Scope of Services–Framework Plan Study

Scope of Services–Framework Plan Study


Editor’s note: On Jan. 18, Sarah Skorija, president of Rockford’s River District Association, announced the selection of SmithGroup JJR as lead consultant for the preparation of a Framework Plan for Rockford’s downtown or “river district.” River District teamed with the City of Rockford, Winnebago County and the Rockford Park District to fund the River District Framework Plan. SmithGroup JJR was selected from a field of 12 firms.

The following is the official release of the River District Association

I. Project Description

The objective of the study is to identify opportunities that could be envisioned in a master plan and provide graphic illustrations of these opportunities for both the public and private sectors. The Framework Plan Study should provide a brief outline of opportunities for unified corridor enhancement strategies and policies in order to guide the master planning process in roadway design, new development, redevelopment, the improvement of existing businesses, public rights-of-way beautification and public space additions/enhancements. The Framework Plan will require a coordinated effort that involves a public input process that includes the residents of Rockford, the Rockford Park District, the State of Illinois, the City of Rockford and Winnebago County.

There have been other studies of what is now known as the River District that can provide important background in the long-term redevelopment process of downtown Rockford. They include R/UDAT, City Shores Riverfront Plan, Blueprint for Rockford’s Future, Central Area Strategic Marketing Plan and Downtown Rockford Design Guidelines.

II. Physical Boundaries

The physical limits of the Study will be the River District (see attached map). These limits are not fixed and will change according to desired linkages with existing peripheral developments and physical conditions and enhancement needs.

III. Project Components

A. Analysis of Existing Conditions: The Framework Plan will include a brief overview of the existing conditions of the study area, including roadways, intersections, traffic patterns, business inventory, housing inventory, lighting, sidewalks, landscaping, and future development planning. The River District owns geographic information system (GIS) software with all available information that will be available for use with this Study.

B. Conceptual Plan: From the brief overview of existing conditions, a conceptual plan will be developed with recommendations for corridor improvement opportunities for both public and private sectors. The opportunities will include public and private development in residential, commercial and retail areas, general roadway improvements, intersection and traffic improvements, landscaping and signage treatments, building facade enhancements and renovations, natural buffer areas, lighting, and a potential public space, entertainment and recreation opportunities.

The corridor should be divided into logical sub-areas for master planning purposes with the identification of proposed improvements for each segment. Graphical illustrations will show a comparison of existing conditions versus proposed improvements.

C. Final Product or Deliverables: The final product to be delivered to the River District shall include a report of the existing conditions and proposed improvements to the corridor. The report will include the identification of 4 to 6 Catalytic Projects that will implement key aspects of the plan and spur activity, investment and redevelopment. The Catalytic Projects must be attainable projects that will have the most long-lasting and far-reaching impact and will cause other projects to occur. In addition, the report shall include graphic illustrations and drawings detailing the proposed plans of the corridor, including vertical and horizontal aspects detailing the enhancement strategies.

The report shall include who must be involved in the next phase of the planning/implementation for each of the catalytic projects. For those projects that are not market driven, the study shall indicate if the project requires more planning/cost estimating or if it may move directly to design engineering. The report should also indicate if the project must be implemented in a single effort or in phases.

It is the intent of this Framework Plan Study that public involvement take place as part of the planning process. Preliminary concepts shall be developed, and meetings with key stakeholders will be scheduled in order to obtain public feedback regarding the preliminary proposals for the corridor enhancements. Visual boards and/or presentations will be a key component of the public meetings so that the River District can effectively illustrate the potential throughout the corridor. After public feedback is received, a final report and drawings will be prepared and presented.

D. Requirements of Consultant: The successful consultant shall have the ability to provide planning, design and site-engineering services for this Study. The proposal should include related experience to corridor studies, master planning and related activities and be able to illustrate examples and actual locations of such experience. Subcontracting of consultants for specific expertise will be allowed. The successful consultant will demonstrate not only similar experience, but also demonstrated success in terms of project implementation. Creative concepts regarding the Framework Plan Study within the proposal will be considered when selecting consultants.

E. Requirement of the River District: This Study is a River District initiative with full cooperation of the City of Rockford and Rockford Park District. The River District Planning Committee has done research and plan development in conjunction with the City of Rockford and Rockford Park District that will be made available to the Consultant along with copies of previous studies, mapping, illustrations and other material that may be useful. If considered beneficial to the Study, support services can be provided by the River District, City of Rockford or the Rockford Park District. The Committee will facilitate meetings with full cooperation of the City and Park District.

IV. Project Funding & Schedule

A. Project Funding: The project is being financed through a private and public funding that will be administered through the River District.

The total Project Budget is estimated at $35,000 including expenses and travel.

B. Project Schedule: Time is of the essence for this project. Therefore, the River District is looking for an aggressive completion schedule of December 7, 2001. The tentative schedule is as follows:

l Issue Request for Proposals – July 27, 2001

l Proposal Submittals – August 31, 2001

l Select Consultant – September 28, 2001

l Authorize Agreement – October 5, 2001

l Notice to Proceed – October 12, 2001

l Vision Plan Completion – January 18, 2002

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