Land parcels fronting the Pasquotank River between Charles Creek and the Elizabeth City Shipyard (pictured Friday) are currently available for purchase and would be suitable for a 200-boat marina, a new study suggests.

Thomas J. Turney/The Daily Advance

Land parcels fronting the Pasquotank River between Charles Creek and the Elizabeth City Shipyard (pictured Friday) are currently available for purchase and would be suitable for a 200-boat marina, a new study suggests.

Study indicates 200-boat marina in EC feasible

By William West

The Daily Advance

6 Comments | Leave a Comment

The presence of available waterfront land, a freshwater port, good winds for sailing and easy access to the Dismal Swamp Canal all make Elizabeth City a feasible site for a 200-boat marina, a new study suggests.

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Great idea.

This is a great idea, but not a single taxpayer dollar should be spent on it. If it's financially feasible, private enterprise should jump on it, if not, taxpayer beware.

Public Robbery - Private Profit

And how surprising that someone who has an interest in opening marinas is selling the expanded marina idea to Elizabeth City? And he was paid $10,000 to tell us what he wanted us to hear. Doesn't sound like a neutral party to me... though, to his credit, he does enumerate all the reasons why an expanded marina is likely to fail in EC. Too often, ventures between "public agencies and private entities" are nothing more than robbing from the middle class taxpaying majority while benefiting the rich. Let's take the Panthers stadium in Charlotte, for example. The Panthers are owned by a handful of very wealthy individuals--individuals who could collectively afford to upgrade the stadium. Instead, the Charlotte City Council has agreed to foot the bill--using the taxpayers money. Does the benefit to the taxpayers in Charlotte support this gift to these wealthy individuals? No. Hey, isn't Joe Peel from Charlotte? Be careful of foxes guarding the hen house... Where is the data to support using public funds for a marina in Elizabeth City? Did Edenton recently consider a similar marina? What happens to our privately owned and operated marinas?

Deja Vu All Over Again

It brings to mind the attempt by the City Parks and Recd Dept. in cahoots with a few on council (and who knows who else) at the time to build a 18 hole golf course out on Well Field Road. They went so far as to try to justify the city owning it and even compared it with Wilson's city course and HOW MUCH MONEY IT WAS MAKING. Yep, the sure tried that one. A local fellow asked them in a meeting if it were such a great venture why no golf course developer had come to town and do it? The people shot that one down and dodged what some called "the bullet". How to get such a project done if in deed it is needed is to get government's heavy foot off the necks of entrepreneurs and business-minded people. Rebuilding downtown? Over the years a major problem has been absentee ownership. Younger people becoming owners through inheritance, who live elsewhere and have no interest in what is going on in the city nor have any intentions of returning to live. Yes, it was brought out years ago and it was ignored. By the way, what happened recently to two prominent, successful businessmen who were a big factor in trying to "save" downtown.

Is this a misprint?

I can agree with most of what you are saying but this one part has me doing a double take: "get government's heavy foot off the necks of entrepreneurs" This obviously is a case where the entrepreneurs would be using public funding (government) to lessen their financial exposure/risk. Meanwhile profiting from the managing of the marina, which is where the money is at. Meaning, just the opposite, entrepreneurs heavy foot on the neck of government under the guise of "the public good".

Sounds like a potential for loss of public funds

Where are the 200 people who can afford 24+ft boats (that don't currently already live on the water with their own dockage) AND are willing to pay what Westrec thinks is a fair price for dockage which is much higher than the VA market? Not to mention that other marinas in the local area are significantly cheaper than those in the VA market. While I'm all for developing the downtown area and I definitely think that we are not taking full advantage of our biggest asset the river, this does not make financial sense.

Amenities needed

If such a marina is to succeed, one must think of boaters' essential needs. True, while restrooms and showers are currently under construction, and the marina would offer fueling facilities a general store and most likely some kind of repair facility, whether in-house or in contract with the EC Shipyard, downtown still lacks certain basic amenities. How about a room in the shower/restroom facility for coin laundry? Perhaps an even greater need is a lack of a grocery store within walking distance. Here's an idea - Resurrect the old Colonial/Big Star on the corner of Ehringhaus and McMorrine? The city could utilize its proposed Business Incentive Plan to entice a chain grocer, or provide seed money to establish a locally-run (and hopefully, responsibly-run) co-op. In the process, the city could not only give a longtime eyesore renewed purpose, but in the long run, the grocery may serve as an anchor and catalyst for revitalizing the south side of downtown and surrounding areas. It may very well reverse the decay experienced by the entire downtown district. Downtown EC already has anchors in the way of the Arts of the Albemarle and as well as the Museum of the Albemarle to address the fine arts, culture and history as well as several restaurants - What we lack is a strong retail draw, a community meeting place, so to speak. Over the past few years, we have lost downtown's diversity in retail - disappeared shells named Bradshaw's, White and Bright Grocery, the City Wine 'Seller', Super 10, Chesson's, Gregg's Shoes and now Selig's. Did I miss anything? It is of importance therefore, to introduce a strong player to the market, one that as mentioned, would be the rock that other businesses may build upon. With our demographics, the list of grocery chains would be short and may include another Food Lion (most probable), perhaps a Lowe's Foods (the closest is in Ahoskie), an IGA or a Piggly Wiggly. An excellent tenant to woo is the limited-selection, economy-priced Aldi, a German chain that has since spread to many US cities, or perhaps for the more sophisticated, but still economical tastes of boaters and locals alike, would be Aldi's moderately-upscale division, which may be familiar to some of you as Trader Joe's. Personally, I'd love to see Trader Joe's come to town! -Andrew

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