Fort Lauderdale commission again delays action on Bahia Mar project

Bahia Mar Fort Lauderdale Beach
Bahia Mar Fort Lauderdale Beach

The Fort Lauderdale City Commission again delayed action on a developer’s proposed rezoning of the Bahia Mar hotel and marina, the main venue of the annual Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show.

The rezoning would allow the developer to build two 39-story condo towers on the city-owned Bahia Mar property, which would be the tallest buildings on Fort Lauderdale Beach. Current zoning allows residential building heights up to 24 stories.

The commissioners voted Tuesday night to continue a public hearing on the rezoning at their regular meeting on May 10. The public hearing began in an eight-hour commission meeting Feb. 2 that ended at 4:15 a.m. the next day. About 80 people commented publicly on the proposed rezoning at the February meeting, mostly in opposition.

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The developer, Rahn Bahia Mar LLC, is revising its proposed site plan for the Bahia Mar project to reduce the height of the two condo buildings while the city obtains an appraisal of its 39-acre Bahia Mar property.

The project would involve a new 100-year city lease on the Bahia Mar property to Rahn Bahia Mar LLC, a group that includes Jimmy Tate and Sergio Rok, which owns the existing lease on the property.

“We need to get a revised site plan, and we need to get an appraisal” before city commissioners can take action on the proposed Bahia Mar development, Fort Lauderdale Mayor John Seiler said at Tuesday’s commission meeting.

Besides condo development, Rahn Bahia Mar LLC also plans to thoroughly renovate the Bahia Mar hotel and to build a parking garage that annually would convert to exhibition space for the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show.