By Samantha Joseph of the Miami Today:
A Dutch developer is eyeing Biscayne Bay for a $200 million floating development. Netherlands-based Dutch Docklands wants the equivalent of 500 to 1,000 acres to build a floating island with housing, schools, offices, shopping centers, hotels and perhaps a golf course.
It’s considering Miami, Miami Beach and Kendall for its first US project, but is also talking to the Keys, New York City, Cincinnati and several towns in New Jersey with proposals to extend their cities by building on water.
“You can create whole new communities, and because it’s floating and on the waterfront, it would mean very high-end real estate. You can create private beaches, private islands,” said Frank Behrens, chairman of the Dutch Chamber of Commerce in Miami. “Those big projects could be easily realized in Miami and would be fantastic attractions.”
Dutch Docklands’ principals are Paul van de Camp, real estate developer and hotelier, and Koen Olthuis, an architect who specializes in floating structures to fight floods. The company has offices in Dubai, Republic of the Maldives, The Netherlands and Miami. Since 2005 it’s launched The Ocean Flower — 185 waterfront villas with a beach, restaurants, shops, spa and small private islands in the Maldives, according to DutchDocklands.com. It’s also behind a $500 million 27-hole golf course, according to a May 2011 CNN report. It has met twice with Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez and is in talks with federal and state officials to lease local water, said Mr. Behrens, who’s facilitating the project.
“We hope to come to an agreement this week,” he said. “There are very extensive plans, but we first need to close the deal.”
Mayor Gimenez did not return calls.