FORT LAUDERDALE — The city of Fort Lauderdale has selected Dallas-based Suntex Marina Investors LLC to redevelop the Las Olas Marina.
Suntex, which owns and operates more than 45 U.S. marinas, will have a 50-year lease to operate the property. The renovation is part of a $70 million city redevelopment project to create waterfront and beach access, a park and new parking facilities and renovate existing sidewalks.
“We would like to leverage our investment to create the greatest possible benefit for as many people in the community as we can,” David Filler, a principal of Suntex, said Thursday in a statement. “This means recognizing that this marina must serve more than just the owners of megayachts. We must do our part to add jobs to the community, benefit the environment and build on the remarkable success Fort Lauderdale has already achieved in creating an inviting, walkable and vibrant waterfront community.”
Suntex said the marina will incorporate strategies to achieve Florida Clean Marina Program designation and sustainability will be a key consideration during the design process.
“We are truly excited to be working with Suntex on this game-changing project that will transform our marina and waterfront into a premier destination for boating, recreation and entertainment,” Fort Lauderdale Mayor John P. “Jack” Seiler said.
The project is a joint venture between Suntex and Edgewater Resources LLC, a marina design, engineering and development firm. Edgewater has designed more than 300 marinas worldwide. At its U.S. properties, Suntex has more than 10,000 wet slips and 5,000 dry-stack storage spaces.
During a meeting with Soundings Trade Only editors Tuesday in Fort Lauderdale, Filler said Las Olas Marina’s overall footprint will not change dramatically, but the number of slips for larger vessels will increase.
“Fort Lauderdale has maintained itself as the yachting capital of the world,” Filler said. “There’s a shortage of slips 80 feet and above. The number of megayachts that have been delivered in the past five years and the number projected for the next five years is growing.”
The new facility will have restaurants ranging from casual to semiformal, and it will double the dock space, to 6,000 feet. The design is flexible enough that the new marina will accommodate multiple boats longer than 100 feet.
The Las Olas project is not Suntex’s most expensive marina to date, but it is the company’s biggest investment in a redevelopment project.
Filler said Suntex’s approach to owning and managing marinas is a simple one. “Whatever we can do to make boating a more enjoyable experience,” he said.