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City Council

Posted on: January 9, 2019

City Council allows off-track betting facility and approves several zoning changes

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Jan. 9, 2019 – Hampton’s City Council on Wednesday endorsed a permit for an indoor off-track betting horse racing facility in the Power Plant shopping center, as well as several zoning changes for small live entertainment venues and the Phoebus district.

The council granted a use permit for the Colonial Downs Group to operate an amusement center. The off-track betting facility and restaurant is planned to fill the space formerly occupied by Luckie’s and NASCAR Sports Grille  – as well as an addition – for a total of 2,470 square feet. The company projects it will generate $2 million a year in city tax revenues.

Called Rosie’s, the facility is projected to have 1.2 million visitors per year and employ 200 people. The company announced a security plan that includes 200 security cameras that the Hampton Police Department will have access to view. Company representatives said its average customer is a woman, travels more than 10 miles, visits about 10 times a year and spends about $50 per visit.

In other matters, City Council:

  • Streamlined a process by which restaurants and breweries can get live entertainment permits if they have small performance areas with no dance floors and music indoors only. It also simplified the parking regulations for those venues. After those changes, they endorsed a live music permit for Bowman’s Soul-N-The-Wall at 1899 N. Armistead Ave.
  • Broke up the current Phoebus district into three tiers, with the most dense and intense regulations for the urban core downtown area, where most of the historic buildings are located. A slightly less dense but walkable commercial and mixed-used area would surround that, and a transition area that would be more suburban and car-oriented would be permitted in the outer areas closer to the interstate and near Mercury Boulevard.
  • Approved a rezoning and use permit for the site of the former Virginia State Federation of Colored Women’s Clubs at 123 E. Pembroke Ave. in the Pasture Point neighborhood. The current zoning limited its use to a women’s club, and the Barrett-Peake Heritage Foundation envisions a broader educational and cultural center there.


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