Pensacola, Florida
Thursday December 13th 2018


Outttakes—A New CMPA Process

Yet again the Community Maritime Park Associates and Pensacola City Council are dealing with another development proposal that has changed substantially since it was first presented.

In January, CBRE, the national real estate broker that Mayor Ashton Hayward hired to market city property and the remaining parcels at the Maritime Park,  presented a proposal from a Miami-based joint venture, MCM-BAP, LLC, to develop parcels 4, 7 and 8 at the park.

MCM-BAP would invest $65 million to build a high-end hotel and 200 luxury apartments and condominiums. The annual lease payments would be the greater of $275,000 annually or 7.5 percent of annual revenues.

After nearly six months of negotiations, CBRE is presenting a Memorandum of Understanding with MCM-BAP that has cut the investment to $33 million and reduced the rent to only $150,000 annually. The rent would also have to cover the real estate taxes and common area maintenance.

Since the real estate taxes on a $33-million investment is around $590,000 a year. The city will lose money on the deal.

I doubt the Pensacola City Council and CMPA board will approve this MOU. It’s amazing that everything at the park has been placed on hold for six months while we waited for this ridiculous offer.

We have to streamline the process on how the city of Pensacola deals with proposals for the Maritime Park.  Since no one at city hall seems to want to do it,  I will.

All development deals must start at the mayor’s office. He and his staff should vet the developer, check references, validate the financial stability and see that the proposed project meets the vision for the park. The strong mayor needs to take the lead.

Proposals passed by the mayor’s office should then be presented to the Community Maritime Park Associates Board of Directors. The board can make adjustments or send the proposal back to city staff for more work.  The public can voice its opinion on the proposal at the CMPA meetings.

Once the CMPA Board approves the proposal, it is sent on to the Pensacola City Council for approval. The council can make modifications and return it to the CMPA Board for approval of the amended plan. The public has several opportunities to weigh in.

When the final plan is approved by the city council, the mayor can either sign or veto it. The council can override the veto if it so desires.

It’s that simple, folks.