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Brown's Wharf marina to increase Fells Point business

If you think finding a parking spot in the heart of Fells Point is hard, try being a boater. Slips to, well, slip into for an evening of shopping and dining on dry land are relatively scarce, but there will be quite a few more next spring thanks to Brown's Wharf.

The development, which contains more than 105,000 square feet of restaurants, retail and office space, will begin construction this fall on 19 40-foot slips and 210 feet of side ties (spaces where boaters can moor parallel to the dock). The marina by the time boating season begins next spring.

"We bought the building three years ago, and we were aware there had once been a marina there and that there was in fact a marina in that location in the master plan of Baltimore Harbor," says Brad Dockser, managing partner for ownership group, Brown's Wharf, LLC. "It was always our intention to rebuild a marina there, in part to activate the waterfront to increase activity there. We spent last year designing and thinking about what we wanted."

While some of the mooring spaces will be available for month- or yearlong rentals, others will be made available on an overnight basis. Dockser says the marina will not only be a revenue source for the management company, but will bring more customers to Brown's Wharf businesses.

"Most 40-foot boats don't have a kitchen," Dockser notes. "Because of the demographics of boating, we anticipate that more people will come to Fells Point for an overnight stay and dine at places like Kali's Court or Meli. Or, if they want something more informal, they'll go eat at a place like Shuckers."

Dockser says rates and policies for the marina should be determined by early 2010.

Writer: Lucy Ament
Source: Brad Dockser, Brown's Wharf, LLC

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