A new group of investors has taken over the old Summerfield Boat Works property in Ft. Lauderdale and plans to revive the designs of Pier 17, a previous project slated for the space before the financial crash.
Now called Harbour Twenty-Six, the long slice of land on the north bank of the New River across from Lauderdale Marine Center will have 26 covered slips for yachts between 80 and 170 feet. The slips are for sale starting at $1.8 million for the smaller slips and up to $3 million for the largest.
Each slip will have a two-story, enclosed garage and storage unit as well as parking. For crew, the property will have a pool and grilling area, exercise equipment and 24-hour security.
“Previous builders wanted to make it a destination, but from everyone we’ve talked to, who you really need to cater to is the crew,” said Nathan Cox, a developer on the project.
The property was once Summerfield Boat Works, which operated in the quiet Shady Banks neighborhood dating back to the 1930s. Greyhawk Marine Group bought it in 2005 with plans to build covered slips. It was renamed Pier 17, acknowledging its pedigree address on Southwest 17th Street.
Although initial renovations to the property began, it never really got under way and has sat vacant for years.
Ft. Lauderdale boater and resident Marion Uter mentioned the property to some real estate developers he knows in Alabama and they liked the idea.
“We’re primarily single-family home developers in Alabama,” Cox said. “It’s completely random that we’re involved with this, but we’re excited. I think it’s going to be a ton of fun. We’ve met great people since we started working on this project.”
Although they have never built a marina, they were confident in the project and it’s likelihood for success after meeting and talking with residents and other marine business owners.
“There seems to be a demand for it from everyone we’re talking to,” Cox said. “Either we’re on to something good, or everyone in Ft. Lauderdale is in on it.”
Cox’s group closed on the property in November and plans to break ground in late April, assuming South Florida’s cumbersome permitting process gets completed the way they expect. If so, the slips should be open in the spring of 2016.
“We always say what we’re going to do, and we do it right,” Cox said.
The marina itself will be managed by U.S. Marinas, a company owned by marine consultant Jim Bronstien and two Brazilian investors, prominent marina developer Antonio Labato and Francisco Ruiz.
“The city needs more dock space to accommodate the growth in the industry,” said John Terrill, dockmaster at Lauderdale Marine Center across the New River from the property. “It looks like a high-quality property and they seem serious about what they want to do. There are a lot of yacht owners who would like their yachts covered year round.”
Before the show opened, at least five units had been sold. When Cox heard that, he smiled.
Lucy Chabot Reed is editor of Triton Today, firstname.lastname@example.org.