Below are some answers to the questions that have been asked frequently.

The window to submit questions closed on August 12, 2016 and all submitted questions have been answered.

General

Are the pre-proposal and/or walk-through meetings mandatory?

No, they are not mandatory but are recommended.

Why are there multiple pre-proposal and walk-through meetings on the calendar?

Multiple meetings were scheduled for convenience and to accommodate more participants. The content and format of each meeting type will be the same. The FAQ section of the website will be updated to reflect all issues discussed at any meetings.

Has funding been established for the project and is there a budget available, either for design fees or construction?

Proposals are expected to be financially viable and sustainable. Because this process is being managed as an RFP and not a competition, no prize money has been set aside for the selected Developer(s).

Has there been any community planning completed that has involved the project area residents and neighbors? If so, is information available from those planning meetings for review?

Yes, the Neighborhood Framework Plan developed by Spackman Mossop & Michaels is the result of an extensive community engagement process that began this past winter and will continue for the duration of this project. Meeting notes, resident feedback and the presentations given at each session to-date are available in the Background section of the site.

Is additional community engagement and public outreach expected throughout the process?

Yes. The community where this project is located is very close-knit and the residents want to be updated throughout this development process. The City of Detroit will continue to coordinate the engagement process with the selected developer(s).

What is a “Neighborhood Hub”?

The “Neighborhood Hubs” were located strategically in the Neighborhood Framework Plan created by Spackman Mossop & Michaels to reflect a community desire to have local social gathering spaces. The programming for these spaces might include some combination of shelters, seating, grills, tables, play areas, or gardens. This information is included in both RFPs for Development Teams who may be interested in implementing and/or maintaining a “neighborhood hub” as a complementary part of their proposal.

Is there a timeline for the creation of the park and greenway?

The City of Detroit has already begun initial clearing of the sites in partnership with the Green of Detroit. Construction drawings are currently under development and a target construction date has been set for Spring 2017.

Is there a zoning district or overlay present in the project area that would restrict implementation of certain uses?

Zoning information is included in Attachment H of each RFP and can also be found at www.detroitmi.gov/How-Do-I/Apply-for-Permits/Zoning-Permit-Forms.

It is expected that the selected project will be consistent with existing zoning, however the City is prepared to support re-zoning or additional zoning approvals for a compelling proposal.

Are higher resolution versions of the RFP attachments available?

Yes. These are available for download on the Neighborhood Framework Plan page.

Is it possible to find out the area of the parcels in the RFP?

Yes, we have posted information about the area of each parcel in a new addendum to the RFP.

Fitzgerald Productive Landscape RFP Addendum

Fitzgerald Housing Rehabilitation RFP Addendum

Can more than one developer be selected for each RFP?

Yes. The City recognizes that groups have different capacity levels and encourages developers to form teams and apply in partnerships.

There are additional lots in the project area that are owned by Wayne County. Are these part of this RFP process?

No. The City of Detroit can only RFP properties that it owns.

Are there any programs to help existing residents improve their properties?

Yes. The City of Detroit and its partners offer several resources that current homeowners may find useful including the 0% Home Repair Loan and Lead Abatement Programs. Please reach out to fitzgerald-housing@detroitmi.gov for more information.

In partnership with the Michigan Historic Preservation Network, the City of Detroit hosted a Fitzgerald Community Resource Fair on Tuesday, July 26, 2016.

16905 San Juan (San Juan/W. McNichols intersection)

Inclement Weather Location: 7500 W. McNichols

Who is responsible for alley and sidewalk maintenance?

The Developer(s) are responsible for any damage done to sidewalk/alleys/ROW during the construction process.

Will the alleys in the project area be decommissioned or closed?

No, there is not a plan to close all of the alleys to traffic at this point. If this would be important to your proposal, please include a description of how your project would impact the alleys for consideration.

Productive Landscape RFP

Are the Spackman Mossop & Michael strategies proposed in the framework plan only an example? Will additional approaches be considered?

Yes, the Spackman Mossop & Michaels strategies proposed for the Productive Landscape RFP are ideas and examples of the types of projects we would like to see. Additional approaches will be considered.

What do the costs mean that are provided by SMM in Attachment G?

We wanted to provide estimated costs for the implementation and maintenance of the landscapes as a point of reference to teams as they develop their business plans and pro formas. The costs reflect the landscape typologies shown in the RFP. The SMM team will be providing construction documentation for these typical lot typologies which will be made available to the development teams. This is a minimum standard that we would expect in terms of maintenance and capital costs.

We are open to other proposals for landscape typologies and the anticipated costs for these should be included in the proposal.

The fencing will be designed to be consistent throughout the project area.

Why are the maintenance costs higher than the installation costs in the cost estimates?

There was a typo in the table showing costs estimates for the landscape. The maintenance costs for the meadow and orchard are by lot and not by square foot. This information has been updated in the new addendum to the RFP.

Amended Addendum – Updated Cost Estimates

What is the method of ownership transfer?

Unless otherwise requested or specified in the proposal, the standard arrangement for site control will be through a 30-year lease. We are open to proposals for different lease terms, or for proposals to purchase property after a five-year minimum lease term. The specifics of this lease or purchase arrangement will be subject to a negotiated development agreement.

Will the City allow farms, gardens, etc. to connect water and other utilities on the vacant lots?

Yes, the City of Detroit will work with the development team to ensure that appropriate utilities connections are coordinated and supplied to lots where needed.

Can a Productive Landscape Developer purchase a home next to one of the vacant lots acquired through this RFP?

The City of Detroit is open to this as an option and the final decision will be coordinated during the interview process. There is potential for this to be an opportunity for partnership between the selected Developers.

Plans that propose this option should include information about how this building would be used and an allowance for the construction cost associated with its rehabilitation.

What is the Developer’s responsibility for certain proposed lots that cannot be executed as envisioned in the neighborhood framework plan due to environmental issues?

The City is committed to working with the selected Developer to implement their proposed project and realize the vision described in the neighborhood framework plan. After the selected Development Team is chosen, there will be a due diligence process to verify property conditions and establish direct costs related to the project, which will include the assessment of environmental conditions. We anticipate working collectively to determine appropriate solutions and outcomes based on the findings of that due diligence to ensure public health and safety.

Has the City begun any discussion with MDEQ in order to facilitate environmental clearances for proposed uses? If not, is the City and/or DLBA willing to participate in those discussions?

No, but the City, its agencies, and partners are prepared to support the success of this development, including providing support to approach MDEQ, for example.

How will the City coordinate overlaps in the two RFPs since the Housing Developer also has to take on vacant lots?

Overlapping interest in specific parcels will be coordinated during the interview process when the “shortlist” is selected.

Can a developer submit more than one proposal?

Yes. Developers are also welcome to submit bids for both RFPs.

Will there be an opportunity for the Productive Landscape and Housing developers to meet?

Absolutely! Once proposals are submitted, a shortlist will be selected from each set of RFP submissions and will be brought in for interviews and coordination.

To meet other groups interested in responding to the RFP or that are looking to form partnerships, we’ve added a link to the website where you can sign up to share your information, specialty, and what kind of development partner you are looking for. This will be updated daily to reflect new additions. Please visit our Partnerships page.

Are there any precedents for this project that I can reference?

We are not aware of any precedent projects at the neighborhood scale that incorporate both housing and landscape development. The one we are most familiar with is a similar New Orleans Redevelopment Authority program that was an effort to use intentional landscape, such as meadows and orchards, to reduce maintenance costs on city-owned property.

If you find additional precedents, especially of this size and scale, we would love to hear about them!

Housing Rehabilitation RFP

Will the City of Detroit consider proposals that only propose using the vacant lots to build new homes? Can the developer aggregate parcels to build higher-density development?

The City will consider proposals that include immediate new construction, however the goal of the project is to address existing, vacant homes to stabilize the neighborhood before turning to new build.

Can proposals be submitted that do not include all structures in the project area?

The goal is to address every publicly-owned structure within the project area either through rehab or demolition. We are open to considering proposals that are less than this but we would prefer to see developers with limited capacity partner with others to create a team and submit a bid that includes all structures.

If a Developer does not propose to acquire all structures in the project area, at minimum the proposal must commit to the 1:1 vacant lot/structure ownership and maintenance provision.

Why is the Housing Developer expected to acquire vacant land?

The project considers the neighborhood as a whole with the goal being to address all blight within the project area. We are challenging developers to look at the impact of ownership beyond just the vacant homes. The incentive for developers in owning the vacant parcels is that they have the opportunity to control those properties, provide a better looking block for residents, and have access to their future development potential.

Will there be an opportunity to view the houses in the RFP with the DLBA?

There will be an opportunity for the selected Developer(s) to review property conditions and revise proposal(s) accordingly during the due diligence process. For more details, see “Section V: Bid Price + Developer Requirements” in the RFP.

What does “appropriate tax treatment” mean? Is the City anticipating a specific tax rate or structure?

The tax structure pursued by the project will be dependent on the proposal that is selected. Any tax assumptions should be clearly stated in the proposal and included in the development pro forma. Approval of tax incentives is subject to approval by the authorizing body (i.e., City Council).

Is the City anticipating an allocation of public subsidy for this project?

The City plans to issue a Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) this fall that includes an opportunity for a competitive allocation of public resources to support affordable housing development. Proposals should include any anticipated subsidies in the development pro forma and cardinal financing dates should be included in the project timeline.

Some potential funding sources have timelines that are out of sync with this RFP process. Can I submit a proposal and narrative of those funding sources in advance of the final developer selection in order to enhance my application? If not, is the City willing to wait for financing to become available next year?

Developer selection will not be made in advance of receiving and reviewing all proposals.

Proposals should include any anticipated subsidies in the development pro forma and cardinal financing dates should be included in the project timeline.

What is the method of ownership transfer?

This transaction will be subject to a negotiated development agreement.

The DLBA will convey its property by way of a quit claim deed. A respondent may, at its own expense, obtain and deliver a commitment for an owner’s policy of title insurance from a title company of the respondent’s choosing. Prior to conveyance, the purchaser may request that DLBA file and litigate an expedited quiet title action to remove any title defect. The terms and conditions of DLBA’s agreement to proceed with any such action shall be memorialized by separate agreement, and the respondent shall pay DLBA for its services in addition to all associated costs.

Does the Developer have to close on all lots at once?

We do anticipate closing on all of them at once. The Developer should include phasing, if necessary, in the timeline submitted in the proposal.

How will the City coordinate overlaps in the two RFPs since the Housing Developer also has to take on vacant lots?

Overlapping interest in specific parcels will be coordinated during the interview process when the “shortlist” is selected.

Will there be an opportunity for the Productive Landscape and Housing developers to meet?

Absolutely! Once proposals are submitted, a shortlist will be selected from each set of RFP submissions and will be brought in for interviews and coordination.

To meet other groups interested in responding to the RFP or that are looking to form partnerships, we’ve added a link to the website where you can sign up to share your information, specialty, and what kind of development partner you are looking for. This will be updated daily to reflect new additions. Please visit our Partnerships page.

What is the Developer’s responsibility for certain proposed lots that cannot be executed as envisioned in the neighborhood framework plan due to environmental issues?

The City is committed to working with the selected Developer to implement their proposed project and realize the vision described in the neighborhood framework plan. After the selected Development Team is chosen, there will be a due diligence process to verify property conditions and establish direct costs related to the project, which will include the assessment of environmental conditions. We anticipate working collectively to determine appropriate solutions and outcomes based on the findings of that due diligence to ensure public health and safety.

Has the City begun any discussion with MDEQ in order to facilitate environmental clearances for proposed uses? If not, is the City and/or DLBA willing to participate in those discussions?

No, but the City, its agencies, and partners are prepared to support the success of this development, including providing support to approach MDEQ, for example.

What happens if the Developer fails to execute?

The result of the selected Developer’s failure to execute will be negotiated in the terms of the development agreement.

Is there a deadline to complete the project?

No deadline has been set in advance of the completion of this RFP process, however implementation is expected to be timely. A full timeline must be included with each proposal and will be considered in the scoring of the project. The schedule should include, at minimum, start/completion dates and financing milestones. The final timeline will be negotiated in the development agreement.

How long is the Developer expected to maintain the bundled lots?

The Developer is responsible for continued maintenance of all acquired parcels for the duration of ownership. Minimum thresholds will be negotiated in the development agreement as they are dependent on the selected proposal.

What do the costs mean that are provided by SMM in Attachment G?

We wanted to provide estimated costs for the implementation and maintenance of the landscapes as a point of reference to teams as they develop their business plans and pro formas. The costs reflect the landscape typologies shown in the RFP. The SMM team will be providing construction documentation for these typical lot typologies which will be made available to the development teams. This is a minimum standard that we would expect in terms of maintenance and capital costs.

We are open to other proposals for landscape typologies and the anticipated costs for these should be included in the proposal.

The fencing will be designed to be consistent throughout the project area.

Why are the maintenance costs higher than the installation costs in the cost estimates?

There was a typo in the table showing costs estimates for the landscape. The maintenance costs for the meadow and orchard are by lot and not by square foot. This information has been updated in the new addendum to the RFP.

Amended Addendum – Updated Cost Estimates

What landlord or tenant information is available for the publicly-owned properties identified as “potentially occupied”?

These properties are suspected to be occupied but that is not confirmed. The occupancy status has been estimated by a visual survey. There is no formal landlord-tenant relationship between the City or Detroit Land Bank Authority and the potential occupant. Therefore, no additional information is available. Publicly-owned occupied properties are addressed on a case-by-case basis.

What is the security expectation of the Developer for the project area?

The selected Developer is responsible for properly securing and maintaining the bundle of parcels and buildings acquired under this RFP/Q. This includes boarding and securing vacant structures and keeping vacant lots mowed. The Developer must consider the best method for securing the entire bundle of acquired properties even if they are scattered throughout the Fitzgerald Project Area. Thresholds for security will be negotiated in the development agreement.

Is there a specific income range that this project must serve?

No. The Developer(s) should clearly outline what tenants their proposal is intended to serve. The City has no restrictions on what can be proposed so the Developer is free to include a mixture of income ranges, ages and types.

If properties are to be sold to qualified homebuyers using a Detroit Home Mortgage loan, will there be additional restrictions beyond what is required for the Detroit Home Mortgage Program?

Any additional restrictions placed on the property will only be based on the financing sources used to fund construction on that property/parcel.

Can homes be sold to individual buyers who do not need the Detroit Home Mortgage Program? If so, will there be a deed restriction on the property?

The Detroit Home Mortgage Program is a resource and not a requirement.

Any additional restrictions placed on the property will only be based on the financing sources used to fund construction on that property/parcel.