By Kellie Patrick Gates
The list of firms interested in creating the master plan for Philadelphia's Central Delaware waterfront has been whittled down to five finalists, with the winner expected to be chosen late next month.
The teams are:
*Beyer Blinder Belle/Weiss Manfredi, both of New York, N.Y.
*Civitas of Denver and New York/West 8 of Rotterdam, Netherlands and New York.
*Cooper Robertson & Partners of New York.
*James Corner Field Operations of New York
*WRT of Philadelphia
The five finalists will now be interviewed by the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation's planning committee and DRWC President Tom Corcoran, Vice President Joe Forkin, and newly named Master Plan Manager, Sarah Thorp.
“We are also having a public open house and forum so the press and public can come and meet the consultant teams, view their sub-consultant lists, see examples of their previous work, and ask questions about their proposals and qualifications,” said Thorp. As master plan manager, she will be working closely with the winner while a plan is developed. Thorp will then oversee the plan's implementation.
The public forum will be held Nov. 10 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Festival Pier, Thorp said. The DRWC officials and committee members will use information gathered during their interviews with the finalists and the public forum to select the firm they believe should be chosen. They will then make that recommendation to the full DRWC board at their Nov. 23 meeting.
The winner will be chosen largely based on qualifications and relevant work experience, their vision, their fee schedule, and what items they say they can include as part of the plan.
The teams' proposals are not being released by the DRWC, Thorp said, because they contain information – including fee proposals – that could be detrimental to future negotiations with the chosen firms.
The DRWC does plan to soon release a summary of each proposal.
Drafting the master plan, which will guide future development along the Delaware from Allegheny Ave. to Oregon Ave., is expected to take between a year and 18 months. When that is finished, the consultant will recommend a first phase of development, and ways to raise money to make that happen, Thorp said.
ON THE WEB:
Beyer Blinder Belle (NY) / Weiss Manfredi (NY)
Civitas (Denver and NY) / West 8 (Rotterdam, Netherlands and NY)
Cooper Robertson & Partners (NY)
James Corner Field Operations (NY)