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Port Canaveral retail project plans scrapped

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. — A massive project at Port Canaveral has stopped moving forward and may be done for good.

Retail shops, restaurants and an upscale hotel had been planned to be part of the project, but the developer said those plans are about to be dropped because not enough tenants could commit.

“Unfortunately for us, the timing just didn’t work,” said Jason Steele of Cove Developer Sooner Investment Group Inc.

Outside Port Canaveral a sign still stands that reads, “Coming Soon-The Cove.”

Renderings provided to Eyewitness News showed a mix of entertainment venues and high-end retailers, but the developer said the group was unable to convince tenants the project was a good investment.

“The retailers have not been able to get their arms around what a passenger will mean retail dollar-wise for their store,” Steele said.

With 6 million passengers a year, the developer was convinced tenants would quickly fill the port’s vacancies, but the March 17 deadline set by port commissioners was missed.

“We spent hundreds of thousands of dollars marketing this all over the country, and at the end of the day, we are not going to be able to meet the needs the Port Canaveral has,” said Steele.

Some residents in the area said they were relieved to hear the project fell through.

“I am pleased that it is going to stay like this. I think that they were really rushing into that project,” said resident John Parsons.

While the mutual termination agreement had yet to be signed by the port, the developer is still holding out hope another opportunity for the prime waterfront real estate will arise in the future.

The Canaveral Port Authority plans to discuss the cove project at the end of the month.

Nothing has been finalized.