November 18, 2008
Tampa Port Authority approves transfer of shipyard lease to Chouest
At its monthly business meeting today, the Tampa Port Authority approved transfer of the lease of Tampa Shipyards to Tampa Ship, LLC (Tampa Ship), a newly created Florida limited liability company wholly owned by members of the Gary Chouest family.
According to local press reports, Tampa Ship will retain Tampa Bay Shipbuilding & Repair Co.'s 500 employees and plans to add workers and additional trades.
In January, it will begin construction of a $30 million, 300-foot vessel to service oil and gas platforms, Gary Chouest reportedly said, adding that the Tampa operation also will perform repairs.
New trades such as carpenters will be added to accommodate the shipbuilding mission, Chouest said.
Tampa Ship has agreed to generate at least $860,000 in annual rent through 2027 and pay for dredging slips within the leased premises to a 30-foot depth.
"We needed more shipbuilding capacity with better depths available," Chouest said. "This is the premier location on the Gulf Coast."
Chouest acquired the Tampa lease from the Bender Shipbuilding group for an undisclosed sum.