Va. Beach says deal to build arena has been terminated

A rendering of the proposed 18,500-seat multi-purpose entertainment and sports arena in Virginia Beach, courtesy of United States Management (Now Mid-Atlantic Arena LLC).

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — A deal to build an arena in Virginia Beach has been ended.

City council voted Tuesday to end an agreement to build an arena across from the Virginia Beach Convention Center — if the developers did not meet certain requirements.

10 On Your Side reported last week that Mid-Atlantic Arena had until Tuesday at 11:59 p.m. to close on a $150 million loan with JPMorgan Chase.

The city said in a news release Wednesday that not all of the terms of the agreement were met by Mid-Atlantic Arena. The city notified Andrea Kilmer, CEO of Mid-Atlantic Arena, of the deal’s termination in a letter Wednesday morning.

During Tuesday’s formal session, only Councilwoman Rosemary Wilson voted against a resolution to terminate the agreement, should the company not close. Councilwoman Jessica Abbott was out sick.

The move came after Kilmer told council that the company was ready and able to close. “All the documents have been delivered,” Kilmer told 10 On Your Side. “I’m not sure what else I could have done.”

But city leaders implied that as of the vote, Kilmer’s team had not met all of the necessary requirements.

“We didn’t quite cross the finish line,” Mayor Will Sessoms said. “I would still welcome them coming back to me with the Is dotted and the Ts crossed on the agreement that was approved two years ago.”

Sessoms told 10 On Your Side that he could not divulge information on the alleged shortcoming, stating the matter involves “proprietary” information because the deal is with a private entity.

Prior to Tuesday’s vote, council members discussed the deal during a closed session. Kilmer said the city attorney, to her knowledge, did not communicate with her attorneys after that discussion.

“As far as we’re concerned, we’ve complied with the development agreement,” she said.

Sessoms told 10 On Your Side Wednesday he understands a lot of time and money has gone into this project.

He said there was some money put into an equity account, but not all that the city agreed on. There was also paperwork missing that city said was necessary to make this deal go through.

The Mayor said these deals don’t come around very often, and he would be willing to still work with the developer.

“We terminated the agreement last night. I would sit back and say to if they bring the documents completely filled out, and if they were to fulfill the original agreement that was made, then I would feel comfortable bring it back to council. And I believe council would support it,” Sessoss said.