April completion for Wrightsville Marina renovations

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Renovations to the Wrightsville Beach Marina could be completed in April, the marina’s dockmaster told the town’s planning board before it approved a permit on Tuesday that will allow the facility to build bigger dock offices.

Sam Clary, Wrightsville Beach Marina’s dockmaster, told the board the floating docks should be in place as early as two weeks from now, but several more weeks will be needed to construct the dockhouse, fit the docks with utilities and conduct inspections. There’s no expansion to the marina’s capacity, as the docks will retain the same layout.

The board approved a conditional use permit for the marina to add 175 square feet to the dock office building. Clary said the additional space would mainly be used to move concessions inside and provide better security for the dockhouse but there’s no expansion of services offered. The dock office will sell beer and wine until 10 p.m. and feature throw-back architecture.

“We’re trying to mimic the old-school Wrightsville Beach buildings,” he said. “The extra square footage will help us clean up the area.”

Construction crews have been working on the docks for more than a month. Clary said while the management of the marina believes the project could be ready by April 1, any opening before Memorial Day would be considered within a realistic target range.

There also won’t be an expansion of capacity at the marina’s fueling station, though Clary said the construction crews were replacing everything from the bulkhead outward.

“Anyone pumping gas will experience nice, new, modern facilities,” he said.

The new dock is the first for the Wrightsville Beach landmark in 34 years, Clary said, with the last up fittings coming in 2001. With a life expectancy of just 20 years, Clary said the docks withstood the test of time.

In the meantime, Cleary said nearly 100 boats have been displaced from the marina, as many were already scheduled to go south for winter, while others found temporary docking in Wilmington, Carolina Beach and other area locations.

“They’re all over the place,” Clary said of the marina’s clientele.

Email terrylane@luminanews.com

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