Fate of famous Va. Beach Cavalier hotel is unknown

Posted at 10:04 PM, Mar 13, 2013
and last updated 2013-03-13 22:04:14-04

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WTVR)–It was tools of the 21st century – laptops and a live internet chat – hard at work today in an effort to save a 20th century piece of Virginia Beach history

For 86 years the 110-room Cavalier hotel has perched proudly above the oceanfront, hosting presidents and famous performers. The historic hotel has been up for sale for months, as part of a court-ordered liquidation.

It’s being marketed for sale with its younger 1970s-era, 282-room sister hotel situated right across Atlantic Avenue. Virginia Beach has assessed the property at $34 million.

“It’s panic-inducing. You don’t want to see something that is so special to this town get dozed over like everything else,” said one resident.

The live chat answered questions about the future of the Cavalier.

Moderator Mac Rawls is chair of a city taskforce on the issue. Rawls says there’s good news and bad news.

First the bad.

“The city has no legal right to prevent the demolition of the hotel. There’s no ordinance, no state law, to prevent a new owner from demolishing the hotel,” said Rawls.

“The good part is that the city can offer incentives and it does have certain controls indirectly in terms of rezoning and use permits,” said Rawls.

Rawls says the city is ready to work with a new owner. They’ve also come up with incentives to help a new owner maintain the historic nature of the Cavalier hotel.

“Taxes, helping the new buyer get historical tax credits, infrastructure improvements.”

Click on the video above for the full report from our sister station WTKR.