Major changes in the works for Port of Salisbury Marina

SALISBURY, Md. – Some major changes are now set in stone for the Port of Salisbury Marina. Monday, Salisbury City Council approved plans for redevelopment of the property along Fitzwater Street.

“Right now, there’s overgrowth, chain link fences, a vacant lot. It’s not very attractive, and there’s not a lot of reason to connect to the water. I think this will lend that reason,” said Mayor Jake Day.

Redevelopment plans include three separate buildings, containing 76 apartment units, a boathouse, and as much as 4,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space. Also included is an open green space, complete with a large, outdoor movie screen.

“It could have a sporting event on it, all kinds of movie nights, local performances by musical groups locally,” said Keith Fisher of Fisher Architecture.

For years, Salisbury’s leaders have been discussing what to do with the marina. Now, The Salisbury Development Group is entering a 50-year lease of $1 for the property. Project leaders say these recent steps could bring a major boost to the local economy.

“I really think that’s sort of the pebble in the pond, if you will, that will hopefully get this riverfront back to where it was some 30, 40 years ago,” said Fisher.

Mayor Day says another key part of the plan is to communicate with residents who already live in the historic neighborhood. He tells 47ABC the city will be asking residents what their needs are now, how they use the existing waterfront. The city will also be carrying out a sub-area study to help answer those questions.

The goal is to incorporate the mixed-income housing and new shopping and entertainment spaces into the neighborhood – not replace it, according to Mayor Day.

“It’s a very transient neighborhood. There are very few homeowners. But, we want to be able to create opportunities,” he said. “All of this is intended to contribute to connecting the neighborhood to the river, raising the quality of life in the neighborhood, and making sure that we treat that historic neighborhood with dignity.”

Fisher says the next steps will be to get site plan approval from Planning and Zoning. He’s confident the building permit will be granted in the next few weeks, and construction should take three to four years.

Categories: Local News, Maryland