Now we know why the city postponed the open house that had been scheduled next week for community members to meet the proprietors of Marination, which won the concession contract for Seacrest Boathouse. The city Department of Planning and Development says the plan needs an additional type of permit. The Parks announcement, headlined “Marination opening at Seacrest Boathouse delayed,” explains:
Since early March, Marination has been working with Parks to prepare and submit architectural and design plans for remodeling and tenant improvements of the boathouse. Most of these proposed improvements are for the interior of the building. As Marination was preparing to submit its building permit application to the City’s Department of Planning and Development (DPD) on March 8, DPD staff informed Marination that additional review would be necessary for a conditional use permit needed for the restaurant use.
The space in question is the kitchen area that was formerly a boat repair space. The need for a restaurant permit was not anticipated, since the boathouse has been used primarily as a restaurant/food service facility since the late 1990s. A conditional use permit typically takes two to four months for review and approval. This timeline will likely delay Marination’s anticipated opening of June 2012.
Seattle Parks and DPD are working closely with Marination to complete this process and continue to work toward an early summer 2012 Opening. There will still be an Open House at the Boathouse in late spring to introduce Marination to the public and to provide the public with an update.
Marination co-owner Kamala Saxton had actually told WSB last month that they hoped to be open by July, fearing a June estimate might be too optimistic – but that was before this twist in the process.
8:14 PM UPDATE: We just talked with Greg Whittaker of Alki Kayak Tours. Last month, he and Marination’s Kamala both told WSB that they had agreed (though it wasn’t 100 percent finalized) that AKT would stay on as subconcessionaire for watercraft, skate/bike rentals, and all the things AKT had been doing. Tonight, Greg says his business is the official “interim concessionaire,” to cover the longer-than-expected gap till Marination can take over. We asked if that means anything different from what AKT has been doing and he mentioned one thing – they’ve agreed to sell beverages! Exactly how that’s going to work, they haven’t figured it out yet, since his interim deal with the city is brand-new. Meantime, we also have asked Marination for comment; stay tuned.