VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) - Beach Councilman John Uhrin says funds to build an entertainment megaplex on the former Dome Site are on track to meet the end-of-the-year deadline.
The Virginia Beach Development Authority has given six extensions on the timeline it made with Texas businessman Michael Jenkins.
Jenkins, the President of Leisure and Recreational Concepts, Inc., wants to build a "futuristic entertainment megaplex" on the land between 18th and 20th Streets, near the Oceanfront.
Now, the area is used for public parking.
Jenkins has not released renderings of the project, but his plans include a Broadway-style theater, a skating rink, an indoor amusement park and one of the tallest Ferris wheels on the East Coast.
Uhrin says this time around, Jenkins will most likely have the $150 million in capital he needs before the Dec. 31 deadline.
According to Uhrin, investors in other states and countries suddenly have a renewed interest in Virginia Beach because of another large project that's getting national attention - the proposed arena. It has the potential to bring a major anchor tenant, like an NBA basketball team to southeast Virginia.
Uhrin says the feasibility studies on the arena have showed other investors the strength of the market, and have changed the game for Jenkins and his quest to change an empty parking lot into a regional destination.
The Dome Site could possibly be the last stop on a future light rail line from Norfolk to Virginia Beach.
In the 1960s and 1970s, the golf ball-shaped building that sat on the property attracted some of the greatest music acts of its time, including Jimi Hendrix, Ray Charles and the Rolling Stones.
The city demolished the building in 1994, with hopes of rebuilding something bigger and better.
The new Dome Site facility would be funded by private investors. The city would have to pay to build a public parking garage as part of the deal, but parking fees would reimburse the city for that construction in the long run, according to Uhrin.
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