Sarasota News Leader

09/13/2103

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BACK TO THE DRAWING BOARD The State Street parking garage project was halted abruptly last month when City Attorney Bob Fournier voiced concerns about the selection process. Photo by Norman Schimmel THE CITY OF SARASOTA WILL RECONSIDER THE SELECTION GUIDELINES AND PROCESS FOR THE STATE STREET PUBLIC-PRIVATE PROJECT By Roger Drouin County Editor City commissioners envisioned a mix of uses — from a hotel to shops and cafes to condos on the State Street acre that is now a parking lot. — above a parking deck. Jim Bridges' Jebco Ventures Inc. would have also purchased 18,000 square feet of retail space on the first floor and filled that area with tenants. The goal was to bring 300-plus public garage parking spaces and a vibrant mix of uses to the city-owned land, commissioners said at a June meeting. The City Commission was slated to vote Aug. 29 on the public-private partnership. Several downtown advocates had even emailed commissioners in support of Bridge's proposal. They also focused on a 2015 completion date. But after a big step back, the project was reThe city collected proposals from six inter- turned to the drawing board: It was abruptly ested developers, and halted when City Atthe city, working with torney Bob Fournier We worked very hard to get our voiced concerns about downtown real estate broker Ian Black, se- proposal together. We still have a desire the selection process. lected developer Jim to do something nice within the city. Fournier said the proBridge's concept for Jim Bridges cedure violated the a 100-room hotel and CEO 30 condos — in the state's Government in Jebco Ventures Inc. $250,000 price-range the Sunshine laws and

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