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Jax Daily Record Wednesday, Jan. 29, 202011:58 AM EST

Bids for The Ford on Bay site Downtown to be unveiled Feb. 4

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Two firms are seeking to redevelop former Duval County Courthouse and City Hall site.
by: Mike Mendenhall Staff Writer

Bids to redevelop the former Duval County Courthouse and City Hall site, now branded The Ford on Bay, will go public Feb. 4.

The Downtown Investment Authority also received an unsolicited proposal for a convention center and supporting facilities at the site that will not be considered.

In a memo issued Jan. 28, DIA CEO Lori Boyer told board members that public interviews are scheduled from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Feb. 4 with the two companies that bid on the 220 and 330 E. Bay St. properties and adjacent land submerged under the St. Johns River.

New York-based Spandrel Development Partners LLC and The Related Group of Miami responded to the DIA’s request for proposals.

City procurement officials opened the bids Jan. 22 for the vacant 8.38-acre green space at 220 and 330 E. Bay St. The Ford on Bay includes adjacent land submerged in the St. Johns River.

CBRE Jacksonville, the real estate firm hired by the DIA board to market the property, will provide all materials and facts to the DIA by Jan. 31, according to a timeline in the memo.

The proposals will be scored by three DIA board appointees: Boyer, City Assistant Chief Administrative Officer Stephanie Burch and DIA Board member Ron Moody. 

The developer presentations will each be 45 minutes followed by a  45-minute Q&A session with the DIA scorers.

The DIA’s Retail Enhancement and Property Disposition Committee will consider the scores during a 10 a.m.  Feb. 11 meeting and make a recommendation to the full DIA board. 

The DIA board will consider the recommendation and could vote on a bid Feb. 19. They could also choose to reject all bids.

In her memo, Boyer said the unsolicited bid for a convention center was left at the DIA office before the Ford on Bay properties’ notice of disposition deadline, but a convention center does not meet the DIA criteria for the project.

Boyer sought guidance from the City Chief of Procurement Division Gregory Pease, who told her to seal the proposal and deliver it to the procurement office, the memo said.

“I followed that advice and have not reviewed the proposal,” Boyer wrote. “While the statute that allows unsolicited proposals does not speak to receipt and review while a formal (notice of disposition) is pending, we have been advised by Procurement that such action could arguably taint the (notice of disposition) and that we should not review that proposal until the Board has acted upon the responses to the formal NOD in one way or another.” 

Spandrel develops new construction and adaptive reuse projects. Its portfolio includes a 12-story, $450 million warehouse-to-condominium conversion called One Brooklyn Bridge Park in New York.

The company has additional offices in Charleston, South Carolina.

The Related Group develops mixed-use retail, multifamily rental, affordable and workforce housing and condominiums. 

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