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Virginia Beach: A surf town with a wave problem no more

Sports and Recreational Facilities

Virginia Beach: A surf town with a wave problem no more

By David Keith, AIA, LEED AP, and Alec Yuzhbabenko, Hanbury | Hanbury | January 25, 2018
Virginia Beach: A surf town with a wave problem no more

The surf park fits with Virginia Beach’s long connection to surfing and board shaping. Rendering: Hanbury

Few things are more exciting than big visions that come true.

Hanbury's vision for the redevelopment of the Virginia Beach 10-acre Dome Site is uniquely Virginia Beach and brings a new life to a longtime destination site in the heart of the resort area.

The new development intends to turn a site that’s been vacant for decades into a standard-setting “live, work, play” environment that delivers an authentic Virginia Beach experience and brings the city closer to its long standing goal of being a year-round tourist destination.

Hanbury will serve as lead architect/designer of the overall project, in association with Oppenheim Architecture and Clark Nexsen.



The centerpiece of the development will be a world-class surf park to delight both advanced and beginning surfers. The space will also include a 3,500-seat entertainment venue, office space, urban residential units, and unique retail and restaurants with local flair—all connected by a walkable, park-like atmosphere.

The surf park fits with Virginia Beach’s long connection to surfing and board shaping. East Coast surfing was born there in 1912 when a young James Jordan Jr. took his first ride on a massive redwood surfboard. Since then, Virginia Beach has produced a host of well-known wave riders and become home to the esteemed East Coast Surfing Championships.

The surf park is one of 20 Wavegarden Cove projects in different stages of development around the world, the publication, Surfer, reports. It is expected to be the second, modern technical artificial wave park to fully open to the public in the U.S., and the first to be integrated into a mixed-use development.

Wavegarden Cove delivers up to 1,000 ocean-like waves per hour. At the push of a button, the size, shape, power and frequency of the waves can be adjusted to suit all user groups, transforming conditions in an instant.

The Dome site is being developed by Venture Reality Group, and supported by Virginia Beach music superstar, Pharrell Williams. The Virginia Beach native used to enjoy music at the site until the concert venue was demolished in 1994.

Virginia Beach has long sought a new plan for the site. Next steps include public meetings to get feedback to help ensure this is truly an authentic and cherished Virginia Beach destination.



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