Industry Noize: Va. Beach Proposes Arena Infrastructure

Officials in Virginia Beach, Va., still have their hearts set on a new arena, and unveiled infrastructure plans during a recent meeting to help move the process along. 

United States Management has proposed the construction of an 18,000-seat, privately financed venue in the city.

In return, Virginia Beach would need to cough up the costs for infrastructure and give the developer new tax revenue.

Two plans for infrastructure range from a $52 million one that would include parking and street improvement around the building to a $78 million proposal that would widen roadways and improve intersections, according to the Virginian-Pilot.

However neither would include the construction of parking garages, which would reportedly save the city $40 million, but left some officials uneasy.

“We are pleased that it can be done for $52 million, but we have always taken a lot of pride in Virginia Beach in making sure our projects are first-class,” Mayor Will Sessoms said, according to the paper. “I don’t want to cut corners that will bite us down the road. If you have to spend another $10 million to make a better project, we have to think about that.”

Carl Tewksbury of engineering consultant Kimley-Horn told officials during the meeting that the city would not have the parking spaces to meet the demands of a sold-out concert under either of the proposals, but advised that would happen rarely.

“If we have a big concert like a Bono, then we are going to have the hotels working with us to shuttle people from other garages and other parts of the city,” Tewksbury said. “That would mean a lot of people are using the restaurants and staying in the city, so I’m sure everyone will work to accommodate them.” The city is expected to present the options to taxpayers in public meetings, the paper said.

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