Construction of a state-of-the-art boat storage facility is well underway by GCM Contracting Solutions (GCM) at Gulf Star Marina on Fort Myers Beach. The property is located at 708 Fisherman’s Wharf and owned by Carroll Properties.
When completed, it will be the region’s first smart marina and the first in the world to utilize Automated Storage and Retrieval (ASAR). Designed by the European firm LTW and provided nationally by GCM, this technology replaces the forklift traditionally used in dry dock storage marinas with a railed system. In addition to optimizing storage, it reduces the risk of damage to boats and expedites rack-to-water delivery.
According to Todd Carroll, president of Carroll Properties, the automated system will be a boon to local boaters who want to enjoy their investment. “Boat owners are challenged with finding dry boat storage in this area and concerned with protecting their boats from the sun (and other environmental hazards),” he said. “There’s also a huge convenience factor because with the push of a button, your boat is in the water and ready for a day of boating in a matter of minutes.”
In addition to dry storage for boats up to 40 feet, Gulf Star Marina will offer concierge services that include indoor valet parking, boat fueling and cleaning. There is also public access to the marina’s 20 wet slips, fueling station and ship store, as well as the adjacent Doc Ford’s restaurant.
GCM is building the 29,000sf structure using tilt-up concrete construction. Besides being durable, tilt-up construction is fire resistant and protects against the elements. It also shortens the construction timeline.
“The previous (Gulf Star facility) was built in the 1950s and had metal siding, which kept boats dry but didn’t offer much protection from tropical storms and hurricanes,” said Robert Brown, GCM owner and president. “The new storage facility is designed to withstand wind speeds of up to 200 mph – a Category 5 hurricane.”
MHK Architecture & Planning of Naples is also working on the project, which is scheduled for completion next May. For more information, please visit www.gulfstarmarina.com.