Mohawk Ramp RFP Questions & Answers

Questions and inquiries will be accepted from all interested parties until Friday, April 2nd, 2021 at 12:00 p.m. No responses will be provided for questions and inquiries received after this time. 

Last Updated Wednesday, April 14th

Question 1: Does the City have an engineer's estimate and plan holder's list available?

Answer: The City does not have an engineer's estimate and cannot share plan holder lists and confidential plan holder information with respect to usage of the parking ramp.

Question 2: How many parking spaces does Mohawk Ramp have?

Answer: Mohawk Ramp currently holds 629 parking spaces.

Question 3: What are Mohawk Ramp's current parking rates?

Answer: See published BCAR parking rates HERE.

Question 4: What are Mohawk Ramp's current operation and utility costs?

Answer: Please reference the following document from Buffalo Civic Auto Ramps Inc. for a full breakdown of operation and utility costs for Mohawk Parking Ramp FY 2017 to 2018, FY 2018 to 2019, and FY 2019 to 2020 HERE.

Question 5: How many existing parking spaces does the City believe need to be replaced to support employees and businesses using the Mohawk Ramp?

Answer: COVID-19 has resulted in temporary changes to parking demand, but it will be important for developers to consider the long-term effects of the pandemic on parking in urban areas. The RFP should consider the existing businesses surrounding the ramp that utilize the ramp and the future needs of businesses in the area, as well as any density added by the developer's project proposal. In addition to parking demand created from businesses and employers, developers should also carefully consider site access demand from housing and other uses in the downtown corridor. Additionally, it is important to consider the Congress of New Urbanism's Future of Mobility Report and the possibility of alternate modes of transportation. The City encourages creativity in the approach to proposals and would be open to discussing various partnership arrangements (e.g. the City manages public parking developed by private owners, etc.)

Question 6: How will the City be financing any assistance granted to the redevelopment of Mohawk Ramp?

Answer: The City can offer the standard suite of financing tools and incentives (e.g. PILOT, PIF & certain infrastructure improvements resulting from a PIF, statutory exemptions, etc.)

Question 7: Does the City have building or structural plans for Mohawk Ramp?

Answer: Structural plans are available upon request. Interested parties are asked to email tgriffis@city-buffalo.com.

Question 8: Could you share the historic occupancy (# of parking occupied per month) of the parking ramp for the last 3 years?

Answer: Please reference the following document from Buffalo Civic Auto Ramps Inc. (BCAR) for Mohawk Ramp Vehicle Counts HERE.

Question 9: Is there a specified amount of parking that is preferred?

Answer: Developers will need to assess parking demand utilizing tools and resources available to determine the optimal number of current and future spaces required.

Question 10: Does parking need to be open to the public? Currently the parking is for the public.

Answer: Developers will need to determine what the impacts of the removal of public parking will do to the to the surrounding area, including the impact to businesses who currently provide parking for their employees using the Mohawk Ramp, where displaced parkers might park and the overall impact to the downtown Buffalo parking situation, should public parking be removed.  Developers should also consider Congress of New Urbanism's Future of Mobility Report  and other sources that account for new transportation technology and alternate forms of transportation which may impact current transportation habits in the future.

Question 11: Does the 15 page narrative limit include images, exhibits such as developer experience, disclosures, proforma, etc?  

Answer: The narrative does not include exhibits.  The 15 page limit affords ample space for the Developer to provide narrative context to development ideas and plans for the ramp.  Exhibits can be included and will not count toward the 15 page limit.

Question 12: The RFP indicates the page limit does not include appendices or attachments. Are you expecting 15 pages on the word document and appendices in the back?

Answer: By establishing a 15-page limit, we wanted to make sure that teams have enough narrative space to develop their ideas. Its not necessarily supposed to include developer profiles, project team experience, and your financials, so those may be included as appendices or exhibits at the end of your proposal.

Question 13: There are existing local businesses that utilize the parking ramp, and COVID-19 has reduced parking usage at the ramp dramatically. What are the expectations for accommodating the mixed-use development for both residential and existing public needs? Is there a particular parking count the City is looking for?

Answer: No, the City is flexible and has deliberately left out details with respect to parking counts. The only count included in the RFP is the current number of spaces the Mohawk Ramp holds (629). The City has provided information on utilization and parking rates. The City is looking for developers to be creative in their approach to accommodating existing parkers, future parkers, and has asked developers to consider the  Congress of New Urbanism's Future of Mobility Report to account for new transportation technology and alternate forms of transportation which may impact current transportation habits in the future, including the reduction of auto-dependency and parking demand. Developers need to decide what they think is suitable for the area. The City also asks developers to account for utilization of other surface parking lots and parking ramps within the surrounding area. We look forward to seeing creative solutions developers may come up with in their proposals.

Question 14: Can you expand on the City’s potential interest in a private public partnership with developers?

Answer: The City is open to any type of relationship. In the past, there have been suggestions for the City to continue to operate public spaces in private developments that include parking components. We are open to exploring possibilities and are encouraging developers to explore creative solutions surrounding the ramp.  If developers have interest in some sort of partnership, we ask that they include that while crafting their proposals.

Question 15: The City says the project must show meaningful participation for certified MWBE businesses and mentorship protégé opportunities at all project levels, including, financing, management, design, and construction. Can you elaborate on the mentor protégé component?

Answer: We are looking for meaningful engagement with the MWBE community. We understand that developers may not be able to reach the MWBE goals established in every project, but if there’s some demonstration of attempts to support and provide education or mentorship to MWBE individuals that is strongly encouraged.

Question 16: Regarding infrastructure improvements in the Mohawk Ramp area, is there anything to your knowledge in that zone that is need of an overhaul? When we are talking about infrastructure, are we talking about underground utility? Are we talking about overhead utility?

Answer: DPW reviews roadway conditions on an annual basis and addresses needs as funding allows.  For the purposes of this RFP, we cannot speak to water, sewer and private utilities. However, the City will work closely with the selected developer who will be responsible to perform an extensive site analysis during the designated developer term. 

Question 17: I noticed that the Tab D-Preliminary Design Submission portion components are actually about the financial model. Is this intentional? Are there specific design aspects we should respond to?

Answer: The preliminary design submission tab should include the financial model components set out in this section of the RFP.  Your proposed project (outlined in detail in the project approach including design aspects) will impact your budget, sources and uses etc.  We expect that you would have rough estimates for your project/design scope and expect those to be shared with us, as well as all other financial components of the project as outlined in this section and other areas of the RFP.