Viking in talks on $500M marina project

RIVIERA BEACH, Fla. — City officials in Riviera Beach, Fla., have begun negotiations with the real estate arm of the Viking Yacht Co. in hopes of spawning a $500 million redevelopment of the city’s marina and its surrounding property, the Palm Beach Post reported in a story yesterday.

The city council, sitting as the community redevelopment agency, voted 5-0 to work with Viking Developers LLC – the only company that submitted a response to the CRA's request for marina redevelopment proposals by the Sept. 2 deadline.

Negotiations with Viking are expected to continue until Nov. 26, when the company would like to sign a development contract with the city, the newspaper reported.

Plans for what Viking has dubbed International Harbor at Riviera Beach include rebuilding the marina, adding a 608-car parking garage and office building and creating Harbor Village - stores, restaurants and walkways in the marina complex. The second phase calls for adding a hotel and conference center south of the marina, according to the story.

Exactly how the project would be financed is a question that is yet to be answered.

"We have to determine how much public money they're asking for and how much they're willing to put into the deal," Councilman Shelby Lowe told the Post.

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Viking wants to tap millions in CRA money obtained through tax-increment financing, according to the story.

CRA Director Floyd Johnson said it's too early to determine whether CRA money could be used to finance the marina redevelopment.

"It's a proposal," Johnson told the newspaper. "Obviously, the devil is in the details."

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