Developers Break Ground For Atlantic Park At The Oceanfront

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Those who have wanted a wave park in Virginia Beach can finally breathe a sigh of relief as developers and community members gathered on a sunny day this week to celebrate the groundbreaking of Atlantic Park at the Oceanfront.

The site at 19th Street has a storied history in the city. It was previously home to the iconic (geodesic) Dome venue, built in 1958. Though its shape proved less than ideal for acoustics, it would host world-renowned acts like Jimi Hendrix, Frank Sinatra, The Temptations, The Rolling Stones, and The Beach Boys before it was demolished in 1994.

Since then, the city had been seeking a replacement for the same spot to help make the Virginia Beach Oceanfront more of a year-round draw, and Atlantic Park looks to be the perfect solution with its diverse range of attractions.

atlantic park

The project, which has been in the works for six years, is a partnership between local developer Venture Realty Group and several other parties, including the city and local legend Pharrell Williams. It’s expected to cost around $335 million, with the city chipping in $125 million.

The development will cover 12 acres and is designed to embody the “live, work, play” concept that the city was striving for.

Surrounding the wave park will be over 300 apartments and a hotel, providing residents and visitors with easy access to all the amenities the park has to offer. It will have around 100,000 square feet of retail space, with a diverse range of shops and restaurants to appeal to all tastes.

Additionally, it will feature 10,000 square feet of office space, catering to businesses looking for a prime location in the bustling Virginia Beach area, and a park-like area will connect the development to Atlantic Avenue and the boardwalk, allowing for easy pedestrian access to the beach.

atlantic park

While the wave park is getting the most of the attention, the 3,500-seat indoor entertainment venue may prove the most impactful. It features convertible doors that can open in good weather, expanding the capacity to 5,000 seats.

When completed, Atlantic Park is expected to create over 2,000 permanent jobs. The indoor surf park, in particular, is expected to draw 200,000 visitors from all over the world yearly, generating $12 million in revenue every year.

Atlantic Park

The first phase, which includes the wave park and entertainment venue, is expected to be completed in 2025. The second phase will include the residential and retail space, and has not yet been fully conceptualized.

What’s next for the strip? The south end of the strip is set to receive a major upgrade with the addition of a large green space, adding yet another much-needed dynamic to the vibrant Virginia Beach oceanfront.

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