Midtown Greenway Land Use and Development Plan RFP
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
Questions and answers about the Midtown Greenway Land Use and Development RFP are posted here (updated March 10, 2005)
Q: On page 3 of the RFP, the "Development framework" element is described as a "technical analysis and description of desired development..." Whose desired development -- the Steering Committee, the City, the neighborhood(s), the development community, the market, or all of the above? How will input from other agencies be incorporated and will they have approval of the final document, e.g. Hennepin Community Works?
A: The Minneapolis City Council is the only body that will formally consider and adopt the plan. To the extent that modifications to the City’s comprehensive plan follow approval of the plan, the Metropolitan Council has review authority over these modifications. Upon approval by the City Council, the plan represents the City’s official policy and intent toward development in the vicinity of the Midtown Greenway. Of course, it doesn’t make good city policy if it doesn’t make sense in the market, or if it can’t be supported by the community. Additionally, Hennepin County and the Metropolitan Council have both appointed representatives to the MGLUD Steering Committee.
Q: What is the role of the Midtown Greenway Coalition (MGC) during the project, in specific, in conducting the process, providing review or comment on draft products, and in approving end products?
A: The MGC has no formal role during the project. However, the MGC has an appointee to the Steering Committee who has a responsibility to maintain close communication with the MGC concerning issues of interest to the coalition.
Q: What is the anticipated makeup of the Steering Committee? Who do they represent? What will the approximate size of the committee be? How does the City envision the Steering Committee’s participation in the selection of preferred alternatives? Definitive? Advisory?
A: The steering committee is made up of appointees from a) Greenway area neighborhood organizations, b) elected officials, and c) Midtown Community Works, the Midtown Greenway Coalition, and Hennepin Community Works. City staff is responsible for the development of the plan and for recommending a satisfactory plan to the City Council. The Steering Committee is being asked to undertake the following responsibilities:
1) Process guidance. The steering committee will provide guidance to the consultant and city staff on how to structure the planning process.
2) Communication with the neighborhood association. Steering committee members will serve as a communication link between the study process and the neighborhood association.
3) Public engagement. Steering committee members may be asked to work with the neighborhood association in getting the word out about public events related to this study.
4) Plan content. The steering committee is not responsible for plan content. Broader public input is essential in informing the plan. However, the steering committee may be asked to be a sounding board and offer preliminary feedback on plan options in preparation for broader public meetings.
Q: Will staff conduct advanced briefings with Steering Committee members to address base-line information and requirements for participating on the Steering Committee? Alternatively, will this be a consultant responsibility?
A: City staff will do this.
Q: The RFP refers to "selected opportunity sites" and "site-specific development concepts". Have these sites been predetermined, or will they be borne out of this planning process? If they have been determined, are these locations available to proposers? If not, approximately how many may we anticipate?
A: Opportunity sites have not been predetermined. Anticipate approximately eight. The selected consultant will work with City staff and the Steering Committee in the selection of the sites.
Q: What role is the market consultant expected to play within the scope of the project? What are the expected outcomes of the market data and analysis?
A: The recommendations of the plan need to be supported by information sufficient to ensure that they are reality based. The same reality testing needs to be present in sessions with the community so that community preferences can be balanced against development realities and city-wide policy interests.
For the land use plan and development guidelines, the market consultant can serve as a resource for ensuring that the options under consideration are likely to be supported by the market. For opportunity site development concepts, the market consultant can provide information about the expected return that development alternatives would generate—at a level of accuracy suitable to a concept level pro forma.
Q: What amount of visioning is to be conducted during the study, and how will the "Midtown Greenway Framework Plan" be incorporated?
A: Visioning can mean many things. One of the functions of the proposals is to suggest what tools (such as visioning) the consultant proposes to use to accomplish the stated objectives and produce the required product. The Midtown Greenway Framework represents a strong piece of work that is seen as foundational to our current effort. Its focus is primarily the development of the Greenway amenity itself. Secondarily it proposes some development concepts for selected properties immediately adjacent to the Greenway. The scope of the Midtown Greenway Land Use and Development Plan is geographically broader.
Q: What amount of staff time will be made available and for what types of tasks?
A: Staff anticipates working collaboratively with the selected consultant to the extent that time is available. The study is in the work programs of two staff people in the CPED Planning Division. However, there are many other competing demands on the time of these individuals.
Q: Is the identified budget fixed?
Q: What is the desired level of detail for the development concepts? (e.g., plans, sections, elevations?)
A: Site plans w/ illustrative drawings.
Q: Will mapping and socio-economic/demographic and property attribute data be made available at no cost?
Q: How should rail transit in the Midtown Greenway be treated during the study? As a given?
A: Support for future transit was the reason for the purchase of the railway corridor from the railroad, and this remains the intent of Hennepin County and the City of Minneapolis. At this point in time it is not clear what form this will take. The MGLUD Plan will assume the highest intensity reasonable scenario—that a leg of the LRT system will use the Greenway alignment to connect the Southwest LRT line to the Hiawatha line with stops at Hennepin, Lyndale, Nicollet/I-35W, Chicago and Bloomington Avenues. Land uses in the vicinity of these station areas should be supportive of rail transit. However, each of these corridors is a viable urban corridor in its own, so intensification of land use would not be misguided even in the eventuality that transit in the Midtown Greenway does not materialize.
Q: To what extent should the design of rail transit station facilities be addressed?
A: This study plays no formal role in the design of rail transit facilities. To the extent that a transit facility interplays with a development concept for an opportunity site, it may be constructive to illustrate it. Also, the preservation of land at key nodes that is adequate to support a station facilities may be highlighted in the plan as a development guideline.
Q: What resources does CPED have available to communicate with and engage members of the minority community or immigrants?
A: Resources for translation will be supported by CPED dollars additional to the specified contract amount.
Q: How should development objectives already prepared for the Hi-Lake Shopping Center (which include the Midtown Greenway) be treated during the study?
A: We don’t have a clear viewpoint on this at this point in time.
Q: Please identify a comparable study done for the City that identifies the level of detail and design reflected as an outcome. In specific, the terms "development framework", "development guidelines", and "design guidelines" reflect what comparable project and its level of detail.
A: It’s with some hesitation that we answer this question for fear of stifling creativity, but it is a fair question to ask. A possible comparable for the future land use plan and the development guidelines sections could be the BCV Master Plan, which is on our website. A possible comparable for the opportunity site development concepts could be the Seward Longfellow Greenway Area Land Use and Pre-Development Study. This plan has not been approved, so it is not on our website, but we are able to forward an electronic copy to any interested party.
Last updated Nov. 4, 2011