City of Buffalo NY Request For Proposal


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City of Buffalo NY Request For Proposal

  1. 1. City of Buffalo Request for Proposals WEBSTER BLOCK ISSUE DATE: Monday, April 2, 2012 REGISTRATION DEADLINE:Friday, May 25, 2012, 4:00 p.m. (EDT) PROPOSAL SUBMISSION DEADLINE:Friday, June 15, 2012, 4:00 p.m. (EDT) Byron W. Brown Mayor
  2. 2. Figure 1 A summer concert in the Inner Harbor. Source: ECHDC.The “Webster Block” is one of the most sought after parcels of property in the Buffalo-Niagara region due to its location in Downtown Buffalo and its proximity to Buffalo’swaterfront, two major sports stadiums, and the international bridge crossing to Canada. TheWebster Block is also located within Canalside, a $250 million redevelopment project.Last summer, over 400,000 people visited Buffalo’s waterfront to enjoy the recentlycompleted improvements in Buffalo’s Inner Harbor. The improvements were completed aspart of the Canalside project. People were drawn to the area by the expanded attractionsalong the waterfront and improved access to Lake Erie and the Buffalo River. The number ofvisitors is expected to grow dramatically this year given the positive buzz about Buffalo’sInner Harbor, continued development, and the increased number of planned events andattractions.The Webster Block is also located in the shadow of the First Niagara Center, home of theNational Hockey League’s Buffalo Sabres. For most of the Buffalo Sabres home games all18,500 seats of First Niagara Center are filled. In addition, the Center hosts numerousconcerts and events throughout the year. Last year, the First Niagara Center welcomed over1 million guests for all events and the year before, when it hosted the World Junior HockeyChampionship, the Center welcomed over 1.3 million guests.Located a short walking distance away, Coca-Cola Field is home of the Triple-A BaseballBuffalo Bisons of the International League. With a seating capacity of for 18,025, Coca-ColaField is one of the largest parks in all of Minor League Baseball and continues to be on thecutting edge of sports and entertainment venues. This July Coca-Cola Field is hosting theTriple-A Baseball All-Star Game.Downtown Buffalo is home to more than 1,100 businesses and has a skilled workforce ofmore than 58,000. More than 3,300 people live in a wide variety of housing stock such aswaterfront condos, loft apartments, single-family homes and traditional apartment buildings.A recent market study showed a strong pent up demand for additional residentialopportunities in Downtown Buffalo. Downtown has seen well over a billion dollars worth ofreal estate investment since 2006. 1
  3. 3. Figure 2 First Niagara Center, home of the Buffalo Sabres. Source: Artvoice.Buffalo has one of the lowest effective tax rates in New York State, one of the strongestmunicipal budgets, and the City is revamping its development framework to better guideinvestment and expedite the approval process. Adding to this positive environment forinvestment, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo recently committed $1 billion to restructuringBuffalo’s economy.The Mayor’s Office of Strategic Planning (hereinafter referred to as “OSP”) is solicitingproposals for the sale and redevelopment of real property located at 75 Main Street, Buffalo,New York 14202 (hereinafter referred to as the “Property”).The Request for Proposals (RFP) is seeking a qualified developer or development team withthe ability, development credentials, financial capacity, and experience to prepareredevelopment concepts for the development of the Property in accordance with the overallplan for the area. This RFP instructs prospective developers and/or development teams tosubmit development proposals for the Property, together with their development experience.Depending on the number of proposals received, OSP may request more detailed informationby selecting some proposals for further consideration in a short list of finalists and/or forpresentations in the community.LOCATION AND DESCRIPTION OF PROPERTYThe Property consists of a 74,680+ sq.ft. (1.71acres) surface parking lot located at 75 MainStreet (SBL No. 111.17-13-2) and bounded by Main, Washington, Scott, and Perry. Title tothe Property is currently held by the City of Buffalo.On-going Investment in Neighborhood:The property is located in Buffalo’s Inner Harbor, which is seeing significant private andpublic investment. 2
  4. 4. Figure 3 Coca-Cola Field Day & Night. Source: Buffalo News.First Niagara Center is located immediately to the south and home to the Buffalo Sabres,Buffalo Bandits, and is a venue for numerous concerts and events throughout the year. TheBuffalo Sabres organization recently invested $27 million in upgrades for the Center.HSBC Bank employs approximately four thousand people in the Buffalo area. The HSBCAtrium is located immediately to the east of the Webster Block. Approximately 1800 HSBCemployees work in the Atrium Building. HSBC’s banking operations in Buffalo focus oncommercial and corporate banking, including cross-border. The HSBC Atrium is currentlyundergoing a multi-million dollar improvement that will see its total employee capacityincrease to 2100.The Canalside development project and Lake Erie are located immediately to the west of thesite. The Canalside project is overseen by Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation(ECHDC), a subsidiary of Empire State Development Corporation. Canalside is a $250 millionproject with activity currently focused on the construction of historically aligned canals andcanal environment for approximately $25 million. To the north is the former Donovan StateOffice Building which is currently being redeveloped for approximately $30 million as a mixeduse building with office and hotel space. Additionally, the site borders the NFTA Metro Rail,Buffalo’s light rail system. As part of Mayor Byron W. Brown’s Cars Sharing Main StreetInitiative, the City of Buffalo, in conjunction with ECHDC and the Niagara FrontierTransportation Authority, is redesigning and reconstructing this portion of Main Street andthe NFTA Metro Rail.The City will accept any and all development proposals for uses and activities at the Property,however, every proposal will need to demonstrate how it builds upon the synergies of the 3
  5. 5. abutting properties listed above and within the larger neighborhood context such as the ErieBasin Marina, Cobblestone District, and Coca-Cola Field. Figure 4 Canalside Development Parcels. Note: HSBC Arena is now First Niagara Center. Source: ECHDC.Relevant Plans:The City’s Queen City Hub Plan recognizes the area in which the Property is located as anErie Canal and Waterfront District. Although adopted in November of 2003, a recentlycompleted initiative called the Buffalo Building Reuse Project found that the City must buildupon the strategic initiative outlined in the Queen City Hub Plan. The highly recreational andsports entertainment character of this district suggests that a mixed use project would beappropriate for the site. While housing or office might be proposed for the Property,respondents should consider how street level uses benefit not only the users of the proposedbuilding, but also the visitors to the district in general. The City of Buffalo would expect thatthe project builds upon the recreational and sports opportunities in the district and createslively street activity year-round.The Property is located within the ECHDC Canalside project area. An environmental reviewfor this project area has been completed under the New York State Environmental QualityReview Act (“SEQRA”). As part of developing the project area, ECHDC developed designguidelines for all parcels within the Canalside, including the Webster Block. 4
  6. 6. Figure 5 Rendering of the public canal system coming to Canalside in 2012. Source: ECHDC.Site Access:Aside from the light rail, there is almost immediate access from the Property to region’s ringroad network, the I-190. The international bridge to Canada is located short drive awayalong the I-190. Buffalo’s Downtown Amtrak station is located nearby the Property. Anenvironmental review has also been commenced by Erie Canal Harbor DevelopmentCorporation for a bridge connection to Buffalo’s Outer Harbor. One of the proposed sites forthe bridge is the foot of Main Street, which is only a few hundred feet away from the Property.Buffalo’s Outer Harbor is currently being studied by the City of Buffalo for developmentopportunities. Figure 6 View of the Webster Block neighborhood from Buffalo’s Outer Harbor. Source: ECHDC.Given the event activities at First Niagara Center, Coca-Cola Field, and Canalside, proposalswill need to demonstrate how access to and from the Property will be managed. Publicaccess to the waterfront must be taken into account including multi-modal connections totransit, bicycle, pedestrian, and waterborne networks. The benefit of the Property’s locationnext to the NFTA Metro Rail must be taken into account. Parking amenities at the Propertycould support not only the building, but also attractions located around the building and sitesaccessible via the NFTA Metro Rail. 5
  7. 7. Figure 7 Boats docked in the Erie Canal Terminus. Source: ECHDC.The City will consider being a partner in the development project as the owner and funder ofan integrated parking structure. The Main Place Mall (located approximately a half milenorth of the Webster Block and accessible via the Metro Rail) and HSBC Tower in DowntownBuffalo are examples of the City owning a parking ramp in a structure and the developerowning the rest of the project. These are public ramps where the developer has no exclusiverights to the parking, but the tenants and customers benefit from the integration of publicparking into the development. The proposal must include whether this partnership is desiredand propose an ownership and financing structure. 6
  8. 8. Relevant LinksThe Queen City Hub Plan may be found at: information about Canalside and the surrounding neighborhood may be found at: on the link for the “MGPP and Related Documents” on the right side of the Home Page.Information about the Outer Harbor Bridge Connection Study may be found at: about the Outer Harbor development study may be found at: Buffalo Building Reuse Project report may be found at: regarding Downtown Buffalo may be found at: regarding recent investments in Downtown Buffalo may be found at: regarding the Western New York Region may be found at: 7
  9. 9. SUBMISSION REQUIREMENTSSix (6) copies of the proposal must be submitted in an 8 1/2”x11” bound document formatas well as an electronic file on disc or “flash” drive. If submitted under separate cover,appended studies and graphics should be clearly labeled to identify the project anddeveloper.Proposals must be received by registered mail or hand delivered and registered at thereception desk at the address below by 4:00 p.m., Friday, June 15, 2012. Brendan R. Mehaffy, Executive Director Mayor’s Office of Strategic Planning Webster Block Proposal 920 City Hall Buffalo, NY 14202All questions or inquiries regarding the RFP must be submitted in writing Questions and inquiries will be accepted from allinterested parties until Tuesday, May 22, 2012 at 5:00 p.m. (EST) and responses will beposted on a continuing basis at No response will beprovided for questions and inquiries after this time to non-registered parties.To register, interested parties must send a letter to: Mayor’s Office of Strategic Planning Attn: Webster Block 920 City Hall Buffalo, New York 14202The letter must include a brief statement of interest, name of the firm, and contactinformation for a primary contact person. A non-refundable registration fee of $300.00 mustalso be included with the letter made payable to the “City of Buffalo.” Registration lettersand payment must be received in the Mayor’s Office of Strategic Planning no later thanFriday, May 25, 2012 at 4:00 p.m. (EST).Registered parties can continue to submit questions and inquiries at Answers to questions and inquiries submitted by Friday, June 8, 2012 will beshared on a continuing basis with all registered entrants by e-mail. Depending on the volumeand complexity of questions, the Mayor’s Office of Strategic Planning cannot guarantee thatquestions and inquiries submitted after June 8, 2012 will be responded to prior to theproposal submission deadline of June 15, 2012. 8
  10. 10. PROJECT AWARD PROCESSTENTATIVE SCHEDULE AND SUBJECT TO CHANGEThere will be a non-mandatory pre-proposal conference call for registered respondents onMay 29, 2012 at 3:00 p.m. The Mayor’s Office of Strategic Planning will contact the primarycontact person identified during registration via e-mail and provide the dial-in information forthe conference call.April 2, 2012 Request for Proposal Issue DateMay 22, 2012 Deadline for Written Inquiries from Non-Registered Interested PartiesMay 25, 2012 Registration DeadlineMay 29, 2012 Non-Mandatory Pre-Proposal CallJune 15, 2012 Proposals Due to Mayor’s Office of Strategic PlanningAugust 15, 2012 Anticipated Date that respondent will be notified of selection 9
  11. 11. PROPOSAL REQUIREMENTSProposals must include the following information in a brief and concise format. The City ofBuffalo reserves the right to request additional information during the evaluation ofresponses and to reject any or all proposals.A. Letter of Interest A letter of interest should accompany the proposal with the following information: 1. A brief description of the project (i.e., proposed use); 2. A brief history of the developer which lists principals with at least 20% owner interest in the company; 3. A listing of team members, including the primary contact person and each team member’s responsibilities with respect to the development project; 4. A summary of the developer’s qualifications and pasts experience relevant to the proposed redevelopment activity; and 5. The developer’s experience in working and partnering with communities as well as both public and private partners. In addition, it should detail previous success in engaging the participation of adjoining neighborhoods and communities in the development process. 6. Identify how the developer would ensure meaningful participation from certified Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprise (M/WBE) at all project levels, including, financing, management, design, and construction.B. Preliminary Design Submission 1. Perspective renderings giving an architectural and urban design sense as the setting for the proposed development. 2. Site plan (to scale) showing building elements, surrounding structures, open space, building access, parking, streets, sidewalks, and street trees, traffic flows and lanes. 3. Building elevations (to scale). 4. Floor plans (to scale). a. For Typical floor plans-provide only one (1) b. Non-typical floor plans-provide as required c. Plans shall show such detail as to indicate, stairwells, elevators, access to the garage, mechanical room, refuse storage, etc. d. For projects proposing residential units, detail should indicate bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchens, etc. 5. Primary material elements to be used in the building’s façade. 6. Description of how the physical components of the proposed development deviate from the Canalside Design Guidelines (e.g., building orientation, façade articulation, ground-level uses, architectural elements, materials, etc.) and the reason for any deviation. 7. Program Summary Tabulation, including: gross square foot (“GSF”) floor areas, parking spaces, parking ratios per unit/use, unit count and use categories by floor and totals, and total FAR. Include amenities provided as part of the project (i.e. types of interior finishes, open floor plans, ceiling heights, balconies, etc.). 10
  12. 12. C. Proposed Development Financing 1. Entity: Indicate type of entity in which the real property interest will be vested; whether existing or to be formed; prior experience in projects of this nature; principles and financial statements. 2. Equity: Indicate type, amount, and source of other equity to be provided to undertake project proposal. 3. Interim Financing: Type and if available, copies of commitments. 4. Permanent Financing: Type and commitment, if required. If federal or state financial assistance is to be a type of financing, include prior experiences of in applying and securing federal or state commitments. 5. Project Financing Plan: Include construction cost estimate as applicable for all phases of the project (including bonds); architectural costs; construction carrying costs (interest; real estate taxes and insurance; financing costs, discounts and processing fees); legal, organizational accounting and title costs; marketing and rent up costs; contingency; developer fees; and the total of all the above. In order to fully evaluate the feasibility of the project costs for construction, detailed order of magnitude costs for major categories must be provided. Include assumptions for cost, source of funding, operating revenue and expenses, vacancies and the like. Also, there should be two contingencies, one for the project hard costs and one for architecture and engineering costs. 6. Debt and Equity Structure: Include total project cost, equity position, applicable debt structure, and debt service requirements. 7. Public Funding: Identify any proposed or anticipated public funding requests including any request for infrastructure improvements, property tax exemptions, sales tax exemptions on building materials, and PILOT Agreements.D. Approach to Development IssuesIn the proposal, developer should explain their general approach to developing the Propertyincluding: 1. outlining a plan to work and partner with the surrounding community, including collaboration with both public and private institutions, if applicable; 2. discussion of market conditions that support the proposed uses, 3. compatibility with surrounding building uses; 4. the incorporation of sustainable design and development principles into the project; and 5. demonstrating a detailed knowledge of the district in which the Property is located and how the proposed project will add to the character of the district.E. Construction ScheduleProvide a schedule for the overall project detailing such milestones as design development,financing commitments, construction, project completion, etc. 11
  13. 13. F. Sale PriceUnless otherwise permitted by law, the City of Buffalo is required to dispose of real propertyat the highest marketable value and that should be considered by the developer in preparingthe development costs. Proposals must clearly state the offer/bid for the Property andownership structure for the proposed building and land.Other financial assumptions should be considered in preparation:A. An appraisal establishing a sales price must be prepared if an acceptable proposal is selected, however, the developer must include an estimated purchase offer or lease payment amount in the proposal.B. Timeline for construction and permanent financing commitments.C. A proposal for parking, either through the development of on-site (structured or non- structured) or off-site is the responsibility of the developer. As stated above, the City of Buffalo will entertain proposals that seek to incorporate public parking.D. The determination for eligibility for various incentive programs is the responsibility of the developer.E. Sale of the Property is subject to City of Buffalo Common Council approval.F. Performance Bonds will be required during the development period. Liquidated damages will be assessed upon failure to meet substantial project completion milestones.G. Project ImpactsInclude projected jobs and average annual salaries that would be generated by the proposedredevelopment, both during renovations/construction and permanent (i.e., in the first three[3] years of operation). Include specific supporting data to indicate how the project willcontribute to the economic benefit of the community (i.e., net new jobs, tax revenues,spending, and economic activity). Discussion should also focus on the developer’scommitment to green development.H. Developer Financial InformationAs part of the review process, the developer must be prepared to submit financialinformation.NOTE:The release of this financial information will be restricted subject to the City’s compliancewith the Freedom of Information Law and other State and Federal statutes.The developer must be prepared to provide the following within a week of a request from theCity of Buffalo: 1. Current financial statements – Developer should submit a current financial statement plus a financial statement for the previous two years. In the case of newly formed development entities, the proposal should include a financial statement of the general partners or corporate affiliate(s), prepared by a Certified Public Accountant and including the most recent audit of all parties. The statement should show the assets, liabilities, and net worth of the developer. 12
  14. 14. 2. Other disclosures – Include any prior negative financial history involving the developer and/or its owners, partners, shareholders and board members. In the body of the proposal, the developer must address the following questions: Has the developer or any of the affiliated individuals listed defaulted on a real estate obligation? If so, please explain. Has the developer or any of the affiliated individuals listed been delinquent on a commercial or housing development debt? If so, please explain. Has the developer or any of the affiliated individuals listed been the defendant in any legal suit or action brought by a governmental entity or affiliated agency? If so, please explain. Has the developer or any of the affiliated individual’s listed declared bankruptcy or made compromised statements with creditors? If so, please explain. Are there any current legal proceedings or judgments recorded against the developer or any of the affiliated individuals listed? If so, please explain. Has the developer ever been debarred or prohibited from bidding on work by any state or federal agencies such as the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, U.S. Small Business Administration, Erie County, or the Dormitory Authority of the New York State? If so, please explain.I. Resident Employment: Contracting with Women and Minority Business EnterprisesIn accordance with Governor Cuomo’s Executive Order No. 8 establishing a policy to promoteequal opportunity in contracting for all persons, without discrimination for minority groupmembers and women and business enterprises owned by them, and to eradicate the barriersthat have impaired access by minority and women-owned business enterprises to Statecontracting opportunities, the City of Buffalo seeks to encourage meaningful partnershipswith and participation from certified Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises(M/WBE) at all project levels. For purposes of this solicitation, the City of Buffalo herebyestablishes (a) an overall goal of 25% for Minority-Owned Business Enterprises (“MBE”)participation and 5% for Women-Owned Business Enterprises (“WBE”) participation duringthe development of the project, which includes the financing, pre-construction, constructionand operation-maintenance phases, and (b) a minority workforce goal of 25% and a womenworkforce goal of 5% during construction. The developer as well as contractors mustdocument good faith efforts to provide meaningful participation by MWBEs as subcontractorsor suppliers in the performance of the contract and agrees that the City of Buffalo maywithhold payment pending receipt of the required MWBE and workforce participationdocumentation. M/WBEs companies are encouraged to respond.Utilization plans for both M/WBEs and workforce participation must be completed as part ofthe submission. For guidance on completing utilization plans and assistance on affirmativeaction compliance please submit your questions and inquiries through the contact processoutlined above.J. ReferencesProvide three (3) references from projects previously undertaken by the developer. 13
  15. 15. PROPOSAL RULESReservations 1. The City reserves the right to stop the selection process at any time if it is considered to be in the best interest of the City. The City also reserves the right to reject any or all proposals submitted. 2. The City reserves the right to seek additional information from respondents and related entities. 3. All decisions related to this RFP are subject to all applicable federal, state and local laws and regulations, and the policies and procedures of the City of Buffalo. 4. All costs associated with the preparation of the proposal, as well as any other related materials, will be borne by the respondent.Evaluation CriteriaThe City will enter into agreements for the transfer of the Property to those applicants whoseproposals best meet the following selection criteria and offer the greatest prospects ofsuccessful completion.1. Completeness of the Application Proposal All required documents have been submitted and the project is presented in a clear and concise manner.2. Experience and Qualifications Respondent and any affiliated partners - have successfully completed project(s) similar in size and scope; completed similar project(s) but smaller in size and scope; and3. Consistency with Local Plans4. Community Impact The extent to which the project will be an asset to neighborhoods, the city, and the region.5. Creative Design Proposal provides for the creative and architecturally appropriate concept and incorporates sustainable design and development principles into the project.6. MBE/WBE Participation Proposal includes participation of certified Minority and Women Business Enterprises.7. Project Budget Project budget is complete, and all sources and uses of funds are clearly defined and documented with evidence of commitments; costs are limited to amounts or percentages specified in the request for proposals. 14
  16. 16. 8. Cost Effectiveness Proposed costs are reasonable.9. Project Readiness The likelihood of timely progress toward closing on a property transfer agreement leading to the positive redevelopment of the site. The City of Buffalo is looking for projects that will begin construction in the spring of 2013.10. Sale Price 15