Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Frank Marratta's vision for Harbor Park

Current lessee of Harbor Park, and aspirant for an extension of his lease, Frank Marratta appeared before the Economic Development Committee to present some speculative ideas for grounds improvements for Harbor Park. His plans for renovating the current restaurant are part of lease negotiations which are currently headed to trial, unless mediation can be successfully re-engaged.

The plans he presented today included an expansion of parking, which he indicated has been an ongoing request by city officials. His plans include expanding the current parking lot north along the river, just short of the current public bathrooms. Additional parking would be created across the street, adjacent to Route 9, and in the lot South of the restaurant. Marratta indicated that he understood that his plans, we're "just a starting point," and that he didn't expect all of his suggestions to be adopted.

Committee members, including Robert Santangelo and David Bauer questioned the extensive loss of riverside parkland to blacktop parking in the plans Marratta presented.

Marratta's plans also called for docking a decommissioned naval vessel adjacent to the restaurant, and building docking slips out into the river.

For their part, the committee politely listened, and suggested that no action could be taken until litigation concerning the lease extension for Harbor Park was settled.

In other decisions, the committee approved funding of a Small Business Development Center to be run by the Middlesex Chamber of Commerce, and headed by Paul Hughes, who has extensive experience counseling small businesses through financial matters.

The committee also accepted the donation of a small parcel of land on River Road, now owned by Mary Adams, which is adjacent to city property. The acceptance of the parcel must be voted on by the Common Council.

The Committee also approved an extension of a contract with Richard Jokunski of Jokunski Truck Sales, until the property, owned by the city, is remediated due to pollution by the former owner, Portland Chemical.


Anonymous said...

Seems a little shady Mr. Marratta got a renewed lease in the first place!! Anyone feel the same way?

Anonymous said...

It appears misguided at best, who knows exactly how much worse it really is!?!

Anonymous said...

I have serious concern about anything that has to do with Frank Marratta and the waterfront. He appears to be someone who is more concerned about his pocketbook than the community or the waterfront. This is a beautiful resource that we have not even begun to capitalize on. More blacktop means even more cars and more issues with the element he brings to the area. I just don't see it as the direction Middletown should go in. Would love to see him gone altogether and have a nice establishment in there like we see along the shore - a family restaurant, a marina, activity based center, maybe kayak and canoe rentals, a fitness center, a community center....