Harbor Revitalization and the Public/Private Partnership
During the first week of August an evaluation panel of harbor industry experts interviewed the two development teams vying to contract with the County of Orange to redevelop our harbor and operate it for the next 66 years. Based on these interviews and their analysis of the proposals, the evaluation panel scored the two teams and submitted their work to the County. County staff then selected a preferred team and is prepared to make their recommendation to the OC Board of Supervisors. We expect this to take place by mid-October. The Supervisors will vote to: 1) accept their staff's recommendation; 2) select the competing team; or 3) possibly defer selection altogether. They are not bound by the evaluation panel or staff recommendation.
Your DPBA board has met previously with both teams, reviewed their work and offered our input. In the coming days we expect to meet with both teams yet again to thoroughly review their final proposals. The County will release the proposals and related documents publicly two weeks prior to this matter going to the Board of Supervisors for a vote. At that time we will to share with you our analysis of both proposals. We also expect to conclude which team will be the best steward of our beloved harbor - in particular our boating community - into the future and share with you why.
We predict the time leading to the Board of Supervisors' vote to be a fury of campaigning, rumors and misinformation. Please stick with us - we promise you an objective, fact-based and truthful analysis of both teams and their proposals. If you have any questions, just ask.
Once the Board of Supervisors chooses their P3 development partner, they will direct staff to commence contract negotiations, which is likely to take six to eight months. We have been assured that DPBA will be fully engaged in this process, and we plan to offer guidance on provisions that we expect to see in this contract. The final contract is expected to return to the Board of Supervisors for approval sometime next spring. If this remains on schedule (a very big 'if'), we can expect a new developer and harbor operator to be in place by next summer.
And if we dare to predict any further into the future, we should expect one to two years of entitlements (Coastal Commission approvals, building permits, etc.), followed by four to five years of construction. But that's wild speculation based on our experience and what we know so far. So don't put too much faith into it. A new harbor by 2025?