In canceling a deal on a proposed Virginia Beach arena, the city violated the development agreement for the project, according to an attorney for the developer.
Last week, the Virginia Beach City Council voted 9-1 to end its agreement with Mid-Atlantic Arena to develop a new venue in the city. In ending the agreement, the city claimed that Mid-Atlantic Arena had failed to complete several steps by its November 7 deadline, including the completion of all loan documents, and that did not provide all of the needed paperwork and failed to meet the required equity.
City officials say they have not shut the door on Mid-Atlantic Arena, stating the firm is welcome to back with a proposal. However, Mid-Atlantic Arena attorney Samuel Meekins Jr claimed in an email to the city that the council’s decision to end the deal was a breach of the agreement. More from The Virginian Pilot:
Mid-Atlantic Arena LLC “has invested millions of dollars in this project and stands to lose millions more as a result of the city’s wrongful action,” Meekins wrote in an email about 20 minutes before the developer’s Nov. 7 deadline. “If the city does not honor its obligations, (the company) will protect its interests and will exercise all of its rights and remedies.”
The city had planned to lease its land near the Oceanfront to build a sports and entertainment venue.
Meekins asked the city to keep documents, emails and text messages related to the agreement. Julie Hill, a city spokeswoman, said those materials must be retained under state law.
In a reply email to Meekins, City Attorney Mark Stiles requested that the developer preserve related documents in light of the “potential for litigation.”
As part of the agreement, Mid-Atlantic Arena was to have closed on a $150 million loan from JPMorgan Chase and obtained $70 million in equity.