VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Companies involved in the development of the newly approved, $200 million dollar arena near the Oceanfront expressed their excitement about the project Wednesday, and addressed public concerns.
Councilwoman Barbara Henley voted against it, and expressed concern about a $170 million dollar loan from a Chinese bank, which has not yet closed.
Andrea Kilmer, CEO of United States Management, said the company was working closely with the bank, and that she expected the loan to be finalized by the middle of 2016.
Kilmer repeatedly called the timeline for the arena project “aggressive,” but would only set the groundbreaking for sometime next year.
Pressed by 10 On Your Side, she later said it would be toward the end of 2016.
Kilmer also said developers hope to open the arena’s doors toward the end of 2018.
When that happens, neighbors have said they’re apprehensive about traffic and parking issues.
On that, Kilmer was frank, “To a certain extent, there’s going to be some trial and error.”
She went on to say that the arena’s success depends on addressing those issues as they arise.
“We can’t be successful unless people want to come to the arena, so it’s incumbent upon us to come up with solutions […] to make sure those issues are taken care of, so they want to come back.”
The city will pay $76 million dollars for infrastructure improvements, which may also help alleviate traffic and parking issues.
You can watch Wednesday’s press conference below: