Pembroke Mall developer wants $20 million from city for parking garages

The deputy city manager said funding would come from the new development’s property tax. But some taxpayers are not on board.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — A developer wants help from Virginia Beach city leaders to redevelop the Pembroke Mall, $20 million to be exact.

In late January, dozens of businesses inside the mall closed as developers prepare to build seniors’ apartments, multi-family housing, a hotel and parking on the property. The project is estimated at $161 million in total.

Heath Oderman, chief technology officer of technology firm Decisions, called the project a winner. The Rulings Office is located at the Pembroke Mall.

“We believe the opportunity to freshen up this space and bring more people here makes us a more attractive employer,” Oderman said.

RELATED: Outdoor stores remain open at Pembroke Mall as indoor stores close

Pembroke Square Associates is asking the City of Virginia Beach for $20 million to help build two public parking lots. But some ratepayers said a private development shouldn’t involve the city.

“Honestly, if you ask me, I’m not asking the city of Virginia Beach if I need to replace my driveway,” said Virginia Beach resident Lucia Owen. “Technically, I feel like Pembroke Mall shouldn’t be asking them to build this whole parking garage for their facility.

On Tuesday, Deputy City Manager Taylor Adams told city council members that funding for the two garages would come from the new development’s property tax. Board member Guy Tower said it was an investment and he expects a return on that investment.

Adams explained, “We would like to take all sources of funds that basically come from real estate and they stay with the general fund and they are used to service the debt associated with this project.”

Adams said the construction of the two garages will take a few years, but will provide about 800 new parking spaces. He also said the car parks will be built at the same time as the developer builds the apartments and the hotel.

Once the garages are complete, Adams said parking will be free for everyone.

City council members plan to hold a public comment session on March 15. After that, the city council will vote on the subject.

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