VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) - Virginia Beach City Council members met Tuesday night to discuss details on the Cavalier Hotel Project.
WAVY.com was in the council meeting that affirmed Mayor Will Sessoms' wishes for the City to contribute $13 million to the project immediately and $5 million more over the next several years. The meeting was a chance for council members to give feedback on the agreement and raise concerns about the cost.
During the City's presentation, staff estimated how much business could be taken away from other Oceanfront hotels.
Councilman Glenn Davis responded, "When you build something like the developer has shown to us, where it is a Greenbrier or Homestead type facility, this isn't taking money away from one of the hotels on the Oceanfront." Councilman John Uhrin, who is in the hotel and tourism industry, shared Davis' opinion on the topic.
Councilman Bob Dyer expressed concern about the amount of money the City has said it will contribute up front.
"The $8 million, that high amount of the [Economic Development Incentive Program] and paying it up front is a major red flag to me," said Dyer. "And I think this sets a precedent that we have to talk out and vet. But, unfortunately, given the facing public hearing and the July 2 deadline, we may not have that opportunity."
Sessoms has said the City's contribution will come from incentives, grants and money that has already been set aside.
Developer Bruce Thompson, who now owns the property, will invest $259 million of his own money for the restoration project.
Here's a breakdown of some of Thompson's costs that was shared at Tuesday's meeting:
- The renovation of the old hotel is estimated to be $43 million.
- The renovation of the new Cavalier hotel will be at least $41.5 million.
- Building new homes around the old hotel will be more than $54 million.
- Renovating and preserving the old beach club will be $5.5 million.
There will be a public hearing on the incentives package on June 25 and council will vote on July 2.
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