Contract delays hold up Derecktor yard in Fort Pierce

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A working port could bring 900 jobs to Fort Pierce.

A working port could bring 900 jobs to Fort Pierce.

Derecktor Shipyards’ plans for a 30-year lease worth at least $33 million to open a facility in the Port of Fort Pierce, Fla., have been put on hold because St. Lucie County officials say questions about submerged lands and insurance remain unanswered.

“While considerable progress has been made in these negotiations, some of the outstanding issues involve the submerged-land lease with the state, insurance questions and a number of other complex issues that you would expect to see in a multi-decade lease agreement,” Howard Tipton, county administrator wrote last Monday in a letter to the county commission, according to the website.

The hope had been that the agreement could be reached by last Tuesday, but Tipton further wrote in the letter, “it is better to get it right than get it fast.”

Last November, the commission selected Derecktor’s Dania Beach, Fla., facility to operate a mega-yacht repair center at the port to bring jobs to the northwest part of the county. Tipton was given three months to get the contract signed.

As of last Monday, the county and Derecktor had agreed to the following terms:

  • $1.1 million annual rent starting September 1, 2020.
  • 30-year lease with the option for three 15-year renewals.
  • Relocation of Derecktor’s corporate headquarters from Dania Beach to Fort Pierce within three years of beginning regular operations.
  • Derecktor would start a training program at Indian River State College.