reports that a group of bankers, developers, and marine-industry representatives yesterday toured the 290-acre waterfront of Fort Pierce, in St Lucie County after county officials opened a bidding process to create a new superyacht repair facility. Officials are hoping to convince interested parties that the undeveloped waterfront could be the next Ft Lauderdale.

Port director Stan Payne told the paper that turning the waterfront into a repair hub is a long process that could take 20 years. The county would retain ownership of the property, but the superyacht development team would be responsible for funding, designing, building and operating the port. “This is really a blank slate for anyone to come in and develop this property,” Payne said.

A superyacht repair hub would create 900 jobs, said officials. Payne said that bids are due by June 6, and the county hopes to have an operator by the autumn.