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Manchester-Chateau Transit Revitalization Investment District (TRID) Planning Study

July 29, 2020
September 29, 2020

The Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh (the “URA”) is issuing a request for proposals (“RFP”) from transportation, economic development and urban planning consultants to author a planning study that examines the feasibility of creating a Transit Revitalization Investment District (“TRID”) district near the neighborhoods of Manchester and Chateau within the vicinity of the Port Authority of Allegheny County’s Allegheny Light Rail “T” Station (“Allegheny Station”).

The project budget is anticipated to be in the range of $25,000 to $50,000. The project duration is estimated to be 6 months. Interested parties are requested to submit a detailed Proposal Package that clearly defines the relevant experience of the proposed staff and sub-consultant team members, as well as proposed methods and strategies to carry out the project scope of work.

 Respondents shall restrict all contact and questions regarding this RFP and selection process to the Public Purchase interface. In other words, all questions concerning terms, conditions and technical specifications shall be directed to the Public Purchase website and asked using the Public Purchase platform.

Contact Information

Chuck Alcorn
Project Development Manager


TRID Background

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Transit Revitalization Investment District Act of 2004 (the “TRID Act”) provides a financing mechanism for local taxing bodies to encourage transit-oriented development at Amtrak and transit stations. The TRID Act has established planning study guidelines for the creation of districts within which the financing mechanism may be applied. Please note that Bill 1210 has been introduced in the Pennsylvania Senate and, if passed, may amend the TRID Act. If PA Senate Bill 1210 becomes law, the TRID planning study must reflect that amendment.  

The purpose of this project is to conduct the planning studies and value capture analysis required to develop a recommendation on the feasibility of establishing a TRID in the vicinity of the Allegheny Station in the neighborhoods of Manchester and Chateau in the City of Pittsburgh.

Transit in Manchester-Chateau

The transit networks throughout Manchester-Chateau are essential to providing residents with access to opportunities. According to the 2010 U.S. Census, approximately 10% of households in Manchester don’t own a vehicle, and those families likely rely heavily on public transit (page 125 of the Manchester Chateau Neighborhood Plan). In the short term, it’s important to maintain a high level of transit service until much needed local amenities—such as grocery stores, medical care, and daycare—can be provided.

Manchester-Chateau is served by existing bus transit and the T light rail system. The bus transit lines include the 14 Ohio Valley, 17 Shadeland, and 18 Manchester routes.  While the Port Authority of Allegheny County is in charge of the bus and transit system, opportunities to improve the usability and feasibility of the transit system can be undertaken with public and private multimodal investments. Improving the experience of taking transit (e.g., walking to the bus stop, waiting for the bus, frequency and reliability of service) and improving pedestrian connections to the Allegheny T station via Allegheny Avenue, Reedsdale Street and Ridge Avenue, Beaver Avenue and the Riverfront trail.

Allegheny Station Service Area

The T is Pittsburgh’s only dedicated light rail system. It extends 26.2 miles from the North Shore to Downtown, and then connects to southern City neighborhoods and select southern municipalities of Allegheny County (AKA South Hills). The T has two lines: The Red Line and the Blue Line. These lines run identical routes from the Allegheny Station to the South Hill Junction Station, and then split-off to cover different areas of the South Hills. The average weekday ridership is about 28,000; the annual average ridership is about 8,300,000.  

In 2012, the North Shore Connector project extended the T from Downtown Pittsburgh to the North Shore and added two stations: North Shore and Allegheny. Previous studies have considered further extensions that would ultimately connect the T to the Greater Pittsburgh Airport.  The North Shore Station is adjacent to the West General Robinson Street Garage. The Allegheny Station is located at the southwest corner of Reedsdale Street and Allegheny Avenue. The two stations service workers and visitors commuting between Downtown and the North Shore for business, school, dining, and entertainment—including travel for Steelers’ games, Pirates’ games, the Casino, and other special events in the North Shore. The Light Rail travels beneath the Allegheny River from Gateway Station in Downtown to the North Shore and emerges from the ground to an aerial structure between the two stations. The Allegheny Station is the nearest stop for most Manchester residents, and is currently the nearest station to the Esplanade development and the existing businesses in Chateau.    

Rides are free to and from the North Shore. The "Free Fare Zone" extends from the North Side Station at West General Robinson Street Garage to the Allegheny Station, and is funded by the Stadium Authority and ALCO Parking.  

The area surrounding the Allegheny Station has the potential for redevelopment, including the proposed Esplanade development project. The area contains a large proportion of surface parking lots and low-density commercial development, despite the excellent access to free transit. In addition to the proposed developments, there may be additional opportunities for more intensive uses of land, expansion of the tax base, and job creation.  

Between 2000 and 2019, multiple large-scale redevelopments have significantly changed the built environment of Pittsburgh’s North Shore. Additional development has occurred since then and more development is underway. However, the North Side also contains major railways, interstates, and highways that act as a significant divide between the neighborhoods and the waterfront. This divide has limited the full development potential of Manchester and other neighborhoods in the North Side. The existing railroad in the North Side is currently operated by Norfolk Southern.  

Project Description

Project Description 

The Manchester-Chateau TRID study will explore the use of this financing mechanism to revitalize the Esplanade site in the North Side, with an emphasis on strategic use of vacant land located in the North Shore, Chateau and other areas that could be included in the value capture. This should emphasize leveraging the T as a pre-existing asset.  

The URA believes that a Transit Oriented Development (“TOD”) can be a revitalizing force in neighborhoods adjacent to existing transit. The Allegheny T and recent Manchester-Chateau planning process provide excellent opportunities for this type of development. This TRID study will focus on the Allegheny T Station, with special attention given to major redevelopments on the North Side as well as the priorities identified in the Manchester-Chateau plan.  

The major goals of the Manchester-Chateau TRID study are to:

  • Evaluate existing and concurrent studies in the area to form the foundation for the Manchester-Chateau TRID.
  • Analyze the proposed Esplanade Development, including cost estimates, tax calculations, and an independent analysis of tax generation and job creation.
  • Utilize the Manchester-Chateau neighborhood plan and Esplanade Development site plan as well as proposed infrastructure improvements to, firstly, define requirements for feasible TOD, and secondly, to identify priority TRID-eligible, implementable projects within the proposed value capture area(s).
  • Examine development and infrastructure solutions to integrate the Allegheny Station and bridge the divide between Manchester and Chateau.
  • Work with the relevant communities, stakeholders, and taxing bodies to determine if the establishment of a TRID is acceptable, and if so, what area(s) it should include based on the study results and proposed development scenarios.  

The study will align with the goals in the Mobility Chapter of the Manchester-Chateau Neighborhood Plan—the comprehensive plan for Manchester-Chateau, which is available for review on the City of Pittsburgh’s Department of City Planning website. These goals are:

  • Enhance safety through roadway design improvements;
  • Improve quality and access to public transit services;
  • Improve pedestrian and bicyclist infrastructure; and
  • Reconnect Manchester and Chateau through a new vision for the State Route 65 network.  

The Manchester-Chateau TRID Study must also align with the objectives identified in Allegheny Places—Allegheny County’s Comprehensive Plan; the Southwest Pennsylvania Commission’s 2019 Regional Active Transportation Plan; and the 2019 Long Range Transportation Plan—Smart Moves For a Changing Region.

Stakeholders to be Consulted

  • Allegheny County Economic Development & Planning
  • City of Pittsburgh
    • Mayor’s Office
    • Pittsburgh City Council District 6
    • Department of City Planning
    • Department of Public Works
    • Department of Mobility and Infrastructure
    • Office of Management and Budget
  • Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
    • PA Department of Community and Economic Development(DCED)
    • PA Department of Transportation (PennDOT)
    • State Legislative Districts 19 (House) and 42 (Senate)
  • Manchester Citizens Corporation
  • Pittsburgh Public Schools
  • Port Authority of Allegheny County
  • Riverlife
  • Carnegie Science Center Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission
  • Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh
  • Esplanade Partners, LP

Study Area

The Primary Study Area will be either the half-mile radius surrounding the T’s Allegheny Station or another appropriate TRID boundary as defined by the TRID Act No. 2004-238. Analysis of the East Corridor Area will be used for future TRID studies. The Greater Study Area could be drawn larger to include Manchester, Chateau, and other adjacent neighborhoods.

 Scope of Work

To complete the requirements of the TRID planning grant, the TRID Team must do the following:

  • Analysis (Greater Study Area and Primary Study Area)
    The Manchester-Chateau TRID study will build on the work of previous studies to fill in any gaps and to update with any recent changes in order to analyze existing conditions. An economic analysis for the Esplanade development plan should include an analysis of job creation and tax generation figures.
    • Review pre-existing and current studies
      A number of studies have already been completed or are being completed for the relevant areas. These studies examine the market, present a vision, evaluate the demand for development, and explore the infrastructure needs of the areas. Studies will be available to the selected TRID consultant Team, including:
      • Transit-Oriented Development Typology Strategy for Allegheny County (2013)
      • East Liberty TRID Study and Implementation Plan (2011)
      • Manchester-Chateau Neighborhood Plan (2019)
    • Analyze current land use conditions (Primary Study Area)
    • Analyze existing infrastructure conditions and need (Primary Study Area)
    •  Analyze traffic and parking conditions (Primary Study Area)
    •  Analyze Esplanade Development Plans and Proposed Infrastructure Improvements

  • Market Analysis (Greater Study Area and Primary Study Area)
    The Manchester-Chateau TRID study will build off of the previous market studies in order to evaluate the current financial market surrounding the Allegheny Station and greater North Side.
    •  Account for the review and analysis of previous market studies
    •  Analyze current market
    •  Identify market opportunities

  • Multi-Agency Coordination
    The URA will coordinate inter-agency meetings for regular plan updates. Communication is essential to TRID implementation.
    •  Present plan updates at monthly Steering Committee meetings

  • Community Outreach (Primary Study Area)
    The Manchester-Chateau TRID study team will conduct one public meeting at a date and time that is agreed to by the Steering Committee, which will be held within the proposed value capture area. The study team will also conduct a final meeting with the Steering Committee to share the results of the study. The Steering Committee will help the consultant team advertise the community meeting and set the date and location. The public meeting will be utilized as an opportunity to facilitate community support and to solicit input on the proposed land use plan, infrastructure improvements and district boundaries.

    Plan displays and other presentation materials are to be produced by the consultant team for this public engagement. These materials are also intended for utilization by the project team for future meetings and briefings.

  • Land Use (Primary Study Area)
    The Manchester-Chateau TRID study will review proposed land use recommendations and propose new development opportunities based on market analysis, community feedback, and stakeholder conversations. This should account for the review and analysis of existing and ongoing studies.

  • Transportation Improvements (Primary Study Area)
    The Manchester-Chateau TRID study will identify and illustrate needed infrastructure, access, bike and pedestrian connections, and transit improvements—including those specifically identified in the Manchester-Chateau Neighborhood Plan. The Manchester-Chateau TRID study will be used to develop these plans and provide cost estimates.
    •  Identify and illustrate infrastructure improvements and costs
    • Identify and illustrate transit and transportation improvements and costs
    •  Develop plans for better access to Allegheny Station and provide cost estimates
    • Planned Esplanade improvements

  •  Financial Plan (Primary Study Area)
    The Manchester-Chateau TRID study will primarily be dedicated to this task. Utilizing existing studies, the market analysis, development recommendations, and the determined costs of improvements to the Allegheny Station and surrounding infrastructure, the Manchester-Chateau TRID study will determine the ultimate feasibility of pursuing a TRID.
    •  Provide a recommendation on the establishment of a TRID
    •  Identify a TRID boundary
      •  The TRID boundary should follow the guidelines defined by the TRID Act No. 2004-238. The TRID boundary should also balance the need for infrastructure and transportation improvements with the scale, fit, and mix of development within the proposed district.
    • Develop value capture projections based on proposed pledged parcels and tax increment projections
    •  Identify capital improvement costs and gaps in financing

  • Implementation Plan (Primary Study Area)
    The Manchester-Chateau TRID study implementation plan will determine funding and phasing strategies to aid in the implementation of the TRID. This section will also plot out what must occur to make a TRID feasible if it is not feasible at this time.
    •  Develop a funding strategy that corresponds to tax generation projections and uses
    •  Develop a phasing strategy informed by funding opportunities with specific implementation responsibilities identified
    •  Identify a management entity and plan and develop a schedule for TRID implementation
    • Explicitly model job creation and tax generation figures based on the implementation plan parameters

  • Deliverables
    •  Final working document in digital format
    •  All documents and raw data associated with the development of projections, deliverables, and all other scope items
    •  Materials for use at community outreach meeting and future presentations

The budget for this project is between $25,000 and $50,000. Proposals will be judged according to their cost-effectiveness, in addition to other criteria.

Organization and Required Submittals for Proposal:

Submission Requirements and Deadline

  • Proposals should clearly articulate an understanding of TRID Legislation.
  •  Proposals must be submitted electronically.
  •  Proposals must be submitted as a single Adobe PDF, 300dpi with character recognition and bookmarks.
  •  The proposal must be received by the URA via the Public Purchase interface before September 29, 2020, 5pm (Eastern Time). Proposals received after the deadline will not be accepted. Hard copies or proposals submitted outside of Public Purchase will not be accepted.
  •  Questions must be asked via the Public Purchase interface. Persons who submit questions directly to URA staff will be instructed to use the Public Purchase interface instead.

Proposal Format and Content

  • Cover Letter
    • Limit to one page.
    • Must contain, at minimum:
      •  Company name, contact name, address, fax number, and email address.
      • Why this team is the most qualified to complete this project.
  •  Scope of Services/Fees
    •  A detailed narrative of methods and plan to carry out the scope of work.
    •  A proposed fee schedule (subject to negotiation) of items specified in the Scope of Work. Include hourly rates for key staff and a description of the desired terms for payment.
    •  Project timeline with key milestones
  • Firm Information
    •  Description of the consulting firm and any additional subconsultant firms included on the team (one page for each firm). Please include the following:
      •  Name, address, and telephone number
      •  Number and location of offices
      •  Managing principal, CEO, or president
      •  Person to contact regarding this submission
      •  Size of firm
      •  Type of organization (e.g., sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation)
      •  Legal actions currently pending against firm

The URA requires that all consultants demonstrate a good faith effort to obtain minority and women-owned business enterprise (“M/WBE”) participation in work performed in connection with URA projects. The URA acknowledges the City of Pittsburgh’s goal of eighteen percent (18%) minority and seven percent (7%) female participation in planning and/or professional service activities—such as design or legal costs—as well as construction contracts and purchases. The URA strives to achieve these goals. The successful applicant will be required to submit an M/WBE plan as part of the project approval process. The inclusion of minority-owned business enterprises (“MBE”) and women-owned business enterprises (“WBE”) must be documented in the table listed below.

  • Relevant Projects and References
    •  Limit one page per project. Please include the following:
      •  Name and location of project
      •  Size and cost of project
      •  Name, address and telephone number of the client
  •  How the project relates to Manchester-Chateau TRID study
  • Relevant References
    •  Limit to one page.
      •  List up to three additional client references from similar projects.
  • Consultant Team
    •  Briefly describe the roles and experience of your proposed team. Provide a resume for each member, including:
      •  Principal in Charge
      •  Project Manager
      •  Key staff members to be assigned to this project
      •  Sub-consultants


Evaluation Criteria

All proposals will be evaluated based on the consultant’s technical and professional expertise, relevant experience, the proposed method and procedures for completion of the work, and the cost of the proposal. The apparent ability of the consultant to be independent and objective in performing the requested work will also be considered.

Technical Expertise, Experience and Access

The technical expertise, experience and access of the consultant will be determined by the following factors:

  •  Overall experience of the consultant
  •  Expertise and professional level of the individuals proposed to conduct the work
  •  Clarity and completeness of the proposal and the apparent general understanding of the work to be performed
  •  Demonstration of accessibility to the URA
  •  Demonstration of responsiveness to community needs

Cost will be weighed in relation to the other proposals received and shall be evaluated relative to the number of professional consulting services dedicated to the Manchester-Chateau TRID study.

Equal Employment Opportunity
A willingness to make meaningful, wide-range subcontracting and employment opportunities available to all interested, qualified firms and individuals in the market place will be evaluated in review of the submitted proposals.


Selection Process and Schedule

Proposals submitted will be evaluated by a Selection Committee chosen for the Manchester-Chateau TRID study. Finalists of the RFP process will be asked to meet with the Selection Committee for a formal interview. Final consultant selection will be made by the URA Board, which will be informed by the recommendation of the Selection Committee. The URA reserves the right to reject any and all proposals.

A tentative schedule has been prepared for this selection process. Firms interested in this project must be available on the date of the interview meeting with the Selection Committee. The schedule is subject to change; however, the RFP due date will not be changed without notice on Public Purchase. The tentative timeline is: 

  •  RFPs due: September 29, 2020
  •  Firms notified for interview: October 16, 2020
  •  Interviews: Late October/November 2020

Upon notification of selection by URA staff, the successful respondent is required to deliver a contract within four weeks of notification. If the successful respondent is unwilling or unable to execute the agreement as required by this RFP, the URA has the right to request another respondent to enter into the contract with the URA.

All dates in the RFP are subject to change at the discretion of URA. Notice of any date changes will be posted on the Public Purchase interface.

Legal Requirements and Disclaimers

Verification of Submitted Information
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 in its discretion reserves the right to reject any response when the available evidence or information does not satisfy the URA that the Applicant is qualified to carry out properly the obligations of the response.

Sustainable Design
The selected Applicant will be required to demonstrate a good faith effort to incorporate environmentally sustainable features and practices into their development plan.

The URA reserves the right to accept an offer or proposal other than the highest offer and will determine awards at its sole discretion. The URA shall be the sole judge as to which, if any, Applicant best meets the selection criteria. The URA reserves the right to reject any or all responses, to waive any submission requirements contained within this response, and to waive any irregularities in any submitted response.

This form is submitted subject to errors, omissions, and/or withdrawal without notice by the URA at any time.

Ownership of Proposals
All responses, including attachments, supplementary materials, addenda, etc. shall become the property of the URA and will not be returned.

Conflicts of Interest
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.


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