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City of Fort Myers detail demo plans and ownership of Fort Myers Yacht Basin

Fort Myers Yacht Basin
Posted at 5:20 PM, Jan 12, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-13 05:29:03-05

FORT MYERS, Fla. — On Thursday, the City of Fort Myers detailed the damage done by Hurricane Ian and gave an update on the lease agreement that would give Suntex Marinas ownership of the Fort Myers Yacht Basin.

“It's over, today was the end of the era.”

A bittersweet moment for Chris Sullivan who said he had just removed his boat from the yacht basin.

There were over 200 boats that occupied the Fort Myers Yacht Basin before Hurricane Ian, and on Thursday, Sullivan was one of the remaining 40.

“Now we will have to wait for it to rebuild,” said Sullivan.

On Thursday, the rebuild was detailed for the first time since Ian in an initial report of the structural damage of the basin by a city contractor.

“It is in very bad shape," said a representative of Tetra Tech.

The city’s contractor Tetra Tech said most docks received moderate structural damage that can be repaired.

While other areas like Dock A, they say would need to be completely demolished.

Pictures that were taken underwater by Tetra Tech of the cracks to docks, reinforcing Fort Myers staff’s decision like City Manager Marty Lawing, to remove residents for safety.

“At some point we will need to establish a date for all the boats to be out,” said Lawing.

On Thursday, that date was still undecided.

The structural assessment, according to Lawing would be used in a claim to FEMA, for funds Lawing said would be used for a different project.

Lawing said it would not go towards the yacht basin since he said its currently being negotiated for new ownership by Suntex Marinas.

“We have continued since spring to negotiate with Suntex,” said Lawing.

It's negotiations that Lawing said are heading toward being finalized.

Lawing said the agreement would give Suntex a 30-year lease, bringing with it improvements that Lawing described in dollar amounts.

“The lease calls for as much as $45 million dollars to be invested... but in no event less than $30 million," said Lawing.

On Thursday, looking ahead, Lawing said the city will discuss advertising the lease agreement at next week's city council meeting.

After that, Lawing said a public hearing would be set for February 21, 2023.