Site of sports complex at Oceanfront being prepped for construction

Small forest being cleared to become parking lot for new sports complex (Rami Yoakum/Southside Daily)
Small forest being cleared to become parking lot for new sports complex (Southside Daily)

VIRGINIA BEACH — Preparation for the site of the future sports complex at the Oceanfront is underway, and developer MEB General Contractors said full construction is slated to begin in November.

The tiny forest, located on Birdneck Road between 19th Street and Virginia Beach Boulevard, is being cleared and grubbed in preparation for its future: A parking lot for the sports complex, which will be located to the east of the lot.

According to MEB’s construction schedule, the forest should be completely stripped of all vegetation and be ready for the next step by Oct. 2.

Related story: Virginia Beach moves forward with sports complex at Oceanfront

Indoor sports facilities tend to attract tourists between October and May because of cold weather, so the sports complex project fits into the city’s goal of boosting year-round tourism, City Manager Dave Hansen said during the Feb. 20 City Council meeting.

A rendering of the L-shaped sports center, looking east (Southside Daily photo/Courtesy of the City of Virginia Beach)
A rendering of the L-shaped sports center, looking east (Southside Daily photo/Courtesy of the City of Virginia Beach)

The sports center is being constructed on city property within the Oceanfront’s “central entertainment district.”

That area is a development hub for the resort area, and includes the Dome Site, convention center, and a proposed fishing pier.

Some of the major components of the sports complex project include 12 high school-sized hardwood basketball courts that can be converted to six collegiate-sized courts and, using the same floor space, 24 volleyball courts, according to the interim agreement provided by City Council in February.

According to the comprehensive agreement between the city and MEB, the total project cost to develop the sports complex will be more than $68 million.

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An extensive writing background and love of storytelling brought Joshua Weinstein to Southside Daily in 2017. You can find him reporting on Virginia Beach City Government, major land developments, and anything in the public interest.