Author: Thomas Weber, Treasure Coast Newspaper
Mon, May 23, 2022, 9:44 PM · 2 min read
STUART — Boaters, rejoice: A new yacht club and marina is coming downtown late next year —no eight-story lighthouse attached.
The City Commission Monday unanimously approved the $80-million Atlantic Point Yacht Club and Marina, which will include a boat barn, grab-and-go-style restaurant, and ship store. Before it was approved, the developers nixed a controversial, 83-foot decorative lighthouse from the plan.
“This is such a great project,” said Commissioner Becky Bruner. “We’ve never had one this big —this nice. This is amazing.”
The developers, Straticon and Middle Island Management and Development are aiming to have the project complete by the end of 2023. It will be built on a 7.9-acre property across from downtown on North Flagler Avenue, between the bridge and train tracks.
The property used to be home to Evinrude Motors‘ testing site, which opened in 1966 and tested outboard motors.
The proposed marina will open the property to the public and allow water taxis to dock there, including Tiki Taxi & Cruises. Liveaboard boats will be prohibited at the marina.
Atlantic Point Yacht Club and Marina will also include:
The project’s construction will provide 1,000 jobs, and once the marina is complete, it will offer “scores” of permanent jobs for the city, according to documents presented by the developers.
The project’s 83-foot lighthouse, which was initially approved as a public art piece by the community redevelopment board, drew the ire of some residents — and two board members — who felt it wouldn’t fit well and would set a precedent for similar construction.
The eight-story lighthouse, which didn’t light up and served no functional purpose, would have been able to exceed the city’s four-story height limit because it was not a residential structure.
But the developers announced Monday they decided to remove it from the plan.
“Thank you for getting that elephant out of the room,” said Mayor Merritt Matheson in response.
Instead, a tree will be planted where the lighthouse would have gone, said project planner Donald Cuozzo. The developers also agreed to reserve one boat slip for a police boat and expand the property’s sidewalk to 8 feet.
“With this project, I’m proud to be able to say that we will now open up the property,” Cuozzo said, “for the first time to the public in a very amazing way.”
This article originally appeared in Treasure Coast Newspapers: Stuart City Commission approves Atlantic Point Yacht Club and Marina