Downtown Norfolk and Freemason. The downtown area has totally transformed itself over the last 15 years. There are dozens of restaurants, bars, and plenty of family activities to keep you busy on a Saturday evening. Other popular attractions included the Harrison Opera House, Nauticus, Macarthur Mall, and Waterside. You are literally 2 miles from everything you need. My wife and I love Ghent and with the opportunities that there are in real estate now, we are looking for our second home. We love this place!
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