Partnership announced for Nanaimo marina revitalization

NANAIMO – A Vancouver Island company envisions making Nanaimo’s commercial inlet and marina a premier boating destination.

A Vancouver Island company envisions making Nanaimo’s commercial inlet and marina a top-notch boating destination and a gateway to adventure for residents and visitors.

Pacific Northwest Marina Group and the Nanaimo Port Authority announced a partnership Tuesday to revitalize the downtown Boat Basin.

The 30-year lease is expected to be finalized in the fall after the company secures necessary approvals from the federal government and engages in consultation with community partners, including the Snuneymuxw First Nation.

“For this to be a great destination marina, the locals have to love it,” said Grant Rogers, of Pacific Northwest Marina Group.

The company is committing 100 per cent of the capital for a $9-million upgrade. Once approvals are in place, the company hopes to have the work complete within 16 months.

“We feel they are a perfect fit. They have a proven track record for revitalizing Vancouver Island’s waterfront and the financial backing needed to upgrade and revitalize Nanaimo’s marina for the long term,” said Bob Bennie, chairman of the Nanaimo Port Authority’s board of directors.

Rogers said the revitalized marina will be a gathering place for locals and include a venue for seasonal events.

“We are committed to being good corporate citizens and doing good things in the community we reside in,” said Rogers. “Our vision is to help Nanaimo become the premier boating destination in the Pacific Northwest.”

The marina was built in the 1940s and the port authority assumed control in 1961 and has done various upgrades over the years.

The plan is to work on the outer basin first and then rebuild the inner basin.

Some ideas the company envisions include: dock-attendant assistance when arriving and departing; finger docks or alongside tie ups; onshore facilities to dispose of garbage, waste oils and filters; and dockside blackwater pump out.

It also plans to create an additional public walkway with a floating concrete dock.

Rogers said one of the difficulties with the waterfront walkway is it isn’t wide enough for peak season and gets clogged. A concrete float would create an alternative walkway amongst the boats.

“We don’t want this to be a marina that has gates at the top of the ramps. We want the public to be down on the ramps enjoying the boats,” he said.

The harbour won’t need dredging, but the creosote-soaked piles will be replaced with steel piles.

The revitalized marina will occupy the same footprint, but with an improved layout, available moorage will increase by about 40 per cent.

Pacific Northwest Marina Group is a partnership between Marker Group and Marinaco Holdings ULC. Previous projects undertaken by PNMG include the Sidney Pier Hotel & Spa and Seaport West on the Sidney waterfront.

The partnership is part of the port authority’s Path 2025 strategic plan, which is intended to modernize the port’s facilities over the next decade.

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