Associate Editor
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The Inertia

Last October we became aware of pop superstar Pharrell Williams’ ambitious proposal to bring a wave pool to his hometown, Virginia Beach. It was and still is interesting that a musician who (as far as we know) doesn’t surf would be intimately involved in a project that aims to put a wave pool at the center of a development/revitalization initiative. But in a recent video, Pharrell details – in an abstract way – his attraction to the development that is collectively being referred to as “The Wave.”

While most people associate waves with water, says Pharrell in the video, a wave is really about energy. And Virginia Beach’s untapped energy – Pharrell goes on – when harnessed can “power the future.”

The Wave project will exist on top of Virginia Beach’s historic “Dome site,” an area that Pharrell says inspired him back when he was a kid. “I was always intrigued by the futuristic façade of the building,” he says. “It made my young imagination run wild.”

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The Inertia‘s Zach Weisberg grew up in the area, and he was getting a little jittery watching the video, so I wanted to get his thoughts on the development.

“I can just see all the kids from local high schools frothing right now,” Zach said. “To see someone of Pharrell’s stature make such a bold investment into the community there is really inspiring. I get excited watching that little video, and I see more plane tickets home in my future. Mom, I’m comin’ home!”

The ten-acre development plans to integrate residential units, retail and restaurant space, as well as a live entertainment venue hosting up to 252 concerts and events per year. The developers are soliciting feedback from the local community here, and have already received insights from 1,280 locals.

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It also represents the first wave pool development proposal in the United States to leverage Wavegarden’s Cove technology, which claims it can produce 1,000 six-foot waves per hour.

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