Virginia Beach to look into building hotel, retail space near convention centerFebruary 11, 2024
Virginia Beach hosts Martin Luther King Jr. Awards BreakfastFebruary 11, 2024
VIRGINIA BEACH — A proposal to build a convention center hotel, apartments and shops on city-owned land along 19th Street warrants further study, particularly of costs the city would incur, say some City Council members.
At last week’s council meeting, Mayor Bobby Dyer and others asked for an economic impact study and infrastructure cost analysis of not only Capstone Development’s proposed convention center hotel project, but also of several other core sites in the Oceanfront resort area, including the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art property and 17th Street.
The study will likely cost about $200,000, according to City Manager Patrick Duhaney. On Tuesday, the City Council will vote on authorizing the analysis after hearing public comment.
If approved, the study would be the seventh in two decades to examine the idea of a hotel development at the Virginia Beach Convention Center. Six studies over the past 19 years all concluded the convention center needs a headquarters hotel and a bigger, mixed-used project that can go along with it, according to the city.
A strategic plan to grow and develop the resort area, endorsed by the City Council, lists the development of a convention center hotel as a priority. Additionally, a 2018 independent market study paid for by the city noted that building a convention center hotel would help Virginia Beach better compete for regional and national conventions and conferences, The Pilot has reported.
Unsolicited proposals for a convention center hotel have been brought to the City Council in years past but didn’t gain footing.
In May 2022, the city Department of Economic Development solicited ideas from developers for more parking options and workforce housing on roughly 6 acres near the convention and sports centers.
Capstone Development of Washington was the only respondent, submitting plans for 933 apartments, a 300-room nationally branded hotel with meeting space and a rooftop bar, a restaurant and retail space in the surface parking lots across the street from the convention center. The project would be built in phases.
The Capstone proposal stated the city would lease the land to a developer and would own and operate parking garages on the site.
Once completed, Capstone representatives said it would create more than 800 jobs and generate $3.5 million in annual sales taxes. The real estate taxes could surpass $1.6 million annually, according to Capstone representatives who presented to City Council in a public meeting last fall.
Dyer on Tuesday initially suggested an economic analysis and land use study of the Capstone project only, but several council members said they want to broaden it to help guide future decisions on redevelopment of other core sites surrounding 19th Street.
“We need to look at this more comprehensively,” said Vice Mayor Rosemary Wilson. “What other things could be there? Could there be other things that compliment the sports center?”
Wilson said the land use study also should delve into prospective uses of the contemporary art museum property at 2200 Parks Ave., which the city owns. The museum will move to Virginia Wesleyan University in a couple of years.
The study will also look at the Visitors Center at the end of the interstate, and 17th Street where a new regional storm water management center is under construction behind the sports center.
Several council members agreed that the public should have an opportunity to share ideas about future development of convention center hotel and other city-owned properties, including the historic Seatack community, which sits adjacent to the area.
“Public engagement is critical,” said the mayor.
Stacy Parker, 757-222-5125, firstname.lastname@example.org