The proposed Oceanfront arena project is moving forward. The latest development is a change in how the private project is financed by the developer. The City Council wants to know what you think of the changes.
In December, the Virginia Beach City Council approved a development agreement for the $210 million sports-and-entertainment arena at the resort, near the Convention Center. Unlike most American arenas, the Virginia Beach arena will be privately financed, built, maintained and operated. It will be built on city land.
Since December, the developer – Virginia Beach-based United States Management – has been working with a Chinese lender to secure financing. The City Council gave USM 10 months to secure the loan.
On June 28, USM President Andrea Kilmer updated the City Council on the financing issue. Kilmer announced that USM has found a lender in the United States and will no longer pursue financing in China. That means the arena will not be required to use Chinese steel, glass and other materials, which was a condition of the Chinese loan. USM also will reduce its equity in the project from $40 million to $10 million and will finance approximately $200 million. USM will be fully responsible for the debt. All of the other terms of the project will remain the same.
Let us know what you think at Virtual Town Hall. Visit www.vbgov.com/virtualtownhall. The deadline for comments is noon Friday, July 8. The City Council is expected to vote on the changes July 12.