Bogue Inlet Pier Future Uncertain

An agreement for the town of Emerald Isle to buy Bogue Inlet Pier has fallen through. Town officials say they'll continue to try to work out a deal with Mid-Atlantic Real Estate and Development of Raleigh for the
pier, which is one of the last public fishing piers on the island. The deal was contingent upon the town receiving a three (m) million dollar state Clean Water Management Trust Fund grant and Mid-Atlantic finalizing its purchase from the Stanley family of Emerald Isle. But town officials say the contract between the Stanley family and Mid-Atlantic has officially been terminated.

The Town of Emerald Isle issued this press release:
Town’s Agreement to Acquire Bogue Inlet Pier and Remove Ocean Storm Water Outfalls Falls Through – Town Maintains Focus and Will Continue Efforts

Despite several attempts to keep the deal on track, the Town of Emerald Isle must now report that its previous agreement to acquire Bogue Inlet Pier and remove ocean storm water outfalls in the vicinity of the pier has fallen through.

The deal, which was announced on September 12 by the Town, called for the Town to purchase approximately 3.8 acres of land under and adjacent to Bogue Inlet Pier from Mid-Atlantic Real Estate and Development, a Raleigh, NC firm, for $3 million. The agreement would have allowed the Town to remove 3 ocean storm water outfalls, involved the construction of a new parking deck to serve pier patrons and beach visitors, and included other improvements to the pier house and Bogue Inlet Drive. That contract was contingent upon the approval of a grant from the NC Clean Water Management Trust Fund that was to be considered on November 12-13, and was also contingent on the consummation of the purchase of approximately 15 acres by Mid-Atlantic from the Stanley Family of Emerald Isle, including the 3.8 acres under and adjacent to Bogue Inlet Pier.

The Stanley Family and Mid-Atlantic have officially terminated their contract that would have resulted in Mid-Atlantic acquiring the overall 15-acre tract. The result is that the Town’s contract with Mid-Atlantic is also terminated. After sincere attempts by both parties, the Stanley Family and Mid-Atlantic were unable to resolve contractual issues as they worked toward closing. The Town worked with both parties to assist them in resolving these issues, including a Town-initiated mediation session that was held on October 26. Upon termination of the Stanley Family / Mid-Atlantic contract, the Town put forth several offers to the Stanley Family to acquire Bogue Inlet Pier, and received counter offers. Despite good faith efforts on the part of both the Town and the Stanley Family, the parties were unable to reach agreement on a deal that was viable for both parties.

The result is that the Stanley Family’s 15-acre tract will remain on the market. The Town looks forward to working with the eventual new owners of this property on future efforts to preserve Bogue Inlet Pier, remove the ocean storm water outfalls, and re- develop this area. The Emerald Isle Board of Commissioners recently created the new “Village East” zoning district to be applied in the pier area, with plans for the eventual creation of a mixed-use, village-like atmosphere with the pier as a focal point in the center of town. The Board of Commissioners also created the “Village East Conditional Overlay District”, which may also be utilized in this area and includes incentives for re-development to include significant public recreational amenities.

“The Town is very disappointed that the pier deal did not come to fruition, but remains committed to maintaining a public fishing pier in Emerald Isle,” noted Town Manager Frank Rush. “We put forth a great deal of time, energy, and resources because this is an important issue for the people of Emerald Isle and the people of North Carolina. This remains a high priority for the Mayor, Board of Commissioners, and Town staff, and we will all be working hard on this issue in the future.” The Town will continue to develop its partnership with the North Carolina Aquariums, with a goal of making Emerald Isle the eventual location of North Carolina’s central coast ocean fishing pier. The Town will continue to pursue opportunities involving Bogue Inlet Pier, and will also explore other opportunities for a new pier in Emerald Isle.

“The support for the Town’s efforts has been tremendous,” stated Mayor Art Schools. “The web site has more than 11,000 online signatures from all over NC and the USA, and another paper petition garnered over 7,000 signatures locally. The Town greatly appreciates this support, and urges the public to remain committed to this effort.” The Mayor also thanked numerous officials and groups for their support for our effort, including the NC Clean Water Management Trust Fund, the NC Division of Coastal Management, the NC Aquarium Society, the NC Coastal Federation, Representative Jean Preston, Senator Pete Bland, Lieutenant Governor Beverly Perdue, Senator Marc Basnight, Senator A.B. Swindell, and Representative Marian McLawhorn. “We look forward to working with these groups and individuals in the future as we work toward our goals of maintaining a public ocean fishing pier in Emerald Isle and removing ocean storm water outfalls.” “We will also seek help and support from the NC Waterfront Access Study Committee appointed by the General Assembly that is currently working on these important issues. As a member of that Committee, along with several others from our area, I am optimistic that this Committee will identify feasible solutions to address these important issues.”

The Town has requested that its NC Clean Water Management Trust Fund grant application be placed on hold for future consideration. The Town has also delayed a planned CAMA Public Water Access grant application that was targeted for this effort. The Town will continue to seek funding from these programs and other sources in the future to achieve these goals.