Fort Morgan Marina’s new owners have big plans for the future

By Melanie LeCroy
Posted 5/6/20

You might see a lot of activity at the Fort Morgan Marina in the coming weeks. The new owners of the marina closed on the property April 30 and plan to hit the ground running with a beautification of …

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Fort Morgan Marina’s new owners have big plans for the future

Posted

You might see a lot of activity at the Fort Morgan Marina in the coming weeks. The new owners of the marina closed on the property April 30 and plan to hit the ground running with a beautification of the grounds.

“Monday we will start with adding a new irrigation system, flowers, grass and start working on paving the parking lot and creating more parking on the west side of dry storage for employees so we will have plenty of parking,” said Thomas P. Steber, Jr.

Fort Morgan Marina was purchased by Fort Morgan Marina LLC comprised of Thomas P Steber Jr, Steve G. Seward, Charles Hodges Harty, Arthur W. Steber, Thomas P. Steber III, and Ryan Olmsted for $3.25 million. The nine acre site includes a marina with 72 boat slips, 2 fuel stops, tri-level dry-storage with up to 100 bays and outdoor storage, a 12,000 square foot building and Tacky Jack’s Fort Morgan is the on-site restaurant with 125 seats plus outdoor deck space. The facility currently has 84 parking spaces.

The first major project will be to repair the breakwater seawall. During high tide, Steber said you cannot see the rock and that is a problem.

“We are putting in roughly $800,000 worth of rock and dredging the channel, so the marina is very functional and protected once again. We hope to have the wall and everything finished before Memorial Day weekend,” Steber said.

“We currently have 14 charter boats based here and I think we will have 20 to 25 charter boats here by summer along with dry storage and there is space for more dry storage once we get the seawall fixed. It’s like the field of dreams “if you build it, they will come,” when you fix it, they are coming back. It’s been let go for so long,” Steber said.

After the marina is fixed the plan is to start work on the 12,000 square foot building that is currently only occupied by a dock store. The plan will include more bathrooms, and a second restaurant concept on the first floor. According to Steber, Tacky Jack’s will manage the second restaurant concept, but he is not sure what it will be.

Tacky Jack’s Fort Morgan is located at the marina but could see updates and renovation as well according to Steber.

“Tacky Jack’s is planning to do a major renovation to the current location and add 60 more seats, double the kitchen, add more bathrooms, more outdoor seating and bar area on the water and add 25 additional boat parking spaces just for Tacky Jack’s and 450 feet of beachfront that you can pull up on to go to Tacky Jacks. Currently you cannot do that because of the seawall and mobile bay beats the crap out of it. Once we fix the seawall then you will be able to come in here and your boat is protected and you can get out,” Steber said.

Steber added, “there is no place on the water that you can go to eat or drink on Dauphin Island. The closest place to here on the water down Mobile Bay is all the way back to the Grand Hotel and the closest place toward Gulf Shores is LuLu’s.”

The plan is to make the Fort Morgan Marina a one stop fishing destination. This winter, there are plans to build a 12-14 room hotel on the top floor of the current building.

“To me, the way I see it, you come down Hwy 59 and hit that T and you can spend 15 minutes driving to Orange Beach or drive 30 minutes down here, put your keys on the dresser, have two restaurants to choose from, and go inshore, offshore or bottom fishing or rent a pontoon boat or kayaks and it’s here. If you want to go to the gulf it is a two-minute golf cart ride. I think families will like this because you have so much to do and you don’t have to go anywhere to do it,” Steber said.