Forest Park Area Plan
County Corp. with Harrison Township, and Montgomery County
Download the RFP here for more details.
Purpose and Plan Objectives
The purpose of this Request for Proposal (RFP) is for County Corp to enter into a consulting agreement with a qualified firm or team of firms that will complete a Plan for the Forest Park Study Area. County Corp, in addition to Harrison Township and Montgomery County, are seeking a Consultant that has experience in preparing, writing, and organizing an Area Plan that provides implementable strategies and presents a clear and articulated vision for the Forest Park Study Area that is grounded in market realities; that supports the growth of community services such as civic and institutional uses, health care, residential, retail, and employment opportunities; and that illustrates the potential of this district being a mixed-use, walkable district connected to adjacent neighborhoods and developments.
Vibrant communities exude a strong identity or "sense of place". Local residents remember the Forest Park Study Area as an entertainment destination of the past. The Forest Park Study Area had a long and rich history as an amusement park and later a shopping mall. During its heyday of the 1940s through the 1980s, residential and commercial development followed and the community prospered. Today's commercial buildings and housing stock are largely the same buildings from decades ago, many of which have not seen reinvestment and have fallen into disrepair. The realities of fast-paced changes in demographics and market preferences have encouraged a lost sense of place and lack of reinvestment in the neighborhood.
From 1928-1958, Frankie's Forest Park included an amusement park of rides, dance floors, concessions, and games. The heavily wooded area that lined the outside of the park was popular for its hiking trails. There was also a picnic area that attracted massive crowds for fireworks during the 4th of July. Overall, it was a draw to many families, touting a place of affordable entertainment.
A retail plaza replaced the park when it started to decline in the 1950's. The Forest Park Plaza was one of Dayton's earliest open-air mall-format retail centers. Anchored by the popular J.C. Penney department store, this area thrived until a shift in shopping demand coupled with the housing crisis lead to declining profits. With higher vacancy rates, lower property values, and an unclear need for retail shopping, the plaza was demolished in mid-2013. The current owner of the former retail site is actively involved in this planning effort.
Although the shopping center did not survive, even today, Forest Park remains a destination that delights the memories of residents and history books as a community attraction. The famous entertainment site and its many prosperous decades carry heartwarming flashbacks to the same site that is now ripe for redevelopment.
The successful partnership between Harrison Township and Montgomery County has sparked some new development in the area. A TIF District and newer roadways were catalysts that helped attract a new car lot, charter school, and fast food restaurant around Forest Park Study Area. There is also an abundance of graded lots that offer shovel-ready redevelopment sites.
Just south of the Forest Park Study Area is the larger and more urban City of Dayton. In the last decade, the Dayton area has been experiencing a defined sense of community attributed to an urban revitalization. With newly-renovated upscale housing, more walkable and rideable streets and bike paths, and the continued success of new downtown restaurants and breweries, urban living has become the dream. A revitalized Forest Park has the ability to experience the benefits of Dayton's urban living, while also having proximity to surrounding forestry and rich green spaces.
The Forest Park Area Plan seeks to recreate a new identity that attracts local residents with exciting urban living amenities and institutions that anchor an economically viable and sustainable destination. New development will instill a sense of pride and excitement in residents. With the collaboration of local businesses, property owners, Harrison Township, Montgomery County, and the Dayton region, the opportunities for the Forest Park Study Area are endless.
Creating a walkable destination for entertainment and a strong community identity is just the beginning for Forest Park. A new Forest Park offers the best opportunity to return a strong sense of place to the community and revitalize Harrison Township. The Study Area's central location, close proximity to the revitalized downtown, large development site for critical mass development (50+ acres), and connectivity with access to and from major bike trails, North Main Street, and short distances to Interstates 75 and 70 make it a prime candidate for redevelopment.
The Study Area
The study area is located on the west side of I-75 in Harrison Township. There is convenient access to I-75 at Need more Road and the study area is located only 10 minutes north of Downtown Dayton and 15 minutes from the Dayton International Airport. In addition, there is steady traffic flow along the Study Area's adjacent arterials: North Main Street, Shoup Mill Road, and Riverside Drive. The Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission estimates the annual average daily traffic to be 15,800 vehicles on North Main Street, 19,100 vehicles on Shoup Mill Road, and 11,300 vehicles on Riverside Drive (2015 report). The Study Area encompasses a wide range of existing land uses that includes:
Civic – Horizon Science Academy, Charity Adams Earley Girls Academy, and Girl Scouts of Western Ohio located south of Shoup Mill Road, north of Forest Park Drive, and east of N Main Street.
Commercial – PNC Bank, Rite Aid, Cassano's Pizza, KFC, Dollar General, Walgreens located along N Main Street.
Residential – Mix of single family, two families, and multifamily developments located primarily on the east side of the study area, south of E Nottingham Road, and north of Shoup Mill Road.
Vacant land – Large vacant properties are located on the north side of Forest Park Drive and on the south side of Forest Park Drive which is the site of the former amusement park and shopping center. The owner of this site is actively involved in this planning process.
Park/Recreation – Sinclair Park is located on the northeast side of the study area and includes a walking/running track, volleyball court, playground equipment, and shelters all in a wooded setting. Additionally, access to the regional bike trailway system is located at the intersection of Shoup Mill and Riverside Drive.
Scope of Services and Deliverables
The Consultant and team members should have experience with land use planning, urban design, infrastructure planning, public engagement, and real estate analysis. More specifically, it is anticipated that the Forest Park Area Plan will address the following elements:
Existing conditions, trends, and context analysis that covers demographics, land use, infrastructure, and zoning regulations.
Market study and strategy addressing projected growth and demand for different segments of the market.
Development scenarios and desired design concepts.
Future land use plan and planning strategies.
Design and character guidelines.
Implementation strategies and actions.
Deliverables will include the following digital resources:
An electronic copy of the Plan in print-ready and web-ready formats. The web-ready format should include hyperlinks and navigation tools for ease of use.
All electronic files associated with the Plan including all pictures, graphics, and map files, as well as background reports and supporting documentation.
Public engagement will be an important part of the planning process. It is anticipated that a steering committee will be formed to guide the formation of the Plan. The Steering Committee will meet on a regular basis throughout the duration of the planning process and will be made up of representatives from the Township, County, property owners, residents, business owners, and other local stakeholders as deemed necessary.
In addition to the Steering Committee, engagement should be conducted that targets the larger community and may include open houses, public meetings, focus group interviews, and online engagement. Engagement should at a minimum occur at the following times:
At the beginning of the planning process to inform the public of the project and to gain feedback on the community's initial thoughts and ideas for the area;
A check-in during the middle of the planning process to present what the Consultant has heard so far and initial thoughts on the direction of the plan; and
At the end to get feedback on the final design concepts and plan elements.
It is anticipated that this project will take approximately six months to complete.
This project has been allocated a budget of not to exceed $150,000. Funding for the project is being obtained from multiple sources including local funds and CDBG funds.
The Consultant shall submit the following information as part of the proposal to complete the Forest Park Area Plan:
Brief company profile (including sub-consultants, if any) and description of firm's experience with Area Plans and similar projects
Project understanding and statement as to why the firm or team is uniquely qualified to assist County Corp with this endeavor
Contact person's name, email address, and phone number
Names, bios, and resumes for the specific team members who will be assigned to the project noting their role in the project and their experience with similar projects
Description of the Consultant's general approach to the planning process. The approach should describe the phases of the process and the major tasks, deliverables, and public engagement anticipated during each phase. The approach should be customized for the project at hand and should provide a clear sense of the Consultant's methodology, but it does not need to include a detailed scope of work. The final scope of work will be drafted by the selected Consultant in conjunction with the contract.
Examples of similar projects that have been completed in the last 10 years
Contact information for at least three references for projects of a similar nature or scope
Proposed total cost for the project and a breakdown of cost per phase
Schedule to complete the project
The Consultant will be chosen based on the strength of their proposal and qualifications. Minority-owned Business Enterprises (MBE), Women-owned Business Enterprises (WBE), and Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBE) are encouraged to submit for this project. The selected Consultant will contract with County Corp but will also work closely with representatives from Harrison Township and Montgomery County. County Corp will review the submitted proposals and select the submissions that will be requested to interview with a selection committee to be designated. The selection committee will evaluate the following elements when choosing the preferred Consultant:
Consultant's expertise and technical abilities, qualifications, and references (25%)
Consultant's capability to perform the work on time and within budget (20%)
Planning approach and methodology including engagement and implementation strategies (25%)
Proposed cost and time frame for completion of the Plan (15%)
Consultants may contact Steve Naas, President of County Corp, prior the submittal deadline. An electronic copy of the Proposal should be submitted electronically to Mr. Naas no later than 5:00 PM on Friday, July 28, 2017. The submittal may be emailed or provided on a CD or flash drive.
Steve Naas, President
130 W. Second Street, Ste 1420
Dayton, OH 45402