August 24, 2010

Carolina Beach Pier Continues to Move Towards an Anticipated December 2015 Opening

The NC Aquarium continues to steam forward with plans to construct and open the town center Carolina Beach Pier in December 2015. Donna Moffitt gave a presentation to the Carolina Beach Town Council on August 10th. Below is a brief bulleted overview of her presentation. For more detailed meeting coverage, please visit: Wilmington Star, Island Gazette , WWAY & Town Council Audio Minutes.

Some General Highlights from her Presentation:
•Planning continues for December 2015 opening
Jennette's Pier in Nags Head scheduled to open in May (1st of the 3 piers)
•Total cost for pier, land and related facilities approx $20M (Aquarium to pay $16M and Carolina Beach to pay $4M--CB seeking grants to cover their portion)
•More modest pier house than Nags Head 10,000sf vs 17,000sf
•Pier would be self-sustained or subsidized by aquarium admission receipts.
•Town and Aquarium to appoint 8 member pier steering committee.
•UNCW School of Business conducting pier economic benefits study (Oct completion).
•Pier operation to have 10 full time year-round employees with numerous seasonal employees.

Specific Pier Project Amenities:
•1,000ft concrete pier with wooden decking
•10,000 square foot pier house
•Conference space with kitchen facilities
•Educational facilities
•Possible Aquarium exhibits
•Pier store with equipment rentals
•ADA accessibility with ocean view balconies
•Outdoor movie/stage area
•Bathhouse (showers and dressing facilities)
•New lifeguard station

•Children's park & recreation area
•Water sculptures/fountains

•Installation of marina canoe/kayak launch
•Boardwalk to be connected to pier complex

NC Aquarium's Goals for the Carolina Beach Pier:
•Provide diverse recreational fishing opportunities
•Increase & enhance public beach access
•Demonstrate sustainable practices (storm water control, energy generation, water use)
•Provide opportunities for coastal/oceanic research and instruction
•Encourage/promote public and private partnerships to further NC Aquarium's mission
•Inspire appreciation/conservation for NC aquatic environments

Here is a high quality (3.44MB) rendering of the pier project. Once clicking for full size version, it's worth zooming in further and having a look at all the proposed amenities extending from the town marina to the pier:

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