Port Caribe San Juan, a megayacht marina and shipyard is scheduled to open in the Port of San Juan, Puerto Rico by November according to John Spencer, COO and general manager.
Edgewater Resources, a marina and waterfront development firm based in Michigan, is proceeding with plans approved by the Puerto Rican government and backed by a private investment of $73 million.
“It’s two projects wrapped up in one package,” Spencer said by phone on June 14 from the island. “Old San Juan Harbor has been underutilized for a long time, there is significant shoreline and dockage that has been commercial. Our desire is to turn it into megayacht center,” he said.
The separate marina and shipyard properties will unfold under a three-phase plan.
“We will be able to take any kind of vessel almost immediately and we hope to have the first phase operational by November 1 for the next season.” Spencer said. “We’ll clean the property, revitalize the area, add fences and security. We want it nice by then.”
The megayacht marina property will be located in downtown San Juan north of the airport near Bahía Urbana, between piers 6 and 9.
“We’re directly abutting the area where the cruise ships are,” Spencer said. “There is a little buffer, then us. We’re catering to vessels 120-foot and up.”
Phase two, the shipyard component of the project, is south of the airport located on Pier 15 in the Isla Grande sector of San Juan. The dry dock maintenance, repair and overhaul facility includes an existing graving dock and will be available for about 20-40 vessels on the hard and between 125-175 boats in water.
“We’ll undergo renovations in three to six months, we were granted rights to use the old Navy facility with the graving dock,” Spencer said. “We’ll put in new pumps, new gates and do maintenance. When it’s operational it will haul vessels up to 640 by 100 feet with a controlling draft of 28 feet.”
“By the time we get to phase three, we will have a crew clubhouse, a restaurant, hotel and condos with med-mooring,” he said.
Spencer brings decades of experience in the industry from work with companies including Rybovich/Spencer, Palmer Johnson Fort Lauderdale, Hinckley, Merrill-Stevens and Spencer Boat Company in Miami.
“Captains and crew will love Old San Juan, I know from a captain’s perspective that crew will love it,” Spencer said. “There are 8 to 10 flights daily, no customs, no duties, it’s just easy as can be.”
“I’m enjoying it here,” he said. “On my last trip to Florida, it took longer for me to drive home than it took to fly.”
Dorie Cox is associate editor of The Triton. Comments on this story are welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org.