(CBS DETROIT)– Before his death in 1989, Detroit auto dealership owner and businessman Porterfield Wilson had a vision for the Detroit boating community.
“To have a marina for wealthy people to be able to come from all races and this was his vision, in fact on his tombstone it says he wants this marina to be completed and I am working towards that dream for him. said Jason Mcguire, CEO and owner of ABC Enterprises.
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McGuire says he has a little way to go, but is working hard to make that vision a reality. Just as Wilson broke barriers by becoming a successful black businessman in Detroit, Mcquire is following in his footsteps. His company ABC Enterprise owns and operates Erma Henderson and Riverside Marina’s in Detroit. Making it 1 of 11 black marina owners in the world, 1 of 10 black certified marina operators, and the only one in Michigan.
“The gravity of this is not light for me, I think it is a great responsibility. The marina belongs to the people who use it,” said Mcguire.
The people who use it reflect the city in which the marinas reside and is historical in itself.
“Detroit has the largest community of black boaters in the country, this marina here is about 66 acres, it has about 222 berths that are active, all of those berths are symbolic and right now there is a waiting list of 128 people to get in,” McGuire said.
Mcquire says he is thankful for the success of the Riverside Marina, and the community is thankful for it.
During the pandemic, when indoor proms were cancelled, it provided a safe outdoor space for events.
“I changed the settings here and was able to host 14 proms in less than 2 weeks for the graduating class of 2020,” Mcguire said.
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So with all of Mcquire’s hard work over the last 10 years, what would Wilson say about the Marines?
“I have a lot more to do, absolutely,” Mcguire said.
Of course, it’s all frozen now, but we know summer is coming and you better believe Detroit boaters will be on the Detroit River to carry on that storied tradition.
For more information on Riverside and Erma Henderson Marinas, visit.
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