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FLIBS 2015: Westrec Marinas plans new drystack in Miami

FORT LAUDERDALE — Westrec Marinas plans to open a 500-slip drystack for boats to 50 feet in Miami’s Haulover Park next spring.

FORT LAUDERDALE — Westrec Marinas plans to open a 500-slip drystack for boats to 50 feet in Miami’s Haulover Park next spring and has started managing two marinas on Florida’s west coast, the marina operator/owner said Thursday at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show.

The $20 million-plus drystack will be 80 feet high and its footprint will cover the length of two football fields, Westrec vice president Gary Groenewold said. The new facility will be served by two giant Wiggins forklifts, each with a capacity of 7,800 pounds — the biggest lifts that Wiggins Lift Co. makes, he said.

Westrec has a 25-year lease with Miami-Dade County for the parkland the drystack is built on, Groenewold said. The drystack responds to a growing demand for storage for 45- to 50-foot yachts powered by three or four outboards, he said.

“That seems to be the trend now,” he said. “Even Boston Whaler is making a 43-footer with three engines on it.”

The drystack is less than a mile from Haulover Inlet, with access to the ocean and Biscayne Bay. “It’s one of the best spots on the East Coast for a marina,” Groenewold said.

Westrec’s contracts to manage Burnt Store Marina in Punta Gorda, Fla., and Cape Harbour, Fla., reflect a new trend in the industry, said Jim Frye, Westrec’s vice president for development. Both properties were recently purchased by CRE GS Properties LLC, a Minneapolis investor group.

“There’s a trend toward investor interest in boutique investments in marina space,” he said. The investors upgrade the marina, and in time will redevelop the uplands, increasing the value of the real estate and improving the marina.

Burnt Store has 525 fixed dock wet slips and 348 dry storage spaces; Cape Harbour has 76 wet slips and a 34,000-square-foot dry storage building.

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