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Jax Daily Record Wednesday, Jan. 22, 202005:50 PM EST

Two companies bid to redevelop former courthouse, City Hall site

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Spandrel Development Partners and The Related Group respond to request for proposals for The Ford on Bay.
by: Mike Mendenhall Associate Editor

Two companies have submitted bids to redevelop the former Duval County Courthouse and City Hall site, now branded The Ford on Bay.

New York-based Spandrel Development Partners LLC and The Related Group of Miami responded to the Downtown Investment Authority’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.

The city has 30 days to release the bid amounts.

Spandrel representatives attended the project’s preproposal conference in November. 

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.

Spandrel has additional offices in Charleston, South Carolina.

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

The Ford on Bay project sits on the former site of the Duval County Courthouse and City Hall.

According to a Oct. 2 report in the Miami Herald, The Related Group is the biggest real estate developer in South Florida. It’s developing an eight-story Class A office building near Miami City Hall next to the Park Grove luxury residential towers, which Related developed in joint partnership with Terra Group.

The Ford on Bay bid opening came two days after the one-year anniversary of the City Hall Annex building implosion Jan. 20, 2019.

A three-member team appointed by the DIA will score the proposals. Developer presentations are scheduled Jan. 30. 

DIA officials plan to choose a proposal Feb. 19 and award the project Feb. 20. The DIA has the option to reject all bids.

The DIA will weigh each applicant’s experience and qualifications, economic benefit, project development and design, financial solvency and cash flow and final oral presentation, according to criteria set by the DIA board in September.

The terms state that bids to develop one, two or all three of The Ford on Bay parcels will be accepted. However, the DIA will not accept a proposal to develop only the submerged parcel. 

The former City Hall site is 2.39 acres, according to the marketing material created by real estate firm CBRE Jacksonville.

The former courthouse parcel is 5.99 acres, and the submerged land is 3.1 acres.

The DIA wants 80% of the development’s East Bay Street frontage to be retail. Of that, 62.5% of the retail must be street level while the remaining required retail can be on the second floor.

Retail and multifamily residential will be required components of any proposal to build The Ford on Bay. The DIA will show preference to proposals with high-density residential, according to the terms, but there is no specific number of residential units.

DIA staff envisions the submerged parcel as a marina. Developers must include “a material number” of slips dedicated to visiting boaters and commercial vendors as part of their marina proposal.

Respondents are required to indicate the number and size of the boat slips and which are for public or private use.

Developers interested in building on all three sites are required to have experience with a singular $120 million capital project of at least 650,000 square feet. 

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