Virginia Beach Construction Firm Submits Proposal For New Oceanfront Arena
W.M. Jordan, one of the Virginia Beach area's "biggest construction firms, has submitted to the city a proposal with partners to build an arena next to the city's convention center," according to Aaron Applegate of the Norfolk VIRGINIAN-PILOT. Unlike a previous "failed idea, which envisioned attracting" the NBA Kings to Virginia Beach, this one is "not proposing a major league team as an anchor tenant." W.M. Jordan President & CEO John Lawson said that an existing arena "might help attract a team to Virginia Beach, and the building would be constructed so it could be modified to accommodate a team." He added that it "could open" at the end of '16. Lawson "declined to provide financing details about the proposed public-private partnership that would be used to build it." The Virginia Beach City Council is "scheduled to hear more about the arena plan at its meeting today." The council could "decide to open the process to other parties interested in submitting proposals." Virginia Beach Mayor Will Sessoms said that he "thought a group of Chinese investors might also be interested in building an arena." He added he is excited about the new proposal, "but we have a long way to go." W.M. Jordan is "teaming up" with Dallas-based HKS Architects to design the arena and Comcast-Spectacor to "operate it under a 25-year contract," while the city would own it. HKS also was "part of the earlier arena proposal" (Norfolk VIRGINIAN-PILOT, 11/12).