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Business Observer Friday, Aug. 4, 2017 5 years ago

Sarasota Bayfront issues RFQ for designers

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The Sarasota Bayfront Planning Organization, a group of residents, civic and business leaders studying ways to improve a 42-acre, downtown tract in Sarasota, is seeking a designer.
by: Kevin McQuaid Commercial Real Estate Editor

The Sarasota Bayfront Planning Organization, a group of residents, civic and business leaders studying ways to improve a 42-acre, downtown tract in Sarasota, is seeking a designer.

The group has issued a Request For Qualifications to architects and planners interested in developing a master plan for the city-owned property, which includes the 1,740-seat Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall and other venues.

The request “invites best-in-class teams to submit their qualifications to lead a comprehensive master planning process for the site.”

A.G. Lafley, the former Procter & Gamble Co. CEO who is chair of the nine-member Sarasota Bayfront group, called the move an “important milestone in the transformation” of the property.

“The selected design team will engage the community in an approximately nine-month planning process to create a visionary, sustainable and implementable Bayfront revitalization strategy,” Lafley says, in a statement.

Interested design teams will have until Sept. 1 to prepare responses. A short list of finalists will be unveiled in mid-September, and they will hold a series of public workshops the following month.

A winning design team is expected to be announced in November.

The group also has retained HR&A Advisors, a New York consulting firm that worked with Lafley at the Cincinnati Center City Development Corp., to help facilitate the design selection process. HR&A has worked with hundreds of municipalities, retailers and developers since its formation in 1976.

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