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Blue Water acquires Pier Point Marina, eyes restaurant

Katie Tabeling

Pier Point Marina was sold to Blue Water Development Corp for $5.75 M in late 2021. | PHOTO COURTESY OF BLUE WATER DEVELOPMENT CORP

DEWEY BEACH — Blue Water Development Corp. is making plans to upgrade the Pier Point Marina, the company’s first commercial-scale marina acquisition in its history.

Pier Point Marina was sold by the McKinney family in December for $5.75 million to the Maryland-based development corporation. It was a whirlwind deal that fit neatly into the company’s portfolio, as it owned the Bay Resort Waterfront Hotel the next street over.

“We were made aware of the Pier Point sale only three days prior to when bids were due. Even with that deadline, it was an easy decision to make,” Blue Water CEO Todd Burbage told the Delaware Business Times in an email. “We love Dewey Beach and the Delaware beaches, and we saw this as a perfect opportunity for involvement in a legacy asset at Dewey Beach.”

Burbage added that Blue Water was in early stages of planning, but may include adding a restaurant to the property as well as making some infrastructure improvements as well. The goal is to complete renovations in time for the summer of 2023.

“There is a need for a waterfront restaurant in Dewey Beach, and we would love to see something like that soon,” he added. “We will take every measure to ensure that guests can enjoy the beauty of this natural resource for years to come.”

Upgrades to the marina’s parking and pump out facilities to make sure the marina follows the National Maritime guidelines are also in discussion.

Pier Point Marina has 135 boat slips, a boat ramp and a boat hoist, six jet ski docks and more. It was first built in the 1950s, and the McKinney family bought it in 1996. When Hurricane Sandy hit the East Coast, the dock was wiped out, but it was later rebuilt.

In contrast, Blue Water was established in 2002 by father and son Jack and Todd Burgbage to invest, develop, manage RV resorts, campgrounds, hotels and other attractions. Its resort assets range from Maine to Florida, including the Fenwick Inn, Aloft hotel in Rehoboth Beach and Jellystone Park campgrounds in Lincoln. Other new acquisitions are out in the west in Texas, Montana and Oregon.

Blue Water has built marinas in the past, primarily to complement condominium development. Todd Burbage noted that the permitting to create a new project can be a challenge to overcome for commercial marinas. The company also announced it acquired Captain Bob’s Marina in Chincoteague, Va.,  which was built in 1960.

“Between our love for the water and Delaware beaches here at Blue Water, it was a natural progression for us to expand our scope,” Burbage said. “Both marinas have a rich history and have served their communities while supporting tourism in the areas, and we are delighted to start this new chapter.”

Editor’s note: A previous version of this article misidentified Jack and Todd as brothers, not as father and son. We regret the error.

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