Catamaran Group buys Pier 7 Marina for $4.5 million

A Florida firm has paid $4.5 million for Pier 7 Marina in Edgewater and plans to transform the property on the South River, which includes Coconut Joe’s, into a yacht club.

A&S Smith Development, which is the real estate division of Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based The Catamaran Group, bought the marina in May, according to online records.

While the property at 48 South River Road in Edgewater was not listed for sale, Glenn Sutton, who brokered the deal for PTR Sotheby’s International Realty, said A&S Smith Development put in an offer that was too good to refuse.

Pier Seven Limited Partnership, which according to state records has owned the property since 1977, could not be reached for comment.

Laura Hershfeld, president of A&S Smith Development, said the company has already started improving the property, which includes a 15,000-square-foot marina, a house at its entrance, boat storage space, 200 boat slips, seven piers and Coconut Joe’s, a riverside restaurant that has operated there since 2009.

Hershfeld said Coconut Joe’s will continue to operate under its existing lease but will shift from having a nightclub atmosphere to being more of a “family restaurant.”

Mike Brown, the owner of Coconut Joe’s, could not be reached for comment.

Beyond Coconut Joe’s, the property will be protected by a security system and a gate, and everything, including the office space, will be remodeled, she said.

Hershfeld said when A&S Smith Development bought the land, storage fees were not being collected for some boats. The property had about 100 usable boat slips; the development company plans to increase that to more than 200, Hershfeld said.

There are long-range plans for a pool. Hershfeld said she wants the property to feel more like a “yacht cub ... instead of a free public park.”

“When I was growing up,” Hershfeld said, “it was always this beautiful — it’s Pier 7, where everybody always came to rent little sailboats, jet skis... it was gorgeous.”

Read full coverage at the Capital Gazette.

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