Parking can be a touchy subject these days, especially if you live in a city lacking it. Virginia Beach finds themselves in a predicament over a proposal for a new parking garage. “A massive parking garage has been proposed for close to the Oceanfront, but some City Council members are concerned about how it will be paid for and said the money would be better spent on storm-water repairs.”
A new parking garage was proposed on Tuesday from the City Manager’s office. This new garage would be positioned right at the Oceanfront near the Convention Center and newly proposed field house for sporting events. It is planned to host 2,435 spots making it the largest Oceanfront parking garage. Of course, such a garage has a steep price tag, $36 million to be exact.
Some Residents and city council members object the new plans for the garage. Others were taken by surprise by the proposal. “Nobody has mentioned building a parking garage until today,” Councilwoman Barbara Henley said. “We need to put our priorities in perspective. I think the field house is a good idea, but we have to make sure it doesn’t interfere with the other things,” Dyer said. “Right now, storm-water is of the highest priority and it is a citywide problem that is going to get worse if we don’t deal with it now.”
If the Field house is approved next week there will be a shortage of parking. “Because the field house would take away parking spaces and draw more guests, the city needs to provide more parking. Its contract with the arena developer requires it. In addition, the city agreed to pay for $78 million in infrastructure projects for the arena.”
In a recent meeting the plans were attacked and the storm water issue was a big argument against the new city improvements. City Manager Dave Hansen held his ground under the pressure. “The field house is a project that is deeply supported by our tourism industry,” he said. “Hansen countered that the tourism money – which would be used to finance the field house and garage – can’t be used for storm water and flooding issues.” The bigger picture here is what tourism can do for Virginia Beach. One thing is certain, all those tourists will need a place to park.