The Real Deal Miami

Flagstone pays back rent on Watson Island property

December 31, 2009 12:43PM

Flagstone Development Group’s Mehmet Bayraktar, who is clinging to the rights to develop the long-delayed, $600 million Island Gardens marina and hotel project, has finally managed to pay his $500,000 in overdue rent to the city of Miami. Miami Commissioners had been scheduled to vote earlier this month on whether to cut ties with Bayraktar altogether and find another use for the land after months of waiting for the back rent. Last week, they granted the developer five additional weeks to make the payment after a former Flagstone employee claiming to be owed $675,000 tried to garnish funds held in an escrow account. The employee has since agreed to allow the funds to be released to the city. The payment will buy Bayraktar some more time to get financing together for the project, which has thus far proved no easy task. Miami Commission chairman Marc Sarnoff and Mayor Tomas Regalado said the payment is a necessary step in getting the project to move forward. [SFBJ]