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May June 2019 Marina World

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COVER STORY: DANA POINT An impressive entrance (above) and open access to the water (below). Images: SMS Architects Next-generation marina “Bellingham Marine builds docks for people around the world,” said Ueberroth. “But this marina is right here in our own back yard. We will incorporate the best practices from our worldwide experience, and we are challenging the best-in-class, biggest players in the marina industry to install in Dana Point next-generation products and technology. We are looking at everything from the materials we put in our docks to new green systems to a sea lion deterrent system. It is our intent to have Dana Point define what small boat harbours will look like in the future. Because of our worldwide perspective, I’m often asked by clients what I would build – now I can show them.” Guest docks and concierge New guest docks are a welcome change that will greatly increase public access beyond that of most harbours in Southern California. Ralph Grippo, principal at Bellwether will oversee operations for the harbour. “We’re installing several long docks in the visitor area,” said Grippo. “Anybody that comes in the harbour, from small boats to 150ft [46m] yachts, should have a place to tie up and enjoy this iconic destination. We will have outstanding amenities and services and bring hospitality to our visitor moorage. We’ll have concierge services for any size vessel including golf cart transportation on land and water taxi service on the water, enhancing boaters’ access to the restaurants, shops, hotels and beaches. Visitors will enjoy many options and activities to help them enjoy their stay.” Buildings and parks will be integrated rather than disjointed and divided by parking lots as they are now. Care will be taken to maintain open views to the water. End-to-end walkways will connect everything in the harbour. The promenade will be widened from 6ft (2m) to 24ft (7m) and new gangways will connect the marina to retail and hotels. To accentuate the waterfront, the upland layout will be water-centric. Parking will be moved away from the water, and retail, restaurants and hotels will be moved adjacent to the water. DPHP has replaced the complicated operational model that existed in the harbour for many years. The marina, which is split in the centre by a bridge, was operated as two marinas and the dry storage and boat launch areas as another. Each had separate management teams, procedures, processes and operational missions. Grippo has combined the marinas into one and is overseeing the dry storage to ensure consistency and quality of the service experience. Encouraging community involvement “Dana Point Harbor is a community asset,” said Bartlett. “We will build on activities and programmes already in place to involve more people from the community.” Inland boat owners can use the launch ramp in the marina and enjoy fishing. There will be three new dry storage areas for 25ft (7.6m), 30ft (9m) and 40ft (12m) boats. Additional access has been added for human-powered watercraft, which are enormously popular in Dana Point, thought by some to be the second biggest stand-up paddle-boarding centre after Hawaii (where it was invented). The friendly, small-town neighbourhood culture of the harbour is a source of pride for owners of more than 3,000 boats in the water and in dry storage. That culture includes two yacht clubs, a sailing association, the Ocean Institute with a full complement of educational programmes, a sailing school, whale-watching excursions, paddle boarding concessions and other activities. There is a calm beach within the harbour called Baby Beach on the west end. Doheny Beach, a surf beach outside of but adjacent to the marina, is at the east end. Phasing marina construction The waterside is several months into a 24-month entitlement process and DPHP expects to break ground for the marina by 2021. The construction of the new marina is planned in phases over five years. “We will build the visitor docks first,” said Grippo, “then use them to temporarily position tenants as their new slips are being built. The marina will continue to operate during construction. There will be no pause between phases. Once we mobilise, we’re going to continue until the project is done.” Robert Wilkes writes about the marina industry from Bellevue, WA, USA. www.marinaworld.com - May/June 2019 35

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