Development Authority Approves Next Steps for New Entertainment Complex

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

​The City of Virginia Beach has been working with Peterson Companies to develop VA ViBe!, a 230,000-square-foot entertainment project in the resort area. Today, the Virginia Beach Development Authority approved a 12-month extension of the exclusive negotiation period with the company to develop terms that will move the project forward.

VA ViBe! will be located on the former Dome site, 9.6 acres between 18th and 20th streets bordered by Pacific and Arctic avenues, with an additional parcel between Arctic and Baltic avenues. For more than 35 years, the Dome was the entertainment venue in Virginia Beach. Jimi Hendrix, The Rolling Stones and Ray Charles all played there. Named for its golf ball-like appearance, the Dome existed on the site until 1994. It was demolished to make way for a bigger and better entertainment complex.


“The concept is dynamic and an ideal fit for the city,” said Mayor William D. Sessoms, Jr. “We’ve waited for exactly the right product, and Peterson Companies has delivered a transformative, multi-use development that will enhance all of the growth and opportunities in this area of the resort district.”


Warren D. Harris, director of Virginia Beach Economic Development, added, “The development team at Peterson Companies has taken the time to evaluate the site and refine the concept.. They have completed research and made modifications so that we are now in a very strong position to move forward with the terms to negotiate based on facts and accurate projections.”


VA ViBe! is envisioned as a mixed-use development with 125,000 square feet of entertainment that could include a luxury movie theater, upscale bowling, live music or theater venue or exhibition hall. There will be approximately 65,000 square feet of experiential restaurants that could include fine dining with alfresco seating on second -floor terraces, farm-to-table concepts, a craft brewery, wine tasting room or other fast-casual concepts. Plans also include approximately 40,000 square feet of destination retail that would complement the development, such as art studios, unique apparel and jewelry boutiques, gourmet or wine shops and other similar offerings.


“Peterson Companies has an impressive track record of success in attracting best-in-class and new-to-market entertainment, dining and retail concepts,” said Taylor O. Chess, president of retail for Peterson Companies.  “We are confident that we can deliver the same caliber of high-quality offerings that will appeal to Virginia Beach visitors and residents alike and serve as a catalyst to attract additional economic development activity to the surrounding area.”
Peterson Companies, headquartered in Northern Virginia, will design, construct and lease the vibrant entertainment project. The company will also professionally manage VA ViBe! and provide a robust marketing and activation program year-round.


It is estimated that 2,380 full-time and part-time jobs will be created to support VA ViBe!, and the total capital investment is estimated to be $100 million.


Conceptual plans show the transition from the Virginia Beach Convention Center along the 19th Street corridor. This corridor is a prime location for the new arena, multi-family housing, transit-orientated development, retail, restaurants and similar uses.
Peterson Companies is one of the largest privately-owned development companies in the region and employs more than 150 people.


The agreement approves an extension of the exclusive negotiation period not to exceed one year with The Peterson Companies, LLC.


The mission of the Virginia Beach Department of Economic Development is to attract and retain national and international businesses to stimulate capital investment and create jobs. Virginia Beach is the most populous city in Virginia with a population of 440,000, and it is the 37th largest in the United States. It is recognized as one of the Best Run Cities in America by 24/7 Wall St. The Department of Economic Development received re-accreditation through the International Economic Development Council in 2012 and is one of only 29 economic development organizations in the world to have this recognition. ranked Virginia Beach as the Easiest Place to Start a Business and the 2nd Most Business-Friendly City in the country. For more information, visit