Request for Qualifications
Huntersville Strategic Economic Development Plan
Town of Huntersville
Submittal Deadline: 09/16/2013
Town of Huntersville NC
REQUEST FOR QUALIFICATIONS (RFQ):
STRATEGIC ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT PLAN (SEDP)
FOR THE TOWN OF HUNTERSVILLE, NC
The Town of Huntersville is requesting Statements of Qualifications (SoQ) for the preparation of a “Strategic Economic Development Plan (SEDP)” for the Town. Interested firms should submit five (5) copies of their SoQ, along with an electronic version in PDF format, by no later than 5:00 p.m., Monday, September 16. All hard copy SoQ (along with PDF version) should be marked “Town of Huntersville NC Strategic Economic Development Plan” and be delivered to:
Town of Huntersville
105 Gilead Road, 3rd Floor
Huntersville, NC 28078
Attn: Zachary D. Gordon, AICP
The Town of Huntersville is seeking to develop a town-wide strategic economic development strategy which promotes job creation, private investment and tax base expansion, while maintaining a high quality of life, including preservation and enhancement of the Town’s natural, scenic, cultural and historic assets. The Town of Huntersville SEDP will provide the vision and blueprint to achieve this objective.
From a population of just 3,014 in 1990, the town has grown to 46,773 (an increase of 1,452 %) residents according to the 2010 Census, making it the 19th largest municipality and one of the fastest growing towns in North Carolina since 2000. With a total land area of 64 square miles (40 acres within the Town’s corporate limits) Huntersville features a diverse and stable commercial tax base (the Town currently holds a AAA bond rating from Moody’s), along with an abundance of natural, scenic and cultural resources. Huntersville has been nationally recognized by several publications as one of the premier places to live in the United States. Major employers currently located within the Town include: Duke Power, Novant Health, Metrolina Greenhouse, Newell Rubbermaid, Joe Gibbs Racing and Pactiv Corporation.
Economic development activities are currently managed by the combined efforts of the Town of Huntersville (coordinated through the Town Manager’s office) and the Lake Norman Regional Economic Development Corporation (LNREDC). LNREDC is tasked with expanding the economic base of the three North Mecklenburg towns (Huntersville, Cornelius and Davidson), including an active Business, Retention and Expansion (BR&E) program, along with a strong emphasis on the preparation of sites for development and the recruitment of industry and business to the area.
In 2003, the Town of Huntersville began a concerted effort to promote economic development within the Town. This effort, followed completion of a study in November 2002 by the Leak-Goforth Company, LLC, titled: North Mecklenburg County Economic Development Strategy. This study was prepared for the Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce, representing the Towns of Huntersville, Cornelius and Davidson. The purpose of this study was to:
• Expand job opportunities for residents;
• Upgrade local jobs; and
• Diversify and expand the tax bases of the three towns.
The study looked at economic development prospects and opportunities and recommended an action-oriented strategy to position the area as a viable location for business and industry. The most notable outcome of the study was the creation of the Lake Norman Regional Economic Development Corporation (LNREDC) in 2003. The three towns are joint owners of Commerce Station, an industrial park across from Lake Norman Charter School off Old Statesville Road in Huntersville. Each of the three towns will share the revenue and expenses of building the park – a first in North Carolina for this type of economic development venture. The work of the LNREDC attracted the park’s first tenant in 2005 with Prairie Packaging (now known as Pactiv Corporation), an Illinois-based plastics manufacturing company who located its Southeast manufacturing hub in Huntersville, creating 242 new jobs and investing more than $48 million in the area. The LNREDC added the park’s second tenant in 2010 - Swiss-based ABB, the global leader in power and automation technology, which manufactures high-voltage land power cables for use in AC and DC applications. ABB has invested approximately $90 million in the new manufacturing facility, which employs more than 100 people
The purpose of the SEDP is to build upon previous efforts by the Town and LNREDC to provide a vision and action plan to guide economic development activity in Huntersville over the next 10-15 years.
SCOPE OF WORK:
The Town of Huntersville Strategic Economic Development Plan (SEDP) shall be based upon the “Economic Development Policies & Action Items” found in the Town of Huntersville 2030 Community Plan, and include (at a minimum) the following specific elements:
• Demographic and economic/market analysis profiles for the Town of Huntersville, utilizing the most recent data available, including information on employee inflow and outflow from Huntersville.
• Based upon demographic and economic/market analyses, identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats for Huntersville’s economy.
• Data base of existing business and industry located in the Town’s corporate limits and extraterritorial jurisdiction.
• Public involvement strategy to solicit input from stakeholders, including town, and state officials, as well as representatives from the private and non-profit sectors and members of the general public to develop plan.
• Identification of economic development competitive advantage for the Town of Huntersville’s, based upon Town’s demographic and economic profile and “Economic Strategic Assessment for the Greater Charlotte Region”, contained in the Prosperity for Greater Charlotte project (www.ProsperityForGreaterCharlotte.com), along with industry cluster analysis prepared by the NC Department of Commerce.
• Prepare specific economic development recommendations and strategies, including tactical steps to facilitate, attract and promote economic growth, for the Town of Huntersville. Recommendations and strategies should be tailored to discreet geographic sub-areas within the Town, which are characterized by one or more distinguishing features such as land use, natural resources or prevailing business activity.
EXPECTATIONS & DELIVERABLES:
• Conduct a minimum of 4 meetings with Town and LNREDC representatives to receive guidance and feedback on planning process.
• Solicit community and stakeholder input via public meetings and one other format (e.g. mailed or online survey)
• Minimum of one Draft Plan for review and comment by Town staff
• Final plan reflecting results of input received and Scope of Work outlined above, including specific recommendations and strategies for implementation.
• PowerPoint presentation of plan to Town Board.
• 30 bound hard copies of plan, along with electronic PDF format.
SELECTION CRITERIA & PROCESS:
Proposals will be evaluated based on the qualifications of the development team and responsiveness to the scope of work outlined in this RFQ. The firm determined to be most qualified and best able to meet the Town’s expectations shall be invited to enter into contract negotiations.
• August 23 – RFQ Distributed
• September 16 – SoQ Responses Due (by 5 pm EST)
• September 16 to 20 – Staff Review of Qualification Statements
• September 24 to 26 – Consultant Interviews (Top 3)
• October 7 – Recommendation to Town Board on selection of consultant
• October 8 to 15 – Negotiation of contract
• October 21 – Town Board approval of Final Contract
• October 22 – Final Contract Signed /Notice to Proceed
• October 28 – Expected Start Date
• January 20 – Draft Plan Submittal
• February - 2014 – Presentation to Town Board, Stakeholders and Public
• April 28 – Final Draft Plan Submittal
• May 19 – Plan Presentation to Town Board
The Town of Huntersville invites interested and qualified firms (and/or teams of firms) to submit qualifications for the preparation of a “Strategic Economic Development Plan (SEDP)” for the Town.
Statements of Qualification (SoQ) shall include the following:
1. Company Information
(a) A signed cover letter from a principal in the firm expressing interest in the project and certifying that sufficient resources in personnel, equipment, and time are available and can be committed to this project.
(b) A statement of the firm’s philosophy, goals, vision statements and/or guiding principles. Examples or statements of previous work completed by the firm and staff that will be involved in this project, that are similar in nature to the scope of work proposed for this project. This should include significant challenges faced (anticipated and unanticipated), project timelines, budgeted vs. expended funds, awards or recognitions received, participatory processes utilized, anecdotal statements or other information that may prove useful in evaluating the described project.
(c) Short resumes of professional staff that would be involved in project design and management.
(d) References from recent clients particularly from those involved in a similar project.
(e) Similar information to that above for sub-contractors, consultants or partners anticipated to be involved in this project.
2. An outline of the proposed process to be used to prepare the plan with expected outcomes, time lines, and deliverables detailed for each critical phase. This outline shall include any and all public meetings that the proposer deems necessary to the successful completion of this project in addition to any public meetings required by law.
3. Consultant availability through spring of 2014.
4. An explanation of the applicant’s philosophy and approach to the research and development of data and information necessary to achieve the Scope of Work for this project.
5. Assumptions and expectations regarding Town staff cooperation and assistance.
6. An explanation of the strategy proposed to insure inter-jurisdictional coordination and cooperation during the development of the SEDP.
Compensation for the proposed SEDP shall be negotiated based upon the scope of work outlined in this RFQ, subject to the approval of funds by the Town Board of Commissioners.
CONDITIONS AND RESERVATIONS:
The Town expects to select one or more firms to prepare the SEDP, but reserves the right to request substitution of sub-consultants. The Town also reserves the right to reject any or all responses to this RFQ, to advertise for new RFQ responses, or to accept any RFQ response deemed to be in the best interest of the Town.
A response to this RFQ should not be construed as a contract, nor indicate a commitment of any kind. The RFQ does not commit the City to pay for costs incurred in the submission of a response to this RFQ or for any cost incurred prior to the execution of a final contract. No recommendations or conclusions from this RFQ process concerning your firm shall constitute a right (property or otherwise) under the Constitution of the United States or under the Constitution, case law or statutory law of North Carolina. Neither binding contract, obligation to negotiate, nor any other obligation shall be crated on the part of the Town unless the Town and your firm execute a contract.
For further information or questions regarding the content of this Request for Qualifications (RFQ), please contact:
Zachary D. Gordon, AICP, Principal Planner
Town of Huntersville, PO Box 664
Huntersville, NC 28070
Phone: (704) 766-2213