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Bahia Mar Yachting Center project would mean facility upgrades for crew

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Captains and crew visiting the Bahia Mar Yachting Center in Ft. Lauderdale would see an improvement in amenities if the City Commission approves a rezoning proposal and signs a new lease agreement.

The City of Ft. Lauderdale Marine Advisory Board approved a motion on Feb. 25 to communicate to the City of Ft. Lauderdale Commission priorities the board says are crucial to maintain as the Bahia Mar Yachting Center redevelopment plans move forward.

The board recommended that the City holds firm on protecting the lease option of the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show (FLIBS) which is owned by the Marine Industries Association of South Florida (MIASF) and produced by Show Management.

Robert Christoph, Jr., co-owner of RCI Group, right, discusses upgrades in amenities planned for captains and crew visiting the Bahia Mar Yachting Center. ( PHOTO/SUZETTE COOK)

Robert Christoph, Jr., co-owner of RCI Group, right, discusses upgrades in amenities planned for captains and crew visiting the Bahia Mar Yachting Center. (PHOTO/SUZETTE COOK)

The board also wants the City to negotiate no selling of dockominiums, having dedicated day dockage available, prevention of kiosks blocking the view of charter boats and that the kind of docks built during the redevelopment in the marina reflect the permanence of FLIBS.

The commission delayed action on a the proposed rezoning of the Bahia Mar hotel and marina until it meets again on March 1.

The development would include the construction of the tallest condo buildings on Ft. Lauderdale Beach. It also involves a proposed 100-year city lease 39 acres of Bahia Mar property to Rahn Bahia Mar LLC, a developer group made up of Jimmy Tate and Sergio Rok.

“It means a better facility and amenities for the captains and the crew,” said Robert Christoph, Jr., co-owner of RCI Group which specializes in creating waterfront destinations. His company oversees the marina redevelopment portion of the agreement.

From gyms to pools to food and beverage, restaurant options, captain’s quarters. As good or better than Rybovich,” Christoph said.

“We want to make it so the captain can check in, and with a fob they can go to the pool bar and order lunch and it charges to the boat.”

The commission meets on March 1 and will discuss the rezoning proposal further. Opponents of the plan say that the development would increase traffic. One citizen expressed concern about evacuation procedures with the extra traffic and added residents that the condominiums would bring.

After the meeting Jimmy Tate said he was grateful for the opportunity to meet with the board.

“We’re going to keep pushing forward,” Tate said. “And we’re very happy that they met with us.”

Suzette Cook is editor at The Triton. Comments on this story are welcome at suzette@the-triton.com.

 

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