The proposed $250 million renovation of Bahia Mar in Fort Lauderdale received the first of two approvals in mid-May by city commissioners. Plans for the renovation include an updated Bahia Mar hotel, a new five-star Waldorf Astoria, a waterfront park and a permanent home for the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show. LXR Resorts, owned by the Blackstone Group, has been negotiating with the city for five years to renovate Bahia Mar. The project will not be funded by tax-payer dollars, as developers would pay for a beach community center, a police command center and a trolley stop as well as facilities that would improve the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show.
The original proposal, which was twice the size, was turned down last year by community members who felt the development would overwhelm the beach and destroy views of area homeowners. However, new toned-down proposal seems to be largely supported by beach activists and community members. “This is the largest piece of waterfront property owned by the city and any plans for it should take advantage of its size and prominence to make this a great waterfront city,” said Idlewyld neighborhood activist Anne Hilmer.
After the rezoning is approved, developers will have to discuss the length of the lease, as well as negotiate a deal with the boat show to serve as its permanent home. The deals are expected to be completed by late summer, as developers hope to begin construction in two years and finish the renovation by 2016.
The Bahia Mar renovation will pump millions of dollars into the Fort Lauderdale boating industry through increased tourism and an improved International Boat Show. Located in the heart of Fort Lauderdale is Atlantic Yacht and Ship, an international yacht brokerage offering new and used boats for sale. With over 50 years of experience, the professional trained staff is fully equipped to answer any questions and provide assistance in helping you select the right yacht fit to your specifications. View the yacht listings here.