ITS BIGGGGG! Draft of RFP for City Parking Lot

I have to give credit where credit is due.  I have gotten a draft copy of the RFP for the city parking lot.  Mayor Yepsen moved right along in drafting something to go out.   Proposals are due September 29th.

Here is the DRAFT 2015 RFP For High Rock Parking Lot Redevelopment

I am reminded of the classic: Be careful what you ask for.

The bid is to sell or lease the entire property between Maple Avenue (West), Lake Avenue (South), High Rock (East), and York Street (North).  That is pretty much the whole enchilada of our available downtown, public property.

This whole thing seems rushed.

I have a number of immediate concerns.

1. The number of parking spaces in the proposed city center structure is 404.  The structure will take up an area that now has 188 parking spaces leaving 263 parking spaces not affected.  So if the City Center were successful we would have a total of 619 spaces.  The proposal asks for a minimum of 600 spaces and clearly, there would be a need for additional spaces for the other mixed uses.   It is important to note that a successful bidder would probably use up all the land so there would not be an opportunity to expand parking there in the future.

2. The RFP would involve either selling or leasing the city property.  Do we want to sell this land so that it is permanently gone for other city uses?  I am not sure, but it would seem to  merit some thought before an RFP is issued.

4. Normally in doing RFP’s the developers are required to provide the earnest money which is meant to insure that they are serious and have some skin in the game to minimize later conflict.   No such money is required in this RFP.

4. Related to item #2 and #3, shouldn’t the city do a market value survey to determine how much the land is worth.  We have already gone through a painful battle over a previous land purchase and sale.  Relying on the proposals from an unknown number of developers who are not required to put up any money creates an opportunity for speculation.

One thought on “ITS BIGGGGG! Draft of RFP for City Parking Lot”

  1. Thank you for posting this draft RFP!
    There are a number of curious parts to it I think. First it states “Any proposal…must…capture…popular public support.” Just how will that be determined?? Will all proposals be subject to a public referendum? That would be a tricky and expensive process and would not necessarily give an accurate read on public support.
    The other thing that struck me is that the RFP calls for “an associated multi-level parking component” incorporating the “City’s Greenbelt multi- use path” (why on York st. when High Rock would make more sense, though?), and “a direct, covered pedestrian connection to the CIty Center is desired.” Since these are elements already incorporated in the City Center’s proposal and since the Center’s proposed parking structure will take up only a small portion of the entire parcel in the RFP I don’t understand why the City Center’s proposal can’t proceed through the Land Use Boards and an RFP be issued for the rest of the parcel for multi-use and the additional parking that will require.
    The City Center is the engine of downtown and faces stiff competition from other convention venues in the area. Their recent expansion has brought more convention goers to town and they come in cars. Anyone who has experienced shuttles and satellite parking realizes that that is not a viable solution for convention goers or others who drive to town to shop and eat. Who wants to wait a half hour, an hour (what would be the schedule particularly in the winter? how could this be commercially viable if the van is only picking up one or two people at a time or no one?) for a shuttle to appear when you’ve planned to spend only a couple of hours downtown or have a scheduled seminar to get to. The parking needs of the City Center and downtown are pressing. I think it would make more sense to move forward with a review of an already developed plan to meet those needs and take the time to issue a much smarter RFP for the use of rest of the parcel.
    Thank you again for providing a forum to discuss these ideas.

    Like

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