Jun 13, 2022 - Things to Do

Everything you need to know about Chesterfield's The Lake surf park

the lake surf park in richmond
Rendering courtesy of Flatwater Ventures

Construction started earlier this year on The Lake, the massive mixed-use development with a surf park in Chesterfield on Gentio Road near River City Sportsplex.

State of play: Phase 1 kicked off with building roads and utilities, which are set to be complete this month, Richmond-based developer Brett Burkhart of Flatwater Ventures told Axios.

  • For the rest of 2022, Flatwater Ventures will focus on building commercial space, which will include restaurants, retail and the 13-acre, human-made lake.
  • Phase 1, including the lake, should open to the public by the end of 2023, Burkhart said.
  • Of note: The development is adjacent to the county's Genito/288 Special Focus Area, an area that Chesterfield designated for long-term development planning because of its potential.

The big picture: The Lake is a project that has been kicking around Chesterfield for a few years and finally got the official green light last year after the developers agreed to scale back the retail portion of the project and scale up the residential side.

  • Construction for the whole project will cost around $300 million, Burkhart told CoStar News.

Details: The Lake will include 1,200 residential units (a mix of apartments and townhouses, starting at $500,000 for the townhouses), two hotels, restaurants, breweries, wineries, a lake, an amphitheater and a surf park.

  • The lake itself will have wakeboarding, an inflatable obstacle course on the water, standup paddle boarding and kayaks.
  • It will also have the capacity to host large-scale outdoor events like wakeboarding tournaments and triathlons, Burkhart said.

The architect behind the project, Michael Williams of Liquid Design, also designed the Whitewater Center in Charlotte, an outdoor activity center that was part of the inspiration for The Lake.

  • "Everybody right now is into this outdoor active lifestyle," Williams told Axios, adding that soon you won't have to drive all the way to West Virginia to get that experience.

Yes, but: The surf park will take longer to complete.

The intrigue: There are only two other surf parks in the U.S., and The Lake's will be the largest in the world.

  • "It's complicated, and it's a new technology and industry," Burkhart said. But he hopes to break ground in the next 18 months.
  • The technology is powered by American Wave Machines PerfectSwell, according to The Lake's website, which will create various wave sizes for both beginner and advanced surfers.

What's next: The next phase, which includes more commercial space, hotels and townhouses, is slated to start in late 2023.

  • The entire project will take about five years.

Karri's thought bubble: Many Richmonders probably didn't grow up surfing, but with what sounds like shark-free water, I'd be open to learning. Maybe. Is it hard?

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