MIASF Business Spotlight: Lauderdale Marina July 30, 2018
In 1948, the site of the marina was a closed, highly secret research station for submarine torpedoes of World War II. It was so far “out of town” that the police pistol firing range was on the same dirt road, SE 15th Street, at what is now Cordova Road. Lauderdale Harbors and many of the other undeveloped islands were simply tree covered and sometimes swampy leftovers from the great 1926 Florida real estate crash.
From the marina site there was no evidence of the existence of the City of Fort Lauderdale, no buildings on the horizon, no building at all in what is now Harbor Beach and of course no 17th Street Causeway Bridge. Cruising boats often stopped to ask, “how far is Fort Lauderdale”, and found it hard to believe that they could fill their water tanks with city water via a small pipe about a half mile long installed by the Navy.
Current yachtsmen find it hard to believe that the many islands and peninsulas that make up the city were not built for boats. The canals were dredged to provide enough fill to make the swampy east side of Fort Lauderdale into saleable real estate.
Lauderdale Marina has grown with the city. Now one of the major fuel docks on the Intracoastal Waterway, the marina provides dockage, boat sales, parts and repair services, and in its 59th year took over operation of the well-known restaurant on the property, 15th Street Fisheries, which has been a landmark eatery on the waterway since 1978.
The fuel dock at Lauderdale Marina continues to thrive today and provides much needed services to the South Florida boating community. In 2016, the marina installed a high-resolution dock cam presenting live views of the marina’s docks, 17th Street Bridge and the Intracoastal Waterway. The cam has become one of the most popular on the entire EarthCam network. Lauderdale Marina is indeed a landmark along the Intracoastal Waterway, just minutes from the inlet to the Atlantic Ocean at Port Everglades.