Early next month will see the annual Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, one of the largest in the world, an event that eclipses the Super Bowl in terms of economic impact. Efrem “Skip” Zimbalist III, president of Show Management, which produces the show, is expecting another banner year. The show will include more VIP areas, new upscale restaurants, improved evening entertainment, improved fireworks and air conditioning for a key venue.
Less obvious is what’s happening – or more accurately, not happening – with one of the show’s key venues, the Bahia Mar Resort Hotel & Yachting Center. The Bahia Mar, in the words of the Sun Sentinel, is home to a world-class marina but also “a dull white Doubletree hotel and a large paved parking lot.”
A group of investors led by Miami’s Jimmy Tate and Sergio Rok, who bought the property in 2014, wanted to bring full-time residents to the site with a plan that would also dedicate half the property to public use. They proposed to upgrade the hotel to four-star status and build two 39-story condo towers – both later reduced to 29 stories – as well as a grocery store and marina village, restaurants and a new boardwalk. half a mile.
After spending two years and $2 million on the plans, his group recently withdrew their proposal.
Tate says so many interests sought to use the project to advance their own agendas that it became financially unfeasible.
The Bahia Mar is located on land leased from the city. The boat show is subletting the marina through 2020. The city also wanted Tate’s plans to be conditional on the boat show being locked out for decades. Rental requests from Show Management and the Marine Industry Association, which owns the show, were “not even close to being fair and equitable,” Tate said.
Meanwhile, Tate says his group will maintain the property and come up with a plan that follows existing zoning, which caps building height at 12 stories.
FORT LAUDERDALE — Private equity manager Platte River Equity has acquired aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul and commercial test company CTS Engines in partnership with CTS management. CTS will continue to operate from Fort Lauderdale and Jupiter. Miami-based Key International, owner of the Eden Roc Miami Beach and Marriott Stanton South Beach, paid $9.6 million for a nearly one-acre site near the beach. Developer Terry Stiles, auto dealer Phil Smith and other investors are developing the 36-home Enclave at Coral Ridge Country Club on the site of a golf course closed since Hurricane Wilma in 2005. Lots range from 785 $000 to $1.35 million. Orlando-based First Green Bank has opened a branch, its first in South Florida, which will serve as the office of new CEO Keith Costello, new CFO Debbie Kohl and new CIO Sameer Prasad.
JUNO BEACH — Hawaii regulators have rejected the $4.3 billion purchase of Hawaiian Electric by Next-Era Energy, parent company of FPL. NextEra must pay the Hawaiian utility $95 million in breakage fees and other charges.
MIRAMAR – Megacenter Miramar, a real estate company backed by a Chilean real estate developer, has paid Broward College $10 million for 14.7 acres where it will build a 267,325 square foot. warehouse, office and self-storage project.
PALM BEACH — Miami-based independent real estate brokerage Keyes has merged with Palm Beach-based independent brokerage Illustrated Properties. The combined company generates more than $6 billion in annual revenue and is Florida’s largest independent real estate company.
POMPANO BEACH — New York-based real estate investment manager Clarion Partners has paid $77.25 million for the Pompano Business Center, four industrial buildings totaling 624,531 square feet.
RIVIERA BEACH — The Port of Palm Beach has begun construction on a $10 million mini-slip that will accommodate vessels up to 300 feet in length.
WEST PALM BEACH — Community activist and Democratic Party operative Clarence Shahid Freeman was sentenced to three years in prison for attempting to extort the Superintendent of Palm Beach Schools. Freeman offered to file an anonymous misconduct complaint against Superintendent Wayne Gent in exchange for meeting Freeman’s demands to pay $895,000 to a school employee with a grievance case, move a charter school, and adopt an after-school program that had been Freeman’s goal.
Fort Lauderdale Boat Show
» The largest boat show in the world
» 1,500 boats
» 3 million square feet of exhibition space
» 1,000 exhibitors from over 30 countries
» $508.3 million in sales by show attendees
» $380.8 million in sales by Florida businesses, including $240.7 million by businesses in Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties
» $51.2 million in sales and excise taxes
» 58% of visitors are from outside the region, 54% from outside Florida, 10% are foreigners
» Out-of-town visitors spend an average of $208 per day on accommodation, food, transportation and retail purchases
Source: Marine Industries Association of South Florida and Show Management based on a study by Thomas J. Murray & Associates with the University of Florida
German serial entrepreneur Steffen Bruenn’s latest venture is an online yacht booking company, Yachtico. He started it in Berlin in 2011 but moved it to Boca Raton to be near the industrial hub of Fort Lauderdale. Yachtico employs 20 people and plans to hire another 50 by the end of 2017. Yachtico, which will not disclose revenues or profits, offers more than 16,000 yachts in 2,300 locations. Yachtico says boat owners, like property owners using Airbnb, have become more interested in renting out their vessels when they’re not personally using them.
» Engage PEO, based in Fort Lauderdale, hired Steve Scott, a seasoned senior executive from several national PEOs, as COO, and Craig Hill, president of Paychex Business Solutions from 1996 to 2012, as CFO.
» Martin Health System has promoted senior vice president and COO Robert L. Lord Jr. to president and chief executive officer. Lord started there 18 years ago as vice president and general counsel. He replaces Mark Robitaille, who is retiring.