Owned by the city of Fort Lauderdale, Las Olas Marina is about to undergo a multi-million-dollar redevelopment. In the process, it’s gaining new operators, who’ll make it more welcoming for slip holders and the public alike.
Currently offering 60 slips for yachts and megayachts, Las Olas Marina has been the focus of the city’s attention for some time. Last year, it solicited bids for redevelopment, since it considered the property a bit outdated in looks and services. It recently selected Suntex Marinas for the makeover, plus granted a 50-year lease for operations. Suntex Marinas oversees 45 marinas across the country, including Liberty Landing Marina in Jersey City, New Jersey, and Ocean Yacht Marina in Portsmouth, Virginia.
Suntex Marinas is partnering with Edgewater Resources for the project. The latter is a marina design, engineering, and development firm. Among the 300 global properties it’s designed are Liberty Landing Marina and the Marina at Keppel Bay in Singapore.
“We would like to leverage our investment to create the greatest possible benefit for as many people in the community as we can,” says David Filler, Suntex’s principal. “This means recognizing that this marina must serve more than just the owners of megayachts.” The city of Fort Lauderdale, in requesting bids, asked for better public access and enjoyment. To that end, Filler explains, Las Olas Marina will be “an inviting, walkable, and vibrant waterfront community.”
Preliminary plans include creating a new pedestrian walkway, plus adding dining options. Las Olas Marina will still, of course, include conveniences for yachts and megayachts. Currently, the marina provides Wi-Fi, pumpout services, water, electric, and dockside parking, among others.
Furthermore, Suntex Marinas intends Las Olas Marina to meet Florida Clean Marina Program standards. It’s a voluntary initiative in which participants exceed regulatory requirements pertaining to the environment. Therefore, the company says, sustainability is a key consideration for the entire renovation.
The Las Olas Marina makeover is part of an overall $70-million waterfront redevelopment plan that the city established. “As home to the world’s largest boat show, we recognize that a thriving marine industry is essential,” says John P. “Jack” Seiler, mayor of Fort Lauderdale. He adds that the renovation plays a key part in “creating a unique waterfront environment that can be enjoyed by our neighbors and visitors for generations to come.”