Request for Qualifications
The Sarasota Bayfront Planning Organization (SBPO) seeks to engage a planning team to create a master plan for a City of Sarasota-owned 42-acre site on the bayfront of Sarasota, Florida. Teams had six weeks to prepare their RFQ responses, which were due on September 1, 2017. A shortlist of four teams was announced on September 19th; shortlisted teams met in Sarasota for interviews October 3-4 with the SBPO and the public. During the interviews, each shortlisted team had the opportunity to discuss its qualifications and master planning approach. A finalist team will be announced on October 11th, with the master planning process commencing in early December. SBPO has engaged HR&A Advisors, an industry-leading economic development and public policy consulting firm, to facilitate the design team selection process.
The RFQ will remain available here: DOWNLOAD RFQ
Please contact Judith Fagin at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or for any questions you may have about the RFQ, the design team selection process, or the master planning project.
Scheduled milestones and activities related to the master planning process are posted under the "What's Next" tab. For more about past and current activities related to the site, visit The Bay Sarasota.
Public Record of Questions and Answers by Topic: Fee | Teaming | Submittal | Interview
Q1. Please clarify the intended allocation of the “$850,000 that has been set aside for all costs associated with the development of the master plan.” Is this amount intended to include any other fees and expenses beyond the Round I and Round II master planning consultant team to be selected, such as fees for HR&A and/or Judith Fagin if they continue to be retained by the SBPO to support the master planning process? Secondly, is it correct to assume that this amount is for the completion of the Scope of Services within the schedule described, i.e., between the project kickoff on 5 December 2017, and mid-2018? (16 August 2017)
A1. The $850,000 refers to the maximum amount that has been set aside for all master planning team-related costs associated with the development of the master plan for the duration of the agreed-to scope of services, including consultant and subconsultant fees and allowances, travel expenses, and other reimbursables. Internal SBPO expenses for staff support and other costs not directly related to the master planning team will be funded separately.
Q2. In regard to the Q&A on Fee: Q1, please clarify if we should carry a budget for SBPO’s consultants. And if so, for how much? (18 August 2017)
A2. The "master planning team" comprises the Prime Consultant and all of its subconsultants and costs; respondents do not need to reserve a budget for additional management and administrative staff support that may be engaged directly by the SBPO during the master planning period. The SBPO expects that respondents will budget for a complete Scope of Work for a project of this nature.
Q3. Can you clarify the funding available for this Master Plan? Approximately how much of the $850,000 is available for the contract? (21 August 2017)
A3. See responses to Fee Q1 and Q2, above.
Q4. Are applicable taxes to be included or excluded in the $850,000 budget? (22 August 2017)
A4. As indicated above in Fee response A1, “The $850,000 refers to the maximum amount that has been set aside for all master planning team-related costs associated with the development of the master plan for the duration of the agreed-to scope of services, including consultant and subconsultant fees and allowances, travel expenses, and other reimbursables.” It is certainly inclusive of sales or other taxes, and any other costs related to the team’s approved Scope of Work.
Q1. If we are part of a submittal but our team is not shortlisted, are we eligible to be considered in Round II as a subconsultant? (26 July 2017)
A1. Yes. The selected Prime Consultant will propose Round II subconsultants for approval by the Planning and Development Committee of the SBPO.
Q2. We just heard about this RFQ. Are there candidate design firms with which SBPO is already working? (27 July 2017)
A2. The RFQ process is intended to be wide-open to all respondents. As such, the RFQ was released via national and local professional outlets including the American Planning Association, BidNet, ONVIA DemandStar, the Urban Land Institute’s local and national outlets, and the SBPO website. The SBPO has not worked with any candidate design firms since its creation in the fall of 2016.
Q3. Can an architecture/urban design firm with its own urban design studio qualify as the Prime Consultant and project manager? (4 August 2017)
A3. Yes. Each team should propose whatever teaming strategy it believes is most appropriate for the assignment.
Q4. Will HR&A continue their role as client advisors throughout the course of the project, or will they be available to join Round I shortlisted teams in Round II and to participate in the management of the project? (4 August 2017)
A4. HR&A is not available to be a member of candidate Prime Consultants’ proposed Round I teams in any capacity. As background, to support the master planning effort, the SBPO has retained three consultants to date:
- atLarge, Inc., a public- and media-relations consulting firm;
- Judith E. Fagin, PMP, a sole-proprietor project management and urban planning consultant; and
- HR&A Advisors, Inc., a real estate, economic development, and program implementation firm.
The SBPO and atLarge look forward to continuing to lead community engagement efforts throughout the master planning process in close coordination with the selected master planning team. Therefore, community outreach firms should not be included among either Round I or Round II subconsultants.
The SBPO engaged HR&A Advisors, Inc., and Judith E. Fagin, PMP, to facilitate the master planning team solicitation process. Therefore, neither Ms. Fagin nor HR&A will be available to participate in Round I of the master planning team selection process.
Preferred identities and roles for all subconsultants other than those selected for the Round I team will be considered after selection of a Prime Consultant. Following the designation of a Prime Consultant at the conclusion of Round I, HR&A and Ms. Fagin may continue to support the master planning process on behalf of the SBPO, either directly or under contract to the selected Prime Consultant. No benefit or advantage whatsoever will be given for the inclusion or exclusion of HR&A and Ms. Fagin at any point or in any aspect of this process.
Please note that no subconsultants will be added to Round I teams in the period of time between shortlisting and selection of a Prime Consultant.
Q5. Because of the consultant exclusivity requirement for Round I, firms are having difficulty with finding consultants to team with that aren't on other teams. Is there any flexibility with this requirement? (7 August 2017)
A5. The requirement that all Round I consultants are exclusive is firm. Respondents should determine the teaming that best fits their capabilities and approach to the project, and the number and type of subconsultants to include on the team in Round I. Please note that, for certain necessary disciplines, responses should include allowances for Round II subconsultants to be named later.
In order not to penalize responses from Primes without Round I subconsultants, the scoring accommodates potential responses with one Prime and no subconsultants by increasing the percentage from 35% to 50% for the evaluation of the experience of Prime (RFQ, page 16): “In the event that Prime Consultant candidates respond to this RFQ without proposed Round I subconsultants, their experience will be weighted 50%.”
Q6. Can you please clarify HR&A’s contracted role for Round II? Considering your response to Teaming Q4 on the Questions page, you refer to HR&A as, “a real estate, economic development, and program implementation firm.” Should we consider these services in HR&A’s contract to include or overlap with those listed Service Areas in the RFQ (page 8), specifically: “Capital cost estimation, cost management, and capital budgeting; Project funding and implementation strategy; Site operations and governance planning, including operations budgeting”? (14 August 2017)
A6. To date, HR&A has been engaged by the SBPO specifically to support the master planning team solicitation process. Its current role has no overlap with service areas listed in the RFQ. As stated in response to Teaming Question 4, “following the designation of a Prime Consultant at the conclusion of Round I, HR&A and Ms. Fagin may continue to support the master planning process on behalf of the SBPO, either directly or under contract to the selected Prime Consultant. No benefit or advantage whatsoever will be given for the inclusion or exclusion of HR&A and Ms. Fagin at any point or in any aspect of this process.”
Q7. Do Round II subconsultants need to submit any information for the proposed project and, if so, what is required and when is it due? (15 August 2017)
A7. The SBPO is accepting submissions from candidate Prime Consultants and their associated Round I subconsultants, if applicable, through 5:00 PM EDT on September 1. Round I submissions will include discussion of potential Round II teaming requirements and associated budgetary allowances. Following the designation of the Prime Consultant at the end of Round I, the selected Prime Consultant will propose any additional Round II subconsultants for discussion, review, and approval by the SBPO.
Q8. Under Project Team (page 7-8) “Capital cost estimation, cost management, and capital budgeting” is included as a necessary expertise. How much of this scope is covered by the existing HRA contract and should the responding team carry this expertise as part of their team as well? Is the responding team only expected to be able to incorporate this into a master plan and/or manage outside experts? (21 August 2017)
A8. See responses to Teaming Q4 and Q6, above.
Q1. We understand that tabbed section dividers are required. Will these tabs count towards the page limit? (3 August 2017)
A1. The tabbed dividers do not count towards the page limit. They are for the convenience of the reviewers and should only have the section number and name.
Q2. Can you please clarify whether the Project Experience form counts toward the 35-page limit? (4 August 2017)
A2. As indicated in the description of Appendix A, Project Experience form, “The Project Experience form does not count towards the 35-page limit.”
Q3. In reviewing the Request for Qualifications for the Sarasota Bayfront Master Plan, can you please clarify under PROJECT EXPERIENCE how the distribution of projects should be divided between the Prime Consultants and the subconsultants. Given that we are only allowed to submit up to 10 projects in total, your response on this matter will be most appreciated. (9 August 2017)
A3. Respondents should distribute project descriptions among team members in a manner that (a) best showcases the expertise of their team, and (b) is responsive to the specific kinds of expertise that are requested in the RFQ.
Q4. Are we allowed to submit our proposal in landscape format? (9 August 2017)
Q5. Does the proposal cover count as one of the 35 pages? (10 August 2017)
A5. No; also see Submittal A1 and A6.
Q6. Does the Table of Contents count as one of the 35 pages? (10 August 2017)
A6. No; also see Submittal A1 and A5.
Q7. Please confirm that submissions must be printed only single-sided and that you will not accept double-sided sheets even with the same count of printed pages (i.e., only 35 printed pages but laid-out on double sided sheets) for the submission. We would typically display projects as 2-page spreads (facing pages in a bound document), for instance. (17 August 2017)
A7. All submittals received by the RFQ deadline will be reviewed. As stated in the RFQ, “Respondents are strongly urged to limit their responses to 35 single-sided pages (no double-sided pages), inclusive of all items (other than Appendix and Title Page) identified for submission in this RFQ.” This is a guideline.
Q8. Following the guidelines of the RFQ for the production of the 10 hard copies, is the printing of the recommended 35 single-sided pages on doubled-sided sheets, such that there will be 18 sheets of double-sided printed paper, in accordance with these guidelines? Or, do the guidelines recommend that the 35 single-sided pages be printed on single-sided sheets, such that there will be 35 sheets of single-sided paper? (18 August 2017)
A8. As indicated in Submittal response A7, above, and stated in the RFQ, “Respondents are strongly urged to limit their responses to 35 single-sided pages (no double-sided pages), inclusive of all items (other than Appendix and Title Page) identified for submission in this RFQ.”
Q9. In your answer to Submittal Q1, you state that the tabbed dividers, “should only have the section number and name.” Does this preclude any imagery? (18 August 2017)
A9. As indicated in Submittal response A1, the tabbed dividers are for the convenience of the reviewers. They are not opportunities for supplemental submittal information or project imagery.
Q10. In the required 2-page essay by the proposed “Project Manager,” do you refer to the firm’s Principal-in-Charge/Partner as the one who will be leading the team overall? (18 August 2017)
A10. It is up to each Prime Consultant candidate to define the roles and titles of team members, since those may vary by respondent.
Q11. Regarding Section 6 (Approach) of the RFQ: We are assuming SBPO is not looking for a rehash of “Section V – Scope of Work” from the RFQ in this section. Could you confirm? (22 August 2017)
A11. This section should focus on candidate teams’ thoughts on the “opportunities and constraints associated with Site redevelopment,” as stated in the RFQ. Candidates may choose to discuss elements of the Scope of Work in the “Approach” section if so desired; we suggest that candidates use their best judgment regarding how to complete this section given page limit constraints. Please note that, per the RFQ, the selected Master Planning Team will work with the SBPO to refine the Scope of Work included in the RFQ.
Q12. Regarding Section 6 (Approach) of the RFQ: In addition to our approach to the opportunities and constraints on the site, could we add other information to this section (such as a simple graphic schedule)? (22 August 2017)
A12. As stated in the response to Question 11, we suggest that candidates use their best judgment regarding how to complete this section given page limit constraints.
Q13. Will you please elaborate on the status and time frame of the “facility master planning” efforts for the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall and the Sarasota Orchestra? (25 August 2017)
A13. The SBPO expects the Master Planning Team to provide guidance on the entire 42-acre Site, including existing and potential facilities, as part of its work and to coordinate with concurrent planning efforts involving on-site facilities. Candidate firms should refer to the presentations made to the SBPO Board by the Van Wezel and the Sarasota Orchestra, which are posted on the SBPO website, for background information regarding facility planning efforts.
Q14. Does SBPO anticipate any flexibility in updating the view shed requirements, height ordinance, and deed restricted areas currently in place for this site? (25 August 2017)
A14. The SBPO expects the master planning team to provide guidance on any site constraints as part of its work.
Q15. Are there any binding requirements or preferences for the hardcopy submission? (i.e. no spiral bindings, preference for unbound, etc.) (25 August 2017)
A15. Please submit ten copies with the binding preference of your choice (spiral, binder, etc.). An unbound copy is not required since the SBPO will also have your digital version if copies are needed of any pages.
Q1. In the RFQ, it is noted that a selection committee will participate in the interviews. Can you provide more information on the committee? For example, number of people, their roles, etc. (25 August 2017)
A1. The Selection Committee will be comprised of members of the SBPO board. Background information for SBPO board members is available on the SBPO website (www.sbpo.org)
Q2. For the 2-day charrette-style interview planned for the 3rd – 4th of October, has the Sarasota Bayfront Planning Organization planned on providing compensation or a fixed stipend for the Round I shortlisted firms that are participating in the design charrette? And if so, has that compensation amount been determined and to what amount? (25 August 2017)
A2. There will be no compensation or stipend for participation in the shortlist interview process. Two full days have been reserved for up to four half-day interviews; if a fifth team is invited, that interview will be held on the afternoon of October 2.
Q3. As a follow to the above, if there is to be no compensation for the charrette-style interviews, can the Round I Prime Consultant allocate a fee within the full compensation plan to cover the costs of the charrette within the scope of work upon selection? (25 August 2017)
A3. The master planner’s fee is for the comprehensive Scope of Work to be performed when under contract with the SBPO, not any activities prior.
Q4. At the end of the charrette-style interviews, is the Sarasota Bayfront Planning Organization under the impression that they will own the rights to the work product that has been produced by the competing firms during the charrette-style interviews? (25 August 2017)
A4. The interviews will be noticed public meetings, and therefore the candidate’s work will be viewed by the public and media and may be recorded and/or photographed. It is anticipated that the formats used by the selected teams for (a) responses to the questions and (b) the team’s interactive session will be up to the team. Since those presentations will vary, the SBPO does not anticipate requiring that specific presentation or other materials be submitted, but will certainly accept them. More details regarding the interview process will be provided to the shortlist candidates.