By Dorie Cox
Dockage and upland buildings will look very different at Las Olas Marina in Fort Lauderdale in the future. After three years of back and forth on plans for the city-owned property, City Commission members unanimously approved drawings on July 9.
The multi-million dollar development will be a “luxury, world-class marina, with high-end amenities for yacht captains and crew,” said David Filler, principal and head of Florida investments with Suntex Marina Investors.
Plans include a two-story 11,231-square-foot restaurant, a 3-story, 24,401-square-foot marine services building with another restaurant, a dockmaster’s office, a ship store, offices, a rooftop gym, and a swimming pool, according to a Suntex press release.
Each of the 68 slips on the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW), near the Las Olas Boulevard bridge, will be “maxed out with marina amenities, power pedestals, and concrete floating docks,” Filler said by phone. “All slips are geared for megayachts, every slip can handle 80 feet and higher.”
Finger pier docks will be at least 15 feet wide for golf carts, slips will be double berths., T-head docks include a 200 and a 315 foot side for “side-to”, and slips inside the marina will accommodate yachts up to about 180 feet, Filler said.
“Outside dockage, in theory, could hold up to a 320-foot, but they can’t get through the bridge,” Filler said. The 15-foot controlling depth of the ICW is the constraint that will allow, “realistically, no bigger than 250, really 220 feet.”
A five story, 650-space parking lot was completed in December on the former surface parking lot upland of the marina and new development will be to the north. Excavation will also begin to restore to the natural habitat that was filled in for the current marina, Filler said. Depths will be between 11-14 feet and in compliance with all environmental laws.
Jonathan Luscomb, supervisor of marine facilities with the City of Fort Lauderdale, is excited for the upgrades and “the doubling of what’s there and adding nice amenities, it has been a parking lot for so long,” he said.
The marina will continue to house the north end of the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show in-water display, which runs Oct. 30 – Nov. 2.
There should be no changes to show, Filler said. Construction on the project is expected to start after the first of the year.
“It’s safe to say in the first quarter of 2020,” he said.
Dorie Cox is editor of The Triton. Comments welcome below.