July 18 2019
In addition to the soccer complex, the city has moved ahead with another major initiative — the expansion of the Las Olas Marina. The City Commission approved the final terms with Suntex Marinas to reshape the marina to handle more yachts as well as larger yachts.
This has been a long time coming to fruition.
It was some five years ago that as the district commissioner I first championed the idea along with leaders of our maritime community. We believed the marina was under-utilized and should be expanded. After all, Fort Lauderdale is one of the world’s premier yachting capitals.
The marina doubles in size to some 6,000 lineal feet of dockage with 68 boat slips, a shop, two restaurants and amenities for marina guests. Part of the existing city parking lot will be excavated to accommodate the extra dockage.
Countless hours have gone into designing the plans to be as unobtrusive as possible to the surrounding residents. Changes actually were made just before the final vote to better protect view corridors and to enhance traffic flow in the area. I applaud Commissioner Glassman for working out these compromises after he was elected to replace me as the District 2 commissioner.
As the project moves to construction, I have cautioned Suntex to be mindful that the marina is an important component of the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show.
Suntex not only must take into consideration the Boat Show’s needs during construction, but they must work with the city and Boat Show as loyal partners to ensure the continued long-term viability of the show. All parties must remember how important the Boat Show is to our local economy.