Fort Lauderdale shot down developer Jimmy Tate’s $1 billion Bahia Mar condominium project proposal, but left the door open for Tate to renegotiate his lease for the publicly owned waterfront property.
Following Tate’s pitch for 651 condo units during a public meeting on Tuesday, it was clear he didn’t have the needed commission support, the Sun Sentinel reported. Tate needed at least three commissioners to give him a nod, which he didn’t get.
A new project would replace the Bahia Mar Fort Lauderdale Beach – a DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel on the site now.
Tate currently has permission to build seven 11-story buildings with 651 apartments, a 256-key hotel, a yachting-amenities complex, marina village and retail on the Bahia Mar site. The city commission in December 2017 approved the project
Tate, through his Rahn Bahia Mar affiliate, leases the 39 acres from the county at 801 Seabreeze Boulevard. The site faces the Intracoastal Waterway and is steps from the beach on Fort Lauderdale’s barrier island.
Tate currently has the acreage under lease until 2062, in exchange for about $1.5 million in annual rent. But to get financing and convert the project to condos, Tate needs a new 100-year lease, or 50 years with an option for a 50-year extension, according to the Sun Sentinel.
Mayor Dean Trantalis and Vice Mayor Steve Glassman said during the meeting that the city should re-work the current lease. Glassman added that the city should bargain for higher payment, calling the current rent “a pittance,” the Sentinel reported.
Glassman also called for a project with fewer buildings.
Tate’s attorney, Robert Lochrie, told commissioners the developer will keep working on the proposal, adding that ultimately the developer still is going to need a longer lease.
In September 2017, Tate obtained a $50 million loan from Florida Community Bank for the property, boosting the mortgage to $135 million.
[Sun Sentinel] — Lidia Dinkova