Last month, Studer Community Investments responded to a Request for Proposals for parcels at the park. The company was the only one who proposed specific plans for the available sites. SCI asked to develop Parcel 3 and Parcel 9, the two smallest available sites immediately adjacent the stadium.
The plan for Parcel 3 was to locate a childcare center on the first floor and a sports museum on the second. Parcel 9 would have been a training facility for the Wahoos. SCI agreed to pay lease fees immediately, not waiting for the buildings to be completed.
Proposed annual rent for Parcel 3 would total $20,633. For Parcel 9 SCI proposed annual rent of $31,610. Both parcels would have an automatic 7 percent increase every five years.
Board member John Merting wanted the board to give conceptual approval to the SCI proposal so that he could include it in his negotiations with the Studers on signage and naming rights at the park. The board rejected his motion.
A few board members were vocal in their opposition to SCI building a childcare center at the park. Ann Hill said that daycare facilities don’t generate any taxes.
She said, “We need taxes generated at the park.”
Alexis Bolin agreed. She said that daycare and a exercise facility are not part of a park concept. “It’s not what we need,” she said. “We need retail space and maybe some living space above, or a hotel with retail.”
The CMPA could still accept the SCI proposal in January when it will also hear a presentation from a south Florida company seeking to be the master developer, but the board doesn’t appear to have much of an appetite for the SCI plans.
As the Studers did with the YMCA, it may be best to withdraw their offers and find other locations for his projects.