Will South Floridians Ever See the Development of Watson Island?

Well we just can’t get enough of the Watson Island development drama. Actually, we have already had enough of it. We were ready, set, go for the marina when we heard word of it nearly a decade ago, but as is often the case in the world of development projects, quite a few snafus have been seen along the way.  In the most recent reports from the Florida Business Journal, a draft agreement circulated the city offices last week in Miami exempting a $500,000 garnishment that the city is owed from one of the developers of the project, who also happens to be in a legal battle with a former employee over unpaid fees.

Chairman Marc Sarnoff, leader of the Miami City Commission, explained that the order was a necessary move in order to continue with the megayacht marina and hotel project, Flagstone Island Gardens.

“It is the start of Flagstone fulfilling its obligations and getting the tax payers paid,” Sarnoff said in a response to e-mailed questions to the media outlet. And as the Miami Herald also reported, “Mayor Tomás Regalado and Commissioner Marc Sarnoff led the charge against developer Mehmet Bayraktar for failing to break ground on his planned luxury hotel, restaurants, and megayacht facility since winning the bid for the waterfront project in 2001.” However, they also went on to report that even as recently as Christmas Day, “…last week’s tough talk seemed a mirage. Instead of accepting the developer’s check for the back rent or an increase in the escrow account, the commission gave Mr. Bayraktar a five-week reprieve while the city and the developer continue negotiations on cutting a new agreement or cutting him loose altogether,” leaving luxury lovers to wonder when we will ever see our eagerly anticipated megayacht marina.