We received this email from the mayor’s office. Rather than hold a press conference, Mayor Hayward prefers communicating through press releases.
Once again, he vouched for CBRE. I’m not sure where the criticism of the real estate company is coming from, but apparently he is getting pushback on the listing agent from some quarter.
By focusing on the deal this morning, the mayor got CBRE to only take $1.5 million from the prospective developer.
He said that he does not support or oppose the development–which includes a hotel and luxury apartments. He is in the due diligence phase.
The mayor did not mention his negotiations with CBRE on its contract extension.
Statement by Pensacola Mayor Ashton Hayward about proposed Community Maritime Park MOU
I want to be abundantly clear about my position on the proposed MOU for development at the Community Maritime Park and the “success fee” that would be paid to CBRE, the City’s commercial real estate broker.
CBRE is recognized as one of the world’s strongest, most reputable commercial real estate firms and an expert in the arena of public-private partnerships. This year, for the second year in a row, they were recognized as a 2015 World’s Most Ethical Company® by the Ethisphere Institute. The “success fee” structure has been used by CBRE across the country, and there was nothing unusual about its use here.
It’s important to understand that this fee will be paid by the developer — not by the City or CMPA. While CBRE deserves to be compensated for their great work, it’s important to me that we maximize the potential of any project. Accordingly, I have worked closely with CBRE to negotiate a $1 million reduction, capping the fee at $1.5 million. And all options are on the table; should we decide this project is not right for us, we may opt to use a commission structure going forward.
At this point, I neither support nor oppose the proposed project. I’m excited about the potential revenue and job creation this proposal could create, but we’re not far enough along in the vetting process for our community to fully evaluate the proposal, the developer, or the details. Any development at the Maritime Park must be consistent with the voters’ intent and preserve public access to the waterfront. What I do support is continuing to do our due diligence and opening a dialogue so that we can make a decision based on the facts and on a deal negotiated in the City’s best interest.
Let’s not vilify out-of-town brokers and developers for simply bringing a project to the table. Pensacola citizens have invested tens of millions of dollars in the Community Maritime Park. We owe it to them to carefully evaluate every option, and to select whatever project maximizes the return on their investment, whether it’s brought to us by local brokers and developers or those from beyond our borders. We will develop this property carefully, deliberately, and in a way that provides the greatest benefit to our city.