VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — City council voted to approve an increase in funding for the Cavalier project off Atlantic Avenue Tuesday.
Two weeks ago, the Virginia Beach Development Authority approved a proposal to give an extra $6.5 million to Cavalier Associates to fill a shortfall due to the project expansion.
In 2014, the city approved the application for the Tourism Development Financing Program so the project could be built. Originally, the renovation of the Historic Cavalier and the building of the Marriott Hotel were funded, with the city investing $18 million.
Representatives for Cavalier Associates say they’re hoping to add an Embassy Suites next to the Marriott for a resort area that can sponsor conferences.
At Tuesday night’s meeting, a representative said, “This is one of the best returns I can think of and you’re doing it while creating a need — not creating, but serving — a need that the city does not have today.”
Now that council has approved the increase, the total provided by the city is up to $24.5 million.
City council also voted to approve the realignment of Atlantic Avenue and 40th Street, which is near the Cavalier Hotel. City Manager Dave Hansen said he believes creating cul-de-sac would support the hotel, which is anticipated to be a major anchor.
Ahead of council’s vote Tuesday, residents spoke during the public comment period of the meeting. 10 On Your Side’s Marielena Balouris reports that the majority of the speakers were against both projects.
One speaker said, “There’s a gap in city council understanding what the taxpayers and the citizens of our city want us to do. And this is not what we want you to do.”
Another speaker asked, “If the risk is too great for the banks to lend more money on this development, why in the world is city council getting involved by lending more money again?”