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Ahoy! Ports Spies Floating Cash Cows in South Beach

South Beach Harbor [Photo Credit: bats]

The Ports Commission took back its old leases when the Redevelopment Agency went belly-up, and last week on its Facebook page the Rincon Hill Neighborhood Association posted a document from Ports with clues to possible changes in that neck of the woods. Not surprisingly, it boils down to a new deficit and a corresponding rate increase for boat slips at the South Beach Marina. Plus arguing about parking. Of course, it's more complex than that— Redevelopment leased Ports properties including Rincon Park (part of Redevelopment's Gap HQ project) the Delancy Street complex and Steamboat apartments, Pier 40, various parking lots, and the 700-slip marina. Day-to-day management of the marina has been taken over by Ports, with no jobs lost, along with an '80s-era $13.4M debt for the marina's development:

All 700 slips at South Beach Harbor are fully occupied. However, projected Harbor revenues do not fully fund projected Harbor expenses, including servicing the outstanding debt. Furthermore, the revenues do not provide for any mechanism to fund future capital improvements nor funding for significant regulatory obligations. In addition, berthing rates are significantly (24% to 42%) below market and need to be raised and parking lot operations need to be monetized and updated. The marina is expected to run an $800K deficit for 2012-13, and consultants verified to Ports that despite it stellar location, the rates are 24% to 42% lower than other facilities.

Apparently, despite the legal power to increase rates and a persistent deficit at the basin, Redevelopment let the matter slide. Electricity is free and each slip owner gets two free parking permits, all of which is good reason why the marina has more than 2K boat owners on its waiting list— a list you can get on for a one-time $80 fee without a boat. Shockingly, the parking permit holders are suspected of claiming parking spots for Giants games, but unlike Rec & Parks' Small Boat Harbor in the Marina District (where rates are about to go up) the legacy transfer of berths has always been strictly forbidden at South Beach. And no, you can't live on your boat.
· Rincon Hill Neighborhood Association [Facebook]
· Memorandum [Ports Commission]
· Welcome to South Beach Harbor [South Beach Harbor]
· With Rent Control for Yachtsman in Peril, Greedy Sailors Push Back at New Marina Rules [Curbed SF]