Port Canaveral passes on a proposed resort

Rendering of WatersMark development at Port Canaveral.
Rendering of WatersMark development at Port Canaveral.

Port Canaveral commissioners turned down a proposal to negotiate with a developer that wants to build a resort complex on port property.

The sprawling WatersMark development would have included three hotels, a conference center, children’s museum and surfing lagoon, plus retail stores, restaurants, an amphitheater and a rehabilitation facility for manatees.

The Watersmark development group proposed exclusive negotiations over a 90-day period to lease 25 acres of port property. Port commissioners voted 5-0 to deny the proposed talks.

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Jerry Allender, chairman of the Canaveral Port Authority, told Florida Today that the proposal is “in direct conflict” with an approved development of a hotel and other commercial properties at Port Canaveral.

Brent Woodson, a managing director of the WatersMark group, said they were “a little disappointed” but will continue its efforts to develop a “destination resort village” at Port Canaveral.

Woodson said his group’s port development would include a 60-suite boutique hotel and two other hotels with 200 suites each, plus 100,000 square feet of retail stores and a 500,000-square-foot conference center.

Wayne Justice, a port commissioner, questioned whether the Space Coast area would support “something as grandiose as this.” [Florida Today] — Mike Seemuth