Pier lease offer to be discussed Friday

Pier lease offer to be discussed Friday
City commissioners will discuss Mario Schoenfelder’s pier lease offer Friday morning. - Joe Hendricks | Sun

ANNA MARIA – On Friday, Jan. 10, Mayor Dan Murphy and the Anna Maria City Commission will discuss Mario Schoenfelder’s final offer to lease the restaurant and bait shop buildings being built on the new City Pier.

The commission originally planned to discuss Schoenfelder’s offer at the regular commission meeting on Thursday, Jan. 9, which starts at 6 p.m. But Schoenfelder is currently residing at his home in Germany and the time difference would result in him participating by telephone in a commission meeting that would start at midnight in his time zone.

Friday’s 10 a.m. meeting will allow Schoenfelder to participate in a meeting that will begin at 4 p.m. his time.

During Friday’s meeting, the commission is expected to accept or reject the final pier lease offer Schoenfelder submitted in writing on Dec. 22.

Schoenfelder proposes to pay $8,000 per month in base rent, with the first six months of a new 10-year lease to be rent-free, and an annual Consumer Price Index-based rent adjustment that takes effect after three years.

Schoenfelder previously offered to pay $12,000 a month in base rent and contribute a total of $500,000 toward the interior buildout of the new buildings, including the appliances and equipment he needs to operate a full-service restaurant and a bait shop.

“I now have received actual bids for buildout and equipment through the Schimberg Group adding up to $865,000. Therefore, I had to adjust the rent that I am offering,” Schoenfelder stated in his recent written offer.

In October, Schoenfelder rejected two lease options proposed by Murphy: an initial base rent of $21,600 per month with a 3% percent annual increase or annual CPI adjustment, or a base rent of $18,900 per month with a $250,000 up-front payment due upon signing and the same annual increases.

After rejecting those options, Schoenfelder was given until Dec. 31 to submit his last, best and final offer.

The commission also authorized Murphy to prepare and have ready a request for proposals (RFP) for the lease of the new pier buildings. If the commission rejects Schoenfelder’s offer on Friday, the RFP will be issued seeking proposals from additional restauranteurs interested in being the city’s pier tenant.

Schoenfelder’s current lease for the old pier that was closed in 2017 and demolished in 2018 expires later this year, on Dec. 15. Schoenfelder’s monthly rent payments were suspended when the old pier was closed, and the last rent payment he made was for $11,898 in September 2017.