The transformative development on the former site of the Virginia Beach Dome, which includes a first-of-its-kind Wavegarden Cove surf park, has been decades in the making
Press Release Provided By: Venture Realty Group
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. Atlantic Park will reimagine the site as a first-of-its-kind indoor/outdoor experience that captures Virginia Beach’s distinct culture and continues its long-lasting heritage of music and surfing.
The 10.95-acre mixed-use development, located in the heart of the Virginia Beach Oceanfront, will offer various new-to-market restaurants, retail, experiential retail, residential, office, a state-of-the-art indoor/outdoor entertainment venue and a surf park. An anchoring feature of Atlantic Park, the first of its kind to be built in the United States, is a 2.67-acre Wavegarden Cove surf lagoon, which generates waves as high as six feet for experienced surfers and as low as one foot for beginners.
Additionally, with the involvement of Virginia Beach native Pharrell Williams as a development principal, 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 public-private partnership with the City of Virginia Beach culminates a decades-long vision, which began with the vacancy of the Dome site in 1994. Venture Realty Group 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’s 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.”
Construction on Phase I of the development will begin immediately, with an anticipated opening date of summer 2025. Phase I will include new-to-market restaurants, shops and experiential attractions, more than 300 multifamily homes, office space, a 70,000-sq.ft. entertainment venue and a 2.67-acre Wavegarden Cove surf park with an expanded beach experience, including cabanas, corporate built-in facilities and a true “beach club” environment. Phase II remains in the conceptual phase but is slated to include additional public parking, residential and retail space, as well as a boardwalk connecting Atlantic Park to the Virginia Beach Boardwalk at the 17th Street Park.
Atlantic Park is a public-private partnership among the Virginia Beach Development Authority, Venture Realty Group, Pharrell Williams, W.M. Jordan Company, Bishard Development and Priority Title/H20 Investments.
Upon completion, OVG360, the full-service venue management and hospitality division of global sports and entertainment company, Oak View Group, and Live Nation, the world’s leading live entertainment company, will operate and manage programming for the entertainment venue.
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 P3 VB Holdings, LLC, a 501(c)(3) charitable entity that will contribute excess revenues from the surf park to community charitable organizations.
Private construction financing was provided by a syndicate of lenders, led by Fulton Bank, including Old Point National Bank and Dollar Bank. Additional supporting construction lending was provided by TowneBank. Venture Waves, LLC, supported by a team of local investors and community leaders, provided equity.
The $125M of public investment includes two parking decks, an entertainment venue and public infrastructure improvements to the Central Resort Area.