Midtown Monday April 20, 2020
This is your weekly update on the predevelopment phase of the Midtown site.
Like all Santa Feans, we continue to navigate the challenges of a new normal in life and work amidst the COVID-19 outbreak. Part of that adjustment is balancing how government continues to move important things forward to prevent backslides and keep us well-positioned for a strong recovery, while being as thoughtful as possible in providing ways for all of us to participate in civic life in some way.
With that objective, rescheduling the Special Meeting for Midtown District Santa Fe has provided an opportunity to restart public engagement. In addition, it has allowed the City and developer adequate time to review the terms of an agreement to proceed with predevelopment activities. It is also providing time for the Governing Body to further vet the recommendation made by the Midtown Evaluation Committee’s based on the conceptual approach, experience, and capacity of the master developer finalists.
WHAT IS THE RESCHEDULED DATE OF SPECIAL MEETING?
A Midtown District Special Meeting with the Governing Body that was tentatively scheduled for Monday, April 13 was rescheduled for Monday, May 4, 2020. The purpose of the meeting is for the Governing Body to vote on entering into an agreement with the Midtown Evaluation Committee’s recommended master developer finalist, identified in an extensive competitive sealed solicitation process.
HOW CAN THE PUBLIC PARTICIPATE IN THE SPECIAL MEETING?
The Special Meeting on May 4 provides the public an opportunity to learn more about the recommended master development team, as they present their general approach, experience, and capacity to create and implement a development plan for Midtown through a collaborative process with the City and Santa Fe communities. The public is invited to submit questions prior to May 4 that will be answered at the Special Meeting. The City has created a Midtown District Santa Fe email address where the public may submit questions in advance of the meeting: firstname.lastname@example.org
FAQ OF THE WEEK
Q: Why have the names of the Midtown Evaluation Committee members been kept private?
To prevent any sort of real or perceived preferential treatment or outside influences on the Midtown procurement and evaluation process, the identities of Midtown Evaluation Committee members were kept private. The composition of the committee was made public in the RFEI and again when the Evaluation Committee was formed with the objective of informing the public of the City’s commitment to establishing an unbiased committee with a broad range of expertise and perspectives that would be brought to the RFEI review and evaluation process. To provide that assurance to the public, the City publicly listed the various departments and staff positions. The Evaluation Committee received training in state procurement code and on the RFEI evaluation and selection criteria upon which their work would be based. They have been highly disciplined in their responsibilities and public service to ensure the integrity of a fair competition without undue or external influences that might otherwise contaminate the evaluations process. Their charge was to review and evaluate based solely on objective criteria publically stated in the RFEI. Of greater importance, after many weekly meetings in which the committee members deliberated, and a presentation and interview with the master development team finalists, the Midtown Evaluation Committee arrived at a completely unanimous decision.
As the Governing Body concludes its own review of the sound recommendation made by the Evaluation Committee and the RFEI submission packages, the members of the committee have agreed to publicly provide their identities. They are extremely proud of the work that they undertook in a highly professional and disciplined manner.
- Erick Aune, Director Metropolitan Planning Organization
- Richard Brown, Director Office of Economic Development
- Jesse Guillen, Legislative Liaison City Attorney’s Office
- Eli Issacson, Director Land Use Department
- Pauline Kamiyama, Director Department of Art and Cultural Affairs
- Alexandra Ladd, Director Office of Affordable Housing
- Lee Logston, Land Use Staff Land Use Department
- Jarel LaPan Hill, Manager City Manager
- Mary McCoy, Director Finance Department
- Kristine Mihelcic, Director Constituent and Council Services
- Regina Wheeler, Director Public Works Department
In addition, an advisory team provided the committee with sufficient support and technical expertise to perform their evaluations. The advisory team included:
- Daniel Hernandez Proyecto (Project Management and Real Estate Development)
- Dena Belzer Strategic Economics (Economic Analysis & Land Valuation)
- Stefan Pellegrino Opticos Design (Urban Planning & Land Use)
- Erin McSherry City Attorney
- Marcos Martinez City Attorney (Procurement)
- Andrea Salazar City Attorney (Real Estate)
- Fran Dunaway Purchasing Office (Procurement)
- Bradley Fluetsch Finance Department (Budget and Finance)
- Sam Burnett Public Works (Property Management)
It should also be noted that the Governing Body did not review the RFEI submission packages while the Evaluation Committee was performing its duties. Their objective was to prevent any outside influences on the committee’s important work. They exercised great discipline and restraint, as well as patience, to allow this very important procurement process to take its course, as it was publicly outlined in the RFEI. They are finalizing their own reviews and preparing for the Special Meeting on May 4.
About This Effort
Our public mission, driven by our community and the Midtown Planning Guidelines, is to create the most creative location in the United States, where all Santa Fe residents and visitors can interact, collaborate, fuel passions, build skills, find opportunities, live equitably, and create a bright future—for ourselves, our families, and our greater community. Primary land uses for the Midtown site as identified by community members:
• Mixed-Use Development
• Residential (including affordable housing)
• Higher Education
• Arts, Culture & Entertainment
• Film & Multimedia Production
• Businesses in Creative Technology and Entrepreneurship
• Neighborhood serving Retail, Eateries, and Hospitality
• Community Health and Recreation
• Civic Facilities and Public Open Space
….and the requirement that all of these land uses be designed under a model of equitable and sustainable development. These community-driven land uses were used as the foundation for the Request for Expression of Interest (RFEI) from master developers, which can be found here.