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Retail recruiter pact renewed after changes

By David Hohendorf

A one-year extension of the contract with CC Consulting of Bloomfield Hills for retail recruitment to fill vacant store space in downtown Birmingham was approved by the Birmingham Shopping District (BSD) board on Thursday, May 5, following implementation of pact verbiage changes suggested last month by board member and city manager Tom Markus.

The contract with CC Consulting, represented by Cindy Ciura, was put on hold by the board in early April after Markus highlighted a number of deficiencies in the agreement, among them the lack of a detailed chain of command when it came to the retail consultant communicating with the BSD on her efforts to bring new businesses to the city's downtown area.

The contract, a one-year agreement, basically follows the pay structure of past agreements with CC Consulting, with a base annual pay amount of $28,000, with bonus amounts for signing leases for space in Birmingham buildings. In the most recent past agreements, the pact carried an annual overall cap of $75,000 in compensation while the new agreement sets the limit at $77,000.

At the Thursday meeting this week Markus reminded the board that the new contract defines more clearly the role of both parties in the agreement, noting that the “major change” was the chain of communication and management spelling out that the retail consultant reports to the BSD executive director. In the past there had been communication problems with the retail consultant not always reporting directly to the executive director, instead reporting to members of the business development committee of the BSD or to department employees or other BSD board members, leaving the executive director in the dark on progress being made by the retail consultant.

Also included in the new contract is a section noting that the retail consultant will pursue commercial tenants based on recruiting priorities determined by the executive director and the BSD board, relying on a business mix analysis of the business community that is now underway.

The new contract also spells out that the BSD executive director can bring to the governing board possible future requests for exceeding the annual pay cap for the consultant, an issue that arose in the last year when added leases were signed after the limitation had been reached.

The board vote to renew the contract was unanimous, “subject to legal review” by the city attorney who was out of town prior to the May BSD board meeting.


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