Friday, July 1, 2022

Virginia Beach taxpayers, developer to split cost for study of Dome site project

VIRGINIA BEACH — The Virginia Beach Development Authority voted to authorize up to $200,000 in taxpayer money for feasibility studies and analyses of the possible development of the former Dome site at the Oceanfront Tuesday morning, according to city spokesperson Julie Hill.

Venture Realty Group, which entered a six-month exclusive negotiation period to create a development plan for the Dome site last month, will split the cost of the studies with the Development Authority. Venture Realty will match the city’s allocation with up to an additional $200,000 to “evaluate the proper scope and form of development at the Dome site,” according to a communications brief provided to city council.

The money will fund feasibility studies for any entertainment, retail, and parking components of future development at the location, as well as an overall economic impact analysis, travel to trade shows, and a construction cost verification study.

The 10-acre site, located between 18th and 20th streets, has been a parking lot since the Dome was demolished in 1994.

After the city put forth requests for proposals earlier this year, Venture Realty submitted a development plan that would include a surf park, a 3,500-seat live music venue and apartments as well as mixed retail space. It emerged as the company “with the most compelling vision,” according to Dot Wood, Development Authority chairperson.

Image courtesy of Venture Realty Group

The Development Authority is a component of Virginia Beach city government, but is a legally separate entity. However, it is still funded by the city, according to City Councilwoman Jessica Abbott.

“The city council appoints members to the VBDA board and approves their budget,” Abbott said. “Then council funds the VBDA through city council’s standard budget process.”

Of the eleven commissioners on the VBDA, two were absent at this morning’s vote, two abstained, and seven voted in favor of allocating the funds, according to the clerk of the VBDA, Linda Assaid. No commissioners voted against the resolution.

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