Business owners concerned over proposed Oceanfront SkyWheel


by Philip Townsend, 13News Now

Posted on April 9, 2014 at 4:57 PM

Updated Wednesday, Apr 9 at 6:00 PM

VIRGINIA BEACH -- There is concern over a proposal from a St. Louis company to build a massive Ferris wheel at the Oceanfront.

Koch Development wants to build a 190 ft. SkyWheel on an open piece of land on 17th Street between Atlantic Ave. and the Boardwalk.

Dolphin Inn Motels is next door to the proposed site and property owners say the ferris wheel would be an invasion of privacy.

"They'd be able to see in people's bedroom windows," property owner Bob Dunning said.

Developers found themselves in front of the Virginia Beach Planning Commission Wednesday afternoon.

"I don't see how that would be offensive," said Executive Vice President of Koch Development Matthew Stack.

Dunning says he's not only worried about privacy, but believes the ferris wheel will also obstruct his view.
"There are plenty of places here they could build it. This is about the worst possible place," Dunning said.

Developers say there's also a light show that the wheel would display at night but they would limit it to certain hours. 

At the meeting, developers were asked if they could make the wheel smaller. They said although they can, they believe that would defeat the purpose of trying to make it an iconic attraction.

City council will still have to approve the plans.