Boston Whaler buys land to expand Florida headquarters

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Boston Whaler confirmed a major land acquisition that will result in the expansion of its Edgewater, Fla., headquarters by about 60 acres on the facility’s northern border.

The addition reflects more than two years of hard work and represents an important next phase in Whaler’s expansion opportunities, the company said.

“We are pleased to announce that Boston Whaler has officially closed on approximately 60 additional acres of land,” Boston Whaler president Nick Stickler said in a statement. “The opportunities for growth in terms of manufacturing, job creation and product innovation are now exponentially greater.”

The land addition comes after months of meetings with the city and community leaders, including the owners and residents of the community just north of the new acreage, Hacienda Del Rio.

On June 5 the Edgewater city council approved annexing the current Boston Whaler site into the city of Edgewater. The site plan joined Whaler’s current 45 acres with the newly added land and rezoned the entire area as MUPUD — mixed-use planned unit development.

“As Boston Whaler celebrated the expansion of its manufacturing facility by nearly 60,000 square feet back in early 2015, we recognized that our growth was already beginning to exceed our strategic plans,” Stickler said. “This remarkable growth prompted us to enter a new phase of expansion, examining how and where we might increase our property to address demand for our products and to continue along a positive trajectory.”

“The final design of the new site fits the community, the city of Edgewater and Boston Whaler’s expansion strategy,” operations vice president Rebecca Crews said. “In addition to an outstanding site plan, Boston Whaler has partnered with the city in the development of the land.”

Boston Whaler said it is in the process of recording and subdividing the new land into four lots. Lot 1 will contain Whaler’s current site, which houses all manufacturing and business operations, as well as a portion of the new land. Build-out on Lot 1 is expected to be completed by 2020.

Lots 2 and 3, located on U.S. 1 frontage, are expected to be sold at a future date to the business or businesses that best complement the Whaler development.

The final area, Lot 4, encompasses an Edgewater city recreation area, a retention pond and a tree preservation area. These serve double duty as a generous buffer for residents of the Hacienda Del Rio community and as a requirement for Whaler expansion. Boston Whaler plans to sell Lot 4 to the city on or before Aug. 1.

“This final action of acquisition was the result of more than two years of discussions and due diligence,” Edgewater city manager Tracey T. Barlow said. “Based on the long-term benefits that are gleaned for the entire community in regards to continued good-paying jobs staying here, as well as now having the opportunity to expand the facility, creating many more jobs, this is probably one of the most important initiatives that the city council has pursued since the addition of sewer and paved streets in the Florida Shores subdivision.”

“We’re grateful to our community for supporting this expansion,” Stickler said. “We look forward to contributing back to our community and our local economy for generations to come.”

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