The DowntownDC BID is looking for consultant teams to present their best proposals according to their expertise. After sharing this Request for Proposals (RFP) we received a number of questions about it. Below is a list of questions with corresponding answers, where necessary. Questions have been edited and consolidated for clarity.
1. Q: What does a successful Parks Master Plan look like for you?
A: A successful parks master plan will meet the following goals of the project, having: 1) cataloged park assets in the DowntownDC community and their conditions, 2) gained a clear understanding of the current and future park needs of the DowntownDC community, 3) created a vision for park spaces in DowntownDC that meets those needs and drives new interest, and 4) recommended future park capital projects.
2. Q: What expertise would you find valuable for the master plan?
A: A range of expertise could be valuable for this project and the BID is interested in seeing what consultant teams propose. At minimum, some combination of the following will be required: urban design, place branding, park planning and design, public engagement, demographic/market research.
3. Q: What is the level of detail expected for the plan?
A: To meet the goals of the project, it is likely that some combination of a framework/vision plan and more detailed, site-specific plans will be necessary.
4. Q: What is the approval process for the master plan?
A: The approval process will involve review by the project client, the BID. However, internal and external stakeholder review will precede any final sign off and be essential to the success of the project. In particular, major landowners of open space in DowntownDC, like the National Park Service, will be critical stakeholders in the development of this plan.
5. Q: Can you confirm whether there is a CBE requirement to pursue this RFP?
A: It is not required. However, the DowntownDC BID is committed to maintaining a diverse supplier and vendor base and building relationships with suppliers and vendors that reflect the diversity of the District of Columbia, DowntownDC BID, its clients and its communities. Vendors are required to demonstrate that ownership/leadership, and personnel working on this engagement reflect the BID’s diversity objectives especially racial and gender diversity.
6. Q: Tasks 5: How should we budget for this task? Would the consultant be expected to organize the implementation effort and contract with those needed to make things happen?
A: This will depend on the selected consultant team’s capacity. Ideally, they would be able to implement the near-term interventions. Costs will be established as potential projects become clear, during the project. However, submitting teams could insert a placeholder with not-to-exceed amounts for these potential interventions.
7. Q: Has the BID determined which government agencies will be involved in the process?
A: At a minimum the National Park Service, District Department of Transportation, and the DC Department of Parks and Recreation will need to be closely involved in project development. The BID will look to the project team to propose the engagement of key government actors in this project in an effective and fruitful way.
8. Q: Has the BID struck agreements with NPS for any of the parks to manage, program, etc.?
A: The BID has an agreement for the day-to-day upkeep of 31 National Park Service spaces within the DowntownDC BID area. It also has a more involved Cooperative Management Agreement with the National Park Service for the operation and management of Franklin Park once it is delivered in summer of 2021.
9. Q: Is the BID considering only virtual engagement meetings or is the BID open to some outdoor in-person engagement meetings too? How do you envision extensive engagement with diverse user groups?
A: The BID is open to and encourages a creative approach to engaging the most diverse population possible. Consultant teams should look to use a variety of mediums, timing, languages, and platforms when shaping an engagement strategy.
10. Q: Do you envision the user focus to be primarily visitors/tourists to the area, or people who work and live in the area and nearby? Will public engagement involve areas outside but proximate to the BID boundary, since park users are not limited to the confines of that boundary?
A: Outreach should be reflective of the true user groups of the DowntownDC BID area. This includes area residents, workers, and all potential visitors of the area (local or otherwise). The BID anticipates that to achieve this objective, the selected consultant team will be required to reach outside of the BID boundaries.
Data Gathering Questions
11. Q: Will BID provide relevant GIS data/drawings/aerial/orthophotography data?
A: The BID has opensource datasets, inclusive of, but not limited to, data on traffic, roadway crashes, transit use, street trees, crime, NPS parcels, and street features, and will share this information with the selected consultant team.
12. Q: Does the scope include creation of market study/understanding or a review of the existing real estate information (similar for transportation analysis)? How much will the master plan rely on existing vs. new data? What are you looking for in regard to market data and trends?
A: The selected consultant team will be able to use existing quarterly market reports as provide by the BID. Likewise, the BID will share the limited traffic data it has. However, some additional market and transportation data may be useful in gaining a clearer understanding of activity patterns and volumes and user needs within the BID area. The BID will look to the consultant team to propose what they think is most important given the goals of the project.
13. Q: What is driving the six-month schedule for the project?
A: The six-month schedule is based on typical timeframes for similar projects. Consultant teams may propose differing schedules if they see it as important.
14. Q: What are the range of fees that you are expecting?
A: The BID is awaiting proposals to confirm what is possible for the project and encourages teams to provide their budgets as a menu of options for flexibility.