The City has been open and transparent about the Bristol Place redevelopment project since its inception in 2007. Neighborhood leaders and community members have been involved and provided valuable input during every step of the process, including the evaluation of developer proposals. The City is providing the following summary information regarding the Bristol Place redevelopment project. For more detailed information, the public is encouraged to read the Council Report or watch a recording of the October 11, 2016, Council meeting on the City’s website (champaignil.gov).
Anyone with questions about the Bristol Place Redevelopment is encouraged to contact the Neighborhood Services Department at 217-403-7070.
Bristol Place Redevelopment Background Information
- In 2007, under the City Council Goal, “Our Community has Healthy Neighborhoods,” Council directed staff to “Develop a redevelopment plan for the Bristol Place neighborhood.”
- Goals and objectives for the project were created through a thorough, open and collaborative process involving neighborhood residents and community members, led by a Steering Committee of key stakeholders.
- The Bristol Park Neighborhood Steering Committee was formed in 2011. It included Bristol Park homeowners, tenants and business owners; a Beardsley Park property owner; representatives from Habitat for Humanity; the Neighborhood Services Advisory Board, Housing Authority, Champaign Park District and the CU Tenant Union; Bristol Place ministers, and UIUC professors from African American Studies, Urban and Regional Planning and the College of Law.
- In partnership with the Steering Committee, the City solicited extensive community input into the Bristol LEED-ND (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design for Neighborhood Development) Master Plan and Vision for the redevelopment which was approved by the City Council in 2014.
- The City has been actively involved in Phase I of the redevelopment which includes property acquisition, relocation of residents, and the clearance of land for future development.
- The process for selecting a developer through a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) was approved by City Council in October 2015, and the RFQ was issued in April 2016. The goal of the RFQ process was to find a qualified development firm that provided the most feasible partnership opportunity for the City to achieve the goals of the adopted vision and Master Plan, consistent with the stakeholder input received over the last several years.
Process to Evaluate the Request for Qualifications Submissions
- Two RFQ responses were received in June 2016. One response was from a partnership of McCormack Baron Salazar, Inc (MBS, Inc.) of St. Louis, MO and the National Council of African-American Men (NCAAM), located in Champaign. The other response was from AHDVS LLC, a minority-owned firm from Palos Heights, Illinois.
- Representatives from the Bristol Steering Committee were involved with City staff in the review and evaluation of the RFQ submissions. The process included a thorough review of original submissions, requests for additional information/follow-up questions for each developer, presentations by each developer on what they proposed, and on-site tours of each firms’ completed developments.
- In September 2016, the Steering Committee requested final clarifications from both firms and gave each the opportunity to modify their RFQ responses to address questions raised during the review process. The final clarification/modified submissions were evaluated by the Steering Committee prior to making a developer recommendation to the City Council.
- The Bristol Steering Committee recommended that the City Council select AHDVS, LLC as the development partner for the Bristol Place redevelopment. AHDVS, LLC offered the most feasible partnership opportunity to achieve the community’s vision for the project. Leading factors in reaching this recommendation included:
- AHDVS committed to using the Bristol Place LEED-ND Master Plan as a starting point for their development plan.
- AHDVS’s proposal was financially feasible, allowing the City to avoid any upfront costs and financial risks for master development planning.
- AHDVS’s proposal shared at least 30% of the estimated $6 million developer fee with the City and Housing Authority.
- In contrast, the Steering Committee did not recommend the MBS, Inc./NCAAM proposal for these key reasons:
- The MBS/NCAAM site plan deviated significantly from the Bristol Place LEED-ND Master Plan. They proposed to primarily construct multifamily housing at a neighborhood density that is much higher than what is called for in the Bristol Master Plan. The construction of a dense, multifamily neighborhood would be inconsistent with the input received by neighborhood residents and community stakeholders since 2011.
- The MBS/NCAAM proposal included higher costs to the City and Housing Authority for the development. These included a requirement that the City/HACC pay $1.5 million upfront for master planning expenses without any terms for the City/HACC to recover these funds if the project would not move forward. MBS/NCAAM also requested full property tax abatement for the project site, which would cost the City and other taxing bodies millions of dollars in tax revenue over the life of the development agreement.
- The proposal did not include terms to allow any sharing of their estimated $6.8 million development fee with the City/HACC.
- On October 11, 2016, the City Council voted 8-1 to direct staff to proceed with negotiating a predevelopment agreement with AHDVS.
- City staff has just begun these negotiations and the negotiated agreement will be brought back to Council to review in a study session in December or January.
- The City’s due diligence review of AHDVS began during the proposal evaluation phase and is continuing during the negotiation stage.