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Ports signs 40-yr. lease for $15M mega yacht marina on Piers 9 and 10

The Puerto Rico Ports Authority has announced a 40-year lease agreement with Safe Harbor Marinas LLC (SHM) for the development, construction and financing of a mega yacht marina at piers 9 and 10 in Puerta de Tierra, San Juan. The initial investment has been pegged at between $12 million and $15 million, government officials said.

The project will strengthen tourism, generate jobs and contribute to economic development, especially in the San Juan area, Gov. Pedro Pierluisi and Ports Executive Director Joel Pizá-Batiz said during the signing ceremony with SHM Chief Executive Officer Baxter Underwood.

“This new port facility will provide services, facilities, supplies and amenities for the nautical community, for which the contracted company will make initial renovations and improvements to the existing berth at the dock,” Pierluisi said, adding that the company was selected following a request for qualifications process.

“It will also include essential facilities for a private and commercial vessel port, such as shore-based power and water connections, sanitary pumping, and high-speed internet access,” the governor added.

The lease/concession contract for piers 9 and 10 spans 40 years including the area’s rehabilitation and the construction of facilities suitable for a mega yacht marina catering to a global clientele.

Under the agreement, the Ports Authority will receive $200,000 annually from SHM, which will also share 5% of its gross income and 5% of the net fuel sales profits with Ports.

More than $16 million in gross revenue is expected over the life of the contract. The marina, designed for the nautical community by skilled developers and operators, will provide 1,500 linear feet of docking space for mega yachts.

It is estimated that the project could generate $10.8 million in annual economic activity and create hundreds of direct and indirect jobs, Pierluisi said.

Pizá-Batiz said: “An average of 27 yachts visit the Port of San Juan annually, and so far this year we have received 28 yachts with 31 visits to Puerto Rico, which is beneficial, as it also strengthens the tourism and maritime industries, provides economic stability to businesses in the area and contributes to the creation of jobs, essential factors for the island’s economic recovery. In addition, developing the docks helps increase the value of properties in that sector.”

SHM has more than five years of experience in marina management and operations and has more than 130 properties across the U.S. mainland. 

In 2021, it expanded its portfolio by acquiring several mega yacht marinas, including Rybovich and Lauderdale Marine Center in Florida, Sunroad Resort Marina in San Diego, and Puerto del Rey in Fajardo, Puerto Rico, the largest marina in the Caribbean.

“We are ready to start working, building and making an impact in the mega yacht industry here in Puerto Rico,” Underwood stated.

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This story was written by our staff based on a press release.

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