The Real Deal Miami

Watson Island yacht complex could be fast-tracked

May 02, 2012 03:00PM

From left: Flagstone Property CEO Mehmet Bayraktar and a rendering of Island Garden

More than a decade in the works, the Watson Island mega-yacht complex project may be expedited by the inclusion of a new equity partner, Miami Today reported. Flagstone Property Group first won approval for the project, named Island Gardens and slated to include a luxury hotel, a retail component and a 50-slip harbor for yachts longer than 80 feet, in 2001. But it eventually stalled when lenders balked and hotel operators fled the project as the economy stumbled.

But the developer is now meeting with potential hotel brands to flag the resort, planning to begin preleasing the retail space this sumer and garnering interest from additional investors. If another partner is secured, the additional finances could allow Flagstone to build the project all at once, rather than in phases as initially planned. Either way, the Watson Island project would create 3,000 construction jobs. [Miami Today]