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URA Releases Round 2 of Request for Qualifications for the Community-Informed Revitalization of Centre Avenue in the Hill District

Press Release
March 18, 2020

PITTSBURGH, PA (March 18, 2020) – The Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh (URA) yesterday issued a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for multiple developers to participate in the revitalization of various scattered sites along the Centre Avenue Corridor in the Middle Hill neighborhood of the City of Pittsburgh. This is the second round of the RFQ.

This RFQ has been amended to reflect a revised list of available sites, accounting for projects and commitments made in the first round. At its February meeting, the URA Board voted to advance six developers who responded to the first RFQ.

The updated RFQ includes a combination of 100 URA and City-owned parcels, 97 of which are vacant lots and three which contain structures.

The RFQ seeks redevelopments that include ground floor commercial space with compatible multi-story residential, office, and/or flexible space.

The goal of this RFQ is to implement the community’s vision as identified in the 2015 Centre Avenue Corridor Redevelopment and Design Plan and the 2011 Greater Hill District Master Plan, which outline the following priorities:

  • Creating opportunities for minority and local developers
  • Revitalizing Centre Avenue as the neighborhood’s primary retail, institutional, and cultural node as well as a strong residential neighborhood
  • Building upon the African American cultural legacy
  • Creating family-friendly housing without displacement
  • Fostering economic empowerment
  • Producing comprehensive sustainability and quality design

“We heard the Hill District loud and clear when they said they wanted a process that could support community ownership and an opportunity for smaller developers and nonprofits to participate. It is exciting to know that we are finally realizing the vision to rebuild this corridor as established by Hill District residents,” URA Deputy Executive Director Diamonte Walker said.

New to this round of the RFQ, the URA is requiring a Letter of Interest submitted prior to a full submission, schematic drawings that convey a developer’s proposed concept, and a preliminary budget with potential sources and uses identified.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the URA will hold a Q&A webinar to answer any questions developers may have. Additionally, MWBE firms who are interested in teaming with developers will be encouraged to submit capability statements. The URA will also hold site tours for structures included in the RFQ. Interested developers should plan to participate in the Webinar and attend the site tours as outlined in the RFQ. Site tour dates are subject to change based on the status of the COVID-19 response. All changes will be posted to Public Purchase.

Prior to the release of Round 1, the URA worked closely with Councilman R. Daniel Lavelle to assemble a unique RFQ process that would increase local small business, nonprofit, and MWBE participation. All development teams who responded to Round 1 were minority or women-owned businesses, local businesses currently in the neighborhood, and/or Hill District nonprofits or cultural institutions.

“It is critical that we intentionally empower and enable minority and women-owned businesses to participate in the economic redevelopment of not only the Centre Avenue Corridor, but also the city as a whole. Equitable and inclusive development is paramount for the growth and economic viability of our city,” Councilman R. Daniel Lavelle said.

The Equitable Empowerment Program, a new tool created to assist respondents with their submissions, will also be available for Round 2. The program, a partnership of the URA and Neighborhood Allies, provides free technical assistance and professional support services for the preparation of RFQ responses.

The full RFQ can be found here. Responses are due July 21, 2020.

The URA uses Public Purchase, a web-based e-Procurement service for the automatic notification and transmittal of RFPs, RFQs, and bid opportunities at no charge to vendors. All parties interested in responding to this RFQ or receiving notifications when the URA releases an opportunity must register with Public Purchase and then register with the URA. Instructions for the two-step registration process can be found here. All questions regarding this RFQ should be submitted through Public Purchase.

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