The $4.5 million stage one redevelopment of Batemans Bay Marina has increased the number of visiting boats by 300%, helping to revitalise the waterfront and making a significant contribution to the local economy.
The now fully-serviced marina on the NSW south coast has drawn six leading businesses to its new retail precinct and is increasingly being seen as destination for tourists as well as locals.
The current Sydney-based investors in the marina took over the 70-year lease of the 12-hectare in April last year.
“We had dormant prime waterfront real estate and rotting old wooden jetties, along with a supportive local council keen to maximise opportunities,” said Daimon Martin, Batemans Bay Marina manager.
“The vision is not just about improving facilities for boat owners, it’s about opening up access to a very unique ocean environment and giving confidence to local retailers—so everyone benefits.”
In less than a year, the investment has seen the number of berths expand from 100 to 135, and the average berth length increase from 8 to 12 metres.
The old timber jetties have been demolished to make way for pontoons and new hard stand and slipway areas have been constructed, along with the addition of a new car park, secure boat trailer parking, helipad, improved lighting, CCTV cameras and landscaping.
Working with the NSW Department of Primary Industries, the marina was dredged to accommodate a new E Arm. Completed in December 2016, it has added 18 new berths and extended the maximum length to 18 metres. Its T berth recently accommodated a 33-metre (108 ft) vessel, the biggest boat ever to enter the marina.
The new retail precinct has drawn six leading businesses to the marina.
The new 24/7 fuel stop has also played its part, encouraging more passing traffic into the marina, with regular visitors from Sydney and Melbourne as well as retirees circumnavigating Australia.
“The waterfront renewal project at Batemans Bay Marina has been one of the most significant in the town’s recent history, and we are very pleased with the results,” said Eurobodalla Shire Council Mayor Liz Innes.
“The redevelopment has been very valuable to the local economy; there is nothing like it on the lower south coast.”
With all works sourced locally—from the glass manufacturer to the shade maker—the construction phase generated employment for local tradesman, and there are now around 40 new permanent jobs on-site.
One of the largest employers in Batemans Bay, JJs Restaurants has taken up residence with waterfront dining at JJs @ the Marina, while world-famous Clyde River oyster farmers, the Ralston Bros, have come on board with their latest venture, The Farm Gate.
With only a third of the lease area developed, there are plans underway for stages two and three of the redevelopment which will see the marina expand to the east, with a doubling of wet berths, more ancillary buildings and further opportunities for dining at the water’s edge.
Reprinted with kind permission of Simon Enticknap - Editor of Marine Business You can find the full Marine Business article here