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Urban Development Authority Releases RFQ for Master Planning Services

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Macon Bibb County Urban Development Authority

Urban Core Master Planning Services

Request for Qualifications








  Text Box: Closing Location, Date and Time
Macon Bibb County Urban Development Authority
ATTN: Alex Morrison
200 Cherry St. 
Suite 300
Macon, Georgia 31201

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One electronic copy of the proposal must be received by 5:00 p.m. on DECEMBER 20th, 2013



The Macon Bibb County Urban Development Authority with assistance from various development partners is conducting an:


Urban Core Master Plan and Development Framework

Request for Qualifications



Macon, GA is among the largest cities in the state of Georgia and sits at the geographic center of the State. It has long been a hub for commerce and trade, as evidenced by its historic multi-modal transportation options and large, historic downtown buildings. At the outset, Macon was well planned to serve this commercial purpose and to maximize an urban life- with a simple planned grid with wide-thoroughfares and alleys that mapped out a classic urban landscape. As businesses departed and transportation options dried up, classic planning gave way to patchwork operations that have only recently hit a stride in bringing new residents and businesses to the urban core. Along the way, several plans have been done, none of which have risen to the level of being the community’s vision for how “everyone’s part of town” should progress. The aim of this plan is to combine existing plans into one omnibus document as well as to provide a global view for appropriate urban planning for a historic community looking for its 21st century context. We believe the success of this effort will come from uniting stakeholders and neighbors with a single vision for downtown’s future.



Macon has a rich social and architectural heritage, with a larger and more diverse inventory of buildings on the National Register of Historic Places than Savannah or Charleston, SC.  Unfortunately, Macon suffers from significant disinvestments in its central city.  Population decreases since 1950 find the current population at 92,000 with many residents living in suburban communities outside the city’s borders.  The City is committed to a coordinated and comprehensive redevelopment of downtown and intown Macon as a sound and sustainable investment for the future.  A market study by Zimmerman/Volk Associates suggests significant population growth in these areas if the right amenities exist.


Public and private leadership have identified Downtown Macon and the surrounding areas as being critical to the overall success of Middle Ga. Various plans and studies have been developed to attempt to bring the district to its maximum potential. It is a new dawn in Macon, however, and a new approach to the urban core must be articulated and accepted as a bona fide way forward for Macon.


Downtown Macon is anchored by several key institutions including the municipal government, a federal court complex, Mercer University and two tertiary care medical facilities. These institutions provide thousands of jobs, recruit many new residents to the city and form an economic base for the region. In the last several years there have been critical enhancements to the neighborhoods around downtown and significant progress has been made in a piecemeal approach to neighborhood revitalization efforts in the central business district. This plan would provide a roadmap to help us bridge different neighborhoods and property uses into a perceivable, cohesive vision.



This master planning process coincides with the creation of an Alliance of redevelopment efforts to manage long-term growth and change.  Preliminary work has created and cemented all the necessary relationships to plan and act.  All of our partners agree on basic goals for urban core providing a great opportunity for a professional planner to provide guidance and ideas for a project that will be completed. Also, many organizations already have action plans and spatial master plans that can be linked to assist with the new urban planning effort.



This project will create a walkable, livable, sustainable and beautiful urban core for Macon employing a process of consensus building, which will ensure its success.  All planning will occur consistent with existing Master Plans for redevelopment.  The process and plan will respect the unique history, culture and heritage of our neighborhoods and our city as an opportunity for reinvestment.  The Master Plan will provide us with a strategy to realize the full potential of our city, maximizing private investment, sustaining the historic mix of land use patterns and connecting people to each other in a beautiful place to live and work. 


Scope of Work


The successful firm will work closely with the executive director and downtown committee chair, the directors of our development partners, and the general public to complete the following steps:

1.      Analyze applicable information from the following documents

a.       College Hill Corridor Master Plan

b.      Second Street Master Plan

c.       NewTown Macon Strategic Plan

d.      Main Street Macon annual workplan

e.       Recreation Master Plan for Bibb County

f.       Ocmulgee Heritage Trail and other greenspace master plans

g.      Walnut Creek Village Plan

h.      Cemetery Master Plans

2.      Reference Urban organizations’ web sites and digital libraries for mission statements, goals and histories









3.      Conduct interviews with constituent non-profit organizations, anchor institutions, neighborhood associations and businesses to develop design consensus.

4.      Conduct and lead public design charrettes and incorporate findings into development of the draft Master Plan

5.      Develop a draft Master Plan, including a specific Implementation Strategy and Financing Strategy for review and comment by the Authority, partners, and the public

a.       Design solutions to traffic and parking issues within the urban core

                                                              i.      A well articulated parking management solution

                                                            ii.      Enabling safe, fast and enjoyable cycling

                                                          iii.      Evaluating on-street and deck parking downtown.

                                                          iv.      Proposing creative and attractive solutions such as roundabouts

b.      Design improvements to public parks

c.       Propose strategies for recruiting and retaining best use retail, commercial and residential tenants including incentive suggestions

d.      Propose design changes to induce spontaneous and planned neighborhood events, public events and everyday interaction

e.       Propose strategies for attracting walkers, bikers, students and neighbors to use parks, businesses and residences

f.       Design new build infill for residential developments and ground floor retail

g.      Develop design guidelines as a planning overlay for the urban core

h.      Propose a phased implementation strategy and timeline

i.        Propose funding strategies linked to implementation strategy

6.      Prepare and present the updated Plan to the Authority

7.      Provide final working document in both electronic and hard copy format (suitable for the web and editable).



The selected firm will deliver a comprehensive Master Plan in digital and print format along with a turn-key public presentation (PowerPoint) and a web-friendly summary.  These materials will be the property of Authority.  The visual impact and aesthetic of these materials is critical to reach a diverse audience to understand the appeal of the district.  In addition, all deliverables should be unique to Macon, engaging our history and heritage.  The Master Plan should:

·         Redesign of the Urban streets and sidewalks sensitive to the Second Street Master Plan

·         Design improvements to median parks

·         Propose site-specific retail, commercial and residential recruitment recommendations and appropriate incentives and suggest appropriate zoning regulations for the downtown area.

·         Illustrate how design changes will induce desired use of existing and new amenities

·         Provide parking and traffic solutions

·         Create an implementation strategy and timeline

·         Propose creative strategies to finance improvements



The primary purpose of this plan is to create a framework for future redevelopment of Macon’s Urban Core and the primary elements of study will be:

·         Urban Design- Streetscapes and other concerns

·         Parks, Recreation, and Open Space

·         Neighborhood Revitalization and appropriate land use

·         Transportation

·         Upper-floor Housing

·         Public Event Space

·         Funding Strategies


Public Involvement

The Authority and partners will be responsible for convening and managing public design charrettes.  A shared vision amongst diverse stakeholders is necessary to move the community forward, and this can only be accomplished in an open, friendly environment. The public must drive the vision above all else.



A vendor for Master Planning services will be selected in late January 2014.  The Master Plan will be developed over a 12-month timeline with the draft Plan being delivered in January 2015.



Applicants should submit a Statement of Qualification by 5pm on December 20, 2013.  Applications should include one digital copy by email.  One print application or digital copy on electronic media may also be submitted by mail.  Applications should be limited to 10 pages (excluding appendices) and include:

1.      A Cover Sheet including quick facts about the firm (website, contact info)

2.      A 1-5 Page Statement of Qualification specifically addressing the firm’s fitness to carry out the Scope of Work outlined here including:

a.       A statement illustrating the firm’s proficiency in streetscape design, traffic calming, college town planning, community engagement, economic development, planning and urban design.

b.      A record of implementation, successful function and sustainability for urban design proposals and master plans.

c.       Evidence of inclusive planning practices and community engagement.

d.      Past examples of cost control, adherence to timelines and quality of work.

e.       Experience in Macon or the region, if any.

3.      Resumes for key team members and their proposed roles in delivering this project

4.      Two examples (either print or digital) of the firm’s best previous work illustrating expertise relevant to this project

5.      All submittals shall be sent or delivered by the deadline to:







Alex Morrison

Macon-Bibb County Urban Development Authority

The City of Macon ECDD

200 Cherry St. Suite 300

Macon, GA 31201



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A committee with representatives from our key partners will be established to review all applications. This committee will select the most qualified candidate firms and solicit proposals from these firms.  This committee will review the proposals and the committee will invite one or two firms for interviews with the Authority and partners in January 2014. Firms will be asked to make a public presentation to allow for public input in the selection process. Selection will be based upon submission materials and interview results. Selection of the most qualified firm will be in accordance with applicable Georgia Statutes. The committee reserves the right to reject all interviewees. Staff will negotiate a contract at a reasonable fee with the most qualified firm. If a contract cannot be successfully negotiated with the most qualified firm, staff will proceed to negotiate a contract with the second best qualified firm. Subject to appropriate approvals and successful contract negotiation, the Authority will execute the contract and initiate project activities around January 2014.


Liability for Errors

While the Authority has made considerable efforts to ensure an accurate representation of information in the Request for Proposals, the information contained in this Request for Proposals is supplied solely as a guideline for Consultants.  The information is not guaranteed or warranted accurate by the Authority, nor is it necessarily comprehensive or exhaustive.


Questions or concerns should be directed to Alex Morrison using the following contact information:


Alex Morrison

City of Macon Economic and Community Development Department


200 Cherry St.

Suite 300

Macon, GA 31201


(478) 803-2402 office

(478) 751-7390 fax


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