Chesapeake reviews complex proposals

Published 10:00 pm Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Several companies have submitted proposals to the city of Chesapeake in response to plans for a sports complex.

In August, the city requested project ideas and information on the interested companies, according to Richard Hartwick, acting city purchasing procurement administrator.

Hartwick said the evaluation committee, which is composed of members of the city’s public offices, plans to meet this week to discuss the proposals. Afterward, the selections will be sent to the city manager and then to city council.


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From there, the council may or may not decide to pose another proposal for the project’s final arrangements.

The committee will be evaluating proposals from seven companies from all over the region. Hartwick is pleased at the number of interested parties, he said.

In the Jones Lang LaSalle proposal, which serves as the current leaser and manager of Chesapeake Square Mall, the company advised using the now vacated Sears and Macy’s stores and some of the surrounding parking lot for the complex.

JLL proposed it would team up with the city and hire architects and engineers to design and build the complex. In the midst of financial troubles, the company said the project could revitalize the mall.

Eastern Sports Management, which was involved in the development of the Virginia Beach Field House, was interested in this project as well.

“Since we are already in South Hampton Roads, we are the most viable choice,” said John Wack, president of Eastern Sports Management.

The company, which also operates recreation centers in Stafford and Fredericksburg, proposed an 112,000-square-foot facility including indoor turf fields, fitness rooms, business offices and areas for parties and summer camps.

The company identified Chesapeake Square Mall or the intersection of Gum Road and Interstate 664 as possible sites for the complex.

Virginia Aviation Associates LLC proposed using land at the Hampton Roads Executive Airport. Steven Fox, airport owner, stated in the proposal “an indoor field house seems like a natural use for this property.”

The proposal suggested the complex would cover 75,000 square feet onsite.

Retnauer Baynes Associates LLC and Phase 5 Performance and Fitness also expressed interest in the field house project.

Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters and Bright Ideas Lighting, based in Kitty Hawk, N.C., had unique interests in the project. CHKD requested providing athletic training services at the field house and renting 4,000 square feet of facility space for its sports medicine physical therapy clinic.

Bright Ideas Lighting, a light fixture and electrical wiring wholesaler, expressed interested in the field house designing process.

The Virginia Beach Field House went through a similar proposal process. However, the Western Branch project has attracted more attention.

“We are surprised we got seven responses,” Hartwick said. “The Virginia Beach project only received one or two proposals.”