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RFP - CLOSED

Financial Feasibility Services

The Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh (URA) requests proposals and general scopes-of-work from professional consultants or consultant teams to conduct 3rd party financial reviews for housing, commercial, and/or mixed-use development projects seeking URA resources. The URA plans to select one or more respondents to be on a slate of consultants who will provide financial feasibility analysis services for URA development projects on an as-needed basis.  

Wednesday, April 15, 2020
Wednesday, May 6, 2020 at 2:00 pm ET
All submissions are to be submitted electronically to HOF@ura.org

RFP Details

Background

The URA is the economic development agency for the City, committed to creating jobs, spurring affordable housing, and improving the vitality of businesses and neighborhoods within the City. Incorporated in 1946 as one of the first redevelopment authorities in the United States, the URA achieves this mission by assembling, preparing and conveying sites for major mixed-use developments and by providing a portfolio of programs that include financing for business location, relocation, and expansion, housing construction and rehabilitation, and home purchases and improvements, among many others. The URA conducts these activities using unique powers granted by the Commonwealth’s Urban Redevelopment Law to deploy and attach conditions to the use of public subsidy and the disposition of publicly owned land. The URA is also committed to equitable development and incorporates best practices for equity and inclusion into its internal and external policies and activities.  

Scope of Services

The URA works with commercial, residential and mixed-use developers to bring strategic and lasting improvements to the Pittsburgh community. The consultant will be asked to enter into a contract with the URA to work directly with URA staff to provide financial feasibility review and analysis for housing development projects, both market-rate and affordable, and for commercial and/or mixed-use development projects seeking URA funding and/or being developed on URA-owned land.

For each proposed project, the consultant will be asked to provide the following: 

  • An analysis of the viability of the proposed project including a complete financial analysis of the submitted proformas and cashflow analysis to identify weaknesses in the cost estimates and determination of the gap.  The analysis should review the proposed mix of equity, debt, and public subsidy and comment as to the financial soundness of the request. 

  • The analysis should include evaluating the calculations and assumptions related to public financing sources included but not limited to Low Income Housing Tax Credits, Historic Preservation Tax Credits, New Market Tax Credits, Parking Tax Diversions, and/or Tax Increment Financing.  The evaluation should also look at credit pricing, loan terms, and reasonableness of soft and hard cost estimates. 

  • The analysis should look at the rate of return of the public (URA) financing. 

  • The analysis should describe the absorption rate and viability of the proposed real estate development plan for the site.  A full market study is not requested but a preliminary review of existing sales and/or rent comparable in the area is required. 

  • The analysis should review financial assumptions related to real estate tax abatements. 

  • A review of the developer’s financial statements and a statement regarding the developer’s financial strength. 

  • A review of the proposed equity in the development and the financial soundness of the equity commitment. 

  • A brief cost-benefit analysis showing the proposed cost to the public sector versus the public benefit created (i.e., jobs, affordable housing, etc.) 

All the financial analysis should be presented to the URA in an Excel file.  Narrative portions should be in Word.  A PDF copy should also be included in addition to the Excel and Word files. 

Selected firm(s) will NOT be asked to make legal opinions. 

Qualifications

The selected applicants must:  

  • Have a minimum of 3-5 years’ experience performing financial feasibility analysis in relation to development projects.

  • Be familiar with financial calculations related to:

    • Low-Income Housing Tax Credits
       
    • New Market Tax Credits
       
    • Parking Tax Diversions

    • Tax Increment Financing 

    • Other commonly used economic development resources 
  • Demonstrate significant experience working with government agencies  

  • Be available to perform assignments within the time frame required in the agreement and be available to present each Project’s analysis to appropriate audiences including URA staff/board and City employees.
       
  • Be able to fully complete the project analysis within four to eight weeks of receiving a full information set from the developer/URA. 

Submission Requirements

Each submission should include the following:  

  1. Title Page – Include the firm’s name, contact person and contact information  

  2. Table of Contents 

  3. Firm Profile – Provide a brief profile of your firm, including:
      
    1. Name of business and office location
        
    2. Number and names of employees who will be dedicated to the work
        
    3. Length of experience in providing similar services
        
    4. Project experience directly relevant to this project (include examples with description of work provided)
       
    5. Comprehensive list of professional services provided by the firm
        
  4. Primary Qualifications – Provide a brief narrative that explains why your firm is well qualified to provide the services for which your firm would like to be considered.
      
  5. Biography of Key Personnel – Identify the staff within the organization who will be actively working on this contract. Please include the individuals’ relevant experience and their work location.
      
  6. References – Provide two (2) references from entities that have worked with your firm on similar projects. Provide only references who have directly worked with one or more members of your firm’s proposed team. Include reference’s name, title, address, direct telephone number, and email address.
      
  7. Relevant Project Experience - Include a brief description of no less than three projects completed by the project consultant or project consultant team in the past five years that directly relate to this project. Description of the projects should include:
     
    1. Name of Client
        
    2. Overview of the project
       
    3. Completion date
        
  8. Process Approach - A delineation of proposed services and approach to the project, which may include a flow chart, methodology, unique experience, management strategies, etc. The consultant or consulting team should provide step-by-step detailed descriptions (including deliverables and key milestones) on how they will approach the project.
     
  9. Minority and Woman-Owned Business Enterprise (MWBE) Narrative - The URA has a long history of diversity and inclusion within all its programs and other activities. The URA encourages the full participation of minority and women business owners and professionals in this effort. The URA requires that all respondents demonstrate a good faith effort to obtain minority and women-owned business participation in work performed in connection with URA projects. In the form of a narrative, state as succinctly as possible your firm’s efforts to provide opportunities for MWBE firms. MWBE participation can be satisfied by:|

    1. Ownership/partnership of firm;
        
    2. Use of minority or women-owned businesses as vendors for legal, printing, office supplies, travel, etc.; and 
       
    3. Subcontracting with organizations owned and controlled by minorities and/or women. If this is to be done, that fact, and the name of the proposed subcontracting organizations, must be clearly identified in the proposal.   

      Any questions about MWBE requirements should be directed to MWBE@ura.org.

  10. Fees – Describe your proposed fee structure and include proposed rates and/or itemized list of services. Both an hourly rate and a fixed/not-to-exceed fee per project should be identified. 

  11. Other Information – Please provide any other information which you believe is pertinent to the URA’s consideration of your firm.

    All applicable sections of the RFP must be completed to the best of the applicant’s ability to be considered a complete application.  

Inquiries

All inquiries related to this RFP are to be directly emailed to HOF@ura.org. 

Submission Deadline

The submission deadline for this RFP is Wednesday, May 6, 2020 at 2:00 pm EST.  

The applicant should submit one (1) electronic copy delivered in PDF format via email. All submissions are to be submitted to HOF@ura.org. 

Review of Proposals

  • URA staff will check responses against mandatory criteria. Responses not meeting all the mandatory criteria will not be considered for review.  
  • Formal interviews of applicants may be scheduled at the discretion of URA staff.  
  • During the evaluation process, the URA reserves the right to request additional information or clarifications from the applicants, or to allow corrections of errors or omissions.  
  • URA staff may recommend an applicant or applicants to the URA Board of Directors based upon the responses to this RFP.  

RFP Anticipated Timeframe

Selection Criteria

  • Experience – The applicant’s experience in providing services like those within the Scope of Services described herein; the quality of the applicant’s management, reputation and references; the applicant should have at least 3-5 years of experience providing the services specified in its response to organizations like the URA.

  • Quality of Submission – The quality of the submission and the degree to which it demonstrates the team members’ full understanding of their ability to perform the services to be rendered; the content of the response should demonstrate the applicant’s full understanding of the Objectives, along with sample materials.

  • MWBE Participation – The applicant’s MWBE narrative should indicate whether the applicant is an MWBE and include an overview of the applicant’s strategy toward MWBE participation, in general. 

Mandatory Elements

  • The applicant, including any and all team members, must have no conflict of interest about any other work performed by the applicant for the URA or related entity. 
  • The applicant must adhere to the instructions contained in this RFP in preparing the submitted proposal. 

  • The URA requires that all applicants demonstrate a good faith effort to obtain MWBE participation in work performed in connection with URA initiatives. Any questions about MWBE requirements should be directed to MWBE@ura.org. 

Legal Information

  1. The URA shall have the right to verify the accuracy of all information submitted and to make such investigation as it deems necessary to determine the ability of each Applicant to perform the obligations in the response. The URA intends to select one or more applicants to be included on a slate based upon information in the response to the RFP submitted by the applicants, performance in previous undertakings and other pertinent factors. The selected applicant(s) will be chosen based on the selection criteria listed above.

  2. The URA shall be the sole judge as to which applicant(s) meet the selection criteria. The URA reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to reject any or all responses received, to waive any submission requirements contained within this RFP and to waive any irregularities in any submitted response.

  3. The selected applicant(s) will be required to enter into a contract with the URA stating that all copyrights and data (including but not limited to, written reports, drawings, formulas, programs, and studies) developed pursuant to the contract will be assigned to, and shall be the property of, the URA. The URA shall have full right to use such data for any purposes in whatever manner deemed desirable and appropriate by the URA. Such assignment and use shall be without any additional payment to or approval by applicant.
       
  4. The URA reserves the right to negotiate with any, all, or none of the Applicants and to work with another Applicant in the event that the originally selected Applicant fails to satisfy the URA’s contracting requirements.

  5. This form is submitted subject to errors, omissions, and/or withdrawal without notice by the URA at any time. 
     
  6. All responses, including attachments, supplementary materials, addenda, etc. shall become the property of the URA and will not be returned.

  7. Applicant and team members must disclose any conflict of interest with regards to any other work performed by the Applicant for the URA, the City of Pittsburgh, or any related entity.  

 

Non-Discrimination Certification

The Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh abides by all applicable laws and regulations regarding nondiscrimination and refrains from discriminating on the basis of age, race, color, religious creed, ancestry, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, political or union affiliation, and/or disability. No person shall be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or otherwise be subjected to discrimination solely based on any of the above factors under the loan and grant programs operated by the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh.

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