The Wave in Virginia Beach moves forward

Building a wave pool, especially at the center of a giant project like The Wave in Virginia Beach, requires orchestrating workers and their vehicles. The $2.8 million purchase of a shuttered gas station is the latest development in Pharrell Williams’ pet project. The move ensures space for the construction crew and quells complaints from nearby residents about workers clogging the residential streets with their vehicles.

The shuttered Exxon gas station will be torn down to host parking before being resold. After The Wave is completed it will be developed into something else according to Virginia paper the Daily Press. The action is part of the city of Virginia Beach’s development authority to increase the footprint of the surf park project on the old dome site. In December, the city negotiated to buy land nearby to help move the project forward.

The Wave is an ambitious project backed by Pharrell Williams that will sit on property once occupied by Virginia Beach landmark The Dome. Project developers are working closely with the city council to move through restrictions and zoning issues.

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 the Wavegarden Cove surf pool.

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

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.”

Virginia could have up to three wave pools in the next few years as nearby Richmond (two hours by car) eyes The Lake and SwellSpot developments.
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.

Main image by Daniel Halseth