FORT LAUDERDALE APPROVES BAHIA MAR MASTER LEASE DEAL
SFBJ /April 18, 2022 02:30 PM
By Erik Bojnansky
The City Commission voted 4-1 in favor of amending a lease agreement to allow the Bahia Mar Fort Lauderdale Beach hotel to undergo a big redevelopment.
Under the 100-year master lease, Rahn Bahia Mar LLC can build a $1 billion mixed-use development – featuring 256 new hotel rooms, 360 condo units, and 88,000 square feet of commercial space – on 39 acres of city-owned land.
In exchange, Rahn Bahia Mar will pay the city an average of $15.5 million annually, according to Ken Krasnow, vice chairman of institutional investor services for Florida with Colliers International. Fort Lauderdale now earns $1.5 million a year from the property.
The April 5 approval of the master lease isn’t the final hurdle for the developer. Rahn Bahia Mar LLC, led by Kenny and James “Jimmy” Tate of North Miami-based Tate Capital and Sergio Rok of Rok Acquisitions in Aventura, still needs the city’s final approval for a site plan.
Bahia Mar is an anchor of the annual Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, a major sales driver for South Florida’s $12.5 billion marine industry.
Boat show owner Marine Industries Association of South Florida, which subleases the Bahia Mar Marina from the Tate brothers and Rok, recently sued the developers but told elected officials it’s not against the passage of the master lease since it will give the event some security from litigation by future condo dwellers.
Yet, MIASF CEO and President Phil Purcell said issues remain with Rahn Bahia Mar’s plans that could jeopardize the boat show’s survival.
Alain Boileau, Fort Lauderdale’s city attorney, said the spat between Rahn Bahia Mar and the boat show shouldn’t influence the city’s decision.
“It really is not our fight,” he told elected officials.
According to MIASF and Yachting Promotions’ estimates, the annual boat show supports 149,000 marine industry jobs in South Florida and has a $1.8 billion impact on Florida’s economy.
Jimmy Tate told the Business Journal that the Bahia Mar project will have a $1.43 billion impact and support 2,317 jobs.
Dozens of citizens spoke out against the lease deal, with some residents, including former Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jim Naugle, demanding a referendum on any lease deal at the Bahia Mar site.