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VIRGINIA BEACH--A tenant is already on board if an $89 million, 14-story tower at Town Center is built.

The Phase V project would have 18,00 square feet of space for stores and offices, 267 apartments and a parking garage that would have 850 spaces.

It would be built at the corner of Town Center Drive and Columbus Street, which is currently a parking lot.

It would be paid for by $70.4 million in private investment, $18 million in city funds and $1 million in local grant funding for additional infrastructure improvements.

'My concern is that we have an ambitious agenda but not a lot of money,' said Councilman Bob Dyer.

Councilman John Moss added, 'If this a truly great project, why does the city pay for the parking garage.'

Moss also stated there are many office buildings and apartment complexes that could use city support rather than building new space.

The project must be approved by City Council and the Virginia Beach Development Authority. The City Council plans to hold a public hearing on the proposal on September 18 and formally consider and vote on the project October 9.

The Development Authority will consider the project on Oct. 16.

If passed by both groups, construction would begin by February 2013 and the building would be completed by July 31, 2014.

Clark Nexsen, a Top 200 National Architectural Design Firm, says it will lease 80,000 square feet for its corporate headquarters. The company, with nine offices in four states, will move 350 of its 550 U.S. employees into the new building from Norfolk.

Hampton University College of Virginia Beach will expand its presence in Town Center by leasing an additional 25,000 square feet of space in Armada Hoffler's existing 222 Central Park Avenue office tower. The growth will allow Hampton University to add 55 new course offerings and increase student enrollment to 350, officials said.

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