HARRIETSTOWN — The pending sale of Crescent Bay Marina looks to renovation and redevelopment of historic shoreline property.
Owned by the Duso family since the 1920s, the next owners in line want to expand public access for boaters on Lower Saranac Lake.
The new marina design includes adding provisions for campers who frequent sites on Lower Saranac and running an electric eco-tour boat through portions of the historic waterway. Paddle sports and boat rentals are part of the project.
The design also establishes a three-season restaurant at the marina.
Mike Damp of Lake Placid is managing investor of LS Marina LLC, the company formed to buy and renovate Crescent Bay. In an interview, he told the Press-Republican that the sale is about to close.
He did not specify the total investment for renovations, saying only it is in the “millions” of dollars.
There are two waterfront properties involved in the sale, a total 21 acres on two sections of Ampersand Bay. Both are in the hamlet area of Harrietstown.
“The Crescent Bay Marina site (off Route 3) currently has 70 slips and 12 moorings. It is proposed to be converted to 175 covered slips, virtually occupying the same space as the current mooring field,” Damp said in a news release.
“The Annex site (off Lake Street) currently has 80 slips (75 covered), which will be replaced with 110 covered slips. There will also be 15 uncovered slips for sailboats.”
The proposed design reorganizes docks along the waterfront.
“Our marina planners said both sides (Crescent Bay and the Annex) could handle a lot more boats. From their initial projection of 400, we scaled it back to 285 slips. If you look at our designs, we tucked them into the bays, using the same space the current docks occupy.
“It’s just a better design,” Damp said.
The floating dock system LS Marine has chosen utilizes six 6-inch pipes to anchor each dock, compared to hundreds of wood piers in place now.
“Floating dock systems have very little impact on the lake ecology. The fish actually like them,” Damp said.
“It’s the shade. All the wood and dock material now crumbling into the lake is disrupting the water quality.”
The docks do not come out in the winter, he explained. “They are designed to freeze into the lake.”
Swiss Marine in Lake Placid uses three of them now.
“They’re designed to rise a little bit up on the ice.”
Photovoltaic membrane on the dock rooftops is designed to power the marina.
“Solar panels won’t cover the whole structure; it is a membrane that sticks onto the roof, and it is dark-colored so it’s not reflected,” Damp said.
“They won’t be on every roof, but what we have proposed should be able to power the dock lights, the eco-boats, the docks for the boats to recharge and some power for the restaurant.”
Updates do not mean Crescent Bay would become exclusive.
“We’re not looking to change the use; we’re looking to make it more modern, and bring it back. The Dusos had a long run, and it’s been for sale for several years,” Damp said in the interview.
Damp shared a photograph and design presentation with the Harrietstown Town Council last week, showing how two parcels on Ampersand Bay would be arranged, including a modern boat-washing station to combat the spread of invasive species.
“We’re talking with the Nature Conservancy’s Adirondack Invasive Species initiative, and they pointed us to the Lake George Commission’s new boat-washing operation. Invasives are an issue, and we want to help lead against their spread in the Saranac Lakes.”
Damp said marina employees would oversee the boat-washing station, making sure all equipment moored at the site is kept clean.
In all, the new marina would employ 25 to 30 people compared to the one full-time and three seasonal workers that Crescent Bay has had in recent years.
SKETCH PLAN SUBMITTED
“A pre-application — a sketch plan review — has been submitted to the Town Planning Board,” Damp said. “The next step is site plan review, and we’re working to get that ready for the January or February meeting.”
The “LS” in LS Marine refers to “Lower Saranac,” but the new marina has not yet been formally named.
Damp said their interest draws from a longtime appreciation of Lower Saranac Lake and time he spent there growing up.
The site has long catered to the Adirondack boating community.
“Dusos have owned the marina since 1926, and before that it was the Algonquin Hotel property. It’s always been commercial, since the beginning of the hamlet,” Damp said.
The parcel known as the Annex, off Lake Street, was part of the Martin property, where the first local hotel was built in 1849.
“We are excited to get the town’s opinion and see what we can do to get this project underway,” Damp said.
The project will also be reviewed by the Adirondack Park Agency, which has jurisdiction over wetlands impact.
Email Kim Smith Dedam:firstname.lastname@example.org