Miller Legg chosen for Red Reef Park Redo
Marci Shatzman [email protected]
April 2, 2014
After listening intently to presentations by seven firms in the running, Miller Legg was chosen to update the 30-year-old Red Reef Park, including the beachfront, a nine-hole golf course and Gumbo Limbo Nature Center.
Thirteen firms responded to a request for proposal for architectural, engineering and planning services for the park, which bisects A1A with the Atlantic Ocean on one side and the Intracoastal Waterway on the other. The golf course is on both sides of the street.
The possible firms were shortened to seven and notified they each had 10 minutes to make their pitch and 5 minutes to answer questions. That took place from 5:30 to 7:15 p.m. at the March 24 meeting of the Greater Boca Raton Beach and Park District in Sugar Sand Park Community Center.
"The most diverse part this firm has to address is the nature center, which is very different from some of the passive elements," Michele Peel, liaison with the Friends of Gumbo Limbo, reminded commissioners.
After discussing the merits of each firms' ideas and the district's vision, commissioners picked Miller Legg, a firm already doing business with the city of Boca Raton, principal Michael Kroll noted in their presentation.
The firm was also the landscape architects for Calypso Cove Water Park in Margate and Sandy Ridge Sanctuary in Coral Springs, among other projects.
"We were called into Osprey Point to reduce irrigation," golf course designer Harry Bowers said about Palm Beach County's newest course in West Boca. "We just did a coastal golf course in Palm Beach…We understand this project.
"Ninety percent of people drawn to Red Reef are women, seniors and juniors, people who want to walk the course and have a view of the ocean," Bowers added. He suggested improving the ocean views from the tees and greens.
Commissioners liked Miller Legg's approach to getting community input, and what Earl Starkoff called their grasp of the master plan process. "They have that concept of parks within parks," he said.
"The biggest thing was they are certified on charrettes," said Dr. Dennis Frisch, referring to a land planning meeting open to the public for comment.
Once they were chosen, the next step is negotiating with Miller Legg "to reach a price and terms," said Arthur Koski, the district's interim executive director and attorney. "We will see if we can reach an agreement."
Just in case, Synalovski Romanik Saye and Arquitectonica GEO were selected as second and third choices.
"Any of the firms could do a good job," said Robert K. Rollins Jr.
"Keep in mind that we have a partner in this, and the ownership of the land is with the city," Koski reminded commissioners. "They are a significant entity in the review process."
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