NEWPORT NEWS -- The City Center at Oyster Point Entertainment District is now an official Tourism Development Financing Project.

Mayor McKinley Price made the announcement Tuesday with Rita McClenny, the president of the Virginia Tourism Corporation.

This allows part of the sales tax to be kept in the city to pay down debt on the $26 million project.

'City Center at Oyster Point already has a robust hospitality, office and residential component as well as retail, and this project adds an entertainment piece to the mix,' city spokeswoman Kim Lee told

The City Center at Oyster Point Entertainment District project will create a total of 535 new jobs, which equates to more than 250 full-time positions, she added.

Setting up shop at City Center are restaurants, a theater and more. Among them are Toby Keith's I Love This Bar and Grill, Tucanos Brazilian Grill and the 12-screen Paragon Theater.Some of the businesses are already open; others will open throughout the summer.

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