Watson Island project receives city approval

Watson Island
Watson Island

Miami commissioners approved the long-delayed Island Gardens development planned for the city’s Watson Island.

Developer Flagstone Property Group still needs the state to sign off on the project, which would include a mega-yacht marina, retail center and two hotels on the city-owned island. The company would pay the city $2 million in annual rent once they finish the project, along with a portion of retail and hotel room revenue. Project opponents claim the city is short-changing itself by leasing land at a fraction of what it would be worth on the open market.

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Flagstone’s latest lease extension requires the company to start construction by June 2. Brian May, a lobbyist for the developer, said work on the marina portion would be underway by the deadline, according to the Miami Herald. Some city commissioners said they would potentially move on from the development and consider new proposals if the deadline is missed. [Miami Herald]Eric Kalis