Crocker Partners, the runner-up for the Citizens Property Insurance Corp. lease, has filed a notice of intent to protest the deal.
Citizens Property Insurance Corp., a state insurance provider, decided Nov. 6 to negotiate with Amkin West Bay LLC, the owner of EverBank Center Downtown, for a 950-job operations center.
Citizens Property said if that deal didn’t work, it would negotiate with Crocker Partners, which owns the Prominence office center in Baymeadows.
Josh Edwards, vice president of Crocker Partners V Freedom LLC, said Thursday the filing was made to preserve Crocker’s rights in the event a protest was needed. Edwards is Crocker’s regional asset manager for North and Central Florida.
He could not comment whether a protest will be filed and did not comment about reasons for potential protest.
The Citizens Property process calls for a Notice of Intent to Protest to be filed within 72 hours of the Notice of Intent to Award an Invitation to Negotiate.
Citizens Property posted its Amkin West Bay award notice at 3:43 p.m. Nov. 6.
Crocker Partners V Freedom LLC sent its notice of intent to protest by Federal Express on Monday. Tuesday was the Veterans Day holiday. It was posted at 10:36 a.m. Wednesday.
Citizens Property spokesman Michael Peltier said Thursday the company has no comment because “we do not know the specifics of the protest.”
Crocker has 10 days after the intent notice to file a formal written protest, which will include reasons for the action.
Citizens Property then has seven days after receiving the formal written protest to meet with Crocker to see if the matter can be resolved without a hearing.
If not, the petition is submitted to the Division of Administrative Hearings. The division then has 30 days to hold a final hearing and another 30 days from the final hearing to complete its review and issue a recommended order.
It also has the option to extend proceedings in certain circumstances.
After that ruling, the Citizens Board of Governors would need to approve, modify or reject the recommended order.
The Citizens Property Board of Governors meeting scheduled for Nov. 19, at which the Amkin lease was expected to be considered, has been canceled.
On Nov. 6, a Citizens Property negotiation team selected Amkin, although some lease details needed to be ironed out. Peltier said Amkin was billing for 232,665 square feet of office space, which would be more than eight floors of space at EverBank Center.
The basic 10-year lease prices offered were $41.6 million from Amkin and two options from Crocker at $48.7 million and $46.3 million, according to Peltier.
Peltier said each bid includes five two-year renewal periods. With those factored in, Amkin’s offer is $48 million and Crocker’s options are $65.9 million and $62.7 million.
Citizens Property was created by the Legislature in 2002 as a not-for-profit tax-exempt government entity to provide insurance protection to Florida policyholders unable to find property insurance coverage in the private market.