One of the Florida Keys' most successful developers will purchase one of the Keys' most iconic marinas.
Pritam Singh will close on a deal today to purchase Oceanside Marina, on Stock Island, for $5 million from BB T Bank, he told The Citizen on Wednesday. Singh said he plans to invest another $25 million into the marina for repairs and upgrades, including 80 new condos and a restaurant.
"It (the marina) was 'the' place, and it can be again," Singh said. "It was a jewel among the marinas of Key West. It was the premier sportfishing marina of the Florida Keys. There have been more world records from boats out of here than anywhere else in the country."
Millionaire Texas oil men Tex Schramm and Clint Murchison built the marina in the late 1960s, Singh said.
The marina fell on hard times since its glory years. In early 2010, BB T Bank took the deed for the property in lieu of foreclosure from the Cortex Cos., which had changed the name to Kings Pointe Marina.
The group who managed the marina for the bank changed the name back to Oceanside in 2011.
Singh admitted that the marina needs a lot of work to bring it back to its heyday. One entire boat barn needs to be leveled, and the seawalls and boat ramp are in dire need of repairs, he said.
Rows of boat slips will remain untouched, as the slips were sold to individual owners. Singh said he purchased 8 acres of upland and 4 acres of bay bottom.
He has been working with Monroe County planning staff for the past several months to determine how much development can occur there. But he added that he plans to keep it a sportfishing marina.
"The saying is, 'The legend is back,'" Singh said. "It's beautiful. It's an extraordinary site."
Singh called Stock Island an up-and-coming community with a lot of potential. He cited the success of restaurateur Bobby Mongelli, who owns Hogfish Bar Grill and Roostica on Stock Island.
He also referenced the changes being made on Shrimp Road, on the other side of Safe Harbor, by the owners of Stock Island Marina Village, who have built a dog park and community garden on their property, extended their piers and are looking at building a hotel on Safe Harbor.
"Stock Island is great," Singh said. "It is fabulous."