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Sunday, May 19, 2024

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Long Awaited Shelter Haven Resort Wins Zoners’ Nod, Hearts of People

By Leslie Truluck

STONE HARBOR –– Plans are in motion for the Shelter Haven Resort, which will offer bay views, a retractable glass roof around an indoor/outdoor swimming pool, waterfront dining, multiple restaurants and bars, and two-story suites among other upscale amenities keeping in step with the borough’s vision for a revitalized downtown, with plenty of encouragement from the public.
Owner Dr. John Sprandio gained site plan approval, with the necessary variances, for both project phases for the Shelter Haven Resort at the Zoning Board’s meeting here July 11.
Residents and officials encourage the project and expect the resort to jumpstart the borough’s recently zoned Waterfront Business District and extend the “shoulder seasons” with spring and fall weddings and events to keep business in the borough year round.
“This [project] is in complete alignment with Stone Harbor’s vision and is consistent with our Master Plan: to capitalize on the waterfront, build a unique destination place and ex-tend shoulder seasons,” resident Bob Ashman said.
“This is very consistent with the goals of the community at large and we’ve really been dying to see this for a long time. The variances are not unreasonable and it will serve the economic good of the area,” Planning Board and Council member elect Joanne Vaul said.
The vacant lot on the corner of 96th Street and Third Avenue will soon host the highly anticipated resort, as will the current Henny’s Restaurant property on the corner of 97th Street and Third Avenue; this will be its last season open. The resort will gain the Henny’s liquor license once the sale is finalized.
The reconstructed Henny’s property will include a large day spa, cafe, wine bar, and restaurant with 12 bi-level suites in a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) building, an environmental standard in creating eco-friendly buildings.
Construction will not begin until next winter, Architect Richard Stokes said.
“The project makes the business district better in a way that can’t be done in other areas of the waterfront,” Chairman John Fowler said.
The vacant 96th Street lot is seen as an ideal location because the prominent position hugs gateway entrance to the business district on the landside, while the corner lot also en-ables the resort to fully use the corner of the waterfront along the Shelter Haven Basin for outdoor dining while not intruding on other nearby commercial properties.
“It’s been a longtime coming through all the hard work to make the town viable,” resident Joan Kramer said. No one spoke in opposition of the project.
Sprandio received approval in 2005 for a hotel with first floor retail space but has since changed the project to include a first floor restaurant and banquet area inside with a loading and unloading area outside on Third Avenue, per county approval being a county road. Henny’s parking lot will be used for remote spaces, as the covered parking lot behind the main building on 96th Street will have a back loading area with minimal parking spaces.
See this week’s Herald for an aerial architects’ rendering.
Contact Truluck at (609) 886-8600 ext. 24 or at: ltruluck @cmcherald.com.

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