Maritime Park plans ‘broad, varied, and exciting’

Home Features Maritime Park plans ‘broad, varied, and exciting’

Melissa Brown

Sep 11 2006 12:00AM

On Sept. 5, Pensacola residents approved what some termed a controversial plan to build a public waterfront park just south of City Hall.  In an e-mail interview, Miller Caldwell, of Caldwell Associates Architects and a Bush-appointed PJC Board of Trustees member, offered his history with the project and insights into what’s next on the agenda:

“I began working with Admiral [Jack] Fetterman on the Museum 10 years ago in an effort to conceptually define the needs of the Maritime Museum. Two years ago we began to work with Quint [Studer] on a ballpark doing essentially the same thing. When Jack and Quint began discussing the opportunity of working together on the Maritime Park, we provided the conceptual plans of how this might work and what other mixed use opportunities might be available.”ÿ

What’s the next step?  Where do we go from here?

“One of the first things to do will be to select the nine or 12 member Community Maritime Park Associates Board. The board, in conjunction with the City Council, will begin to develop an implementation strategy for the project. The Board –  soon after an orientation period – will put out a [Request for Quotes] for Design Services. Initial steps will include site design and working with permitting agencies toward remediation, site planning, and site preparation/infrastructure. Concurrent with this will be the Architectural programming for the individual buildings, fund raising for the Museum and other project components which are on the private side of development. The City will be working closely with and monitoring the project while working on the bond issue.”

What is the construction timeline?  Is there an order in which the facilities will be constructed?  What is the soonest predicted date that the public will be able to access the park (even during construction)?

 “Construction on parts of the Park may begin in a year with a significant portion of the Park available to the public two years later. The order of development will be a process that is formulated by the Board.”

Have any vendors/corporations/restaurants, etc., contacted you or the CMPA about leasing some of the retail space?  (Do we know of any national or local businesses that have shown interest in opening facilities at the park?)

“There has been significant interest from a broad range of developers for retail, restaurant, and office space for well over a year. There has been discussion with some nationally known as well as local businesses but it is premature to discuss their names or specifics about their interest. That said, it is broad, varied, and exciting.”

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