Virginia Beach once was a big city with “no sense of place,” says Tony Nero, president of development at Armada Hoffler Development Co.

Today, its more than 430,000 residents and estimated annual 2.6 million tourists and conventioneers now enjoy a “sense of place” that's second to none in the Hampton Roads region. Spanning 17 blocks, The Town Center of Virginia Beach ultimately will encompass 4.3 million square feet of retail, offices, residential, lodging and restaurants. It's as if a city was created within the resort town on the oceanfront. Construction of the Town Center of Virginia Beach is being executed by Armada Hoffler Development Co. and Divaris Real Estate Inc., both headquartered in Virginia Beach.

“The Town Center's path to success has been steady, but not always easy. For 20 years, it was characterized by false starts, tabled plans, revisions and communitywide divisions, all steps in a lengthy public process that ultimately led to the creation of a place that reflects the community's vision,” says Burrell Saunders, CEO of CMSS Architects PC, a Hampton Roads architecture firm that designed the project.