Discussion underway to replace aging Va. Beach pier

The fishing pier on 15th Street might get the wrecking ball

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WVEC) -- The City of Virginia Beach wants to build a new pier on 15th Street, at the Oceanfront. The plans call for an existing pier to be torn down and redone.

"I believe it's an icon for a coastal community," explained Mayor Will Sessoms.

The topic has been on the table for city leaders for years, and now it may become a reality. Mayor Sessoms said a proposal has already been submitted.

Sessoms said, "We are going to do a two-level pier which would allow fishing on the lower level and retail and restaurants on the upper level."

Mayor Sessoms said the city would only own the new pier and a parking garage. The restaurants, shops, and the Ferris wheel would be a private investment.

Sessoms said the total cost from the city would be around $25 million. The money would come from tourism taxes. 

"I suggest we continue to invest in tourism so that we can expand the amount of money that we can eventually put into stormwater, schools, and roads," explained Sessoms.

Many Virginia Beach residents are excited about the new possible development. 

"I think it would be a good thing to have a new pier here. How can we compare to the big cities if we are still doing the little things?" a community member said.

The pier wouldn't be the only new development. The developer wants to add a hotel and also a time-share near the new pier.

Sessoms said after the public forum Tuesday night, city council members will vote on it.

If it is approved, Mayor Sessoms said the project would be put to bid in the next 90-120 days. 

Virginia Beach Pier Project Proposal by 13News Now on Scribd

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