Legally, the commission at the end of the 30 days could entertain offers from other developers, but that is not the plan.
“The commission has made it clear .... that their intent is to negotiate with White Reach on a purchase price,” Merkley said.
Snelling reaffirmed the sentiment and said the negotiations would be exclusive to White Reach.
“Their vision was far beyond the other [plan], it was more to the liking of all of the commission and I can’t see that changing,” he said. “It would be unfair if you went ahead and said, ‘Well, we’re going to reject it, and come back in 30 days and start talking to other companies.’”
Redevelopment Commissioner James Lake was insistent that one of the developers be awarded the RFP at the commission’s previous meeting.
“I think it is completely unfair to the people that submitted the RFPs [that] the only way that you can come up with an agreement ... is to reject it and just negotiate carte blanche,” he said previously. “I think it’s a completely disingenuous situation. I’m not prepared to reject them. I’m actually prepared to approve one.”
Lake said he was in favor of rejecting the proposal at this point on advice from counsel, that there was more understanding of the process at this point and it was a procedural matter that needed to be clarified.
But Lake, also, was clear on whether or not it would open up the proposed development site to other companies.
“Our intent is to move forward with this group,” he said.