With a simple phone call, Ward 5 Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie obtained the release of a key McMillan Park project development document that the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Development (DMPED) had failed to release despite multiple FOIA requests filed by Friends of McMillan Park (FOM) dating back to October 2012. The previously secret document is the “Exclusive Rights Agreement” between DMPED and its development consultant, Vision McMillan Partners (VMP), composed of EYA, Jair Lynch Development Partners, and Trammell Crow Company.
“Friends of McMillan Park is very grateful to Councilmember McDuffie for stepping up and aiding us with obtaining this document,” says Kirby Vining, a long-time Stronghold resident and FOM member who made the FOIA request. “We are carefully reviewing the document to fully comprehend the nature of the relationship between the District and VMP. Therefore, we cannot comment on the details on the agreement. But, having this in our hands will help us prepare for future meetings on the fate of McMillan Park.”
FOM still has an outstanding FOIA request for the specific contract terms between VMP and the District. If DMPED continues to ignore this request, the Friends will certainly call on Councilmember McDuffie’s good offices once again.
FOM has more than 3,500 petition signatures (gathered mostly in Ward 5) against the proposed VMP development proposal and in favor of creative alternatives (such as the Collage City Studio plan) that create a real park, preserve and adaptively re-use the existing underground historic structures, and stimulate economic development — just like The High Line in New York City.