Local business gets nearly $4 million

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) - In an eminent domain case, a local business was awarded nearly $4 million in court Wednesday, but still plans to appeal the decision. Old Dominion University wants to use the property where Norva Plastics is located on Killiam Avenue to redevelop and expand campus. At first, the Norfolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority offered $2,080,000 for the property on a first appraisal. NRHA then offered a second appraisal of $2.4 million and after 50 minutes of deliberation, a jury of five awarded Norva Plastics and its owner, Howard Everton, $3,756,250. Although the full amount was Everton's original appraisal, he is still not satisfied. The company has been in Norfolk for more than 70 years. "All these years to get where I'm at and thento have someone who I pay taxes to come and take it away to generate more taxes is not right," Everton said. "We're not in Cuba or the Soviet Union." Although the jury awarded Everton $1.5 million more than NRHA had originally planned, Everton said the issue is not financial. "It's not about the money. Not with the blood, sweat and tears that [have] taken to get to the level we're at right now," Everton said. Everton and his lawyer, Joe Waldo, will be taking the case to the Virginia Supreme Court. "Howard is going to fight for his property," Waldo said. "He has said that all along, but it also says more than anything the Housing Authority tried to take that property cheap for a developer and today a jury said they were wrong." Central Radio Company is another Norfolk-based business NRHA is trying to lure away for ODU redevelopment. Beginning in January, it will become almost impossible to take property for commercial development after voters approved the eminent domain constitutionalamendment in November. "In the future, property owners will never have their property taken for a developer and those who suffer losses for their businesses will be compensated for that," Waldo said. The attorney representing the NRHAhad no comment but an appeal of the jury's award is possible.