avery

Charter Square (Site One)

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This article not only mentions RBC plans for an announcement today, but primarily discusses Duke Realty's interest in development on site 1. Duke's original plans for RBC was to be a 340,000 sq. ft. building and now would like to decrease the amount of office space in lieu of residential. With the Craig-Davis group waiting in the wings, it brings up a very debatable topic on the RFP process. Should Duke be able to slide in and possibly get the bid?

http://www.newsobserver.com/104/story/374768.html

Personally, I would like to see Duke look at another downtown site and agree with Meeker on this one. Duke should have come on board from the beginning of the process.

Edited by avery

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This article not only mentions RBC plans for an announcement today, but primarily discusses Duke Realty's interest in development on site 1. Duke's original plans for RBC was to be a 340,000 sq. ft. building and now would like to decrease the amount of office space in lieu of residential. With the Craig-Davis group waiting in the wings, it brings up a very debatable topic on the RFP process. Should Duke be able to slide in and possibly get the bid?

http://www.newsobserver.com/104/story/374768.html

Personally, I would like to see Duke look at another downtown site and agree with Meeker on this one. Duke should have come on board from the beginning of the process.

Those guys are late to the party. I'm sure they wouldn't let me change the terms of a lease with them midway through, why should Raleigh allow them to jump in this late. Allowing them to jump in would send a bad signal to others and might discourage others from submitting proposals to RFD's in the future.

JB

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I agree with avery and Mayor Meeker on this one. Duke was late to the RFP process so they shouldn't be able to propose anything for this site. If they were allowed to come in at the last minute, what was the point of the whole process to begin with?

I sincerely hope they build somewhere else downtown, as 340,000 sq. ft. is not a small building.

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The one thing this whole Duke deal underscores is that development in downtown Raleigh is getting competitive-and that a very good thing.

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Take a look at what the proposal on Site I called for. Mid-rises in the 8-10 story range with ground retail and possibly a spa or theater, and office/residential above.

What did the Craig Davis/White Oak/East-West triumverate propose? Mid-rises in the 8-10 story range with ground retail and possibly a spa or theater, and office/residential above. Thus, they were selected first from the results of the RFP.

I never really liked the "suggestions" in the RFP. Isn't there already a spa in the Progress building? I can't help but think that 8-10 stories might be too short to make a commercially feasible project on Fayetteville Street, given the recent increase in land values. Later on, the city came to its senses and declared "anything goes" on the site - and Craig Davis started making their proposal larger. So it turns out that the RFP process was, in this case, only a test to see how well the developer would jump through the city's hoops. I guess I'm not sure how much meaning there was to the process in the first place.

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I would think TMC might have a basis to sue the city if proposals were accepted beyond the deadline. The language in the actual RFP documents is important...does this function like a formal bid where the property owner retains the right to reject all bids for any reason, there was a forfeitable bond attached to the bid proposal and a stated minimum number of qualifying bids had to be received or the RFP will go out again? If not then this RFP was a sneaky way for the city to get firms to spend money without the guarantee of an exclusion date (bid opening date).

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I imagine the city's attourney would have to comment on those details today before council. It's possible the language could limit the city's options. Personally, whether Duke wants in or not, I think they are too late. TMC has gone through this process and spent considerable money trusting that the process would be honored. If the city backs out of it now, I think that sends the wrong message about the integrity of the RFP process and it's deadlines. Duke could ask to be involved with another RFP (sites 2&3?) at a later date, or just try to acquire another parcel on the marketplace.

I never really liked the "suggestions" in the RFP. Isn't there already a spa in the Progress building? I can't help but think that 8-10 stories might be too short to make a commercially feasible project on Fayetteville Street, given the recent increase in land values.

O, I think the recommendations came as a result of the South End Cultural/Convention Center District charette process. At that point, I don't know that anyone knew for sure what the marketplace would look like 18 months later. DT certainly has momentum now, and that may have altered the landscape with developers, but I still believe the city should honor the process.

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I took part in the South End charette and the main goal for sites 1-4 (1 is east side of old CC, 2 and 3 being "blocks" between South and Lenoir Streets on each side of a continued Fayetville Street, 4 being the east edge of the newish parking deck south of the new CC) seemed to be "something for people in town for the convention center, people downtown for Raleigh Memorial Auditorium, and something for Raleigh and Triangle residents". Hence the restaurants, spa, movie theater, etc. The condos would be for aging baby boomer empty nesters who want to be in the center of it all and don't want a big house and yard to deal with.

I don't think it will be "anything goes" at site 1 -- more along the lines of "cover these needs first, and then you can add on top of that if it fits with the vision for the area."

My group and one other were the only two pushing for "reasonably priced" living spaces and/or some residences set aside for the elderly in Sir Walter and/or upper class students at Shaw. But the city/charette facilitators want the area to be the high dollar area, with prices coming down as you move away from that. Anything remotely affordable would drag down the area.

There was also the desire to "step down" in building heights as you approach Memorial Auditorium, but I think the city should push for the high end now -- 12 stories in the "north tower" and 10 in the "south tower" at site 1, 6-10 stories on sites 2 and 3, and some complementary 3-5 story infill south of South street near the Auditorium complex.

The RFP had a deadline for a purpose -- to be well under construction or even open by the time the new CC and hotel come online. Reopening the proposal process for another two months will push things back further.

If Duke Properties (and their councilwoman Jesse T.) didn't want it to only be a one horse race, they should have made the effort to get their horse to the track on time! If they want in on the area, there is land east of Wilmington that will have even fewer restrictions. This is the "dollar multiplying" effect the city was using to sell the projects -- every dollar spent on Fayetville St/CC/etc. will come back as multiple dollars spent on adjacent devleopment DT.

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I took part in the South End charette and the main goal for sites 1-4 (1 is east side of old CC, 2 and 3 being "blocks" between South and Lenoir Streets on each side of a continued Fayetville Street, 4 being the east edge of the newish parking deck south of the new CC) seemed to be "something for people in town for the convention center, people downtown for Raleigh Memorial Auditorium, and something for Raleigh and Triangle residents". Hence the restaurants, spa, movie theater, etc. The condos would be for aging baby boomer empty nesters who want to be in the center of it all and don't want a big house and yard to deal with.

I don't think it will be "anything goes" at site 1 -- more along the lines of "cover these needs first, and then you can add on top of that if it fits with the vision for the area."

My group and one other were the only two pushing for "reasonably priced" living spaces and/or some residences set aside for the elderly in Sir Walter and/or upper class students at Shaw. But the city/charette facilitators want the area to be the high dollar area, with prices coming down as you move away from that. Anything remotely affordable would drag down the area.

There was also the desire to "step down" in building heights as you approach Memorial Auditorium, but I think the city should push for the high end now -- 12 stories in the "north tower" and 10 in the "south tower" at site 1, 6-10 stories on sites 2 and 3, and some complementary 3-5 story infill south of South street near the Auditorium complex.

The RFP had a deadline for a purpose -- to be well under construction or even open by the time the new CC and hotel come online. Reopening the proposal process for another two months will push things back further.

If Duke Properties (and their councilwoman Jesse T.) didn't want it to only be a one horse race, they should have made the effort to get their horse to the track on time! If they want in on the area, there is land east of Wilmington that will have even fewer restrictions. This is the "dollar multiplying" effect the city was using to sell the projects -- every dollar spent on Fayetville St/CC/etc. will come back as multiple dollars spent on adjacent devleopment DT.

I can definitely see the need for more hotel rooms in the future. I think site 4 addresses this. I hope whatever they decide to do next to the Auditorium will complement its unique architecture. I don't think ultra-modern would work well there. I like the idea of that area opening up into a plaza. It would be a good place for a fountain or statue with a roundabout at the end of Fayetteville street IMO.

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If Duke Properties (and their councilwoman Jesse T.) didn't want it to only be a one horse race, they should have made the effort to get their horse to the track on time!

:rofl: That's so funny, because I attended the council meeting today, and Jesse T. fought Duke's fight today at the council meeting, but lost 6-1. Her argument was that city staff should have reported back to the council that they were only negotiating with one developer for each site before moving on with negotiations and design refinement. The other developers evidentally pulled out of competition upon further discussions earlier this summer/fall, as many on UP had noticed. The "problem" is that the developers for sites 1 (TMC Associates) and 4 (Empire Properties) have done what they were asked and submitted proposals that fit exactly what the city had prescribed in the RFP and continued negotiations in good faith, so there really was no argument. The council will consider action on an MOU between city staff and the developers to be considered in Jan or Feb. :thumbsup:

The funny thing is that the only reason Duke was lured into this is RBC's interest in site 1. But their interest may or may not have been that serious, considering the potential leverage RBC had by openly expressing a preference for site 1 last week.

Edited by ChiefJoJo

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:rofl: That's so funny, because I attended the council meeting today, and Jesse T. fought Duke's fight today at the council meeting, but lost 6-1. Her argument was that city staff should have reported back to the council that they were only negotiating with one developer for each site before moving on with negotiations and design refinement. The other developers evidentally pulled out of competition upon further discussions earlier this summer/fall, as many on UP had noticed. The "problem" is that the developers for sites 1 (TMC Associates) and 4 (Empire Properties) have done what they were asked and submitted proposals that fit exactly what the city had prescribed in the RFP and continued negotiations in good faith, so there really was no argument. The council will consider action on an MOU between city staff and the developers to be considered in Jan or Feb. :thumbsup:

The funny thing is that the only reason Duke was lured into this is RBC's interest in site 1. But their interest may or may not have been that serious, considering the potential leverage RBC had by openly expressing a preference for site 1 last week.

I think the point was that the RFP required the Council to rank the proposals and authorize staff to negotiate with a preferred developer, and that hadn't happened. Plus the Council (and not the staff) has absolute authority under the RFP to alter timelines or any part of the process at will. Think, too, about the fundamentals of the downtown market since the deadline was set -- the N&O just reported (as linked on another thread here) that land values are going through the roof in the very recent months since the public investments have been approved and started to take shape. RBC's announcement only increases those market factors. Sure Duke was brought into the process late by RBC's request that they look at Site 1, but once that happened, it looks like it would be in the City's best interest to make certain the taxpayers are getting the best deal they can. If RBC has caused national developers to take note of that site, that's a great thing for downtown.

All in all I think it's a good problem to have. Hopefully the City Council hasn't excluded competition for a prime piece of downtown real estate to the detriment of the citizens who elected them. It's usually suspect when a public bidding process results in a single bid-- how does one know one is getting a good deal if one precludes competitive offers?

That said, I would hope Duke Realty and/or the other big boys will continue to have an interest in downtown. These guys make that type of decision for economic reasons, so if the office market stays strong, I imagine they will.

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I like Craig Davis and the Empire Renderings. A downtown Library (finally) Spa, Movie Theater and Shops and the Condos on top are precisely the next step in that area. Duke is as everyone else has commented far far too late. They should just select another prime tract to invest and develop.

The Davis/Empire design and scheme in my honest opinion is flawless. And the renderings are first rate. After all the early bird gets the worm right?

East-west2.jpg

East-west.jpg

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I don't know- I kind of think the TMC proposal is kind of boring looking. Maybe they could come up with something a little bit edgier. Although it is not the actual proposed hotel, the Lafayette design impresses me a lot more.

Edited by DanRNC

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All this was, was a potential money-grab by Taliaferro. She saw that the convention center is running over budget by ?$30M? (because of the parking), and decided that she'd try to open the whole thing back up to get more money for Site 1 now that RBC got into the picture and gave dt a big momentum push.

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I think the point was that the RFP required the Council to rank the proposals and authorize staff to negotiate with a preferred developer, and that hadn't happened. Plus the Council (and not the staff) has absolute authority under the RFP to alter timelines or any part of the process at will.
FYI, authorize staff to negotiate with a preferred developer is exactly what council did today. It was very clear though that the RFP timeline has passed, and there was no mention of a ranking of the proposals in the meeting today, since there was only one. If Duke was interested, they should participate in another future RFP or negotiate with a private landowner.

It's usually suspect when a public bidding process results in a single bid

There were multiple bids, but the others pulled out of the process upon more detailed staff review of the proposals and requirements of the south end plan.

Yes, maybe Duke would submit a larger proposal, but if the council opened it back up now, they would really not be honoring the RFP process, not to mention further delay the timetable for construction.

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I agree that the RFP/Q process should not be opened up again. Managing large RFP/RFQs is one of my job duties and sometimes, particularly on items with unique characteristics, the bid responses are low. In this case, one response. To go back and try to work the another deal now would not only stain any future process, it could be legal action which is not what the city wants or needs. I respect Meeker for standing up and saying no and a little surprise at "Little Ms. Mayor" Jessie Taliaferro would support this. Especially when the details on the current bid are being settled.

What I would do is set dates for implementation and if those dates are not met, another RFQ or another deal could be struck. I would also start to work with Duke Reality and drive them to another site or private property.

A good example of people not understanding the RFP/RFQ process is when the convention center hotel was being bid. Winston Hotels came in and I think they thought they were going to get special treatment since they were from Raleigh. Then they started to complain about how no hotel could be built and make money at the requirements the city wanted. Sounded like they pouted some and then said they would not bid. The other bidders changed their bids to put as many of the requirements as they could into the bids meeting some of the cities requirements. The city then worked with them to get as close as they could. That is the smart way to return a bid and shows a mature look at progressive bidding. I thought Winston Hotels came out looking amateurish. Just my humble opinion.

For RFP/RFQs, a few rules to follow.

1)always offer up something or the best you can do to meet the requirements

2) always meet the dates, even if it is to the minute

3) always follow up and negotiate later

4) never complain publicly or privately about the requirements---just no bid and walk away

5) never offer something you have no intention of filling.

And for the owners of RFP/RFQs

1) make as fair as possible

2) Establish a clear and consise source selection process

3) don

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All this was, was a potential money-grab by Taliaferro. She saw that the convention center is running over budget by ?$30M? (because of the parking), and decided that she'd try to open the whole thing back up to get more money for Site 1 now that RBC got into the picture and gave dt a big momentum push.

I disagree, but since you brought it up, why is it a bad thing for a city offical to try to get a better deal for the City? Isn't that her job? If the market has changed and one can get more money for one's property, plus one has a contract (the RFP) that lets one accept better offers, why the heck not? Seems like the other Council members were bending over backward to protect the first team of private entities. Do we see anything improper there? Plus, from what Jessie said (and from other rumors I'd heard) Duke had been engaged in informal talks with the city for weeks, since RBC contacted it, and had been led to believe that the process was still an open one. Don't you think that the Council would've had a different response if RBC had said "we want Duke to build our HQ on site 1?"

I was at the meeting, and I think JT's main problem was that the manager's office had taken it upon itself to advance the ball as far as it has gotten, without Council approval, and then say "well, we've come this far, so it wouldn't be fair to turn back ..."

Her point was, I think, that the City hadn't been following the RFP process (until it authorized the manager to negotiate the contract today) and that the RFP has disclaimners all over it that one incurs cost in responding at one's own risk.

Anyhow, it's done and it's good that there's been this much buzz generated about downtown Raleigh. I doubt Duke (or anyone else) will feel welcome to submit a proposal now, but hopefully the Site 1 team will make a success of that property, and the market will demand additional office space that will attract other big dogs to the show.

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I can definitely see the need for more hotel rooms in the future. I think site 4 addresses this. I hope whatever they decide to do next to the Auditorium will complement its unique architecture. I don't think ultra-modern would work well there. I like the idea of that area opening up into a plaza. It would be a good place for a fountain or statue with a roundabout at the end of Fayetteville street IMO.

I agree with the plaza/roundabout. I think it would be nice to have two complementary buildings with round facades facing the circle. Does the Site 1 have room for a library? If not, Site 3 or 4 would be good as well.

As for the statue...I have always thought we should honor Jesse Helms and Jim Hunt with complimentary statues somewhere in Raleigh.

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As for the statue...I have always thought we should honor Jesse Helms and Jim Hunt with complimentary statues somewhere in Raleigh.

Oh, my. :blink:

I imagine that the one of Jesse would become an international target for vandalism. Which, now that I think about it, would promote tourism and visitor dollars being spent downtown.

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As for the statue...I have always thought we should honor Jesse Helms and Jim Hunt with complimentary statues somewhere in Raleigh.

Uh hehe No and No.

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As for the statue...I have always thought we should honor Jesse Helms and Jim Hunt with complimentary statues somewhere in Raleigh.

That would not go down well. Hunt was an average governor, and Helms didn't leave a particularly positive legacy for NC. We already have a statue for our presidents. Polk was the only good one of the three, though.

We don't have much statue material really. That's unfortunate.

Maybe the Wright Brothers?

Edited by MR-2

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TBJ Article on Raleigh declining Duke Realty

However, Kelton said prior to the city council vote that if he can't build on the city-owned site near the convention center, he likely won't build in downtown Raleigh. "With Highwoods' project and Craig Davis' project, ... it's about as much as the market can bare at this time. I think you can do two big projects, but not much beyond that," he said.

That kinda hurts - I hope Reynolds doesn't feel the same way!

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