By Lucy Chabot Reed
Fort Lauderdale city commissioners approved the revised design of the Bahia Mar Yachting Center property, keeping about 650 residential units, a hotel, parking garage, grocery store and public green space on the 16-acre property.
Commissioners voted 4-1 to allow the design, which asks for no special permits or waivers. All its intended uses are permissible under existing code. One of the main caveats for their support, several commissioners said, was that the newly designed property still accommodate the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show. Although the show stretches across six marinas, its heart is at Bahia Mar.
Leaders of both the Marine Industries Association of South Florida, which owns the show, and Informa’s Global Exhibitions, which produces it, said the show will be able to function and grow with the design.
Commissioners listened to about five hours of public comments — about evenly split on the project — and then questioned the developer’s team. After that, at about 2 a.m. this morning, they approved it.
Commissioner Dean Trantalis voted against the project, saying he was not convinced the 15 buildings on the property would still leave room for the boat show. He also objected to the residential units, noting that the traffic and infrastructure impacts they would impose on the barrier island.