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Front Page » Top Stories » Miami Megayacht Project May Get Investor

Miami Megayacht Project May Get Investor

Written by on May 3, 2012

By Patricia Hoyos
Flagstone Development Group may have found added equity for a long-planned mega-yacht complex on Watson Island, which is slated to break ground late this year.

"Due diligence is underway right now with a potential equity partner who’s looking to provide some additional equity for the project," said spokesman Brian May.

As the market and the economy improve, Flagstone contemplates developing the project at one time rather than in phases, he added. But that is still a goal rather than a plan.

Developers are beginning to meet with potential flag hotels, he said, and plan to start preleasing retail space in summer.

Island Gardens is to encompass a luxury hotel, retail and a 50-slip mega-yacht harbor for vessels longer than 80 feet. Years behind schedule, it won city approval in 2001 but stalled after it lost lenders and hotel operators.

Now it finally appears to be on the right track. Mr. May said Flagstone has complied with all contractual obligations with the city and the state so far.

City commissioners OK’d a 75-year site lease in 2001 and a major use special permit in 2004.

In 2010, they agreed to construction terms and a timeline. Also in 2010, the state approved the project, required because Island Gardens would sit on land the state gave to Miami for public use, so the state must OK commercial use. Last September, the city gave the project a final OK, approving the state waiver for commercial development.

The project is expected to create 3,000 construction jobs, Mr. May said last September, out of which Flagstone is committed to hiring 40% locally. Last week he assured commissioners that reaching out locally to find local workers is still Flagstone’s intent. Chairman and CEO of Flagstone Mehmet Bayraktar was not present during the meeting.To read the entire issue of Miami Today online, subscribe to e -Miami Today, an exact digital replica of the printed edition.