WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH –– The Wrightsville Yacht Club is courting members of its upcoming exclusive Commodore Club – a planned two-story floating restaurant docked at its marina. The club hired real estate attorney Matt Nichols to get approval from city officials.
Next week, the Wrightsville Beach Planning Board will consider a proposal from the Wrightsville Yacht Club and Nichols. It would amend the city code to allow the construction of “marina clubs” under very restrictive circumstances: only in marinas adjacent to the Intracoastal waterway with at least 75 boat berths. The way it’s written, the code change would only apply to the Wrightsville Yacht Club, according to the staff review.
Dockmaster Sam Clery told Port City Daily in February that the club were halfway through their membership drive. The floating club is expected to be moored in the marina facing the waterway and will offer cocktails and sit-down meals on both floors.
The cost for an application is $ 5,000, according to the club’s website, which includes a non-refundable fee of $ 500 and the first installment of membership expenses. The initiation fee is set at $ 20,000 in total and annual membership fees would be $ 2,500.
In addition to the Wrightsville Yacht Club, Monteith Construction and Kersting Architecture are participating in the project. Monteith has been involved in projects for New Hanover County schools, UNCW, the airport and Live Oak Bank.
City leaders are already well aware of the club’s proposal; the development team and Nichols previously campaigned for a conditional use permit for “a private floating restaurant in the existing marina at Wrightsville Yacht Club, Inc.” in July 2020. The planning board has already held at least three hearings related to the Wrightsville Yacht Club project; the proposal has been reduced from three to two floors based on previous board recommendations.
“Like Sam [Clery] began to describe his vision and passion for wanting to build Commodore Club – at club level with a restaurant downstairs, and it was going to be built on a barge – it was fascinating to us, ”said Bryan Thomas, president of Monteith , in a promotional video for the club. “So within about 20 minutes of this discussion, we let him know we were there.”
Thomas said in the video that the barge is expected to be built in Florida or Charleston.
“We’ll take it to downtown Wilmington, to a shipyard, where we’ll then build the superstructure,” then the club will be taken to the marina, Thomas said.
The Planning Board will meet and consider the Wrightsville Yacht Club application on October 5 at 5:30 p.m. at Town Hall.
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