There have been several developments regarding the Cascades Park restaurant project.
First, Commissioner Nancy Miller told Tallahassee Reports via an email late today that she did not know that Andrew Gillum’s treasurer was involved in the project.
Second, Tallahassee Reports has learned that since a large portion of the project funds – approximately $800,000 – are from a sales tax bond, it will require a public hearing before any expenditures can be made.
And finally, Assistant City Manager Jay Townsend sent an email to the City Commissioners and the City’s Executive Team “to clarify some of the points outlined in a recent story submitted by Steve Stewart.”
Mr. Townsend’s email verify’s what Tallahassee Reports has written, that Proof Brewing Company was the original winner of the bid to build a restaurant in the Old Electric Building in Cascades Park.
However, Mr. Townsend also writes:
Although Mr. Stewart states in his article that Proof Brewing publicly announced that it was no longer doing the Cascades Park (Electric Building) renovation and operation of the Brew Pub, at no time during these negotiations, or to date, has Proof Brewing Company indicated to the City that they are no longer interested in the project. To the contrary, a member of the Proof Brewing team indicated to the Staff that they had formed a limited liability company for the purpose of executing the agreement, called Capital Cascades Holdings LLC.
All you have to do is go to the Proof Brewing Company’s facebook and you will see this:
The Proof Brewing Company statement that “they will no longer be doing Cascades Park” is consistent with the fact that the proposed agreement presented to the City Commission on July 10, 2013 does not mention the Proof Brewing Company. Why doesn’t the City know the correct status of the Proof Brewing Company?
The email continues and Mr. Townsend writes,
Mr. Stewart’s story appears to intimate that the Capital Cascades LLC was formed at the last moment and that the July 2013 City Commission action awarded funds to the same shortly thereafter. The fact, however, is that City staff has been in conversation with Mr. Corey and other members of the Proof Brewing Company submittal team since August 2012.
According to the Florida Division of Corporations Cascades Holding, LLC was created 16 days before the July 10, 2013 vote that recommended an increase of the City investment in the project to $2.1 million.
State records also indicate that Proof Brewing Company & Cascades Holdings do not appear to be connected in any way, completely different owners, completely different registered agents, and different addresses. (Note: Mr. Townsend misstates the name of the LLC that was formed. It is Cascades Holdings LLC, not Capital Cascades LLC.)
It appears that the City has traded out an original set of business owners-the bid winner, Proof Brewing Company – with a different set of business owners – Cascades Holdings with an increase in project cost.
Mr. Townsend goes on to point out that this project is far from approved:
At the current time, the City Manager has not signed any agreement for the initiative nor has one been proposed to her for execution. Staff continues to negotiate lease term language and perform due diligence. The final form will be approved by both the City Attorney and the City’s procurement office prior to implementation.
Check back for more updates.