“The site assessment and engineering are currently being conducted, and this must be done prior to any site preparation and construction of facilities,” said Russell Wicke, a spokesman for the Army Corps of Engineers, which manages the reservoir.
The Columbia County site, formerly known as Little River Marina, was leased last June to Classic City Marinas of Athens, Ga., whose other facilities include Sinclair Marina near Milledgeville, Ga., where a $5.5 million renovation was recently completed.
According to the company’s Web site, the new facility at Thurmond Lake will be called Thurmond Marina.
Corps officials plan to remove several underground storage tanks at the site, including gas tanks, Wicke said, and meetings will be held soon with the lessee’s engineers to address recent studies and findings.
Some of the initial activity the public might see at the site will include clean-up, repair and upgrades to the septic and water systems, and improvement to parking and dry stack facilities, he said.
“We expect to see some of these activities begin in late spring to early summer,” Wicke said. “These are substantial upgrades and could take as much as three years to build out all of the initial development on the site.
Under the terms of the lease with the corps, the site will eventually include new docks with mooring capability, increased parking for day visitors, large boat trailer parking stalls, a modern dry-storage facility and above-ground fuel storage and dispensing systems.
The company’s owner, Mike Jansen, has said future phases could include a store and perhaps a restaurant.
Corps officials continue to work with the new operator to make sure the area is carefully studied before final design plans and construction can begin.
“The project has proposed stages of construction and amenity development,” Wicke said. “The timelines have not changed and Phase 1 of the development plan is proceeding normally.”
In addition to the planned Thurmond Marina and Sinclair Marina, the company also operates Crooked Creek Marina in Eatonton, Ga.; and Clemson Marina on Lake Hartwell near Seneca, S.C.