By Roland Murphy for Arizona Builder’s Exchange
Last Wednesday Mesa issued an RFP looking for a Master Developer to join the City in a public-private-partnership to create the long-awaited Falcon Tech Center.
According to the RFP’s Scope of Work, “The Falcon Tech Center site consists of three parcels… and encompasses approximately 70 acres of this larger area. The Falcon Tech Center site is bordered on the east by N. Greenfield Road and on the west by the Roosevelt Canal.”
Mesa is specifically looking for a firm with experience creating office and industrial developments on or near airports and with expertise in dealing with Federal Aviation Administration rules and regulations, such as building height restrictions, aircraft noise and security issues.
FAA has approved the site for non-aviation uses provided Mesa retains ownership. The land itself and revenue generated by any land lease can be used only for airport purposes.
As a result, Tech Center land may only be leased, rather than sold. Tech Center tenants will be offered long-term leases of up to 40 years with renewal options after the original lease expires.
The development is envisioned as a multi-tenant campus that will cater to medical, bioscience and technology companies looking for light manufacturing, R&D and laboratory spaces along with office and administrative operations.
Mesa has zoned the site as a Planned Employment Park, and it is designated by the city’s 2016 City’s General Plan for Employment.
Design guidelines and standards for the concept will be enforced through a Planned Area Development overlay.
Due to the site’s location in Mesa’s Falcon Field Sub-Area Plan, contemporary architectural styles and “innovative design” elements will be emphasized. Building heights will range between 40 and 120-foot maximums, per FAA requirements.
Qualifications and Requirements
At a minimum, according to the RFQ documents, “The ideal firm or team will have significant experience in the development of office and industrial developments including site planning, design, mix of building types and tenants, market analysis, marketing, deal structuring, public involvement, construction management, and real estate finance.”
Obligations for prospective developers fall into two main categories: Pre-Development and Development Support Professional Services, and Real Estate Development.
Pre-Development and Support Services include:
- Working with the city to develop the site’s vision and land strategies for maximum marketability, ROI and community impact;
- Generating ideas and “creative options” for economic development and job creation opportunities, and
- Advertising and marketing select parcels while enforcing the design guidelines and development standards.
Under Real Estate Development, Mesa’s partnership wish list includes:
- Coordinating and managing construction and site improvements;
- Developing an overall leasing strategy;
- Engaging the necessary design professionals for schematics and development;
- Planning project budgets;
- Identifying prospective tenants, and
- Negotiating tenant agreements for building leases, build-to-suit and other construction and development opportunities.
The next step in the selection process will be a vendor conference, currently scheduled for Jan. 9 at the Mesa City Plaza Building.
Responses are due by Jan. 24 at 3 p.m.
After the RFQs are reviewed, qualified respondents will be asked to respond to a Request for Proposals so the city can determine the best fit for the partnership.
The full request is available for download here. (Registration required.)
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