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CUT: Ft. Lauderdale’s Las Olas Marina redevelopment faces a choice between a standard- and a megayacht-based plan. PHOTO/DORIE COX


Las Olas marina to redevelop

The city of Ft. Lauderdale has awarded the contract to redevelop and manage the municipal docks at Las Olas Marina to Texas-based Suntex Marinas and West Palm Beach-based Edgewater Resources.

Next up is to decide what sort of marina it should be. Several plans are under consideration and a major difference is the number of slips dedicated to megayachts.

M/Y Cheers 46, a 140-foot Benetti, was docked in the Las Olas Marina section of the boat show in November, and Capt. Kelly Esser said the city should aim to accommodate larger yachts.

“In season, all the big slips in the area are filled,” Capt. Esser said. “And nothing’s getting smaller. Plus, Ft. Lauderdale will continue to grow until the city says no more.”

He said he hopes the redevelopment project is practical.

“You can always put small boats in a big slip, but not the other way around,” he said.

Yacht broker Glynn Smith of Denison Yacht Sales said it boils down to money and space.

“It’s all real estate,” Smith said. “But you have to have yachts come to make money. Yards are churning out boats, but they’re not churning out linear feet.”

The base plan being considered offers 6,745 total linear feet in the Intracoastal Waterway with

space for one 300-foot yacht and nine yachts more than 100 feet.

The megayacht plan includes less total feet at 5,540 but has dockage for two 300-foot yachts as well as 36 yachts more than 100 feet.

Both drawings include layout plans to accommodate the boat show as well as options for restaurants.

Jon Luscomb said he has seen the original bids and plans as facilities supervisor for the city of Ft. Lauderdale. Early drawings had Med mooring, but were changed to more traditional slips to avoid cross current. The latest plans have the slips parallel to the tidal flow.

“Once the lease is signed, Suntex gets the marina as-is,” Luscomb said. “Then they head toward developing it. It’s three-to-four years before there will be meaningful movement.”

Las Olas Marinas was working to dredge from the newly deepened ICW into the marina, he said, but those plans will be on hold until a plan is chosen.

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