Supplied image courtesy of Smith 2 Architecture and Design
Smith 2 Architecture and Design’s plan for the Oceanic Pier widens the structure by six feet on both sides, adds a permanent cover for the seating area, adds back on the 30-foot section that was demolished and has an expanded back deck on the Oceanic Restaurant.
Renovations to the historic Crystal Pier are set to begin sometime in November after the local building permits have been issued, said Frank Smith of Smith 2 Architecture + Design. Tasked with the job of designing the renovations and repair in conjunction with Andrew Consulting Engineers and the Oceanic restaurant’s parent company, LM Restaurants, Smith said the biggest challenge of the project was conforming to the myriad of regulations that come with building on the beach strand, but also keeping the character of the pier intact.
“There was a great effort between the state and local jurisdictions and authorities working together with the private sector to bring this thing to fruition,” Smith said. “We are going to keep as much of the original design and materials as possible and if we have to replace material it is going to be the same dimensional lumber that was there.”
In addition to adding the 30-foot section that was cut away from the end of the pier on Sept. 20, the proposed design widens the pier’s deck by 6 feet on both sides to 145 feet; expands the back deck on the north side of the Oceanic to 30 feet; and includes a permanent, aluminum-framed covering over the restaurant’s outdoor dining section with a removable canvas awning. The permanent covering will extend beyond the Oceanic’s current outdoor seating area, expanding the restaurant’s outdoor dining area by 995 square feet including the expanded back deck. The overall square footage to be added to the pier structure will be 2,800 square feet. Smith said expanding the Oceanic’s outdoor seating capacity was crucial to the pier’s renovations and repair.
“It was determined that if we could increase the dining capacity of the pier the tenant could generate the revenue to restore the pier and to make it accessible to the public,” he said. “I think it was a very successful joint effort by everyone to save it.”
In an email, Lou Moshakos, president and owner of LM Restaurants, stated that he expects the pier’s renovations to bring quite a bit more business to the Oceanic once complete. Although the project will be expensive, Moshakos also said it would not affect menu prices at the restaurant.
Structurally, the pier’s pilings, braces and decking will be reinforced to allow public access to the end of the pier for fishing and sightseeing. The 6-foot widening on the pier’s south side will serve as public access to the end of the pier.
After discovering that a worm prone to eating timber submerged in saltwater has invaded some of the pier’s existing pilings, Smith said some of the pilings would be partially encased in concrete.
“In lieu of totally replacing the pilings for an unknown extent of damage, they will be jacketed with concrete,” he said. “We want to be as sustainable and ecologically responsible as possible.”
Rod Andrew, vice president of Andrew Consulting Engineers, said the concrete jacketing would be filled with epoxy and would prevent the submerged pilings from deteriorating any further. During the renovations and repair, Andrew said the crew would be able to complete most of the work from the pier’s existing structure, but that a barge and crane will be needed to set the new pilings at the end of the pier.
Smith said the project has received the necessary state building permits and that as soon as the local building permits are granted, and a contractor is selected, work can begin. Expecting construction starts in November, Smith and Andrew fully anticipate the work to be completed before the 2013 tourist season.