On September 28, 1988, Domo revealed a master plan to the Bratenahl Planning Commission that included a boat basin as part of the Newport Development. During the same month, a presentation to visitors at the In-Water Boat Show informed about Newport Harbor, a 65 million dollar project planned for Bratenahl.
Most of the docks were reserved for Newport residents, with some slips still available for non-residents. A spokesman stated, “You don’t have to be a millionaire to have a dock. We’re offering Cleveland’s boating community an opportunity to make a long-term investment in their boating future.”
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers previously granted approval to build a breakwater at the mouth of Shaw Brook and to widen and deepen the brook to provide for a marina of 96 boat slips.
The plan for the deep-water boat basin designed by Becker Engineering Group, a coastal and marine engineering group of Windsor, Ontario, measured about 375 feet at its mouth and contained 92 boat slips. Dockage, ranging from 30 to more than 100 feet, would start at $39,900.
Planning Commission approved and recommended approval of the private boat basin with specific conditions on April 24, 1989. On May 27, 1989, the council approved the Planning Commission report that outlined conditions Domo had to meet to get the council’s final approval.
Domo asked the Bratenahl Village Council to amend the zoning code to include marina use as an accessory to the present multi-family zoning. Bratenahl did this as an interpretive action on the theory that the marina use would be available strictly for the purpose of residents of Bratenahl and the Newport development in particular. An advantage to the Village is if the land was used for a marina, it would reduce the number of dwelling units constructed on the site and hence the related problems of congestion, land coverage, etc.
In June 1988, the council approved amending the zoning regulations to allow Newport developers to build the private boat basin along Shaw Creek on the condition that half of the dockage belong to village or Newport residents.
Excavation for the boat basin, restoration of the shoreline began in the fall of 1989. Boyas Excavating of Valley View created the 180 feet wide by 900 feet long harbor. The dig moved north from the south end of the clay and soil basin. Boyas also installed 2,000 linear feet of sheet pile, four feet above lake level.
More than 178,000 cubic yards of dirt were excavated and dredged to widen and deepen the boat basin. Over 8,000 truckloads of dirt were transported over the old golf course to build a 15-foot-high protective barrier and noise absorber along the edge of the Memorial Shoreway.
The Newport Harbor break wall was near completion in November 1990. Village residents anxiously awaited the day the water would flow into the harbor.
By January 19, 1990, there were commitments for $2.7 million for a portion of the dock spaces in the harbor. The harbor was completed in September 1990 with 96 boat slips to accommodate 30-foot to 100-foot pleasure boats, plus an additional 200 feet of space for guests. All but 19 of the slip ownerships made available to non-Newport residents were sold by early February 1990.
Saturday, August 10, 1991, a Bagpipe Harbor Walk on Lake Shore Boulevard led off a dedication ceremony for Newport Harbor. Several hundred members of the Shoreby Club gathered with family and friends to celebrate the dedication. Participants included J. Richard Kelso, a founding member of the board of Shoreby Club; Richard McKeon, mayor of Bratenahl; and the Reverend Theodor Marzal, rector of St. John Cathedral, who blessed the harbor. Refreshments and a picnic lunch followed by tours of the Shoreby mansion followed the dedication.
A 240-foot extension of the break wall was built in 1992, featuring cobble-stone walkways off which each boater had a separate, private “finger dock.”
A small crowd gathered at Executive Caters at Landerhaven in September 1996 for an auction. John Domo and his partners put up for sale the last boat slips at Newport. Three boat slips sold with no reserve. No bids were received for the remaining boat slips that had a reserve.