The idea is to create a public-private partnership to transform the old site of the Dome into a new entertainment venue and a surf park by the ocean.
VIRGINIA BEACH, Virginia – UPDATE | At a meeting on Nov. 16, city council voted to approve the Phase 1 and Phase 2 funding plan, as well as the $ 17.7 million offsite infrastructure projects. The action would move plans as well as previously requested adjustments on November 9.
ORIGINAL STORY | It’s been four years and it counts, and the Virginia Beach Oceanfront has yet to see the former Dome site transformed into a mixed-use, multi-site entertainment complex with a surf park.
At this stage, the project leaders reassess their approach. They are asking city council for $ 3 million for what they call phase 1 and $ 2 million for phase 2.
“There are no new demands in there. This is all the money that is already considered, allocated and budgeted for the project, “Deputy City Manager Taylor Adams said.” We are just changing when it can be used to account for the uncertainty in the market. of construction regarding the cost of commodities such as steel and concrete.
The concern is that fluctuating prices could cause the budget to be exceeded. Adams said they would come back to the board if they did.
Additionally, Adams stressed that unplanned projects must take place offsite. A request for at least ten infrastructure upgrades is expected to cost $ 17,729,147.
“The idea with this list is to ensure that we maximize the value of the project for both our residents and our guests,” Adams said.
Adams is expected to resubmit the requests to city council on November 16. This is when council members could vote.
There is some division within the board regarding the next steps.
Mayor Bobby Dyer seems focused on the rewards of development. “Trying to do the Oceanfront all year round,” he said.
City Councilor John Moss said he thought project managers were underestimating the risk: “I think if we knew all of this four years ago, all of these costs. I don’t know what the decision would have been.
Several years ago, music producer and Virginia Beach native Pharrell Williams made a commitment to join this project.
13News Now asked Adams if Pharrell was still involved. Adams told us that Pharrell was still listed as an investor on a disclosure slide for Tuesday’s presentation to the board.
In a letter to the city in September, the artist questioned a separate investment – his Something in the Water festival. Pharrell cited “toxic energy” in the direction of the city.
Whether inside or outside, it is clear that there is a clamor to move this project forward.
“A lot of our Oceanfront partners want us to bring our entertainment venue online as quickly as possible,” Adams said.
Venture Realty Group is the assigned developer.
Adams said construction likely won’t start until June of next year.
It is also likely that the works could start first on the place of entertainment, before the surf park.
The entire project, with combined municipal and private funding, is expected to cost around $ 330 million. However, this number could change in the future.