Debate over whether or not to move Va. Beach City Hall continues

Council members say this is just the beginning and there is no rush.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WVEC) - The debate continues on whether to keep Virginia Beach city hall where it is or move it to a new building at Town Center.

On Tuesday night, city council learned more about the possible big plans to create a brand new city hall with a parking garage and mixed use development around it.

The city says it’s looking ahead 50 years, explaining they need room to grow and right now they have several options on the table.

Some of those plans include possibly renovating and expanding the current building, or moving it somewhere else in the municipal center.

On Tuesday night, the big talk was with developers, Armada Hoffler. They are proposing a brand new city hall at Town Center with new developments nearby, like a hotel, a theater and even apartments.

"This would be a meaningful and important investment for Armada Hoffler," said Chief Investment Officer, Eric Smith.

City hall would be located where the Regal Theatre is now and also near Bed Bath and Beyond. Though many say it sounds like a good idea, council members aren’t so sure.

"My big concern is why we are willing to give up, prime taxable real estate," Councilman Bobby Dyer explained.

Right now there are a number of plans. Several of them keep city hall right here at the Municipal Center.  Councilman John Moss says he understands the building they are in now needs work, but said it has a lot of history and he believes city hall shouldn't move.

Moss also said he believed in the upcoming years not as many people will be heading there.

Moss said, "Now with technology, people don't need to go to the government. The government goes to the people. This whole argument about being closer and this and that, hopefully that's not where we are going."

Council members say this is just the beginning and there is no rush.

"Let’s take time. Let’s deliberate. Let’s bring the public to the table. Let’s make the right decision," explained Dyer.

Plans are in the works to hold public input sessions in June, July, and August.

© 2017 WVEC-TV


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