VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — On Thursday, officials with the Navy and the city of Virginia Beach announced that they signed a proclamation to explore leasing land onboard Naval Air Station Oceana for economic development.
The agreement is expected to lease about 400 acres of underutilized land on the installation to private businesses. This would provide businesses with access to land near interstate 264 and the oceanfront.
Virginia Beach Mayor Bobby Dyer said the city is specifically looking to attract high-tech companies with the goal of hiring recent college graduates and those leaving the military.
“We’ve got to bring in those new businesses and companies,” Dyer said. “We’re running out of space (in Virginia Beach) in terms of land for development, but this just gives us a plethora of opportunities that we can take forward. This is a win-win for everybody.”
This proclamation is the result of conversations that top Navy brass have been having with the City of Virginia Beach on a concept known as “Future Base Design.”
Future Base Design aims to reduce the Navy’s infrastructure costs, eliminate expenditures and redirect savings toward its primary warfighting missions.
The design also provides the general public with access to goods such as housing, dining, retail and recreation that are currently only available to DOD officials.
“Future Base Design shows the Navy is committed to finding innovative solutions to save taxpayer dollars, contributing to further economic growth of the region, providing world-class services to our Sailors and ensuring Naval Air Station Oceana will be here for generations to come,” said Rear Adm. Charles “Chip” Rock, Commander, Navy Region Mid-Atlantic. “This partnership is a great example of why the Navy is proud to call Virginia Beach and all of Hampton Roads home.”
NAS Oceana is currently home to all East Coast strike-fighter units. They support about 10,500 active-duty Navy personnel, 10,000 family members and 4,500 civilian personnel.