Virginia Beach wave pool, yup the Pharrell Williams one, to break ground this spring

Venture Realty Group finalizes $335-Million Atlantic Park development which will include a Wavegarden Cove as its centerpiece

The City of Virginia Beach and Venture Realty Group announced today that it has closed on the transformative $335-million mixed-used development to be constructed on the former site of the Virginia Beach Dome.

According to a statement by Venture Realty Group, Atlantic Park will be an indoor/outdoor experience venue aimed at capturing Virginia Beach’s unique culture, mixing the city’s heritage of music and surfing.

The 10.95-acre mixed-use development, located on the Virginia Beach Oceanfront, will offer various new-to-market restaurants, retail, experiential retail, residential units, office space and a state-of-the-art indoor/outdoor entertainment venue.

Virginia Beach native Pharrell Williams is behind the project and put in a lot of time to help see the wave pool and music venue come to life. Developers said that Atlantic Park is positioned to garner global visibility and create an engine for future economic growth, cementing Virginia Beach as a year-round destination with a flourishing culture.

 “Atlantic Park changes everything for Virginia Beach,” said Virginia Beach Mayor Bob Dyer. “With year-round surfing, entertainment, community gatherings and the influence of global visionaries like Pharrell, the heart of the Virginia Beach Oceanfront will be changed forever and for the better, for locals and visitors alike.”

the dome at Virginia Beach wave pool to break ground this spring
The Dome music venue will sit adjacent the wave pool. Both are scheduled to break ground this spring. Images courtesy Venture Realty Group.

The public-private partnership with the City of Virginia Beach culminates a decades-long began after the vacancy of the Dome site in 1994. Venture Realty Group said that they first responded to the RFP in March 2017, working with three city managers, multiple City Council representatives and countless community stakeholders before the deal terms were approved in December 2019.

“After a lengthy, complicated and unorthodox process that included various Covid-related shutdowns and historic post-pandemic inflation, we are honored to finally get started on bringing Atlantic Park to life,” said Donna MacMillan-Whitaker, Venture Realty Group Founder and Managing Partner. “This project hits close to home for our entire Virginia Beach-based team, and we’re immensely proud to move our vision forward.”

The $335 million project includes more than $210 million of private investment, including the sale of the Atlantic Park Community Development Authority (CDA) Revenue Bonds and the Virginia Small Business Financing Authority (VSBFA) Sports and Entertainment Facility Revenue Bonds. The Atlantic Park CDA is the first Community Development Authority in the City’s history and relies solely on project tax revenues to provide financial support for project infrastructure. The VSBFA Bonds will finance the surf lagoon, which will be owned by a charitable entity that will contribute excess revenues from the surf park to community charitable organizations.

The $125M of public investment includes two parking decks, an entertainment venue and public infrastructure improvements to the Central Resort Area.

Phase I construction will include new-to-market restaurants, shops and experiential attractions, 300-plus multifamily homes, office space, a 70,000-sq.ft. entertainment venue and a 2.67-acre Wavegarden Cove surrounded by a built-in beach experience, including cabanas, corporate built-in facilities and more. Phase I will begin immediately with an anticipated opening date of summer 2025.