FISHERS LANDING — Brothers Larry and Robert Foster hope to attract more customers to their marinas in Fishers and Schermerhorn landings with a new boat showroom located prominently on Route 12.
The owners of Chalk’s Marina and Schermerhorn Harbor opened C and S Marine Center, 42508/512 Route 12, in early May. The 3,052-square-foot building was vacant when they purchased it for $180,000 last year, according to property records, but Mr. Foster and Town Zoning Officer Lee J. Shimel said it had been occupied on-and-off over the years by other businesses.
With their marinas located away from major thoroughfares, Larry Foster said growing their customer base has been challenging. In order to increase visibility, they purchased the facility for a new showroom and storage.
Larry Foster said despite the high water levels of the St. Lawrence River and reports about them, including declarations from Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, which he believes deterred customers, the new location has garnered sales and drawn more customers to their marinas.
“We have seen some success because of it, but again because of the high water and the governor, it’s been a tough year,” he said.
The brothers have one employee showcasing at least 20 boats on display, but Larry Foster said he and his brother hope to enhance the showroom by installing new windows, paving the parking lot and adding lights on it. He also said they plan to hire more workers.
“We’re going to boat shows now to buy (new inventory) for next year,” he said.
Before conducting renovations, however, the brothers need to secure a site plan approval from the Orleans Town Planning Board. Larry Foster said he didn’t know he had to secure the approval because the building previously housed other enterprises.
Mr. Shimel said he allowed the Fosters to keep the showroom open because they have been working with local officials to earn the necessary approvals.
The County Planning Board reviewed the brothers’ site plan Tuesday and deemed it a matter of local concern only, said Planning Director Michael J. Bourcy. They now need to earn approval from local officials.
“I think it’s pretty straightforward,” Mr. Shimel said.