Northam announces redevelopment plans for Fort Monroe Authority
Fort Monroe Authority has approved a 40-year ground lease with Smithfield-based Pack Brothers Hospitality, which will invest $40 million to redevelop the Marina District, which lies on the southwestern edge of the fort and is adjacent to the Historic Chamberlin.
The redevelopment plans include a restaurant, conference center, boutique hotel, and 300-slip remodeled marina. The ground lease contains a list of contingencies and requirements including environmental protection provisions and historic preservation covenants that Pack Brothers Hospitality must meet prior to beginning construction on the site.
“Fort Monroe is among the most important historic sites in our country and Commonwealth, and must be redeveloped in a way that reflects and preserves this significance,” Gov. Ralph Northam said. “Pack Brothers Hospitality shares our vision, and I am thrilled to see a Virginia company win this contract. Our Administration remains committed to protecting this historical and natural area, expanding access to its recreational opportunities, and maintaining Fort Monroe as a place that is desirable to live, work, and visit now and for generations to come.”
In 2018, the FMA issued a Request for Qualifications and Statement of Interest through a national marketing campaign that presented adaptive reuse opportunities at Fort Monroe in four redevelopment areas. These areas were based upon critical mass, adjacency, and reflected the planning principles of the Programmatic Agreement and the Land Use Master Plan.
The FMA received 18 proposals that were reviewed by the FMA staff, the Fort Monroe Historic Preservation Officer, and representatives from the Department of General Services, City of Hampton, and the National Park Service.
“This is an important chapter in Fort Monroe’s history, and we are excited to see Pack Brothers Hospitality bring it to life,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “The administration and FMA board has very high standards for this redevelopment project, and we believe Pack Brothers Hospitality will do an excellent job at developing the Marina District into an exciting destination.”
Based in Smithfield, Pack Brothers Hospitality principals and brothers Randy and Brian Pack have been in hospitality operations and development since 1986. The company owns and operates The Surry Seafood Company in Surry, and are also owners and operators of Smithfield Station with their father.
Earlier this year, Northam announced that the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) designated Fort Monroe as a Site of Memory Associated with the UNESCO Slave Route project.
Fort Monroe shares this distinction with more than 50 other sites and entities linked to the history of the transatlantic slave trade.
“It is critical that as we continue to preserve and reimagine this National Monument, we redevelop these hallowed grounds in the framework of historic justice,” said Secretary of Natural Resources Matthew J. Strickler. “I look forward to continuing to tell the important stories of Fort Monroe, while creating opportunities for Virginians and visitors to experience its natural beauty.”
At Old Point Comfort Marina, all docks will be replaced with new floating docks to include a 1,600-foot concrete super dock that will serve as a wave attenuator and replace the failing timber wave screen. The existing ships store and marina office will be replaced with a new structure to offer an enhanced ships store, a home for the Old Point Comfort Marina Yacht Club and a pool for marina guests.
The repurposed historic Coast Artillery School Bindery will host a 250-person event facility and will be complemented by a newly constructed 90-room boutique hotel, which will be built entirely over the water and offer private balconies with waterfront views from every room.
The 500-seat waterfront restaurant will repurpose the Old Torpedo Storehouse and the Old Cable Tank Building, as well as an extensive 15,000 square foot outdoor deck overlooking the Hampton Roads harbor.
“On behalf of our family, our employees, and the patrons who support our family businesses, Pack Brothers Hospitality is thrilled to accept this new challenge to repurpose and adaptively reuse the property at Old Point Comfort Marina,” said Randy Pack. “We recognize the value of this historic property, what it means to the community, and believe our proposal will become an East Coast resort destination suitable for association with a National Monument such as Fort Monroe.”
“The Authority has been methodically preparing for the moment when private investment would partner with the FMA to appropriately repurpose the historic buildings at Fort Monroe,” said Jim Moran, Chairman of the Fort Monroe Authority. “On behalf of the Fort Monroe Authority, I express our appreciation to Pack Brothers Hospitality for their commitment and their vision. We share a determination to carefully preserve the physical structures that contribute to the Fort’s unique history while also establishing what will become a treasured destination for families around the world who will be able to enjoy the sites and the activities of Fort Monroe while they learn of its unparalleled role in our nation’s history.”
“Hampton participated with the FMA in this development search, and we are excited to see this outstanding proposal from an experienced local development team,” said Mayor of Hampton Donnie Tuck. “The proposed marina, restaurants, hotel, and convention space compliment Hampton’s history as a premier resort location in coastal Virginia.”
“The Pack Brothers proposal demonstrates that they fully grasp the significance of this historic site as well as its potential as a deep-water marina with unobstructed access,” said Glenn Oder, executive cirector of the Fort Monroe Authority. “This adaptive reuse proposal will meet the high standards of our governing documents and reestablish Fort Monroe as a historic resort site on the Chesapeake Bay.”