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By Dorie Cox
Plans for a new 50-slip marina in downtown Miami are moving forward. But current drawings are for a marina only instead of for Resort World Miami, a casino resort that property owner Genting Group initially planned.
Genting bought the former Miami Herald property, 5.6 acres on Biscayne Bay, for $236 million in 2011 but has not yet begun development due to opposition from several government levels.
Attorney Spencer Crowley of the Miami law firm Akerman shared the marina plans with the Miami River Commission last year, and government bodies have begun discussions on property rights and development.
According to the records, the submerged bay bottom is owned by the city of Miami and city commissioners will consider a deed restricted rental agreement that would be similar to the one previously approved for Island Garden Deep Harbour marina on Watson Island.
Crowley said the area was previously dredged to 18 feet as a marine terminal 40 years ago.The newspaper building was torn down in March of 2015 and has been a vacant grass lot situated between Venetian Causeway to the north and MacArthur Causeway to the south. Genting has said it will build a public baywalk between the causeways.
Due to regulations, the property is zoned for eight slips. To add more, Crowley said the Miami-Dade County Manatee Protection Plan Review Committee recommended boat slip transfers from two properties on the Miami River. This would include 28 powerboat slips from a property described as South Fork Parcel 1 located at 1995 N.W. 11th St. and 14 powerboat slips from Austral Marina located at 2190 N.W. North River Drive.
Crowley said he cannot comment on details but that plans are moving forward as to regulatory compliance with county, state and federal permits, slip transfers and leases for the marina.