A shopping center for boats and marine-related activities has been created on part of the former Trumpy boatyard site on Spa Creek in the Eastport section of Annapolis.
Owner-developers Clarence A. Blackwell and Robert W. Hoffman describe their Yacht Haven of Annapolis as a complex designed specifically around the selling of new and brokerage boats, accessories and relates services. Their main structure is a three-story wood structure on Spa Creek side of the Severn 100 condominium apartment. Only two offices and one commercial space are unleased. Altogether, there now are 20 tenants in the new all-wood building and in two smaller structures on the site.
Blackwell said that rents average three years for spaces in Yacht Haven. He said that 8 of the 15 boat dealerships in Eastport are among the tenants, including one (Dockside) owned by the partners. He said the idea for the boating shopping center evolved from a Car City mecca for auto dealerships done in Florida.
The new building at Yacht Haven has 19,000 square feet of space in a Douglas fir and glass structure designed by architect Gary Schwerzler of Annapolis. The Thomas Smith Construction Co. was the prime contractor on the building completed last fall. Kennedy-Bode of Baltimore did the engineering work.
Blackwell, who described business to date in the off boating season as "encouraging," said that it was decided to build a wood structure because planning was done several years ago when the building industry was slow and a good price was quoted on available Douglas fir.
Blackwell, 42, is an electrical engineer. He commuted for nine years from his home in Annapolis to a job with Comstat in downtown Washington before deciding to become an entrepreneur. He owns a 47-foot-long ketch.
Hoffman, 40, owned an art store business in Rochester, N.Y., before moving to Annapolis. He owns a 36-foot ketch.
The partners, who operate as H & B Limited, bought the two-acre Trumpy site several years ago for $500,000. It has 385 of water frontage.
Asked about some criticism of the project that blocks the views of residents of the three lower floor of the Severn 100 apartments, Blackwell said that no zoning variances were needed to built Yacht Haven.
In addition to the shops and boat dealerships, the complex includes a 12-ton crane, a tall spar hoist, a travel lift for rigged vessels and a synchro-lift with a 95-ton capacity.