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The former Gunpowder Cove Marina in Joppatowne will be reopening this Saturday as the Joppatowne Marina, with new owners Mark and Barb Gorrea and the return of longtime manager Bob Rogers.
The former Gunpowder Cove Marina in Joppatowne will be reopening this Saturday as the Joppatowne Marina, with new owners Mark and Barb Gorrea and the return of longtime manager Bob Rogers. (MATT BUTTON | AEGIS STAFF / Baltimore Sun)

A year after the Gunpowder Cove Marina rocked the community by closing, a new couple is taking over the Joppatowne mainstay and hoping to make it thrive again.

Barb and Mark Gorrera, owners of Edgewood's Imark Builders, have been working hard to reopen what is now called the Joppatowne Marina, drawing attention as they prepare to unveil the revamped business Saturday.

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"We are planning on working very hard over the winter to get ready for a fantastic boating season next year. We have a vision and we see you in our future," the Gorreras posted on the Facebook page of their new venture.

Having lived 20 years in Joppatowne, Barb Gorrera said the marina is absolutely important to the area.

The main investment the Gorreras are making is bringing back Don Rogers, who worked more than 40 years for the former marina, as the general manager, she said.

"Don is going to be running the show," she said. Her husband "has got a lot of expertise as far as building and working with the county and really making places great."

First, the Mariner Point Swim Club shut its doors. Now the heart of historic Joppatowne could face another blow, as the town's only marina is in danger of closing.

"We've got a good crew to initially get this started," she added. "We are both Joppatowne residents. We really wanted to do this for our community. We look at this as a community effort."

Barb Gorrera said she has had "nothing but words of encouragement from the community."

The couple has been working to winterize engines, generators, air conditioners and other items, according to their Facebook page, and are offering to pull boats and provide outdoor and indoor storage.

They are also bringing back the gas dock, which boaters had said is a significant amenity, as the next closest fuel source is in Baltimore County.

When the Gunpowder Cove Marina announced plans to close in the summer of 2015, ordering all boats to be gone by that fall, it sent new shock waves through a community that has faced the sudden closure of the Mariner Point Swim Club across the street.

A new group, the Joppa Development & Heritage Corporation, has been trying to kick-start investment in the area, and several people urged on by former County Councilman Dion Guthrie have been working to bring back the marina.

Harford County had made not one but two offers on the Joppatowne pool site that residents have been pushing to re-use as a community center, but the owner turned both of them down.

Several current County Council members have praised Gorreras at recent council meetings. Councilman Mike Perrone, who represents Joppatowne, lauded them Tuesday for reviving the marina with "all private investment," no government aid.

"I grew up here, went to Joppatowne High School. I have very fond memories of this marina," Barb Gorrera said. "Don Rogers has a memory like an elephant."

"We really want this marina to be community-oriented. We live here, we love it, we don't want to move. We are hoping this will bring other commerce back to the town and get it thriving again, because a lot of people love this town," she added.

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