Sunday, March 15, 2009

Maritime Park moving forward

Moving the Maritime Park from referendum to reality has been quite a saga for this community. However, the end—or perhaps the real beginning—is finally in sight.

On Friday, March 13th, the Maritime Park Board met. We had quite an agenda. First up was the master developer agreement. Negotiations between the city, maritime park board, and the master developers on that agreement were completed during the first week of March. The developers took a stab at putting the points that were negotiated into the contract and handed us a copy at the meeting on Friday, still warm from the copier.

In addition to the master developer agreement, we discussed the many other contracts the board will be signing. These include the lease agreements with the Pelicans, Studer Group, UWF (for the conference center, maritime museum, and other UWF components), and the Contractors' Academy. As you can imagine, these are all complex agreements, and our discussions at the meeting went on over 4 hours.

The rough timetable on the agreements presented on Friday is:
    March 31: a final copy of the master developer agreement, reviewed for accuracy and consistency, will be posted online for the board, city council, and citizens.

    April 3: Maritime Park Board will vote on the master developer agreement as well as the other agreements we discussed Friday

    April 6: Presentation to city council during committee meeting by city consultant (Barry Abramson) about the agreement. City council action on agreement (pending park board approval of contract).

    April 9: Final approval of contract by city council.

Of course, none of this is a done deal, and this schedule is subject to change. However, this is the expected course of events. Scott Davidson, the point man of the developers, suggested during the meeting that once the agreement is signed, we can expect action at the site within 60-90 days. (If you haven't been that way recently, there is already some action--dirt from digging the new sewage line is being put on site to provide some of the necessary fill.)

If you want to see the current version of the master developer agreement or the other documents, visit the Maritime Park page on the city website. None of these agreements are final, so please let me know if you have any comments on them.