VB releases studies on proposed surf park at Dome site

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VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — The City of Virginia Beach has released the results of several studies looking into the impact a proposed surf park could have on the area. 

“The Wave,” is a proposed $337.8 million project at the Oceanfront that includes plans for a 3,500 seat indoor, 5,000 outdoor music venue and entertainment center, a surf park, retail, restaurants, office space and residential units.

The complex would span from 18th to 20th streets between Pacific and Arctic avenues. The land is now a parking lot, but for 36 years prior to 1994, it was home to The Virginia Beach Dome.

In 2017, Venture Realty was selected as the preferred developer by the Virginia Beach Economic Development Authority.

Since then partners, which include Virginia Beach native and singer Pharrell Williams, have been working to persuade the city to give the project the go-ahead. 

The project is estimated to generate $500 million in economic impact during construction and roughly $150 million on an annualized basis thereafter, developers told 10 On Your Side.  They also believe it will deliver over $8.1 million in tax revenue to the city, and upwards of $4 million in parking fees, leases, and other indirect revenues. 

The studies show the music venue could make the city around $1 million a year, and could create more than 300 jobs during its construction. 

When in operation, it’s expected to offer more than 100 jobs.

The study also focuses on parking and how potential events could impact the city. It shows annual attendance at the venue is expected to hit around 340,000.

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Stone planning, a firm hired to complete a venue feasibility study, found that event center portion of the project could pull events away from existing venues of a similar size in Hampton Roads. Mainly, Portsmouth’s Union Bank & Trust Pavilion and Norfolk’s Chrysler Hall and the NorVa. 

“My goal is to only help build our local music scene,” said Michael Culpepper, a managing partner with Venture Realty said. “This project is going to promote revenues around this project for the benefit of local businesses and local taxpayers.”

City Council met in executive session following the briefings in order to digest studies and develop a term sheet that specifies financials, according to Julie Hill, a city spokeswomen. 

“If we reach terms, goal would be to recommend development agreement for council and VBDA this fall,” Hill said.

Ron Williams, deputy city manager, told WAVY.com in January the city would likely pay for parking and landscaping. Culpepper says the music venue would also be at the city’s expense.

While public comments were not allowed at the meeting, in the past revues have been mixed. However a survey released earlier this year indicates support for the project. 

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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