Long-awaited full-service marina returns to Stamford Harbor
STAMFORD — The return of a fullservice boatyard and marina on Stamford Harbor was celebrated on Saturday, but some believe it won’t erase the damage of not having one for seven years.
Hinckley yard and service center hosted a grand opening in Waterside, fulfilling a compromise brokered by Mayor David Martin between the city’s Zoning Board and developer Building and Land Technology — which demolished a South End boatyard in 2011 when it ended its lease with Brewer’s Yacht Haven West.
The compromise, adopted after several similar iterations failed, called for BLT to build the Hinckley yard on Selleck Street and another storage facility on Magee Avenue.
The new yard, while smaller than Yacht Haven in terms of boat storage and marina spots, will have a similar full-service center, and it brings back a fuel dock to Stamford Harbor, which has not had a station since 2011. It also has a boat lift, a painting bay and a waste-water receptacle along the water.
“Stamford was really lacking a fullservice boatyard, and that’s what we are,” said Peter Manion, Hinckley’s general manager. “You name it, we do it.”
The new ritzy boatyard, with high-end yachts already in the marina, doesn’t do much for advocates of bringing back the old boatyard.
Co-founders of the group Save Our Boatyard said Friday they did not plan to attend the four-hour opening celebration, even though “the administration’s reaction to this is sure to be entertaining, as rules and law seem to have no place in the ‘politics’ of giving developers what they want,” Maureen Boylan said.
“Our boatyard wishes the Hinckley
“Stamford was really lacking a full-service boatyard, and that’s what we are. You name it, we do it.”
Peter Manion, Hinckley’s general manager
company well as they try to re-establish marine service in Stamford,” Boylan added. “But many businesses and skilled tradespeople have left the area, leaving the boating industry decimated.”
In the agreement, BLT must also build a boat storage facility on Magee Avenue by August, Boylan said. She and fellow boatyard advocate Randy Dinter contend the company has not begun work on the facility.
Manion said Hinckley, which rents the lot from BLT, is not involved with the other site or the agreement. He said the large yacht company, which runs eight boatyards from Florida to Maine, is simply a renter.
“We are here for the long term,” he said.
The boatyard issue is tied to a long-running dispute and legal contention pitting the city against a Long Island Sound advocacy group.
A judge earlier this spring issued a memorandum, requiring the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection to provide an opinion on the final BLT plan to replace the boatyard it demolished in 2011.
SoundKeeper, the group trying to bring back the South End boatyard, has argued Stamford’s Zoning Board wrongfully amended a regulation to allow BLT to build the Hinckley boatyard as a replacement.
The city has countered that SoundKeeper has no standing in the 2-year-old case because the environment was not harmed when the boatyard requirement was dropped.
The grand opening of Hinckley boatyard took place on Saturday in Stamford. The new Waterside boatyard, considered by many as a replacement for the one torn down in the South End, features an indoor storage, repair and maintenance facility with a state-of-the-art painting booth and fuel depot.
Above, visitors and guests attend the grand opening. At left, a vessel docks at a slip during the grand opening of the boatyard.
Dean Lindquist, of Newtown, and his daughter, Brittany Lindquist, of Stamford, take in the picturesque views of Stamford’s west branch of the Rippowam River during the grand opening of Hinckley boatyard on Saturday.
Peter Manion, general manager for Hinckley Yacht Services, talks about the facility during the grand opening.