One of the industry’s hot spots is soon to see a new, but somewhat different, addition to the marina family, as plans have been announced for a marina-meets-yacht club development – the Miami Mega Yacht Club. On the Miami River and with construction expected to begin within nine months, the Miami Mega Yacht Club will offer 15 covered and enclosed berths for superyachts of 50m up to 75m for those wanting a permanent base in South Florida’s yachting and social hub.

The family behind the project, the Meruelo family, are already experienced hotel and marina owners in Florida and California. However, this particular project came about almost by chance, project principal Homer Meruelo told “[We] have had this 10 acres of land for 10 years now and our original intention was to develop a luxury condominium site on the river. But because of owning issues I saw myself forced into developing a marine project. Therefore, about a year ago I came up with the concept. We owned the bottom of the ocean and have roofs over our water, so I said, why can’t I develop a boat house like I develop condominiums? It’s just a matter of creating the facility to be able to sell these slips individually,” explained Meruelo.

The facility will offer 15 covered, enclosed berths for yachts between 50m and 75m, the roofs reaching 23m with a beam of 15m. Each berth will come with a climate-controlled three-car garage and an individual 279sqm storage unit for anything from tenders and toys to linen and tableware. Each covered and enclosed berth will also come with its own built-in yacht wash down sprinkler system. The Meruelo family has put a lot of thought into the crew facilities, offering captains and crew a 465sqm crew quarters, including fitness centre, spa, pool, Jacuzzi, sauna and billiard room.

The predicted 2015 landscape of the Miami River. Credit: Miami Mega Yacht Club

However, concerns remained about the security of such a facility and it was because of this consideration that the project turned into more than just a marina. “I said, 'how do I close this all up and make it very secure?' And that’s where we decided to go strictly with the yacht club concept. So by purchasing a covered berth you belong to the yacht club, which is all secured through 24-hour security. It’s a marina with a private yacht club. The only people who can attend the yacht club are actual captains, crew and owners of that particular berth. It’s very private and very secure,” said Meruelo.

And, like a yacht club, berths and membership are for life, though clients are able to sell the berth and the club will even offer a management service whereby berths can be rented when not in use. Sales of the berths are expected to open within the next 30 to 60 days, Meruelo confirmed, adding, “This is not for smaller yachts. This is only for the megayachts of the world.”

With a predicted completion date of late 2015, Miami Mega Yacht Club is now in its final permitting stage, hoping to receive its permit to begin construction within six to nine months.

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