A standard RFP, or Request for Proposals, is a document that outlines an opportunity for which a group or entity seeks formal proposals from respondents on how they would bring to life all or part of the opportunity. A standard RFP is most commonly used when the group or entity has a clear idea of the opportunity’s requirements and the desired finished product, the specifications of which the respondent then uses to develop a detailed plan or proposal that may be accepted as-is, or modified by the entity before acceptance. Usually this proposal then becomes a blueprint for the project. Think: “What’s your plan for this?”

An RFEI, or Request for Expressions of Interest, is a document that outlines an opportunity for which a group or entity seeks ideas and possibilities from interested parties to bring to life all or part of the opportunity. While an RFEI is a type of RFP, this format allows for more flexibility and evolution over the course of negotiations and public input than a standard RFP. An RFEI is commonly used when the issuing entity is not ready to or interested in soliciting a fixed proposal, but wants to conduct an initial screening of respondents based on their conceptual ideas, and create a short-list of the most compelling and/or qualified. An RFEI will usually illustrate the respondent’s general approach to an opportunity vs. a fully-developed plan. Think: “What are the possibilities you see for this?”

The RFEI issued by the City of Santa Fe for the Midtown site redevelopment project was designed to help the City and the evaluation committee understand the respondents’ experience with similar types of development, their team’s capabilities, and their ideas for what’s possible on the Midtown site in order to determine which master developer has the capacity to meet the site’s unique challenges, and which of their concepts most closely aligned with the community’s stated goals.

Once the Midtown evaluation committee has recommended a finalist master developer with which to negotiate, the City, developer, and community begin to work closely together to fill in the details of the development plan.

View the full RFEI for the Midtown redevelopment project.