Observations and musings on Jacksonville Politics

City Bid Process Challenged for Cecil Field

I guess bidding out the Trail Ridge Landfill contract may not be such a great idea if the City’s Professional Services Evaluation Committee handles that bid process the way they did this one (at least according to the bid challenger anyway).

From the Jacksonville Business Journal:

A Fort Lauderdale firm looking to be the master developer of Cecil Commerce Center is protesting the score it received in the bidding from the city’s evaluation committee.

The protest filed by MBA Development Partners LLC will be heard by the city’s Professional Services Evaluation Committee April 30. Dallas-based Hillwood Development was scored highest by the committee, but its vote was stalled after MBA filed a protest.

“It is very uncommon for the fourth-ranked bidder to protest,” said Michael Clapsaddle, the city’s chief of procurement.

The firm protests receiving a 15 out of 40 in the financial responsibility category, which is one of 10 criteria. He said even if MBA were to receive a perfect score in the category, they would still place last.

MBA’s attorney, Matthew Jackson, also questioned how the city could have scored Hillwood the highest in the financial responsibility category since it had to give up its stake in a large mixed-use development in Dallas after not being able to bring anticipated returns to investors.

“An initial review of the scoring indicates that the decision was at best, ambiguous and arbitrary,” he wrote. “Worse, the integrity and the transparency of the process by which the master developer is chosen is highly suspect.”

MBA also protested the score it received in the “volume of current and prior work for using agencies” category. It turned out that they scored a perfect score, but a faxed copy from the committee appeared to give them a negative score.

“You can have the greatest response in the world but if your written response doesn’t address all issues of the [request for proposal] you’ll get a lower score,” Clapsaddle said.

Hillwood, which leased 602,000 square feet of space at West Point Trade Center in Jacksonville to Dr Pepper Snapple Group Inc. last year, beat out San Diego-based The Allen Group, Malvern, Penn.-based Liberty Property Trust, and Jacksonville’s Steinemann & Co.

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