Virginia Beach eyes financing deal for Wavegarden Cove project

The push to build Atlantic Park continues as the city of Virginia Beach and the Venture Realty Group struck an agreement to secure funding for the $325million development. Virginia Beach announced they will issue bonds for some of the development and then later reinvest tax revenues generated by visitors back into city coffers.

To help the cause, the city will classify the area of the proposed wave pool as a specific district and create a Community Development Authority to oversee the project. Currently, the City Council is trying to amend a law to make the Community Development Authority larger. Right now only 5 members are legally allowed on board and they want to increase that to 11.

The 10-acre site between 18th and 20th streets is one of the last remaining empty spaces on a heavily developed stretch of coast. Since the city’s original convention center and concert hall, The Dome, was torn down in 1994 – the land is now occupied by two parking lots.

The full-size Wavegarden Cove will sit on the site of the town’s famous Dome landmark which was demolished in 1994 as part of a redevelopment plan that never fully came to life.

In addition to the Wavegarden Cove, the Atlantic Park will feature retail and restaurants, offices, apartments and almost 2,000 parking spaces in garages along with a 3,500-seat live performance venue that will pay tribute to the original Dome building that resided here.

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.”