Interim Executive Director
From the onset of planning for the new Riviera Beach Marina Village, recruiting and supporting local, minority and small business involvement was a critical component. The $39 million dollar redevelopment would provide dozens of opportunities for small businesses and we were determined to help our general contractor partnership of The Weitz Company, D. Stephenson Construction and Clearspan Structures meet those goals.
Our recruitment efforts started with the Marina Development Accountability Summit in May of 2014, where we outlined our goals and how they would be measured, and detailed the process for contractors to participate in bidding. Outreach efforts included mailings to small businesses and minority contractors in Palm Beach County, notices posted online on the CRA and City of Riviera Beach web sites, and email notifications to the Palm Beach County Small Business Database.
In addition, in order to teach valuable skills to our next generation, we implemented an apprenticeship program, requiring that one out of every five people working on the marina transformation be a designated apprentice. The CRA’s construction partners also hosted a jobs skills and interview preparation training session to help potential workers make the most of this opportunity.
Now, with the transformation of our marina nearly complete, we can tell you we not only met our goals but exceeded them. With a SBE participation rate of 47 percent, nearly half of all contracts were awarded to small businesses. The participation rate for M/WBE is 19.56 percent, and local participation stands at 30.96 percent.
The local participation rate is especially noteworthy, with Riviera Beach-based businesses winning 30 percent of the work, far exceeding the goal of 15 percent. Those numbers translate into nearly $7 million dollars of investment right back into our community. Gilbane, our “owner’s rep” for the project, reports that 38 apprentices took part in the project, 17 of whom came from Riviera Beach. In addition, they report that 20 percent of all construction work was completed by Riviera Beach residents.
We take great pride in debuting this spectacular waterfront destination for our residents, and with each visit they can view the handiwork created by their family and friends.
Tony T. Brown
Executive Director, Riviera Beach Community Redevelopment Association
Here are the 13 Riviera Beach based firms participating on the Riviera Beach Marina Village project as subcontractors:
• ESC Florida
• Baron Signs
• JD Anderson
• All Sites
• Newbold Construction
• General Caulking and Waterproofing
• Lotspeich Company of Florida
• Division 7
• Cheney Brothers
• Thyssen Krupp
• Farmer & Irwin
• Pipeline Utilities
Tony T. Brown
2015 ends as a great year for the CRA. The Riviera Beach CRA has accomplished so much over the past 12 months, and for this, I thank the CRA Board for entrusting us with the resources to make a difference for our communities. I also thank my staff for their hard work and dedication. The final stages of the Marina’s infrastructure work is just about done, and our spectacular new Marina Event Center will open in the spring – mark your calendars for the Ribbon Cutting on February 25, 2016. That’s only a few shorts months away from opening the earliest phase of a new Marina that will showcase our spectacular waterfront and create new reasons for residents and visitors alike to make the Marina a regular destination.
In December, the CRA, in cooperation with the Riviera Beach Community Development Corporation, also launched the Riviera Beach Renaissance program, breaking ground on the first of five new affordable homes in Park Manor.
Our Riviera Beach Heights Improvement Plan is also in full swing. The Community Garden is open and producing fresh, healthy food for local families. Construction on the Linear Park and Health Trail is underway, and the community-wide sidewalk improvement program is nearly completed. All the feedback from appreciative residents is certainly very gratifying.
In December, the CRA Board of Commissioners ended our 10-year relationship with Viking as Master Developer of the Riviera Beach Marina. The city and the CRA have worked closely with Viking and we thank them for inspiring the vision that has resulted in our $35 million makeover of the Marina. We still have much more to do together. Stay tuned! We will introduce new plans to the CRA Board in January that will transform publicly-owned properties along Broadway into new developments along the Broadway corridor. We are looking forward to 2016 being an even better year!
So here’s to a tumultuous, spectacular, crazy year that delivered significant dividends for our city and put us on a path to success.
Happy New Year!