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Pharrell Williams’ wave pool momentum keeps rolling

Pharrell Williams’ surf park and entertainment center in Virginia Beach cleared another hurdle last week as it speeds toward breaking ground. Venture Realty Group, the developers behind the plan, secured the financing necessary to move ahead to the next phase of the project.

Investors have worked closely with the city to fund the $325million development, meeting regularly and tasking the many details needed to see a project of this magnitude to completion. The next phase is to invest in architectural drawings, find a general contractor and analyze costs.

The 10-acre site between 18th and 20th streets in one of the last remaining empty spaces on the heavily developed stretch of coast. The site holds sentimental value to Vah Beach celebrity Pharrell Williams. The city’s original convention center and concert hall, The Dome, was a landmark for decades until it was torn down in 1994. The space is currently used to park cars.

The Atlantic Park development will cover three city blocks and feature retail and restaurants, offices, apartments and almost 2,000 underground parking spaces and a 3,500-seat live performance venue. At the center of the project will be a Wavegarden Cove surf pool.

Wavegarden Coves are diamond-shaped wave pools that produce surf through a series of modular units. The more modules a Cove has, the longer the wave that can be produced. The Wavegarden Cove test facility in the Basque Country of Spain is 28 modules while the newly minted South Korea wave pool is 56 modules.

Cove sizes for comparison
Standard Cove commercial facility size: 2 hectares (1 hectare is 100×100 meters)
Waves generated per hour: 300-1000
South Korea Modules: 56
Urbnsurf Modules: 46
The Wave Modules: 40
Cove R&D Modules: 28

The project is getting a major push from hometown hero and 10-time Grammy award winner Pharrell Williams.

“In a way, this project started when I was a kid,” said Williams. “When I was riding to work with my grandmother, I was always intrigued by the futuristic facade of the Dome building. It made my young imagination run wild. Today I have the opportunity to bring the Dome back to life in a way that’s so inspiring. We call this vision of the future, The Wave.”

The below clip aired a few years ago on YouTube to promote the development. Obviously it won’t be ready in 2020 but these things, as all wave pool developments are finding out, take more time than expected.


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