Basin Street Development RFQS Q&A
1. Is there an anticipated square footage and project cost for this project? The project site is only part of an overall downtown strategic plan and it would be good to understand what portion of the strategy for Williamsport is anticipated to be included as part of this project.
The Project Team is free to use its creativity and knowledge of the Williamsport market to develop a feasible development proposal. The College is open to proposals of varying square footages and project costs. However, the Williamsport Old City Market Analysis, found at https://www.lycoming.edu/strategic-plan/old-city-rfq.aspx, gives a baseline for feasible square footages and unit numbers based upon prevailing market trends.
2. Does the City of Williamsport have an investment or role in this project beyond its municipal role? Is it anticipated that the town would be in a financial partnership with the school and developer?
The Project Team should propose what levels of private and public investment would be needed to successfully complete the project. There is currently no assurance of an investment role in the project from the City of Williamsport or Lycoming College, but Lycoming College is open to discussions on the matter. The City of Williamsport has shown a willingness to partner with other public and private entities to complete projects in Old City. Currently, the City of Williamsport is partnering with PennDOT, Lycoming College, and Lycoming County to advance the East Third Street/Old City Gateway Revitalization Project, which includes the construction of the Lycoming College Krapf Gateway Center, realignment of Franklin Street, new traffic signals at Third and Mulberry Streets, construction of the Russell Inn Heritage Park, and streetscape improvements to Basin, E. 3rd, and E. 4th streets. This Project combined funding provided by the City of Williamsport, Lycoming County, First Community Foundation, and state and federal sources.
3. Are there any anticipated funding sources already identified such as private sources, grants, or government?
Pages 61 to 69 of the Williamsport Old City Market Analysis outline potentially feasible funding sources for completion of the project outlined in the submitted proposal. Project Teams can include these funding sources within their proposal or identify other potentially feasible funding sources. No local, state, or federal funds have been specifically designated for this project.
4. Is there any additional information about easements, right-of-ways, or agreements with the excluded parcel (62-004-308)?
The College is in discussions with the owner of the parcel but does not currently have any easements or firm agreements in place for acquisition or leasing. The College is seeking creative solutions to advancing a development project with or without the acquisition or leasing of the parcel.
5. Are there any sustainability goals for the project, the City of Williamsport, or Lycoming County that we should be aware of and incorporate?
The College seeks to solicit proposals that keep sustainability in mind. It does not, however, have any specific goals concerning Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification. The City of Williamsport and Lycoming County do not currently have identified development sustainability goals that will be incorporated into any development.
6. Does the College plan to acquire the remaining non-College owned parcel in the middle of the project site?
The owner of the parcel is currently trying to determine its worth, but the owner is still in discussions with Lycoming College (“College”). No offer from the College has officially been made. The College would be open to acquiring the parcel before or after negotiations with the selected team/developer.
7. Is there a targeted completion date of the project?
This is a new process for the College, so submissions should reflect a realistic timeline based on the team’s experience with similar projects.
8. What is the College’s preferred ownership/control structure for the site?
The Lycoming College Board of Trustees will ultimately decide the final ownership/control structure. Based on initial internal discussions, the Board of Trustees’ initial preference is for a long-term lease. However, if proposals deem that this arrangement is not feasible, the Board of Trustees is open to other options. Ideally, development teams would show flexibility in determining an ownership/control structure.
9. Will proposals that propose outright sale of the site be disqualified?
Proposals that propose the outright sale of the site will not be disqualified, but there is a strong preference for a long-term lease arrangement.
10. What is the City’s preference in regard to closing Duke Street and Willow Street at the project site?
The College owns parcels on both sides of Duke Street and Willow Street, it does not foresee any issues in working with the City. The City has worked collaboratively with the College on infrastructure projects in the past, including the Gateway Project. It should also be noted that there are plans to convert Willow Street into the Willow Street Greenway, a pedestrian/bicycling pathway that will run through the project site. The pathway is intended to connect Lycoming College to the City’s Central Business District.
11. Does the College have preferences in terms of height and massing of any structures proposed for the site?
Teams should submit a proposal that works with their business plan. The College does not have a strong preference, but previous renderings have shown three-story structures. There is, however, a preference for “transitional architecture” that will complement the College’s Neo-Georgian aesthetic and the aesthetic of historic structures in Old City.
12. What types of facilities/uses will the College need in the future, excluding student housing?
The College sees the parcel as ideal for market-rate housing appealing to young professionals. The site is within proximity to major employers (such as Lycoming College, UPMC Susquehanna, etc.), entertainment, dining, and retail options in the City’s Central Business District, and the Susquehanna River Walk. The student body and staff of the College has the potential to support additional dining options in Old City. Retail and entertainment options attractive to students (e.g. Outdoor sporting goods retailer) would also be preferred.
13. To whom should we refer with additional questions?
If you have additional questions, please contact:
Delta Development Group, Inc.
Attn: Darren J. Asper, PP, AICP
2000 Technology Parkway, Mechanicsburg, PA 17050
If an inquiry requires further discussion with College staff and administration, Delta can arrange a discussion that fits the schedule of College staff and the development team.