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St Petersburg dockominiums giving up

Maximo Marina and Nautico, marinas owned by Frank Maggio and his companies, in St Petersburg, Florida, have given up on selling the slips and dry storage as dockominiums, have returned deposits, and are now available as slip rentals. Nautico, first a part of a condominium development, then a dockominium project, is now renting slips. Maximo Marina, long a marina with rental slips, recently  evicted the rental boats to make way for dockominiums. It’s not the right time for that concept in St Pete, so they, too, have returned deposits, and are soliciting boats to rent their slips and "high and dry". 

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St Petersburg “dockominiums” giving up

Nautico and Maximo Marina, both in south St Petersburg, Florida, have been marketing their slips and “high and dry” storage as dockominiums – pay to own. Nautico is a new facility and Maximo Marina has been a rental marina for years, but recently ousted the boats in the rental slips in order to sell the slips. The current market is not accepting this concept here. So, both facilities, owned by Frank Maggio and his enterprises, have thrown in the towel, returned the deposits of potential slip buyers, and decided to rent out the slips. Since previous slip renters have had to make alternate arrangements and move their boats, I wonder how receptive they’ll be to returning.

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Docks are valuable in St Petersburg Florida … and in the rest of the country.

Marinas in St Petersburg Florida have been decreasing, as marina properties have been sold for condominium development and other "best uses". This is happening at a time when boat ownership in Florida is increasing. Increasingly marina owners are converting from rental slips to sales of dockominiums or rackominiums. Even the Vinoy Club, which has been rebuilding its docks for the last couple of years is now seeking to sell yacht club "memberships" rather than rent dock space – joining the Pasadena Yacht Club , Maximo Marina, and others.

With docks selling for $200,000 this can be 25% to  30% of the price of a waterfront home with a dock on  "sailboat water" –  meaning both access to the Gulf of Mexico without any fixed bridges and water deep enough for a sailboat keel, perhaps 6 ft plus. Increasingly it’s time to buy a dock that happens to come with a home.

In some waterfront neighborhoods, homeowners are renting out their docks. Sometimes it’s because they no longer have a boat, don’t use their dock and can use the extra monthly income. In other cases, homeowners are building additional slips so they can rent to multiple boat owners. Current zoning allows homeowners to keep two boats at their property. It doesn’t address whether they can be rented separately from the property. Zoning laws also say that you can’t run a business from your home. When does renting one or more slips become "a marina"? That’s something of the gray area, such as how long a term does a house need to be rented to be a normal right vs running a hotel or transient lodging place? Many communities in Florida are trying to define the rental term for a house, but so far I haven’t seen any legal actions concerning dock rentals, just grumbling from adjacent homeowners.

Here in St Petersburg and Pinellas County we think $200,000 to $250,000 is a high price to pay for a slip – but other parts of the country, particularly in the northeast, are finding that a dock adds up to $1 Million to the price of a home … and on Nantucket, up to $4 Million!

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Nautico Update – St Petersburg, Florida

Since development on the Nautico condos was halted earlier this year, all efforts there have been on the marina – the slips and the High-and-dry where the owners have been trying to sell these "dockominiums".

Apparently sales are slow, because this week there were only about 40% of the high and dry spaces filled and only 2 or 3 boats in the wet slips. Word on the street is that they are leasing the slips with contracts until April. At that time, presumably depending on the sales, they will either re-lease some or all of the slips for another period or put them all back into For Sale status.

Meanwhile the south section of slips at Maximo Marina has been emptied as the owner plans to upgrade the slips, again in anticipation of selling them.

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Vinoy Marina Construction Started in downtown St Petersburg, Florida

The Renaissance Vinoy Resort and Golf Club in downtown St. Petersburg, Florida has begun restoration of its marina.

When Hurricane Dennis came through in July 2005, the Tampa Bay area was basically spared, but a unique combination of winds and tides created havoc in the Vinoy basin, and the floating docks of the marina at the Renaissance Vinoy Resort and Golf Club in downtown St. Petersburg, Florida, were destroyed.

Many of the condominium owners at Vinoy Place kept their boats at the marina, and had to relocate them. Slip rentals at the Vinoy marina are available only to Vinoy Club members (memberships in the Vinoy Club are not limited to owners at Vinoy Place). The hotel only leases 49 of the 74 slips, keeping the others for hotel guests and short term rentals.

The Vinoy hotel has been ready and anxious to rebuild, but the permitting process through the state has been long and slow. The permits issued require the Vinoy to be a “clean marina”. The 74 slips approved are the same number as before, but the slips will be larger, in order to accomodate larger boats.

Russ Bond, General Manager of the Renaissance Vinoy Resort, expects some of the Vinoy slips to be occupied by July, and that the entire project will be finished by October.

Downtown St Pete residents and visitors will be happy to see the marina completed and the yachts back. The new pilings without the floating docks attached has had a desolated look.  Rental rates have not yet been set for these slips, but are anticipated to be competitive with other marinas in the area.

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