A certified public accountant, and licensed attorney, who currently serves as President of Tower Park Corporation, a real estate design and development company and as Chief Executive Officer of Tower Park Management Corporation, a commercial and multi-family residential property management company.LEARN MORE
Nearly 25 years ago, the 153 acres of land that owned by the Eveready Battery Company located in the geographic center of Newport News, Virginia, were an abandoned industrial site, contaminated by the processed chromium and magnesium that had been handled there for nearly half a century. Today, it is the location of an award-winning, mixed-use community that more than 1,500 people call home.
At the heart of this transformation is the work of one tenacious man who modeled this new development after the walkable neighborhoods and public squares he saw in London, Edinburgh, and Dublin. It’s an extraordinary story of resolute placemaking, a story that honors Newport News’ native son, Pulitzer-Prize-winning author William Styron, and the story of one man’s effort to build a city within a city. A city of arts and letters.
This is the story of Port Warwick, a community that was shaped by one man’s vision and one man’s determination to create a walkable neighborhood where families could live and shop and gather. A place where sculpture and literature would be evident on every street. A place that would honor the history of the region, embrace its most challenging chapters with grace, and create a new living history.
There’s been a collective loss of memory, of true understanding as to how this place came to be. Entering the community of Port Warwick is like nowhere else on earth. There is something different about it. Something hard to define. A level of finesse and elegance that sits below consciousness. This place is special in ways that defy words. This book is the story behind those choices that made this singular experience.
It’s an extraordinary story. And it’s a story that will probably never happen again.
Bobby Freeman is visionary behind Port Warwick, which began as a whisp of an idea around an abandoned chemical processing site for a battery company. Brave enough to see the potential on the 110 acres that had been shunned for decades, he set about creating an award-winning, $500-million dollar, “smart growth” mixed-use community that has become one of the prized jewels of Newport News. The center of this city-within-a-city hosts a number of year-round events such as the Port Warwick Art and Sculpture Festival and the Port Warwick Summer Concert Series.
As a retired a certified public accountant and licensed attorney, Freeman currently serves as President of Tower Park Corporation, a real estate design and development company and as Chief Executive Officer of Tower Park Management Corporation, a commercial and multi-family residential property management company.
Freeman also is the Chairman of the Board of Virginia Health Services, Inc., Advex Corporation, and has served on the Boards of Virginia International Terminals, Virginia Tech, and Christopher Newport University, from which he was awarded an honorary doctorate.
In addition, Bobby is the founder of the Newport News Public Art Foundation, a public non-profit organization which has installed twenty permanent monumental sculptures in the City of Newport News. He was presented the Gracey Award for Extraordinary Service by the Virginia Peninsula Rotary Club, and received an Alli award for contributions to the cultural life of Hampton Roads, Virginia. Freeman was named the Virginia Peninsula’s Citizen of the Year by the Daily Press, and he received the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities Humanitarian Award.
Port Warwick is an award-winning, mixed-use community located off Jefferson Avenue in Newport News, Virginia. At the center of the community lies Styron Square, a three-acre green space designed after the great squares of London. Port Warwick was created and developed by Bobby Freeman. The community of Port Warwick was designed with sculpture in mind, adding beauty and interest to its squares, roundabouts and entrance. In addition to shopping and dining in the community, over 1,500 people call Port Warwick home, living in houses, townhomes, live-above homes, apartments and condominiums.