Virginia Beach considers footing the bill for a $22.5 million road

VIRGINIA BEACH — The city is considering footing the bill for a $22.5 million road to incentivize…

VIRGINIA BEACH — The city is considering footing the bill for a $22.5 million road to incentivize the construction of two warehouse and distribution center projects on Dam Neck Road.

Last summer, the City Council approved a zoning change for the projects. City officials have not officially announced the end user, instead they refer to them as “Project Beach,” and “Project Door.” But several contractors associated with the project have previous experience with Amazon facilities.

The application documents describe the larger of the two buildings, “Project Beach,” as a 650,000-square-foot fulfillment center. It would be used for storage, packaging, and distribution, and would include 55 loading docks, 420 tractor trailer parking spaces and 1,750 regular parking spaces.

The smaller one, “Project Door,” on the opposite side of Dam Neck Road, will be a delivery station.

Combined, the company will invest more than $350 million and provide up to 2,100 new jobs in Virginia Beach, according to the city. About 1,000 of those jobs would be full time with an average wage of $17 an hour. The second phase of the project would bring 50-100 full time jobs and 500-1,000 part time jobs with an average wage of $20 an hour, according to city documents.

A public hearing on the appropriating public facility revenue bonds to finance the road and infrastructure improvements will be held (Tuesday) at the City Council meeting.

The new two-lane road would connect Dam Neck and London Bridge behind the Mayberry subdivision.

The debt service will be $2.1 million annually, and the city expects real estate revenue from the project will eventually be able to cover the bill. A groundbreaking could happen by the end of this year.

William Hudgins, senior development manager at Panattoni Development Co., is the company representative. Panattoni was involved with a 650,000-square-foot fulfilment center in the Western Branch neighborhood of Chesapeake, along with Amazon projects in Richmond and Nevada. The project’s design consultant firm, Kimley-Horn, has worked on Amazon facilities in Florida and Wisconsin, The Virginian-Pilot has reported.

An Amazon spokesperson has previously declined to confirm whether the retail giant is behind the project.

The City Council will vote on the road Aug. 15.

By STACY PARKER | | Staff writer – August 7, 2023 at 7:02 p.m.

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