Boat Museum Seeking Sealed Bids for Stuart Waterfront Property

Paul Ivice
4:23 PM, Apr 26, 2010
Martin County

STUART — Eager to sell its former site in an “apathetic” market, the Maritime and Classic Boat Museum is trying a sealed-bid auction.

The property at 3250 S. Kanner Hwy. is more than 1.6 acres, about 40 percent of which is submerged in the South Fork of the St. Lucie River.

The unusual approach of a sealed-bid sale “is being used to create a sense of urgency in this otherwise apathetic real estate market,” said Jeff Chamberlin, president of SLC Commercial, the real estate brokerage and development company that is conducting the sale. SLC Commercial has offices in Stuart, Port St. Lucie and Vero Beach.

The sealed bid offers the seller an accelerated time frame and a test of market value without the risks of an absolute auction. The property has been Mon the market since July at an asking price of $999,000.

Though the seller is not obligated to accept the high bid, “it’s certainly not an exercise to get a free appraisal,” Chamberlin said. “It’s a serious attempt to get the property sold.”

The museum, which purchased the property in December 2001, no longer needs it since the museum moved into a larger space at Indian RiverSide Park in Jensen Beach late last year, said Eric Crawford, vice chairman of the museum board.

The museum was founded in 1993 by a group of boat aficionados who wanted to preserve the Treasure Coast’s history of boat building, including several designs originated by local boat builders, Crawford said.

The property is zoned Waterfront Resort Commercial, which allows many uses, including office, retail, marina, hotel or bed and breakfast. The upland area has a small office, garage-carport and Quonset hut-type structure.

The boat basin has a marina with a dozen boat slips, most of which are currently rented, giving the purchaser an immediate revenue stream, said Crawford, who also is president of Zeta Technology Inc., a Stuart-based utility design and construction company that works primarily in the Caribbean.

He said bids are due by May 10, must be accompanied by a $10,000 deposit, and closing must occur within 30 days of contract. People seeking more information can contact Chamberlin at (772) 220-4096.