No word on Midtown proposals

Filed under DAYTONA BEACH, LEAD STORIES, NEWS

Two firms vying for project to revitalize area

BY ASHLEY D. THOMAS
DAYTONA TIMES

Midtown residents will have to wait a little longer to find out which firm is being pursued to complete the Midtown Master Plan.

Joanne Flick, purchasing agent for the City of Daytona Beach, declined to go on the record to report the final scores of the two firms vying to conduct the revitalization.

The Midtown Redevelopment Services Board, the committee that chose the highest-ranking firm scored and ranked the two proposals at their Feb. 20, meeting.

‘Be transparent’
“Exciting things are on the verge of happening in Midtown and the residents of the community need to be kept informed of any developments, no matter how large or small,” said Mario Henderson, a concerned Daytona Beach resident.

“The residents of Midtown already have a distrust of local government because of a perception of being largely undervalued. The City of Daytona Beach should make every effort to operate in the Sunshine and be transparent with members of the community.”

Up to city manager
Flick, the facilitator of the process, declined to give comment this week on which firm scored the highest, saying that she’d rather not say anything at this time until City Manager Jim Chisholm makes his selection. It is just a recommendation and she didn’t want to “mislead anybody.”

“He’s the only one who can legally make the selection,” she said, adding that, “Normally he (the city manager) goes with the committee’s recommendation.”

Concerning the next step in the process, Flick explained that following his review of the committee’s suggestion, Chisholm will make a selection as to which firm to pursue and then a contract would be negotiated.

‘New era for Midtown’
The two firms that submitted proposals are Real Estate Research Consultants (RERC) of Orlando and Jones Lang LaSalle of Miami.

As previously reported in the Daytona Times, the plan the two firms are vying to implement was designed back in 2010 by Florida A&M University (FAMU) students and staff with input from the Midtown Redevelopment Area board, residents and businesses.

Midtown residents have kept a watchful eye on the process.

The vision of the plan is to “preserve the unique historic and cultural qualities of the African-American Midtown district while creating a new era for Midtown that is the model of an environmentally, economically, and socially sustainable community.”

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