Sunday, February 25, 2024

Wrightsville Yacht Club proposes deck expansion, unrelated to floating club

The Commodore Club, and exclusive floating restaurant coming to the waterway, is still accepting applications. (Port City Daily/Courtesy Wrightsville Yacht Club)

CORRECTION: The Wrightsville Yacht Club application is not related to the forthcoming Commodore Club, which has already been approved by town leaders. The club’s current application to be heard by the planning board Tuesday concerns a pool deck expansion, dockmaster Sam Clery told Port City Daily Monday. Port City Daily apologizes for this error.

WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH –– Wrightsville Yacht Club is courting members to its forthcoming, exclusive Commodore Club — a planned floating two-story restaurant docked at its marina. Separately, the club has hired attorney Matt Nichols for a deck expansion project that will be considered by the planning board Tuesday.

Next week the Wrightsville Beach Planning Board will consider a proposal from Wrightsville Yacht Club and Nichols. It would make a change to town code to allow “marina clubhouses” to be built in very restrictive circumstances: only within marinas adjacent to the Intracoastal Waterway with at least 75 boat slips. The way it’s written the code change would only apply to Wrightsville Yacht Club, according to staff review. 

The application is for a pool-deck expansion project, and is unrelated to the Commodore Club.

Dockmaster Sam Clery told Port City Daily in February the club was about halfway through with its membership drive. The floating club is planned to be docked in the waterway-facing marina, and will offer cocktails and sit-down dining on both floors. 

The cost of an application is $5,000, according to the club’s website, which includes a $500 non-refundable fee and the first chunk of membership expenses. The initiation fee is set at $20,000 total, and annual dues are said to be $2,500. 

Besides Wrightsville Yacht Club, Monteith Construction and Kersting Architecture are in on the project. Monteith has been involved in projects for New Hanover County Schools, UNCW, the airport and Live Oak Bank.

Town leaders are already well aware of the club proposal; the development team and Nichols previously campaigned for a conditional use permit for “a private floating restaurant within Wrightsville Yacht Club, Inc.’s existing marina” in July 2020. The planning board has already held at least three hearings related to Wrightsville Yacht Club’s project; the proposal was decreased from three- to two-stories based on past board recommendations. 

“As Sam [Clery] started describing his vision and the passion behind wanting to build Commodore Club — club level with a restaurant on the bottom, and it was going to be built on a barge — it was fascinating to us,” Bryan Thomas, Monteith president, said in a promotional video for the club. “So within about 20 minutes of that discussion, we let him know we were in.” 

Thomas said in the video the barge is expected to be built in either Florida or Charleston. 

“We will bring it to downtown Wilmington, into a boat yard, where we will then build the super-structure,” and then the club will be taken to the marina, Thomas said. 

The planning board will meet and consider the Wrightsville Yacht Club application Oct. 5 at 5:30 p.m. in town hall. 

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