James City officials focus on marina development

tjefferson@vagazette.com

Billsburg Brewery is planning an October opening at James City County Marina, and the county Economic Development Authority is now setting its sights on improving the surrounding area.

“Food is a definite need,” said Amy Jordan, economic development authority director. “There is a need for a casual type of place.”

Supervisors said a restaurant would complement the brewery nicely during a July 24 work session with the authority.

At its meeting Monday, the authority discussed possible restaurants that could sit alongside the brewery and boardwalk.

Even though the marina sits on 38 acres, some officials said the property’s size could be an impediment to attracting restaurateurs.

“It’s a small property, so it’s a lot to try and cram onto one piece,” Jordan said.

She said a restaurant that serves a variety of food, such as fish, hot dogs and sandwiches, would be ideal for the location.

Jordan said the authority should conduct a market study to see how a restaurant would affect traffic and those who already visit the marina and nearby Jamestown Settlement.

“A market study will help bring value to a plan instead of a pie in the sky plan of what the marina can be,” Jordan said.

“Because of the tourist attraction that is there, the beach and some of the other amenities that are there, it has a larger pull factor,” Jordan said. “The marina not only attracts locals, but it pulls in people from further out because of some of those attractions.”

Authority members said a restaurant should be able to remain open during the off-season winter and fall months.

The Planning Commission, Stormwater Management and the Parks and Recreation Department should hold a joint meeting to discuss potential development on the property, Jordan said.

Jefferson can be reached by phone at 757-790-9313.

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