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File #: 19-1497    Version: 1 Name: 8/19/19 Contract with SmithGroup, Inc. - 415 W. Washington
Type: Resolution Status: Passed
File created: 8/19/2019 In control: City Council
On agenda: 8/19/2019 Final action: 8/19/2019
Enactment date: 8/19/2019 Enactment #: R-19-376
Title: Resolution to Approve a Contract with SmithGroup, Inc. to Conduct Public Engagement, Develop Potential Building Concepts and Evaluate Feasibility of the Property Located at 415 W. Washington (8 Votes Required)
Sponsors: Ali Ramlawi, Chip Smith
Attachments: 1. SmithGroup PSA 415 W Washington EXT.pdf
Related files: 20-0500


Resolution to Approve a Contract with SmithGroup, Inc. to Conduct Public Engagement, Develop Potential Building Concepts and Evaluate Feasibility of the Property Located at 415 W. Washington (8 Votes Required)


The property presents unique challenges that need to be addressed prior to being considered for development.  As proposed, the City will partner with SmithGroup, Inc. and their team to conduct a short series of creative public engagement opportunities to seek community and stakeholder feedback on the design concepts of the site.


Public input opportunities will seek to reach a broad and equitable spectrum of the community.  They should engage the public in a manner that allows them to understand the possible options and outcomes of each location.


City Council approved Resolution 19-138 directing staff to evaluate certain City-owned properties for their ability to support affordable housing, including the site at 415 West Washington.  After review by staff, several additional factors impacting the potential development of the site were identified. The property is still under the purview of the City’s Historic District Commission.   The Commission issued a Notice to Proceed allowing the existing structure to be demolished however, any new construction will require the review and approval of the Commission.  The site is identified as an important component for future construction of the Treeline Trail in the adopted Master Plan. A significant portion of the site is within the floodplain and special consideration will need to be given to any above ground construction that takes place.  Also, there is a chimney on site that acts as a nesting location for migrating Chimney Swifts, a migrating bird with lessen habitat available to it.


Based on these factors it became apparent that more than a traditional zoning and affordability analysis was necessary.  Similar to the recently discussed Y-Lot, there are many community benefits under consideration with this site. As such staff is recommending evaluating this property in a manner consistent with what was approved for the Y-Lot.  The circumstances are different but the proposed process is valid in both situations. 


To facilitate the process, the DDA has agreed to provide the $75,000.00 necessary to cover the evaluation, the City will manage the project with cost covered by the DDA. Staff is not recommending the project go back out to bid; the idea is to mirror the Y-Lot process with the same team as a best source agreement.  There is significant potential crossover in the public engagement process and it is staff’s opinion that the documentation and reporting should be consistent with the two sites.  For the Y-Lot, a Request for Proposal (RFP #19-07) was advertised on the Michigan Inter-governmental Trade Network as well as the City’s Purchasing website.  The City received four proposals, all of which were scored by a team with representation from each entity involved. Initial scoring did not identify a clear separation between the proposals so all four submitters were interviewed by the team.  After the interviews were complete, SmithGroup, Inc. was unanimously selected by the team. It is staff’s recommendation that the process for selecting SmithGroup, Inc., which was a valid completive process, be used to satisfy the competitive procurement process for the attached, proposed agreement for the 415 W. Washington site.


Budget/Fiscal Impact: The estimated cost of the service is $75,000.000. Staff is recommending a not to exceed amount of $75,000.00, all of which will be reimbursed by the DDA.


Prepared by:                     Derek Delacourt, Community Services Area Administrator

Reviewed by:                     Betsy Blake, Senior Assistant City Attorney

Approved by:                     Howard S. Lazarus, City Administrator


Whereas, City Council has directed staff to investigate the development options of the 415 W. Washington site;


Whereas, The City issued RFP #19-07 to identify contractors to conduct public engagement, develop potential building concepts, and evaluate feasibility of the same for the property commonly known as the “Y Lot”;


Whereas, The City received four proposals and unanimously selected SmithGroup, Inc.;


Whereas, Essentially the same service is required for the 415 W. Washington site;


Whereas, City staff is recommending utilizing the competitive responses to RFP #19-07 and related evaluation, to satisfy the competitive procurement requirement for the attached, proposed agreement;


Whereas, The full cost of the attached agreement will be paid for initially from the General Fund (appropriated to the Planning General Fund Expenditure Budget), but then reimbursed to the City by the DDA;


Whereas, The City would enter into a contract not to exceed $75,000.00; and


Whereas, SmithGroup, Inc. signed a declaration of compliance with the City’s Living Wage and Non-Discrimination Ordinances on February 26, 2019;


RESOLVED, That the City Council appropriate $75,000.00 in funds from the FY20 general fund balance and increase the FY20 Planning general fund expenditure budget in the amount of ($75,000.00);


RESOLVED, That the DDA’s reimbursement be appropriated to the General Fund Balance upon receipt;


RESOLVED, That the City Council approve the attached agreement with SmithGroup, Inc. for evaluation of the 415 W. Washington site in the amount not to exceed $75,000.00;


RESOLVED, That the Mayor and City Clerk be authorized and directed to execute said agreement after approval as to substance by the City Administrator and approval as to form by the City Attorney;


RESOLVED, That the amounts authorized herein may be used without regard to fiscal year; and


RESOLVED, That the City Administrator be authorized to take all necessary actions to implement this Resolution including any amendments that do not exceed the not to exceed amount.


Sponsored by:  Councilmembers Ramlawi and Smith