Transit-Oriented Development Strategy for the 46th & Hiawatha LRT Station Area
Questions and Answers
Deadline: Nov. 13, 2006.
Questions and Answers
Responses to questions submitted regarding the 46th & Hiawatha LRT Station Area Transit-Oriented Development Strategy
Q.1. How were these questions generated?
A.1. These questions were prepared to combine and restate questions from the pre-proposal conference with similar questions formally submitted in writing, and in some cases are intended to provide answers that address the primary content of several similar questions submitted by different parties.
Q.2. With the rail road and transmission corridor in this area has there been a phase I environmental study completed for the study area and as part of this scope is the consultant suppose to complete a soil analysis in the area? Depending on the types, consolidation, and contamination of the soils will greatly alter the costs of construction. The types of storm water treatment and areas in which storm water treatment can be placed will also depend on existing soil and environmental conditions in the area.
A.2. A Phase 1 Environmental Assessment was prepared for the 46th Street Town Square site for the City of Minneapolis in 2003 and is available. This is the super-block bounded by Hiawatha Avenue, Nawadaha Boulevard, Minnehaha Avenue, and 46th Street. This block includes the area to be accessed by the proposed Snelling Avenue extension, the town square opportunity site, and also a portion of the rail and utility corridor where greening and stormwater management concepts will be explored. Consultants will be expected to review additional historical information on land uses in the redevelopment area north of 46th Street and develop an assessment of environmental risk, costs and feasibility impacts that is appropriate for the current level of implementation planning and conceptual design. Information on soil and environmental conditions may also be available from several recent development projects in this area. As concept designs are prepared for stormwater infrastructure systems, consultants should identify the implications of environmental risk and soil or geotechnical conditions for alternative infrastructure designs, explore options with the project advisory committee and technical advisory team, and identify the future range of environmental testing, clean-up costs or mitigation measures that could be necessary to move the design concept into implementation.
Q.3. Clarify the requirements of the Small and Underutilized Business Assistance Program specifically related to this contract. I read the language as suggesting that respondents should use Small and Underutilized firms but the award of the contract doesn't require participation by S&UB firms as a criteria for selection, or note a specific share of fee that should be assigned to a qualified firm. Is this correct?
A.3. Although there are no mandatory SUBP requirements for this project, it should be noted that participation by DBE or small and underutilized businesses is one of the evaluation criteria identified in the RFP for all proposals.
Q.4. Is it appropriate for a developer to be part of a consultant team?
A.4. Consultant teams are free to propose assembling professional teams that may or may not include development companies provided that there are no conflicts of interest. If a developer is included as a team member, the proposal should clearly identify the role, compensation, and scope of technical services to be provided in the study process as with any other team members.
Q5. Can you more specifically identify your highest priorities among the tasks and scope items listed in the RFP? Is there merit in proposing optional tasks for additional fee?
A5. City staff believes that the study goals are clearly stated and provide some direction regarding priorities. We are looking for the proposing teams to creatively propose their methodology, team composition, work program, study sequence, and deliverables to achieve these goals as fully as possible within the available budget. At this time, there is no additional funding available for this study.
Q.6. How much opportunity or flexibility is there to revisit policy issues considered in the Master Plan, such as boundary of redevelopment area, impacts on single family housing, building heights, location and mix of land uses?
A.6. The Citys adopted 46th & Hiawatha Station Area Master Plan should be considered policy guidance and a point of departure for discussions regarding implementation feasibility. Changes in infrastructure or development scenarios that greatly enhance the quality of TOD outcomes, neighborhood livability and environmental quality, implementation feasibility and or improve outcomes are encouraged and should be identified as soon as possible in the process. However, fundamental principals of transit oriented development should not be compromised (e.g., placemaking, mix of walkable uses, pedestrian friendly, compact development).
The study process will be structured so that significant departures from current policy guidance and plans are presented and evaluated with the City Staff and the Project Advisory Committee early in the process of the consultant team’s development of significant infrastructure or development scenario alternatives.
Q.7. What is the role of the project management team and Citizen Advisory Team in evaluating urban design, land use or infrastructure options that depart significantly from the adopted station area plan?
A.7. The consultant team will provide the technical, urban design and market expertise to support discussions about ideas that depart from the vision of the small area plan. The City project management team should be used to test assumptions and screen alternatives to be presented to the Project Advisory Committee for refinement and feedback. The Project Advisory Committee will be a gateway in developing recommendations that are used to formally engage the neighborhood organization and city policymakers. The responsibility for seeking formal changes in policy documents rests entirely with City staff.
Q.8 Does the city have additional information about the future use of the railroad, and the businesses that are now (and planned) to be served by it?
City staff understands that there are no current freight rail clients south of 38th Street. The Cenex/Harvest States Grain Elevator M at 41st and Dight has not been used for grain storage for some time. City staff believes that vacation of the railroad is needed and inevitable, but a major implementation hurdle is finding a path toward that end. Plans for the 38th Street and 46th Street station areas discourage freight-oriented industrial businesses, either by redesignating land uses or by encouraging industrial development that is not rail-oriented.
Q.9. What are the respective roles of the consultants and City staff in identifying and securing data and existing studies, both planning and infrastructure, including from other jurisdictions?
A.9. City staff will assist during the first phase of the study with acquiring available base data (e.g., cadastral, utility, topographic, valuation, etc.) and studies and/or providing contacts and City requests for information release from other jurisdictions. We will also work with consultant teams to identify recent projects within the study area that may provide opportunities to capture additional technical information.
Q.10. What type of stormwater infrastructure information is available and in what format will this information be provided? Has the City developed a hydrologic/hydraulic model(s) of the study area? What information has been collected for Camp Coldwater Springs (e.g. hydrogeologic/groundwater information (recharge areas), water quality data, etc) that can be used to evaluate surface water as well as groundwater impacts to the resource?
A.10. The City can provide information regarding the location, sizing and condition of the stormwater sewer system in the area. Identifying, summarizing and resolving planning level assumptions regarding watershed hydrological issues, policies and regulatory constraints will be a part of the implementation study. It is anticipated that a representative of the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District will be part of the City’s technical advisory team.
Q.11. Are the consultants expected to directly contact the railroad, utility company, property owners and business owners within the redevelopment area as part of this study?
A.11. Consultants should propose approaches that engage current property owners, businesses, railroad and utility companies to provide the most current information available on their business plans, timeframes, preferences and options. Approaches may include a mix of direct contact, recently published information, survey questionnaires, and leveraging of contacts and information from members of the Citizen Advisory Committee and City staff, or other approaches identified by the consultant team. The RFP requests that the consultant team organize at least one property owner focus group and one developer focus group meetings.
Q.12. Can we include an appendix with the proposal, provided that the main body meets the requirements stated in the RFP? We may want to include more detailed resumes and or relevant project experience.
A.12. Yes. Because of the complexity and inter-disciplinary nature of this implementation study, it is clear that some proposals may involve teams with multiple firms and/or teams comprised of members with diverse specializations and experience.
Therefore an appendix can be submitted to the proposals provided that the main body meets the requirements in the RFP, that the lead staff/firms, their resumes and most representative experiences are clearly identified within the main body of the RFP text, that the appendix information is limited to resumes and illustrations of the direct project experience of the personnel and businesses proposed, and that the appendix is attached to the back of the RFP, clearly identified as supplemental information, and included in the same formats and quantities as the RFP. An appendix should not exceed 20 pages of supplemental information.
Q.13. Does the City have plans for the existing stormwater pond at the SW corner of Hiawatha Avenue and 46th Street?
A.13. The stormwater pond was built by MnDOT as part of the Hiawatha (TH 55) road construction project. Information on the pond can be obtained from MnDOT. Over the past several years since the LRT line began operation, there have been periodic inquiries from developers and neighborhood residents regarding the feasibility of relocating the pond. One part of this RFP is to provide a succinct cost and technical feasibility assessment of this option.
Q.14. What is the level of design expected for the roadway and stormwater infrastructure?
Q.14. As stated in the RFP, the consultant team is to develop sketch concept designs and cross-sections for 46th Street and also for Snelling Avenue south of 46th Street. Designs should include pedestrian, bike, transit and streetscape elements as well. The consultant team is also to develop design concepts for green infrastructure including stormwater infrastructure. These concepts should be developed to a sufficient level to explore their cost, feasibility, safety, capacity, environmental aesthetics, and function, and to identify potential next steps towards design refinement, feasibility testing, or implementation. Samples of illustrative design products that were developed for a similar project at the Franklin Avenue LRT project are posted for your reference.
Q.15. Does the City have record information for City utilities in this area in a digital format?
A.15. The City has record information for its utilities in this area and will provide them in a paper format.
Q.16. Are copies of the redevelopment plans available?
A.16. The 46th Street LRT Station Redevelopment Plan was adopted on July 11, 2003, with Modification No. 1 approved on August 18, 2006. Both plans are available on the City Council Archives, by the attached link, and included with the agendas for the Community Development Committee meetings for those City Council meetings.
It should be noted that the redevelopment plans are legal documents required under the state economic development statutes when cities propose to undertake public redevelopment activities. They are not development plans in the more conventional architectural, planning, or engineering sense. These redevelopment plans draw their principal land use and development policy content from the adopted 46th & Hiawatha Station Area Master Plan.
Q.17. What is the size of the redevelopment project area around the station and what scale development program is proposed in the station area master plan?
The development project area is approximately 57 acres, including streets and utility corridors. The station area master plan proposed the development of 365,000 square feet of office or retail and almost 540 housing units over a 20 year period. Since 2003, there have been a total of 321 units that are either completed, currently under construction, or permitted for future construction at only three sites within the project area.
Q.18. Who will establish the project advisory committee? What is its role?
A.18 City staff are recruiting members for the Project Advisory Committee in consultation with the neighborhood groups and local elected officials at this time. The Committee will be comprised of approximately 15 members, including residents, property owners, and businesses. There will also be several staff from neighborhood groups participating in the meetings, and assisting with outreach, community education and logistics. The committee will be fully established prior to the initial meeting with the consultant team that is identified as Task 1 in the RFP proposed scope of work.
Q.19. Are there studies available of travel to the LRT stations along the corridor?
A.19. Metro Transit has completed a number of studies of LRT and bus passengers, most notably the Hiawatha Line and Bus Rider surveys and comparative analysis completed by Periscope in 2005, and the Hiawatha LRT Vehicle Occupancy and Pedestrian/Bike Study completed in 2005. There are also a number of more limited station specific and university research projects that can be provided.
Q.20. Can you clarify the types of market and financial analysis or information that you are looking for in this proposal.
A.20. There are four types of market and financial information that we are looking for: 1. Market study update on qualitative and quantitative trends in real estate market impacting development timing and mix in the station area with a focus on the next ten to fifteen years, and how this information relates to the likely phasing of development, development scenarios for the opportunity sites, and can inform station area TOD market building strategies and investment priorities. 2. Planning level cost estimates for infrastructure (street, pedestrian, and stormwater) proposed in the concept designs; 3) Pro forma analysis for the prototype development programs prepared for the opportunity sites (The purpose of this analysis is to provide an understanding of the development characteristics of sites from a financial investment perspective) and 4) a broad cost and feasibility analysis of the build-out of the station area, organized by proposed districts or phases. A good recent example of this type of feasibility analysis can be found in the Bassett Creek Valley Master Plan, posted on the CPED website.
Q.21. If a firm submits a proposal that deletes the Equal Benefits Ordinance requirements (or any other general contract terms) would the proposal be considered by the City?
A.21. Equal Benefits Ordinance requirements are part of the standard contract agreement of the City of Minneapolis. City staff is not authorized to negotiate general contract requirement terms for this contract other than project scope. However, as stated in the RFP, the proposer may suggest alternative language to any section. If a proposal that includes modifications to the general contract requirements is selected as the best proposal, in order to execute a contract with the City that contract would have to be awarded by formal City Council action. If the Equal Benefits Ordinance requirements were proposed for deletion, this requirement would have to be formally waived by the City Council.
Q.22. Who is the audience for this plan?
A.22. Although the City has issued this RFP, City staff will continue to work closely with Hennepin County, Metro Transit, the Metropolitan Council, MnDOT and other governmental and community partners on infrastructure and community development issues along the Hiawatha LRT Corridor. One role of the TOD strategy is to convert planning visions into a consensus action plan by aligning the community planning vision with market feasibility, identifying catalyst infrastructure and development projects, providing technical information to inform public and private investment decisions, and aligning governmental partners around near term priorities and opportunities in this station area. It is the role of the project advisory committee and the technical advisory committee to distribute information, expand consensus, identify champions and recruit public, private and community partners.
It is anticipated that the collaborative process required for implementation of transportation, infrastructure and development projects will be reflected in the composition of the technical advisory committee. We anticipate that some jurisdictions will play a proactive role in the study process, whereas other jurisdictions may prefer a less active informational and review role. The technical advisory committee will be established prior to the start of the consultant study.
Q.23. How is the role of the consultant defined?
A.23. The consultant team 1) designs and manages the technical research, analysis, and design process to develop the transit-oriented development strategy and action plan; 2) collaborates with the City project manager, the project advisory committee and technical advisory committee to secure timely input at key decision points and to distribute information for wider community engagement; and 3) produces the main technical studies, presentations and design products that are the intermediate and final project deliverables.
Q.24. What traffic information is available for this area?
A.24. The traffic information link below provides some access to information resources that the City has for traffic in this area. Additional traffic information was generated as part of the LRT project and is available from the Metropolitan Council.
Q.25. Can the deadline for proposal submissions be extended?
A.25. No. The deadline for the submission of proposals for this RFP will remain Monday, November 13, 2006 at 4:30 pm. Please follow the submission procedures identified in the RFP.
Posted November 6, 2006
Last updated Apr 4, 2012