The creation of a megayacht centre on the dormant 290-acre port would bring jobs to the county

A new superyacht repair yard is one step closer to fruition at the Port of Fort Pierce, Florida, the details of which should be settled by mid-February.

County administrator Howard Tipton, Air and Sea Ports director Stan Payne, and county attorneys have met six times with Derecktor Shipyard officials in the month since the County Commission selected the company over locally owned Fort Pierce Yacht & Ship, according to TCPalm.com.

A megayacht centre on the dormant 290-acre port is a key piece of the county and City of Fort Pierce’s economic development plan to bring jobs to the county. The county owns the land and the County Commission acts as the port authority. Fort Pierce’s zoning and development regulations apply because the port is within the city limits.

“I would characterise the conversations as constructive,” Tipton said on Wednesday. “There is general agreement on how we build this framework and how we proceed. I haven’t hit anything yet that causes me to have concern that somehow this thing is going to fall off the rail.”

Negotiations include length of the lease, rent, job training, infrastructure repairs and upgrades, marketing, hiring of local vendors and responsibility for environmental concerns. The county would retain ownership of the port and lease land to Derecktor. While no details were disclosed, the county is hoping for a minimum 10-year lease.

A working port would create up to 900 skilled-trades jobs in its first three to five years of operations, according to estimates from consultant Fishkind & Associates of Orlando.