Virginia Beach turns to technology to boost site selection.

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The Virginia Beach Department of Economic Development is launching what its calls the first fully customized site selection app in the business.

The interactive app is available through iTunes and can be downloaded for iPad. With an Internet connection, the department says the app provides a virtual tour of Virginia Beach and serves as a search tool for commercial real estate properties.

The site selection industry has been turning to digital technologies to market its top choices for relocation.

The city’s economic development department said it created the app to go beyond simply serving as a mobile version of the department's website. The app uses GIS imagery and mapping to provide users a customizable virtual tour of the city and region in a format it said is not currently available with other economic development apps.

Upon launch, users can activate various layers and visually explore the areas critical to their decision-making process. These include business districts, infrastructure, transportation, higher education, workforce, quality of life, demographics, and major employers.

The app also features a real-time searchable commercial real estate function that identifies available properties according to the user’s specific requirements.

“Our prospects and clients are looking at Virginia Beach from around the world, and this app allows us to push our assets and strengths to them in a completely customizable format,” Warren D. Harris, director of Virginia Beach Economic Development, said in a statement.

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