Request for Proposals: Project Manager to Oversee a Downtown & Golden Triangle Action Agenda

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November 8, 2022

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REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS (RFP)
PROJECT MANAGER TO OVERSEE A
DOWNTOWN / GOLDEN TRIANGLE ACTION AGENDA

OVERVIEW

The DowntownDC BID and Golden Triangle BID areas in Washington, DC together are a major economic and cultural center of the District, the region, and the nation. This combined area is home to 255,000 jobs consisting of the federal government, the District government, and the private sector, with tech, commerce, top education institutions, national associations, and art, cultural and entertainment venues in approximately 134 million SF of developed buildings of which approximately 109 million SF, or 81% is office space. Of the 87 million SF of privately-owned office space, 17 million SF, or 19.5%, is vacant as the result of longer-term trends and the acceleration of the adoption of hybrid work schedules caused by the pandemic. In addition, only approximately 43% of office workers in privately-owned buildings are in the office compared to the first weeks of February 2020. The data on the percentage of government workers in the office is not available. Many office research firms expect the privately-owned office vacancy rate and SF to rise over the next two years. In contrast, the two BID areas have only five million SF of residential properties with a bit over 10,000 residents (with 7,000 residential units in the DowntownDC BID and 34 residential units in the Golden Triangle BID). Lastly, the ground floor vacancy rate in the two BIDs is north of 20% as many retailers have closed due to the lack of office worker customers.

As a result, the property tax revenues from large office buildings have declined by an estimated $120 to $180 million per year beginning in FY 2022 due to an initial reduction in assessed values by the Office of the Chief Financial Officer of 9.3% and subsequent appeals that are estimated to reduce the assessments by another six percent – a total reduction in large office building assessments of 15%. Many office market observers expect large office building assessments to decline further in the next two years, causing another substantial decline in large office building property tax revenues.

Thus, now is a time to consider how to fill or change the use of the 17 million of vacant office space to create an active and economically vibrant Downtown and rebuild the District’s tax base. Over the next six months, we will be embarking on a comprehensive effort to reimagine the District’s Downtown area represented by the combined BID areas by reassessing it its assets and recommending a number of high-impact investments, polices and reuse of existing buildings to transform this central area into a model for modern downtown business districts.

The Action Agenda will build on the themes of Mayor Bowser’s Five-Year Economic Development Strategy that is currently being developed. We are seeking an Action Agenda that aligns with the District’s Five-Year Economic Development Strategy and brings forward initiatives, plans, and proposed actions for implementing the larger themes and initiatives in the Five-Year Economic Development Strategy.

THE ACTION AGENDA PROJECT MANAGER

The DowntownDC Business Improvement District (“DBID”) and the Golden Triangle Business Improvement District (“GTBID”) are seeking proposals for a Project Manager (“Consultant”) to manage a seven-month process to draft a new Downtown / Golden Triangle Action Agenda (Action Agenda) to reimagine and guide the recovery of the Downtown / Golden Triangle areas and set the stage for its strong contribution to the District and regional economies for the next ten to fifteen years. The Project Manager will oversee the project including drafting an RFP for an Economic Development Consultant (“EDC”), who will provide the analysis, create content, and provide recommendations for the Action Agenda.

The Action Agenda will be created in partnership with The DowntownDC BID, the Golden Triangle BID, Downtown / Golden Triangle businesses, residents, culture and entertainment venues, other Downtown / Golden Triangle stakeholders, the District Government (“City”) and Federal Government. The Action Agenda is anticipated to be complete within six months, so that it can guide private, City and Federal investment in the Downtown / Golden Triangle areas over the next three to five years to drive the Downtown / Golden Triangle recovery and reimagining over the next ten years. As stated above, the Action Agenda will align with and advance Mayor Bowser’s Five-Year Economic Development Strategy.

The overall goal of the Action Agenda is to reimagine the Downtown / Golden Triangle areas, particularly given the impacts of the pandemic and evolving economy, and to set the stage for growth, vibrancy and a strong tax base by creating a responsive, catalytic, inclusive, equitable and dynamic renewal plan for the Downtown / Golden Triangle areas. It is a unique opportunity to rethink how people live, work, and play in a sustainable, healthy environment and positions the area as thought leader for the transformation of downtowns across the country.

BACKGROUND

Downtown Action Agenda 2000
The DowntownDC BID undertook a similar effort in 1999-2000 to produce the Downtown Action Agenda 2000.

Business Improvement Districts
BIDs are self-taxing districts, where property owners have agreed to supplement City services. BIDs are required to file business plans every five years for approval by the City.

The DowntownDC BID’s most recent Five-year Business Plan was approved in July 2022. The Golden Triangle BID will be submitting its latest Business Plan for approval by the City in early 2023.

DowntownDC Business Improvement District (DBID)
The DowntownDC BID was founded in 1996 (and began operations in 1997) and is a private non-profit organization that provides cleaning services, safety services, homeless service as well capital improvements research and planning that keep the BID area clean, safe, economically, and environmentally strong and accessible. The DowntownDC BID is a catalyst, facilitator and thought leader in diversifying the economy, promoting public/private partnerships, and enhancing the DowntownDC experience for all.

The DowntownDC BID encompasses 138 blocks (just over one square mile), stretching from the White House to Union Station, and the National Mall to Massachusetts Avenue. Generally, these boundaries are 16th Street to the west, North Capitol Street to the east, Constitution Avenue to the south, and Massachusetts Avenue to the north. The DowntownDC BID abuts the Golden Triangle BID at 16th Street and Black Lives Matter Plaza NW.

Golden Triangle Business Improvement District
Formed in 1998, the Golden Triangle BID enhances Washington, DC’s central business district, the 44 square-block area stretching from the White House to Dupont Circle. Home to almost 6,000 businesses before the pandemic, the BID provides a clean, safe, and vibrant environment for hundreds of thousands of workers, residents, and visitors through its place management programs and economic development. The BID serves as a resource for existing and new businesses locating in the area by providing information on available incentives, support with regulations, and hyperlocal data and insight.

Additionally, the BID encourages economic development through capital projects, public art, sustainability initiatives, and events, often through bringing together public and private partners and leading long-term efforts like the Penn West Innovation District. The Golden Triangle is also the first BID in the world to be certified through the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED for Communities program, achieving LEED Platinum certification.

The Golden Triangle BID abuts the DowntownDC BID at 16th Street and Black Lives Matter Plaza NW.

SCOPE OF WORK

The Project Manager will perform the following tasks:

  • Draft a Request for Proposal (RFP) for an Economic Development Consultant (EDC) with input from the DowntownDC BID, the Golden Triangle BID and key stakeholders. See Attachment One for a general outline of a draft Scope of Work for the EDC. We envision the EDC will need four to five months to complete their work.
  • Help select the Economic Development Consultant including creating criteria for scoring, scheduling interviews, and contacting respondents.
  • Provide staffing (or engage a third party) to design and manage stakeholder engagement, which is anticipated to include an advisory panel, a visionary support team, and stakeholder industry outreach and feedback including set-up a series of stakeholder engagement and public meetings to guide the Action Agenda process and assure a transparent and inclusive process. We envision the project manager moderating (a) three to five meetings of an advisory panel and (b) three to five meetings of BID-member stakeholder groups. In addition, the Economic Development Consultant will moderate two meetings of stakeholders of the major economic development sectors in the BID areas. It may be that the Economic Development Consultant would prefer that the Project Manager moderate these two meeting; thus, the Project Manager should include this potential work in its fee proposal.
  • Design and manage the process, and timeline for the Action Agenda including assisting with the development of the content outline, creating a project management system identifying key dates and milestones and oversee the EDC deliverables and analysis etc.
  • Draft and create the report layout of the Action Agenda including writing and editing it in partnership with the EDC.

TIME SCHEDULE

Issue Project Manager RFP Nov 8
Respondent Q&A via email to BIDs. Questions and responses will be shared with all interested parties. Nov 8 -15
RFP Info Call Nov 15
RFP Responses Due Nov 30, 2022, by 5 pm
Interview Dec 5 – 6
Final Selection Dec 19
Kick-off Meeting Jan 4 or 5

RESPONSES

Responses to the RFP are due close of business on Wednesday, November 30, 2022, 5:00 PM and should include the following:

  • Letter of intent explaining how your work and qualifications are particularly well suited to this project (one page maximum).
  • Your approach to each of the five tasks listed under the Scope of Work section. Please respond to the stated tasks. In addition, please suggest any improvements to the Scope of Work that you feel would create a better Downtown / Golden Triangle Action Agenda.
  • A schedule showing the dates the Economic Development Consultant RFP will be ready to be issued and when the selection of the EDC can occur.
  • Three examples of related work that demonstrate capacity to fulfill the purpose of this project and meet the project timeline.
  • Fee proposal. Itemized fee, listing subtotals separately including hours or work and hourly rates by the each of the five tasks listed under the Scope of Work section. Please include any additional fee for moderating the two stakeholder meetings for the major economic sectors that the Economic Development Consultant may ask the Project Manager to moderate (or that the Project Manager may recommend).
  • Resumes of project team members (not to exceed two pages per team member).
  • Proposed agreement or contract.

PROPOSAL SUBMISSION

Proposals should be submitted electronically to both of the following:

Questions can be sent to the same emails.

VENDOR DIVERSITY

DowntownDC BID and the Golden Triangle BID are 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, the DowntownDC BID, and Golden Triangle BID, their clients, and their 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.

PROJECT MANAGER SELECTION

The BIDs hope to select a Project Manager by December 19, 2022. Thus, responding bidders should plan to available on December 5 and 6 for in-person or virtual interviews.

ATTACHMENTS

Please refer to the RFP document for two attachments:

  • Development Consultant/Consultant Team Scope of Work — Draft Outline
  • Maps of the DowntownDC BID and the Golden Triangle BID

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