New marina market opens (without beer)

New marina manager Chris Agro in the city's new little market on Stockton's waterfront.

SMG, the citys’ venue management company, took over the municipal marina last Spring. “Our entire vision is just to make this whole waterfront a destination and bring people down here,” said Kendra Clark, SMG’s local manager.

In June Clark promised changes, such as WiFi at the marina, and coming attractions, such as popular music bands playing at the south bank amphitheater. She hoped bands would be happening by July.

Well, it’s August and the bands are not happening. So I called Clark just to see where SMG is with its plans.

“Things are moving along,” said Clark. Not as fast as hoped, though. SMG discovered that the city owns only part of the amphitheater area; “three-quarters” are owned by the (new) owners of the Waterfront Warehouse.

“We’re currently in discussions with the Warehouse,” said Clark, who characterized negotiations as “Good, good. The owners have been wonderful. We share a vision down there.”

The city owns the other part after buying the waterfront towers as the new City Hall. City officials support the resurrection of the amphitheater, so it’s just a question of hammering out a joint operating agreement.

Clark hopes for concerts by fall.

SMG hired a new marina manager, Clark said. Chris Magro, a native New Yorker, has for the last 14 years managed the largest urban marina in the United Kingdom. So, “He brings the urban marina experience,” Clark said.

The “urban marina experience” includes not only dealing with marina tenants but homeless people and a plague of petty crime along the waterfront. Clark said SMG has doubled security. Guards now patrol the north and south banks 24/7, and they’re in contact with SMG’s command center in the arena.

Bids for installing WiFi are due in Aug. 8. A contractor will be chosen a week after that.

Finallly, SMG opened the long-sought downtown marina market July 2. The biggest criticism of Stockton’s marina when it opened, besides its preposterous cost, was the lack of any typical Delta market selling snacks, beer, sunscreen, bait, etc. Such markets are a fixture of any Delta marina. Now there’s a market, though it’s a pretty modest affair.

“It does have soda, water, ice and snacks, but not beer and wine, yet, Clark said. Though beer — without which any market is out of synch with the Delta boating market —  is coming, she said. “We’re continuing to work and go through the process with ABC.”

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