New Va. Beach Arena Proposals

Though Virginia Beach, Va.’s plans for a new arena seemed dashed earlier this year after losing out on the NBA’s Sacramento Kings, two groups have submitted arena proposals to the city – with no professional sports team tenants in sight.

Construction firm W.M. Jordan Co. contends an 18,000-capacity arena could be constructed by the end of 2016 for “substantially less” than previous estimates of roughly $426 million to be paid by the city, state and Comcast-Spectacor, according to the Virginian-Pilot.

Developer Bruce Johnson, a consultant on the project, told the paper Comcast-Spectacor has continued to express interest in the arena.

“Not only were they interested in continuing discussions, they were convinced an 18,000-seat facility could be constructed for substantially less money than previously suggested,” he said. “Moreover, this facility could be programmed with entertainment and sports that would cover all the costs of ownership and operation.”

The deal would see W.M. Jordan joining forces with HKS Architects to design and build the venue, Comcast-Spectacor stepping in to manage and the city owning the building, though financial details were not disclosed, the paper reported.

And just a day after W.M. Jordan submitted its proposal, a partnership comprising local developer The ESG Cos. and S.B. Ballard Construction Co. submitted a proposal of its own.

ESG VP Andrea Kilmer said in a statement to the Virginian-Pilot that her company has hosted business leaders from China to explore “unique global financing and procurement opportunities for this and other projects.”

ESG is working on a financing plan to shift “the risk from the city and the citizens to private investors,” she added. S.B. Ballard previously worked on projects including the Ted Constant Convocation Center at Old Dominion University in Norfolk.