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Sale of Oak Harbor Marina Allows Post-Hurricane Renovation

Oak Harbor Marina in Slidell, Louisiana, has sold to a first-time marina buyer. Simply Marinas represented the buyer and the seller in the sale, which closed in December 2019.

Prior to Hurricane Katrina the marina had nine docks (five floating and four fixed) with approximately 382 slips. Due to the extensive damage during the hurricane, the number of slips had been reduced to 97 on three docks.

“The marina is consistently at full occupancy, presenting clear upside for a new owner with the wherewithal to navigate the process of permitting and constructing new slips,” George Ash, national director for Simply Marinas said.

The prior number of slips has been grandfathered in, and the Simply Marinas

The sale of Oak Harbor Marina will allow for the facility to be built back to its original size with more than 300 slips.

team contacted the governing municipalities and marine contractors to determine the viability of bringing the marina back to the previous number of slips. Simply Marinas developed a proforma including the revenue projections for the marina at 382 slips. Vacant upland and submerged acreage provide future development potential.

“The marina was a great buying opportunity,” Michelle Ash, Simply Marinas owner/broker said. “It’s around 17 acres of submerged land in fee simple. This could potentially allow filling a portion of the submerged land or including floating structures to add amenities.” Fee simple means the owner owns and controls the property; it is not leased or rented.

In addition to the marina and the submerged acreage, the transaction included 2.3 acres of vacant upland. “Development possibilities include residential and additional operating infrastructure for the marina,” G. Ash said.

Because the marina is located near existing restaurants, shopping centers and grocery stores, Ash suggested adding more slips, storage and scaling up the marina amenities and operational facilities. “There is no real need to complicate the operation by including retail, restaurants, and other labor-intensive services,” he said.

The sellers are in the multi-family residential space nationwide and Oak Harbor was the only marina in their portfolio. They allowed Simply Marinas to market the property publicly rather than as a confidential listing.

“This enabled us to use all our resources in marketing the offering, including placement on the Simply Marinas website, phone calls to select buyers, emails to our marina investor database of more than 12,000 contacts, paid placements through various syndication networks, print and web advertising, and paper mail campaigns,” said G. Ash. “We made sure to highlight the basin and upland development potential in our marketing efforts, putting the deal in front of well-financed individuals and companies with a preference for development upside.”

The buyer submitted a cash offer within the first few weeks of the listing. The sale closed following a short due diligence period. The buyer is an avid boater with real estate interests in the area and is a successful insurance executive with a focus on oil and gas, maritime and construction, according to Simply Marinas.

Oak Harbor Marina is located at the base of the Twin Span Bridge in the Grand Lagoon and offers quick access to Lake Pontchartrain. The heart of New Orleans in the French Quarter is 30 minutes away. The dock slips hold boats up to 20 feet wide and 50 feet long, with some end slips accommodating boats up to 110 feet long. The marina facilities include a men’s and women’s boathouse, laundry facility, yacht club, on-site restaurant, gated docks and gated parking lot.