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Sept Oct 2015 Marina World

The magazine for the marina industry

WATERFRONT DEVELOPMENTS

WATERFRONT DEVELOPMENTS Expert view Mike Ward, managing director, Marina Projects Q: Do you think that shoreside developments influence marina development? A: Absolutely! The connection to the landside is vitally important in planning the marina and it is one of the areas that we pay close attention to at the concept design and feasibility stage. There are both constraints and opportunities to take into account, all of which will influence the design solution, the nature of the marina offer and, ultimately, the customer base using the marina. By paying close attention to these matters early on in the design process, it is possible to establish what is achievable at a given location. Q: What are the positive and negative effects? A: Positives - features of interest on the land, such as an historic waterfront, bars, restaurants or other local amenities will increase the attraction for visitors and long term berth holders. The marina and waterfront will have appeal for boat owners and the local population. The economic benefit is much better understood these days. Employment opportunities are created during construction and through the operating stage. Negatives - in the case of a waterfront revitalisation, the marina design must carefully consider the connections between the marina and local infrastructure in terms of public access, vehicular movement, parking demands etc., to ensure that berthing for superyachts especially doesn’t have a dominating visual impact on local architecture. Moreover, in many cases, the marina requires an upgrade of water and energy supplies. Q: Does your involvement in these projects limit the design of a new marina or the improvement of an existing facility? A: The constraints of a particular location can put limits on the design of a new marina, the redevelopment of existing facilities or an increase to infrastructures. However, more and more commercial sites are being converted to leisure use. In Montenegro we are engaged in Porto Montenegro and Portonovi projects, former military facilities that with this change in use can accommodate significant evolutions. The commercial nature of the hinterland is not appealing for a marina and this provides the opportunity for resort type developments. Moving further west to Monaco, we discover another modern icon – Port Hercules marina and its associated Monte Carlo waterfront. The marina has, quite simply, transformed the principality into the most famous yachting destination in the world. Another (smaller) marina forms part of the master plan just revealed for an artificial peninsula. Designed by Le Portier, the peninsula will extend 6ha (15 acres) into the sea. In Marseille, France, synergy was uppermost in mind when redeveloping the old port and nearby Euroméditerranée waterfront. The project has elevated the area in terms of tourism and cultural interest by honouring local and Mediterranean history. The result is in harmony with the environment despite the audacious architecture of the Museum of Civilization and the fact that the port has become a mega marina with 3,200 berths. Maxiyacht berths are managed by private companies and the municipality. When seeking an historic site, it is hard to beat the Cottonera waterfront in Malta, home to the C&NM-managed Grand Harbour Marina. “It was a redevelopment of Dockyard Creek, once home to Nelson’s navy,” Purdy explains. “Bordered by the sixteenth century bastions of Fort St Angelo and very ancient fortifications, the geometry of the harbour was fixed. The task was to renovate the waterfront and install a modern marina that respected the historic surroundings.” A very different approach was taken in Barcelona, Spain, at Grand Harbour Marina in Malta is a modern marina on a renovated waterfront that deeply respects its magnificent historic surroundings. Marina Port Vell; the pearl of Barceloneta – a part of the city that was transformed from industrial and fishing zones to an upscale waterfront for the Olympic Games. Now it is home to cultural sights, Barceloneta Beach and the trendy Rambla del Mar pedestrian street. With Blue Flag certification since 2003 and a host of other green credentials, Port Vell has 148 berths, many of which are for superyachts. It can accommodate a vessel length up to a staggering 190m (623ft) and benefits from good on-site services and the facilities of the entire seafront. Further superyacht essentials include the MB92 yards, specialists in repair, refit and maintenance for 20 years and amongst the largest superyacht facilities in the world at 76,000m² (818ft²) and 2,000 tonne and 4,000 tonne Syncrolifts. It is not unreasonable that people bet on Barcelona as the number one megayacht destination in the world. Despite the increasingly high level of prestigious marinas, the uniquely rich features offered by the Mediterranean and its wealth of history, there is a sting for future developers as Mike Ward explains: “In every part of the world there are constraints and opportunities when developing on the coastline and the nature of these varies from location to location. The Mediterranean presents its own challenge to find suitable opportunities in a location that will sustain a marina business.” 30 www.marinaworld.com - September/October 2015

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