‘What could be classified as a miracle’: Town celebrates ground-breaking of marina project
With one floating platform lowered into the Wareham River and many more to go, local businessman Danny Warren celebrated his marina’s ground-breaking with town officials and residents Wednesday afternoon.
Dozens walked onto the site at 59 Main St., which was criss-crossed with muddy tire tracks from the overhanging crane, to hear Warren announce the first steps of a project he’s waited almost exactly a year to begin.
“Long time coming,” Warren said, as a gaggle of friends and residents chatted nearby. “A lot of struggles.”
Warren’s project — a pavilion, restaurant, ice-cream stand and marina along the downtown waterfront — has run into several roadblocks over the past few months. He’s faced rising costs that have significantly added to his project’s price tag, concerns over meeting a federal deadline or risk heavy fines and challenges fitting the project’s design within local zoning parameters.
Even on the afternoon of his ground-breaking, Warren shared concerns over a new deadline that could further delay construction.
“Twelve days from now,” he said, “there has to be a complete marina built out there, or we’re out of the water until next fall because of migratory fish.”
The Wareham native said he was working with the state’s Natural Heritage & Endangered Species Program to see if he can get a few extra days on the marina front, but that’s still a concern for now. After the marina is complete, crews will begin preparing the site for utilities and further construction.
Still, he was excited in his later speech to residents, as he spoke with his back to the water and facing a crowd standing on the site he’s spent months preparing. He said the day’s ground-breaking is “what could be classified as a miracle.”
“We want to turn this into a public place,” Warren said. “It has always been home.”
President of the Historical Society Angela Dunham called Warren’s project part of the “rebirth” of downtown Wareham.
“It is the anchor,” she said, a sentiment that’s been echoed by members of the Select Board and other officials as they discuss the project’s place in Wareham’s downtown revitalization.
Beyond Wareham, State Sen. Marc Pacheco said the marina project could spark inspiration for other people to invest in their local communities.
“It will have regional applications,” he said.
The senator added that while at the ground-breaking ceremony, he had been approached by a few people sharing their ideas for future investments in downtown Wareham.
“This provides some needed hope for everybody,” Pachecho said.