Owners of Miami River boatyard plan megayacht complex
By Shannon Pettypiece
New owners of a Miami River boatyard are developing a 24-hour megayacht complex where they expect to lure restaurants, shopping centers and housing.
Since Jose and Victor Bared purchased Jones Boatyard at 3399 NW South River Dr. and two adjacent properties, they have drafted blueprints for expansion to accommodate more ships.
"We have already acquired two properties and are looking at additional properties," Jose Bared said. "Our future plans call for a complete yachting center where ships are stored."
In six to nine months, Mr. Bared said, he hopes to finalize plans for the neighboring land and is looking for more land for hospitality development that caters to megayacht owners and live-in crews looking for entertainment, supplies and food.
"We are always looking. If it enhances the overall business aspect, that is what we are looking for," he said.
Mr. Bared said he thinks the expansion of Jones Boatyard will create a localization of hospitality industries, as in Fort Lauderdale, and is speaking to the Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners to get support for the expansion.
The crew spends "quite a bit of time and money for their food, provisioning and for their entertainment," Mr. Bared said. "We give them a map and tell them the hot spots."
A typical yacht-servicing brings in $500,000 in fueling, supplies, repairs, food and entertainment.
"You would be amazed by the amount of money they spend," he said. A megayacht is classified as a ship longer than 80 feet long, which typically costs $50 million.
The boatyard owners are in partnership with Fisher Island Marina, which almost doubles the megayacht capacity from 15 ships to 28, said Karen Melk of Fisher Island. Because Victor Bared is a member of Fisher Island, he can sponsor his boatyard customers to dock on the members-only island, Jose Bared said.
"If the crew does leave or if you have a group staying on Fisher Island, they are bound to be drawn and attracted to South Beach," said Ms. Melk.
The Miami River boatyard can also benefit from Fisher Island Marina's temporary space for up to 40 megayachts, which is attracting charity events and megasailboat clubs that would otherwise be docking in Broward County, Ms. Melk said.
"The megayacht center has been in Broward because there hasn't been a place for them to be here," she said. "Yacht owners end up loving Miami and buying property here. It brings money to Miami-Dade County."
Martha Lord, director of association services for the Marine Industries Association of South Florida, said Jones Boatyard is one of the largest in Miami-Dade County.
"Jones is the largest with the capacity to serve the largest," Ms. Lord said. "Miami-Dade has many yards that can accommodate megayachts, but few can pull them out of the water. That is the biggest challenge."
The number of megayachts visiting South Florida has increased in the past six years from 900 to 1,200, she said. Jones Boatyard can service, store and repair 30 ships of less than 100 feet and 15 of more than 100 feet.