What’s New for the Miami River?
If Ft. Lauderdale is the heart of yachting in South Florida, then the New River is its blood stream! Whether for an exciting day charter, dockside dining, or the very best in state-of-the-art marinas for motor yachts, you will find it along Ft. Lauderdale’s New River.
Not to be outdone however, there are several projects in the works that will bring something “new,” to the Miami River that could give the New River a run for its money.
One of the most exciting of these, which is leading the renovation and revitalization of the Miami River, is a proposed Megayacht storage facility backed by Chapman Ducote.
Details of the Project
Besides being a former Reality TV Star, and earning his fortune as the CEO of Merchant Services Ltd, a major credit card processing company, Ducote is no stranger to SOFLA’s marine industry. He is director for the Americas for Swedish boat-builder Delta Powerboats, and is also managing director of Miami Boat Storage. It was Ducote who saved a Miami River property from foreclosure when his company Miami Boat Storage, bought a little over an acre of waterfront on the Seybold Canal where it meets the Miami River for $3.65 million.
His current plan to bring the Miami River back to its former glory, and go head-to-head with its Ft. Lauderdale counterpart is to build a combination Megayacht drystack with high end office, retail space, and residences included.
Speaking to industry publication Trade Only Today, Ducote said, “It’s a new approach. We’ll be delivering a lot of square footage and selling it at a very, very reasonable price. The drystack is much needed in Miami after a recession that deep-sixed a lot of projects. Drystack slips are a scarce commodity in Miami. There are no vacancies on the river…”
It will likely be at least a year before groundbreaking on the ambitious project, while Ducote works on details and addresses concerns about the size of the project. In the meantime, Campeones Boatyard, which currently occupies the location, will continue to operate as a Ducote’s tenant.
The Miami River Future is Bright
Ducote’s proposed drystack/residential-office project is just the latest of several that are trying to breathe new life into the waters of the Miami River.
The SeaVault, which features 14 megayacht slips with attached living quarters for captain and crew and secure vehicle parking for each slip, is planned to replace 40 run-down covered slips on the Miami River’s south shore. There are also several other major residential, boat repair and marina projects in the works for the Miami River.
However, area developers want to focus on the recreational and commercial aspects of the marine and yacht industry.
Horacio Stuart Aguire, chairman of the Miami River Commission, said, “We’re seeing a revival of the recreational marine industry on the Miami River. Our commission recognizes the economic value of the marine industry, as opposed to turning the river into a concrete canyon.”
Aguire also looks forward to, and is also excited by, the economic opportunities that will present themselves to the Miami River once trade relations with Cuba are normalized.
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