Timeline of the Community Maritime Park
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Below is a timeline of the Community Maritime Park project.
- March 28, 2000 – Pensacola City Council approves $3.63 million purchase of 27.5-acre Trillium property across from City Hall. Conceptual plans formulated for 16-acre park, an auditorium and 130,00 square feet of commercial space.
- May 31, 2001 – Bullock Tice Associates unveils preliminary park design, including a two-story auditorium, 795 parking spaces and 12 acres of green space. Cost is estimated at $36 million.
- November 6, 2001 – Detailed Festival Park plans released for 73,000-square-foot auditorium, outdoor theater and 3,000-seat exhibit hall.
- March 24, 2002 – Pensacola Bay Area Chamber of Commerce seeks more commercial development on the property.
- November 21, 2002 – Pensacola City Council approves $40 million for the 16-acre Festival Park project, including $18 million for a new auditorium. The remaining acreage would be reserved for future development. Citizens Against Trillium, of which Charles Fairchild is a leading member, threatens a referendum to overturn the council's decision.
- March 25, 2003 – City voters reject City Council action to proceed with the plans.
Concept & referendum
- September 16, 2004 – Hurricane Ivan makes landfall.
- November 2004 – Idea of maritime park is conceived during an informal meeting between Pensacola City Manager Tom Bonfield, Mayor John Fogg and other business leaders.
- January 18, 2005 – Pensacola City Council approves concept of maritime park by 8-1 vote, with Marty Donovan dissenting.
- January 19, 2005 – Raad Cawthon of E. W. Bullock Associates writes email describing five council members "in our pocket."
- January 20, 2005 – Due to the previous absence of council member Mike DeSorbo, a reconsideration vote is taken. It passes again 8-2, with Jewel Cannada-Wynn joining Donovan in voting against the concept.
- April 7, 2005 – Ray Gindroz unveils revised conceptual plans.
- April 9, 2005 – Proposal to add Pensacola Sports Hall of Fame emerges.
- June 9, 2005 – Marty Donovan motions to suspend plans for a new RFP, but is voted down by other council members.
- June 23, 2005 – Council votes 9-1 to move forward on CMP proposal.
- October 16, 2005 – Planners concede that, due to rising construction costs, the $70 million budget would not cover all amenities. Certain features are postponed to a "phase 2" of development.
- November 4, 2005 – City Council member Marty Donovan calls for a referendum on Community Maritime Park project.
- March 24, 2006 – Park principal Admiral Fetterman dies.
- March 27, 2006 – City Council approves master lease agreement with CMPA; Save Our City starts petition drive.
- April 29, 2006 – The Florida Black Chamber of Commerce endorses the Maritime Park project and urges the city to move forward without a referendum.
- May 12, 2006 – Mayor Emeritus Vince Whibbs is selected as successor to Fetterman on the CMPA board of trustees.
- May 24, 2006 – Park opponents submit needed signatures to trigger a referendum vote on the park project.
- May 30, 2006 – Vince Whibbs dies.
- June 13, 2006 – Escambia County Supervisor of Elections David Stafford verifies 7,122 valid petition signatures.
- August 19, 2006 – Pensacola Bay Area Chamber of Commerce endorses project.
- September 5, 2006 – The Community Maritime Park proposal is approved by City of Pensacola voters in a special referendum.
- April 13, 2007 – The CMPA Board selects Caldwell Associates to author the final design criteria for the project.
- August 15, 2007 – Environmental permit applications are submitted by the board of trustees to the appropriate state agencies.
- September 6, 2007 – The Wikipedia:Florida Supreme Court rules in Strand v. Escambia County that a tax increment financing (TIF) bond issued by the Southwest Escambia Improvement District requires approval by voters within the district. According to Pensacola City Attorney John Fleming, the ruling could affect the $40 million bond issued (but not yet validated) by the Community Redevelopment Agency, another TIF district.