The only downtown revitalization plan the city received failed to meet many of the requirements laid out for developers interested in working on the former mall site.
Other than laying out the concept of creating a “live, work, play community” on the 17-acre, city-owned site, the plan submitted by the Florida-based Heritage Financial Group provided few details and almost none of the financial information required.
The proposal didn’t include a total development cost estimate, a timetable, professional references, a list of other projects, an estimate of the impact on city taxes, a description of the help the developer might want from the city or state governments and more.
The Bristol Downtown Development Corp. plans to review the proposal Monday. If it seeks promise in the proposal, it will likely meet with firm’s representatives soon and perhaps pick a preferred developer by the end of July, as officials hoped to do.
Heritage’s plan calls for upscale stores, restaurants, offices, housing and amenities ranging from a train station to a dog park on the site.
As part of its request for developers, the downtown nonprofit asked for 14 specific items that it said were required as part of any submission. Heritage ignored most of them.
One requirement, for example, is for any interested developer to send in “a summary of the scope of the project that identifies the total development cost estimate of the project.”
But the plan from Heritage doesn’t mention any expenses.
Another requirement is that developers aiming to get the nod send in “proof of financial capacity to undertake the project in the form of audited financial statements.”
They’re supposed to have provided “a list of names and addresses of bank(s) and/or financial
institution(s) references” as well, along with “letters from prospective tenants” if possible.
The BDDC said that the financial information “should be submitted as a sealed separate document” and vowed it would “held in confidence by the BDDC.”
The agency didn’t promise to keep any other information secret.
The developer was also required to “provide a description of the method of financing the project” and to “provide a clear and detailed plan for securing the necessary equity and debt to finance the project, highlighting the nature and likely timing of any major contingencies.”
It was also asked to “include preliminary commitments or statements of interest from lenders and/or potential equity partners.”
Those, too, are not included in Heritage’s package submitted to the city.
Developers interested in the project were also told to give the city “a list of at least five professional references” with key personnel fully identified with a complete resume.
Heritage only mentioned the name of its proposed project manager, with nothing to indicate who he is or what he’s done.
Officials plan to discuss the bid from Heritage when the BDDC meets at 6:30 p.m. Monday at City Hall.
Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.
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