Photo: Texas Tech UHSC
The largest project in the City of El Paso’s 2012 Quality of Life Bond Program will take a major step forward tomorrow when the City of El Paso begins formally seeking a firm to manage the construction and programming of a new $180 million Multi-Purpose Cultural and Performing Arts Center project, commonly referred to as the arena project.
“We are taking positive and strategic steps to deliver this project which voters overwhelmingly approved and which will re-shape El Paso’s ability to draw top-level entertainment to the market and continue to fuel the economic engine and re-birth of our Downtown,” said Mayor Oscar Leeser.
The City of El Paso’s request for proposals (RFP) will be formally released tomorrow for a ten-day period of industry review. After that time, the final RFP will be officially released on Wednesday, October 28, 2015.
The deadline for interested bidders to response to the RFP isWednesday, December 9, 2015.
“Because projects of this nature are highly specialized and complex, we believe it is important to take the unique step of vetting our purchasing documents to ensure this landmark project continues to advance without delay,” said City Manager Tommy Gonzalez. “Therefore, it is important that we engage industry experts who have vast experience on similar projects to give feedback and strengthen the official and final request for proposals.”
The city is seeking a firm to oversee design and construction of the arena including contract compliance, reviewing payment applications, and processing invoices. The firm would also oversee design and construction and schedule events and recruit tenants, sponsors and a naming rights partner.
- November 2012: Voters overwhelmingly approve bond program including the Hispanic Cultural Center, Children’s Museum, and arena.
- February 2013: El Paso City Council approves a three year plan which does not include construction of the Signature Projects within the first three years of the bond program. This allows city staff to conduct public outreach, engage necessary experts, and thoughtfully build a responsible financing model which allows construction of the projects.
- December 17, 2013: El Paso City Council unanimously approved a contract with HKS, Inc., and a local consortium to determine the appropriate size and scope of each facility; determine the appropriate sites for each facility, with an emphasis on creative synergy among existing facilities and leveraging existing infrastructure.
- January to July 2014: The City of El Paso concluded an extensive, community wide public outreach process.
- August to December 2014: Additional study was required for background work on arena operations, to include benchmarking analysis across the nation and analysis of operations and maintenance budget for proposed facility. This work was used in the January 2015 report.
- January 6, 2015: HKS, Inc., and a team of experts presented their findings to El Paso City Council on these three projects.
- February to May, 2015: City staff conducted due diligence on several possible locations.
- June 2, 2015: City staff opened a competitive process in which law firms were invited to present their expertise and qualifications to the city for consideration.
- September 29, 2015: The City of El Paso selects two outside law firms with extensive experience in arena projects and downtown revitalization to lead the process of acquiring land for the three Signature Projects of the 2012 Quality of Life Bond Program.
Because of the complexity and uniqueness of this project, it is premature to commit to an exact date for a groundbreaking or ribbon cutting for the facility.
The City of El Paso looks forward to working with a project management firm to realize this project which will improve El Paso’s competitive advantage When companies look at where to locate good paying jobs, when airlines consider whether or not to add more direct flights, and when families look at where they’re going to go for the weekend.
Along with other unprecedented investments in quality of life, the arena project which was approved by voters is a central part of our strategy to achieve those things.
Once it is formally released, the draft RFP can be viewed in its entirety at http://legacy.elpasotexas.gov/purchasing/ep-invitations.asp. Preliminary studies and information on the project are available at http://www.elpasotexas.gov/capital-improvement/project-updates/signature-projects.
To stay up-to-date on these and other city projects, visit elpasotexas.gov/capital-improvement and sign-up for a monthly enewsletter detailing project progress, community meetings, and other information.
Author: City of El Paso