2007-10-12 / Front Page

CB 14 Gives Thumbs Up To Marina Design

By Nicholas Briano

The long-time vacant lot at Beach 80 Street and Beach Channel Drive, across from unused Barbados Basin, may one day be transformed into a fullscale marina with a multi-level building, housing such waterfront facilities as restaurants, stores and a catering hall.

EDC spokesperson Claire Newman speaks to Community Board 14 members about the proposal to put a marina next to Barbados Basin. EDC spokesperson Claire Newman speaks to Community Board 14 members about the proposal to put a marina next to Barbados Basin. The plans, unveiled on Tuesday night by the New York City Economic Development Corporation during the monthly Community Board 14 meeting, envision the empty space as a 25-30 dock marina with an adjacent building consisting of three retail spaces, including a restaurant on the first level, and a 12,000 square foot catering hall on the second floor, with all of those amenities overlooking the marina. The EDC said that all spaces in the building will follow the general theme of the marina and basin.

According to Claire Newman, a spokeswoman from the EDC who made the presentation to the community board members, the city-owned property will be leased to Benjamin Beechwood, LLC, which will be responsible for the development and upkeep of the new marina, but will be subject to EDC inspections and reviews to ensure satisfactory conditions are always present.

At the meeting, the newly-appointed commanding officer of the 100 Precinct, Captain Tom Barrett, was introduced. Barrett is flanked by CB 14 District Manager Jonathan Gaska and chairperson Dolores Orr At the meeting, the newly-appointed commanding officer of the 100 Precinct, Captain Tom Barrett, was introduced. Barrett is flanked by CB 14 District Manager Jonathan Gaska and chairperson Dolores Orr The marina will be for public use, including the retail and restaurant spaces, which will lead to a public boardwalk. The floating docks, however, will be made available for a yetundetermined rental fee.

In addition, the facility will have a public boat ramp, the only such ramp outside of the present Beach Channel High School ramp. Some board members were angered when Newman said that the ramp would be only for "mancarried" boats such as kayaks and canoes. Some board members demanded that the ramp be expanded so that it can take larger powerboats as well.

Newman continued to emphasize the public use aspect of the project, telling board members that the marina will be able to accommodate 150 cars with what is currently planned as a free parking facility, allowing many people to easily access the marina's features.

(Right) The site plan for proposed marina. (Right) The site plan for proposed marina. The project will reportedly produce 37 construction jobs and 140 permanent jobs, once the marina is completed. The plans, still in the early stages of development, need a letter of support from the community board for the marina's design, which was granted after several minutes of questioning. The EDC must now seek approval of the design from the New York City Arts Commission, a process that is required before city-owned land may be leased to a private party, as in this case, Benjamin Beechwood, LLC.

Pending approval of the design by the city's Arts Commission and the construction plans by the City Council, plans call for work to begin by the summer of 2008, according to Newman. The EDC hopes that the work will be completed in time for the facility to be open for the summer of 2009.

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