Virginia Beach City Council votes to approve terms of Dome Site project deal

Posted at 7:47 PM, Jan 15, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-16 15:51:24-05

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - The Virginia Beach City Council voted Tuesday night to approve the terms of the Dome Site project deal.

With a 9-1 vote, councilmembers moved forward with the Dome Site project, but there were many mixed reactions from residents when it came to the priority of the project and what it means for the city.

"I would hope that we remembered we've all survived Hurricane Florence last September. The sportsplex is going to be built in an area that has recurrent chronic flooding," says one Virginia Beach resident.

Many speakers say this new project should not be a priority, especially when there's more work to be done with the flooding issues in the city.

Related: Virginia Beach restaurant raising its structure to prevent future flood damage 

Some even questioned why the funds will come out of taxpayer dollars.

But, others who are on board say the $328.5 million project - which will stretch from 18th Street to 20th Street - is exactly what the City of Virginia Beach needs.

"The Wave will provide a venue to teach our kids in this controlled environment, practice sessions for national and international riders and, of course, all of us to ride that perfect wave," says a surfer in favor of the The Wave.

Tuesday night, many speakers wondered, "What's the rush?" They say they want the city to slow down and to really weigh its options, especially since they just received the term sheet about nine days ago.

"Everybody in Virginia Beach is not a surfer. Who's going to surf at this wave park when it's 20 degrees outside? Nothing about this makes this an all-year-long destination," says another Virginia Beach resident who is against the Dome Site project.

Musician Pharrell Williams, a Virginia Beach native who has been involved in the project, has proposed changing the development at the Dome Site from "The Wave" to "Atlantic Park." He issued the following statement Wednesday:

While my vision for the development is as clear as ever, what’s become even more clear on this journey is the potential for Virginia Beach as a premier destination. We believe this project will help reshape Virginia Beach into something instantly recognizable along the East Coast and across the United States. The name of the development should reflect this. We have renamed this project ATLANTIC PARK - a name that lives up to the potential I hope we are all starting to feel. A park is public property used for a specific purpose. Although a portion of this project is built with private investment, the land will remain in ownership of the public. We want Atlantic Park to offer growth and opportunity for our community to help Virginia Beach reach its fullest potential.

Related: Virginia Beach City Council members discuss Pharrell-led proposal for new Oceanfront festival 

The final vote will come at a later date.