About Suffolk

About Suffolk 2017-10-20T01:05:08+00:00

Thinking about moving to Suffolk? A Friendly and Affordable Mover is here to help! As the largest city in the state of Virginia, Suffolk combines suburban life with the best of country life, and we are going to give you the nitty gritty on what you need to know before you move!

Suffolk is an independent city in the Commonwealth of Virginia. As of the 2014 census, the estimated population was 86,806. It is the largest city in Virginia by area as well as the 14th largest in the country.

Suffolk is located in the Hampton Roads metropolitan area which also includes the independent cities of Chesapeake, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Portsmouth, and Virginia Beach, as well as other smaller cities, counties, and towns of Hampton Roads. With miles of waterfront property on the Nansemond and James River, present day Suffolk was formed in 1974 after consolidating with Nansemond County and the towns of Holland and Whaleyville. The current mayor is Linda T. Johnson.

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Because A Friendly & Affordable Mover is owner-operated, you can rest-assured that we will handle your belongings with care. Every move, regardless of size, receives our special attention. We provide confidential relocations and can accommodate most special needs.

History

Suffolk was founded by English colonists in 1742 as a port town on the Nansemond River in the Virginia Colony. Originally known as Constant’s Warehouse, for John Constant, Suffolk was renamed after Royal Governor William Gooch’s home of Suffolk, a county in East Anglia, England. Before European contact, indigenous American tribes lived in the region for thousands of years. At the time of English settlement, the Nansemond Indians lived along the river. In the early colonial years, the English cultivated tobacco as a commodity crop, but later turned to mixed farming. It became the county seat of Nansemond County in 1750.

Early in its history, Suffolk became a land transportation gateway to the areas east of it in South Hampton Roads. Before the American Civil War, both the Portsmouth and Roanoke Railroad and the Norfolk and Petersburg Railroad were built through Suffolk, early predecessors of 21st century Class 1 railroads operated by CSX Transportation and Norfolk Southern, respectively. Other railroads and later major highways followed after the war.

Suffolk became an incorporated town in 1808. In 1910, it incorporated as a city and separated from Nansemond County. However, it remained the seat of Nansemond County until 1972, when its former county became the independent city of Nansemond. In 1974, the independent cities of Suffolk and Nansemond merged under Suffolk’s name and charter.

Peanuts grown in the surrounding areas became a major industry for Suffolk. Notably, Planters’ Peanuts was established in Suffolk beginning in 1912. Suffolk was the ‘birthplace’ of Mr. Peanut, the mascot of Planters’ Peanuts. For many years, the call-letters of local AM radio station WLPM stood for World’s Largest Peanut Market.

Geography

Suffolk is located at 36°44′29″N 76°36′36″W (36.741347, -76.609881).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 429 square miles (1,110 km2), of which 400 square miles (1,000 km2) is land and 29 square miles (75 km2) (6.7%) is water. It is the largest city in Virginia by land area and second-largest by total area. Part of the Great Dismal Swamp is located in Suffolk.

Demographics

As of the census of 2010, there were 84,585 people, 23,283 households, and 17,718 families residing in the city. The population density was 159.2 people per square mile (61.5/km2). There were 24,704 housing units at an average density of 61.8 per square mile (23.8/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 50.1% White, 42.7% Black or African American, 0.3% Native American, 1.6% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 0.8% from other races, and 2.3% from two or more races. Hispanics or Latinos of any race were 2.9% of the population.

There were 23,283 households out of which 36.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.1% were married couples living together, 16.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 23.9% were

Mainstreet Suffolk

A view of North Main Street in downtown Suffolk, Virginia

non-families. 20.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.69 and the average family size was 3.09.

The age distribution was 27.8% under the age of 18, 7.1% from 18 to 24, 31.1% from 25 to 44, 22.5% from 45 to 64, and 11.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 91.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.4 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $41,115, and the median income for a family was $47,342. Males had a median income of $35,852 versus $23,777 for females. The per capita income for the city was $18,836. About 10.8% of families and 13.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 18.2% of those under age 18 and 11.2% of those age 65 or over.

As of 2005, the city’s median income jumped to $60,484 due to the influx of government-related high-tech jobs in the city’s northern corridor and wealthy residents, causing it to be a close second to its neighbor Chesapeake in South Hampton Roads.

Restaurants

  1. Rajput Indian Cuisine – Opened in 1999 by Paul Chabra, Rajput offers authentic Indian cuisine.
  2. THAT GOOD Barbeque – It really IS that good! Prepared fresh every day, get there early because it’s not unlikely for them to sell out quick.
  3. Harpers Table – Famous for their Pork Belly Biscuit, Harpers is known for its food, traditions, and family.
  4. O’DoodleDoo’s Donuts – They cook and decorate their donuts every day. Have an event? They are happy to customize a donut selection. Look for their flavor of the day!
  5. Amicis – A family friendly restaurant offering brick oven pizzas.
  6. River Stone Chophouse – There is a little something for everyone at River Stone Chophouse. The only restaurant that cuts their own steaks, has private rooms, a cigar patio. You’ll have visit to see it!
  7. The Plaid Turnip – Down home cooking. Got a hankering for chicken fried steak, oysters, and french toast (not all together), then come on over!
  8. Mason’s Grill and Smokehouse – A variety of southern favorites with and emphasis on several slow smoked and grilled items.
  9. Vintage Kitchen – Situated on the river, Vintage offers a truly unique experience. Prepare to be dazzled!
  10. La Parrilla Mexican Grill – With three other locations, once you taste the food, you’ll understand the demand!

Adjacent counties and cities

  • Norfolk.
  • Portsmouth.
  • Chesapeake.
  • Newport News (water boundary).
  • Isle of Wight County.
  • Southampton County.
  • Camden County, North Carolina.
  • Gates County, North Carolina.

National protected areas

  • Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge
  • Nansemond National Wildlife Refuge

Moving? Get a free in-home estimate here!

Because A Friendly & Affordable Mover is owner-operated, you can rest-assured that we will handle your belongings with care. Every move, regardless of size, receives our special attention. We provide confidential relocations and can accommodate most special needs.

 

Education

Suffolk Public Schools, the local public school system, operates 12 elementary schools, four middle schools, three high schools, and one alternative school. Nansemond-Suffolk Academy is a private college preparatory school located on Pruden Blvd.

Moving? Get a free in-home estimate here! 

Because A Friendly & Affordable Mover is owner-operated, you can rest-assured that we will handle your belongings with care. Every move, regardless of size, receives our special attention. We provide confidential relocations and can accommodate most special needs.

Economy

In modern times, Suffolk remains a major peanut processing center and railroad and highway transportation hub. It hosts a diverse combination of industrial, manufacturing, distribution, retail, and hospitality businesses, as well as active farming.

In 2002, the new Louise Obici Memorial Hospital was completed and dedicated, acquired in 2005 by the Sentara Health System. Planters’ Peanuts has been a major employer, now owned by Kraft Foods. Each fall since 1977, the City of Suffolk hosts Suffolk Festivals Incorporated’s annual Peanut Fest. Other large employers in the City of Suffolk include Unilever, Lipton Tea, Wal-Mart, Target, QVC, and two major modeling and simulation companies, Lockheed Martin and Raytheon. Lockheed Martin built its “Center for Innovation” around a lighthouse in Suffolk, for which the campus is called ‘The Lighthouse’. Raytheon won a DoD contract to manufacture ‘Miniature Air-Launched Decoy Jammers'(MALD-J), which it has been producing with Cobham Composite Products:202 vehicles for a price of $81 million .

Suffolk experienced a boom in its high tech economy given the presence of the U.S. Joint Forces Command (JFCOM) facility near the intersection of US 17 and Interstate 664. In 1999, JFCOM stood up  and through the decade JFCOM employed more and more defense contractors until it reached over 3,000. By September 2010, US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates recommended to decommission JFCOM as a matter of reallocating and rebalancing the U.S. Department of Defense budget to better address changing needs and fiscal demands. The announcement led to speculation about what impact the loss of JFCOM would have on the Hampton Roads economy in general and (more specifically) the sustainment of businesses located in the Harborview section of Suffolk. In August 2011 JFCOM was disestablished; many critical JFCOM functions like joint training, joint exercises and joint development were retained in the buildings vacated by JFCOM in north Suffolk under the auspices of the Joint Staff J7 Directorate, referred to as either “Pentagon South” or “Joint and Coalition Warfighting”.

By summer 2013, city officials expected the Naval Network Warfare Command, NNWC Global Network Operations Center Detachment, Navy Cyber Defense Operations Command and Navy Cyber Forces to occupy buildings vacated by JFCOM. These commands have been considered a boon to north Suffolk bringing an estimated 1,000 additional employees, counting military, civilians and contractors with an estimated annual payroll of $88.9 million.

Transportation

Suffolk’s early growth was fueled by its location and transportation considerations. These continue to be major factors in the 21st century.

Bike trails

The Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge includes dozens of miles of trails accessible via White Marsh Road at Washington Ditch and other entry sites. Additional bike trails can be found at Lone Star Lakes City Park off Godwin Blvd. This city park provides over 4 miles (6.4 km) of rock trails. There are many rural roads with light traffic available for road riding. Adjacent to Suffolk is Smithfield, where a city facility called Nike Park includes a bike trail approximately 212 miles in a loop.

Waterways

Suffolk was initially a port at the head of navigation of the Nansemond River. The Nansemond flows into the James River near its mouth and the ice-free harbor of Hampton Roads.

Railroads

The two railroads completed through Suffolk before the American Civil War were later joined by four more. These were eventually consolidated during the modern merger era of North American railroads which began around 1960. Today, Suffolk is served by three freight railroads, and is located on a potential line for high speed passenger rail service between Richmond and South Hampton Roads being studied by the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation.

Highways

Suffolk is served by U.S. Highways 17, 13, 58, 258, and 460. Interstate 664, part of the Hampton Roads Beltway, crosses through the northeastern edge of the city. State Route 10 is also a major highway in the area.

In 2006, Suffolk assumed control of its road system from the Virginia Department of Transportation, which is customary among Virginia’s independent cities, although since the Byrd Road Act of 1932 created Virginia’s Secondary Roads System, which maintains the roads in most counties and town. An exception was made by the General Assembly when the former Nansemond County became an independent city and consolidated Suffolk in the 1970s. The state still maintained the primary and secondary routes in Suffolk until July 1, 2006.

Information provided by: wikipedia.org  This page has been modified from the original.

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There are many beautiful and interesting facts about Suffolk, and our locals are proud to share. If you’re thinking about moving to Suffolk, A Friendly and Affordable Mover is here to help. Give us a call today to schedule your FREE in-home estimate. Did we mention we have won “Best of Hampton Roads” 13 years running!? Mention that when you schedule your appointment and receive $50 off your next move!! (some restrictions apply, not valid with any other offer).

Moving? Get a free in-home estimate here!