Progress Continues Toward a Public-Private Partnership with the Navy

On Friday February 7, 2014, RADM (Ret) Tom Zelibor and Frank Lennon met in Norfolk with RADM Dixon Smith, Commander, Navy Region Mid-Atlantic; his deputy, retired Navy Captain Fred Crecelius; and Kevin Allison, legal counsel for the Region.

We believe the meeting went extremely well, and that it was well worth the trip to Norfolk to allow RADM Dixon and his staff to put faces to the JFK project. Earlier in the week we had given our draft site plan and proposal narrative to CAPT Mikatarian, CO of NAVSTA Newport, for an informal review. We left the same plan (hard copies and a CD) in Norfolk as well.

Admiral Dixon counseled us to get an actual request into the Navy for a lease agreement. Until that happens, he is unable to dedicate resources to review a “What if?” scenario.

We followed up the Norfolk visit with a February 18 meeting with CAPT Mikatarian and his staff. During that meeting we were told to submit our request for pier access to the new Director of Real Estate for the Navy (EI&E), James Omans.

Based on that meeting we are making some minor site plan revisions to our Burma Road access, and are proposing some other changes to the intersection in front of Gate 17. We are also modifying the security fence standoff distance for the Tigershark on the pier, and are planning to include additional traffic engineering information with our initial proposal.

We plan to submit that proposal to the office of the Assistant Secretary of the Navy (EI&E) before the end of March.

What is the estimated timeline for the next steps (obtaining approval for use of the Coddington Cove Pier, and obtaining necessary financing to execute the project)?

We don’t know how to answer this, because once we submit the request to EI&E we have no idea how long it will take for the report to come back to us, and what additional information will be required. We don’t know how long it will take to gather and resubmit that information, or how many iterations of this process will be necessary.

I can say that once we receive a positive signal from the Navy that our use of the pier seems feasible, our capital fundraising will be able to commence in earnest.

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