MARATHON, FL-Hallendale-based SunVest Resort Communities has added Marathon Marina to its growing portfolio of marina acquisitions in the Florida Keys. It paid locally based Cabot Properties Inc. $20 million for the 10.4-acre property, which includes submerged land, the Cabots-by-the-Sea restaurant, a marine equipment shop, small management office, 124 boat slips and land for dry storage.

Marathon is approximately midway between Key Largo and Key West, and the marina is located at 1021 11th Street Ocean at the entry to Boot Key Harbor. Harvey Birdman, a SunVest principal, tells it will renovate the property, “do a condo sale of the docks and build residential condominium units.”

Palm Beach-based Colonial Bank of South Florida provided $20 million in financing to Keys Marina Marathon, a SunVest subsidiary, for the acquisition. Howard I. Zusman, SVP, tells that his bank, a division of Montgomery, AL-based Colonial BancGroup Inc., has a long-standing relationship with SunVest entities and previously provided financing for its acquisition of Mariner’s Key Largo and another marina in Sarasota.

This acquisition, Zusman says, “is further evidence of the trend of developers purchasing marinas for additional resort development and converting dock slips to condominiums. While the boating industry continues to expand in South Florida and the Keys, dock space is extremely limited and new facilities are difficult to construct. Marina financing is complex,” he adds, “because it’s not 100% real estate. We can’t walk on water, and there are environmental issues, regulations relating to the state leasing of bay bottoms, and equipment components to consider.”

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