Request for Proposals
Downtown Office Conversion Feasibility Study
For the Downtown Redevelopment Authority
Issue date: October 13, 2022
Proposals Due: December 1, 2022 at 5:00 PM, Central Time
Format: Hard copy, 15-page (max.) bound and signed, 8.5”x11” letter, portrait, spiral bound;
Digital copy as a locked Adobe Acrobat Reader (pdf) file on a USB flash drive
Quantity: Four (4) hard copies;
One (1) digital copy, 300 dpi;
NOTE: Label USB flash drive with firm name
Reference: Downtown Office Conversion Feasibility Study RFP
Display firm name and reference on sealed submittal package
Submit To: Downtown Redevelopment Authority
1221 McKinney Street, Suite 4250
Houston, Texas 77010
Attn: Robert Pieroni
Director of Economic Development
Background on the Downtown Redevelopment Authority
The purpose of the Downtown Redevelopment Authority (DRA) is to facilitate positive development of the area within the Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone #3 (TIRZ #3) boundaries. Tax increment dollars collected within the boundaries of the Zone are reinvested into the Zone with the guidance and approval of the DRA Board of Directors. These reinvestments are often conveyed as financial incentives through public/private sector partnerships designed to make Downtown Houston a place where Houstonians and visitors want to live, work and play. Additional information regarding the DRA and the Zone can be found at: www.downtowntirz.com.
With the flight to quality in Downtown Houston’s office market, coupled with the reduction in demand for office space due to the recent shift towards hybrid and remote work, older but non-historic office buildings constructed in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s are expected to experience tenancy challenges resulting in widespread vacancy and obsolescence. As with the redevelopment of historic structures, there are extensive and unique costs involved in office-to-residential, office-to-institutional and other modes of adaptive use conversions. Critically, conversion costs occur on top of the base cost/investment in the pre-conversion structure, and building owners will pay carrying costs during any adaptive reuse construction. The economic challenges of conversion will most likely require an incentive program to encourage adaptive reuse in much the same way that historic structures receive tax credits for renovation, or through a program similar to the Downtown Living Initiative that incentivized the residential construction or conversion in the Downtown Houston market. Noting these challenges, the DRA regards adaptive reuse as a pivotal redevelopment opportunity to advance Downtown Houston’s residential capacity and offerings, and to holistically reimagine Downtown’s underutilized or vacant office space.
To begin shaping an adaptive reuse incentive program, the DRA seeks to identify a consulting firm to conduct multiple third-party feasibility studies on selected buildings located within the Downtown Houston boundaries of the DRA; see Exhibit A.
This first phase of this process is intended to lay the groundwork for an Office Conversion Program, designed to incentivize the rehabilitation and repurposing of underutilized office space in downtown buildings within the boundaries of the DRA.
Through this Request for Proposals (RFP), the DRA intends to procure an urban development consultant to produce the aforementioned feasibility studies each of which will address economic, design, and engineering variables related to a specific redevelopment site. The selected consultant will provide a more comprehensive understanding of the programmatic reuse potential or the redevelopment opportunities inherent within each building envelope and the respective property including ground-level repositioning. The selected consultant will address the respective financial and technical challenges in realizing specific adaptative reuse opportunities for each identified site and building.
The DRA will source and commission a series of feasibility studies once the selection of buildings is completed and the respective ownership commitments to participate are confirmed. In this instance, owner participation entails the feasibility study team access to the requisite building and financial information sufficient to permit a reliable feasibility finding on the given structure. Any proprietary information provided by the participating owner to the DRA and the consulting firm will be kept confidential.
From these completed feasibility studies, the DRA will endeavor to propose an Office Conversion Program, as part of phase two for which the selected consultant may be retained to provide further advisory services. The program will seek to stimulate the economic vitality of Downtown by incentivizing the conversion of underutilized office buildings into alternative uses within the boundaries of the DRA. The feasibility studies are intended to assist participating property owners in developing proformas for multiple adaptive reuse scenarios once the program is formed, authorized by the DRA Board and approved by Houston City Council. These scenarios will provide a means to identify and appropriately assess the efficacy of the currently known financing tools that may be utilized to bridge capital or operational funding gaps related to office building conversions.
The Downtown Redevelopment Authority requests Proposals for a consulting firm to conduct third-party feasibility studies on select buildings participating in exploring adaptive reuse of vacant office space.
Responses will be evaluated on the following criteria:
The DRA shall evaluate each proposal according to the following criteria:
A. Letter of Interest. (40%)
1. Stating firm’s availability and capacities to lead real estate conversion feasibility studies and provide related deliverables.
2. A narrative statement providing insight to the consultant’s vision of adaptive reuse.
3. A detailed fee structure for phase 1 services only based on square footage of each building under study.
B. Past Experience and Performance for conducting similar feasibility studies as related to office conversion. (30%)
1. 2 (min) examples of representative office conversion to adaptive reuse, including process, scope of work, client contacts, link to completed project (if applicable).
2. 2 (min) reference letters from previous clients.
C. Team Composition including sub-consultants and specialists. (30%)
1. Identify team leaders, including individual biographies, from the lead and sub-consultants. Provide information as to the leadership, proven collaborations, and communication expertise of the team.
2. Provide statement of explanation as to team structure and anticipated relative portions of work to be performed by each sub-consultant or specialist.
3. Participation of Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBE), defined as minority- or woman-owned business enterprises (MWBE), will be considered as a primary component (up to one-half) of this evaluation criteria. Listing as a City-certified DBE firm is acceptable for the Proposal.
A. All Proposals meeting both the intent and deadlines of this RFP will be considered for award.
B. Employees, directors, and officers of the DRA are prohibited from responding to this RFP or being a direct party to any contract resulting from this RFP.
C. Proposals will be reviewed and evaluated by the DRA selection committee. The findings and recommendations of the selection committee will be presented to the full DRA Board of Directors for its consideration and final approval, upon which contract negotiations with the selected consultant will commence.
Selection Process & Project Schedule:
RFP Issued (First Advertisement) October 13
Second Advertisement October 20
Pre-submission Conference October 27
Questions from Proposers Due October 31
(Conference Meeting Notes & Answers to Questions) November 8
Proposal Due December 1
Committee Recommendation December 5
DRA Board Approval December 12 or 13
Anticipated beginning January 9
Sensitive information provided by proposers, and identified by the proposer as sensitive information, shall be held in confidence by the DRA and shared only on a need-to-know basis; however, the DRA shall not have any liability to proposer for any failure to keep such sensitive information confidential.
Award of the Right to Negotiate Final Agreement
A. The DRA reserves the right to accept or reject any Proposal without cause. The right to negotiate the final agreement with the DRA will be awarded to the proposer determined to be the best suited and qualified to achieve the objectives of the RFP.
B. This RFP is intended to serve only as a mutual expression of the intentions of the parties, and the parties shall not be obligated to proceed.
Proposals will not be altered or amended after the submission deadline. Any interlineations, alteration, or erasure made prior to submission deadline must be initialed by the signer of the Proposal to guarantee authenticity.
All Proposals must be received on or before December 1, 2022 at 5:00 PM Central Time. Proposals and modifications submitted after this deadline will not be accepted by the DRA.
A. Failure to submit per the above guidelines may result in disqualification by the DRA.
B. The DRA shall retain all submitted Proposal packages. Proposals will not be returned.
C. Expenses incurred in preparing and submitting Proposals in response to this RFP shall be the sole responsibility of the responding consultant and sub-consultants.
D. The DRA reserves the right to reject any one or all Proposals without cause and in its sole and absolute discretion.
A. A Pre-Submission Conference will be held at 1:00 PM, CT, on October 27, 2022 the Downtown Redevelopment Authority office located at 1221 McKinney Street, Suite 4250, Houston, Texas 77010.
B. Potential respondents to this RFP may attend the pre-submission conference, but attendance is not mandatory. Interested parties are requested to limit the respective firm’s representation to two (2) staff members attending this conference.
C. Questions submitted during the pre-submission conference will be addressed in-person by the DRA and recorded in meeting minutes, subject to subsequent modification via written addenda.
D. Meeting Minutes of the conference and associated questions/answers will be posted as an addendum on the project page at www.downtowntirz.com
During Proposal preparation and until October 31, 2022, 3:00 PM, interested parties may submit questions related to this RFP and related scope of work. Direct all inquiries as “RE: Downtown Office Conversion Feasibility Study” to Robert Pieroni via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Responses to all proposer’s questions will be issued as an addenda and posted on the DRA website www.downtowntirz.com by November 8, 2022, 3:00 PM. Telephone queries will not be addressed by the DRA.
For each participating building site work for each feasibility study shall be
performed within one-hundred fifty-days (150) days from the date established
in the Notice to Proceed, subject to change pursuant to the parties contract.
This RFP has been advertised for a two-week period beginning October 13, 2022. The RFP and associated Addenda per the project schedule, including the attendance roster from the Pre-submittal Conference, will be available for download on the Authority’s website, www.downtowntirz.com. The following block text communicates the advertisement.
REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL
DOWNTOWN OFFOCE CONVERSION FEASIBILITY STUDY FOR
THE DOWNTOWN REDEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY / TIRZ NO.3
The Downtown Redevelopment Authority (the “Authority”) will receive responses to this Request for Proposal (RFP), for a consulting firm to conduct third-party feasibility studies on select buildings participating in exploring adaptive reuse of vacant office space Downtown Houston, Texas. Proposals will be received until 3:00 P.M., local time on Thursday December 1, 2022, by Robert Pieroni, Director of Economic Development, Central Houston Inc., 1221 McKinney Street, Suite 4250, Houston, Texas 77010. Proposals submitted to the DRA after submission deadline will be not be accepted. Respective of this advertisement, telephone, mail, email queries or requests for information will not be addressed by the Authority.
Beginning Thursday, October 13, 2022, this project’s Request for Proposal (RFP) may be reviewed and downloaded as an electronic file from the Authority’s website: http://www.downtowntirz.com. A optional Pre-submittal Conference is scheduled for at 1:00 PM, local time, on October 27, 2022, to be held at the Authority’s offices. Following this conference, queries or requests for information will be addressed by the Authority, pursuant to the instructions provided in the RFP. Based on the Proposals submitted, an evaluation and selection committee will identify the winning proposal. The Authority will negotiate and award the contract to the selected consultant based on the evaluation criteria.