California marina may spur future development

LAKE ELSINORE, Calif. – A $300-million lakefront project on California’s Lake Elsinore that would include a boat mall, a marina, restaurants, housing, shops and a 125-room hotel, could lead to similar projects there in the future, the North County Times reported in a story on its Web site Wednesday.

Dan Hamilton, president and CEO of Marina Developers – which is in charge of the project – told the newspaper that as his company continues to wade through the local, state and federal permitting processes, questions about building such a complex project on Lake Elsinore’s shore that have never been raised before are being answered. That should make it easier for future projects to get approval.

“We’re the first major development to take place on the waterfront,” Hamilton told the North County Times. “We’re kind of pioneering this. I think that we’re setting policy and answering questions that will make it easier for future development coming in behind us.”

Because it is charting new territory, the project, which was first announced in 2004 and was expected to be well under construction by now, still hasn’t broken ground. If all goes well, Hamilton believes grading could begin in the summer, according to the newspaper.

With space for 10 boat dealers, the boat mall would allow buyers to test a particular model on the spot before buying it. And the homes built in one of the three residential communities would come with either a dedicated slip in the 300-slip marina or an oversized garage with doors on both ends to allow for easy maneuvering of autos towing boats, according to Hamilton.

The hotel would allow guests to rent boats or personal watercraft for the day.

“It really will help to grow boating and introduce families to it,” Hamilton said. “They don’t actually have to own a boat. They can come and use the products that are there.”

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