Major development projects around US waterways fueled by new funding

Posted on June 9, 2022 at 3:50 p.m. by

The Maritime Executive

[By: Strategic Partnerships, Inc.]

Thousands of communities across the country owe their origins to a nearby waterway. The value of regional water resources has never been disputed and the coveted assets have never been underestimated. Today, community leaders are increasingly initiating new initiatives designed to protect and improve waterways because of their unique economic development potential.

Waterfronts, especially lakefronts, in the state of Ohio are becoming sources of economic opportunity. Cleveland Metroparks recently began design and engineering work on a project that will result in an estimated $300 million investment in a lakefront property. The initiative will include the development of a 36-acre barrier island that will protect a nearby interstate coastline from storm surges. Construction work on the project will begin in phases in 2023.

The Easton Economic Development Corporation in Maryland has approved an investment of hundreds of millions of dollars to redevelop a corridor along the Chesapeake Bay.

About $250 million will be spent over the next 15 years on an initiative that will likely be carried out through a public-private partnership. The long-term redevelopment plan will create a gateway to Easton by constructing a retail corridor that houses retail spaces, public meeting rooms, an office complex, waterslide parks , boat ramps, streetscapes and bike paths.

In Jacksonville, Florida, a development plan billed as the largest public-private partnership in the city’s history will focus on the St. Johns River. A mixed-use development along the city’s waterfront area is where 12 new hotels, several condominiums, commercial offices, retail space and exhibition facilities will be built. The waterfront project will also include attractive amenities such as a fifteen-acre pedestrian walkway and an amphitheater. Waterfront development costs have been estimated at approximately $1.1 billion. Other major projects, like a $150 million mixed-use retail tower, will likely start work no later than April 2024.

Preliminary planning is underway to redevelop a large waterfront area in the historic district of Sacramento, California. The property along the Sacramento River that is part of Old Sacramento State Park will become home to a hotel development. Citizen input is encouraged.

A recent grant of $1.5 million will support the development of waterfront property in Carteret, New Jersey. The new funding will allow local authorities to launch an initiative to improve Carteret’s waterfront park and Veteran’s Pier. Currently, the park’s development plan includes a 3,000 square foot indoor pavilion, a new permanent outdoor stage, the conversion of a former bandstand into a food court, and new washroom facilities. This effort will be tied to the construction of an adjacent ferry terminal for which $30 million in federal and state funding has already been secured. Local authorities are now overseeing dredging of the area around the planned waterfront terminal where the ferries will eventually dock.

The town of Hingham, Massachusetts, will launch an extensive effort to redevelop Hingham Harbor. The project will involve the redesign and reconstruction of docks in the area, and has an estimated capital cost of over $40 million. The latest amenities will include seating, new signage, a wading pool, harbor walkway extensions, a boathouse, electric vehicle charging stations, an outdoor market and a unified veterans’ memorial.

Officials in Cambridge, Maryland have announced their support for a major waterfront development that will begin in 2023. The initiative will begin with demolition work to clean up and prepare the property where new public amenities will be built. The plan calls for a boardwalk with mixed-use trails, green spaces for recreation, facilities for events and entertainment, boat ramp access, and a beach for swimming.

Several other waterfront development projects are planned for Ohio. A project will improve about five miles of trails that connect downtown Cleveland to the city’s East 55th Street Marina. Approximately $11 million in capital will be invested for a significant return on investment. Not only will the project bring an economic boost to the community, but it will also bring quality of life benefits to citizens. Another upcoming initiative will require a capital investment of $25-35 million to stabilize eroded shale cliffs that are zoned for housing developments.

Citizens of Wenatchee, WA will benefit from a partnership between the county’s utility district and the city as a development project begins on waterfront property. The Wenatchee Riverfront Development Plan includes 14 projects over 15 years. The first phase of the plan includes the construction of a picnic pavilion, wading pool and train-themed playground. Early estimates suggest the 31-acre development along the Columbia River will cost between $15 million and $20 million.

Such development projects will become even more common as public leaders leverage the value of waterways for expansion, economic development and revenue-generating sites. Collaborative initiatives will result in the assurance of sustainability, economic vitality, benefits for citizens, job creation and an abundance of contractual opportunities for private sector companies.

The products and services described in this press release are not endorsed by The Maritime Executive.

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