ATLANTIC BEACH — As town officials prepare to hold a design competition to replace the Atlantic Beach boardwalk, residents and property owners have reportedly been very receptive to the effort.
Mayor Trace Cooper outlined a plan at the Aug. 12 council work session to seek architectural proposals to repair and add new features to the town’s oceanfront boardwalk.
The town’s boardwalk is located along the public beach access at The Circle, a development district consisting of the property directly south of the Fort Macon Road/Atlantic Beach Causeway intersection and the surrounding neighborhoods. According to the draft competition brief, it was built in the late 1920s, and Mr. Cooper said the last improvements to the structure were made in the early 1990s.
“I’ve only heard positive things from our citizens regarding the plan to upgrade the boardwalk,” Mr. Cooper said in an email to the News-Times Tuesday. “We don’t have any concrete plans at this time; that’s what the design competition is for.”
The mayor said there will be “plenty of opportunity for public comment” as the project moves forward. The draft competition brief includes the results of a 2019 resident survey on what features residents would want to see at the boardwalk.
“We plan to incorporate public comment in the second round, when we’ve narrowed the field of design teams down to three finalists,” Mr. Cooper said.
Atlantic Beach officials are scheduled to announce the finalists by Wednesday, Nov. 10.
According to the survey results, the four features responding residents want to see the most were a band shell/pavilion, new and/or additional restrooms, shaded seating areas and vendor kiosks.
Like Mr. Cooper, town manager David Walker told the News-Times the response he gets from the public on the boardwalk project is “the most positive.”
“The boardwalk is an underutilized, unique gem to Atlantic Beach that brings back fond memories to multiple generations who desire it to again become a significant asset to our town,” Mr. Walker said. “I’m sure that enthusiasm will build as our plans become more widely known. The mayor’s approach to working with a cross section of interest will provide a wide base to build on.”
Two Atlantic Beach business owners said they were pleased with the plans to improve the boardwalk.
Finch’s Skate Shop owner and operator Logan Finch expressed favor for the project in an interview with the News-Times Wednesday.
“Trace and the council did a great job with the park,” he said, referring to the Atlantic Beach Community Park on West Fort Macon Road, “and they’ll do a great job with The Circle.”
Amos Mosquito’s owner and operator Sandy Howard said Friday he thinks the council’s boardwalk plan looks “awesome.”
“It looks like if they can carve out some space to hold events, that would be great,” Mr. Howard said. “They’re going to have people who live here involved. Anything we can do to have more amenities for people who live in Carteret County and who vacation with us is a plus.”
Contact Mike Shutak at 252-723-7353, email firstname.lastname@example.org; or follow on Twitter at @mikesccnt.