This post originally appeared on Orphan Road.

Norfolk, VA edition:

Developers of three projects – Wachovia Center, Belmont at Freemason apartments and a Residence Inn – said the city’s starter light rail influenced their business decisions. Having modern transit within a short walking distance delivers a steady stream of potential customers and provides an alternative to driving for residents and workers, they said.

Wachovia Center is a 22-story tower and apartment building that will include office, retail and residential space on Monticello Avenue.

“The fact that there will be a light rail stop right out the front door of our project was a key part of why we selected that site,” said Thomas G. Johnson III, vice president of sales and development for Nusbaum Realty, the project developer.