When Baltimore Marine Centers took over the Harborview marina, the company invested $1.5 million to repair the property and unlocked the gates to the massive pier. In the summer of 2010, Naor opened the popular Tiki Barge — a refurbished barge with a pool and bars — at the end of the pier, which is lined with towering palms.
"They make you happy; they make you smile," Naor said of the tropical trees.
In spite of Naor's reputation as an idea man, he doesn't micromanage, said Bud Craven, who designed the tiki bar at Bo Brooks restaurant at Lighthouse Point. Craven was enlisted to make the Tiki Barge happen and has been given the job of getting another floating business off the ground.
"The thing about Danny is, I've got vision and he lets me run with it," said Craven, who has a decades-long history of operating restaurants in Baltimore and Ocean City.
Now, the Raw Barge Seafood Company, a casual seafood restaurant that Naor and Craven plan to dock at Harborview, is ready to float.
Craven and a handful of others worked for months to turn the two-story barge — a "rust bucket," Craven called it — into a wood-paneled restaurant with room for a raw bar.
"Every few days, I come, I smile and then I leave," Naor said, praising Craven's ability to create a restaurant from nearly nothing.
Naor and Craven are negotiating with the city for a permit and are not sure when the restaurant will open.
Other businesses Naor is involved in include Eastern Flotation Systems, which manufactures floating docks, and Baltimore's only privately owned, public-use heliport, located on Baltimore Marine Centers' Pier 7.
Celebrities, businesspeople and politicians routinely use the pier's landing pad when they visit Baltimore. Local television stations employ it to gas up their helicopters, and Johns Hopkins Medicine keeps a medevac helicopter and crew at the site.
Pier 7 is also home to Naor's pet project, Baltimore Helicopter Services, which he launched in 2004.
"It can bring a lot of potential business into Baltimore City," Berlin said of the heliport and the service's chartered flights.
In addition to executive charters, the helicopter service routinely flies doctors and organs for transplant operations to hospitals throughout the Mid-Atlantic. Naor and his partners added a second helicopter last month.
Naor also travels nearly every month to Haifa to oversee another helicopter service, Lahak Aviation, that he established in 2005. With about 30 pilots, Lahak is the sole provider of medevac services in Israel and also provides transport to the offshore gas rigs cropping up in the Mediterranean.
In spite of his success in Israel, Naor said he is in Baltimore for the long haul. His other businesses are here, his friends are here and his two teenage children are in the United States, he said.
Naor estimated that he employs about 100 people among all of his endeavors. Much of their achievement can be attributed to Naor's ability to spot and hire good people, said Jack Antwerpen, the Baltimore car dealer who became friends with Naor after docking his boat at one of his marinas.
Now Naor has turned his attention to restoring the harbor.
"It's a really gorgeous harbor and it's a huge asset," he said. "Us, as the keepers, we need to keep it safe. We need to work as hard as we can to clean the water."
Naor is seeking government authorization to install huge swaths of floating wetlands in unused sections of Baltimore Marine Centers' marinas.
The Baltimore district of theU.S. Army Corps of Engineerssought public comment in May about a 1.6-acre wetland at Harborview that would feature floating walkways for pedestrians.
"Our goal is to clean the water," Naor said, and "drop 10 acres of parks in the middle of the Inner Harbor."