MIAMI
01/03/2013 11:41 am ET Updated Jan 23, 2014

Island Gardens, Watson Island Resort, Could Begin Construction By September (PHOTOS)

Watson Island's mostly vacant seaplane port is inching closer to being transformed into a posh urban oasis.

According to the South Florida Business Journal, City of Miami real estate manager Aldo Bustamante said Flagstone Development is finalizing agreements and securing financing for a deal which would finally see a mega-yacht resort called Island Gardens begin construction on the island by September.

Island Gardens is slated to encompass the northwestern portion of Watson Island and feature high-rise residences, hotel, shopping, and a marina facility. The mixed-use facility is expected to combine luxury hotel brands Westin and Shangri-La and is estimated to cost over $400 million, based on City of Miami figures.

The project was originally planned in 2008 and expected to be finish in 2011, but was put on indefinite hold in the wake of the economic downturn. The city estimates the development will create upwards of 10,000 temporary jobs and 2,500 permanent positions.

Construction, if it proceeds as scheduled, will be completed in 2019.

Island Gardens is just the latest development slated for Watson Island, which is linked to Downtown and Miami Beach by the MacArthur Causeway and is already the site of the Miami Children's Museum and Jungle Island attraction. Museum Park and the PortMiami Tunnel are also under development in the area; both are expected to be completed by the end of 2014.

Take a look at what could be the next big change to the skyline:

PHOTO GALLERIES
Island Gardens

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