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Ocean Park community 'willing to work' with Marlin Bay developer on next steps after project withdrawal

Plans for a nearly 200 unit apartment complex in Virginia Beach’s Shore Drive neighborhood have come to a halt.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — Author's note: The video above is on file from October 19, 2021. 

After weeks of protests over the Marlin Bay development, city council gave developers permission to withdraw their proposal on Tuesday night.

It would have been a 197 unit luxury apartment complex with a swimming pool and a parking garage.

The question now is what’s next for Marlin Bay developers.

Ocean Park Civic League President Danny Murphy has opposed the development since it was first proposed.

“It would definitely stick out and being directly adjacent to Pleasure House Point, which is about 118 acres of natural area, it would have really been a sore thumb next to it in terms of the size and scale," Murphy said.

For weeks, neighbors in Virginia Beach’s Ocean Park neighborhood have proclaim a clear message: “No Way Marlin Bay.” The signs are scattered on lawns throughout the community.

“They wanted something that was reasonable and appropriate for the neighborhood," Murphy said. “I was really just taken aback with the amount of support that we’ve gotten.”

At city council chambers Tuesday night, the developer’s attorney Lisa Murphy said the plan was withdrawn in an effort to hit the reset button on the project.

Murphy said the community has its own idea as to what neighbors would like to see here.

“For me, I just think anything that would enhance the city, provide affordable housing would be nice, and increase the property values within the community," Murphy said. 

He added that he looks forward to speaking with developers about the future of this land.

“We’re glad to see it’s off the table for the 200 unit apartment complex, but we would like to work with them on redeveloping the lots to something that really fits and enhances the neighborhood," he said.

“I definitely think we would look at anything they come up to the table with. I think we’re willing and we accept redevelopment of the lot but we just like to be fitting for the neighborhood.”

Murphy said the developers are going back to the drawing board to work with the community on what would be a better fit for Ocean Park.

Renderings show what would have been the Marlin Bay complex at the corner of Marlin Bay and Shore Drive. Right now, it’s a boat storage yard.