News & Announcements Updates
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News & Announcements

January 29, 2020
Midtown Update

This is an update to keep the public informed regarding the status of redevelopment of the Midtown Santa Fe site.

What are this week’s updates?           The City issued a Midtown Request for Expressions of Interest (RFEI) to Developers, Businesses, including Higher Education Institutions in August 2019 with responses due in October.  The City received 21 responses, seven of which are Master Developer Respondents.  As stated in the RFEI, the City has a preference to work with a Master Developer that has the capacity and experience to redevelop large-scale development projects similar to Midtown.

Since October the Evaluation Committee, comprised of 11 members who are Directors and Staff from various City Departments, has been reviewing the seven Master Developer Respondents.  This month the committee identified three to be Short-Listed.  These Short-Listed Respondents will be asked for additional information to clarify the confidential contents of their RFEI Submission Packages, and will be interviewed. 

The three Short-Listed Master Developer Respondents are (in alphabetical order):

  • Central Park Santa Fe
  • KDC Real Estate Development and Investments with Cienda Partners
  • Raffles Education Center 

All of the teams include strong team participation from local developers, as well as for- and non- profit entities, which is also a priority stated within the RFEI.

The RFEI Criteria focuses on major categories:  Experience, Capacity, Team Composition, Approach and Development Program, and Finance.  A main focus of the deliberations is the capacity of the Master Developer to finance and implement the proposed development project, and their experience and approach to achieving public policy and community development objectives, all of which are described in the Midtown Planning Guidelines.

What is the vision?          The City of Santa Fe is moving forward with one of the most transformative projects in the City’s history - the Midtown Santa Fe District located in the geographic center of the City.  The 60-plus acre land parcel has a long important history in our City with many memories for many people.  “It represents an exciting and once in a lifetime opportunity with the potential to have a tremendously positive impact on Santa Fe’s future”, Mayor Alan Webber.  Based on community input, the mixed-use development program will include market rate and affordable housing, higher education, arts and culture, entrepreneurial businesses and innovations in technology, film and digital entertainment, and programmed open space.

From the Midtown Planning Guidelines:

“Over time, our community aspires for the Midtown LINC to be an essential hub of Santa Fe reflecting the city’s heritage and culture where all residents are invited to live, work, play, and learn. We want the Site to become the most creative location in the U.S. where a wide diversity of people interacts and collaborate to find their passions; build their skills for a great career; live in a thriving, vibrant neighborhood and city; and create a great future for our community, region and beyond.”

How are Developers being selected?            The City is strictly complying with the New Mexico Procurement Code to guide and manage the evaluation and selection process.  While the procurement regulations require confidentiality of the contents of the respondents submission packages, the vision, goals, and criteria used for evaluation and ultimately selection of the master developer are clearly articulated in two very public documents, as follows (see link to City’s website to access the documents https://www.santafenm.gov/midtown_site):

 

  • Midtown Planning Guidelines
  • Midtown Request For Expressions of Interest

The evaluation and selection process will occur in four main phases:

  1. RFEI Submission Packages Review
  2. Short-Listed Respondents – Request for Clarifications & Interviews
  3. Exclusivity Agreement with Finalist – Due Diligence and Negotiations
  4. Disposition & Development Agreement – Governing Body Approval

The procurement code dictates that the evaluation and selection process is ongoing until the Governing Body has approved the final negotiated terms of the Disposition and Development Agreement.

How is the City engaging the public?           Public Engagement has been the compass of this project. Since the City first assumed full site management in the summer of 2018, the City undertook an open and concerted effort to engage the public.  The Midtown Planning Guidelines were the result of a planning and design effort that included a broad spectrum of the City’s communities, which were subsequently approved by the Governing Body.  These guidelines continue to serve as the foundation for the developer selection and development process.

Since the Midtown Planning Guidelines were publically reviewed and approved, the City continued to meet with local stakeholder communities and constituency groups to learn more about their goals for the redevelopment of the site and their potential involvement in the site's future.

Now that the City has received actual development proposals, the City has better information around which to engage various communities to continue building on the Midtown Planning Guidelines and establish and refine public policy and community development objectives.  Starting in the first quarter of 2020, the City plans to work directly with various civic organizations to facilitate fun and interactive events that will engage the public in non-traditional and meaningful ways to harvest information that will inform the negotiations with the master developer for the disposition and development of Midtown Santa Fe.

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