Huntington, WV Gives First Approval To New Downtown Marina

The State Journal
30 November 2015
By Jim Ross

The Huntington City Council gave the first of two required readings Nov. 23 to an ordinance allowing Mayor Steve Williams to enter into a contract with a company to build a marina and other facilities on the Ohio River at Harris Riverfront Park.

The development is part of a lawsuit settlement with Superior Marine of South Point, Ohio. The city and Superior Marine had fought in court for more than 20 years over Superior’s plan to build a barge fleeting area along the river in the city’s Westmoreland neighborhood. Attorney Steve Nord, who represented the city in settlement negotiations, said the city faced a judgment of $20 million or more had it not settled the lawsuit.

Plans are being finalized, Williams said, for a new public-private partnership that will redevelop the city's Harris Riverfront. The city, he said, will partner with a private firm, Superior Marine, to build a 260-slip marina, a boat repair and retail shop, a boardwalk with retail and restaurants, a new amphitheater, an RV camping area and possibly condominiums.

The project will be undertaken in phases over a period of six to 10 years.

Under the lease agreement, the city will receive a percentage of the development’s net income, beginning at 12 percent in the sixth year of the lease and increasing gradually to 30 percent in the 25th year.

The city will also apply for grants that are needed for its part of the public-private financing.

Second reading and final approval of the ordinance could occur at the council’s regular meeting Dec. 7.