Last updated: March 29. 2014 12:14AM - 1513 Views
By - jlynott@civitasmedia.com

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WILKES-BARRE — The deadline for developers to submit proposals for downtown properties cleared by demolition last year was pushed back to allow for more time to provide information on their proposed projects, a city official said.

They have until April 7 to respond to the Request for Proposals for four properties on South Main Street that are located in a Keystone Opportunity Zone offering tax exemptions.

The 11-page RFP required developers to provide extensive details, said Greg Barrouk, deputy city administrator.

“We asked for a lot of information financially and we only gave 30 days,” he said Thursday.

The city put out an RFP in late January with a deadline of March 6 to respond.There’s been interest in the properties and a couple of the developers asked for additional time to compile the necessary information, Barrouk said.

In addition to a description of the proposed development other information requested included:

• A marketing plan if the proposal included development of speculative space;

• A description of the project team with names, addresses, phone numbers and email addresses;

• Examples of other projects undertaken by the developer that demonstrate the viability of the proposed project; a description of participating investors/developers and their qualifications;

• Evidence of financial capacity for the project team and evidence of commercial borrowing capacity.

A screening established by the city will evaluate the proposals and rank them based on their compliance with the RFP. Finalist may be interviewed before the committee makes a final recommendation to city council for approval.

In order to blend in with the University Corners across the street, the city indicated that the new development should be mixed used with specialty retail shops and restaurants on the ground floor. The upper floor would be residential or office space.

The city awarded a contract of $194,861 to Stell Enterprises Inc. of Plains Township to tear down vacant buildings at 69, 71, 73 and 75 S. Main St. The city owned the properties and condemned them in October due to their deteriorating conditions. The demolition took place around two privately owned properties in the middle of the cluster.

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