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A not-so-private plan: Virginia Beach taxpayers fund deal with Chinese

Another Chinese company plans to invest in the Old Dominion, and Virginia Beach taxpayers will help foot the bill.

Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced a few weeks ago Shandong Tranlin Paper Co.’s plan to invest $2 billion in Chesterfield County. Now, China Machinery Engineering Corp. of Beijing plans to partner with a Virginia-based company to build an 18,000-seat arena and sports complex.

The 50,000-square-foot facility will cost an estimated $200 million, but that doesn’t include other costs paid by Virginia Beach, an additional $10 million for other costs, or the land the city is contributing to the deal.

The arena is meant to serve as a multi-purpose site with plans to host concerts, sporting events and maybe even circuses.  And while Virginia Beach is the most populous city in Virginia, it has no major sports team.

“We are confident this is a successful model and are very excited,” said Valerie Wilkinson, chief financial officer for United States Management LLC, the Virginia-based company that submitted the plan to Virginia Beach for consideration. “This will be a year-round draw that really fits in well with the greater infrastructure of the beach.”

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