Warm Mineral Springs Park Master Plan

Latest news

On Feb. 2, 2024, the City of North Port’s negotiation team recommended the City cease the negotiations for a potential public-private partnership with WMS Development Group LLC for the future of Warm Mineral Springs Park.

As the team conducted extensive due diligence, the developers revised their proposal to no longer take on the operation of the springs, citing rising costs for insurance and staffing expenses. Both parties came to the mutual decision that operations of the park should remain with the Parks & Recreation Department.

As a result, staff will be proposing a Phase I revitalization of the 20 acres around the springs performed by the City that would include a suitable admission building and permanent restrooms. In anticipation of this possible outcome, staff had the foresight to add staffing in the current fiscal year’s budget for the operations of the park.

While negotiations did not result in a successful public-private partnership, the City is in a better position to assess and evaluate future plans for the adjoining 60 acres of undeveloped land adjacent to the park. Valuable knowledge was gained thanks to the due diligence of staff and contracted subject matter experts.

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Historical project summary

On April 9, 2019, City Commission approved the adoption of the Warm Mineral Springs Park Master Plan. This plan includes a comprehensive analysis of the entire 81.6 acres and provides recommendations for future services and amenities. A large portion of the plan’s creation included community input through a series of stakeholder meetings, community engagement sessions, and public surveys.

On Feb. 25, 2020, City Commission approved a contract amendment with Kimley-Horn & Associates for professional design and engineering services to include historic restoration of the existing nationally registered buildings, as well as utility infrastructure and parking lot improvements. In coordination with the project planning process, several historic rehabilitation grants were applied for but were not received.

At the June 4, 2021, Special Commission Meeting, the City Commission provided direction to proceed with funding the construction of this first phase of the Warm Mineral Springs Park Master Plan. The Request for Bid for this initial construction phase was released on April 20, 2022 and closed on June 6, 2022. A single bid was received in response to Request for Bid (RFB) No. 2022-22 Warm Mineral Spring Park Building Restoration & Improvements. The bid far exceeded the available project budget of $9,345,470.88, and the City issued a Notice of Intent to cancel the solicitation and rebid at a later date.

During the City Commission Workshop on June 16, 2022, staff was directed to evaluate options such as phasing the project and exploring potential public-private opportunities.

On Sept. 8, 2022, after re-evaluating projected construction costs, staff presented information on a potential phased approach to completing the Warm Mineral Spring Park Building Restoration and Improvement project and provided estimates for six major project elements with the revised opinion of probable cost ranging from approximately $13,047,625 to $15,047,625 based on the current construction conditions. No action was taken. Review the Commission agenda and backup materials.

On Sept. 12, 2022 City Commission reviewed two unsolicited P3 conceptual proposals related to the WMSP Master Plan Building Restoration & Improvements and Future Phases. Commission accepted a P3 Conceptual proposal from WMS Development Group LLC(PDF, 4MB) for substantive review.  

On Nov. 22, 2022 City Commission reviewed and accepted the P3 Unsolicited Detailed Proposal(PDF, 4MB) submitted by WMS Development Group, LLC and made the preliminary determination that the proposal is for a facility or project that serves a public purpose and meets the definition of a 'qualifying project" in Florida Statutes Section 255.065(1)(i). The next step is for the City Manager to analyze whether to further pursue the detailed proposal under the P3 procurement process outlined in City Code 2-420(c)(1). The City is required to notify submitter of decision to reject or accept proposal for competitive review within 120 business of receipt of the proposal.  On Jan. 18, 2023 the City Manager provided notification to the submitter that the detailed proposal has been submitted for competitive review.

On March 29, 2023 the City announced that it is moving to the evaluation and negotiation phase with WMS Development Group LLC after receiving no other competitive bids in response to RFP 2023-14, Warm Mineral Springs Public Private Partnership Project, which closed on March 20, 2023 at 2 p.m.

In April 2023, the City also contracted Pritchett Steinbeck Group, Inc. (PSG) to complete a Threatened and Endangered Species Survey of Warm Mineral Springs Park. The report was received on July 5, 2023, and isavailable for download(PDF, 22MB). PSG reviewed existing surveys and documents, then completed an in-field survey for the presence, signs and habitat of threatened and endangered species.

On June 9, 2023, the results from the independent Warm Mineral Springs Park survey were received and made available for download(PDF, 3MB). A total of 959 residents participated from randomly selected households to provide their feedback, a sampling which is representative of City residents and gives the results a margin of error of +/- 3.1%. An additional 666 people took the online survey that was open to everyone(PDF, 143KB).

Project Documents

Questions

To learn more about Warm Mineral Springs Park and its progress towards reopening, visit the park webpage. For information about the Warm Mineral Springs Master Plan, contact the Parks & Recreation Department at 941-429-PARK(7275) or email Parks@NorthPortFL.gov. To be notified as progress on the plan continues, please follow @NorthPortParksAndRec on Facebook, or sign up for email notifications via the form below.


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