Virginia Beach City Council hears plan to pay for Dome Site project

Posted at 10:03 AM, Oct 29, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-29 20:29:33-04

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - City staff members and the developer of a proposed surf park at the old Dome Site briefed city council members Tuesday afternoon on the plan to pay for it.

City staff members have spent the past nine months working out the details to pay for the project, which will include a $230 private investment and a $95 million public investment.

City planners have been hoping to attract a development at the site of the Dome Site for decades after the old Dome was torn down in 1994. Earlier this year, city council voted to move forward with the plan, but city staffers still needed to work out more of the details.

The project calls for a surf park, retail, residential units, office space and an entertainment venue.

The developer, Venture Realty Group, will pay for the retail, residential, commercial office, and surf park. The city will pay for public parking, streetscapes and the entertainment venue.

The city says money will be coming from tourism-related taxes, not from the General Fund. The project also calls for incentives based on the project's performance, as well as the use of a complex bond mechanism.

Virginia Beach native Pharrell is involved in the project with Venture Realty Group. The group wants to build off of the momentum of the musician's Something in the Water festival.

"[Pharrell] challenged us to make this project a part of the transformation at the Oceanfront, to make it fun, inviting to all people - tourists and locals alike," said Mike Culpepper from Venture Realty.

City council members are scheduled to hold a public hearing on the Development Agreement on November 12 and then could vote on November 19.

Groundbreaking could still be about two years away as more specific plans need to be developed, but the Deputy City Manager said Venture Realty needs the agreement to move forward with those plans.

"We want to take the positive energy and the good will of Something in the Water and inject it into a living, breathing, 24/7 vibrant development," said Culpepper.