Vote on $15,000 payment to NextSite tabled

Tom Marx at city council

Developer Tom Marx talks to the Quincy City Council during Monday night's meeting. | Photo courtesy of City of Quincy Facebook page

QUINCY — The Quincy City Council tabled for one week a vote to pay a $15,000 success fee to NextSite, a commercial development advisory firm, for its role in bringing Planet Fitness to Quincy.

Tom Marx, owner of Marx Commercial Properties and Development Company, told Muddy River News he believes NextSite is taking credit for bringing Verizon Wireless and Planet Fitness to Quincy. He claims the company had “absolutely nothing whatsoever” to do with either of those two tenants coming to Quincy.

He restated those claims during Monday’s City Council meeting.

“From my standpoint, (NextSite) had nothing to do with those two tenants,” Marx said.

“(NextSite) may have been at a trade show. They may have sent a card,” Alderman Mike Farha (R-4) said. “I don’t know what they’ve done. If we’re going to do this, we‘ve got to least consider getting a list of all the people and what exactly they did and hold them responsible. We know what (Marx) did.”

Marx told aldermen that realtors or brokers typically have a paper trail from beginning to end, when a deal is put together.

“I’d like to see the paper trail,” he said.

Jeff Bergman (R-2) told Chuck Bevelheimer, director of planning and development, he “wants to trust but needs to validate.” 

“In my mind, for me to sit here and pay (NextSite) dollars for results, they need to show a paper trail,” Bergman said. “I want to be able to put my hands on something and say, ‘OK, here’s the legwork that they’ve done up to this point.”

Tony Sassen (R-4) opened the discussion of the resolution by asking Bevelheimer if he was sure the city owed NextSite the money.

“The information that’s been provided to me from NextSite indicates they were involved early on in the recruitment of Planet Fitness to Quincy,” Bevelheimer said. “They gave Planet Fitness the retail analytical data for the Quincy market. This occurred about the time that Shopko was being auctioned off, and obviously Shopko went to RP Lumber. They looked at other sites, and as I understand the information that NextSite gave me, they landed with Mr. Marx.”

Marx told aldermen he had conversations by email with Planet Fitness representatives going back to 2019. Bevelheimer said the contract with NextSite and the city started Feb. 4, 2021.

“The fact that Tom was communicating with Planet Fitness in 2019, and we started this contract (with NextSite) on that date … that says a lot right there,” Eric Entrup (R-1) said.

Corporation Counsel Lonnie Dunn said the contract doesn’t specify what entails “recruitment” by NextSite. 

“It’s pretty broad. It’s pretty vague. It’s pretty enveloping, and it’s on purpose obviously,” Dunn said.

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