Mayor Sandy Stimpson’s office, on Sunday, released the names of members of a committee tasked with helping to select a developer for the Civic Center project.
The group is made up of current and former city employees as well as tourism experts, according to information provided by city spokesman George Talbot. The names are: Build Mobile Director Shayla Beaco, Mobile Carnival Museum Curator Cart Blackwell, Real Estate Asset Management Director Brad Christensen, Visit Mobile President David Clark, Brownell Travel Ambassador Laura Clark, Anitra Henderson, interim Chief of Staff Paul Wesch.
Advisors on the committee include: retired city employee Dianne Irby, Assistant City Attorney Flo Kessler, CBRE Southeast Regional Manager Lee Ann Korst and Santec Principal Drew Leff.
The committee was formed to provide guidance to the mayor’s office and to CBRE, the real estate firm tasked with manager the project, Talbot wrote in a email message. The use of the committee falls in line with best practices from other cities and was recommended by CBRE.
“Our goal is not only to identify a winning proposal, but to find a great business partner who can work closely with the City as we implement this project in the years to come,” Talbot wrote. “We are encouraged by the response we have received from the private sector.”
The competition for Civic Center redevelopment has been narrowed to two national firms and the administration is actively engaged with both, as it gathers more information on the proposals, Talbot wrote. As Lagniappe has previously reported, neither development team is looking to develop an arena on the site. Stimpson’s office has previously admitted the Civic Center solution and Mardi Gras solution might be separate.
More recently, Stimpson has proposed using an old warehouse on Mobile Airport Authority property at the Brookley Aeroplex to host the larger Mardi Gras balls, starting in 2021. He has said that may or may not be a permanent solution.
“Our goal is not only to identify a winning proposal, but to find a great business partner who can work closely with the city as we implement this project in the years to come,” Talbot wrote. “We are encouraged by the response we have received from the private sector.”
The selection process itself has three main goals, as Talbot laid out. One, is to encourage competition and improve the city’s bargaining position. Two, is to “solicit a variety of solutions … and three is to ensure a timely and professional process.
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