St. James Park Redesign Contract Awarded After Rival’s Appeal Is Rejected

SAN JOSE — After rejecting an appeal from a losing bidder, city leaders on Tuesday approved a $1 million agreement with a San Francisco park designer to reinvent downtown’s troubled St. James Park.

CMG Landscape Architecture was one of four firms selected to submit ideas to revitalize the historic park last year. A “jury” of eight people, which included design professionals, community members and city staff, picked CMG’s redesign concept in a 6-2 vote.

But another architecture firm — called !melk Fr-ee — protested the decision and claimed the design competition was biased. A hearing officer reviewed the appeal and found it had no merit, said Marybeth Harasz of the city’s Parks, Recreation and Neighborhood Services Department.

!melk Fr-ee appealed the decision again — bringing it to the City Council to decide on Tuesday.

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