The Local Redevelopment Authority for the former Roosevelt Roads Naval Base in Ceiba and Clark Realty Capital on Monday signed the agreement that marks the beginning of negotiations leading to the eventual adoption of the “Master Developer” contract, scheduled for June 30, government officials announced Monday.
Clark Realty Capital’s estimated investment over the 30-year life of the project is approximately $3.2 billion. In addition, the company expects to generate approximately 30,000 permanent jobs and 3,600 construction jobs throughout the project’s lifetime. Clark plans to offer 70 percent participation to companies in Puerto Rico as a percentage of total dollars invested in construction projects.
The agreement represents another step forward in the redevelopment of the property consisting of some 3,000 acres of land, Malu Blázquez-Arsuaga, executive director of the Local Redevelopment Authority, said during a news conference in Hato Rey.
“The agreement signed with Clark formalizes the exclusivity the Authority granted Clark to negotiate the ‘Master Developer’ contract and confidentiality to both the negotiating process and exchange of information between the parties concerning the project,” said Blázquez-Arsuaga.
Over the coming months, Clark will undertake several market, environmental and infrastructure studies, among other steps.
In addition, the company will negotiate the financial terms and conditions with the Authority and the schedule to follow for the various stages of the development. For its part, the Authority will ensure that Clark meets the content of its proposal, Blázquez-Arsuaga said
The conceptual, technical and financial attributes of Clark’s proposal contributed to their selection as “Master Developer,” she noted.
“It is an honor for the Clark Group of companies to work in collaboration with the government and people of Puerto Rico in the redevelopment of Roosevelt Roads. Our fundamental principles are improving the quality of life of people living in communities impacted by the closure of the base and create a center of economic development for Puerto Rico,” said Xavier Argüello, the Clark Realty Capital executive in charge of the project at Roosevelt Roads.
“Our vision for creating a ‘Start-up City’ is based on job creation, provide educational opportunities and create a community that benefits families of different income levels. We have [more than] 100 years as a company building projects that have transformed cities; with the collaboration of everyone in Puerto Rico we hope to do the same here,” Argüello said.
Clark’s proposed development for Roosevelt Roads is one of mixed uses including hotel developments, shopping centers, residential, light industrial area, port area for cruise ships, marine and regional terminal speedboats, schools, office buildings, shops, restaurants, entertainment areas, among other uses.
Clark Realty Capital is recognized in the U.S. mainland for its history in redevelopment projects at former Department of Defense bases.
In the coming months, the Authority and Clark will be negotiating the development contract and formalizing development plans and schedules. However, both entities have already identified some early efforts and projects that could begin once a formal agreement is signed.
It is expected that Clark will begin demolition work in certain areas, establish a resource center for the community and a training center for workers in the area, and start the development of an eco-tourism project, Authority officials said.
Economic Development and Commerce Secretary Alberto Bacó-Bagué said he and Blázquez-Arsuaga visited areas in Washington, D.C. and Virginia where we “could validate the quality and diversity of the projects that Clark has undertaken and the added value that the company has provided to the communities where it has led major developments. Clark has the experience and community commitment to lead this project.”
“We confirmed that Clark, from Arlington, Virginia, is a company that is identified with the residents where it manages development projects and that they have the vision to be a constructive member of the community,” said Blázquez Arsuaga.
Among the places visited by both officials were: Fort Belvoir base, which includes a family housing project in Virginia and that garnered gold certification under the LEED standards granted by the Green Building Council in the US; Flats at Atlas, residential project that helped revitalize a depressed area of North East, D.C.; The Wharf, a mega mixed-use project dedicated to pedestrian traffic and water, residential buildings, a marina and parks; and the Nationals Park baseball park in Washington, D.C., among other projects.