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Jefferson City Council to review solicitation for MSP developers

Jefferson City Council to review solicitation for MSP developers

March 16th, 2019 by Jeff Haldiman in Local News

In this June 2018 file photo, a quorum of the Missouri State Penitentiary Community Partners was available for a tour of the former MSP grounds.

Photo by Julie Smith /News Tribune.

The Jefferson City Council on Monday will vote on a resolution that would allow the soliciting of potential redevelopers of the old Missouri State Penitentiary site.

At a Friday meeting of the Missouri State Penitentiary Community Partners — a board made up of Jefferson City, Cole County and local economic development officials — the board unanimously approved sending final changes on the request for qualification document to the council.

An RFQ differs slightly from a request for proposals because in an RFQ the city seeks developers capable of building a project on the site before it solicits proposals for site uses, Jefferson City Counselor Ryan Moehlman said previously. Moehlman said this pre-qualification process will allow the city to select a developer with enough capital and experience to pull off a project.

Moehlman said Friday city staff has talked to 15-20 developers who have been involved in projects such as what is being envisioned at MSP and that probably half of them were from Missouri. He also expected they'd get more interest once it was announced the RFQ process was underway.

Pending the expected approval of the council, the RFQ will be issued March 27. The deadline to submit questions would be May 3; responses to the questions due from the city by May 10. Responses to the RFQ are due May 17.

The board did make one change to the document after 4th Ward Councilman Ron Fitzwater suggested the document should say they were looking at a convention/conference center to be placed on the site. He said showing there was the potential for either of these facilities to be built there offered more flexibility for a potential developer to come up with a plan.

The RFQ document contains information about the project and some of the developer qualifications the MSPCP wants. Interested entities would submit their bids with details of what they envision for the redevelopment area, which the city would review. After selecting potential developers, which could be between two to 10, the MSPCP would hold interviews with each developer and select pre-qualified developers for the project. Based on those interviews, the MSPCP would send out a detailed request for proposals to the pre-qualified developers.

The MSPCS agreed to spend $50,000 to solicit offers to redevelop. The money would come from city lodging tax funds. The stipend could be given to developers after RFP's are submitted. Members of the committee said the stipend is intended to offset some of the costs of preparing requests for proposals. The stipend for the RFP process could allocate $10,000 per bid or disburse the stipends in other amounts.

After those interested bid on the project, the MSPCP would select a developer for the project.

Last year, the state of Missouri conveyed the MSP site to the city.

The city plans to redevelop 31.28 acres between the historic site and Chestnut Street, including some right-of-way areas and the old shoe factory on the property. The redevelopment site does not include the historic buildings used for the Jefferson City Convention and Visitors Bureau's prison tours. The historic buildings remain in the state's possession.

Primary proposed uses for the site include hotels, entertainment venues, office buildings, museums and convention centers, according to the agreement between the city and state. Developers also could construct secondary uses like full-service and fast-casual restaurants, bars, coffee shops and retail establishments, as long as these features do not exceed 10,000 square feet each. Parking structures, green spaces and pedestrian plazas also could be built on the site.

Traditional fast-food restaurants, retail or restaurant establishments with drive-thru facilities, an enclosed shopping mall, and other residential uses other than condominium units and loft-style apartments will not be allowed.

The city must select a developer within two years of the conveyance and start construction within four years, according to an agreement between the city and state.

Once a developer is selected, MSPCP members said they anticipate the developer will hold public meetings to receive community input regarding the project.

All structures and improvements must be of similar style to the existing MSP historic structures, according to the agreement.