City clarifies desire for property proposals

Deputy Director of General Services for the City of St. Augustine, Timothy W. Fleming, set out in a letter to Historic City News this morning, additional clarification of how the City intends to proceed with development of the property at 102 Bridge Street.

At last night’s regular meeting of the City Commission, commissioners had questions and reported phone calls from residents confused by comments reported in an article that appeared in The St. Augustine Record. “Where did The Record get that information,” Vice Mayor Leanna Freeman asked. City Manager John Regan replied, “They called me, but, I think they drew their own conclusions from captioning of the agenda item that really didn’t describe what we meant.”

The Record reported, “According to the agenda, any purchase of the property included in a proposal must meet a minimum sale price of $310,000.” That’s not exactly right, and the commissioners and City Staff asked Mark Knight to see that a better, more accurate description be distributed.

If you would like to propose to develop the property, you can pick up the request forms and addendum from Mark Knight in the Planning and Building Department located at 75 King Street in St. Augustine. Documents are identified as “RFP No. PB2011-01: 102 Bridge Street Development” Due to the revisions included in the addendum, the due date for receipt of completed proposals by the City is extended to 2:00 p.m. EDT on Friday, July 29, 2011.

All applications to acquire the property will be scored using a point system that will award “points” to certain criteria that the City and commission have deemed to be desirable.

The minimum purchase price of $310,000 in the Request for Proposals is “the minimum cash purchase price” for the purpose of obtaining additional points.

Proposals with a proposed purchase price of less than $310,000 will be considered; however, points will not be awarded for property purchase price.

The City Commission has emphasized that historic preservation efforts shall play a significant role in the evaluation and award procedures. Therefore, the following additions are hereby made to the evaluation criteria listed on Page 3:

“Item C – Ability to furnish the needs of the neighborhood, including public participation, and, the ability to preserve the historic integrity of the property.”

“Item F – Past performance and experience with similar local projects; with emphasis on historic preservation and neighborhood revitalization efforts.”

The final decisions to sell, lease, or otherwise develop the property, seized last year during a money laundering, illegal narcotics and racketeering raid, rest with the City Commission. The city subsequently purchased the property for approximately $308,000 through a civil forfeiture.

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