Hurricane Ready Marina Opens in Micco

Floriday Today - Wayne T. Price

The $12million Sebastian Inlet Marina in Micco is up and running, and the owners have taken steps to ensure it won't suffer the fate of the facility it replaced.

Hurricane Jeanne destroyed Miners Marina four years ago, and because of that, the Melbourne based designers, MAI Design-Build, paid special attention to storm protection, according to MAI president Dave Menzel.

"This one is beyond sturdy," Menzel said. "It's designed to withstand winds up to 140mph, with 12" thick concrete throughout and pylons that go 35 feet into the ground. It's not going anywhere."

The three acre marina at 8685 U.S.Highway 1, just north of the Sebastian bridge, features storage for 240 boats up to 40 feet in length and 25 wet slips on floating docks, as well as a 2600 square foot ship's store and captain's lounge.

"We worked very closely with boat storage specialists to create an integrated design for this project," Menzel said. "This building is all about form following function."

It also boasts several environmentally friendly features, such as a water system and retention pond that will keep water from the site from flowing into the Indian River Lagoon.

And unlike with the old marina, the new one has moved operations 50 feet back from the lagoon edge, planting red mangroves and native grasses in the new space.

The marina, with six employees and plans to hire six more, officially opened August 30. Owners of the property are Kenneth Kennedy and his son Thomas, who own United Indian River Packers LC and Kennedy Groves.

"The Sebastian Inlet area has no large marinas competing for 40 miles either way, so we're right in the middle," said marina manager Steve Haigis.

The closest competitors to Sebastian Inlet Marina are in Cape Canaveral to the north and Taylor Creek in Fort Pierce to the south.

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