Editor’s Note: Marina Dock Age magazine talked with Joe Ueberroth, owner and CEO of Bellingham Marine. Ueberroth’s investment firm Bellwether is also part owner of Dana Point Harbor Partners, the partnership that is redeveloping Dana Point Harbor in California. In the late 1990s, Ueberroth’s marina management company, BellPort Group, partnered with Nishida Tekko, the owner of Bellingham Marine, to develop and operate marinas in Japan. In 2006, Ueberroth bought Bellingham, through a public company that he was operating at that time. In 2009, his company Bellwether, bought all the Bellingham assets and privatized the company. Ueberroth has an extensive background in investments in a wide range of industries and businesses – from internet companies to hotels, greenhouses and riverboats. As an owner and entrepreneur, he has repeatedly learned, sometimes the hard way, that fundamentals in business do matter. His successes and failures have influenced his business strategy as a dock builder, marine contractor and marina developer. We talked with him about development trends for marinas, aggregation of the industry, the waterfront lifestyle and what all that means for his marina businesses.
Q: How would you describe your experience working internationally and how does that compare to U.S markets?
Ueberroth: The place I’ve had the most international experience is Japan, and in Japan, I quickly realized that there was so much lost in translation. I don’t speak Japanese. I didn’t understand their business environment and what’s important to them. Having great Japanese partners made all the difference.
Most often, the first thing we want to talk about in the U.S. is price. When you meet with a client about a project in Japan, they will say yes to your price for they want to focus on all aspects of quality. When I came to understand from my local partners that price was to be re-negotiated after all other aspects were completed, it removed the frustration from the negotiations.
My experience in Japan influenced how we have expanded Bellingham’s business internationally. We have a couple of plants that we own internationally, but they are all in English speaking countries. In countries where we don’t speak the language, we won’t understand their business. In places, like Korea, China, Japan, Dubai and Spain, we have a local partner.
A new hot spot for tourists, boaters and local residents opened on Lake Macquarie. A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held April 18th, marking the completion of phase 1 and the opening of the marina.
Trinity Point, NSW, Australia – 17 May 2019 – April 18th was a significant milestone for Johnson Property Group and Managing Director, Keith Johnson. Mr. Johnson first began planning Trinity Point in 1999. His vision – a luxury resort destination/residential lakeside development. The development would place Lake Macquarie on the map as favorite spot for locals and travelers alike.
“It’s been a long and challenging journey but worth it,” shared Johnson. “The opening of the marina is a big step forward in the $388 million overall project.”
Former Lake Macquarie Mayor and Local MP, Greg Piper attended the grand opening. Piper echoed the crowds’ comments, “I have to say, everything out here is first class.”
For those seeking best in class marina facilities, look no further than Trinity Point. The marina is a showcase of modern marina construction and environmental responsibility. It also exemplifies the live /play lifestyle younger generations find appealing.
Johnson hired, international marina builder, Bellingham Marine to help with detail design and construction. “It was critical we did the marina right,” said Johnson. “It was a major key to what we aimed to achieve. It had to be something special.”
A transition plan is in place. Owner and Chairman, Joe Ueberroth, will assume the title of CEO.
Bellingham, WA, USA – 31 January 2019 – Everett Babbitt, Bellingham Marine CEO, has announced his retirement effective December 31, 2019. Following his retirement, he will continue to serve as a Director of the company.
Everett joined Bellingham Marine in 1984, performing in a variety of roles until 2004 when he was named President and CEO. Under his leadership, Bellingham Marine became the recognized international leader in marina construction. He expanded Bellingham’s global reach and tripled annual revenues. The Company now builds more coastal projects annually than its competitors combined.
“As with many of my colleagues, I have been incredibly fortunate to be able to spend my career with Bellingham Marine”, stated Everett Babbitt. “I believe our success is based on our commitment to continued innovation, building a superior product and to our customers.
“We have worked hard to attract and retain the best talent in the industry. Over the last several years, I have focused my energy on developing the next generation. I am confident that we have the strongest team in our history to lead us forward.”
Bellingham Marine collaborates with The BoatYard at Marina del Rey to expand service offerings for boats in Southern California.
Marina del Rey, California, USA – 11 October 2018 – Big boats mean big money. They also mean big equipment when it comes to repairs. Large vessels often have trouble finding boatyards in Southern California that are capable of servicing them, until now.
Boat owners in the region have a new option with the installation of a 100-ton travel lift pier at the The BoatYard at Marina del Rey. The new Marine Travelift has opened up The BoatYard to a much larger market. From fishing boats to catamarans, there is a local demand for a machine of this stature.
The lift sits on one of three new fixed concrete piers built by Bellingham Marine. The piers have 35 ton, 100 ton, and 135 ton capacities. In addition, Bellingham built the new 114-slip marina. Included are new concrete floating docks, aluminum gangways, and modern dockside utilities. The majority of the existing concrete guide pile are still in use.
Construction took place in phases, one dock at a time. This allowed the majority of boaters to stay in the marina during construction. Staying open means the marina can keep current tenants and sustain cash flow.
“Every project is unique and we work hard to make the transition as smooth as possible for our clients,” said Eric Noegel, manager of project development for Bellingham Marine.
The BoatYard at Marina del Rey is a full-service boat repair yard and marina. It provides customers with a one-stop shop to handle all of their boating needs.
Bellingham Marine is the world’s leading marina design-build construction company. The company specializes in floating docks, platforms and wave attenuation systems for marinas worldwide. Visit www.bellingham-marine.com for more information.
For further information please contact:
Roxie Comstock, Manager of Business Enhancement
Naples City Dock has joined the masses in trading up their aging fixed docks to Unifloat concrete docks. The City’s decision to switch to floating was influenced by customer request.
Naples, Florida, USA – 26 June 2018 – A popular Naples landmark is debuting a radical facelift. The sought-after changes created such a buzz among boaters that there was a waiting list before the facility even opened.
“Hurricane Irma caused a delay on the delivery of the docks,” shared Todd Turrell, principal at Turrell Hall and Associates. “It turned out to be a blessing in disguise for the project because the docks were spared any possible damage, unlike many other structures in Naples.”
The marina, now whole again, boasts the best in modern marina design. A brightly painted dockmaster’s office, restroom/laundry facility and large gazebo each sit on a match-cast floating platform. The structures were built to withstand 170mph winds.
“A new high-speed fueling system together with many other improvements, such as FRP thru-rods, has made the new facility one of the finest municipal marinas in southwest Florida,” remarked Steve Ryder, Bellingham Marine manager of project development. Continue Reading…