Town Center project to feature nine-story apartment tower, theater

An artist's rendering of the proposed mixed-use development at Block 9 in Virginia Beach's Town Center. (Courtesy of city of Virginia Beach)
An artist’s rendering of the proposed mixed-use development at Block 9 in Virginia Beach’s Town Center. (Courtesy of city of Virginia Beach)

VIRGINIA BEACH – The City Council could vote as early as next week to swap one of Town Center’s surface parking lots for a live performance theater, restaurant, shops and apartments.

The $41 million proposal for Block 9, first reported last week by Southside Daily, will be funded mostly by developer Armada Hoffler and Michael Zeiders, the founder and CEO of Zeiders Enterprises, Inc. The ratio of private investment to public funding is 13-1, according to a presentation Tuesday to the City Council.

The project represents the sixth phase of Town Center’s development.

Mark Wawner, an economic development project coordinator for the city, said the block, bordered by The Westin, the Fountain Plaza and the Cosmopolitan Apartments, will have a nine-story residential tower with 120 one-bedroom and studio apartments. A “monumental staircase” will separate that tower from Zeiders American Dream Theater, a 300-seat performance venue for up-and-coming artists, he said.

Renderings show the theater building with an angular facade and a lobby that is visible from the outside through large glass walls.

Below the apartment building and theater will be 33,000 square feet of retail. There will also be a restaurant, according to the plans.

Armada Hoffler, which is headquartered at Town Center, will invest nearly $31 million to realize the plans, while Zeiders will spend nearly $8 million constructing and maintaining the theater. The Beach will be billed about $4 million on the staircase, design, elevators other items, including infrastructure.

Mayor Will Sessoms said after the presentation that ample parking will remain at Town Center if the project is approved, as it appears it will be. The City Council is scheduled to vote on it Dec. 1.

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