Yacht club pursues $14-million project

SARASOTA, Fla. – The Sarasota Yacht Club’s owners are planning a $14-million redevelopment project that will include indoor rack storage for 290 boats and 38 wet slips, according to an article yesterday in the Herald Tribune.

A spa and fitness center, dining room and lounge, shower facilities, a barbeque and 24-hour security will also be included in the project, scheduled to be completed next year, the newspaper reported.

Plans are also in place to dredge the part of Whitaker Bayou in front of the site at a cost of $300,000 and to build a 145-room Embassy Suites Hotel.

What really is expected to set the facility apart, however, are the services it will offer. Boat slips will be sold in “fee simple” transactions at prices ranging from $102,500 to $432,000, with monthly dues of $350, the newspaper reported. So far, 70 slips have been sold, generating sales of more than $12 million.

Included in these prices will be such services as call ahead, so that when slips owners arrive, their boat is fueled, stocked with food and beverage and waiting for them in the bayou. When owners drop-off their boat, the club will “clean, flush, scrub and even tie-off their boats,” according to the newspaper.

This project is being proposed during a time when limited water access is driving up demand. The newspaper reported that between 1987 and 2003, more then 1,600 dry storage slips were lost and about 200 saltwater marinas were closed.

So far, the city’s Planning Board has yet to approve the project or the hotel proposal, but the owners are confident it will, according to the newspaper.

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