Proposal to move Virginia Beach City Hall to Town Center off the table

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — A proposed plan to move Virginia Beach City Hall to Town Center will not move forward.

Mayor Will Sessoms says the city is still looking for a new location, but Town Center is off the table.

Officials say the building is 49 years old and has several issues that need to be fixed, including the removal of asbestos containing materials and the installation of new electrical and heating and air conditioning systems.

Virginia Beach lists problems with City Hall building

A study determined that building a new City Hall at Town Center would cost $65 million. At a public meeting about the issue Monday, a majority of the 61 residents who attended were opposed to the idea.

Virginia Beach Councilman Bob Dyer says the idea of moving the building to Town Center became a distraction.

“In retrospect, it didn’t make a lot of sense to move, but as a city we need to put everything on the table and make the best decision as possible,” said Dyer.

City council and the public made a list of pros and cons and ultimately, the cons trumped the pros. Reasons included congestion in Town Center and the desire to keep City Hall in the Municipal Center next to the Planning Department, court systems and other government entities.

If the city decides to stay at the Municipal Complex in Princess Anne, they could either renovate and expand the current facility or build a new, three-story building. Both options would cost about $55 million, according to the city. Dyer says there is also an option to build another City Hall next to the School Administration building.

“These options are fluid, open for discussion, open for negotiation and that’s the way government should run,” said Dyer.

The city is still looking for input from residents.

Another public meeting is set for July 26 at the Virginia Beach Convention Center. The third and final meeting is Aug. 23 at the Westin in Town Center. Both meetings are from 6 to 8 p.m. Officials will also host an informational question and answer via Facebook Live on July 26 from 5 to 6 p.m.