Clean up of fire-ravaged marina under way in Mystic
Stonington —The Planning and Zoning Commission voted unanimously on Tuesday to approve a temporary dock master office at Seaport Marine during clean up of the fire- ravaged site.
A four-alarm fire tore through the 11-acre marina property in November, destroying a warehouse and residential home but leaving the 122 boat slips and facilities mostly untouched.
“What happened in there, in November ― they need a space for the dock master when the boating season starts. The whole north end of the property is going to basically be out of commission while it gets cleaned up,” said John Casey, attorney for Waterfront Group, LLC, the owner of the property.
The Waterfront Group is owned by the Holstein family, which sold its other marina, the 155-slip Noank Shipyard, to Epum Holdings last fall.
Work is currently underway on the property after a permit was issued March 17 for demolition of the warehouse and fire cleanup. The temporary structure will allow the marina to continue operations while fire demolition and cleanup work is performed.
The temporary dock master’s office will be a 420-square-foot prefabricated wooden shed that will be placed on the southern end of the property on a bed of crushed stone, according to the application.
An image included in the application shows a Grand Victorian Garage sold by the Barn Yard in Ellington. The company website indicates the prefabricated building is delivered by trailer, and the roof is installed on site.
Casey told the commission the building would be connected to electricity, but it would not have plumbing.
The commission included two stipulations in its approval. Renewal of the one-year permit for the temporary building will require a new application, and the structure must be removed from the site 24 hours prior to a major coastal storm.
The blaze at Seaport Marine was the biggest fire in downtown Mystic since March of 2000, when a nighttime fire destroyed a West Main Street building that housed eight businesses next to the drawbridge. In 1960, a fire destroyed 15 businesses and a movie theater not far from Seaport Marine.
Seaport Marine owners proposed a major redevelopment of the property in 2019, called Smiler’s Wharf, that included 120 more slips, a 45-room hotel, a marine services building, a second restaurant, a public park and walkway and housing, but withdrew it in the face of opposition.
The cause of the Nov. 27 fire remains under investigation, Mystic Fire Marshal Anthony Manfredi Jr. said on Friday.