HAMPTON — A new resort is coming to Fort Monroe.
The Pack Brothers Hospitality of Smithfield were recently awarded by the Fort Monroe Authority (FMA) the right to develop a designated area as the Marina District, located on the southwest edge of the Fort and adjacent to The Chamberlin, in its Reimagine Fort Monroe initiative.
The proposed development includes a 500-seat restaurant, 250-person conference center, 90-room boutique hotel and a 300-slip remodeled marina.
The Pack Brothers Hospitality of Smithfield brings a great deal of knowledge and experience to project, being the owners and operators of Smithfield Station, 409 S. Church St. in Smithfield, and The Surry Seafood Company, 633 Marina Dr. in Surry.
The restaurant, named 37 North after the geographic location of Fort Monroe, will repurpose the Old Torpedo Storehouse and the Old Cable Tank Building. Additionally, a 15,000 square foot deck will be constructed, overlooking the Hampton Roads harbor. The menu will focus on seafood, steak, and other regional favorites. An indoor bar will have over 100 beers on tap, featuring both local and national brews.
Randy Pack of Pack Brothers Hospitality said that the company has many historical guidelines to follow in order to maintain the integrity of Fort Monroe, including the repurpose of existing historical buildings.
“How cool is it to have a restaurant in a building that serviced torpedoes and mines for the Army?” he said.
The nearby Old Point Comfort Marina will receive extensive renovations. All of the current docks will be replaced with new, floating docks. Construction will also include a 1,600-foot concrete “super dock,” which will serve as a wave attenuator. The existing store/marina office will be replaced with a new structure with an enhanced ships stores while also becoming a home for the Old Point Comfort Marina Yacht Club and a pool for marina guests.
The redevelopment plans were announced after Governor Northam recently granted The Pack Brothers Hospitality of Smithfield with a 40-year ground lease for the Marina District.
“Fort Monroe is among the most important historic sites in our country and Commonwealth, and must be redeveloped in a way that reflects and preserves this significance,” said Governor Northam. “Pack Brothers Hospitality shares our vision, and I am thrilled to see a Virginia company win this contract.”
In June 2018, FMA issued a Request for Qualifications and Statement of Interest through a national marketing campaign that sought adaptive use opportunities in the redevelopment of four areas of Fort Monroe.
The Pack Brothers Hospitality became interested in the project after Glenn Oder, the Executive Director of Fort Monroe, gave a talk at a local Kiwanis Club meeting on the Reimagine Fort Monroe project. The Pack Brothers, having been part of the popular Smithfield Station since its inception, was looking for a way to replicate that success in some way.
“When we heard about Fort Monroe, it was a natural fit,” said Randy Pack.
The company has stated that the designing and permitting phase of the project would begin immediately, with an approximate completion date of Spring 2025.
Earlier this year, “Freedom’s Fortress” was declared a Site of Memory by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). This dedication is associated with the UNESCO Slave Route project. This distinction is shared with more than 50 other sites and entities that are linked to the history of the transatlantic slave trade.
“It is critical that as we continue to preserve and reimagine this National Monument, we redevelop these hallowed grounds in the framework of historic justice,” said Secretary of Natural Resources Matthew J. Strickler. “I look forward to continuing to tell the important stories of Fort Monroe, while creating opportunities for Virginians and visitors to experience its natural beauty.”
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