CMPA Looks at Studer Deal

The Community Maritime Park Associates Board of Trustees is slated to address its deal with Quint Studer’s Maritime Place, LLC. this afternoon. Studer, owner of the Blue Wahoos minor league baseball team, is pursuing a land-lease deal with the city of Pensacola and the CMPA.

Scott Remington, attorney for Studer, has issued the CMPA board with a red-lined draft version of the lease, which incorporates term amendments discussed earlier in the week. The draft—which the CMPA board will discuss today—has not been agreed to by Studer.

The ball team owner has been in discussions with the CMPA and the city regarding leasing a parcel of land at the Maritime Park on which he plans to construct a $12 million office building. Thus far, the parties have tentatively agreed to a 55 year lease term, with an annual fee of 7.25 percent the land’s value.

Details redlined in the draft version include: CAM fee specifics, parking specifics, and natural gas use. The CMPA board will take a look at the draft today.

Studer was originally in discussions with Mayor Ashton Hayward’s office regarding his lease agreement. After he reached out to the Pensacola City Council on the matter—and then privately spoke with Hayward and CMPA Chairman Collier Merrill—it was determined the CMPA would act as the “agent of the city” in negotiations.

When the city council decided to put Councilman Larry Johnson—also a CMPA board member—at the negotiating table, the process was opened to the public due to Sunshine Law requirements. The parties began meeting in late July to work out a deal.

In a letter written yesterday—included with the redline draft lease—Remington states that there is still some question as to which party Studer should now be working with: “It appears there is still some uncertainty on exactly who I am to deal with regarding legal review of this document (i.e. Mr. Messer, Mr. Flemming, or Mr. Asmar). Once certainty is reached on this issue we will make ourselves available for further discussion with the appropriate representative.”

The CMPA board meets today at 1:30 p.m. at Pensacola City Hall.