Marinas: Tavares to build $8.5M downtown marina

The city of Tavares plans to begin work on its $8.5 million marina and seaplane basin in downtown.

Naples-based general contractor Boran Craig Barber Engel Construction Co. Inc. is slated to break ground Aug. 31 on the Wooton Park project on Lake Dora. The firm’s contract was for $4.2 million, according to a release from the city.

Tavares-based engineering firm Booth, Ern, Straughan and Hiott Inc. and a team of subcontractors began design, permitting and construction oversight for the project in March 2008.

The project will include the marina with 88 new boat slips, a fueling station for boats and seaplanes, a second dock with a mooring area for seaplanes and a Harbor Master/Ship Store. When completed, the project is expected to be operated by the private sector under a lease arrangement with a share of the revenue going to the city.

In addition, plans include an improved electrical and water service, along with tent and vendor pads for events, a loading platform for rail passengers at the former railroad station and a boat/bicycle storage building as part of the Tav/Lee Trail project.

As part of the second phase of the project in 2010, a pavilion/events center will be built to replicate the former Tavares Pavilion building demolished in the 1950s, the release said.

The project is funded by more than $1.2 million in state and federal grants along with $7.3 million in bonds issued by the city, with utility tax revenues planned to pay the debt service on the bonds.

Portions of Wooton Park and the boat ramps will be closed during construction, but the Children’s Splash Park and the Wooton Wonderland playground area will remain open.

The project is expected to transform Wooton Park from a resident-based park to a regional destination, attracting an estimated 110,000 annual visitors to downtown Tavares, the city said.

from the Orlando Business Journal


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