Genting Plans To Build Large Marina After Abandoning Casino Plan
Genting Group, the Malaysian casino operator has revived its plan to build a marina hosting large yachts on the waterfront land it owns in Miami. The company provided a clear indication that it was working on this proposal after presenting its plan to the Miami River Commission which endorsed it this week with a 10-1 vote.
Although the Commission doesn’t have any approval power, its support is a major boost to the company. The commission advises the local government on the development plans along the river and Genting requires the commission’s support for its request to boost the number of boat slips to the bay
The proposed site where the plan will be implemented is the former Miami Herald land on Biscayne Bay that Genting purchased in 2011 for $236 million. The property was initially purchased by Genting with the intention of building a full scale casino resort. The company however could not get approval from the Florida Legislature for the casino, which forced the company to abandon its plan to develop a casino resort.
After failing to get approval for its gambling facility, the company then proposed to build a hotel with a marina and a public baywalk. So far Genting is yet to submit plans to the city for the construction of the hotel but it has submitted its plans for the proposed marina. Genting’s latest move suggests that it is now moving ahead with the marina proposal. Under the plan, the company is seeking the transfer of an existing 42 boat slips to the bay, which would enable it to develop the marina with 50 slips, accommodating yachts of up to 175 feet. It sent a letter to the county authorities in July proposing the transfer of the slips.
Genting attorney Spencer Crowley confirmed the proposal, saying that the process was started early because it is likely to take a very long time. Building the marina would require extensive environment reviews and approval since the river and the bay is a manatee habitat and also has coral, sponges and an endangered species of seagrass at the bottom. Crowley pointed out that moving out the boat slips from the river to the bay might help the manatee population which gathers in the river during winter.
In addition to the environmental approval, Genting would need to procure an agreement or a lease with the municipality to construct the marina since the city controls the bay bottom.
Genting is currently renovating the historic Art Deco Boulevard Shops building. The actual site is vacant after the existing Miami Herald building was demolished in 2015. It also owns the erstwhile Omni mall complex area next to the site.
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