According to Tcpalm.com, Derecktor Holdings Inc. and Buddy Haack, owner of Ft. Pierce Yacht & Ship, are now bidding to develop and operate a superyacht refit center in Ft. Pierce owned by the county. St. Lucie County invited 668 companies to bid for the contract and 55 asked for bid packages. Only two offered proposals.
A selection committee will rank both bids and recommend one to the County Commission for a final decision. Under Florida state law, the county can keep bid details confidential or until the successful builder is announced. The deadline for ranking the bids is August 8.
Ft. Pierce and the county have made revitalizing the 290-acre port a key part of its economic-development plans. In January, the county purchased the 12.3-acre Indian River Marine Terminal property for $25 million, giving it more control of development at the port.
The county plans to retain ownership of the property and lease it as a refit yard. The successful bidder would be responsible for purchasing and installing travel lifts and other equipment. Officials say a refit facility will bring jobs to the area.
Neither Haack nor officials with Derecktor could be reached by Trade Only Today for comment.
According to the paper, Haack brought four superyachts, each worth about $50 million, to the port for repairs and maintenance in 2015 and 2016. Derecktor’s shipyard in Fort Lauderdale has space to accommodate vessels up to 210 feet. Derecktor officials praised Ft. Pierce for the proposed superyacht facility.
“These boats are not getting smaller; they are getting bigger,” said James Brewer, Derecktor's business development director in Fort Lauderdale, told TCPalm in 2017. “Anyone who is going to go into the shipyard business needs to keep that in mind and not think small. Vessels larger than that will have a challenging time. They would have to go up to Jacksonville or Savannah."