Beaufort County resident helps design Sochi port, marina

zmurdock@beaufortgazette.comFebruary 21, 2014 

sochi

The Sochi Grand Marina in Russia near the site of the 2014 Winter Olympics was influenced in part by the marinas on Hilton Head Island, Okatie resident Ed Modzelewski said. His environmental design and engineering firm, Applied Technology and Management, consulted on the construction of the marina and will return to Russia this year to help design the port's transformation into a luxury mega-yacht marina.

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Although Okatie resident Ed Modzelewski will be watching the Olympics this weekend, the environmental engineer is more interested in what happens in Sochi, Russia, after the closing ceremonies.

For Modzelewski, the end of the games is the beginning of the second stage of his work to help design the Sochi Grand Marina on the Black Sea, near what is now the Olympic Village.

In a few months, the Olympic Village will be long gone. That's when Modzelewski's engineering and design firm, Applied Technology and Management, which has offices on Hilton Head Island and in Charleston, will be back at work with its Russian partners to turn Sochi's construction port into a luxury yacht and tourist destination, he said.

If all goes smoothly, the marina should be completed by summer 2015, he added.

Modzelewski's Olympic journey began six years ago during a trip to Russia for a waterfront-development conference. There he met representatives from Astra Marinas, a company hired to develop a port in Sochi where building materials could be delivered for construction in preparation for the Winter Games.

Applied Technology and Management signed on to help design the port. When his Russian counterparts explained their plan of turning it into a marina for mega-yachts after the games, Modzelewski invited them to Hilton Head Island's developed marinas for inspiration.

In late 2009, the Russians visited Harbour Town Yacht Basin, Shelter Cove Harbour and Windmill Harbour, Modzelewski said.

Nancy Cappelmann, harbormaster at Harbour Town, met with the Russians during their visit to her marina. What most often strikes visitors is the level of planning it took to make the marina the center of a shopping, tourist, restaurant and entertainment district, she said.

That experience helped convince the Russian developer to include shopping, restaurants and public-gathering areas in the design of the Sochi waterfront, Modzelewski added.

Now, the task turns to designing the marina to bring a Hilton Head Island atmosphere to Sochi's main port.

"It goes back to the days of Charles Fraser," Sea Pines founder, Modzelewski said. "His vision for Sea Pines and Hilton Head, it still goes on and on."

Follow reporter Zach Murdock at twitter.com/IPBG_Zach.

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