Urban Renewal director JoeVan Bullard is taking issue with the suggestion that the report on the old Mercy Hospital site leaves questions about the criteria used and whether the projects were evaluated on an equal basis.
More often than not, a grid that sets out how each proposal fares with each criteria is used for such analysis (and one is being used in the site selection for a new convention center).
So let’s try and take the information available and see for ourselves whether the same criteria is being used with each project.
The report begins with an extensive explanation on how the use of HUD financing can slow a project. And yet this criteria seems to only be used on the proposal submitted by Marva Ellard, and is not mentioned on any of the other proposals.
So, let’s submit just three categories to the grid:
1. HUD FINANCING AS A POSSIBLE DELAY IN STARTING PROJECT:
Ellard: HUD financing, cited as a con with statement: “redeveloper’s availability to timely execute.”
Henderson/Brooks: HUD financing, no such mention
Wiggin: HUD financing, no such mention
Tanenbaum: Not relying on HUD financing, not listed as a “pro.”
Home Creations: Unclear.
Ellard: Cited as con, “large commercial space: 49,450 sf,” does not explain that the proposal suggests much of the commercial space is designed to be “flexible” and could be turned into additional apartments.
Wiggin: Cited as a pro, “Commercial space: 24,000 sf”
Henderson/Brooks: Cited as a con, no retail space along Walker.
Tanenbaum: Cited as a con, no retail space along Walker.
Home Creations: Cited as a con, “Commercial space: 36,000 sf to 68,000 sf”
3. EXPERIENCE (Now this is an interesting criteria. Are we to assume this means “outsiders, you’re not welcome to play in this game?”)
Ellard: No comment made on Ellard’s development of the Sieber Hotel Apartments or involvement with The Hill, an Urban Renewal housing project in Deep Deuce.
Wiggin: Cited as a pro, “Familiar with OCURA procedures, successful developer.”
Henderson/Brooks: Cited as a pro, “Familiar with OCURA procedures, successful developer.” No mention is made on the team’s difficulties meeting deadlines, deviations from original proposal on last Urban Renewal project, the Legacy at Arts Quarter.
Tanenbaum: Cited as a pro, “Experienced developer with proven success record” Doesn’t make clear this is Tanenbaum’s first attempt at an Urban Renewal project.
Home Creations: No comment made on experience; the developer has decades of experience building homes in the Metro, but has not previously attempted an Urban Renewal project.
Now, what follows are criteria used to favor Henderson/Brooks that are not mentioned as a pro or con with the other proposals:
- Good exterior elevation variances for historic appearances
- Roof top amenities of dog park and community patio
- Good parking structure aesthetics
- Flexible open living floor plans
- Attractive street level unit entrances