South Side marina lease gets green light

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The first of what could eventually number more than 320 slips at a new marina on the Monongahela River at SouthSide Works are planned to be ready for the start of boating season next spring.

In its final meeting before its August recess, Pittsburgh City Council approved a lease Monday between the city’s Urban Redevelopment Authority and Max Marina Inc., which is headed by David Maxwell, owner of the Fox Chapel Yacht Club.

Mr. Maxwell's company will build the marina, expected to cost more than $5 million, on a vacant piece of land at South Water and 26th streets.

City Council President Bruce Kraus, who represents the area, said the boat slips will help connect the development’s shops, restaurants and recreational areas to the river.

“When they showed it to me, I absolutely loved it,” Mr. Kraus said.

The URA will lease the land to Max Marina for $1,000 per year to start, with the annual rent increasing to $30,000 by the ninth year.

After that, rent will be determined based on annual slip rentals. There will be no boat launch at the site, Mr. Kraus said.

The marina also will benefit from a $150,000 grant from the URA that will be used to pay half the cost of a “debris deflector” installed west of the public dock at South Shore Riverfront Park to keep the marina and public dock clear of floating logs, trash and other debris.

Editor's note, August 5, 4:30 p.m.: This story has been updated to reflect the following correction. Slips at the new marina at SouthSide Works are scheduled to be available next spring, not this fall.


Robert Rubinstein, acting URA executive director, said the agency will maintain ownership of the land while the developer will own all the features installed on the water, including ramps and stairwells to get to land.

There’s enough space for the possible addition of a small food service area but not much else, he said, adding that the project also will include publicly financed landscaping, grading and the extension of a paved bike path.

There will be overnight docking at the marina, which will be open roughly from mid-April to mid-October.

“This was always contemplated in the master plan of SouthSide Works,” Mr. Rubinstein said. “It was always sold to the tenants and developers and office users as well as the residential community that there would be a full-service dock and marina available. ... We’re happy to be doing it with the premier marina operator in the region.”

Mr. Maxwell said leases will go on sale soon and the marina plans to open next spring.

Robert Zullo:, 412-263-3909 or on Twitter @rczullo. First Published August 5, 2014 12:00 AM

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