May 10, 2013

City marina proposals under review


---- — PLATTSBURGH — The City of Plattsburgh has received two proposals to create a city marina and renovate the 2,500-square-foot building at Dock Street Landing in downtown Plattsburgh.

Plattsburgh Boat Basin and Navtours both want the opportunity.

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Plattsburgh Boat Basin owns and operates the marina at the end of Dock Street. Navtours is a Bahamas-based company that offers sailboat charters; it has also operated in Plattsburgh for the last few years.

The two businesses presented proposals to the Lake City Local Development Corp., which will review them and make a recommendation to the City Common Council.

If the project goes forward, the marina is not expected to open until 2014.


City Attorney John Clute noted the city has invested nearly $3.8 million in the property since it was acquired from the Delaware and Hudson Railroad. That doesn’t include the new boat launch near the city’s wastewater treatment plant, which was built with state funding.

He said the objectives in drafting the request for proposals were to increase the recreational development of the city’s waterfront and to attract more visitors to the downtown area. That could include first-time visitors who might then consider investment in the city.

“The future of this area is important to the city, especially the downtown area,” he said.

The city wants the marina to serve boats 30 feet in length or longer, based on a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers study that shows that owners of large boats are more likely to visit overnight or longer and thus spend more in the local community than the owners of smaller boats.


Clute said both interested entities appear to be well-qualified bidders.

The marina and building are to be owned by the city and operated by the chosen developer. The developer would be responsible for the cost of renovations to the flood-damaged building, but those expenses would be deducted from the lease payments.

Both parties have agreed not to store any boats or equipment other than docks and moorings on the city’s property.

Navtours was represented by Paul Turco and Elizabeth White, while Plattsburgh Boat Basin was represented by Matt Spiegel and Plattsburgh Boat Basin co-owner Jim Carter.


The city would like to see ancillary recreational opportunities provided, Clute said, such as kayak, bike or rollerblade rentals.

Both parties said they would be able to offer that, although Carter said it would be difficult to launch kayaks there because of the tall cement wall at the water’s edge.

Turco said Navtours plans to have 25 sailboats available for charter again this summer. Those are presently moored at Plattsburgh Boat Basin.

Both proposals include showers for boaters and public restrooms, with Navtours also using part for office space.

The Plattsburgh Boat Basin plan includes basic takeout-type foods, such as burgers and seafood baskets prepared on site, as well as ice cream.

Navtours’ proposal calls for prepared “healthy” foods purchased from local restaurants.

Lake City Local Development Corp. Secretary Hope Coryer said she was pleased to hear that both proposals include food service.

“I think that’s an important component to what we are looking for there,” she said.

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