The Lighthouse Cove Development Company has completed the replenishment of a section of beach along Rehoboth Bay in Dewey Beach. The effort was part of a mixed-use project by Harvey Hanna & Associates to redevelop a stretch of waterfront into a mixed-use community with public beach access.
The Lighthouse Cove development includes an ADA-compliant public Baywalk, a recreational pier, and a future sunset gazebo. The Delaware Department of Natural Resource and Environmental Control (DNREC) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers provided approval for the beach expansion earlier this spring.
The property along Dewey Beach’s Coastal Highway was once scheduled to become a private townhouse community that would eliminate public access to the Rehoboth Bay between Van Dyke and Dickinson streets. Then Harvey Hanna & Associates acquired the property and proposed a redevelopment consistent with the town’s Comprehensive Plan, which is now Lighthouse Cove.
The baywalk structure aims to ensure continued public access to the Rehoboth Bay for Dewey Beach residents and visitors, providing a venue for recreational activities such as crabbing, fishing, bird watching, and plant and habitat study. Lighthouse Cove is also exploring a partnership with East of Maui Surf Shop, which would provide guests with kayak and paddleboard rentals, lessons and eco-tours proximate to the newly restored Rehoboth Bay beach.
The newly restored beach will also serve as a complement to The Lighthouse Cove Event Center, which is set to open in September 2019. The newly unveiled venue includes 14,600-square feet of flexible indoor and outdoor event space overlooking Rehoboth Bay, a 4,340-square foot ballroom, 3,020-square foot pre-event space for cocktail hours and other gatherings, and nearly 10,000-square feet of outdoor patio space where eventgoers can revel and take in beautiful sunsets over the bay.
“The renourishment of this beach along Rehoboth Bay marks another critical step toward the completion of Lighthouse Cove – one of the most exciting mixed-use commercial developments in the region,” said Thomas J. Hanna, president of Harvey Hanna & Associates. “This process will not only help to create a first-class venue for weddings and other special events, but it will also establish a number of amenities and enhanced public access to the bay for decades to come.”
The project has generated nearly $6 million in transfer, property, hotel lodging and accommodations taxes, building permits and other revenues, as well as hundreds of permanent and construction related jobs.