UPDATE (3/19/19) — The Virginia Beach City Council voted to approve the hotel project with a 9-1 vote on Tuesday night. Councilman John Moss voted no, saying that the city has an affordable housing availability shortage and the valuable land shouldn’t be used for a hotel.
Previous coverage below
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — We’re learning more about a proposed hotel project that could make a big difference in Virginia Beach.
It’s at the intersection of Princess Anne Road and Community College Place, next to Tidewater Community College.
Officials said the hotel will add more room for visitors and more opportunities for students like internships and tuition reimbursement if they’re employed with the hotel.
However some residents are concerned the hotel will bring problems such as added traffic and flooding.
The public got a look at what the new hotel could look like on Monday night.
The city chose Harmony Hospitality group to develop the site into a 110-room Hilton and a free-standing restaurant.
“We suspect this hotel will have immediate demand because of its location,” said Harvey Moore, Vice-President of Harmony Hospitality.
We’re told the there’s been a lot of growth on that side of town, but the area is underserved when it comes to hotels
“The study showed that people are going to Chesapeake for their needs for hotels,” said Sabrina Wooten, Councilwoman for the Centerville District. “There’s a need there and so I think we really need to consider that.”
The hotel will offer 30 full-time and 10 part-time jobs once it’s complete.
However, Centerville resident Karen Biter also worries about increased traffic and kids walking from nearby schools.
“There’s a lot of cause for concern about future accidents,” Biter said.
The city traffic engineer estimates the hotel will add about 1,400 trips per day to Princess Anne Road.
He said the road currently has 55,000 trips per day and can handle 74,000.
Still, Biter isn’t convinced traffic won’t be an issue.
“Unless you’re a person in that community and you’re using those roads and you’re watching kids walk to and from school and you’re watching school buses, those numbers don’t matter,” she said.
Biter is also worried about flooding and the impact on wildlife.
“We need to have the professionals be aware of these conditions so that they can design around them,” Moore said.
“Another development just causes concerns like when is it going to be enough,” Biter said.
There’s also a proposed second phase that could add more hotel space and a conference center.
The city has offered to reimburse the developer up to $475,000 to extend utilities in this area.
City council will vote on the sale of this land at their Tuesday meeting.