The move comes after an unsolicited offer in April triggered a formal request for proposals from the city

Four companies have submitted proposals to renovate and operate the 50-year old St Petersburg, Florida, Municipal Marina, after an unsolicited proposal in April triggered a formal request for proposals from the city.

In addition to Safe Harbor Marinas, the Dallas, Texas-based operator which submitted the original spontaneous management offer, the three other companies meeting last Friday’s deadline for submission include Island Global Yachting from New York, Safe Harbor Development of Knoxville, Tennessee, and St Petersburg Downtown Marina LLC, a newly formed group of local investors.

Specifics from each bid on the 660-slip marina were detailed in reporting by StPeteCatalyst.com.

Island Global Yachting (IGY), with offices in Ft Lauderdale, Florida, South Carolina and the UK, has proposed an initial five-year lease with a 30-year extension option. IGY would plan and finance the renovation and replacement of the dock infrastructure d be responsible for any cost overruns exceeding US$30m. They would pay the city 15% of annual gross revenue along with contributing US$100,000 annually for community boating and waterfront activity.

Safe Harbor Development (SHD) has renovated 12 marinas in the past 20 years in addition to holdings that include water parks, hotels, RV resorts, retail, restaurants and event centres. It proposes a 10-year lease with renewal options and would pay a base rent of US$250,000 annually – subject to 2.5% annual increases – and provide 25% of gross revenues collected through marina operations, subject to rent offsets, or the amount of capital investment required. It, too, would propose a minimum capital investment of US$30m. SHD also wants to work with the city to design and build a municipal parking garage to allow for easier access to the marina, which it sees as the largest impediment to growth.

St Petersburg Downtown Marina LLC (SPDM) is made up of four local investors, including a former Navy contractor who is current marina tenant. While lacking the experience of the other operators and the level of detail in the other proposals, SPDM proposes paying for and completing improvements over the life of a 30-year leases, financed and paid for “with the continued increased operating profits of the marina.” The company would add larger boat slips and slowly raise slip rates. It also would charge US$40 a month for parking. Parking at the marina currently is free. SPDM proposes a revenue sharing plan that would total approximately US$1.4m a year by the fifth year of the lease. They are also offering a buy-out clause and would maintain a bond to cover five years of operating return, minimising the risk of non-payment to the city.

Safe Harbor Marinas, the original bidder, also updated its proposal to add renderings and more details of its renovation plans. It wants a 30-year lease, with an initial five-year term. The company would have the right to set rates for wet slip rentals, with the rates capped at 12% annually once construction work is underway. Safe Harbor Marinas would pay rent to the city, equal to 15% of the annual gross revenue it collects through operation of the marina.

A date for making a decision wasn’t specified in the bidding process.