marina moves forward, youth museum conditions set
city commissioners are setting the stage for a mega-yacht marina on
Watson Island while hinting at acceptable conditions for a youth museum
on the 88-acre islet.
City Manager Dena Bianchino said as early as next month commissioners
will consider marine-related proposals that could make better use
of land on the northwest quadrant of the island, an area she called
nothing to bring people to it," she said. "We have a vision
for this project it's one of the most spectacular parcels of
land in the US. Not many cities have something like this."
goal, she said, is a marina on 10.8 acres that would cater to vessels
of 80 to 120 feet.
must stay within guidelines set by the state in 1949 when it deeded
Watson to Miami. Commercial uses need voter approval, must serve a
"public purpose" and keep access to the water open.
the northwest parcel is zoned commercial while Watson is generally
zoned recreational park, uses other than a marina can be included.
Ms. Bianchino said the city will restrict use to "marine, entertainment,
recreational, cultural and retail."
not capitalizing on the marine industry," said Commissioner Joe
Sanchez. "We're losing millions to Fort Lauderdale and
these are recurring revenues."
Lauderdale's mega-yacht marina is full," Commissioner Willy Gort
said. "Miami needs one."
Ms. Bianchino said, the city is asking the youth museum for evidence
of funding "the key question is, does the museum pay rent?"
would never sign a $1-a-year lease," Commissioner Joe Sanchez
said. "The gravy train has stopped. They'll have to pay rent;
probably $1,000-$1,500 per month."