A company owned by Quint Studer last week filed a notice of intent with state officials signaling that it plans to file a formal protest of the construction bid package for a $19 million project on Pensacola’s downtown waterfront.
The move is the latest in a coordinated campaign by Studer to stop the planned Gulf Coast Marine Fisheries Hatchery & Enhancement Center from moving forward at the city-owned Bruce Beach site. Formerly a shipyard and later a segregated recreational area, the site’s industrial past, use by the city as a spoilage site and dumping ground, and location next door to a petroleum tank farm have long fueled concerns about possible contamination. Originally approved in 2011, the planned marine research facility would use money from BP’s Deepwater Horizon settlement to clean up the long-vacant property and establish a state-of-the-art marine research facility. The project would also restore public access to the waterfront with pedestrian paths, a kayak launch, and historical markers.
Long a supporter of those planned improvements, Studer pulled that support last month and has been sharply critical of the project in recent weeks. Now, Old Stinky, LLC — through which Studer owns some 18 acres adjacent to a planned marine research facility at the city’s Bruce Beach property — has notified Florida Department of Environmental Protection officials that it planned to formally protest the bid package the agency released on October 27. While the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission would operate the completed facility, FDEP is handling the bid and construction process.
Bear General Contractors — another firm with close ties to Studer — filed an identical notice the same day. Both firms are represented by attorney William Dunaway, who Studer had previously retained to provide a legal opinion arguing that the lease between the city and FWC was void.
State law gives Old Stinky and Bear Construction ten days to file their full, formal protests, a period which extends through November 11.
Studer did not respond to a request for comment.
Old Stinky LLC’s notice of intent:
Bear General Contractors’s notice of intent: