VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Developers behind the effort to bring a wave-pool anchored entertainment district to the Oceanfront revealed updated renderings Friday of what the final product will look like.
Virginia Beach based Venture Realty Group published two images. One shows a view of the complex as it would look if you were looking west from where Pacific Avenue meets 19th Street. The other gives a closer look of the entertainment venue aptly named “The Dome.”
The entire complex will span between 18th and 20th streets and between Pacific and Baltic avenues, part of the land where for 36 years prior to 1994 was home to the Virginia Beach “Dome.”
It’s the largest public-private partnership ever attempted by the city and it continues to move forward, even though a binding agreement can now legally be ended.
The binding agreement between the city and the development team — which in addition to Venture includes Virginia Beach native Pharrell Williams — was approved in late 2019.
The giant Wave Garden surf park is slated to be the main drew, but plans also include a nearly 6,000-person indoor-outdoor entertainment venue, retail, restaurants, office space and residential units.
However not one piece of dirt has been moved on the main site with the project falling victim to supply chain and inflation.
The overall cost estimates have increased roughly $20 million in three years, with the overall development now being eyed at $350 million. Taxpayers would fund roughly $110 million of the deal, picking up the cost of the Oak View Group operated entertainment venue, parking garages and streetscape improvements.
Last November, the city extended the developers outside financing commitment date by five months: from Dec. 31, 2021 to June 1 of this year. Their closing on the construction loan was extended to Dec. 31.
The June 1 deadline was missed, which per the development agreement, gives the Virginia Beach Development Authority — the owner of the land — the right to terminate the deal if they wish.
However doing that has never been suggested.
“The June 1 date was simply a waypoint that was established in our negotiation,” Tiffany Russell, a spokesperson for the City of Virginia Beach, said. “Our continuing partnership is allowing for great progress – we are on track to complete the pre-development phase in the near future, and our development partner is very close to completion of the construction documents.”
On Friday Donna MacMillan-Whitaker, founder and managing partner of Venture Realty said they still “anticipate closing this fall.” A possible groundbreaking could occur before the end of the year.
Mayor Bobby Dyer has said he doesn’t believe the public-private partnership is at risk of failing as the proposed Oceanfront arena did several years prior.
In that case, the project fell apart when the city claimed the developer failed to close on their loan at the 11th hour, after several similar financing deadline extensions.
But unlike the arena, which was a one-dimensional complex, Atlantic Park is a mix of uses. A phase 2 promises experiential retail.