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RFP

620-628 East Ohio Street Request for Proposals (RFP)

Tuesday, June 15, 2021
Tuesday, August 31, 2021, at 5 p.m. ET

The Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh (URA), in partnership with the Historic Deutschtown Development Corporation (“HDDC”) and the East Allegheny Community Council (EACC), is seeking developers and/or development teams for three contiguous buildings (the “site”) along the East Ohio Street Business District in the Historic Deutschtown neighborhood (East Allegheny) of the City of Pittsburgh (the “City”). The goal of this RFP is to select a single developer to complete a distinctive mixed-use redevelopment of three contiguous addresses at 620, 624 and 628 East Ohio Street (there is no 622 or 626 East Ohio Street). Preservation and restoration of 628 East Ohio Street is strongly encouraged. Responses that propose restoration to the buildings on the site will be given special consideration. Demolition of any of the(se) structures will be considered, if it is necessary to the end use.

Interested applicants must register for an account with Ion Wave Technologies (IWT), the URA's new electronic bidding and sourcing software.

For more information on how to register on IWT, please click here

This RFP posting can be accessed on IWT here.

Contact Information

Gordon Hall
Project Manager

Goal of the RFP

The Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh (URA), in partnership with the Historic Deutschtown Development Corporation (“HDDC”) and the East Allegheny Community Council (EACC), is seeking developers and/or development teams for three contiguous buildings (the “site”) along the East Ohio Street Business District in the Historic Deutschtown neighborhood (East Allegheny) of the City of Pittsburgh (the “City”). The goal of this RFP is to select a single developer to complete a distinctive mixed-use redevelopment of three contiguous addresses at 620, 624 and 628 East Ohio Street (there is no 622 or 626 East Ohio Street). Preservation and restoration of 628 East Ohio Street is strongly encouraged. Responses that propose restoration to the buildings on the site will be given special consideration. Demolition of any of the(se) structures will be considered, if it is necessary to the end use.

The URA and HDDC are primarily focused on the sale of 620, 624 and 628 East Ohio Street, but proposals that include the assemblage of other privately owned or under option adjacent parcels to create greater development density would be given special consideration.

The URA has committed $20,000 to pre-development costs which will be put towards the stabilization of the roof at 628 East Ohio Street. However, there is no commitment by the URA to provide subsidy for this project beyond pre-development. Proposals must take this into consideration.

Interested applicants must register for an account with Ion Wave Technologies (IWT), the URA's new electronic bidding and sourcing software.

For more information on how to register on IWT, please click here

This RFP posting can be accessed on IWT here.

Property Description

Addresses 620, 624, and 628 East Ohio Street
Neighborhood East Allegheny
Council District  1
Councilperson Bobby Wilson
Prefered Use Mixed Use – 1st floor neighborhood-serving retail, upper levels office or residential **

**preferred uses but not required – selection committee is flexible and open to creative uses for the site
District Zoning Local Neighborhood Commercial (LNC)
Minimum Sale Price $250,000.00

 

620 East Ohio Street

Parcel ID: 24-N-115*
Lot Size: 2,640 square feet**
Building Size: 8,800 square feet**

Most recently, 620 East Ohio Street was used as medical office space. HDDC purchased this building in 2008. It has been vacant since then. This is the largest footprint of the three properties on the site. It is the only one of the properties with access to Emlin Street to the North. Proposals may include demolition of this structure.

624 East Ohio Street

Parcel ID: 24-N-118*
Lot Size: 1,560 square feet
Building Size: 1,800 square feet

This property has a local historic building designation. Demolition, if proposed, would be subject to Historic Review Commission approval.

628 East Ohio Street

Parcel ID: 24-N-120*
Lot Size: 1,470 square feet
Building Size: 2,640 square feet

Preservation of this property is strongly encouraged. URA will be stabilizing the roof of this property in the advance of the 2021-22 winter.

The URA acquired 624 and 628 East Ohio Street in 2005 from the City. These mixed-use buildings are 2.5 and 3.5 story structures, respectively, with basements and minimal associated land. The buildings have been vacant for a significant period of time and show signs of this vacancy. Proposals may include demolition of the structure at 620 East Ohio Street, but the full demolition of 624 and 628 East Ohio Street is strongly discouraged but partial demolition may be considered if necessary. The selection committee is open to a variety of end-uses and is open to creative development solutions to the site.

* The Parcel IDs are hyperlinked to the Allegheny County Property Assessments page.
** Measurements are approximate and not based on surveyed data.

RFP Timeline

RFP Issue Date Tuesday, June 15, 2021
Proposal Due Date Tuesday, August 31, 2021, 5 p.m. ET
Proposal Evaluation Period Wednesday, September 1–Friday, October 1, 2021
Interviews with Potential Developers Friday, October 1–Friday, November 5, 2021


* Interested developers should plan to schedule a site tour at 620-628 East Ohio Street. Please request your preferred date and time with Gordon Hall, ghall@ura.org. Please do not schedule your site visit any later than July 30, 2021.

Neighborhood Market Conditions

Historic Deutschtown (East Allegheny) is one of the Northside’s 18 neighborhoods. First laid out in 1788, the borough of Allegheny, Pennsylvania, was incorporated in 1828 where the Northside now stands. In 1840, Allegheny was incorporated as a city and grew to the 4th largest city in Pennsylvania. The City of Allegheny was annexed by Pittsburgh in 1907 and became known as the Northside.

Historic Deutschtown spans the area between I-279 to the east and south, the Allegheny Commons Park to the west, and Allegheny General Hospital (AGH) and the base of the Fineview neighborhood to the north. The neighborhood includes National Register and City designated historic districts and contains a wealth of late-Victorian residential and commercial architecture.

The Historic Preservation Tax Credit (HPTC) provides tax credits to qualified taxpayers who will be completing the restoration of a qualified historic structure into an-income producing property. All projects must include a qualified rehabilitation plan that is approved by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC) as being consistent with the standards for rehabilitation of historic buildings as adopted by the United States Secretary of the Interior. Pennsylvania Historic Preservation Tax Credits (HPTC) can be used for this project. Applicants will be required to submit supporting documents to complete the application. Supporting documents include photographs of the building and its surroundings, a map showing the boundaries of the historic district and the location of the building and a statement of historic and architectural significance.

The East Ohio Street Business District is the Northside’s front door and gateway to its many neighborhoods, cultural attractions and major employers from I-279 and PA Route 28. The district is the largest, most heavily traveled, and primary commercial district in the Northside. Over 130,000 vehicles pass by and through this corridor every day, making it one of the most visible areas in the region. Over the past 30 years, this highly visible district experienced significant deterioration. However, within the past 6 years the district has seen positive trends, including historic building restorations, steady growth in neighborhood-serving businesses including existing shops and signature restaurants. This growth has created a solid foundation needed to attract new business developments. A strong housing market in Historic Deutschtown and surrounding neighborhoods add consumer spending capacity and a diverse customer base.

The neighborhood is very walkable and most errands can be accomplished on foot. A 2008 Elm Street Survey revealed that an astonishing 24% of neighborhood respondents walked to work, mostly to AGH, the North Shore or to Downtown Pittsburgh (downtown). In addition to be home to AGH, the neighborhood is also home to a grocery store, pharmacy, daycare, auto repair shop, post office, gas station, and several banks, as well as smaller boutiques and gift shops. A burgeoning restaurant/bar and live music scene has created a strong food and entertainment cluster. There are many bus stops and ample highway access when vehicle travel is necessary.

The neighborhood is bike-friendly as it is relatively flat with “sharrow” bike lanes. It is adjacent to Allegheny Commons Park and the North Shore Riverfront Park and Trail. Recent bikeway installations by PENNDOT and the City will strengthen the neighborhood’s connection to the regional bike/trail network. The site is highly accessible and receives an 88 out of 100 for walkability, a 78 for accessibility to transit and a 77 for “bikeability” on WalkScore.com. A 10 - minute walk reaches downtown or the T-Station on the North Shore, giving the site access to all of downtown, the South Side and points south of the City without needing a car.

Historic Deutschtown boasts many popular Pittsburgh restaurants including Legends of the North Shore, Max’s Allegheny Tavern, Siempre Algo, Fig & Ash, The Coop, Penn Brewery, and Bistro to Go, and The Priory Bakery. The Priory Hotel and Grand Hall attract many local and out-of-town visitors. In addition, the newly opened Comfort Inn, located one block away, at 800 East Ohio Street, will bring a new group of out-of-town visitors. The neighborhood is a center point of several successful annual events including Deutschtown Music Festival, Pumpkinfest Children’s Festival, Northside Sandwich Week, and Northside Mardi Gras, along with many more recurring farmers markets and artisan sales during the Spring, Summer, and Fall seasons. Other recreational amenities that are close to the site include the National Aviary, the Children’s Museum, New Hazlett Theater, The Warhol Museum, Photo Antiquities Museum, Stage AE, PNC Park, and Heinz Field.

Other notable development activities in the area include the Federal North Garden Theater District Project by Trek Development, the re branding and redevelopment of Allegheny Center as Nova Place by Faros Properties, and the Workingmen’s Square Project in the 800 block of East Ohio Street, which includes a 96 room hotel, and banquet facility.

For a market profile relevant to the development area, East Allegheny–East Ohio Street Commercial District, click here.

Community Process

The selected developer will be expected to work with the URA, HDDC, EACC, NSLC and Council District 1’s Office to ensure the proposed project fits within the neighborhood context, vision and larger planning goals. The developer’s proposal should address the basic principles outlined in the Deutschtown Gateway Project. The Deutschtown Gateway Project is a conceptual plan that includes sensitive in-fill construction and restoration of several Victorian storefronts, including 624 and 628 East Ohio Street, in an effort to strengthen the entryway of this important Northside business district.

Phase I of the Deutschtown Gateway Project, the complete restoration of 632 East Ohio Street, a Victorian-era commercial building façade, has been completed. Located near I-279, it is a highly visible landmark for commuters and visitors exiting the highway.

Phase II of the plan, 620-628 East Ohio Street, calls for a combination of restoration and infill construction. There is a strong preference for first-floor retail space in the business district which will augment the ongoing plans and initiatives to activate East Ohio Street. The plan also proposes the creation of 6,000 to 8,000 square feet of horizontal commercial and/or residential space per floor, on the 2nd and 3rd stories of this multi-parcel development but the community is open to a variety of creative uses for the buildings and the site.

The conceptual plan, which focuses on historic preservation, illustrates HDDC’s preference for high-quality, commercial development. The URA and HDDC expect the selected developer to foster a close relationship with the community as this project becomes a reality. The selected developer will be expected to work with the URA, the Council District 1 Office, EACC and HDDC to ensure the project fits within the neighborhood context, vision and larger planning goals. Should the developer choose not to use the concept plan, the developer’s plan should address the same basic principles.

HDDC is a community-based development entity for the commercial corridor with members comprised of community leaders, business owners and the East Allegheny Community Council (EACC). EACC is an inclusive, resident-driven, volunteer-based, non-profit community development organization focused on improving quality of life of Historic Deutschtown/East Allegheny residents and stakeholders through community engagement and advocacy, historic preservation, community restoration and beautification, and community planning and development. To learn more about EACC click here. Both groups are assisted by the Historic Deutschtown Development Corporation. HDDC serves HDDC as Project Manager for East Ohio development projects, while EACC is a member organization of the Conference.

Interested developers are encouraged to meet with HDDC and EACC prior to submitting a proposal package to discuss how the proposed project relates to their community plan. Mark Fatla of NSLC can be reached at 412-904-3866 x200 and mark@pittsburghnorthside.com and Douglas Kamper of EACC and HDDC can be reached at 412-321-1204 or at info@deutschtown.org. It is worth noting that NSLC is in constant contact with businesses and can play an active role in connecting potential anchor tenants.

Proposal Requirements

Proposals should demonstrate the capacity and creativity of the developer to transform the parcels included in this RFP by following high development standards and presenting the best economically viable project(s) for the City. It is expected that proposals will include the appropriate scale of development for the neighborhood in which it is located. The developer will be required to coordinate design and construction with the URA to ensure that the proposed project(s) complement the neighborhood’s and City’s revitalization goals.

All responses should include the RFP Summary Page, which can be found at the end of this document, as the cover page of the proposal package. The proposal package needs to be in a binder using section dividers with tabs. The proposal should be divided into sections based on the following Proposal Requirements outline. Responses should be limited to 10 pages not including the RFP Summary Page and exhibits. The developer should submit ten (10) hard copies of the proposal package with one (1) flashdrive in a single bookmarked PDF format to:

Gordon Hall, Project Manager
ghall@ura.org
Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh
412 Boulevard of the Allies, Suite 901
Pittsburgh, PA 15219

All responses should include the following RFP Summary Page as the cover page of the proposal package. This page should be fully completed by the developer. ALL RESPONSES MUST BE RECEIVED BY THE RESPONSE DUE DATE AND TIME AS STATED IN THE RFP TIMELINE FOR CONSIDERATION. Any late responses will not be reviewed.

The following Proposal Requirements will serve to establish a developer’s overall capacity to complete this project.

  1. RFP Summary Page
  2. Project Narrative
    a.) Project Description – specific use, number of units (for residential) and/or commercial square feet (for retail, office, etc.)
    b.) Parking - parking required by district zoning in relation to the parking necessary to meet the project demands
    c.) Community engagement plan – general approach and how the project complies with the principles outlined in the community plan
    d.) Sustainability goals – performance measures or industry standards that will be used to assess the sustainability of the project
    e.) Minority/Women Owned Business Enterprise plan – strategy to maximize MWBE participation and projected goals
    f.) Ownership entity (single owner, partnership, LLC) - ability to finance the costs associated with project including previous experience in attracting equity investors and fundraising
    g.) Development entity – project management plan and role of each development partner in the implementation of the development plan
    h.) Expected Zoning Variances (if any) – strategy to obtain approval(s)
  3. Concept Drawings of the Proposed Project (Exhibits)
    a.) Site plan and floor plans
    b.) Elevations
    c.) Phased plan, if applicable, with first phase clearly identified
  4. Budgets (Exhibits)
    a.) Financing sources with funding gaps, if any, identified
    b.) Project uses including developer’s offer as well as detailed hard and soft costs
    c.) Proforma including all anticipated operational and maintenance costs
    d.) Phased sources and uses, if applicable, with first phase clearly identified (Why is phasing being shown for a relatively small project?)
  5. Proposed Development Timeline (Exhibits)
    a.) Schedule that identifies the duration of key tasks (i.e. due diligence, conceptual design, design development, permitting, final design, contract award, construction, etc.) and indicates major milestones
    b.) Phased development timeline, if applicable, with first phase clearly identified
  6. Financial Capacity (Exhibits)
    a.) Joint venture, general, or limited partners, and percentage of interest
    b.) Evidence of Equity Contribution such as bank statements
    c.) Letters of Interest or references from lending institutions
    d.) Letters of Interest from potential tenants
  7. Relevant Development Experience (Exhibits)
    a.) Resumes or biographies of the proposed development team
    b.) Fact sheets for similar projects (images, date, location, concept, funding sources, current vacancy rates)
    c.) Press clippings that include project narratives to describe previous work

Selection Process

The URA’s intention is to enter into an exclusive negotiation period with the selected developer. During the exclusive negotiation period, the URA and HDDC will provide the developer sufficient time to complete due diligence activities necessary to define a scope of work and schedule that will ultimately become part of a formal Disposition Contract.

A developer may be selected based on, but not limited to, the following criteria:

  1. Experience completing similar redevelopment projects in an urban neighborhood;
  2. Capacity to attract and secure financing, with a minimum amount of public subsidy;
  3. Ability to assemble a team with the appropriate specialties;
  4. Appropriateness of proposed plan with RFP goals and scale of development;
  5. Experience with community engagement;
  6. Commitment to sustainable design standards; and
  7. Commitment to Minority/Women Owned Business Enterprise participation.

The developer is responsible for designing a project that meets the zoning regulations and building codes adopted by the City and is otherwise compliant with the law.

A developer will be recommended to the URA Board based on the overall quality of the proposed project. The evaluation of the developer’s qualifications, experience and capacity will be based upon information submitted in the proposal and presented during the interview by the developer.

The URA reserves the right to verify the accuracy of all information submitted. After the URA has completed its evaluation of the submittals, a developer who is placed on the short-list may be asked to interview with the URA. However, a short-listed proposal may be accepted without the need for an interview. If an interview is deemed necessary, the developer will be provided with a time that is  determined by the URA.

Disposition Process Overview

The URA sells its property through a disposition process rather than a standard sales agreement. URA review will include the HDDC parcel as well as URA parcels and all closings will occur simultaneously. The disposition process is based on the declarations within the Urban Redevelopment Law (Act of May 24, 1945, P.L. 991, No. 385). The developer must enter into a Disposition Contract (i.e. Development Contract) with the URA. The Disposition Contract is the binding document that details the developer’s plan to design, finance, purchase, and construct the development project. Taxes, liability insurance, site security, and all aspects of owning and developing the property shall be the full responsibility of the developer at the time of sale, as specified in the Disposition Contract. The URA does not sell land for speculative purposes, any such proposal to acquire and hold the land with construction to occur when and if it is successfully marketed will be rejected.

As part of the process, the URA will review the Opinion of Probable Cost and project drawings against the evidence of financing to determine if the information presented is reasonable and corresponds to a fully realized project. The URA will not close on a property until all the terms of the disposition process are fulfilled. Click here to access the Disposition Process.

The URA Board must approve any and all developers who purchase URA property. Upon URA Board approval, the developer’s purchase of the property will occur after execution of the Disposition Contract, approval of the final construction documents and issuance of a building permit. The purchase of the property will occur simultaneously with the closing on the developer’s construction financing.

Legal Information

  1. Prior to submitting a proposal, a developer is encouraged to attend the pre-proposal conference, which provides an opportunity to inspect the property.
  2. The property will be offered to the selected developer in “AS-IS” condition.
  3. The sale of the property does not guarantee or warrant demolition permits, building permits, zoning variances, or financial viability.
  4. The developer, for itself and its employees, contractors, and primary subcontractors, agrees not to discriminate against or segregate any person or group of persons on any unlawful basis in the construction, sale, transfer, use, occupancy, tenure or enjoyment of the property or any improvements erected or to be erected thereon, or any part thereof.
  5. The URA shall be the sole judge as to which proposal best meets the selection criteria. The URA reserves the right to reject any or all proposals received, to waive any informalities or irregularities in any submitted proposal, and to negotiate scope and proposal prices.
  6. Responses to the RFP will not be opened publicly.
  7. Proposals may be withdrawn by written notice received by the URA before the time and date set for receipt of proposals. After the submission date, a proposal may not be withdrawn for a period of sixty (60) days, except by mutual consent between the URA and the respondent.
  8. It is the developer’s sole responsibility to read and interpret this RFP and the written instructions contained herein. A respondent may correct errors and omissions discovered before the time set for receipt of proposals by withdrawing the original proposal and resubmitting a new proposal before the date and time set for the receipt of proposal. Errors and omissions may not be corrected after the submission date except when the URA decides, in its sole discretion, to allow the correction.
  9. This RFP is submitted subject to errors, omissions, and/or withdrawal without notice by the URA at any time.
  10. The developer is encouraged to confer with the URA prior to submitting their response. All proposals, including attachments, supplementary materials, addenda, etc. shall become the property of the URA and will not be returned.
  11. Addenda will be posted on the URA website and distributed via email. All such addenda shall become part of the RFP documents and all respondents shall be bound by such addenda, whether or not received by the respondents.
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