Cleanup underway from Oceanfront fire that destroyed 3 businesses

Cleanup underway from Oceanfront fire that destroyed 3 businesses

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – Nearly two months after a 3-alarm fire destroyed three businesses at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront, progress is being seen in the cleanup efforts.

On July 11, a fire ripped through two restaurants and a shop at 27th Street and Atlantic Avenue. No serious injuries were reported.

The Virginia Beach Fire Department said there’s still no answer as to exactly what caused it, but they do believe it was accidental.


Owners react to businesses being ravaged by fire at Virginia Beach Oceanfront

1:10 PM, Jul 12, 2023

Owners react to businesses being completely ravaged by fire at Virginia Beach Oceanfront

A local contracting company, Anoia and Associates, said it was hired by Vakos Development, the property owner.

“Getting the spoiled food out of the refrigerators, the steel beams that we can get to,” described Nick Anoia, owner of Anoia and Associates. “We’ve been able to remove those, and right now, we’re just waiting to get everything separated.”

Anoia explained they’re sorting steel from concrete and trash, and some of the materials can be recycled. However, he said there’s another hurdle to manage.

“We’re waiting on permission to move forward with the roofing materials so we can separate that out,” Anoia stated. “Some of it came back tested with asbestos.”

The state has to give approval to remove that material, he added.

“We’re just going to take the precaution and separate it, and we’ll abate it and take it to the proper landfill.”

According to a representative for the City of Virginia Beach, the Planning Department issued a demolition permit on Aug. 10. The permit is valid for 180 days, however, an extension may be granted if the applicant requests additional time.

Outside of how long the permit is valid, there isn’t a timeline attached to how quickly any cleanup must take place, according to the City.

Anoia said he hopes cleanup will be complete within the next month.

The City wrote to News 3, “Regarding any rebuilding the property owners have two years to rebuild it to its prior condition if it is a nonconforming structure. After two years, any reconstruction would need to conform with the current zoning standards for that area.”

The City also said that in general, there aren’t any restrictions on when rebuilding can take place in the resort area; however, there may be restricted work and travel hours for heavy machinery in the City’s right of way for safety reasons.

Matthew Vakos, owner of the property, has previously stated he hopes to rebuild as soon as possible.

One neighbor, Mary Kohm, has mixed emotions about it all but is hopeful.

“I just feel very sad when I walk by,” said Kohm. “I’m sad for the owners that have so much to contend with right now. And it is slow. It seems very slow, but inch by inch, they’ll get it done, and hopefully, it will be rebuilt even better.”

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