Two requests for proposals have been submitted to the for appointment of special and bond counsel for the Crestwood Court redevelopment project—Gilmore and Bell (Mark Grimm) and Thompson and Coburn (Deborah Rush). After further review of the proposals and interviewing of the prospective attorneys, City Administrator Petree Eastman recommended to the Board of Aldermen Tuesday that Gilmore and Bell be appointed. City Attorney Robert Golterman was in agreement with the recommendation.
“Gilmore and Bell has the most experience representing municipalities in redevelopment projects in St. Louis County and has the lower rate for compensation,” Eastman read from the executive summary statement.
Since previous reissue of the RFP, the same two law firms responded. Eastman did not foresee additional firms issuing proposals, but was OK with deferring the decision until Centrum Properties gives the city a project proposal.
“I’m happy to wait. I personally feel that we should have someone on board so we can be talking about technicalities such as tax incentives,” she said. “I would like to have the benefit of counsel that understands these things and see if it’s doable or not doable right off the bat.”
Eastman expected for Centrum to propose something by the end of March, but did not give a definitive date.
“They are in an influx and it is very volatile at this point as to when they will be here. When they do come here the proposal will be a conceptual proposal, not an analysis. We’re not going to get an official proposal for a while,” she said. “Despite that the owner of the mall is the developer, we will still need to put out an RFP under redevelopment laws and we will need assistance in developing that.”
Alderman Jerry Miguel requested additional time due to “unfinished business” with Gilmore and Bell.
“I would like to see that settled, perhaps with a meeting with Gilmore and Bell before we do additional business with them. The unfinished business I’m referring to is Sappington Square,” Miguel said.
Alderman Steve Knarr’s concern was that the proposal from the developer was still tentative.
“We still don’t know that we are getting a proposal. Do we need to lock ourselves into a date since we are waiting on a proposal? My concern is that we are locking ourselves into a date waiting on a proposal when we don’t know when it’s going to happen,” Knarr said.
Golterman said that items can always be put on an agenda but be tabled to a future meeting. With that, the Board’s majority vote was to add the item to the March 13 agenda.