Proposals received for 55-acre city site

Published 10:20 pm Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Seven companies responded to a request for proposals from the city to make a North Suffolk site proposed for future development “shovel-ready.”

The 55-acre site, along with the adjacent, former Tidewater Community College campus, was the subject of an intensive study by the Urban Land Institute earlier this year. The study panel called for a mix of uses throughout the two sites, including office, retail, residential and recreation.

Kimley-Horn and Associates, Inc.; MSA, P.C., Vanasse Hangen Brustlin; Woolpert, Inc., AES Consulting Engineers; and Hassel & Folks, P.C., were the six primary respondents to the request for proposals. A seventh company, Land Planning Solutions, will be working with Kimley-Horn, said Gregory Byrd, assistant director of economic development.

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In July, the Economic Development Authority chose members Art Collins and Stacy Lewis to serve on a committee that will evaluate the proposals.

In June, the city approved a money transfer to pay off a $5.6 million loan on the property, which was one of the first concrete moves toward developing it.

Making the land “shovel-ready” and paying off the debt were two suggestions of the ULI during their visit in February.

Among the suggestions made by the institute panel was making the 55-acre site an attractive office building to anchor the site. The building would serve as a gateway landmark to the area behind it, which would mostly feature residential, small retail and public use space, including a prominent waterfront area, according to recommendations made by the panel.