HAMPTON—There’s an underused section of Fort Monroe that will be getting more than a little love in the near future. The Fort Monroe Authority (FMA) has approved a 40-year ground lease with Smithfield-based Pack Brother Hospitality, which will invest $40 million to redevelop the Marina District, which lies on the southwester edge of the fort and is adjacent to the Historic Chamberlin. The proposed plan, which is being dubbed “37 North,” is expected to be open by spring 2025.
The redevelopment plans include a restaurant, conference center, boutique hotel, and a 300-slip remodeled marina. The ground lease contains a list of contingencies and requirements, including environmental protection provisions and historic preservation covenants, that Pack Brothers Hospitality must meet prior to beginning construction on the site.
Pack Brothers Hospitality principals and brothers, Randy and Brian Pack, have been in hospitality operations and development since 1986. The company owns and operates the Surry Seafood Company, and are also owners and operators of Smithfield Station with the Packs’ father.
“On behalf of our family, our employees, and the patrons who support our family businesses, Pack Brothers Hospitality is thrilled to accept this new challenge to repurpose and adaptively reuse the property at Old Point Comfort Marina,” said Randy Pack. “We recognize the value of this historic property, what it means to the community, and believe our proposal will become an East Coast resort destination suitable for association with a National Monument such as Fort Monroe.”
At Old Point Comfort Marina, all docks will be replaced with new floating docks to include a 1,600-foot concrete “super dock” that will serve as a wave attenuator and replace the failing timber wave screen. The existing ships store and marina office will be replaced with a new structure to offer an enhanced ships store, a home for the Old Point Comfort Marina Yacht Club, and a pool for marina guests.
The repurposed historic Coastal Artillery School Bindery will host a 250-person event facility and will be complemented by a 90-room boutique hotel, which will be built entirely over the water to offer private balconies with waterfront views from every room. The 500-seat waterfront restaurant will repurpose the old Torpedo Storehouse and the Old Cable Tank Building, and will include an extensive 15,000-square-foot outdoor deck overlooking the Hampton Roads harbor.
What will happen to The Deadrise restaurant at that location that will probably be affected by the plan? “This may have an impact on us, but the timeline is a minimum of two years, but it’s more likely going to be three. So, we’ll start worrying about that once we get closer to that mark,” says Deadrise General Manager, Charlie Illes. “If we do move, it’ll probably help because it’ll mean we can have a larger kitchen to be able to keep up with the popularity we’ve created. We might have to move a couple of miles away, but we’ll still be here and we’ll still be on the water.”