Seven-member panel will field, rank best Three Corners pitches


The Three Corners Selection Committee, which will recommend to the Vero Beach City Council the developer’s proposal it believes is best for the much-hyped mainland waterfront project, has been chosen.

The seven-member panel includes four city department heads, the chairmen of the city’s Planning & Zoning Board and Finance Commission, and the chairwoman of the now-disbanded Three Corners Steering Committee.

According to City Manager Monte Falls, each of the Selection Committee members will independently review the proposals and rank them based on the city’s criteria, which include the developers’ financial means, technical capability and conformity with the council-approved Three Corners Concept Plan.

The committee then, as a group, will invite the developers of what it considers to be the best three or four proposals – it could be as few as two or as many as five, if that’s all the city receives – to come to Vero Beach to make in-person presentations and field questions.

Once that phase is completed, the committee members will rank the proposals again, based on what they heard and saw during the presentations, and recommend to the council that the city engage in negotiations with its top choice.

“If we can come to a successful negotiation with the top-ranked firm,” Falls said, “we’ll bring that back to the City Council for action.”

Thursday was the deadline for developers to submit their proposals for the 34-acre property at the west end of the 17th Street Bridge where the city wants to build a dining, retail, social and recreational hub.

The city staff members on the Selection Committee are Planning & Development Director Jason Jeffries, Finance Director Steve Dionne, Public Works Director Matt Mitts and Water-and-Sewer Director Rob Bolton.

They will be joined by Planning & Zoning Board chairman Jeb Bittner, Finance Commission Chairman Robert Jones, and Vicky Gould, who chaired the Three Corners Steering Committee.

Falls said he met with Jeffries and the city’s Three Corners project manager, Peter Polk, to select the committee members. The council approved their choices without a vote at last week’s meeting.

Mayor John Cotugno called the committee’s makeup “reasonable,” saying it was “reflective of people involved in the project and other stakeholders” and adding, “There’s a good knowledge base and a good cross-section of experience.”

Jeffries said any Selection Committee meetings will be open to the public – in compliance with Florida’s Sunshine Law – but no dates have yet been set.

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