Request for Qualifications

Robert St. Renaissance Plan Update

City of West St. Paul

West St. Paul, MN

Posted: 07/08/2014
Submittal Deadline: 07/31/2014


The City of West St. Paul, MN is seeking proposals to assist in updating the 2001 Robert Street Renaissance Plan and development of 3-4 zoning overlay districts. For more information, please visit the website provided or see the complete description below. Please address questions to Ben Boike, Assistant Comm. Dev. Dir./City Planner, at the email provided. Thank you!

Contract Administration

All correspondence regarding this Request for Qualifications (RFQ) and the proposed project must be addressed to:

Ben Boike
Assistant Community Development Director/City Planner
City of West St. Paul
1616 Humboldt Ave
West St. Paul, MN 55118

Acceptance of Proposal Contents
The contents of this RFQ and proposal will become contractual obligations if a contract ensues. Failure of the Consultant to meet these obligations may result in cancellation of the award. All information in the proposal is subject to disclosure under the provisions of Minnesota Statutes Chapter 13 – Minnesota Government Data Practices Act.

The City of West St. Paul is seeking proposals from qualified multi-disciplinary consultant teams to assist in updating the 2001 Robert Street Renaissance Plan and development of three or four zoning overlay districts for the Robert Street corridor. Public engagement will be a priority throughout the planning process for both tasks.

Robert Street is the retail and community hub of West St. Paul. The two and a half mile corridor is home to 800,000 plus square feet of retail and draws upwards of 30,000 vehicles a day. As the community developed over time, development along the corridor progressed from north to south, from early century pedestrian scale development on the north end to 1970s/80s auto-oriented big box retail on the south end. At the turn of the century, the corridor consisted mostly of large parking lots, excessive signage and franchise architecture resulting in a nondescript identity typical of many suburban commercial strips.

As a result, in 2001 the City adopted the Robert Street Renaissance Plan. The plan outlines development strategies within the corridor that is “sustainable, livable, economically viable and responsive the City’s vision.” In response to the development patterns within the corridor, the plan outlines general design principles and development standards for three distinct districts. Since the Plan was adopted, many of the recommendations have been incorporated into the Zoning Ordinance. A formal Site Plan review process was adopted, front building setbacks were established requiring that all buildings be located adjacent to the street, minimum landscape requirements were established, pylon signs were prohibited in favor of monument signs, and specific building facade design requirements were created. The aforementioned changes are evident throughout the corridor today as a result of the Robert Street Renaissance Plan.

In addition to providing recommendations for the private realm, the plan also provides recommendations for the public realm with the end goal of creating cohesive character throughout the corridor. The Robert St. Improvement Project ($30M project scheduled to begin in 2015) is also a direct result of the Robert Street Renaissance Plan. The project will include the installation of a raised center median (which will include landscaping in various locations), consolidation of access, resurfacing of the roadway, replacement of sidewalk, curbing and aging underground utilities, as well as a variety of streetscape elements, including trees within the boulevard, new lighting, pedestrian amenities, and gateway features. Once completed, city leaders are confident that the road project will lead to increased investment within the corridor.

In preparation of the Robert Street Improvement Project and increased development activity post-recession, the City of West St. Paul is seeking to update the Robert Street Renaissance Plan. Planning is needed to support and enhance the existing character of the corridor by reflecting the City’s current vision for the corridor. In addition to updating the plan, the project will also create and develop multiple overlay districts within the corridor based on varying market conditions. Each district will include specific design requirements/zoning language to implement the vision updated plan.

The selected Consultant will take the lead role in updating the Plan, developing the zoning overlay districts, and the public engagement process. City Staff will serve as the project manager and will be available to the Consultant in a supporting role throughout the project. The following is a list of proposed tasks for the Consultant:

PHASE I: Robert Street Renaissance Plan Update

1. Introduction and Project Background
• Review of all relevant existing City planning documents including but not limited to the Robert Street Renaissance Plan (2001), the 2030 Comprehensive Plan (2008) and the Pedestrian and Bicycle Master Plan (2011)
• Review the Robert Street Improvement plan (including traffic analysis)
• Review of Robert Street Transit Study (County) and existing Transit services
• Review the Zoning Ordinance
• A minimum of one work session with a Project Advisory Committee to refine the vision, goals and characteristics of the corridor
• Write draft text
• Revise draft text per City Staff review

2. Develop Urban Design Principles
• Work Session with Project Advisory Committee to review and refine principles
• Develop illustrative sketches/images to communicate principles
• Write draft text
• Revise draft text per City Staff review

3. Develop Framework Plan (Corridor-wide and at District level)
• Work Session with Project Advisory Committee to review and refine issues and opportunities for the corridor as a whole and for each district
• Develop graphics to communicate issues and opportunities
• Develop up to three concepts for one key node within each district
• Develop recommendations (text and graphics)
• Write draft text
• Revise draft text per City Staff review

4. Design Guidelines (Public and Private Realm)
• Update of architectural guidelines for each district, including graphics and diagrams reflecting the vision as defined in previous steps for the following areas:
° Context – compatibility, development intensity, building placement, pedestrian frontage
° Building Massing – building height, building scale, building modulation
° Building Materials and Color
° Building Elements – entries & windows, public entrances, transparency standards, windows, glazing
° Building Lighting – canopy lighting, mounted lighting
° Building Signage – materials, height, size, lighting
° Alleys – buffers, landscaping
° Parking Lots – buffers, landscaping, lighting
° Outdoor Spaces – seating areas, amenity zone, bicycle facilities, pedestrian connectivity
° Green Space – setback areas, landscaping

5. Implementation
• Work session with Project Advisory Committee to review implementation plan
• Develop implementation recommendations and review
• Write draft text
• Revise draft text per City Staff review

6. Prepare Final Report
• Prepare draft report
• Revise final report per City Staff review

7. Develop Vision Handout/Brochure
• Development of up to three conceptual brochure layouts
• Refine one concept to final draft
• Revise final draft per City Staff review

PHASE II: Overlay Districts – Development of 3-4 Zoning Overlay Districts for the Robert Street Corridor

1. Develop Ordinance Framework
• Review of updated plan
• Review of zoning ordinance
• Field review of the corridor
• Prepare alternative formats for formatting within the Zoning Ordinance
• Prepare alternative formats for administering the overlay districts including Staff level and Planning Commission/Council level approvals

2. Develop Matrix of Ordinance components to be regulated by districts, with sketches or graphics
• Architectural Features – building materials, first floor transparency, entrance features, architectural components, signage, etc.
• Dimensional Standards – setbacks, building height, lot coverage, floor area ratios, etc.
• General Development Standards – site layout, parking (including parking requirements), landscaping, relationship of on-site development to the public realm (sidewalks, boulevard, street, transit, etc).

3. Zoning Language and Formatting
• Write draft language for each of the districts and format it to fit into the existing ordinance, or as a separate document to be referred to in the ordinance
• Refine ordinance per City Staff review

• Kick-off meeting with City Staff
• 4-5 Project Advisory Committee Meetings
• 1-2 Public Open House meetings
• 6-8 Meetings with City Staff
• 2-3 Meeting with the Planning Commission
• 2-3 Meetings with the City Council

The proposal shall contain the type of information summarized below. Additional information is allowable provided it is directly related to the proposed project.

The proposal should follow the Table of Contents listed below. The eight (8) sections of the proposal should be separated using tabs.

I. General Information
II. Project Understanding
III. Project Approach
IV. Proposed Project Team and Detailed Experience
V. Schedule
VI. Proposed Modifications to Scope
VII. Why Us?
VIII. Additional Information

A brief description of each section is included below.

I. General Information
General information and a brief history of the Consultant’s firm. Include similar information on any key sub-consultants proposed for the project.
II. Project Understanding
A summary of the Consultant’s understanding of the project.
III. Project Approach
Provide specific approaches, methods and assumptions that will be utilized to accomplish the development of this project, including each work phase listed under Sec. 4 of this RFQ. Include statements about the Consultant’s approach to coordinating a public process that includes many stakeholders.
IV. Proposed Project Team and Experience
• Identify the key project team members and describe their specific roles on the project. Include key team members from sub-consultant firms.
• Describe relevant experience and provide information on at least three (3) reference projects completed in the last five (5) years.
• Include one-page resumes for key members of the project team, including field personnel.
• Include specific descriptions of proposed team members’ roles on reference projects. Provide a contact name and information for each of the references.
V. Schedule
A detailed description of how the consulting team proposes to complete the project, including proposed approach, process, timeline, tasks and other relevant details.
VI. Proposed Modifications to Scope
The proposal shall discuss any proposed modifications to the scope outlined herein that the Consultant may feel are necessary. These modifications shall be clearly identified within the proposal. The outline of work items provided by the City is for general guidance only and may be modified as appropriate with City approval.
VII. Why Us?
A statement explaining why the Consultant’s firm should be selected to perform the services for this project. What makes the firm stand out as the best choice for the City of West St. Paul?
VIII. Additional Information
Include any other information that is believed to be pertinent but not specifically requested elsewhere in this RFQ.

Submission of Proposal

Please provide 5 copies (4 bound & 1 unbound) of the proposal for the evaluation process. Proposals will be accepted until 4:00 p.m. on Thursday, July 31st, 2014.

Proposals will be reviewed and evaluated by City Staff on the basis of the following criteria:
• Quality, completeness, and clarity of proposal
• Demonstrated understanding of the project scope
• Proposed organization, management and technical approach to the project
• Strategies and proven expertise for engaging broad public participation
• Demonstrated capacity, experience and technical expertise to successfully complete the project
• Staff qualifications and experience
• Ability to communicate findings, ideas, concepts, and policies through a combination of written and graphic mediums
• Itemization and allocation of staff resources in relation to the tasks outlined in the project scope
• Review of references

After review of all submitted proposals, the City will narrow the field and invite those finalists to submit a proposed budget to complete the project. The City will then select the preferred proposal and negotiate a contract with the selected Consultant.

The desired timeline is to complete both phases of the proposed project by October of 2015 in conjunction with completion of phase I of the Robert St. Improvement project:
Phase I – Renaissance Plan Update – completed by March/April 2015
Phase II – Development of Overlay Districts – completed by October/November 2015

1) The consultant shall enter into a contract with the City that substantially conforms to the attached contract.
2) It is expected that the contract will provide for compensation for actual hours expended on a not-to-exceed basis.
3) If, for any reason, a firm is not able to execute a contract within 30 days of the award, the City reserves the right to contract with another qualified firm.
4) The City shall not be liable for any expenses incurred by the Consultant prior to the signing of a contract including, but not limited to, proposal preparation or final contract negotiations.
5) The proposal must be signed in ink by an official authorized to bind the Consultant to its provisions. The proposal must include a statement as to the period during which the proposal remains valid. This period must be at least 90 days from the date of the proposal.
6) The City reserves the right to reject any and all proposals or to request additional information from any or all consultants.