As your City Councilman, I’m committed to helping our city make the most of its economic opportunity. Overseas data cables and offshore wind present great local job opportunities. But in addition to these new industries, our traditional economic engines are also on firm footing. We have preserved our farming heritage through the Agricultural Reserve Program, which has secured over 20,000 acres in the southern half of our city. We are exploring hydroponic farming as the future of this industry, which will allow year-round growing and much greater yields so that Virginia Beach can feed many more people in the future.
Our relationship with the military is also strong, and my Council colleagues and I are working with Oceana to be able to lease 1100 acres of unused land next to the base – new property that will help the city grow economically while providing revenue to the Navy.
Working with the Hotel Association, the City was able to permanently commit hotel taxes to the Tourism Investment Program in the current budget. Now, we are able to make historic investments in parking, sports tourism, events and other upgrades which will increase tourism revenues even further. The Atlantic Park project at the former Dome site will connect the Resort and ViBe Districts, bring in much-needed tax revenue, and transform an underutilized four blocks to a Town Center feel – right in the heart of the Resort Area. This project will be a domino which will impact continued improvements in the 17th Street corridor.