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The Wave in Virginia Beach moves closer to Cove-land

Costs for The Wave, Pharrell Williams’ pet project in his hometown of Virginia Beach, faced increased price estimates this week. VB city documents showed that fallout from the pandemic has increased the overall price tag of the development.

Fortunately, the city council approved on Tuesday an additional $9 million for the design and construction.

The $325 million 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.

The new entertainment site is scheduled to open in 2023. However many projects that feature a wave pool as their hub, open to surfing before completion of the surrounding amenities, as was the case with Wave Park in South Korea.

The wave pool at the center of The Wave project in virginia beach
The wave pool at the center of The Wave project in virginia beach

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: 46
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.”


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